Great ride yesterday. I think there were 13 of us. It was hot but not nearly as intolerable as I thought it would be (90 deg with 50% humidity). After the first 10 minutes I didn’t even notice the heat (but continued to sweat profusely). The first hour of the ride went as planned with everyone enjoying the super twisty singletrack. When we were about as far from the cars as possible, Rick caught a stick on his derailleur and pushed it into his spokes. The chain was so tangled up behind the cassette that he ended up just breaking the chain and walking out. Andrew and I scouted out the escape route which turned out to be really easy to follow and then tried to catch the rest of the group. I guess they got tired of getting eaten by bugs (the mechanical set us back about 30 min) and went on. When we came to an intersection where we were supposed to turn left I said to Andrew "I hope they didn't go straight", but then said, "If they did they would have turned around and be back by now". Besides, Eammon said he knew the trails. So we pressed on. We took the short cut that I was planning and waited at the intersection of the main trail for about 10 min. We weren't sure where they were. They could have taken the long loop or could be ahead of us. So we continued on. When we got to the power lines I got a call from Rick saying that he got back to his car and that none of the rest of the group was there. Then we figured we would have to go back and look for them. But then Andrew realized that he may still have John's number on his phone. He did and called him up. John said that they ended up in someone's back yard and were heading back on a paved road. It turned out they did miss that left turn and climbed all the way to the top of Potter Hill in Grafton. They then had to descend Potter Hill and take the road all the way back to Millbury (about a 5 mile road ride with a pretty good climb). They arrived at the parking lot a couple of minutes after Andrew and me at about 8pm. I was expecting them to be miserable after getting lost but they all seemed in very good spirits and said they had a great time. Awesome! Imagine how they will feel when they get to complete the loop!
I will have what pictures I have up tomorrow. I stopped recording after the mechanical.
Thanks again to everyone for coming out. Next time we will have to exchange a few cell phone numbers in case we get separated again. Looks like next week will be a morning ride in Leominster SP. That should be fun.