We cheated a bit on the start of our trip. Instead of riding through the traffic mess of Boston we rode down to the Quincy Center ‘T’ station and got on the Red Line train all the way to it’s terminus at Alewife station. The Alewife station is right next to the beginning of the Minuteman Bikeway, which took us 10 miles west until we were across I-95, getting us out of the inner ring around Boston. We then rode into Concord center, which is a mecca for cyclists on the weekend, since the area in and around Concord and Lexington is replete with quiet, shaded, rolling back roads that are perfect for a day of cycling. The breakfast place we stopped at was teeming with cyclists so we got to brag a bit on our tour. A bit of celebrity goes a long way.

The route we rode today was mostly chosen by Google Maps bike routing, and it worked really well. The roads were pretty and the traffic was light. Unfortunately we were riding into a headwind all day, and combined with the usual first day weariness, we were quite tired by the time we got here.

We stopped for lunch in the little town of Ayer and to our surprise saw a loaded touring bike leaned up against the wall outside a little sandwich / smoothie shop. So we went in and shared stories with John while we ate. When we were leaving I asked the clerk if there was a grocery store in town and she gave me very simple directions to follow; “turn right at the firehouse then left at the first light and it’s just down the road.” Simple, but for whatever reason I never saw the firehouse so we went a bit in the wrong direction. It was almost worth it though, because when we finally turned around to go back we had a tail wind for the first time all day, and I really enjoyed cruising along at 15 mph with almost no effort at all.

We got back to where the firehouse is (it was obvious so I don’t know how they camouflaged it the first time we went by) and made the required turn I realized that the grocery store was directly on our intended route anyway, so if I had never asked for directions we would never have taken the detour and we would have found the grocery store anyway. Oy!

The campground here is nice and quiet. It’s hot outside but quite dry and there is a bit of a breeze blowing, so it’s actually very comfortable. At the grocery store Jodi bought one of those salad in a bag kits, with the salad, cheese, croutons, and dressing. We polished off the whole thing, then boiled up some free 3-cheese tortellini and topped it with a can of pasta sauce. My stomach is full to the point of groaning, but it feels good to have a full belly.

It will be wonderful if we don’t have to fight a head wind all day tomorrow. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. default icon20120701.gpx