Every year, Elmo and I plan an "end of season ride" in late October. This year, Elmo was on the DL, so I reached out to James (yes, "that James") to try something "ambitious".
The result -- an 87 mile ride, traversing most of Worcester County, including a climb of Mt. Wachusett. Unlike last spring's ride, we approached from Fitchburg, after enjoying the services of the MBTA.
The day was supposed to be dry, in the 80's. The ride began with mist and 52 degrees. We concluded there was nothing to do but stay warm by riding hard :). The Wachusett climb got progressively wetter as we climbed through the clouds, but as we reached the summit we broke above the clouds and found sun! Awesome. Nothing to see below us but clouds (again), but we enjoyed our moment in the sun.
The mist / drizzle ended by mile 30, we were left with pleasant fall foliage, and the rolling countryside. I'd bypass most of 140 given a 2nd chance at route design, the second half of the ride after turning east was great riding -- empty roads, rolling terrain. And -- pleasant company (always important on a long ride).
Much harder work with fewer rewards than last fall's ride, but -- a fitting end to this year's riding season.