No ride today, but we rode yesterday and the day before and the day before. A group of us, some BF members, with 2 tandems and 5 solo bikes (for half the trip) did 129 miles on a 3-day camping tour. Home to Littleton, east to Harold Parker State Forest, back home. A few pics:
I've been scouting. A1A in Hobe Sound, Florida is long and flat and has a nice bike lane.
Dowses Beach, Osterville, MA is a great place to bike a few miles from a house to breakfast to the beach.Attachment 334756
But am I wrong to be far more excited to visit Deer Island in Winthrop?
There is a great view of Boston Attachment 334757Attachment 334758, a smooth path all the way around the MWRA treatment plant that looks like a spaceship from Mars. I think I blended in with the locals perfectly. Attachment 334759Attachment 334760Attachment 334762
There has been a fair amount of change east of where the Governor's son signaled ships in 1647 with a bush on a flagpole.Attachment 334763
I barely avoided getting doored by some cretin near Castle Island today (and the twit had the audacity to berate me when it was fairly obvious he never looked before opening his door).
Other than having to deal with a moron that nearly killed me, it was a decent ride. :D
Got out and did 17 miles yesterday. Visited historic Elm Park in Groveland and took the twisty, twisty ridge road home. I hope that I can keep gaining in average speed and distance. Even the "casual" group rides around here are 5 MPH faster than I can go and twice the mileage!
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Went out this afternoon after work and rode an extended loop on the Minuteman, the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail, and Dudley Road on the new bike, 28 miles. Finally got the seat angle, position, and height right; at least it's right for today. The 44mm Compass tires ate up the hardpack, gravel, and stone dust on the Bedford stretch of the NGRT, and took the sand, roots, and stones of the scruffy Billerica segment in stride, along with the scabby, scaly, alligator-hide pavement of Dudley Road. At Saint Thecla's Retreat House, a group of happy young people, some with bull-horns, were standing on the lawn, wishing passersby an "awesome day"; one of the bull-horn wielders complimented me on my "epic rig"; since they definitely weren't nuns, and didn't much look like juvenile ghost hunters, I presume they were on a retreat, which ain't what they used to be... Encountered my old friend Walter down at the New Money, hobby-horse end of Dudley Road, where it joins Route 4; admired each other's bikes, his a sleek carbon machine, and talked about routes and his "ad hoc riding group", which sounds down-right elite, and therefore fun to watch as it whizzes by. Rode back on the Minuteman as the sun set, enjoying the late-Summer Night Chorus at its most raucous.
Bravo! This is excellent. Thank you for sharing another inspired bike ride.
Originally Posted by jimmuller
I'd like to add to your bullhorned retreater's awesome day wellwishes. You deserve tribute for your rides and your posts.
Yesterday I shadowed Bill and Rob on a twenty mile, awesome weather, talk while you ride, tour through Millis and Norfolk. Rob rode the Lygie he bought for his 1975 cross country trip. He got the bike he likes and kept it. I guess the rest of us are still searching. Rob joined our ride at the last moment and effortlessly rode in blue jeans and sneakers. I think he braked both up and down the hills. My theory is 1974 was a good year for Campy bearings although Rob is a trail runner, trains with ultra marathoners and is the former winner of the over 50 age group Boston Marathon. Attachment 335026Attachment 335027
Social obligations held me to a briefer-than-usual ride this evening, 7 miles on the Minuteman to the Lexington line and back. As I turned onto Broadway in Arlington, listened to one loud half of a cellphone conversation in Haitian Creole being conducted by a pedestrian who was looking serious about something. Passed a young woman walking a trio of Skye terriers, all barking contrapuntally at a nonplussed pit bull. The Reading Woman was escorting an older female relative, so, again, no book. Yesterday's just-right seat height was today's too-low; fixed that.
I've ridden my Bianchi for my commute today and last Wednesday. After 130 miles on the loaded tandem the Bianchi feels like a feather. Today I did the longish 14 mile return run in just about 1 hr.
Took the LHT out for a 10-mile spin on the Minuteman before breakfast. After a week of fiddling with the new bike in tuning rides, I looked forward to a ride on a bike that was completely dialed in. This made for a bit of surprise when my knees began to hurt. After briefly entertaining and discarding a couple of half-baked theories about the psychogenic origin of the pain, I realized that I had (somewhat belatedly) switched to my Summer shoes when I started riding the new bike, and that this was the first time this season that I had ridden the LHT while wearing them, so the seat really was nearly a centimeter too low, my knees were complaining honestly, and that the only thing in my head was sawdust (a hazard when riding in a pre-caffeinated state). Raised the seat and enjoyed the ride. Saint Agnes rang the changes as I rode by returning.
No other time to ride today except before breakfast. After some fiddling with the new bike, adjusting the friction shifters and remounting the lights, I gave the Minuteman a break and rode out the Mystic Valley Parkway and South Border Road, 12 miles through Arlington, Medford, and Winchester. This route took me alongside the Mystic River, the Mystic Lakes, and the Aberjona River, then up to the Fells with a long, steep (16% max grade) climb, 946' elevation gain; once there, South Border Road rolls and twists through the hills in a manner that is delightful or terrifying, depending on traffic conditions.
When I crossed the Mystic River into West Medford, a great blue heron rose from the River and flew off in the direction I was headed, a good omen for the ride. A little further along, I noticed that one boom was still in place from this year's oil spill.
Rode past the Lower and Upper Mystic Lakes, crossed the Aberjona River, and then rode under the tracks and up the valley towards Winchester Center.
Climbed out of the valley and into the hills, then bobbed and weaved through the Fells until my watch told me to turn around.
Then re-wound the tape: what had been a long, slow climb became a long, fast (25mph) descent, with a couple of inconveniently placed stop-lights. Back down along the lakeside, across the river, and into Arlington.
On some rides, I notice road-kill animals, which give me various messages about what's been happening on the roads I'm travelling. The vulnerability of the bicycle rider's position makes me feel a kinship with them, and occasions some reflection. On this ride, I noticed litter. Empty bottles of Perrier and Smirnoff nips discarded on the Mystic Valley Parkway, along the lakes where it's a popular lover's lane on Saturday nights; a flattened USB-to-micro-USB cable on South Border Road, and this syringe and hypodermic needle, lying in the middle of quiet, leafy Everett Street in Arlington, disturbingly near to my own street, my own house. Gave the cops a call about that, figured they'd want to know.
Sometimes you go out to see the world, sometimes the world comes to see you.
Rod, interesting ride report.
Sharon wanted to do a ride and some grocery shopping. So we rode from our front door in Waltham out to Hutchins Farm in Concord, bought some good stuff there, and made a stop at TJ's on the MM on the way home. But first stopped for lunch at the North Bridge:
The check-out person was amused about us putting all the stuff on a bike. And another customer asked what Sharon intended to do with all the veggies, said it was enough for an army. I secretly think the same thing, but who am I to argue with my sweetie/stoker? After the TJ's stop we probably had 50lbs of food, but after last week's tour it didn't seem like so much.
For post-ride recovery, cantalope, cheese stick, IPA!
The ride back had two unpleasant events. On the downhill from Lexington to Arlington we came up behind a mom and daughter having trouble staying vertical at under 10mph. A boy who may have been the girl's brother from their appearance was stopped off to the left, and the girl gave every indication of maybe crossing over to the other side. So I pulled up behind and slowed way down to see what they were going to do. I wasn't going to pass until we'd at least cleared him. Suddenly two roadies in full kit (green/white jerseys) came dashing through at 20mph or more, and giving no verbal warning ran the gauntlet between them and continued. I yelled at them "Hey! How about a warning next time!) One turned to look, and they continued. Jerks.
Then later, also as were we going pretty fast on that downhill, another guy, seemingly in his upper 20's, in full kit (green jersey) on a mtb popped out very suddenly from the side exactly perpendicular to the traffic flow then turned in our direction. He was only about 10yds ahead of us and I hit the brakes. I yelled at him too and he yelled back "You didn't get hurt, did you?" ***ing jerk. Had he seen us coming? I doubt it. Had there been a child 20 ft ahead of us moving fast and not so visible because his head was only 3ft off the ground there could have been a serious injury. The bothersome part is he had no remorse, no concern about having been discourteous, let alone endangered someone. (Of course if we'd hit him we outweighed him 2:1. He would have suffered more than we.) Sharon commented it was a video game mentality where people have no real consequences from their actions. Yeah, well, if there had been an accident I would have taken lots of pictures and volunteered to testify at his trial.
What the h**l are these people thinking?
Otherwise it was marvelous ride. 41.75 miles.
44 mile Burnt Swamp ride with Sherborn (turkeys and sun), Millis, Norfolk, Wrentham, Cumberland (flat repair with convenient bike stand), Franklin and Medway.
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The day ended with a couple of bikes, donated by my neighbor, being delivered to Boston for new young riders.
10 miles' ride on the Minuteman before breakfast on the LHT. Compulsive seat-fiddling continues, moved it forward and bobbled it up and down a bit over the course of the ride. A time-lapse photo of the seats on the two Truckers would look pretty funny.
Saw this yesterday on the porch of an antique store in Essex. A few dings, some rust, no tires, marked $1600, but with half-off, it becomes a rhetorical candidate for next project bike.
Another great find!
Originally Posted by rholland1951
Would you put S&S couplers on it?
How long would it take to adjust the seat (or is that a chair)? If we Metro West BF conspirators helped it surely would take longer but ideas for trips, adventures and general discussion would be fantastic.
With ~12 S&S couplers, I think it could pack to the size of an airplane (C-130, maybe?). Would probably need a custom case, though, $$$.
Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
In general, I've found that the position of a bicycle seat is specified by a limit function as time approaches infinity; as a practical matter, this means it varies freely during the life of the owner. In this case, the seat (the one over the pedals, anyhow) is missing, which either simplifies the function, or initializes it. We could add a seat, and start the seat-adjustment clock ticking, or modify the drive train so that the passengers can pedal; more work, but not such a bad idea, in any case... Depending on design specifics, might need to extend the handlebars by 2 or 3 feet, maybe use Nitto Pterodactyls.
10 miles before dinner on the Minuteman, took the new bike this time. Fiddled with the seat angle, got it right the second time, then went whizzing off on a quick (for me) run up to Lexington Center and back. The fine weather and the sense that Summer is ending had brought aimless, occasional cyclists out in droves tonight, made prudent use of the bell as I passed them.
Some nekulturny dog walker had left a bag of poo by the side of the trail in Lexington, looking like a scale model Klansman: both the outer shell and the inner beauty were about right for that. Comparable levels of social responsibility, come to think of it...
Down along Arlington's Great Meadow, nearly ran over a little garter snake that was crossing the road; I saw it in time to miss it by a few inches, and it recoiled; I wonder what it saw and heard?
Tonight's sunset colors were subtle, gentle.
Rode home and made some dinner.
More musings by the mile than anyone I know.
Rod's miniature klan and wondering what a snake saw and heard are symptoms of the healthy amount of oxygen that gets to the bicyclist's noggin.
I rode to the Eliot Church in South Natick to help move things for 4 minutes, spend 40 minutes talking and admiring historical photos and illustrations of circa 1828, 1858, 1909 and later changes in the church on the site where John Eliot worshiped with Native Americans in 1651. The center of Natick left the Charles River for the train tracks in the current center and the congregation followed; church reformed and has found a way to thrive. It was just painted a few weeks ago and looks great. Then we rode on through Dover and Medfield past "Hospital Hill" and the site of several scenes of "Shutter Island" then back to Sherborn.
Found a bunch of hills this evening. Went up them and down them.
So much good stuff. All I rode today was my commute. It was the best part of the day.
Out on the LHT before breakfast, 10 miles on the Minuteman to Lexington Center and back. Seat-fiddling continues, looks like a little more to come on this bike. Encountered a Giant Schnauzer, a rare-enough breed in these parts, big, black, and bushy. Also met a smiling woman who had configured her bike with rear racks, panniers, a big front basket with artificial flowers dangling from it like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, pairs of headlights and taillights, very bright, strobing like mad in the bike path morning light. Saw her twice, coming and going, the second time with groceries in the panniers, pedaling along, chatting on a hands-free phone. All in all, an amiable, if blinding, adaptation to transportation cycling.
I got out for an extended lunch time ride. Went across the old Metropolitan State Hospital grounds and up the steep Concord Rd hill past the radio towers, cut over to Mass Ave into Lexington Center, down the MM to rt225, back up 225 through Lexington, and so back home. I rode the Miami Vice Ironman.
Today's most curious event - I'm puffing up the steepest part of the Concord Rd hill where the grade is about 15% when a car coming down the hill stops in the middle of the road. The driver sticks his head out and asks "Is Trapelo Rd down this way?" Like I'm capable of thinking what road I'm on at the moment. Or maybe he thinks I'm going to stop and give him directions right there. I just said "yeah" and kept pedaling, kept breathing. I should have said "Over that way" but I didn't think of it.
Depending on when, we might have gone past each other. I swung my commute wide north and came back home via Trapelo and Concord, which was much more scenic (and hilly) than the usual route. Was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I was climbing on my folding bike; I usually only tackle hills like that on a road bike, and while I knew I had low gears on the folder, I'd never really climbed on it. Going to do that more often -- it was much prettier, much less annoyingly busy, except for the short dirt part where the irritating traffic was all insect in nature.
Originally Posted by Bishbike
Sarah, did not see anyone on a folder, but have always wondered how they would do on the hills. What type of gearing are you running? You are correct, that is a beautiful route!
Was going to do an easy recovery ride today, but a friend called and wanted to do a longish ride. Ended up doing a ride from Chelmsford to New Boston NH. 72.5 miles, 3813 feet of climbing. Guess I will recover tomorrow instead.
I was thinking along the lines of the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail...