2005- Ride #5 10 miles, 70.6 total. A new route, a new adventure!

Dad & I try out a route through Lincoln, Weston, around the Cambridge Reservoir… It looks great on a map, but…

We loaded up the bikes on my car, and drove to Lincoln MA. There was a great looking route, all right-hand turns, only three roads, which looked to be a flat, scenic ride. It was only three roads in all. The first was narrow, heavily trafficked, with terrible potholes easily missed (or hit, to be more precise) in the shade. And it was hilly enough that I was in my red zone several times, at the limit of my ability to get enough air in my lungs.

During the second leg, we hit an intersection we didn’t expect. Straight was a tiny, very badly paved road overgrown with overhanging bushes and trees. Left was Do Not Enter. Right was not the road we were expecting. Ahead of me, Dad went right and I followed, falling behind wondering if we should have gone straight. When I caught up, Dad had turned around, saying we’d gone the wrong way. I turned around when I could, but Dad was out of sight. I climbed the hill back to the mystery intersection, and, not seeing Dad, guessed he’d taken the tiny road. It was the bumpiest pavement I’ve ever ridden, but after 200 yards it opened up to a beautiful, exclusive neighborhood. I later learned that the tiny road is the only access road to the neighborhood. Anyway, I’ve been climbing some steep hills, so I find a shady spot and hang out for a few minutes, wait for the nausea to pass, thinking Dad will be riding by at any moment. Nope. We’ve been separated for over five minutes now, and we’re both in foreign territory.

I reason that the best place to be is where we were last together, so I ride back over that tiny, bumpy, awful road to the mystery intersection. Just as I get there, I see Dad, off his bike, talking to some men in a municipal truck. I call out as loud as I can, but he can’t hear me. So I ride down to him, and learn he’d flagged down the truck to ask if he could use their cell phone to call me. He’s pretty worried. But everything’s cool now, we all have a laugh over the timing, and the truck guys ride off. Dad and I don’t know where we are or where we went wrong, and we’re both out of shape and tiring of all the steep hills and nasty potholes. We decide to take the original Right We Were Not Expecting, but after a while it becomes clear we’re getting more lost. So we reverse the whole thing, and trace our steps backwards to our starting point. It was only an hour, but it felt like three, and our speed was laughable. I was glad the ride was over, but it was an amusing adventure in retrospect.

Note to self: test-ride new routes in a car before riding them on a bike!

After getting back to Dad’s house, we pored over the maps, and figured it out. The Do Not Enter road was the way we had planned to go, but neither of our maps showed it to be a one-way street.

Still, it was fun. And we learned a new strategy of returning to the last place we were together when we get separated. As we like to say at work, “OK, thanks Egon. Important safety tip.” (Don’t cross the streams.)

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