Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25 - Fire and Brimstone for the Unredeemable

December 25 is the day most of the western world sets aside to celebrate consumerism, allowing most folks a day off work to consume lots of food and exchange lots of items into which the giver may have invested great thought, like a manger scene snow globe, that will likely be returned the next day and exchanged for something the recipient really wants, like Air Jordan sneakers.

Having achieved Redemption yesterday, we chose to seek out Fire and Brimstone. But rather than descending into a hot, fiery hell, we climbed up to Brimstone Hill where it was so brutally cold, that we would have been quite happy to roast our toes on a bit of fire.

Since this holiday seemingly honors shopping and consumption, the folks who work so hard in all the shops and cafes are given the day off work. However, in recent years, more and more businesses (CVS, Dunkin Donuts) have decided to take advantage of lack of competition on the day, especially for the potential customer who has truly waited until the last minute and considers a bottle of shampoo and a pack of batteries to be an appropriate gift. But even the ever-accommodating Rob and Patria, of Ride Studio Cafe, our usual coffee and ride-launching point, decided to take a break and closed early on Saturday and completely on Sunday. So we decided to open Cafe Blayleys before the ride to serve espresso drinks and provide a warm meeting place.

After Saturday's long hard ride, we had scheduled a slightly shorter ride on Sunday. This would also allow a few more folks who had family obligations and such, to join us. We started with 9 hardy riders. At ride start time, it was still in the low 20's Fahrenheit as a light flurry of snowflakes delighted all the children in the area. But with the promise of Fire and Brimstone awaiting us, we pressed on.

John as Barista Extraordinaire
Riders enjoying the warmth of Blayleys Cafe
Now, all bundled up and ready for Brimstone
Rolling out through the suburban maze of roads
Rich is powered by Skittles!
The feature road of the day - seems innocent enough, eh?
Baruch making his way around the first steep corner
Pamela heading up the last few feet of gravel to the fire tower!
With a photographer ensuring that she doesn't put a foot down!

Skittle-powered Rich on his way to the fire-tower
It's all about getting photos. Passing one of the three gates on this road designed to keep the riff-raff out of either Framingham or Sudbury. Clearly it doesn't work.

Passing the view back up to the fire tower. Looking at the attractive photographer must be more interesting than the view of the tower!
Baruch and Colin on Pelham Island
Ira and Rich on Pelham Island
Pamela is getting the hang of these self-portraits!

Monday's ride is to Mt Grace, with a remote start in Westminster, MA at the Dunkin Donuts. We aim to start riding at 9AM. We will be stopping in at RSC on our way out of town to borrow the 007 tandem to test ride on some proper hills.  Let us know if you are joining us, and if you've already downloaded the route, be sure to check for the updated version. We've cut a few miles to try and finish in daylight. 

So far - Pamela-294 km,  John - 269 km 
Dec 25 - Pamela - 75km,  John - 75km
Dec 24 - Pamela and John - 164 km
Dec 23 - Pamela - 55 km, John 30 km

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