Thursday, September 24, 2015

(Un) Holy Week aka Dust Bowl SSCX

Holy Week for those unfamiliar with the term is two weeks of CX insanity in the #NECX. It is called a week but in reality spans almost two weeks. And from the sprinter vans that showed up last weekend in NH clearly people are showing up even earlier for Holy Week than ever before. Holy Week is comprised of two mid-week night CX races and two of the biggest UCI races on the east coast. It kicks off with Midnight ride of CX, then moves to Gloucester, then Night Weasels and then Providence. This week has been known to destroy mere mortals. Doing all 6 (now 7 if you include the Friday of Providence that features the SSCX, Madison and Builder's Ball) takes some serious moxie. And lots of beer, coffee and pizza. Midnight Ride of CX is held in Lancaster at the fairgrounds and put on by Gary David. It is a fast mostly flat course. The polar opposite to Night Weasels. Gary puts the screws on racers though. Its almost evil how much he throws at you over the course of a lap. There is a nasty sand pit that I think they hold equestrian events on, three trips through a woodshed, and a "hill" with a spiral of death descent. And one of the scariest starts in all of New England. Its possible I still have PTSD from the time I raced the 3s and almost ran over Cosmo as he was doing his best bear attack/dirt nap/fetal position move in the middle of the hole shot. Whether its PTSD or getting old the start scares me. 

Which is unfortunate as I had an amazing start position! Front row in fact. I probably didn't mention there were 55 SSCX racers lined up behind me did I? 55 SSCXers. On a Weds. Unreal. I had been obsessing about gear ratios all week. Thank god my mechanic is my friend and has the patience of a saint. I was texting him insane ramblings. I would hear a rumor of what gearing a competitor was running and search the internet for gear ratio charts and apps. All this madness led me to Sheldon. And once I found Sheldon (RIP) I calmed down a touch. My calm isn't a normal person's calm but it is at least more functional than full auto/full crazy velocb. A bit of context. Up until this season I really didn't take SSCX seriously. In fact I would say it was the complete opposite. I promoted a SSCX series but raced geared CX. SSCX was for me, a break from serious racing. It was an excuse to act silly, take handups, drink beer, chill. Etc. The series was always meant to be competitive. And more and more people have poured into it and made it amazing. This season has been the most fun I have had in years. And racing with such fast and fierce people has lit a little fire in me. I really want to race SSCX. Not just party but race. Its weird. I don't even know who I am.

Which brings me to a little dust up that happened the weeks leading up to UnHoly Week. I had a bit of an internet fight with a good friend. The internet for me isn't serious. Fights happen as does snark and heckling but I never take it seriously. But sometimes things go too far etc. Again its only the internet and I love my friends. I have fights with friends and family in the real world. Doesn't mean I don't love the hell out of them and would do anything for them. Anyhoo. My good friend and I were sparring a bit. The dust settled and we hugged it out. And then he brought his 'A' game to Midnight. I get what he was trying to tell me. I really do. And he showed me and us some of what makes him one of the funniest dudes in the #NECX. Thom Parsons unleashed Ultra Enduro Guy onto SSCX and it was a beautiful thing. He showed up with a clunker bike worthy of Otis Guy. His "pit" bike was a fixed gear basket bike loaded up with a basket full of Tecate. He had a hydration pack with his number on it. I literally was laughing my ass off. The officials told him the basket bike would have to stay in the pit as a hydration zone. Something about the basket being dangerous. Or an aero advantage. Its still foggy. But flash forward to me on the front row next to Matt Myette.

To say I was sort of uncomfortable would be an understatement. I have some history with this race. Most of it is not good. I was lined up left side. The race starts on a gravel road. It is super wide. At about 500 feet it pinches way down and flows right, then left. All on gravel and pavement. A friend compared it to running on marbles. That sounds about right. Imagine doing that with 55 people, elbows out at warp speed. So when I heard someone behind me heckling me to not mess up the start I came out of my fear induced fugue state to say hi to Shawn Mottram. I laughed a bit and said "Shawn you take my spot" He differed cause he is a cool guy but I insisted. You don't line up in front of the potential race winner. I am sorry but you just don't. We took off as anticipated at warp speed and I chickened out. I just don't have that Kamikaze mindset. I went from 11th to about 40th in about a heartbeat. Once we hit the grass I felt "safe" and tried my best to get back up to some of my friends.

I can't state enough times just how fast this course was and how deep the field of SSCX competitors was. It was as if a Cat 3 race and Masters race were shoved together. Lots of argy bargy, sharp elbows and some douchey corners. Multiple crashes. Etc. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Johnny Utah running back the wrong way on the course. I was too hypoxic to process what was happening (he snapped his chain going for the holeshot.) I was killing myself to keep from getting run over by Ghostship Matt. Well that and I was trying to put some separation between us. Ha. That is funny. Matt is so much stronger than me its ridiculous. We hit the sandpit and it was like someone dropped tear gas across the course. You couldn't breathe or see. I just tried to follow Matt's outline through the fog. We popped out and I could see Gewilli's orange jumpsuit and Grigg's neon bike. I felt good. Novick had put a downhill ring on my bike the day of the race. I was running a 38 x 16 and while not over geared I had enough gear to at least stay in the group I was in. When we hit the woodshed it was like I forgot how to ride a bike. I usually am a boss on the wood chips but damn they had my number. I was sooo slow in there.

We come out of the woodshed and just blast off up the "hill" Utah has reattached which is again very confusing. He grabbed a spare bike in the pit and was back in the race! As we crest the top of the hill and make the turn Matt's borrowed bike explodes. In less than one lap he destroyed two bikes. That is impressive. One chain and one belt drive. Those are some watts my friend. We come through the start/finish and I start trying to get a plan. That is sort of funny as we are going so hard I can barely think. I was killing myself trying to get up to G and Derek. They were so close but I was just screwing up the turns so bad I was losing ridiculous time. Then the Chainline Pain Train caught me! Eric and Kevin are awesome. I love racing with those two. Two totally different styles of racing but both are crafty and strong. We ride the next few laps together. Again, so close. Eric gaps me right before the last trip up the "hill" and that as they say is that. The last lap was basically just damage control. Don't lose any spots and try to catch G.

I rolled through with G about 15 seconds up. One of the best little battles that was going on was between me and Grant from Monster Truck. Monster Truck is a fairly new team. But they have such a great attitude. Grant's teammates were cheering him on all race. But they would also cheer for me once and a while which was really cool. Grant say's he is a triathlete. I don't believe him. Triathletes don't race cross like that. Ok, that comment is going to get me in trouble. Triathletes can actually be very good at CX. That statement may get me in even more trouble. Both statements are true. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it! Grant and I battled for a lap or two. On the barriers right before the downhill spiral of death he got around me and took it all the way to the finish. Well played sir!

I have been loving all the new racers and teams in the SSCX series. It really has made it so rad. Michele, my good friend and Co-Captain of HUP, decided to race the SSCX race! I was so psyched. She smashed it. It was so great seeing her out there. Thea and Michele both made it onto the podium! Michele with the win and Thea in 3rd! HUP truly is having one of the best CX season I can remember. Such spirit and class. Kevin went on to do the triple crown along with Gewilli. I don't even know how that is physically possible. They are beasts. I don't even double up because its just too much for me to do more than one CX race.

What a great way to kick off Holy Week. Next up is Gloucester. The HUP Death Star will be activated. And then we head back to Ski Ward for Night Weasels! The Friday of Providence will feature the SSCX race, the Madison and the Builder's Ball. We have some extra special stuff planned for Friday. Don't miss it. HUP! HUP!

All the incredible photos in this blog are by my good friend and photographer extraordinaire Russ Campbell!

Monday, September 21, 2015


What a weekend. NH double in the Zanconato SSCX series. Two of my favorite races of the season. CX @ White Park on Saturday and Sucker Brook on Sunday. Both right over the border in NH at great little venues. Classic NECX grassroots CX at its finest. We are doing this out of sequence as I am still so jacked from yesterday's events. HUP United for those new to this here blog is a New England-based cyclocross team. Our founder Zac Daab is now in Seattle and we have some great chapters around the country. Mostly in the Pac NW. HUP NECX grew out of Zac's original concept and has become what it is today via a lot of hardwork and lots of people growing it in a certain direction. At its core it was and always will be about building and supporting the community and growing CX. We were early adopters to SSCX. The SSCX series was founded by a core group of the NECX. HUP was a big part of it. And HUP has supported the series since day one. HUP has always been a fun team. Fun is in our bylaws. If its not fun why would do it? But we are a race team. What happened Sunday at Sucker Brook may have been one of the greatest moments in HUP NECX history. It was a Blanco swarm of the SSCX race. 

This "Fall" has been very un-Fall like. This past weekend was really hot. Both races were dust bowls. One of HUPs limited edition kits is termed Blanco. It is not for the shy or weak of heart. It has been known to blind people. But it is a life saver when its hot. Black kit in the scorching sun is brutal. White gives you sick watts. And is like the stillsuit of bike kit. While everyone else is dying from heat exhaustion in their all black kit you are chilling like a villain and spraying watts all over the CX course. Back to my early point. HUP and Zank have always been a huge part of the SSCX scene. Myette of Zank is a legit contender for the podium every time he pins a number on. But the rest of us are pretty much there for the party. Yes, we turn ourselves inside out and have some great battles. But we are not really cracking the top 10 on a regular basis. What started as a fun series has become legit. Sounds crazy to call SSCX racing legit but that is what we intended when we launched this series. Yes, the finals is a party. But all the other races are races. And this year its gotten even faster. We have had great turnouts and lots of new faces. Its been awesome.

But when I rolled up at Sucker Brook and the team started streaming into the tent. I just had to pause. 90% of the team was in blanco. Kevin and his girlfriend Thea have become legit contenders in all the SSCX races. Mike Golay showed up on a sick Raleigh SSCX. AnonCX would have been proud. Coach Aumiller was running around chasing his BC High kids and giving out sage SSCX advice. Tyler from Laughing Dog was near collapse in the booth after getting a top ten in the 3s on his SSCX! Kevin and Eric the Chainline Pain Train were right next door. It was just beyond rad. Then Myette showed up with an exploded Zank skinsuit. Not that he wouldn't have looked hot racing with a blown out skinsuit we did what HUP does. Conscripted him for the day. I loaned him my HUP kit and Voila we had even more HUP in the SSCX race! Carrie and Rob showed up as well. It was really just a HUP party. What a great way to get this season going.

I did a quick pre-ride with Kevin and Eric and almost took them through a chicane at warp speed! Oopsies. The combo of bad eyesight, dark sunglasses, yellow tape and too much caffeine almost ended spectacularly. I let Kevin and Eric lead after that. The course was great. Same Sucker Brook I remember with so many crazy chicanes and turns. Sucker Brook throws a lot at you. You really had to work at driving. The loose corners and dry dusty course didn't help either. You had to be on top of it. After doing a pre-ride we watched the 1/2/3s race. Doing our pre-staging warm up as a team clad in blanco was amazing. Somehow I ended up on the second row. Not really where I belong but I will take it. Whistle went off and we took off like a shot. One of the trickiest parts of Sucker Brook is the holeshot. The start is a slight uphill on a paved road. The left hand turn is onto gravel. You are about 4-6 across before you hit the gravel. Bad things can and do happen. One of the reasons I LOVE SSCX is that 90% of those racing know what they are doing. There is way less stupid shit that happens compared to the 3s or masters. We get through the holeshot and we are flying. We get past the tricky off camber and I hear what I can only describe as the Road Runner behind me. "Beep Beep" I look and its Myette. He started front row, missed a pedal and watched everyone explode off the grid without him. Going from DFL to mid-pack in a 1/4 lap is impressive to say the least.

Things are basically controlled chaos with so many people packed together and sooo many turns. Again, kudos to all these riders. They know how to race CX. So few people getting douchey in the  corners. It was just fast, hard CX. After the first lap, I was locked in on the Chainline Cycles Pain Train. Right where I wanted to be. Kevin and Eric are awesome. Not only are they cool dudes but they are great riders. It was honestly one of the most fun races ever. We rode together for the rest of the race. Well "together" Ie., Kevin about a turn or two ahead. And me and Eric locked and loaded. Eric put in a solid dig with about 1 to go and I lost contact with him. I killed myself trying to get back on but it was too big of a gap. But what a great course. So many rad twists and turns. Hats off to Jack Chapman for all he does for this race and the CX community!

And the icing on the HUP cake was a double HUP podium. Kevin and Thea in full beast mode! Those two are so awesome. Two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Kevin has done so much for HUP and so much for the SSCX series the last two years. Love that dude.

Thank you to everyone who has come out and supported the SSCX series. Its been a great kickoff to the season. We are just getting this party started. See you all at Midnight!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lucky 13

Where to even begin with this post? How do you put down on a virtual pad such an amazing day? It was like a #NECX reunion. We wait all year for CX season to start. All the haters can hate as Tay Tay would say. Just because we love CX doesn't mean we don't love what ever cycling pursuit that happens the other 8 months of the year. I have never understood this animosity towards CX. We LOVE CX. Get over it. Or just join Crossfit and do reps for Jesus. Give your life some meaning I guess. Just because we LOVE CX doesn't mean we hate X, Y or F'n Z.

Adam Myerson once gave me some sage advice (and I am going to screw this up but I will try my best to recall his words) "Never let anyone take CX away from you" Myerson rocks. The brief period in time I was a Cycle-Smart client his life advice meant more to me than the actual coaching. And that advice has stayed with me since he sent me a text on a dark day I was having. And it holds true today. Go ahead. Hate on CX. Chop me. Drop me. Say mean shit. Hate on SSCX. Hate on sandbaggers. Hate on masters. Hate zipties. Hate juniors. Hate masters women over 40 with carbon bikes. CX doesn't care about your hate. All we have is actual love. But we are the red-headed stepchild of cycling. We get it. And we welcome you and everyone to our table. On every given Sunday from September to January.

Sept 13 was the opening day of the #NECX. Quad CX has been the kick off race for New England for about 5 years now. Sucker Brook used to be the opener but you know CX has blown up. And Ted and the Quad crew do an amazing job. Ted gets it. I use that saying a lot. But I don't use it lightly. Ted works so hard to make Quad one of the most fun races in New England. What is not to like. A great venue at a gun club. Nothing like racing CX and hearing full auto in the distance. I keep saying one year I am going to ask Ted to let us do a CX biathlon during the SSCX race. I am not saying give some CX racer an AR-15 and let them go nuts. But maybe a nice air rifle or BB gun. Shotgun a Harpoon hit the target and move on. Don't hit the target? You lose spots bro...I think it has potential. But like flaming barriers may seem better in concept than application.

This year's Zank SSCX series presented by Mad Alchemy has me pretty stoked. This probably is no shocker to anyone who visits this blog. I hold friends dear to me. And Pete and Mad Alchemy are special to me on many levels. Pete and Mad Alchemy's support of the series pretty much took my usual stoke and sent it to 11 or 22 depending on your perspective. We have a lot of cool things planned to celebrate this partnership. We flew the MA Death Star at Quad as one step in this partnership. It was so amazing seeing it over Quad. It was the epicenter of the SSCX race. And nothing represents all that is SSCX in the #NECX like Gewilli and his orange jumpsuit. The orange jumpsuit is like the Holy Grail of SSCX. Or maybe the Excalibur. When I see G in that thing I lose my mind. Gewilli was in rare form. He had unveiled the #garbagetruck for the race. Here is the link to his post about it. It reminded me so much of when Paul Saddof made his dumpstervagen. People can lose their minds over zip ties. But what boggles my mind is the arms race that has infected CX. We used to just show up on cobbled together touring bikes and have at it. If you were super cool you had tubies. But that was it. You did not have matching 5k bikes. No one did. Maybe you had spare wheels. But yeah sure zip ties are ruining CX. But I digress.

Gewilli doubled up. He went full Quad CX mullet. Business at the front and SSCX party at the back. Doubling up is no joke as Mike Wissell and Matt Sousa I am sure can attest. If you do CX right you should be destroyed at the end. In G's case he at least had a couple of hours to "refuel" aka my start beers. Gewilli and I have a tradition. I "pay" him to rock the jumpsuit. Usually I pay him in beer. In this case it was Harpoon Take 5s so it was really more a pre-race #hydrationzone. I think he only had three. Maybe four. But what happened in that few hours was that Gewilli turned Syd the kid into a CX super fan. I am not kidding. I don't bring my kids to races. I just don't want to force my lifestyle on them. But she really got the bug at Great Glen. And when I told her I was racing she wanted to come. I couldn't say no. I was worried it would suck for her. But I knew Quad is super family friendly. They have a grill. The course is really self-contained. I had friends there. I told myself it would be ok. But was freaking out of course. But G saved my ass. And really set up one of the top ten race experiences of my life. I am a sucker for family. It just means everything to me. The #NECX is basically a family to me. But my real family makes me crazy. Getting to race in front of them always fills me with so much stoke.

Geoff brought a megaphone to the race. Of course he did. And he let Syd have it. Ok, that right there is a friend. Handing a megaphone to a 10 year old is like handing a loaded gun to a redneck. Ok bad pun but you get it. Kids love noise. And love being obnoxious. I told Syd she could make all the noise she wanted. Just be nice. She mostly liked the siren. For each race that went off she would hit that siren and scream her lungs out. It became a bit of a thing under the Mad Alchemy tent. A whole crew started to show up. Todd, Parke, Jeremy, Alex and Pat, Winston Porkchop. Syd was meeting everyone. And loving it. I couldn't believe how much she was digging the scene. Gewilli was so cool with Syd. He would be like "Syd do you really want to eat that potato chip?" Syd would be like but they are so goooood...on the drive home Syd gave G the ultimate compliment. She said "Geoff is like Uncle Randy (Shoogs)" Yeah buddy he is one of dad's best friends.

So you have Syd being bit by the CX bug. You have a whole NECX reunion in full effect. You have Gewilli in the orange jumpsuit with a new #NECX patch on his ass. You have Sara Bresnick out of retirement and FIRING LIVE BULLETS!!!! (sorry Fries moment). You have Lauren Kling back on a bike racing!!!!!!! You have so many cool friends rolling in and out of the tent. You have Kevin, Thea and Lesli doubling up in a day and racing BOTH Hartford CX & Quad. You have Sousa and Wissell coming off the 1/2/3 race and jumping back into the SSCX race. It was unreal. Sorry for so much rambling but it was just beyond words. The SSCX race was off the charts. Perfect mix of hardcore racing and shenanigans. The start got a bit nuts as some one went down hard right after the tree. How we avoided him and his bike cartwheeling through the air is beyond me. We rode our hearts out. Had a blast. And then Syd rocked the podium presentation. How many 10 year olds can take a print out of race results and read off names and teams and not even blink an eye? I even think she pronounced Mike Wissell's name right!

Thank you to all who came out. Thank you to Gewilli for turning Syd the kid into a CX fan for life. Thank you to all the "new" people on the podium. Why lie I have a bit of a Boloco team crush. Seeing them on the podium fills me with joy. And Ben Pagano on the top step. Very cool. Keep coming out. Let's make this the best SSCX season ever.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SSCXy Time

The kickoff of the 2015 Zanconato SSCX Series presented by Mad Alchemy is almost here! This weekend will be opening day for the series and the #NECX. Quad CX has been the opening day for a few years now. It is the first "real" CX race here in New England. No disrespect to any of the races in August. But CX should start in Sept. Sorry but it is the way it is. Back when I first started racing CX out west every Fall was like a CX reunion. We rarely saw other racers during the offseason. Everyone went their separate ways. Its not like it is now. CX is 365 now. When we aren't racing we are riding our bikes in the woods or getting lost on some bizarre mixed terrain adventure race together. But SSCX still feels like a reunion. I have so many friends I am looking forward to seeing this weekend and this season. I know I am going to make a bunch of new friends and frenemies this season as well. That is what honestly keeps me going after all these years in the cross game. I am so stoked it is not even funny. 

But on to some business! Harpoon is BACK as our beer sponsor! They have supported us from day one and I am so appreciative of their support. Mad Alchemy is our presenting sponsor and we have some really cool projects in the works together! Look for the Mad Alchemy tent at Quad. Come by and say hi. Hang out. We will have zip ties for those who want to give SSCX a go or just have room for one bike. We love all bikes. Dedicated wonder bikes, weird franken bikes, and regular bikes locked out to one speed. Please make sure your bike is one speed before we get to the start line. Not that I mind doing a TT back to the van to get zip ties for those that forgot them. But I am old and only have so many matches. We can't wait to race SSCX! Bring all your energy and fun and racing spirit. If you have ideas about how to make the series better we are all ears! We don't really have any rules. Just be nice, race hard, respect your competitors and hug Gewilli.

We have two races this weekend. A few BALLER SSCXers are doing the Hartford/Quad double. Its bold but so are most SSCXers. I considered doing the Landmine/Quad double but remembered I am an old man. I will leave that to the kids. Hartford will be the home to next years National Championships. Consider this a preview! I have heard great things about the course. Quad as I mentioned has held the title of opener of the NECX for a few years now. The Gun Club is one of my favorite courses and Ted and his crew do a great job. One note on the Gun Club. The Gun Club is a private club that opens up its grounds for us dirt bag CXers to race and have a fun day on. They sell beer and food at their grill. NO OUTSIDE beer is allowed. Please do the right thing and if you want a beer buy it from the Gun Club. Not a lot of venues allow us to buy beer and walk around with it. The Gun Club does. Plus I am hoping next year Ted let's us include a bit of a SSCX biathlon into the race. Imagine actually shooting BB guns for points? Yeah I can.

We have two posters that will (hopefully) be available soon. The punk rock inspired one above was designed by Jon Nable. The metal poster below was created by Matt Lolli. I am so stoked on both of them. Look for them at the Providence Builder's Ball in the Zank booth. Can't wait to see all of you on Sunday. If you have any questions you know where to find us. Or hit me at

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thanks Obama

President Obama is the punchline of many a joke. In this case I am being 100% serious. Ever since Firefly put on an adventure ride all around Boston termed D1R1 Scott and I have been itching to do the route. We had planned on joining Firefly the day before D2R2 to do the ride but the weather and the #CBL interfered. Scott and I do a ton of rides together. We have done a lot of recon for mixed terrain rides. Riding "CX" bikes in the woods is pretty much our go to ride at this point. What I call "CX" may not be what you call "CX". Sure racing is great. But you know what is really great? Getting lost in the woods and riding all day with your good friend. CX bikes are the perfect adventure bike. They really always were. There is NO need for a specific adventure bike. It already exists. Its called a CX bike. The adoption of tubeless and disc brakes has made the Swiss Army knife of bikes even better equipped to deal with woods riding.

But as usual, I digress. So why is this post title thanking our President? Scott texted me and asked if I wanted to do the D1R1 on Labor Day. He had me at bikes. Then I read the Globe drinking an extra large iced coffee from Dunkies while eating a French Cruller that President Obama was in town. Boston is a shit show on a good day. Add in Labor Day and a Presidential visit and who knows. My idea of "fun" does not include being stuck on the Pike for three hours. So I texted Scott back and said why not start and finish at Blue Hills?

Blue Hills is a gem. To some its just a rocky lump sticking up a mere 500' and staring out at the harbor. But I love it. Its taken a while but I really do love that place. Its not easy on a CX bike but its totally doable. OK before everyone goes all crazy on me. Not all of Blue Hills is doable on a CX bike. There are some next level mountain bike trails that you want a mountain bike for. But a lot of the other stuff is great. Scott and I got a spot at Houghton's Pond before the holiday beach goers took over the lot. That in itself was some kind of Labor Day miracle. Especially considering it would turn out to be one of the hottest days of the summer. This actually would explain a few things later on in the day. We got our act together which basically means we pulled bikes down off the rack and loaded up the Garmins. Scott had the route on his Garmin so was the defacto Trail Ninja. He is better with navigation than I am anyway to be honest. I navigate mostly by internal GPS. Once I have ridden a place I tend to remember the turns etc.

We decided to do the Blue Hills portion first which turned out to be a great decision as by the end of the ride we were totally cracked. I honestly don't know if we would have been able to ride the techy trails at the end of the day. The first few miles or so were mainly gravel roads. Nice swoopy ones. Again, for a holiday weekend there were not that many people. We hit our first technical trails and the fun started. Riding CX bikes over rocks and roots is a blast. But you have to be smart about it. We got out of Blue Hills without a crash, flat or mechanical. That is a miracle trust me. Last time I went through here with a group on CX bikes we had 4 flats in about a mile. It was going to be a good day I could feel it.

The Firefly route was awesome. We were following it in reverse as that is just the way it worked out. But the flow felt perfect. After the technical riding of Blue Hills we rolled onto a really nice road in Milton. I had expected to deal with a lot of angry drivers and nasty City streets but have to say these roads were better than most roads I ride in the 'burbs. My favorite part was right after Milton when we hopped onto the Neponset Greenway. It is a great multi-use path that runs right along the water. It was so cool seeing so many people on the path and at the many parks along the way through Dorchester. 

People freak out about riding in Boston and Dorchester. I honestly don't get it. We rode all through Boston without one maniacal driver attempting to kill us. Ok one guy in Hyde Park lost his shit and yelled at us. And some nice kids said they liked our outfits. I look at those as heckles. 

After the Fenway we turned onto Olmstead. I had never ridden any of this before. I have ridden Larz and like it but Olmstead and the whole Charles River Path was mind blowing. I have never seen so many geese in my life as well. And for some reason they were just camped out in the middle of the path. City Geese clearly give zero fucks as they didn't even move a muscle as we came through. 

All I could think about is what an amazing area it was to practice CX. And low and behold as we pop around a corner we see Spencer and a group of #Garbageball enthusiasts finishing up their CX shenanigans. We stopped and said hi. I wish we had been there in time for a round of Garbageball. That would have been a hilarious part of this fantastic ride. 

Heading through JP I started to crack. We had been through about 3 bottles and some energy type food. I didn't realize how hot it was. Which is weird. But there was so much to see and the ride was so rad I didn't really have time to worry about heat or bonking. I started looking for a Dunkins or coffee shop. Nothing. Which is bizarre. We saw a Mexican place up ahead and beelined for it. Sadly it was closed. Stupid Labor Day. Luckily there was a 7-Eleven across the street. We loaded up on cold cokes and "food" and headed towards Blue Hills. 

Ok the "trail" back into Blue Hills is one for the ages. Basically we followed a pipeline to a Highway Graveyard. We were so bonked it seemed like some kind of weird dream. A beautiful CX dream. We rolled back into Houghton's Pond as all of Boston was descending upon the parking lot. Thanks Obama (and Firefly) for a damn fine way to spend the day on a bike.