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Old 03-30-13, 04:34 PM   #2576
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a half-century in two parts today: the a.m. portion involved me riding 10 miles up and down the Charles River, taking photos of my kid's rowing team as they scrimmaged. then, this afternoon I got out for a 40-mile loop from Westwood through Canton, Easton, Norton, and Taunton to Lake Winnecunnet. first time in 9 months I've done a ride that long thanks to tearing a calf muscle after riding up Mt. Washington last summer. sorry for small pic -not surehow to do the large inline posts. is the Domane all tricked out for commuting with bags & fenders
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Old 03-30-13, 07:39 PM   #2577
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Got out for a 37 mile out and back to Carlisle. Great day to be out on the road. Lots of people out riding.

The Bianchi out at Fern's...
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Old 03-30-13, 10:35 PM   #2578
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What a beautiful day for a ride: Spring, finally. Headed out the Minuteman a bit after 11, maneuvering through the less-metaphorical-than-usual Easter Parade there, including young women wearing pastel jerseys who looked like specialized Easter eggs on bicycles. During a pit stop at the Battle Green visitor's center, had an encounter with a homeless man, echoing a song heard on the radio before setting out that morning. Got back on the bike after that dose of reality, and rode out to Revere Street, hopping off the Minuteman there and continuing across Route 128 and up the hill on Grove Street, then down Page Road into Bedford, where an elderly driver cut me off as I was barreling down the gravity well; the brakes worked, however, and I continued out Page Road across the Shawsheen River. Noticed that the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail was clear of snow for the first time in weeks, so took that North instead of whatever I had been thinking about before.


The NGRT was, in fact, rideable, a little wet here and there from thaw overflow, but in good shape, with the exception of one 50' circular ice patch at an intersection with a dirt road that I assume was a side-effect of some plowing operation. The trail runs along the backside of the Bedford VA Hospital, providing views of 20th-Century civil engineering that I don't seem to get tired of, including these stacks reinforced with helical strakes.


Rode past Fawn Lake, then got into the woody sections bounded by conservation land. At one point I heard a tremendous racket to the West, sounded like a large flock of geese that had been sniffing helium. Couldn't see anything through the undergrowth, so kept riding. After a bit, and some of the customary maneuvering through that end of Billerica, found myself on the North end of Dudley Road, and in the middle of the same sort of racket, only much louder. Turns out it was caused by hundreds of small frogs in this swamp.


I got enough of a look at the little critters of verify that, and tried recording their cacaphonous song on my phone, with mixed results. Turned onto Nashua Road/Route 4 and crossed the Concord River. A couple of guys were fishing for the pot, with five lines between them. I stopped and took a picture looking down-stream, a sort of Wind-in-the-Willows scene with a couple of monofilament lines visible towards the bottom of the image; upstream of the bridge, a jet-ski was cutting capers, which, along with a kitschy miniature light-house and a business catering to motorboats, would have spoiled the illusion... or, at least, modified it.


Continued up Nashua Road, watching a pair of red-tail hawks soaring together and calling each other with what seemed to be raptor affection. Took a left on Treble Cove Road and rode a block on that, which delivered me to West Street, Billerica, soon enough becoming North Road, Carlisle. This is one of the region's reliable time machines, and riding it was one of the points of today's route.



Rode that, admiring the old farms, some of the newer houses, and the woods. Passed through Great Brook Farm State Park, resisting the impulse to stop for ice cream. Picked up Curve Street, another beautiful rural time machine, coming in due time to the Cranberry Bog, where I stopped for a fig bar and some water.


This place always makes me think of bikinggrrrl (hey Kat! you there?). After admiring the expanse of purple flatness, realized that my relatively late start and relatively long ride was going to get me into relatively a lot of trouble, owing to some other commitments that afternoon. Back on the bike, I rode to Route 225, and headed East for a bit; rather than picking up Acton Street and making the customary twisty recreational loop, rode a little farther up the hill and got off on Cross Street, taking that to South Street and picking up Concord Street, Carlisle, which continues as Lowell Road, Concord, a big, straight, sunny bowling lane of a road that beats a direct path to Concord Center. The high point of that stretch was an odd ventriloquism episode in which a collie's bark appeared to come from the mouth of a female roadie who was addressing her riding buddy. Took me a moment to figure that one out... From Concord Center, took the Lexington Road/Old Bedford Road/Virginia Road/Mill Street/Lincoln Street/Middle Street/Marrett Road/Mass Ave/Maple Street route back to the Minuteman, and home. These late route adjustments saved 5 miles, and my bacon.

Lots of cyclists out on the road and cheerful today, to say nothing of the droves of Mixed Users on the Minuteman. 42 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Billerica, Carlisle, Concord, and Lincoln.

rod

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Old 03-31-13, 12:23 PM   #2579
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Hey Folks,
Anyone know of a good basic bicycle repair class in North Central MA? Worcester would work.
Thanks.
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Old 04-01-13, 06:52 AM   #2580
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a half-century in two parts today: the a.m. portion involved me riding 10 miles up and down the Charles River, taking photos of my kid's rowing team as they scrimmaged. then, this afternoon I got out for a 40-mile loop from Westwood through Canton, Easton, Norton, and Taunton to Lake Winnecunnet. first time in 9 months I've done a ride that long thanks to tearing a calf muscle after riding up Mt. Washington last summer. sorry for small pic -not surehow to do the large inline posts. is the Domane all tricked out for commuting with bags & fenders
That sounds like a great ride. I could probably make it a 50-miler or so starting from my place. Can you share more details of your route?
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Old 04-01-13, 02:38 PM   #2581
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A telecommuting day with a gap between meetings allowed me to get a quick ride up to Lexington Center and back before the line storm rolled in. 60ish, cloudy, breezy weather, with enough energy in the air to remind one of the change in store. First ride in shorts this year.


At Drake Road, met an MWRA work crew who were doing flow measurements on the Millbrook Valley Relief Sewer, which shares the Lexington Branch Right of Way with the Minuteman, and is arguably the more serious use of it, but is out of sight, out of mind, like the rest of our buried infrastructure. If it ever springs a leak, it will be on many minds, so good luck to the MWRA crew and their colleagues.


While the Miinuteman has become something of a major thoroughfare, its origin as a railroad right-of-way still shows in the way it abuts the backs of things. This is slowly evolving in places like the Alta development on the old Brighams headquarters site, but there are plenty of traces remaining, and it's part of the rail-trail proposition.


Got home as the first raindrops were falling, and phoned into my next meeting.

rod
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Old 04-01-13, 03:30 PM   #2582
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What a beautiful day for a ride:
Picked up Curve Street, another beautiful rural time machine, coming in due time to the Cranberry Bog, where I stopped for a fig bar and some water. This place always makes me think of bikinggrrrl (hey Kat! you there?).
rod
I'm a winter-stalker, you must know this by now. But I did get out for my spring debut today. Lots of sand on the roads and potholes to avoid but the sun was warm on my face as I hauled my 4.5 year old child (how did that happen??) in the trailer behind me. My ears were full of his constant but relatively quiet yammering which, I confess, I have turned fairly deaf to. My ears did prick up as we passed by vernal pools full of chirping spring frogs which makes me think the peepers are not far behind. The smells of rich, wet earth take me home to my childhood every single time. It sure is nice to be back.
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Old 04-01-13, 03:46 PM   #2583
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I'm a winter-stalker, you must know this by now. But I did get out for my spring debut today. Lots of sand on the roads and potholes to avoid but the sun was warm on my face as I hauled my 4.5 year old child (how did that happen??) in the trailer behind me. My ears were full of his constant but relatively quiet yammering which, I confess, I have turned fairly deaf to. My ears did prick up as we passed by vernal pools full of chirping spring frogs which makes me think the peepers are not far behind. The smells of rich, wet earth take me home to my childhood every single time. It sure is nice to be back.
Hurray! Spring is here!

rod
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Old 04-01-13, 07:25 PM   #2584
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It's nice to see all the ride reports. Rod, we might have run into you (figuratively, not literally) or passed you on Easter Sunday. We took the tandem out, 36 miles total, from Bedford to Chelmsford and back by yet another route, though on roads we've ridden before. The Bruce Freeman is mostly free of snow but a few spots required walking the bike. By next week it should be completely clear.

Bkg, it's good to hear from you. We might have run into you too, though I don't recall seeing any trailers.

We did have a nice conversation with another tandem couple before starting out from Depot Park. They were on a beautiful Co-Motion, obviously newer and likely faster than our vintage Peugeot.

GeezerPete, did you find out about bike classes? Is there something specific you wanted to learn? Some of us (well, I at least) have been wrenching on bikes for a long time. I'd be glad to work with you on anything. And if you're mechanically inclined there isn't much you can't figure out anyway, though some adivce does help.
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Old 04-01-13, 08:58 PM   #2585
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Quick 25 mile out and back to Concord center before teaching today. Starting to get the legs back.
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Old 04-05-13, 09:43 PM   #2586
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Insightful, interesting, inspiring and kind posts, all. Everyone's posts are contributions and Jim's kind offer to GP is very cool.

I too am getting my legs back in this fine weather with 25 slow, careful miles on my regular "spandex" bike yesterday. Tomorrow we plan a family tralala and I'll ride my '71 Raleigh Tourist.
Happy weekend!
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Old 04-05-13, 10:04 PM   #2587
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That sounds like a great ride. I could probably make it a 50-miler or so starting from my place. Can you share more details of your route?
here you go: it's just straight down Bay Road from Canton center. Bay isn't very busy, which is nice, but there aren't really shoulders either, sothat'snotgreat http://app.strava.com/activities/46534048
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Old 04-05-13, 10:53 PM   #2588
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They let Spring out of the dumpster again today. I didn't get to ride in it until sunset, when the temperature was already dropping through the 50s, but after a long day at the end of a trying work-week, it was a pleasure to bomb up the Minuteman to Lexington and back, 10 miles. The weather was mild enough that the seasonal evening migrations of Arlington teenagers had started again, small groups of boys, of girls, occasionally mixed, a little loud, a little awkward with Trail choreography, but generally benign. The peepers were peeping at Peepers Pond, first time I've heard them this year. I stopped to try to record them on my phone, and lucked into the Follen Church bell sounding the hour, geese honking, a plane climbing out of Logan, cars passing on distant Mass. Ave., the wind, and the wheel-sound of a passing bicycle, along with the peeping... talk about serendipity...

Those reading this who live in Arlington will want to vote in Saturday's Town Election, giving special attention to Ballot Question 1.

rod

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Old 04-06-13, 01:31 PM   #2589
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here you go: it's just straight down Bay Road from Canton center. Bay isn't very busy, which is nice, but there aren't really shoulders either, sothat'snotgreat http://app.strava.com/activities/46534048
Great, thank you! As for today, I had to work an event on campus, so I decided to just bike into work. Nice tailwind on the way in, hellacious headwind heading home. Ended up with a hair over 19 miles for the day. Tomorrow might try to catch a CRW ride out of Dover...should be warmer and less windy. Huzzah!
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Old 04-06-13, 04:04 PM   #2590
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My sweetie and I did 40.50 miles on the tandem today. Yeah, it was windy but tolerable. Yeah, it was cold but tolerable.

It must be spring. We stopped at the Agway on Maple St where it crosses the Bruce Freeman and Sharon bought four flats of pansies. One nice thing about riding a tandem with panniers is you can carry a lot of stuff! They fit inside the panniers, no problem.



sibaudio, did you ever find a way to ride outside the city? We're going to be going out tomorrow too, probably starting between 10 and 10:30 from Bedford. You want to join us?
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Old 04-07-13, 08:16 AM   #2591
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My son and I enjoyed a 5 mile ride to check the Bullard's cow tunnel in Holliston on Triumph and Raleigh 3 speeds.
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Old 04-07-13, 04:44 PM   #2592
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SBP, good of you to check the cow tunnel. We'd hate for those cows to get stuck on the wrong side of the road.

We did 45.9 miles on the tandem today. Started in Ayer, rode the NRRT into a foreign country known as New Hampshire, explored into Hollis and Nashua. We stopped to check our GPS and had a marvelous conversation with a woman out walking her dog, said she was a cyclist and we spent time swapping cycling stories. We had lunch on a picnic table at an intersection in the middle of desert, rode south into Dunstable Center, westward into parts of Groton (MA, not CT), back up north nearly to the NH line again, then back to Ayer.

It's nice every so often to get moderately lost then do some exploring to find your way back to civilization. That was today's plan, and we worked it to perfection.

My sweetie likes to take pics of me with the bike. Here is Dunstable Center, not much business except a town center, a church, and a few other civic buildings, but a LOT of through traffic. That's a busy intersection. (The pic should show up whenever RCN get around to synch files between their FTP server and their websites. Right now it seems, ah, intermittent.)

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Old 04-07-13, 09:40 PM   #2593
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Only the bridges were hills on our ride around the Charles on Memorial, across Longfellow Bridge and back on the Esplanade to Western Ave and back on a blustery Sunday afternoon before lamb vindaloo on Mass Ave in Boston. A fine day.
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Old 04-08-13, 06:21 AM   #2594
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Legs are sore today. Rode "fast" yesterday for the first time in a while. Rode from my house over to Dover to take part in a portion of the Llama ride. Surprisingly hilly-- hit Strawberry Hill, Summer Street, and the rolling stretch of Powisset Street. Ended up spending just under an hour with two cyclists who were preparing to race Battenkill next weekend. They were kind enough to drag my butt around and let me hide from the wind. Took one pull and acquitted my self fairly well. I departed from the group on Route 27 in Sherborn and rode easy back to Needham.

Nice day, and good to push the body a bit. Only ended up with a hair over 30 miles, but I was glad I was able to ride fairly hard on back to back days with no negative consequences or pain. Making progress...
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Old 04-08-13, 02:38 PM   #2595
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oooohhhhh I love spring. Still riding slow and I seem to have winter amnesia and have blocked out the negative affect the trailer has on my performance. But it is Spring and the weather is freakin' beautiful so I don't care how slow I go. Not-so-quick trip from Carlisle to Concord via West Street where the brown & white cows were sunning themselves and the dog house that used to showcase the "Attack Duck" is gone. Return trip via Monument found carcasses of dogs in many yards, soaking up the sun, horses happily grazing on mostly dead grasses, and an abutting couple double-checking their property lines with lot plans in hand. Even saw a llama laid out with head resting on the ground, loving the sun as much as I do. My cargo fell asleep for a while so I enjoyed the sounds of birds courting, frogs singing, hammers swinging before coming home to set up the hammock in the back yard. So grateful for completing much of my spring cleaning early this year. I suspect the inside of my house will not be seeing much of me for a while if this weather sticks!
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Old 04-08-13, 06:07 PM   #2596
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Today was indeed lovely. So lovely in fact that I did my first bike commute of the season. 12.5 miles each way. I took the vintage Bertin because orange seemed to be a good idea.

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Old 04-08-13, 09:48 PM   #2597
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Wow, great day today. Was able to get out to get for 25 miles. Tomorrow looks like another winner.
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Old 04-09-13, 06:42 PM   #2598
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Worked right through the finest part of the day, but got a sunset ride on the Minuteman with the birds, frogs, and folks, lots of each were out taking the air. Some of the folks were shining Big Lumens mounted too high, with the enthusiasm of L'il Kim testing a new nuke. The frogs were better behaved. Temperature fell 14 degrees during the ride: bracing...

rod

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Old 04-09-13, 06:53 PM   #2599
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I managed to take the Masi out for an hour and a quarter today. What a spectacularistic day it was, weatherwise.
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Old 04-09-13, 07:15 PM   #2600
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Jim, I am loving the Bertin.

Had the day off today, so I was able to get out for my longest ride so far this year. 65 miles out and back to Chelmsford.

A wonderful day to be alive!
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