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Countdown to 30: Nagog Pond Loop

Posted by @teeheehee on April 25th, 2009

This week I was not at a loss for weekend ride options.

On the one hand I had a list of Pocket Rides that include some loops at either end of the Minuteman Bikeway. These rides have the advantage of both partial familiarity (Bikeway) and complete newness, plus there are comments about what to expect in hills and attractions.

On the other hand I could join one of the Bikes not Bombs group rides that are meant for training for their 62-miler coming up in June’s Bike-a-thon. I participated in last year’s 25-mile ride, which I rode 35 miles of and still didn’t finish. (I got waylaid in the last mile, twice, and ended up needing to be picked up. To my defense, it was 95+ degrees F that day.) I am still trying to find other interested people to join my team, “BikeMe”, so I have yet to sign up for this year’s ride. I’m also thinking of going for the 62-miler, so these training rides would really help me prepare for that.

It was at about 10AM this morning that I made my mind up, I was going to go with a Pocket Ride suggestion: Nagog Pond Loop. This starts at the Bedford end of the Minuteman and goes for about 30 miles though Carlisle, Acton, and Concord. Nagog Pond itself is in Acton.

View 57 Mile Ride, Nagog Pond Loop in a larger map

I made much better time getting to the Bedford end of the Minuteman than before. I stopped there and fueled up for a bit while chatting with another cyclist. There were many more people riding, walking, or blading on the Minuteman this weekend as one would expect with nice weather.

I began Nagog Pond Loop just after noon and it didn’t take long to notice the temperature was climbing to more than the anticipated ~80 degrees F. By the peak of the ride I think it was closer to 90 degrees F.

I had put on sunscreen before I left, but my current sense is that it protected me just long enough that I didn’t get badly burnt. I note that I have a bit of a burn on my face and arms, but it could be much worse. Also, the Nagog Pond area was pretty well shaded, which helped.

The word of the day today was liquids, I consumed a lot of them. My camelback was filled with Gatorade and I had a water bottle filled with H2O as reserve. The last two rides I never even finished what was in the camelback, but this time I ran out of the Gatorade just after Concord and was dipping into the reserve water until I could refill everything in Bedford.

I saw many cyclists at various points of the ride, including the more rural areas. The few I tried to follow I had no chance keeping pace with, as the day wore on I definitely felt myself strain under the heat.

The Loop was very pretty and I enjoyed the route, it had some hills but I think they were just what my current level of training demands. I ended up attracting a layer of grit all over my face, and when combined with the general full sweatiness I was experiencing I began longing for a cool shower not only to escape the heat but to feel good and clean again. I enjoyed this ride despite the need to replenish my supply of fluids at a store nearly 3/4 of the way through, and that brings me pause for what I may have to expect for future rides of at least the same length. I do not generally deal well with heat and today caught me a bit off guard (thanks New England weather!)

You’ll see I stopped more frequently than in my other rides if you look at all the watch/computer shots I took:

One Response to “Countdown to 30: Nagog Pond Loop”

  1. Right on, ride on » Blog Archive » Countdown to 30: Century: Monument St and Dover/Sherborn Loops Says:

    […] Countdown to 30: Nagog Pond Loop […]

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