2004 June 25


I rode out to Marblehead on Sunday.

Route 60 to get there isn't much fun until you get to the Lynn boardwalk, but once you're there there's a beautiful mile-long detour out to Nahant along the causeway beach. Then ride the bayfront promenade through Lynn into Swampscott, and the roads into Marblehead are pretty. On a sunny Sunday afternoon Marblehead itself is gorgeous and to die for. Empyrean blue seas beyond multi-million dollar mansions, with granite islets and white sails in the bay; the towers of Boston on the horizon in one direction and the endless Atlantic in the other. Fabulous.

The Rubel Eastern Mass map shows a path from Marblehead to Salem; this is nice as far as it goes, but it ended on me sooner than I expected and I had to ride a grungy industrial avenue into Salem. The biking didn't become really pleasant again until I was well inland along the Lynnfield road. The only climb worth mentioning on the route is Prospect St in Wakefield; and then it's a pretty straight shot down Washington Ave into Medford. As usual, I got lost trying to get from the end of Washington to Boston Ave -- it looks like there ought to be a better way than following Mystic Valley Parkway, but I can't seem to find it.

The whole route turns out to be 85 km (53 mi), including riding out to Nahant and the loop out Marblehead Neck itself -- almost 25 km longer than my previous longest ride. Four hours and twenty minutes in the saddle, but with breaks I took closer to six hours to finish. I was sore on Monday, but I fucking made the ride. Oddly enough, my lower back was hurting more than my legs. And I should have had sunscreen on my arms.