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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559

    Royalston, MA bike/hike to waterfall

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    Had a 63 mile biking adventure today. A friend who work as a bike mechanic and lives without a car invited me to go to Royalston, MA to see the waterfall. The day started with a 3 mile bike to the commuter rail station in South Acton and a train ride out to Fitchburg. While we were on the train, another woman with a Dahon folding bike got on. She saw my Peter Mooney bike and my friend's I.F. and told us that she works at Belmont Wheelworks with Peter Mooney. We introduced ourselves with the bike shops we each work at. How odd is that, 3 women bike mechanics meeting on a train? (Actually, she said she maintained the website, so maybe she's not actually a mechanic.)

    We rolled out of Fitchburg about 10 am heading for Royalston. One big long hill leaving town. Actually, the whole route was pretty hilly, though parts were just rolling. A few stretches on somewhat busy roads, but mostly low traffic. One long stretch of very bad pavement. We cycled through Ashburnham and Winchendon into Royalston, 28 miles. As we got near the waterfall, we did about a mile of dirt road, then locked the bikes to a tree and hiked. It was about a mile to the waterfall, which is on the Tully Trail in Royalston Falls Reservation. Ate lunch there and hung out about 30 minutes. Since we had a train to catch at 5:30 we couldn't stay too long. The ride back had one killer climb early on that had me struggling in my 30 front-32 rear. My friend did it in a 36-30. All the other hills went a bit easier. We got back to the train station at 5:10 and had a snack before getting on the train. The last bit was a 3 mile ride back to my friend's house where I'd left my car.

    The weather turned out to be pretty nice. The forecast had had a 20% chance of rain, but that passed before we started riding. Temperatures in the low to mid 60s. I wore shorts, jersey, and arm warmers which went up and down several times. My friend carried an Arkel pannier that converts to a backpack - a very fine piece of gear. I tried something new and carried a REI Flash 18 daypack that inverts into a stuff sack and could be strapped on my rear rack. It worked well but takes some time to invert, repack, and strap on. Plus you can't easily access things while it's strapped to the bike. But if you were going to lash a stuff sack to your rack anyway while touring, this would give you the option of having a day pack along.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    wait, you got a bike mechanic job finally??
    congratulations!
    your ride sounds fun too. Did you take any pictures?
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Sorry, no pictures. I got a bike mechanic job last July. No work for me from Oct-March though, as the shop is too small to keep anyone but the manager busy then.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,100
    Sounds like an adventure, Deb! I've done a little riding in that area and it is hilly!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    Quote Originally Posted by DebW View Post
    Sorry, no pictures. I got a bike mechanic job last July. No work for me from Oct-March though, as the shop is too small to keep anyone but the manager busy then.
    ah, seasonal. I definitely understand that one. The small bike shop i went into yesterday had people standing in line and there was hardly enough room for me to roll my bike out.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
    Posts
    445
    Hey cool. Someone riding out in my neighborhood! That's a rarity.

    I ride those roads all the time in Royalston and in Winchendon too. Those roads are my typical ride since they're in my back yard as I live in Phillipston. It's a pretty area and you certainly did have a good day. Alot of times I'll also head north into New Hampshire as it's so close. I rarely see any other female riders, or in fact any riders. I wonder if you saw any.

    I know exactly where you were as I also ride to Tully frequently. There are 2 waterfalls there actually. You probably went to the larger Doanes Falls which is quite nice. I also trail run up and down the adjacent ridge during the fall and winter when there are less people. There I pass the other falls called Spirit Falls. It's a pretty little area. If you go up to the top of the ridge you can look over into New Hampshire and not see any development for miles and that's very refreshing. What's nice is that it hooks up to the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail.

    I love the fact that you took the train to Fitchburg. Very nice. Yes, that is the end of the line so no alternative but to hop on the bike at that point.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by mudmucker View Post
    Hey cool. Someone riding out in my neighborhood! That's a rarity.

    I know exactly where you were as I also ride to Tully frequently. There are 2 waterfalls there actually. You probably went to the larger Doanes Falls which is quite nice. I also trail run up and down the adjacent ridge during the fall and winter when there are less people. There I pass the other falls called Spirit Falls. It's a pretty little area.
    I wasn't at Doanes Falls or Spirit Falls. It's called Royalston Falls on the Tully Trail map, up at the northern end of the trail. We followed the dirt Falls Road to get there and then hiked a mile or so. On the way back we stopped at Jacob's Hill and tried to find an overlook but failed. Looks like the trail from there goes to Spirit Falls but we didn't have time to hike it.

    Nice are, Mudmucker. I hope to go back sometime.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
    Posts
    445
    Chuckle. Ok, now I see exactly where you were - I sort of lump the whole Tully area together so then you were a little north of the falls I described. You were near the junction of the Tully trail and Metacomet-Monadnock then. It's too bad you didn't have a little more time to explore but it sounds like an overall very nice adventure. Lot's of nice other rides in my area too with interesting destinations like the one you chose.

    If you want to come back out sometime I'll invite you guys out this summer and we could maybe plan a ride and you can park at my house. I'm assuming you still have a car but not your friend? Or I can provide other ride recommendations for future ventures out here.

    Also is this the Arkiel pannier you mentioned?
    Last edited by mudmucker; 05-03-2009 at 09:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Quote Originally Posted by mudmucker View Post
    Also is this the Arkiel pannier you mentioned?
    Yes, that looks like the one. But she said the new ones are larger that hers, and she wouldn't want it any bigger, since you carry it as a single pannier and don't want to unbalance the bike too much.

    Thanks for the offer of ride planning, etc. I'm away for 3 months this summer but maybe we can work something out in the fall.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

 

 

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