Wednesday, October 5, 2011

One Down. Two to Go.

The squiggly blue line is much more fun than the yellow lines.
I set three goals for my non-skiing adventures this off-season.  I'm happy to say that this week I checked the first of these off my list.

I mountain biked to work.

My new commute.
Truth be told, I really had one goal in mind when I started the summer.  This was to scout out the remote slides on Bondcliff and Guyot in the Pemigewasset Wilderness for a late winter trip.  Although this should only take a (long) day's worth of efforts, I'm still working on this one.  I'm glad, however, that I didn't check off this box earlier in the summer as Irene changed the face of a number of these slides, and any beta would have been outdated.  More on this to come.

My next goal came to me in early June when I started reviewing the spreadsheets I was keeping to monitor my conditioning.  (Yeah, I know: nerd.)  I realized that it was feasible for me to reach 1000 miles on my mountain bike.  I decided I would shun my road bike and instead concentrate on exploring the various paths and trails off the Minuteman to compliment my mountain biking trips.  Plus, instead of driving to my nightly biking destinations (like Belmont), I started searching for ways to get there by mountain bike.  Soon I found that I could reach the Belmont Conservation Lands, Burlington Landlocked Forest and even Great Brook Farm by bike path.  I'm closing in on my goal, but I'm still working on this one as well.

My last goal, mountain biking to work, was born out of my exploration of the Western Greenway.  Less of a goal, and more of a dream, I was hoping to be able to mountain bike from my house in Arlington all the way to my office in Newton.  By mountain biking, I meant riding a mountain bike frame on primarily dirt trails dedicated for hiking or biking.  I had already road biked to work a number of times over the years, but found the traffic to be unnerving.  Even on supposedly "back" roads, there was little room for bikes and a whole lot of drivers looking for a reason to express their anger.

After discovering a lengthy section linking Lexington to Waltham on an evening ride with Steve (aka Edge from I was ready to make the dream a reality.  So last Friday, with the sun beaming down and a gloomy weekend in the forecast, I decided it was time.  An hour and half, and one flat tire later, I rolled into my office building's parking lot to the mystified and confused stares of my co-workers.  I explained that I had mountain biked to work. I think this may have confused them even more.

While the entire route isn't car-free, a full 70% of the mileage is done on dedicated trails.  Furthermore, less than a half-mile of the non-trail sections are done on moderately trafficked road, leaving the bulk of road riding to quiet suburban drives.

So to answer the unspoken question of my coworkers, "Why am I obsessed with finding bike pathways to travel when there are perfectly good highways that we spend millions of dollars to maintain?"

Because they're out there waiting to be discovered, that's why.

Winter is closing in fast, but I'm one adventure down, two to go.


  1. That is pretty darn impressive considering where you live! Nice work!

  2. Thanks Beast, but I think it would be impressive if I would actually mountain bike it more than once next summer.