32-mile ride

Met up with Ken and another Staples guy on Saturday in Woburn, we biked 16 miles to Minuteman Park in Concord, MA, then met up with a bunch of people doing the century (100-mile) ride, and rode the last 16 miles back to Woburn with them.

It was perfect weather, and a really nice ride.

The ride back was a little harder, as it was more uphill – one hill in particular just seemed to go on and on and on.

On the way there, I felt like I was using my brakes a lot to keep from passing our group, but on the way back, riding with the century riders, it took a lot more effort to keep up.

One rider took a spill, as a car passed, he went down. I was a little back, so didn’t see what happened – if the car brushed him, or he brushed the car, or if the wind or distraction of a passing car caused him to swerve. Perhaps it was exhaustion, as he’d been riding for almost 100 miles.

The driver circled around to see if he was ok. He was, no damage to him at all, though the bike needed the handlebars straightened again.

The rest of the ride went smoothly, except at the very end. There were some hills, and I fell behind tyhe group a little (there were two groups at this point, the faster group which I was riding with, and the slower group a couple miles back.

As I fell a block or two behind, I lost sight of the front group just long enough to miss if they had turned or not. I stopped at the intersection, and looked in either direction. No sign of them.

I waited a couple minutes to see if the slower group would catch up, but they must have been further back. I chanced it and went straight.

Which of course, was the wrong way.

And it lead straight up a very long hill.

A long hill that eventually ended in a cul-de-sack.

I stopped and got out my iPhone, and used the GPS. Sure enough, where I had gone straight, I should have gone right. Had I turned, the end was only about a mile away.

So I hopped back on my bike and headed back to the intersection. At least it was downhill.

When I got to the ending point, a crowd of people were there, and cheered me in – both the fast and slow groups had already arrived, and had been contemplating sending out a search car to try and find me. I arrived dead last. Not that it was a race, but still pretty embarrassing.

I stayed long enough to rest, have a beer and a burger, and then headed back home where Adam’s birthday party was already underway.

All in all, it was a fun ride. I’m still not sure I could do a century ride, but I could do a half-century pretty easily. Provided I don’t get lost. =)