Bay Circuit Trail & North Shore NEMBA

This past Thursday, I was at our Sterling Machine operation in Lynn, MA. After work, I drove over to Harold Parker State Forest in Andover to meet up with the North Shore NEMBA crew for the Thursday Night Ride. Including me, the group was 12. It was a beautiful late May evening that was hot and muggy. We rode until dusk. I captured the route on my GPS.2013_iPhone Photos_May 36

The weekly ride is billed “intermediate.” I wasn’t looking for anything more than some guidance and new trails, so that was fine. There was a fair amount of standing around, but I was cool with that, with the only exception being the mosquitoes. We waited for everyone. Bob Ganley was our host and we saw parts of Harold Parker, the Ward Reservation, and several other land trust/conservation properties. Sections were part of the Bay Circuit Trail which is getting a lot of marketing thanks to a partnership between the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Trustees of Reservations. We even got to go up the historic Boston Hill, where there used to be a ski area. The view east to Boston and beyond was fantastic and we had a good look at the skyline despite the haze.

2013_iPhone Photos_May 26

The descent off of Boston Hill was a highlight. There was fresh-cut trails with beautiful flowing switchbacks and some great bridges. It was just rough enough to keep you honest. I learned that Harold Parker has more than 30 miles of trails that are mountain bike friendly, but we only saw a small amount. They say it takes four Thursday rides (about two hours long) to cover all of the trails when you focus on them. However, this week, Bob took us to several other trail systems in town. I plan to return, though I was encouraged to bring my full suspension bike next time.

2013_iPhone Photos_May 28

Well, I don’t have one. This ride featured 11 other riders, and everyone was riding a full suspension. Some even sported body armor (knee, shin, and elbow guards).  I was un-phased because my goal is to always stay on my bike. I only fell once, and it happened to be off of a bog bridge. Thankfully, it was on a dry section. 50 feet up the trail, it would have been a two foot fall into some serious muck. There were several cool sections of bridges over this bog.

2013_iPhone Photos_May 39

This was a throwback ride for me. I rarely get on group rides, whether they are on road or off-road. This was old school with many long time riders, which was great to see. Full transparency: I was heckled multiple times…and I loved it. Don’t shy away from this ride. It was all good-natured ribbing with the quality of trails and true trail ethic in mind. Several of these dudes were hard-core trail maintainers and builders. Erosion and trail health was at the top of their minds.

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The worst attacks came after I ended up in front on one section of trail late in the ride. I didn’t know what was coming around a bend (I think everyone assumed I should have) and instead of going over a tree (obstacle) in the trail, I went around it. That caused much consternation and several rebukes, including these gems: “No shortcuts” and “Don’t take the pu%#y line.” I bit my lip, but was thinking, right on! Way to welcome the new guy!

I took it all in stride and managed to clear all of the other trail obstacles despite riding my Seven Sola SL 29er rigid singlespeed. I’ll return to the ride, and it will be on the same bike. The rocks and roots don’t bother me. I made sure that I didn’t mention my upcoming half Ironman. That would have likely resulted in even harsher criticism! I was already drawing looks for my color coordinated Lycra kit. Like I said, don’t let any of this dissuade you from joining this crew on an upcoming Thursday night. It was a great ride on some great trails!

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@thecubscouts #pinewoodderby never gets old. Pack 157 Bolton, Connecticut #cubscouts So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏

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