Sunday, August 21, 2016

Short and Sweet to Bradley Palmer State Park

Riding through Bradley Palmer State Park
We had a terrific day for a ride on Saturday, although only two riders this week -- Gail and Tam -- and Ed meeting us for breakfast. We chose a short ride and rode over to Henderson's Cafe in Hamilton, (4 miles by Tam's choice of Cherry and Arbor Streets to 1A, but 3 miles by Ed's drive down Cedar Street), where we had a nice, leisurely chat and cheerful breakfast, despite a few mix-ups with our order.

After breakfast, and saying goodbye to Ed, we chose to loop through Bradley Palmer State Park -- entering the park from the more northern Asbury Street main entrance. The park was quiet, despite the beautiful day, (although the kiddie splash pool was not yet open). After exiting the park, and heading home through Wenham, we noticed the summer drought's affect on the Wenham Reservoir. Sad. Despite enjoying this nice, sunny weather, we really need some rain!

Arriving back at the Beverly Airport, we finished up our ride at 14 miles -- not too long and not too short. A great morning!

Riding into the sun. Such a beautiful Summer day!
A great day for a ride!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bob Hirschkron, In Memory

With sadness we learn of the passing of Cyclopath Bob Hirshkron on August 12, 2016. An obituary and tribute to Bob has been published in the Boston Globe and Marblehead Reporter with details of his fascinating life. (You may read it here: Robert Hirschkron, 1928-2016).

A service will be held at Temple Emanuel, 393 Atlantic Avenure, Marblehead on Sunday, August 28th at 3 pm.

We extend our condolences to Sylvia as well as Bob's family.

Henderson's and Bradley Palmer on Saturday

With several people away this weekend or unable to ride, we'll have one start from Beverly Airport at 7:30. (Continued road construction and poor surface conditions in Salem and Beverly this summer have made our remote departure locations preferable to Salem.)

Current plans are to take a newly repaved Cherry Street to 1A and Henderson's for breakfast (4 miles from the Airport, 8 RT for anyone looking for a nice, short out and back). We should arrive at Henderson's before 8 a.m. if anyone wishes to join us!

After breakfast, a six mile loop through Bradley Palmer is an option, bringing the morning ride to under 15 miles. Short and sweet. If you haven't been riding much this year, this is a good ride!

Gail and Tam will be at the Beverly start at 7:30 -- We hope a few of you can join us!

Henderson's 8 mile roundtrip with a Bradley Palmer option

Friday, August 12, 2016


Do to extreme heat and humidity in the forecast, Saturday's ride is "all about the breakfast". No ride -- MEET FOR BREAKFAST AT THE UGLY MUG, SALEM, 7:30 a.m.  Hopefully we'll get a break in the weather next week! Stay cool everyone! --Tam

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A few pics from Boxford not Georgetown

Paul, Gail and Joan at the Boxford Community Store
High humidity and the threat of showers curtailed our plans to head to Georgetown last weekend -- postponing our venture to Theo's to another day. Instead, we chose a shorter ride to Boxford, and breakfast at the Boxford Community Store. Gail, Paul, Joan and Tam met at the Beverly Airport for an easy spin down the Wenham Trail/Topsfield Linear Common, surrounded on both sides by late-summer wildflowers. The skies were gray, and an occasional sprinkle here and there was a reminder that showers were threatening, but it never really turned into anything.

Peaceful riding on the trail
The purple loosestrife and cattails surround us
We heard from Donna after breakfast, as we were getting ready to return to Beverly, and texted her a selfie in response. (Congrats again, PMC riders!) Taking the trail home, we continued on the Danvers portion of the trail to avoid the 97 hill, finishing our ride at 18.5 miles. A nice morning!

Cheers from Boxford!
Crossing the Ipswich River

Monday, August 08, 2016

Congratulations to our PMC Riders!

Donna prePMC
Congratulations to PMC riders and volunteers Donna, Brenda, Brian, Jeff, EdMichael and Ann, Arthur C.Ethan, Arthur F., and Janet! It was a hot one, but you all persevered marvelously! Looking forward to hearing how the weekend went.

We also extend our thoughts and love to Donna following the passing of her father, Henry, on Friday morning. Her commitment to continue riding the PMC on Saturday, despite a heavy heart, was commendable. Brave of you, Donna. 

Orange smiles on the road

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

What a great party!

Thank you to everyone who came to our Pre-PMC gathering! It was so nice to see so many Cyclopaths and catch up with many of you!! Including Bill, Drew, Little Dave, and Michael and Ann Kelleher, who we haven't see in a while; Av and Laurie, just getting home from Vermont; Ducky, joining us after a family cookout earlier in the day, (busy!); Sheldon and Fran, ohmigosh that CAKE!! So awesome; Barbara, Gail, Paul and JoanMatt, Brenda, Donna, Ed, fantastic cheesecake!, Mike and Chip... What a great group! 

We wish our Pan Mass Challenge participants -- Donna (Happy 25th!), Brenda (in a cast!), Jeff (still needing a ride from Wellesley!) and Ed (in the Command Center), as well as Michael and Ann (at the finish lines) -- a safe, cool, dry, fabulous PMC. Thank you for continuing the cause.

It was great fun to see everyone! The food was amazing and the shared smiles and love the best. You all know how to bring a party!

Congrats Donna! Twenty Five Years!

Happy 25th PMC!

(Photos and video by Drew!)

Next Up: Georgetown! (August 6th)

Our summer of broader destinations continues on Saturday, August 6th, as we head up to Theo's in Georgetown for breakfast.

As it is the PMC weekend and only a handful of us are riding, we will not have a Salem start this week, but instead have a slightly later start from the Beverly Airport at 7:30 a.m. (Anyone wishing to ride from Salem may still do so on their own -- it is 6 miles from our Salem start location to the Beverly Airport.)

Part of the ride will be on the Wenham Rail Trail/Topsfield Linear Common that we like, away from the busy road. From Beverly Airport, taking the trail and returning to Route 97 in Topsfield towards Georgetown, it is 12 miles to the restaurant. (An alternate route, looping through Boxford passing the Boxford Community Store and up Georgetown Road adds a mile and a half to the route.) 

Estimated Mileage from Map My Ride
Beverly Airport to Theo's in Georgetown via 97: 12 miles (24 RT)
Beverly Airport to Georgetown through Boxford, (taking 97 on return): 13.5 miles to Theo's, 12 on return, (25.5 RT)

Mileage Notes:
Parking at the Wenham Trail trail head on Rt 97 and taking trail to Topsfield: 4 miles
From Main Street in Topsfield to Theo's up Rt 97: 6 miles
Skipping the 97 Hill by taking the Danvers Trail to Maple Street adds 2.4 miles

Monday, August 01, 2016

Mad Martha's, Plum Island

Early morning over the Parker River
We had a beautiful day on Saturday for a ride up Route 1A to Plum Island! Donna started out from the Beverly Airport earlier in the morning, meeting Ed, Tam, Joan and Paul in Ipswich at 8 a.m. -- it was a perfect day! Temps were on the warm side but a steady breeze kept us cool, especially in the morning. The busy road heading out of Ipswich became a quiet peaceful ride through the sleepy downtown of Rowley, passing several farms and marshes through Newbury. As we approached the last half mile before the turn towards Plum Island, a PMC rider passed us while recognizing Joan's Cyclopath jersey, and waved -- it was Brian Carver!! Such a surprise. (Donna and Ed stopped to chat with him.)

Mad Martha's was crowded when we arrived -- it's a popular place! We put our name in for a table, and was told it could be a 25 minute wait, but fortunately coffee was available while we waited, and the wait only turned out to be ten minutes. Not too bad! We all had a great breakfast -- the food was delicious, the service was terrific, and the atmosphere bright and fun. Let's go back!

Breakfast at Mad Martha's
Group pic!
Heading home, we had a bit of a tail wind so the miles flew. It was a hot day, but comfortable for riding and everyone had a great time. Mileage from Ipswich was just under 25 miles (for Donna, 45 as she heads into PMC weekend.) Plum Island from Ipswich was a success! We'll have to do it again.

On the Plum Island Turnpike

A few more pics from the Plum Island Ride

Meeting in Ipswich
Paul and Joan at Mad Martha's
The Point Sammie on a bolo levado with fruit
Late morning on the Parker River
Farms and Sunflowers along the way

Donna's pics from the road

Donna and Ed ran into Brian Carver!
Blue Peacock
A dragon

Monday, July 25, 2016

Heading to Mad Martha's!

Once upon a time, Mad Martha's was a favorite July destination just before the PMC. A few of us recently recalled their Portuguese French Toast and reminisced over fun times. Donna has suggested a remote start at Ipswich High School, (which is where many of the North Shore Cyclists routes embark from), and I think it's a great idea!

Estimated mileage from the school is 12.4 miles straight up Route 1A to Rolfe Road and the Plum Island Turnpike.

Start time will be 8:00 a.m. from Ipswich High School, (adding extra time for the drive). If you want to start from Salem, add an additional 15 miles and figure out your start time based on your MPH average. We won't have an official Salem start.

Mad Martha's is under new ownership since the last time we've been there but has a similar menu -- including the Portuguese French Toast and Egg Sammies (sandwiches) on Bolo Levados (a Portuguese english muffin). The cafe has frequently been cited as having the Best Breakfast on the North Shore by North Shore Magazine, so let's go! (Chip has already checked out the menu and does not want to miss it.)

See you Saturday!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

24th Annual Cohen Classic is in the books!

It was one of the hottest days of the summer, but fortunately we had a fantastic breeze off the water as the Cohen Classic headed up the coast for Maine. Five Cyclopaths made it to New Hampshire for the annual trek to Kittery and beyond -- Donna (of course!), Queen Kathy, Brenda on a recumbent, and Tam and Chip (arriving late and meeting the trio a few miles into the route.) We had a lovely ride along the beaches, through Rye and Newcastle to Portsmouth, where we attempted to have breakfast at The Friendly Toast, (aka "The Meany Toast"), since Chip couldn't remember the incident that inspired him to rename it -- but with a 20-30 minute wait to be seated, we hopped back on our bikes and headed to the tried and true Cafe Espresso.

Donna is all smiles at breakfast. 
(BTW, the Friendly Toast became "The Meany Toast" ten years ago on the 14th Annual TriState Cohen Classic.)

Donna, Kathy and Chip on the road to York
After breakfast, we continued North over the bridge to Kittery Point and Frisbee's Market, which we discovered was closed due to a fire just a few days before. (See below.) Brenda, struggling to ride her new recumbent bike, said goodbye at Kittery Point while the rest of us continued on to Nubble Light. (We passed Brenda a few hours later at Strawberry Banke, and thought she might join us, but knew she wanted to go her own pace on the recumbent.)

Kathy, Donna, Tam and Chip at Nubble Lighthouse
Continuing on, we made it to Nubble Lighthouse! Temps were in the 90s, but again, we were lucky to have cooling breezes and intermittent stretches of shade along the way making it a really nice ride. (Despite Kathy's terrible puns and Chip's bad jokes.) We stopped a few times on the trip back to cool off in the shade, grab a cool drink, and enjoy the ride. It was a great day for the classic!

Fire at Frisbee's (And taking a break in the shade)

Portsmouth Herald, on the door at Frisbee's
We were stunned to discover Frisbee's Market was closed when we arrived at Kittery Point. Kathy had been by just a week before and the market was open, so we were perplexed as to what happened. Looking around, we noticed damage along the side of the building and a strong, smoky odor, indicating a fire had occurred -- and a local resident confirmed there was a fire just a few days before. Wow.

(We remarked on the newly paved and painted parking lot... which we now learn had something to do with the fire.)

 You can read about it here online in the Portland Press Herald.

Brenda arrives at Frisbee's on the recumbent. Notice the fresh paving!
Hot, hot, hot!
Taking break in the shade at Frisbee's, Donna photo bombs Chip

A few more pics from Saturday's Cohen Classic

Donna's ready for Nubble Light after breakfast
A gorgeous day in Maine
Donna and Kathy on the road
Brenda on the recumbent
The Queen takes a break in the shade
Chip's longest ride, 65 miles
No more selfies. We're done.

"Short and sweet to beat the heat"

Gail, Joan and Paul at Beach Street Cafe
While a few Cyclopaths were in New Hampshire and Maine on Saturday, a gang of three stayed local and headed to Manchester for a quick ride up the coast before the heat settled in. Gail reports that she, Joan and Paul met in Beverly Farms for an easy spin to Singing Beach, followed by a leisurely breakfast at The Beach Street Cafe. Temps were much the same in Massachusetts as they were in Maine, with a cooling breeze closer to the ocean. Still, with temps expected to rise later in the morning, they opted to keep it a short one.

Gail adds a special shout out to Paul Guertin who had new knees installed on Friday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Saturday's Breakfast Ride: Manchester & Magnolia

If you're not riding the Cohen Classic this weekend, there is a ride planned for Saturday closer to home! Gail, Joan, and Paul are riding to Manchester and Magnolia on Saturday, staying along the coast to beat the heat. There are two start options planned: Salem at 7 a.m. and Beverly Farms (St. Margaret's Church on Hale Street) at 7:30-7:35 a.m. 

(Breakfast at The Beach Street Cafe, 8 a.m., (give or take), for anyone who wishes to join them!)

The coastal route - Beverly Farms & Magnolia
Estimated Mileage to Magnolia (from Map My Ride):
Stopping at Beach Street Cafe for Breakfast
From Salem: 26.5 miles roundtrip
From Beverly Farms: 14 miles roundtrip

Additional Mileage Notes:
Salem to Beverly Farms 6.25 miles
Beverly Farms/St. Margaret's Church to Beach Street Cafe: 3 miles
Magnolia Loop from the Beach Street Cafe: 8 miles

Don't forget to fill those water bottles! It looks to be another hot one!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pre-PMC Summer Gathering, July 31st

Mark your calendars -- We're having a Pre-PMC Summer Cookout in two weeks, wishing all participating in this year's event a great Pan-Mass Challenge -- AND celebrating Donna reaching her milestone 25th ride! Hooray!

The late-afternoon festivities will be held at the Cronin house, 45 Manton Road in Swampscott, Sunday, July 31st at 4 pm. 

Same plan as previous years, we'll keep it simple. If folks could bring a favorite summery dish, salad, or dessert, etc. to share, that would be terrific.

Rain or shine. (If it's super hot, have no fear, we have central air conditioning to cool you off.)

All Cyclopaths, families, and friends are welcome!! Please pass along the invitation -- we'd love to see everyone!

The 24th Annual Cohen Classic

Scenic ride along the New Hampshire Seacoast
Donna keeps up tradition next Saturday with the 24th Annual Cohen Classic on July 23rd! Take a break from the North Shore and join her on the scenic coastal route of New Hampshire and Maine. Choose between 38, 48, and 70 miles round trip, or park anywhere along the route or public beaches for your desired mileage. Mileage from a few of the beaches are listed below, along with an approximate start time, (based on estimated arrival time of riders starting in North Hampton). If you haven't ridden along the New Hampshire seacoast in a while, this is a great change of pace!

Breakfast is at Cafe Espresso in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Estimated arrival time 9:00 a.m.). After breakfast, head back to New Hampshire for an out-and-back, or cross the bridge to Maine and continue for an additional 5 miles to Kittery Point/Frisbee's Market, (or if you're really ambitious, 16 miles to Nubble Light.)

It's a beautiful ride!

Cohen Classic Start location:
North Hampton Elementary School, 210 Atlantic Ave, North Hampton, New Hampshire, (avoiding the insanity of Hampton Beach)

Meet at 6:00 a.m. The ride will start before 6:30 a.m.

Approximate Mileage from North Hampton to:
(Decimals have been rounded up)
Portsmouth (Breakfast at Cafe Espresso) - 19 miles (38 miles RT)
Kittery Point/Frisbee's Market- 24 miles (48 miles RT)
Nubble Light, York ME - 35 miles (70 miles RT)

Mileage from the Beaches to Breakfast: (Alternate start locations)
Jenness Beach to Portsmouth, 14 miles (28 RT), approx start: 7:10 a.m.
Wallis Sands Beach to Portsmouth 10 miles (20 RT) approx start: 7:45 a.m.
Odiorne Point State Park 8.5 miles (17 RT) approx start: 8:00 a.m.
(Parking fees may be required at some beaches. Free on-street parking can often be found near Jenness Beach.)

Directions to North Hampton Start: (If you don't have a GPS)
Take Rt 95 North, (there may be a toll). Exit 1 toward Seabrook
Merge onto NH 107 South
Turn LEFT at Route 1A North/Lafayette Rd.
@ 6.5 miles, Turn RIGHT onto NH 111 East/Atlantic Ave.
The North Hampton Elementary School (brick building, blue sign) will be on your left. The road is marked SCHOOL. Park in back.

The long-range weather forecast predicts another sunny, hot weekend ahead -- Saturday will be a perfect day to pick up the cool breezes along the New Hampshire coast!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

From the Annisquam Gang!

Kathy, Brenda and Donna in Gloucester!
The heat did not deter Donna and Brenda from their PMC training today! Along with Queen Kathy, the trio hit the road to Gloucester and Annisquam to get in some mileage and hill training! Donna reports it was hot along the coast on the return trip, but the three of them had a great breakfast by the harbor and a good ride. Kathy headed back early to arrive home in time for work, while Brenda and Donna made their way back through Magnolia and Manchester on the return, with stops at the "Fountain of Youth" and Seaside Cycle, (to replace a lost cleat screw), along the way.

Meeting a parrot named "Ruby"
(The same name as Donna's bike!)
Note: The Cohen Classic is next weekend meeting in North Hampton at 6:00-ish, hitting the road by 6:30 a.m. Details will be posted during the week.

Hot Hot Summer Riding -- Boxford

It was a hot one today but we did fairly well -- beating the heat that arrived midday. Tam and Paul G., (riding his last ride for a while, as he's embarking on knee replacement surgery on Friday), left Salem at 7 a.m. to meet the rest of the gang at the Beverly Airport by 7:30. Ohmigosh, is all of Beverly under road construction?! We took a few detours to avoid the construction zones on Rantoul and 1A, but fortunately weren't too late in meeting EdGail, and Sheldon, waiting at the airport.

Group Selfie! (Minus Paul and Joan, who arrived later.)
After our Good Morning hellos, and a quick selfie or two, we geared up to set out on the road. Just as we were heading out, Paul and Joan arrived to join us! Good timing! Sheldon wished us a safe journey and cheerful farewell, and off we went. (Thank you, Sheldon!)

Sheldon sends us off!
The temperature as we left Beverly hadn't yet hit the 80s but was steadily climbing. Fortunately, we had a pretty decent breeze, (and shade in the morning), that kept the ride comfortable. We took the trail through Wenham and Topsfield and arrived in Boxford in good time!

Soon after our arrival, we had a surprise visit from Lynda! It's been ages since we last saw Lynda, as she's now riding a different kind of bike these days, (the motorcycle kind), so it was quite a surprise and fun to see her.

Ed, Joan and Lynda at breakfast
Joan and Gail chat after breakfast
A group pic in the shade!
Great to see Lynda! (Note I've got a Teamster, Harley
Davidson, and an American Flag in this photo... classic.)
Heading home, we picked up the trail again in Topsfield, taking it back to Route 97 and the base of the hill. (You know... THE HILL.)  We opted not to climbed it... hahahaha... and instead ventured further down the trail to find an alternate route. (Hooray for Google Maps!). We took a 2+ mile detour to avoid that awful hill, but I think the consensus declared it was worth it.

Stay cool, Everyone!

Shady relief is found on the trail
Wishing Paul a quick recovery from knee surgery next week!