Friday, May 01, 2009

One of The Top Ten Worst Rides Ever

I'm not talking about the Harold Parker portion of the ride, I'm talking about the getting there via the road on the Single Speed bit. After sleeping off the all time record thirteen hour workday, noodling on the computer for a little while and doing the most cursory amount of housework, I got on The Superfly and began rolling up to Andover, home of a highly esteemed preparatory school and a tractor trailer training school. It definitely felt like I was riding toward the latter.

I mapped a route using my Rubel Eastern Massachusetts map, all the roads I chose were "Green Streets", meaning "preferable for bikes" as opposed to "Red Streets", meaning "These streets will run red with your blood if you try to ride a bike on them". I guess green streets are a relative thing. I already know not to attempt to ride any roads in Framingham and Natick, period. Green or not, they all suck. If I had mapped my route on Google Maps it would have gone something like this:

1. Head north through The Middlesex Fells on the dirt, enjoy it while it lasts, your ride is about to go all to shit
2. Cross Under 93 take a right on Forest St. and begin riding on shoulderless, crap roads while being buzzed by angry drivers who are rushing for no good reason at all.
3. Take a right on Washington st.
4. Continue on Washington/Shit/Pothole/Glass-Strewn/Miserable Piece of Crap/Hell-Hole for two hours
5. Arrive at Harold Parker State Forest demoralized and broken.

When I look in the mirror these days I say to my reflection "Oh my god, I am dying" but my new Tifosi Forzas are nice. I wrecked my last pair with the mud at Hopbrook.

However, it didn't take long for me to start feeling stoked and getting into the ride. HP is just about my favorite place to ride these days. Proper East-Coast, rocky, twisty, annoying technical for miles and miles.

Our posse was tight, consisting of Matt O'keefe, Rosey, Colin, Linnea, Will, Scott, and Rich. We were rolling pretty fast, only stopping for Colin's multiple mechanicals involving horrible knee-smashing on his stem.

My only mechanical consisted of last minute flat, about five minutes from the car. I had thrown the 34 X 17 on The Superfly so I wouldn't suffer so terribly riding up on the road. HP is not 34 X 17 territory, it's more 34 X 19 or 20 territory. It's good practice for the long races though. If I'm going to not suck too too bad at the 101, I'm going to need to be able to spin until my taint falls off and mash until my knees swell up like cantaloupes and explode.

Unfortunately this left me all torqued out by ride's end. Like a wingless frog, I was unable to lift my ass off the ground so it wouldn't go "Bump!" on all the pointy rocks. I put a good-sized hole in my Xr-1 which Stan's didn't come close to sealing. This forced me to do my running practice for the week. I love running. It's really useful. Who knows when you might need to escape a saber-toothed tiger or a charging Mammoth.

Will is a great rider. So is Linnea. I was not so great yesterday. But my hair was.


Tom said...

another way to get up there is to take Haverhill street (it's off the rotary at REI) follow that to North Reading and take a right on Marblehead street, roll down that road and look for a trail off into the woods on the left, it'll take you right into HP.

Bullitt said...

Nice corn rows yo.