Friday, November 24, 2023

Biking The Bay Circuit Trail - Mid-Point Recap

In July, I completed my 6th ride on the Bay Circuit Trail ending at Route 126 in Ashland. Interestingly, 10 years earlier in August 2013, I finished my 7th run on the BCT in the same location. Although the number of outings and end point are the similar, they certainly have been two completely different experiences. I thought it would be interesting to make a brief comparison of my journeys on foot and by bicycle below. 

                                                 RUN            RIDE    
Number of Runs/Rides                  7                    6
Trail/Unpaved Miles                    78                   65
Road/Paved Miles                      50                   49
Total Miles                                 128                 114
Elevation Gain (feet)               5,011              7,298

It's not surprising that my runs on the BCT had more trail and total miles than my rides. Bikes are not allowed on all AVIS trails in Andover and the trails maintained by the Sudbury Valley Trustees, hence my route to Ashland was more direct via bike. To account for these prohibited trail sections, the AMC maintains a separate BCT hiking and biking route, although they share much of the same tread. There are less trail restrictions on the southern half of the trail, so I expect the hike and bike routes to be very similar moving forward.

One other significant difference between my runs and rides is how I got back to each day's starting point. Since the BCT is a point-to-point route, one needs to have a means to get back to transportation home. For my runs, I would park my car at the day's end point, take a cab or uber (less common back then) to the starting point and run or hike to my car. I have not been spotting a car for the rides, instead doing out-and-back loops to the starting point. This adds a considerable number of miles and elevation to the journey. See below.

                                           RUN    RIDE   LOOP   
Number of Runs/Rides            7           6          6                     
Trail/Unpaved Miles              78          65        67
Road/Paved Miles                50          49      125
Total Miles                           128        114      192
Elevation Gain (feet)         5,011    7,298  10,862

Map of the BCT loop rides to date.

I estimate there are approximately 94 miles remaining before I reach the southern terminus. I don't think I'll complete the trail this year but hope to finish in early 2024.              
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