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Old 07-16-13, 08:25 AM   #2826
rholland1951
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Another ride before breakfast on the Minuteman to Lexington, 10 miles. Temperatures just warm, with ambitions to get hot later after a running start this morning.

rod

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Old 07-16-13, 10:30 AM   #2827
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I've never ridden the Reformatory trail, was told that it wasn't friendly to narrow tires, but your post inspires me to try it one day. Will have to check out Nashoba Brook Bakery (except that my tandem partner/sweetie doesn't do gluten .)
Riding the trail was a welcome break from the blazing sun and offered a more direct return route. However, I would be mindful of the potential trail conditions to determine if riding the trail would be fun or 'fun' - there was a section that appeared to be undergoing some rehab and the ground was awfully soft with loose soil. I could definitely see it wrecking havoc on a narrow-tire'd ride.

There were also a few deep sandy spots in some areas that required careful attention. I would say it would be more fun on a CX-style tire.
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Old 07-16-13, 02:01 PM   #2828
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Stung by my confessed lack of PM, I did prep with lube, true and trimming both bikes, two new Panaracer Tour 700x25 tires and tubes, freshened batteries in the blinkies, recharged Supernova, refit the racks on both bikes, dusted off the 40 year old panniers, a new adult large helmet and new cleats on a pair of my bike shoes that now belong to and fit "our baby".

Sore from yesterday's ride, words like "hot" and "blazing" and warnings of heat stroke and air quality from wife/mother/ ER nurse all conspired to influence a not very interested in the first place teenage lacrosse player and an overly ambitious "2 wheeled hound". We were half way to North Station on Rt. 16 and decided to loop back for a 20 mile shake down ride with panniers loaded for a couple of days. Better to keep the experience as pleasant as possible than to push it to never wanting to go again. We'll watch the TDF and make crepes at home tonight. I'm optimistic and look forward to the next stage.

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Old 07-16-13, 02:11 PM   #2829
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There was a crash on my morning ride today. Luckily, I was not involved. I was a few wheels back as it happened. A rider was turning onto Claybrook in Dover and took the corner wide, taking out a couple of other riders. No one was seriously hurt, just some road rash and misaligned bike parts.

I do feel bad though, because I had made a snide comment earlier in the ride to one of the riders who crashed (not sure if he was the one who caused it). On the outbound leg of the ride he was in front of me and swerving in the paceline to avoid every sewer grate or manhole cover, and angrily gesturing every time the rider at the front didn't point them out (which is difficult while pulling a group of 30+ at 25mph). In the heat of the moment, I yelled, "they're just sewers, they won't hurt your bike." I'm not sure if he heard me, and I really wish I had just pulled up alongside him and asked him to hold a steadier line. I never thought I'd be "one of those people" to yell during a group ride, but I really did feel unsafe. It also reinforced how important I think it is to pick, and follow, good wheels in a group ride. I love a nice group ride, but often times I'd prefer a group of 10 versus 30-40.

Anyways, that is my mini-rant for the day. Carry on.
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Old 07-16-13, 03:06 PM   #2830
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Riding the trail was a welcome break from the blazing sun and offered a more direct return route. However, I would be mindful of the potential trail conditions to determine if riding the trail would be fun or 'fun' - there was a section that appeared to be undergoing some rehab and the ground was awfully soft with loose soil. I could definitely see it wrecking havoc on a narrow-tire'd ride.

There were also a few deep sandy spots in some areas that required careful attention. I would say it would be more fun on a CX-style tire.
The Reformatory Branch is a mixed bag. The Concord section has a couple of egregious mudholes, pleasing to a certain subset of mountain bikers. The Bedford section is in pretty good shape, albeit with a sandy patch or two, and with one very hard leftover artifact of the former railroad spanning the trail that you really don't want to hit at speed. That said, it's not much worse than the NGRT, I've ridden it with 32mm and 37mm tires. Jim, if you ride it, take the bike with the widest tires you've got, and consider walking around the muddy bits.

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Old 07-16-13, 03:48 PM   #2831
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Jim, if you ride it, take the bike with the widest tires you've got, and consider walking around the muddy bits.
You're recommending against the Masi with its 23's running 145psi?
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Old 07-16-13, 04:50 PM   #2832
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You're recommending against the Masi with its 23's running 145psi?
How to plow with a bicycle... ;-)
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Old 07-16-13, 07:12 PM   #2833
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Stung by my confessed lack of PM,...
Oh humor, where is thy sting? [Apologies to St. Paul.] No sting was intended at all, at all.

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Stung by my confessed lack of PM,...

We'll watch the TDF and make crepes at home tonight. I'm optimistic and look forward to the next stage.
You probably made a good choice. I didn't do my bike commute today. The weekend and yesterday required enough juice that I decided to skip the ride and go to the gym this evening. Tomorrow we play another outdoor gig, in Norwood. More juice will be required. (SAo I'll be working from home.) So to answer the question in the thread title, no I didn't ride today. That bike you didn't see on rt123, that was me.
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Old 07-17-13, 11:19 AM   #2834
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Oh humor, where is thy sting? [Apologies to St. Paul.] No sting was intended at all, at all.


You probably made a good choice. I didn't do my bike commute today. The weekend and yesterday required enough juice that I decided to skip the ride and go to the gym this evening. Tomorrow we play another outdoor gig, in Norwood. More juice will be required. (SAo I'll be working from home.) So to answer the question in the thread title, no I didn't ride today. That bike you didn't see on rt123, that was me.
No sting taken and no bike seen on rt123. My riding plans this week sure have withered.
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Old 07-17-13, 01:20 PM   #2835
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The habit of riding before breakfast seems firmly established: another 10-mile run up to Lexington this morning, a little faster than my previous fastest time. One way in which these rides differ from the evening rides that they are largely supplanting is that my head is empty (and not yet caffeinated) at that hour, so I just tend to focus on the ride, rather than on the various epiphenomena and emergent psychological manifestations that tend to bubble up on evening rides; the evening rides seem to serve a dream function, providing a way to process all the divergent nonsense of the previous day's activity. This doesn't arise on morning rides.

Although... this year, I have begun noticing that some dog-walkers are responding to the pooper-scooper laws by dutifully bagging their beloved pooch's output, but then leaving the bag on the ground. I first noticed this on a conservation land foot path in Lexington, then again on sections of the Western Greenway, and most recently on the Minuteman. This behavior baffles me. Ecologically-speaking, the unwrapped poo is biodegradable, the bag of poo is not. Socially/legally, leaving the bag on the ground presumably counts as two strikes (suffering poo to remain, etc., and littering), but the scat-bag-scatterer can be seen to have been in superficial compliance with the requirement to pick up the poo, in case anyone's looking, only to drop the bag stealthily when the coast is clear. What are the bag-droppers thinking? "I'm not carrying a bag of poo! Someone else will do it!"??? Perhaps, but are there, in fact, altruistic poo-bag gatherers out there, mitigating the harm of these uncivil poo-supply-siders and thereby enabling their antisocial behavior? Apparently so. Came across a woman out for a walk on the Minuteman, carrying a large shopping bag. She came to one of the abandoned doggy bags and picked it up and put it in her shopping bag, without breaking stride. Questions: is there a name for the bag-dropping behavior? for the bag-gathering behavior? What's going on here? Do the people who do this blog about it? The culture is going to the dogs!

rod

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Old 07-17-13, 05:23 PM   #2836
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What's going on here? Do the people who do this blog about it? The culture is going to the dogs!

rod
So, I asked Mr. Google, and got pointed to an article on the subject from Berkeley, CA, with a highly-informative comment chain. Not quite blogging, but it'll do...

rod
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Old 07-18-13, 09:04 AM   #2837
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10 miles before breakfast, as the temperatures climbed through the 80s. The Summer's vegatative riot is in full swing: it's a great day to be a weed.


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Old 07-18-13, 01:07 PM   #2838
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A friend and I rode a Cape Ann Loop yesterday: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1124942
Apparently, the hottest day of the summer so far! How lucky we were. (Pictures coming soon)

A visiting friend, who is always very optimistic on what we can accomplish on our rides, wanted to ride near the ocean. Sounded great to me! The Internets, courtesy of North Shore Cyclists, provided us with a great number of routes that originated in Ipswich and circled out toward the ocean. These routes varied in length and provided plenty of 'outs', in the event we tired more quickly than expected: http://www.nscyc.org/cape-ann-ipswic...tember-15-2013

TL; DR: The route varied between roads that were somewhat busy and some that were devoid of cars. I was surprised to see so much truck traffic but we were given plenty of space, even on shoulder-less roads. I'm not sure I would want to do this route during a very busy time on a weekend, however. You pass through plenty of towns so food/water/bathrooms always seemed within reach. There were sometimes surprise sandy spots on the road which were mostly avoidable. Pavement was mostly great with a few potholed sections.

We started in Ipswich, which provided both free long-term parking and a great little coffee shop so that we could load up on some real food for the trip, in addition to our usual bars and gels. We used the cue sheets provided by the above cycling group and they were pretty spot on as far as mileage goes. Some of the streets did not always have signs so we did have a few moments of confusion - thank goodness for my friend's smart phone. But for the most part, we could figure it out by using the water as a guide.

Heading through Ipswich, we traveled some very nice country roads that had welcomed forest cover. We also spotted a surprising number of farms in the area. We kissed the edge of Essex and headed south to Manchester. Here we started to glimpse the water which made us very excited. By the time we got to Magnolia, we were treated to some terrific ocean views and were getting a great breeze off the water - perhaps giving us too much courage to do our long route.

We then turned north and headed to Gloucester (Glousta', right? ). We took a detour to Stage Fort Park, where we saw a dedication to the first settlers of the area in the 1600s. It was embedded in one of the largest rocks I have ever seen. I guess more of a boulder than a rock at that size. At this point, we decided we would eat some real food and figured we'd find it in Gloucester. We settled on the 'Gloucester House' as it claimed fresh seafood and appeared to have a good view of the water. Despite the reviews that I have read after-the-fact, we both had a good meal and good service. The waitstaff even refilled our water bottles and added gave us plenty of ice as they thought we'd need it. Great!

Now completely full, we decided we would do a loop of Cape Ann and slowly rolled out of town. All of Cape Ann provided plenty of great photo opportunities and small coves where we could rest under a tree and enjoy the view.

Once we rounded the Cape and started moving inland, we started feeling the hot, stagnant afternoon air and started consuming more and more water. We refilled with a gallon jug at a gas station just outside Gloucester and decided we'd gallop the home stretch back into Ipswich. The short stretches of the route that stayed on 133 were dry, hot and painful and we welcomed the slower, curved country roads that provided tree cover. We managed to get back to Ipswitch in one piece and barely managed to miss rush hour traffic on the way back to the west metro.

A++++ route would do again and again. Plenty of opportunities to explore other rural roads and also numerous small parks along the way.

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Old 07-18-13, 04:28 PM   #2839
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Glad you enjoyed it! It is a very diverse area, coastline mixed with farms and more rural territory as well. If you were to head a bit farther north you could ride a beautiful stretch of the Merrimack River. Many different options!

There are also many great seafood options up there-- The Causeway in Gloucester, and a bevy of fried clam joints in Essex.

Oh, and minor correction-- Ipswich not "witch" (go to Salem to find the witches, and other great things, that's a wonderful city), but you got Gloucester right, so you're excused .
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Old 07-19-13, 03:36 PM   #2840
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Oh, and minor correction-- Ipswich not "witch" (go to Salem to find the witches, and other great things, that's a wonderful city), but you got Gloucester right, so you're excused .
Oops- fixed!

I took a lesson from rod and did 10 early-bird miles in Lincoln. West winds kept things tolerable.
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Old 07-19-13, 08:47 PM   #2841
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Chelmsford to wayland today then from wayland to bedford and then back to carlisle to welcome the 40+ riders who took part in the New england Tour de cure. They rode 550 miles in 7 days to raise money for diabetes. They started in woburn and went through the white mt. to vt and back to woburn.There were over 160 riders in total. the two day last weekend which was 150 miles ( I did that one - it was great) They really had quite the accomplishment with the heat this week.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:12 PM   #2842
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Congrats to everyone who went out today. Sharon wouldn't let me ride my commute today.

Nickel, your north shore ride sounds great. We're going to have to do that one on the tandem. We've done several North Short Cyclists rides, one (North To Newburyport) with their group, again by re-riding it on our own, and another (Let's Go Coastal) just following their instructions. This second one was great too, but there was one error in the instructions. It sounds like you've settled in to the Boston area very nicely!
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Old 07-20-13, 10:48 AM   #2843
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Inspired by Nickel, I did a North Shore ride today too. Was home in Marblehead visiting my parents so I got out for a nice 30 mile ride this morning. Mostly looped around Marblehead, then meandered through Salem, Beverly, and Swampscott. Hot and sweaty, but good to be back home!
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Old 07-20-13, 11:42 AM   #2844
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I think that I found me a nice little 12 mile loop today. Mostly bike path too! I went around Maudsley and Mosley but I could lengthen the whole thing by throwing some dirt trails into the mix. Over Deer Island and down the Ghost Trail in Salisbury and around past the Library and down through the marsh. I think the view at the end of the Marsh Trail looking over the river is worth the whole ride and it's my son's favorite part of the trail especially when the rt. 1 bridge goes up. Still, it would be nice if they connected the Salisbury and Newburyport trails as was once planed. I followed the trail to the train station and cut through the industrial park to get home.


I forgot to mention the coolest part of the ride! While on the Ghost Trail I saw a Bike Gang of recumbant riders! Must have been a club or something.
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Old 07-20-13, 10:44 PM   #2845
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Left the house at 11 for a modified North Bridge loop, a 32-mile ride through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, and Concord. It was already 91 when I set out, and the route was chosen to include a lot of shade, starting with the Minuteman to Depot Park, Bedford.




Proceeded out Route 225 towards the Concord River. The phragmites in the wetlands of the Carlson Conservation Area were looking as happy as phragmites can get, with their feet in the mud and their heads in the sun.


At about this point, I came under the benign influence of a cloud bank, whose shade lowered the temperature a couple of degrees: most welcome.


The heat and humidity were manageable (I went through 3 bottles of water in the course of the ride), but the ground-level ozone, a major component of the haze, was noticeably irritating my lungs. The haze was a factor throughout the ride, often visible, always present. This view up the Concord River captures a bit of that.


Rolled over the familiar hills of River Road, Carlisle, and Monument Street, Concord. At the big horse farm, noticed that all the horses were sensibly in the barn, out of the mid-day sun, unlike my dubiously sensible self...


By the time I reached Concord Center, the cloud bank had headed East, and the respite it had provided was past. Rode down Lexington Road, with its Transcendentalist relics, and turned onto Old Bedford Road, with its agricultural relics.


Followed that to Route 62, and continued back into Bedford, where I picked up the Reformatory Branch Trail. This provided plenty of shade, and the cycling equivalent of a walk in the woods. A little downy woodpecker wheeled within inches of my handlebars, before landing upside-down on a nearby tree-trunk.


This brought me back to the Minuteman. At this point, the cumulative effects of the heat and humidity put me into a slow-ride groove, and I poked contentedly along mostly just listening to the succession of sounds as I approached Route 128, crossed it, and climbed the hill into Lexington Center: the cicada chorus, sounding like the human nervous system might if you got quiet enough to hear it; the oceanic roar of auto traffic on Route 128, subtle in the distance and overwhelming as you pass over it; the monster howl of a large jet on the approach to Hanscom; the percussion of carpenters' hammers at a house construction site. Almost as striking as this aural experience (though mercifully more brief) was the fragrance of the Lexington land-fill at Tophet Swamp.

As I passed Arlington's Great Meadows, I noticed that the cattails have flowered, and are once more displaying their characteristic brown cylinders. Mostly, though, I noticed the heat: the further East I rode, the hotter it seemed to get; the self-generated breeze of the long, fast down-hill through Arlington felt like a hair-drier. By the time I had put the bike away the thermometer was showing 94, I'd finished the last bottle of water, and I was happy to have a shower and some lunch.

rod

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Old 07-21-13, 03:37 PM   #2846
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Today being cooler than it's been for a week, we rode the tandem from the house this morning, out through Belmont, Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Carlisle, back again, a round trip of 41.8 miles, mostly roads we'd ridden many times.

Stopping at Hutchins Organic Farm in Concord. Sharon had to buy some kale.




The Skeleton Rd I saw a week or two ago turns out to be Skelton. Dang, Skeleton would have been much more interesting. That's what happens when you try to read road signs through sunglasses which have been blurred o'er with the pale cast of sweat.

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Old 07-21-13, 05:20 PM   #2847
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hit the road (and trails) for about 10 miles today. All on MTB and all on 2.2s at 40psi (my eyes were bigger than my belly. so to speak. NOTHING is bigger than my belly ITRW). Set out from home and explored the City Forest (which sucked and totally needs a boy scout troop in there to re-cut the ONE trail) as well as an old quaker cemetery that the wicans have apparently been using for their own devices. I rode all the way around the resivouir and saw a nice collection of old cars, a llama farm, a regular farm and lots of people out on bikes!
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"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
Rides:
1999-ish Diamondback Sorrento (I'm not Dead Yet! I feal happy. I think I'll go for a walk!)
1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2007 Gary Fisher Advance (giving the Sorrento a break)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)


My little bike blog.

Last edited by mr,grumpy; 07-22-13 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 07-21-13, 08:11 PM   #2848
sherbornpeddler
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Since Thursday I rode 37, 20, 37 and today 7 miles. Today was with my son for a crepe brunch in Holliston. I repaired the recumbent and enjoyed the comfortable ride. The other days included a fair amount of hills that got bigger and longer in the heat. Saturday I felt like everyone knew something I didn't know because saw about 1 car per mile and maybe 4 bikes.

I did get a mild heat rash Saturday and with my back casting the deciding vote choose to repair the garage door opener. The chain was very familiar and a worn gear causing skipping were both familiar enough that I felt my bicycle repairman skills could handle it. A quick 3 hours later it didn't work. Another hour and it was at least as reliable as the TdF bikes. Is it just me or did there seem to be more dropped chains than usual this year?
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Old 07-21-13, 08:30 PM   #2849
gabedad
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Used the j ride map for CRW and went through chelmsford/westford nashua hollis etc http://connect.garmin.com/activity/346044928
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Old 07-22-13, 08:17 AM   #2850
rholland1951
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Ten miles on the Minuteman before breakfast, enjoying the mild air.

rod
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