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Sunday in the park | Brian W. Ogilvie

Sunday in the park

Jun 17, 10:22 AM

Last week was wet: several rainy days, and the rain was often heavy. Still, I managed to get in rides on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. On Friday a 15-20 mile ride turned into 27, because the morning weather was so nice I didn’t want to stop. I was flirting with a soaking, but the rain held off until I got home. I rode down some of Pratt Corner Road, a dirt road in Leverett that is pockmarked with potholes. In the dappled sunlight filtered through trees, it can be hard to distinguish potholes from shadows. I managed to avoid one of them, but I hit one square on that was about the size and depth of a bathroom sink. Fortunately, strong wheels built by Peter White and fat tires absorbed the impact without damage.

Sunday was fun. Saturday night some friends asked if we wanted to hang out with them and their adorable daughters at Look Park, in Florence, on Sunday morning. I cycled over to the park, where Jennifer and her parents joined me. Most of us went on the little train, except for the 2-year-old, who doesn’t like it, and her mother, who stayed behind with her. We then did a circuit on pedal-powered paddle boats, which are a lot harder to pedal than a bike: the pedals were too close to the seat for me, my sandals were a little too wide to fit comfortably, and the water resistance was too high to maintain a good cadence. But it was still fun. Then we went to the swings and monkey bars, where I occasionally helped the 4-year-old swing from bar to bar. She’s being treated for Lyme disease; the treatment is apparently working, because she was full of energy. After lunch at the grill, which wasn’t very good but had the advantage of being on site, we all went our separate ways. When I got back to my bike, I discovered that my Take-A-Look mirror, which had been clipped to my sunglasses, was gone. The sunglasses were still there, so either I knocked it off when moving the bike to the rack, or a curious kid grabbed it.

Despite not having my mirror (a safety device that I think is much more important than a helmet), I took an indirect route home, north through Williamsburg, Whately, and Deerfield, then back south through Sunderland, Amherst, and Hadley. I rode a stretch of Long Plain Road in Whately that I hadn’t visited before. I wanted to reach 100 miles for the week (Monday to Sunday), so once across the bridge I meandered back and forth. That also allowed me to get in another hill. I haven’t been as diligent about climbing them as I should be, with D2R2 coming up in a little over two months. The weather was lightly overcast, and I felt a few drops of rain, but nothing more. There was a southerly wind that I was riding against once I crossed the bridge, but I did better against it than in the past. All this riding is slowly making me stronger.

Brian W. Ogilvie



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