Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Carlisle Course

This week's weather behaves better and humidity level is bearable again. That's why I decided to take my other bike for a longer ride again. This time, my destination was Carlisle - a rural town northwest of Boston.
I started in Burlington and rode to Bedford first, where I merged with the Narrow Gauge Trial I rode before. Then, I crossed the Concord River.
And I planned to ride Maple Street towards Bedford Road in Carlisle. However, with my luck, I must have missed my turn and I continued on East St instead. It took me all the way down to Carlisle center and I found Bedford Rd eventually. There was not much for me to do there (Even though Carlisle is an awesome place to live in!) so I continued on Bedford Rd and took turn onto Stearns St. I read that there is a little used trial somewhere at the end of that street. The trial is supposed to connect to Monument St and lead towards Concord. This would be an interesting alternative of getting to Concord without using ordinary roads. At the end of Stearns St I found this:
Which looked like a trial so I decided to try it. However after a few meters it turned into a very narrow path, clearly not designed with bicycles in mind. Since I wasn't sure how safe that path was to ride on and swarms of mosquitos made my life quite miserable there, I decided to turn back and not risk my luck.
I rode on River Rd instead, which eventually got me into Concord. On the way there, it is not uncommon to see signs like these:
Carlisle is a rural town after all, and horses are as common there as bicycles. The town has a rule that no private land can be divided into units smaller than 2 acres. This makes living there expensive (land is not cheap) but it also means that its rural character is maintained and there is no way our neighbors will build their house right next to ours in order to know what we are having for dinner tonight.
Just as I entered Concord, I noticed a park to my right and a statue of a Minuteman militia. It is a part of the historical trial, leading from Concord all the way into Boston. The park is really nice with multiple displays explaining the history of this place and reconstructed Old North Bridge.
Just after I passed the park I found the trial I already have been familiar with - the Reformatory Branch Trial...
with its usual swamps:
Eventually, I got home in Arlington. The entire route took me about 2.5hrs to complete without racing. My bike computer showed me a distance of 50km (32mi). Fortunately, there was a pint of cold beer waiting for me.
Mmm, that's a good beer!

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