Monday, July 4, 2016

Around Hudson - Independence Day Ride

It's the American Brexit Day today and the weather seems to be unbearably hot for my standards, although it's nothing new this time of the year. I managed to sneak out for a bike ride at 5AM this morning - the only part of the day when you can stay outside without risking a skin cancer within 15 minutes.
Just like I mentioned recently, I know my nearest neighborhood pretty well already, so I decided to put my bike in the car and drive to Hudson - just a bit west of Arlington, to ride there. Maybe, since this is the Independence Day, the more appropriate location would be the Minuteman National Historical Park in Concord, or Charlestown's Bunker Hill, or the Boston's Tea Party place. But I either know those places too well or they are all too urban.
Starting that early has some definite advantages. Not only everyone is sleeping and roads are empty, but also all mosquitoes are asleep as well. Since I started my ride in the swampy Assabet River National Refuge I could expect swarms of those little buggers but they were surprisingly tame this time. That said, I ended up with just a few bites.
Nevertheless, if you can somehow survive multiple mosquito attacks, Assabet River Refuge is a fun place to ride. Some rough fire roads, some gravel paths, multiple ponds and lots of wildlife. During my 30-minute ride through the refuge I saw a deer, rabbits, herons, geese, ducks, swans and a crane. If you are into bird watching, bring your binoculars and you won't be disappointed.
My next stop was at the top of the hill at the Nashoba Valley Winery. I made it there by some small local roads, through the forested area just north of Hudson, meeting with a heavy forestry equipment in the process. This chained monster in the photo below is a feller buncher, used for cutting down trees. My bike looked like a midget next to those wheels.
Anyway, I got to the winery but it was way too early for harvest. The views from the hill are nice though. I'm not entirely sure but I think I could see Wachusett Mountain in the distance from there.
I headed back to Hudson and then, following Assabet River Rail Trail I reached the refuge where I left my car. It was only a quick 50km (30mi) loop that I finished by 9AM - right before it started getting too hot. I guess this is the only way to have a bike ride (apart from night riding) on a hot summer day.
Let the fireworks begin!

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