Wish List

Santa listened to my request for a mountain bike (via eBay!), so I thought I’d start working on another kind of wish list: places to take it.

Douglas State Forest: a 5,000 acre park on the Mass/RI border that includes a nice chunk of the Midstate Trail, Wallum Lake (for cooling off afterward) and lots of great woodsy terrain. I did an adventure race here a few years ago (with Genesis Adventures, which does a 3-stage race there every year) … and I regret not going back!

Wendell and Erving State Forests are side-by-side preserves in north-central Mass. that offer thousands of acres of trails. Although Route 2 separates them, I’m looking at the maps of the wide open spaces and thinking I’ll get a campsite at Erving so I can stay over and make sure I see everything (for explanation, see post on running out of daylight at Wompatuck).

Kingdom Trails, Burke, Vermont: Believe it or not, a biker friend and I took our ROAD BIKES to Burke a couple years ago. We experienced a major “D’oh!” moment when we realized Burke is the epicenter of mountain biking in the Northeast, with about 35 miles of trails that wind through forests and farms. This year I want to go back — frequently. For $50 you can get an unlimited trail pass for the season. And I believe Lake Willoughby will still have that nude beach…!!

Vietnam, Milford/Hopkinton: This is a smallish, completely wooded area alongside a major interstate. Doesn’t sound like much, but due to its technical difficulty, Vietnam gets under your skin. I rode there once, for less than 2 hours, last summer. Did I mention it was at the far end of a long string of rainy days? At the bottom of every hill was a brook or extended tire-sucking mucky area that just added to the difficulty of navigating Vietnam. It’s a rocky, seriously challenging piece of woods that I’m going to use to gauge my advancement as a mountain biker. I will go back–on my new bike– and my wish is to feel like my technique has improved — staying on the bike for more than 10 feet at a time would be a good place to start!

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