Monday, May 26, 2014

Tandem Adventure - Ned's Point - May 25, 2014

I found the "Ned's Point Lighthouse Ride" shortly after moving to the Boston area in 2002, in the "Pocket Rides" series.  Back in those days, I relied mostly on books and paper maps to help plan my biking routes. While I like what sites like "RideWithGPS" enable us to do, I still like the books which usually included historical and sightseeing ideas.

There are lots of good rides in this area of southeastern Massachusetts and neighboring Rhode Island.  I've found and also created several variations of my own Ned's Point ride. The version we did is a 50-mile loop, essentially as shown below (Link to Route on RidewithGPS)

The route starts near Lakeville, MA, aptly named as there are several large ponds with great names:  Assawompset, Quitticas (Great and Little), Poksha, Snipatuit, Long Lake.  Even after riding here for several years, I've just begun to have any confidence letting these names roll off my tongue.

Weather started out cloudy, but increasingly sunny throughout the day. We started out at about 11 AM. Wind was present all day, gusty by the time we returned and were blown by winds coming from southeast across the Great Quitticas Lake.

On this Sunday midway through the 2014 Memorial Day weekend, the roads were relatively quiet. At about mile 8 we stopped for a break at Mary's Pond. An osprey was nesting on a tall post at the edge of the lake, we watched while the parents swooped across the open fields and pond and tended the nest.

The peninsula that starts at about mile 13 is called Sippican Neck.  Quiet residential houses and summer homes, an exclusive golf club at the end called Kittansett. On this ride we learned that the road goes all the way out to the tip, around the golf course, great views. Notice the strong, steady wind stretching out the flag.

Found this better map (nautical chart) of the region. There is a nice narrow causeway and beach in the "Planting Island" section. Maybe next time we'll see what's on the "Great Hill Point" peninsula, looks like there may be roads according to GoogleMaps.

We continued around through the quaint town of Marion (almost 100% residential, if there is a restaurant or store they don't seem to show up on Google, and we didn't see any.  Nice marina and waterfront though, quiet roads.

The nasty part of this ride is on Rt 6 West to get to Ned's Point and Mattapoisett. It's a major road, with little shoulder. We were lucky that traffic was very light, although the headwind was strong and loud.  The Oxford Creamery is the landmark for turnoff to Ned's Point. It seems to be an institution, although miraculously we've never stopped.

The park at Ned's Point was delightful, bathroom facilities welcomed, and the lighthouse in good form:

But we had finished our last KIND bar and were getting hungry. Continued to Mattapoisett harbor and joined the line at the ice cream and sandwich stand. Egg salad and chicken salad sandwiches tasted good, along with some ice cream to fuel the ride back.  The general store told us they would start doing lunches in the summer, and some time, we will eat, and maybe even stay at the Inn on Shipyard Park or the Mattapoisett Inn BandB.

Years ago, we took the bike path from Mattapoisett to Fairhaven.  Maybe one day we will do this again.  Could be fun to start ride in this area and stay overnight - I've been wanting to explore New Bedford, especially the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

But this time, we enjoyed the improved route back to the car.  Wolfe Island road is a dirt road, with gravel. We rode most of it, the car tire tracks had made a smooth surface. But I created the NedsPt3 ride with an alternate route that may avoid dirt roads for a future try.

After 40 miles of ultra-flat riding, the zippy hills near the ponds are a lot of fun. Just before this, my knee was feeling cramped, so we took a break.  Thankfully, that seemed to be all it needed, and we took the hills with gusto.  One of the most pleasant endings to a ride, we return across the causeway between two lakes.  This time the crosswind was strong and a little unnerving, but we leaned into it, and completed happily.

1 comment:

Sally N. said...

Great riding! Lots of things in bloom; leaves on trees still had their fresh springtime glow.