On February 21st I embarked on a "casual" base miles ride with Chiu, Gunn, Morrison, Bradshaw, Murphy, CCC (on his single speed 'cross bike) and other roadies that are way too fit for February. 6 hours, a few long climbs, and 100 miles later I was home in cozy house nursing sore legs.
Fast forward one week and I met many of the same characters for another Saturday adventure. I had tried to join Colin Reuter and Cary Fridrich for a trip to Otis but my last minute planning did not work out so they went without me. On the road, Gunn and I decided not to be as bold this week and turned off for a reasonable 70 miles while the other animals continued to do the CRW Climb to the Clouds route.
Later on Saturday I met up with the Kyler for dinner and drinks in Washington Square. The best part of the night was watching an overly confident off-duty Brookline police officer who looked to be around 50 or 55 try to hit on the two 30 somethings sitting next to us at the bar. Kyle and I had front row seats to some of the worst game I've ever witnessed. When the guy took a bathroom break the ladies turned to us and asked if we had just witnessed that horror show. Oh yeah, we saw it.
Somewhere in the course of the night I cemented my plans for a trip to Otis with Colin on Sunday. Despite the forecast we figured it'd be worth the trip. We met up on Rt 24 south of Boston and shoved our two bikes into the trunk of Colin's well traveled Honda Fit.By that time the snow was coming down pretty steadily and when we got to the trailhead there were a few inches already.
We were an hour from home, there was no way we were turning back without at least trying to ride. I rode Otis many years ago but have not been back since. Luckily Colin was up for playing tour guide (even if other participants who said they wanted to join the tour did not show up) and we quickly entrenched ourselves in the maze of trails that make up Otis. Within 15 minutes we were both shedding layers and we spotted for the first and only time, another group of riders enjoying the unique conditions.
Despite promising to stop at a convenience store we somehow found our way to the trailhead without ever making that stop. I'd powered down a few bowls of cereal and some hot tea in the morning and I had a banana before we left the parking lot but I forgot to pack any trail food so I knew I'd be in trouble. Well about two hours in I was pretty cooked so Colin split his lone Clif Bar with me. The energy came back for about 20 minutes but that was barely enough to get us back to the car. We were went spent and soaked but had smiles from ear to ear. It was a great 12.5 mile "exploration."
Our bikes were nicely frosted but Colin threw 'em back in the car anyway.
We detoured on the way back to find a Subway and were rewarded with $2.99 footlong subs!
I'm not even joking. I lived off the $5 variety last summer but somehow $2.99 tastes even better. So good in fact that I ate two feet! Well, almost. Colin wisely suggested I save some for later. I never did eat the last 4 inches which is probably good because 20 inches of Subway is enough for one day.
If you haven't been to Otis, look up Colin's tour company for a future trip. It's worth the time, especially now when the trails are a mess anywhere else. If you're lucky, Colin may even be willing to drag you around with him. Actually, there's a damn good chance that if there isn't a ski race or bike race within driving distance, Colin will definitely drag you on a tour of Otis.