The route weaved through Boston's south-western suburbs, taking us to the scenic Noon Hill reservation and the Blue Moon Café in Medfield. Although the towns on this side of Boston are known to be high in traffic, the route itself was remarkably quiet. Orchards and farms comprised much of the scenery, alternating with stretches of sleepy residential streets bordering bodies of water. At one point there was even a Forest Road that, uncharacteristically, went through an actual forest, rather than a series of strip malls or new housing developments! Pamela Blalock's route design skills are a rare talent.
I cycled the 10 miles to the start and arrived with only a few minutes to spare, not giving myself a big break before the event this time. The ride itself was just over 67 miles and I finished it in 6 hours 25 minutes. My computer shows 3,900ft of elevation gain, but the climbing was distributed in such a way that I did not especially feel it. The descents seemed tamer than last time as well. My overall average speed (including stops and the sit-down meal) was 10.45mph, which is a bit faster than last week's 9.9mph. My average rolling speed was about the same: 13.1mph. If I can improve my times a bit more, I might be able to do these rides on the camera bike soon, with proper photo stops, and still make the cutoff - but not just yet.
There may come a time when I think a 100 km bicycle ride is not worth writing about. In the meanwhile, I am enjoying it all. The slew of new sensations that every ride brings, the shameful yet oddly liberating experience of being the weakest cyclist of everyone I ride with, and of course, the beautiful local scenery waiting to be discovered.