Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Hills

I added hills back into my riding this past weekend -- something I like to do a couple weeks into the start of a new season. It lets me work the winter stiffness out of my legs before getting down to some serious cycling.

So early Saturday morning, I hit Milton Hill in Milton, Mass.

It's a small, but decent hill to climb after the long winter break. It begins with a steady incline, followed by a false-flat in the middle, and then a steep section near the top. Once you reach the summit, there's a very nice view to enjoy...

The grassy area is called Hutchinson's Field, named after Thomas Hutchinson, the last Royal Governor of Massachusetts. He built his country estate on this very spot. Hutchinson ruled Massachusetts during the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre -- so as you might imagine, he wasn't a very popular figure in these parts some 235 years ago.

The next day, I rode up and over the Quarry Hills in Quincy, Mass....

...and then to the top of Penn's Hill a couple miles away...

That cairn at the summit marks the spot where Abigail Adams watched the smoke rise from Boston Harbor during the Battle of Bunker Hill. Her husband, John Adams, was in Philadelphia at the time, attending the Continental Congress. When word of the battle reached her home, Abigail Adams took her 10-year-old daughter Nabby and 7-year-old son John Quincy (future president) by the hands, left her home at the base of Penn's Hill, and climbed to the top for a closer look. It's a very steep climb on a bike ... I can't imagine what it was like dragging two kids with the sound of cannons firing in the distance. Returning home that evening, she wrote her husband a detailed letter, describing the historic events she witnessed.

You can still visit the John Adams and John Quincy Adams birthplaces at the bottom of the hill today.

So to recap, I rode Milton Hill on Saturday and Penn's Hill on Sunday. Two hills, two sides of history...

One bike.


  1. Great post! One of these days I need to head up your way on my bike. Work in Boston but don't often think about riding in the area. Anyway, thought it was about time to say hi...I see you're following my blog. Feel free to comment anytime. I don't post too frequently though...still working on that!

  2. Hey Jason,

    I have not been on in a while, swamped at work.. I thought I was promised a recession!!

    Anyway, excellent photos but what I really look forward to are your paintings.

    We are watiching the John Adams series and loving it. We should plan a trip to his birth place!

    John Glynn