The weather is perfect. Warm with low humidity. Time for another afternoon ride. Yesterday, I left my work place in Burlington and decided to ride all three dirt road trails in the neighborhood at once - the Narrow Gauge Trail in Bedford, the Reformatory Branch Trail and the Battle Road Trail. My route led me through Bedford, Concord and Lexington where I picked up the Minuteman Bikeway towards Arlington. This is probably my favorite bike ride in my area. Let me explain it with some statistics:
total length: 39.8km (25mi) dirt roads total: 18.9km (11.7mi) 47.5% bike paths total: 24.6km (15.3mi) 61.8%
The length is perfect. I can complete it withing roughly 2 hours, which lets me ride it even after work, on late afternoons. Over 60% of the entire ride happens on bike paths. This way I can avoid most car traffic and ride undisturbed and more relaxed. Nearly half of the course I ride on dirt roads, which turns otherwise a bit boring ride into something much more exciting. Plus, those dirt roads are relatively smooth and flat and this means that a mountain bike is not needed there and my 700x35c tires work perfectly. I can zip through the track at higher speed.
My minimalistic cue card. It is greatly simplified since I roughly remember all turns. It is small enough to be glued directly to the handlebars.
The entire ride took me exactly 2 hrs to complete (I left my work at 5:05pm and arrived home at 7:05pm), which means that I pushed myself a bit reaching an average speed of 20km/h (12.4mph). I just wanted to be home earlier this time and normally, I would give myself more time to complete it.
PS. I also noticed that the Bikeway Source store in Bedford seemed closed. I was afraid that maybe they closed for good since the building looked like undergoing a major reconstruction. Fortunately, I was wrong. Bikeway Source is still there and they are renovating their place. Great!