Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28 - From Purgatory to Paradise

After the disgrace of Monday, I worried a bit that today's ride to Purgatory Falls might also not go as planned. But the weather gods cooperated somewhat, allowing for a glorious ride from Purgatory to Paradise and beyond. I say somewhat because the high temperature for the day, 50F, occurred in the wee hours, while it was hosing down with rain, incidentally. Then the temperature fell throughout the day, approaching freezing when we finished, but it was clear and sunny. And while the roads were wet from the evening downpour, they weren't icy thanks to the 50F overnight temperature. Dressing for these conditions (temps falling) was challenging, but we all managed to select the right combination of clothing. BTW, I mentioned my desire for some Rapha women's tights in yesterday's entry. Well, Zabeth came through for me. She had accidentally ordered an extra pair when Rapha was having a sale, so she passed them on to me at the good sale price. And I absolutely love them! Rapha can still send me a pair for free- ladies - size small, please.

Today's route includes some of my favorite roads. Years ago, John and I put together a 200km route for the local brevet series. Over time, some of those roads have gotten busy, so I have proposed replacing the middle part of the 200km with this route. I think it will happen this year. Hopefully the riders won't hate me for replacing the busy roads with some quiet, scenic (which translates to hilly) roads. There are some magnificent views along the route, but I will say that riders have to work hard to earn them. 

The reward at the top of the toughest climb

Hey look at us, we are sooooo cute!

The new sections include the descent to Purgatory Falls, followed by the climb to Paradise Farm. 

Pamela, Marc and Bob in Purgatory
Bob climbing out of Purgatory towards Paradise

This is followed by a descent off Pead Hill and then a wee section of dirt, which is offset by another magnificent view. The dangerous part of the ride involves a very badly angled RR crossing on a main road followed by a left turn on a right hand bend off that same main road. Then we enter a lovely tree-lined road that follows a babbling brook up toward Temple and views of Pack Monadnock, which we mercifully pass on climbing today.

Pamela is having fun with her new camera
The descent from Temple is gentle, but on brutal pavement and is followed by a climb up to another panoramic view. This climb was welcomed today as we needed to warm back up. The final big climb brings us past Parker's Maple Sugar House. It seems the town of Mason passed on all that road paving stimulus money that so many other towns took advantage of this year, as evidenced by the condition of their roads - the roughest I have been on in ages. We were pushing daylight, so we made a beeline from Brookline back to Hollis, but still came in with 110 kilometers for the day. It was a glorious day with great company and great views.

We had 4 hardy souls for today's ride: Dena, Bob, Marc and me. We all carpooled up together in my wee little Fit, which normally gets about 40 mpg, so with 4 people, we got 160 miles per person gallon.

John again had to work today, but he did get out to verify that *Pagan Hill is still there. With that assurance, we will ride out to Pagan Hill from Ride Studio Cafe at 10 AM on Thursday. It is to be brutally cold overnight tonight - quite the contrast from last night. So wear a few extra layers if joining me on Thursday. And show some mercy, I have a lot of kilometers in my legs now. 

*Pagan Hill is actually Pegan Hill, but we changed it to fit our theme, please don't sue us!


Echo Bridge
Have cross bike, will carry!

So far - Pamela - 630 km,  John - 464 km
Dec 28 - Pamela 110km, John 51km 
Dec 27 - Pamela 130km, John 44km
Dec 26 - Pamela 96km,  John - 100km
Dec 25 - Pamela - 75km,  John - 75km
Dec 24 - Pamela and John - 164 km
Dec 23 - Pamela - 55 km,  John 30 km

Too many great shots to chose from, click here to see all the photos from the day

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