I had to drive to Newton, MA on Friday to pick up my daughter from a friend's house so I asked a friend who lives in the area if he wanted to meet in Milford and do some mountain biking at Vietnam. Joe posted the ride on Facebook and a few others in the area said they would join us. Also, John Goeller, whom I have met in the past on various Route 66 mountain bike races was also there. He happens to live less than a mile away from the trails and knows them like the back of his hand.
The guys on the real fat bikes tore off and we were playing catch up, mainly because, as I discovered a 3 inch wide tire doesn't have the same float as a 4.6 or 5 inch wide tire. Also, I started out with too much pressure in my tires and had to stop a few times to let it out. John, Joe, and I broke off from them because Joe and I, on our 3 inch wide tires were still having a hell of a time, even with the tires adjusted. Since the trails weren't broken in really well it was a Napoleon's Death March three quarters of the ride.
We were able to get some traction here and there and despite the challenging conditions it was still fun riding. My Garmin said it was 6 degrees but I was never cold. I wasn't sure if my Garmin would work in these temperatures so I also had my Strava running on the Apple Watch and ViewRanger was also recording the ride. Of course, I had on my Windstopper, Polar Fleece hunting jacket that is incredibly warm, wool NEMBA socks, insulated hiking boots, leg warmers, pants, balaclava, and lobster gloves.
Apparently there is a Stonehenge like rock formation at Vietnam that some dude believes was created by early Indians. In another part of the park, John said there was a mound that is also believed to be an ancient Indian burial site. The local Indian tribe was consulted and they said it could be but really wasn't interested in finding out. Guess they didn't want to disturb the park and the uproar it would create with the mountain bikers.
I asked John how did this place come to be known as Vietnam. I gave him my theory which was all the BFRs (Big Friggin Rocks) have this lichen growing on them that makes it look like camo netting. He said nice theory but the true story was some moto club had a lot of veterans in it and cut some trails here back in the 70s. A few of the club members, who were vets, remarked that some of the cuttings reminded them of punji sticks. Unlike these guys, the club members that had actually been to Vietnam laughed at these guys and said that is not what a punji stick looked like. As a joke, they started calling the place Vietnam.
John showed me the 7-11 roller, which is two rollers side by side, one being around 7 feet high and the other 11. Then we rode down another roller/spine line that the trail was on. We all made it down nicely and I even got a good video of Joe coming down it, too. I think this roller is on the Whaleback Trail and if I had to venture a guess I would say that is probably the namesake for the roller as well. From here we got on a trail that was broken in more and the riding got really good.
The last feature before leaving the park was the famous hour glass bridge. During my last visit to the bridge, yêu em thời gian dài, it was pretty wet so I PP'ed around it. This time, however, I cleaned it. Joe and John also rode it as well. After trying it one way for the camera, John fell off it in the middle but Joe cleaned it again, with only one glove on!
It wasn't the longest ride but it was certainly extremely enjoyable. I am thinking a spring trip up here will be in order and plan will be to try and ride everything, then hit a brewery!