The Cape Cod Getaway is six weeks away and it’s time for Team Examiner to get in some serious training miles. After all, you don’t wake up one June morning, get on your bike and ride 150 miles to Provincetown. So one Friday morning after the bikes were loaded on top of our vehicle, we set off to the town of Uxbridge, MA and neighboring Whitinsville, Northbridge, Sutton, Manchaug and Douglas for a 30+ miler. Southeast of Worcester is area of such rugged beauty, it begs to be ridden. The cycling in the region is challenging while invigorating all the same. There are several tough climbs, but the majority of these quad burners are capped off with ridge top cruises featuring panoramic views or long, smooth downhill runs. The two highlights of the ride are Purgatory Chasm and Singletary Pond. Purgatory Chasm is a unique national landmark that runs between granite walls towering as high as 70 feet. The Chasm is popular with picnickers and rock climbers alike and is believed to have its origin at the end of the last Ice Age 14,000 years ago. Singletary Pond, in the town of Millbury, is a long graceful stretch of flat, well paved scenic roadway adjoined by a tranquil lake on the left.
We park at a church in Uxbridge on Rt. 122 and head west for a short time before turning north on Fletcher Street. Within a few miles, we arrive in Whitinsville, a quaint mill town since revitalized to its current state. In the town center, the original stone mill stands high above the landscape as dams on either side churn. Exiting Whitinsville a large mill extends up the hill for nearly a half mile as we meander toward Purgatory Chasm. State Department of Conservation and Recreation signage greets us as we enter the park. Immediately, it is understood why so many folks visit for a hike or a picnic. Don’t get lulled to sleep by its beauty though, as a two mile climb lies ahead. There is relief on this climb in the way of flat areas that have prompted cyclists to refer to the ascent as the Stairway to Heaven. If the views from the top of the Chasm aren’t invigorating enough, the steep plunge should be enough to awaken you. The next climb deposits us in the town of Sutton. Quintessential New England is Sutton with its white church and wooden buildings on the common. From here the ride become much easier, leisurely even. The flat roads around Singletary Pond allow riders to recover and enjoy the smooth road and the views on the water. Coasting through the villages of Manchaug and East Douglas complete the loop as we head back to Uxbridge.
This ride features the splendid combination of rugged terrain and tranquil water. A favorite of this Examiner.