Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017 Tandem Rides April-May

April 16, 2017 - Westford MA 24 Mile Loop

First ride in 2017 for the Dragonfly tandem - and our anniversary (29 years).  Plant of the week - forsythia was a strong competitor but Sally preferred lilacs.  Rest stop at Nashoba Valley Ski area, sat on picnic table looking out onto the slopes.  Not quite with the program, I neglected to take pictures.  A fun first ride, road testing the bike - no problems at all.

Since it was our anniversary, after the ride we ate at Moonstones restaurant in Chelmsford - shared a split of champagne!

Picked up this image online from

May 7, 2017 - Ipswich MA - 30 Miles

Route Notes:  This ride did not work quite as planned.  Planning tool maps (RwGPS, Google) all indicated that "Labor in Vain Road" was a through road.  In fact, the name is apt - we encountered a robust gate with very clear "No Trespassing" signs at about mile three.  It was a pretty road up to that point with access and views of coastal wetland areas.  After tracing back, went out Argilla road to Cranes Beach.  (Route linked has been edited to remove "Labor in Vain")

Start Point:  Winthrop School, across from Fire Department.  Several spots, good for ride start.

Plant of the Week: Florida dogwoods in pink and more subtle but still spectacular creamy white were unrivaled for plant of the week.  Creeping phlox was evident, starting to creep over flowerbeds but just getting started.

Weather:  Started out warm and mostly sunny but got windier, cooler and cloudier as we road.  Got a later start, about 1 PM.  Finished about 4:30.

Stops and Sights along the Route:
Cranes Beach
Down East Ice Cream
Pingree School (cool sculptures, sitting area overlooking playing fields)

Stops after the Ride:
Ipswich Brewery "Brewer's Table" brew pub
Ithaki Mediterranean Restaurant

At Cranes beach, shielding from the brisk wind.

Wow, beach plants in bloom - not sure what they are.

First ice cream stop of the season - long lines already!

Tulips looking great.

Cool art at the Pingree School

Cherry vying for Plant of the Week.

Cool dog sculpture where we parked in Ipswich, in front of Winthrop School.

The slightly hidden Ipswich Brewery, brew pub "Brewer's Table".

May 28, 2017 - Wompatuck-Scituate MA - 30 Miles

Route Notes:  This route worked well, learned some new functionality in RideWithGPS such as cutting out parts of a route. The road through Weir River Farm was not exactly public, so will reroute this (will edit route). Explored parts of the Whitney Spur Rail Trail - new pavement in sections, in others, seems to use the tank paths in Wompatuck??  A good 30 mile route.  Might try to incorporate Jerusalem road for even better views next time. The end point also is misplaced in picture above.

Start Point:  Wompatuck State Park, excellent for parking and good bathrooms for changing after ride.

Plant of the Week: Every plant vying for plant of week - bursting forth. But hard to deny rhododendrons, especially the bright hot pink magenta ones. Some were huge.

Weather:  Started out partly cloudy, some wind, about 70F. Cooler and windier toward shoreline.  Started about 12:30 PM.  Finished about 4.

Stops and Sights along the Route:
Scituate Harbor, Nana's Ice Cream
Weir River Farm

Stops after the Ride:
Oysters Bar and Grille, 254 Church St, Pembroke MA - near entrance to Route 3.  Surprisingly excellent food and drinks.  Oysters $1 each 4:30-5:30, I had half dozen from Duxbury, excellent. Sally had appetizer of shrimp and fried artichokes, delicious.  I had cod, done on a risotto cake with a yellow curry sauce.  Perfectly cooked fish, nicely sizzled risotto cake, excellent sauce.  Passed on dessert.  Drove home up 3 to 95 around West side loop.

Flag flying strong at Sciuate Harbor - tattered by prevalent wind here.  The magenta rhododendrons could not be denied as Plant of the Week.  This one actually in our front yard in Arlington, saw some huge ones along the route.

Stoker Sally at Scituate Harbor.  A frequent stop for us - marina, views, seating, bathrooms and ice cream!

This house had a huge flag, dramatically displayed on this Memorial Day weekend Sunday.

Excellent find in Pembroke MA, Oysters Bar and Grille.

Back at home, our lilac was hugely fragrant.  Like, knock you over fragrant.