I hate to admit it but I've reached that all too familiar impasse with my usual ride to Arlington. Like that feeling of slight disappointment mixed with guilt you feel when you're hanging out with a really nice person and you try to make a sarcastic joke and they respond with a small frown and the statement, "aww, that's not nice." So to avoid sounding evil and mean you shut the hell up but end up bored out of your mind because walking on eggshells is as socially pleasant as choking on a fork. And eventually you end up avoiding the friend - or in this case, the ride - because they just make you feel bad about yourself and how "not nice" you are.
Truly nice people tend to be extremely boring, but that's not the point here.
The point is that I needed something different. Something interesting that would stroke my ego a bit. Kind of like the gay bitchy queen friend that every girl really should have. And I found it this past weekend. In, of all places, Dover, MA.
The route I took was given to me by a Rapha Conti rider months ago, but slightly intimidated by it all, I sat on it for a while. Back then, I was still hopeful that the ride to Arlington could keep me interested; people always say how nice it is to ride out there. There was no way - I thought - that this ride and I wouldn't get along.
But my interest started to fizzle and fade, and when M1 offered to recon a new ride with me last weekend, I dove in.
Being immediately suspicious of the hype that tends to surround extremely charismatic people, I braced myself for a bit of disappointment. Cyclists in Boston always talk about Dover and how awesome it is to ride out there. But like attractive people with little inner content, maybe, I thought, it was a boring ride with pretty scenery. Maybe it'll only keep my attention for a few weekends, and it'll be back to sweating over rollers because the whole outdoor cycling thing just wasn't doing it for me.
For once, though, I was elated to be wrong. The thing about Dover is that it's actually interesting. A good mix of flat terrain broken up with the occasional hill or two, and streets that are to Boston asphalt what Belvedere is to the stuff that comes exclusively in plastic handles. It's the boy you're staying up too late talking to about how awesome Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is, not the one you just sort of like to look at but can't talk to because he just doesn't get your jokes.
Don't get me wrong. That doesn't mean that the ride isn't absolutely stunning. It's gorgeous, and then some. The narrow road is surrounded by incredible skies, fields, and farms [we passed Chickering Farm with a sign that stated it was established in 1690!]. A beekeeper was tending to his buzzing workers as we slid by, and horses looked at us curiously. It was amazing.
And because a ride is never complete without some kind of sugar-laden something, we stopped by Abbott's in Needham for frozen custard. Deliciously cold and gooey, it was like frozen yogurt and ice cream had a love child and offered it up to my growling stomach. It hit the spot, and was just sweet enough to power us through the brief rain shower on the way back home.
If my Dover ride was a real person, I'd be swooning over its sheer perfection. Just my luck that it isn't, because I really hate to share.