I can see it... "Nasty, big, pointy TEETH!"
I can see it... "Nasty, big, pointy TEETH!"
It was fun to find such a pretty section of road (the part of Concord Rd through the swamp, specifically) that I've ridden and driven on every side of but never on -- for some reason I just never realized it went through.
Sunset ride on the Minuteman to Depot Park, Bedford, 20 miles. The low sun at the start of the ride was hot and glaring, brutal in its way, an unlooked-for return to Mid-Summer. The worst of it was experienced on the street in Arlington, the shady Minuteman providing some welcome relief soon enough. My energy level was low for much of the ride, but a need to quickly pass while being squeezed by an on-coming cyclist engendered a quick sprint, and it was easy enough to maintain that pace thereafter. There were an unusual number (meaning non-zero) of competent, athletic skaters out tonight, one of whom passed me at a good clip going up hill, another was making quite respectable speed while pecking at her smartphone. There was also the usual quota of Wobblies.
Night fell after I reached the turn-around point, the temperature cooled pleasantly, and the Night Chorus kicked in with a vengeance. This suited me fine, and it would have been a jolly ride, except for a series of mechanical gotchas on the new bike that I had to iteratively deal with, in the dark, natch. The worst of these suggested to me that I should give this bike a rest until my mechanic gets back from his vacation; the alternative would be to start naively fiddling with the rear derailleur, which I'm sure would be good for many happy hours of learning curve; might be fun, but is unlikely to be efficient. The ride proceeded pleasantly in between wrenching breaks, a fat yellow moon--blue, by some accounts--rising over Arlington.
The sunset itself had minimal glamour tonight, but here's a peep at it through the trees up Elm Brook, Bedford.
Took the LHT for 14 miles on the Minuteman before breakfast, out to Bedford Street, Lexington, on a beautiful Summer morning. The occasional loud POP! signaled an acorn run over.
On the outbound leg, encountered apparent septuagenarian twin sisters in full road kit, tooling along stretched out on their aerobars. On the return, met an apparent octogenarian man, also in full road kit, climbing the hill at a good pace. Wonder if they've ever found each other?
Rod, how do you know those folks were septuagenarian and octogenarian? Appearances can be deceiving, you know. To look at me you'd think I was only, maybe 25. Honest. Really. :D
I managed to run an errand over to Watertown today. Took this bad boy:
First ride after building those wheels, vintage Fiamme rims and high-flange Normandy hubs. I have to get some better tires for it.
Up to Lexington Center on Minuteman before breakfast on the LHT, 10 miles. The cold front had lately blown through, and the air was delightfully cool and dry. Got to witness a truly strong rider in Arlington Center, fun to watch. My brain is now tuned to old folks: a shirtless jogger in Lexington; in Arlington, two instances of middle-aged Chinese women walking and chatting with aged Chinese women, presumably their mothers, a commendable display of the virtue of filial piety. The Arlington DPW is trimming the trail margins today.
Rode out to Bedford Street, Lexington, before dinner, rode back with the sunset in my mirror, 14 miles.
MetroBoston, North Shore Division.
We rode the tandem today. Wanted to do the 62mi option of the NSCYC's Cape Ann From Ipswich ride. We didn't quite manage that. Problem was, we wanted to do to much other stuff too. First we got a late start from the house. Then we stopped at the Somerville Farmers' market and of course my sweetie/stoker had to buy more veggies. We also wanted to visit with an old friend who lives in Gloucester, since the route went right in front of her house. That stop was longer than we'd have liked because she had to dig up some milkweed stalks to give to my sweetie/stoker to plant in our yard. (Milkweed is the only food of Monarch butterflies.) Finally, the traffic in Gloucester was frenetic.
So we cut short the loop up to Rockport. Still, we managed 37.4 miles. Some of the coastal roads are narrow and hilly. Short but steep hills, fly down one side, grind up the next, and hope no car comes by. TopoNAm says the whole route had elevation gain of nearly 3800 ft. We did about 60% of the route. It was a lot of grinding.
Saw a lot of high-end real estate too.
A sample from today:
Only had an hour to ride today. Tried something new, extending a recent ride out the Mystic Valley Parkway to South Border Road in Winchester with a return on Governor's Avenue, High Street, and River Street in Medford. This made for a 9-mile loop, with an interesting mix of parkway, suburban, and urban riding conditions, one long, steep (11%) climb, lots of rolling hills, 663' of climbing, and some new insights into Medford, a city I've lived next to for decades, but never much explored. This ride feels like a keeper, with a lot of variety packed into an hour, a less homogeneous alternative to my standard 10-mile Minuteman thing. It may also be the beginning of more rides that go East, rather than West.
Some good variety in these parts.
Earlier in the week I did a 44 mile loop that included the Dover side of Pegan Hill and a view of Mt. Wachusett.Attachment 336774
Later in the week I scouted out NYC cycling and found their version of Hubway intriguing. Attachment 336775Attachment 336776 A tour group at Chelsea Pier admired the separate bike road. Some places pedestrians, bicyclists, cars/trucks and trains each had their own, separate spaces. Attachment 336777 The shared space on 9th Ave. was good to see but my comrades were still intimidated by the rest of city traffic.Attachment 336778
this Medford-Lowell ride (until it hits very-busy downtown Lowell, but that was the point on the ride in question, since it was with a friend and we were stopping for lunch somewhere specific) is something I've been playing with -- and I'm really pretty happy with it. I'm going to make a version that heads east instead of west and comes back Andover-Reading-Wakefield (or goes up that way and comes back on this route), since I know there's pretty roads through there, too, and Highland road wrapping north-south up the west side of the Fells is a great way to connect over.
Yesterday, though, I went west -- went out to Mount Wachusett for the first time. Had to do the climb alternating climbing and walking, but it was beautiful out, the road is nice with a huge shoulder, and passers-by shouted encouragement. (Well, the one woman who told me I was "almost there" about halfway up the first little climb out of the parking lot, I'm not sure about, but I think she sincerely meant to be encouraging.) The route home was less hilly than the way I'd gone out, which I was thankful for -- it went through Harvard without any serious hills, which is a feat. (I wasn't the one who put together the route.) Got back to Lexington just as the sun was setting, stopped to eat ice cream and hang out enjoying the perfect weather, and then cruised downhill home.
Sarah, congratulations on the Mt. Wachusett ride! It sounds great. And thanks for the very useful route info up to Lowell.
Good stuff, Rod, SBP, AS. (I should look up the symbol for antimony. I'm sure you, AS, picked that name for a reason.)
I did a solo ride today. Home out to rt110 in S. Chelmsford and back without even thinking about riding the Minuteman! 56.5 miles on the Masi. Moving avg speed according to my GPS, 14.5mph. Not too shabby for a not quite 40 y.o. bike under a not quite 65 y.o. engine.
Of course I forgot to grab a camera so this cell phone pic will have to do.
Left the house at sunset, rode out the Minuteman to Bedford Street, Lexington, and back, 14 miles. After leaving the roads, cut back to taillight only for the first half hour, part of the dark-adapted majority. Switched on the headlights at dusk, joining the lanternfish. Rolled out to the turn-around point, where the Lexington Town Yard kept bright, silent vigil, waiting to be of use.
Rolled back through the darkness, punctuated by the lights of Lexington Center. The temperature dropped noticeably riding through Arlington's Great Meadows, and the Night Chorus was in good voice. This ride, a hinge between two busy weeks cluttered with tasks and obligations, gave me a feeling of peace.
10 miles on the Minuteman at sunset; no color in the sky, just a progressively darker gray until lights out.
It's longer than it needs to be to get out there -- it's a RUSA 200K permanent, so it heads out and then meanders past the mountain for a while, but you could just turn right instead of left on Mountain Road when you get there and cut off all that wandering. Or take the route it comes back on both ways, which is much less hilly and more straightforward than the way it goes out.
Rode the 14-mile circuit out to Bedford Street, Lexington, on the Minuteman after work. In Arlington Center, a cop ticketed a cyclist who was riding the wrong way on Mass. Ave., lining up to run the pedestrian walk light. I refrained from cheering, but it made me feel pretty cheery. Come to think of it, the cop looked pretty amused at the explanation he was getting from the gentleman receiving the ticket.
Spent the first third of the ride stopping every few hundred yards and messing with the seat height/angle/horizontal position; this was driven by a dialogue between my knees and my crotch, each of which were making compelling arguments. Eventually, found a sweet spot in which nothing hurt and I had lots of power & acceleration, put the wrench in my pocket, and had a nice ride. Dunno if the seat is as dialed-in as it was before I started this nonsense, but it's now better than it's been in weeks.
Conversational fragment overheard on the Minuteman:
He: "I knew the answer: Chevy Impala."
She: "Yecch! Who wants to know that?"