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Old 05-15-13, 05:29 PM   #2676
bikebadger14
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The William F. McLaughlin Building, now closed of course.

I rode by here on a 15.7 mile break from work today. Cool, windy. Still creepy.
Man, that brings back some memories of my reckless youth... *ahem*

Today, took a chilly, damp six-mile ride on the river trail in Watertown/Waltham/Newton. Was delighted to see a plethora of wildlife in the rain. Many waterfowl - geese, ducks, a swan, a couple of cormorants. A great blue heron and a large flock of gulls feasting below the Watertown dam. A couple of red-winged blackbirds darting through the rain. A rabbit, a muskrat paddling along by the footbridge near Stop & Shop, and below the footbridge, a group of 3 or 4 very large carp.
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Old 05-15-13, 05:31 PM   #2677
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Just the usual commute. Today was intense and rewarding. The morning was serene. On the return I left work early because the weather radar showed activity on the way. Traffic was frenetic. I managed to stay dry for all but the last 3 miles or so. Then, while the sun was coming out, the rain started, not heavy fortunately. The wait for the train was cold and windy. On the other hand, I saw my first Baltimore oriole of the year today along the Blackstone River.
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Old 05-16-13, 10:07 PM   #2678
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What a day! Missed the best of it, Nature's way of telling me I should start bicycle commuting again, but had a lovely ride after work to Depot Park, Bedford, 20 miles. The sky was absolutely clear, and temperatures were still in the mid 70s when I set out. Negotiated the detour between Seasons Four and Lexington Center, noting that the absence of any signage at all (except for something delphic about "shared use") has led to a completely ad hoc, but workable, self-organizing traffic flow there. I cleared Lexington Center at sunset, not enough clouds or smog to make that anything other than a bright band on the horizon.


Got to ride through the woodland/wetland green spaces between Lexington Center and Depot Park as the light gradually dimmed. This was five kinds of beautiful, but not all at once. Did the turnaround at Depot Park a few minutes before nightfall.


Rode along through Bedford and across Tophet Swamp letting my eyes dark-adapt, but when I crossed 128 and entered the deep shade I gave in and turned on the headlights, and proceeded to illuminate my unenlightened brethren who, to be fair, were usually at least somewhat reflective. Speaking of reflective, this was the maiden voyage for a pair of short-fingered Specialized 74 leather gloves, in white: they make me look a little more like Mickey Mouse, but do glow in the dark.


Had a peaceful night ride home in the moonlight, enjoying all the bugs flying and frogs singing; beats watching the evening news. When I came to the Minuteman detour again, I simply rode in the Eastbound lane of Mass. Ave., then took the left turn when I got to Seasons Four: I detoured around the detour.

rod

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Old 05-17-13, 09:35 PM   #2679
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Did my commute today, biking to work as prescribed.



I tried a new route today, something I'd seen on a map a few years ago but couldn't do because of bridge construction. Wilbur Rd from Great Rd over to rt123. Wow. The hill at the start was only 1/3 mile long, but TopoUSA shows it to have an average grade of 10%, with some section as high as as 18%. My legs still hurt.
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Old 05-17-13, 10:02 PM   #2680
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Took a leisurely ride up to Lexington on the Minuteman in the late afternoon, 10 miles, to clear my head of accumulated work toxins. The day--what was left of it--was stunning.


Rode up to the barricade where the Lexington DPW is rebuilding a culvert to fix a flooding problem. Nothing says "Keep Out" like a front-end loader taking the lane (both of them, in fact).


Turned around at that point, and rode home with the sunset in my mirror.




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Old 05-18-13, 05:52 PM   #2681
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We rode a new part of the state for us, Bedford to Pepperell. I worked out the route in TopoUSA from a book of Massachsetts rides, then just followed the GPS. 55.6 mile round trip.



Found in Westford:



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Old 05-18-13, 06:19 PM   #2682
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looking forward to the tdc topsfield tomorrow. Doing the metric century
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Old 05-18-13, 07:25 PM   #2683
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Out to the barricade at sunset again. Rode past little league, lacrosse, soccer, softball, a blues band warming up in rehersal space on Medford Street, and a banquet, dance, or some similar shindig at Arlington Catholic High School.

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Old 05-19-13, 03:32 PM   #2684
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More MetroWest sights, from today's 37.7 miles:



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Old 05-19-13, 05:40 PM   #2685
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Was anyone else on any of the CRW Spring Century rides? Perfect day for it, and while the weather was starting to change as I headed for home, the rain refrained from starting until I was indoors.

Highlights: the baby buffalo grazing with the adults at one of the various farms; all of the flowering trees being in glorious bloom up in New Hampshire this weekend like they were here in Boston last weekend, all the beautiful lakes on the route glittering in the sunshine. And, for New England, a surprising absence of hills.
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Old 05-19-13, 07:20 PM   #2686
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Was anyone else on any of the CRW Spring Century rides? Perfect day for it, and while the weather was starting to change as I headed for home, the rain refrained from starting until I was indoors.

Highlights: the baby buffalo grazing with the adults at one of the various farms; all of the flowering trees being in glorious bloom up in New Hampshire this weekend like they were here in Boston last weekend, all the beautiful lakes on the route glittering in the sunshine. And, for New England, a surprising absence of hills.
That sounds like a great ride, Sarah!

Had one of those days when other stuff had priority; by the time bicycles came to the top of the queue, the cold drizzle had already started, so I spent the time swapping out my faithful touring tires (37mm Continental Contacts, 7800 miles and still rolling with never a puncture flat) for a set of 32mm Grand Bois Cypres Extra Leger (super supple casing with no puncture protection whatsoever, reputed to be fast rolling). I've been putting off doing this for months, and consider it an experiment. Haven't ridden them yet.

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Old 05-19-13, 07:28 PM   #2687
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Highlights: the baby buffalo grazing with the adults at one of the various farms; all of the flowering trees being in glorious bloom up in New Hampshire this weekend like they were here in Boston last weekend, all the beautiful lakes on the route glittering in the sunshine. And, for New England, a surprising absence of hills.
Sounds like a great ride, much like ours. But I don't believe that last part about the hills.
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Old 05-20-13, 06:18 AM   #2688
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Sounds like a great ride, much like ours. But I don't believe that last part about the hills.
Well, that's why I said "for New England" -- there were gentle rollers, but only one steep bit, and that was near the beginning. (Haverhill Street going into Harold Parker State Forest.) My route to and from the start turned out to have the biggest challenge -- I'd only looked at the grades on the way to the ride, not in reverse, and chose...poorly.

The route, for anyone curious:
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2153298
(Ignore that max grade number -- if you zoom in on the climbs you never see that kind of steepness; there's glitches with ridewithgps's grade calculation if it's missing data points or doesn't realize that there's a bridge over a valley that the road goes on.)
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Old 05-20-13, 06:31 PM   #2689
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Had a ride after work, out the Minuteman to the barricade in Lexington, 10 miles, just off the fringe of this afternoon's electrical storm: got a few raindrops and heard a peal of thunder (at what seemed a safe distance). The storm went one way and I went the other, and that was that. This afternoon's main event, though, was a first ride on new tires, 32mm Grand Bois Cypres Extra Leger.


I bought these to see what the talk about "light, supple, fast-rolling tires" was all about, after lumbering around the countryside on various species of armored touring, MTB, or icebike tires, I heard the words but had nothing to ground them with in my experience. One ride taught me a lesson: 15% faster than my fastest recent average speed, typically running two or three gear ratios higher, or spinning faster in top gear, with quicker acceleration and livelier handling. On a long day's ride, that could be worth an hour or two, perhaps with less fatigue. Plenty comfy for tires that are 5mm smaller than the 37mm Continental Contacts I've ridden for the last 3 years. I'm not sure I'd ride these some of the places I rode the Contis, but ... wow! It's a nice change. Now to put some miles on these, and see how they hold up.

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Old 05-21-13, 08:00 PM   #2690
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Rode a mile around Ball Square, Somerville, the first spin on a project bike that Tyler Oulton at Paramount Bicycle Repair has been building for me over the Winter. It's based on a Surly Trucker Deluxe frame with S and S couplers, 26 inch wheels with Chris King hubs and Compass Bicycles 1.75" tires, NOS Sun Tour friction shifters, and other good stuff.


There's more work to be done, but it's already a likeable bike, rolls well. The original concept for this was a travel bike but I expect I'll put a lot of miles on it in Massachusetts.

rod

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Old 05-21-13, 08:32 PM   #2691
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Rod, interesting observations on tires, and the project bike. Re tires, I've become a believer in good tires on light rims. I believe I can feel the difference between 36 spokes and 32. I built up the Masi with Torelli Master rims, Campy Nuovo Record hubs, 32 spokes, and mounted 23mm Vittoria Open Corsa EVO SC tires which I run bewteen 140 and 145psi. (I'm not heavy enough to put 145 into them with my floor pump!) I do like the way they feel. The Bianchi has 32 spoke MA40 rims with 25mm Gatorskins, and they are easy rolling too. But then, all my bikes are old-timers; the newest are '87, the oldest are '72.

I managed to get out late this afternoon, but only to ride to the gym.
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Old 05-22-13, 04:22 AM   #2692
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Interesting - were the 26" rims built around a road hub? I had done something similar for a bike that I wanted a fatter, lower-pressure wheel option on for winter riding.
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Old 05-22-13, 06:44 AM   #2693
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Interesting - were the 26" rims built around a road hub? I had done something similar for a bike that I wanted a fatter, lower-pressure wheel option on for winter riding.
Touring hub, I believe. I don't have the specs on that handy, but will retrieve them and pass 'em along. It's got the "angry bee" sound effects, in any case.

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Old 05-22-13, 10:53 AM   #2694
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Touring hub, I believe. I don't have the specs on that handy, but will retrieve them and pass 'em along. It's got the "angry bee" sound effects, in any case.

rod
I think that sound is the entrance call of any King hub.
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Old 05-22-13, 11:48 AM   #2695
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That's it.

http://chrisking.com/files/upload/hubs/AngryBee.mp3

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Old 05-22-13, 07:23 PM   #2696
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Tweaked the pressure on the new tires and rode out to the the barricade after work, loving the new feel of the old bike, and making good time. Don't know where the warm weather went, it was gray and in the 50s when I set out, but at least the serious storms passed to the North.

rod

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Old 05-23-13, 07:37 AM   #2697
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A little bummed. I'm supposed to ride the Tour d' Essex County on Saturday, but the forecast looks grim. May ride it in a more "unorganized" fashion with a friend on Memorial Day instead. Looks like a great route, so that's a positive!
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Old 05-23-13, 06:28 PM   #2698
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Was on an early schedule today, had the time to ride out to Depot Park, Bedford, after work, 20 miles. Watched the weather radar with a certain skepticism, a big line of thunderstorms slithering North and East tangent to I-495, but keeping its distance. Didn't dawdle, in case it changed its mind.

As I crossed Bedford Street on the return, a couple of young men eased an antique muscle car into the road where it sat, clearing its throat loudly. Seemed to me they might be having difficulty getting it into gear. Approaching Lexington Center, saw one bunny ardently pursuing another: ah, Spring! Near Peepers Pond, a huge snapping turtle was ponderously crossing the trail, nothing obviously in pursuit.

rod

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Old 05-25-13, 02:52 PM   #2699
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Rode though the cold drizzle over to Paramount Bicycle Repair, Ball Square, Somerville, to check in with Tyler Oulton and take the project bike for a longer shake-down ride for fit and general integration questions.

Note that the bike is not actually radioactive, the glow comes from condensation on the phone's lens. Either that or I accidentally had the Samsung set on Kirilian photograpy mode, and the Surly aura is showing... In any event, the bike is new and shiny.

The handlebars are taped now, and I rode it from Ball Square out to the barricade on the Minuteman in Lexington, getting various ideas for tweaks (and acquiring a pretty good dorsal stripe riding in the rain absent fenders), but mostly just having fun with what looks to be a very pleasant bike indeed. After a chat with Tyler about minor tweaks and next steps, got back on my trusty LHT and rode home, through the drizzle again: no risk of overheating. 17 miles in the cool and damp.

rod

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Old 05-26-13, 07:51 PM   #2700
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10 miles to the barricade In Lexington in the late afternoon, sunny, breezy, cool in the shade, warm in the sun, and mercifully dry. The low sun through the fully-leafed branches made dappled shade where two months ago barcode-stripe shadows produced stroboscopic flashes on the eyelids. Stiff headwind outbound, friendly tailwind inbound.

rod

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