It’s rare for me to get a weekend off, and when I do family time takes priority. As a result, good rides tend to get saved for the occasional weekday when I can find a free block of time. In mid-June I had some unstructured time at work, and I decided to pay myself back for all those weekends with a trip out to the Haystack observatory.
I hadn’t made this ride partly because it starts in Lexington and then heads west, so the mileage from home is a bit more than my free time (or my legs) can tolerate. Fortunately there is a nice public parking lot in Lexington center that is only $2 for the day, so I opted to drive out to the start and go from there.
he route I made is based on Pamela Blaylock’s permanent, the Haystack Century, shortened a bit for time (and again, for my legs). I ended up with a total of 50 miles and about 2600 feet of climbing. The ride ended up being just about perfect – nice quiet roads on the way out and a short break about 10 miles in along a wide open bike path (no dodging joggers and dogs). The observatory itself is a site to see, although the climb up was a bit less than I was expecting.
The best part may have been on the ride back, though. The roads through Great Brook Farm State Park were smooth, empty of traffic, and beautifully shaded, which was welcome on one of the first hot days of the year. I’ll definitely do this one again, and maybe tack on the extra 17 miles to make it a real metric century.