"Ian's going back to school tomorrow -- do you want to go for one last summer ride with him?"
Labor Day. The end of summer. And this year - a 90 degree scorcher. Need a ride that Ian can handle, with shade.
The Nashua Valley Rail Trail is a gem -- 12 miles of near flat riding, a handful of lightly traveled crossroads, running through woods and meadows with lots of shade. The river and its ponds and marshes are a frequent companion. We saw a combine harvesting a field of corn. We saw LOTS of other bikes (biking spirit is strong in Central Mass!). But we also had lots of quiet, just running along through the woods. Peaceful.
The trail runs from Ayer (40 miles west of Boston) north to Nashua, NH. There is ample parking at both ends, and also at the midpoint in Pepperell (definitely recommend the ice cream store, also plenty of other supplies there). The trail is generally in good condition, but there are some section with bad tree root bumps (marked with paint, but still rough riding - DCR, can you solve this problem?).
Nashua is building an extension of the trail, so hopefully soon we will have an even longer ride, but today's was just right :)