So, over the past few weekends (THIS weekend being the exception due to turkey bloat and generally bad weather) I have been out trying to find some decent mountain bike trails in the immediate Boston area.
I started by going to some of the areas that I was already familiar with by going to Rock Meadow and the Charles River Bike Path.
I have been going online to various sites researching some other places to go and had a choice between Cutler Park in Dedham or the Landlocked Forrest in Burlington. I chose the Landlocked forest because of it's proximity to the Minuteman Trail, and as a result, the ease of access for me coming from Cambridge. I mean, if I am going to ride a mountain bike for 10 miles each way JUST to get to a trail, it might as well be accessed by a nice and calm bike-path!
So I arrived, after getting lost and having to ask directions... I rode along some power lines and through some woods until I got to the blazed trails; everything looked promising! Little undergrowth, widely spaced trees...
Just so you know, I am more of a cross-country/singletrack/trail riding kind of mountain biker... I am not really into the more technical or "extreme" aspects of the sport/activity; so I saw these trails and had high hopes!
I first encountered some lovely, fast trails and some free-ride obstacles for the more adventurous crowd.
I made this particular journey last Sunday... not really thinking that the large amounts of rain we had had the previous Friday would be all that much of a factor...
...little did I know the "Landlocked Forest" was mostly in a low-lying region and does not dry out that quickly.
To my disappointment, much of the early part of my riding was not riding at all, but rather carrying my bike over and through the ... not mud ... but SWAMP.
In addition to the conditions being less than ideal due to rain, it seemed that many of the small bridges and other "infrastructure" had fallen into a state of disrepair. I can only hope that this was due to normal deterioration and was not a result of vandalism.
After having ridden nearly 10 miles to get here, I began to get a little frustrated.
Eventually I made my way out of the "lowlands" and up into some decent singletrack!
I even found the front-end of what looked like a Ford Turino! (replete with the required bullet holes, I might add)
After a bit of a disappointing start, the trails opened up and I really began to enjoy myself!
At some point in the day the temp. dropped about 10 degrees... and though the sun never really came out (like the weather reporter said it would) I would say it was still an enjoyable day. I took a (to me) unknown way home, which wound up being a "short-cut" back to the Minuteman Trail, and my ride back was swift and enjoyable.
Here's hoping that Cutler Park isn't in the floodplain ;)