Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hell of the North Shore 2012

The name, officially dubbed by Tom Merrill, pays tribute to the "Hell of the North," Paris-Roubaix. Only our ride was much shorter, much easier, and probably much more fun. Glen has been hankering to change  up the typical type of mountain biking that most of us do... loop after loop of the same trails at the same trail network. With literally hundreds of miles of trail in this area, connecting major areas is pretty simple, and for the most part, a massive loop has already been created, the Bay Circuit Trail. In some areas, the trails are less distinct, poorly marked, or winding in and out of neighborhoods. But, the BCT IS there, and it's awesome.

Glen planned out a point to point ride starting in Ipswich, and ending in Andover, covering Willowdale, Georgetown-Rowley State Forest, Boxford Town Forest, Harold Parker, and plenty of other trail networks, many I had never heard of before.

Today's ride included Tom Merrill, Glen Gollrad, Danbarry Moore, Dave McCrimmon, and myself.

We met at Harold Parker at a little before 7am, left some cars there, and shuttled back to the start, near Sal's Pizza in Ipswich. We all crammed into Danbarry's big truck and were at the start in no time. We waited just a bit for anyone else to show up, and after we heard that Jamie was NOT going to make it, we took off.

We went down a trail, there were some rocks, some muddy sections, some dry sections, some uphills, some downhills, some technical sections, some fire roads, some paved roads, and plenty of trees, dirt, ponds, logs and bridges.

For the distance, we had very few mechanicals, and I'm proud to say, my bike started and finished in great shape. Tom's new steed, which he claims to have named "Aviendha Far Dareis Mai, Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel" (don't ask), provided some trouble and at one point, his seat came off the rails. We grunted and pushed and pulled and swore at the saddle, but there was NO way it was going back on the rails. We were able to secure it down with some straps until we found a store where Tom covered the saddle with packing tape. Ugly, but it did the job and got him to the end.

About 3hrs (ride time) and 30 miles after starting, we rolled back to our cars at Harold Parker where Glen had a nifty little buffet of salty chips and beer. Tom provided chocolate chip cookies.

All in all, it was a great ride. The weather was perfect, the route was great, the pace was brisk but congenial, and with only one mechanical (and NOT mine), we couldn't really ask for much more. Personally, I really has a great time today with everyone!


Dan OWNED this bridge!

Now, the plan is to add to this, ultimately riding all the way around the world (okay, not really).


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  2. "Tom's new steed, which he claims to have named "Aviendha Far Dareis Mai, Nine Valleys sept of the Taardad Aiel" Dave, you had it nailed at Taardad. Tom, you're 3/4 of the way to a white saddle, congrats!

    Looks awesomely awesome. Great job mapping it out G-Roll et al. Sorry I couldn't make it but the kids gotta be taken care of. I was half way to Ipswich when Glen texted me and didn't want to hold you guys up.

    I did get the next great spring classic ride almost nailed down so get ready for Salem-Saugus-Salem right around the time of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.