Friday, April 26, 2013

New England Virtual Cycling, batch 3: Maine, Rhode Island and Hopkinton

Early in the season I went in to get a new computer for my bike. Went to Bill Fox, the same guy I bought the bike from, a local guy who's been in business ( since the early 80's. He's also about a about a mile from home so that helps. I told Bill about the virtual cycling rides and he mentioned the East Bay Trail down in Providence. So I finally get around to shooting that and the next day I go to the shop and explain that I was again seeing people putting in significantly less effort and going a bit faster than me (Despite the videos I'm actually pretty ignorant about bikes. You can probably tell from my riding style if you look carefully). I just assumed it was because I was riding a mountain bike and everyone else was using smoother tires. Bill takes my bike, says come back in a couple of hours. I come back in a couple of hours and the first thing he does is hand me six thin metal rods. "These are broken spokes. They probably have more to do with your problem than the tires." He also then very patiently explained to me the parts of the wheel, other things that were wrong that he fixed and what differences I should notice now that things were fixed.

This is the trail he told me about, northbound and southbound. This was also my first time riding with somebody else while shooting so it got a little tricky at points because, as noted, she was able to ride easier than I could which means by all rights she should have been ahead of me the whole way. Unfortunately that doesn't really make for good video. Consequently a lot of the ride north we were riding side-by-side (don't ever do that and I again apologize to the person I almost had a head on with). Another minor issue on the northbound was that the GoPro battery died just as we were in the homestretch. Poor planning on my part, but that's honestly a very small part of a really beautiful ride.

Southbound went a bit smoother with my traveling companion for the day giving me a head start. I think this is one of my view videos where the southbound ride going into the sun probably comes out better than the northbound with the sun behind me.

The day before (Wednesday, April 24) I rode from Kennebunk to Scarborough Maine on two chunks of the Eastern Trail. I tried this a couple of weeks ago but there was still snow on the ground. This time it was much better, but I still had a couple of minor issues. Besides the bike issues there was also the "Basic research? What's that?" issue: I underestimated the distance between the two chunks of trail. I figured it was about a mile, was closer to three and a half. Very well marked and not too bad in general, but still an extra seven miles on a neglected bike but the total mileage for the day up to kick-heavy 40. But again, very scenic in parts and I hope you enjoy the ride.

There was one other ride I did this week on Sunday. The Upper Charles in Hopkinton and Milford, MA was a nice ride and certainly worth checking out in person. This is one of those times where (unlike the Eastern Trail mentioned above) I decided to keep the road section in the video since I read a few trail reports where people gave up on finding the second section of it because they couldn't find it. It's completely worth finding. Not too far away from the end of the first part and there were a few locals who were cool enough to help me find it. The trail actually continues to go further than where I stopped, but currently it's all mud and moguls. The group Friends of the Milford Trail is hoping to continue with improvements.

I'll be adding more to this when the videos are done uploading. Just wanted to get the plug in for FoxCo and have something for the videos to link to.

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