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Old 08-27-13, 09:08 PM   #2951
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East, West, MetroWest; this business of boundaries can lead to disagreement so I biked to the Old State House to see the 1763 Treaty of Paris signed by Britain, France and Spain to end the 7 Year War. The real document is amazingly on display. If Britain got all the land east of the Mississippi maybe Metrowest can is east of the Connecticut River?

To understand an agreement more favorable to us locals might be reached we biked through Boston, through Southie on E St to Old Colony, a salute to James Connolly still jumping in Joe Moakley Park, and on across the Neponset River to Hancock St to the center of Quincy. Refresh and get tickets at the visitor center then off to the home of John Adams, the author of the Paris Peace Treaty that resolved the united States boundaries. Adams returned by ship and settled here. A fascinating museum and onsite into a 54 year marriage. John knew a thing or two about long lasting treaties. He was married and by all accounts madly in love with Abigail for 54 years. He authored the Massachusetts Constitution and signed the Declaration of Independence but no where were there bike racks at the Visitor Center or the "Old House".
We pressed the outdoor chairs at the Visitor Center and a railing behind the 1877 Carriage House into service. We too returned by ship, in this case the Quincy ferry past Long Island and off loaded past a long line of commuters.
It isn't the boundaries as much as bike stands
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Old 08-27-13, 09:31 PM   #2952
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East, West, MetroWest; this business of boundaries can lead to disagreement so I biked to the Old State House to see the 1763 Treaty of Paris signed by Britain, France and Spain to end the 7 Year War. The real document is amazingly on display. ... If Britain got all the land east of the Mississippi maybe Metrowest can is east of the Connecticut River?
SBP, nice history and geography lesson! But what is this about Metrowest? I thought everything outside of I495 was considered "western Mass".

FWIW, antimony is Sb. I have no idea what antimonysarah is supposed to mean except perhaps SbS. Nice initials anyway.
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Old 08-27-13, 10:15 PM   #2953
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There are a lot of really nice routes put together by various clubs/rides -- I saw arrowing for several, including Climb to the Clouds and some I couldn't identify from the arrows. But the route I took was this one:
http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2334347
Thanks Sarah, looks like a great ride. Hope to do it soon.
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Old 08-27-13, 10:26 PM   #2954
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Rode from Waverly Square out to Concord, then did the Strawberry Hill/Great Brook Farm loop.

Saw this beauty out at Great Brook
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Old 08-28-13, 05:56 AM   #2955
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SBP, your rides into Beanville remind us of what is under our noses. Pretty great!

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Old 08-28-13, 06:20 AM   #2956
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... But what is this about Metrowest? I thought everything outside of I495 was considered "western Mass".

...
Once you clear the Worcester County line, the phrase "Central Massachusetts" starts creeping into the signage. Sounds slightly exotic. Not sure how much farther you have to go before the self-description switches to "Western Massachusetts"; the part of my brain that likes crisp typologies (not a very large part) would hazard a guess that this starts at the Connecticut River, but the key word there is "guess". Rubel puts the Quabbin Reservoir and environs on the Western edge of the Central Massachusetts map and the Eastern edge of the Western Massachusetts map, just to be safe.

I always thought everything West of Worcester was the Midwest, but my sweetie is from Chicago and just laughs at that...

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Old 08-28-13, 06:59 AM   #2957
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FWIW, antimony is Sb. I have no idea what antimonysarah is supposed to mean except perhaps SbS. Nice initials anyway.
SB are my initials. But just "antimony" was taken when I registered my account, so I tacked the Sarah on the end.
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Old 08-28-13, 07:19 AM   #2958
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Once you clear the Worcester County line, the phrase "Central Massachusetts" starts creeping into the signage. ...
I always thought everything West of Worcester was the Midwest, but my sweetie is from Chicago and just laughs at that...
I always figured "Central Mass" was the strip between the northbound and southbound lanes of I-495. It doesn't take much time to cross Central Mass that way.

But we may make a go at it on the tandem later today.
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Old 08-28-13, 07:06 PM   #2959
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Rode out to Bedford Road, Lexington, at the end of the day, 14 miles. Cool weather, more like the season to come than the season just ending.


This ride had a Public Safety theme. Three young Arlington cops with clipboards were doing some sort of fact-finding at the Minuteman-Mill Street intersection, with its sensor-activated lights in both directions. I came to a full stop and put my left foot down before crossing an empty Mill Street, ritually enacting the ancient tradition, "Never unnecessarily irritate a policeman". On the return, a display of flashing red and blue lights at the Minuteman-Woburn Street intersection was the Lexington PD's way of saying "Uh oh!", a reasonable response to a two-car accident just at the cross-walk.




Rode home in the dark. A screech owl called from the Brown Homestead, and the Night Chorus sang its Deep Summer song.

rod

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Old 08-28-13, 09:38 PM   #2960
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Pointed the bike westward and rode out to Harvard with some musician buddies. Great day for a ride!
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Old 08-31-13, 05:34 PM   #2961
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Ms Antimony, today we followed part of your route to get to Honey Pot Orchards in Stow from Bedford. That was GREAT! Thanks you for the posting! I'd ridden some of those roads before but not the crucial parts heading further west of Sudbury.

We did 40.0 miles, Bedford to HPO, back to Concord, north into Carlisle, back to Bedford. It was so humid I thought we were doing the swimming and biking parts of a tri simultaneously. But it rained only lightly once or twice. At a park in Sudbury we bumped into an old acquaintance who was playing with his kids. That was a nice surprise.

What a great bunch of roads. We will do those roads again. Sharon commented how she didn't think there were more big-chainring roads left. He! There's some great biking on that route. We broke 25mph quite a few times, some on seemingly flat roads (though I'm sure they weren't). Later in the ride going down the hill northward from Hutchins Farm I commented to Sharon how there was a time she'd ask me to hit the brakes on a hill like that. She said not any more, and how fast were we going? I said 25.5mph. She said it didn't feel like it. I guess your perspective changes over time!

Crossing the Sudbury River on the return:



Thank you again, antimonysarah!
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Old 09-01-13, 07:01 AM   #2962
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Ms Antimony, today we followed part of your route to get to Honey Pot Orchards in Stow from Bedford. That was GREAT! Thanks you for the posting! I'd ridden some of those roads before but not the crucial parts heading further west of Sudbury.
Glad you liked it! I can't take credit for the design at all -- that goes to the New England Randonneurs and Pamela Blalock (the part out to Stow is the same in several of their routes; this particular route is Pamela's). She links a lot of pretty rides off her blog here: http://blayleys.blogspot.com/p/routes.html
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Old 09-02-13, 06:09 PM   #2963
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After a non-cycling Labor Day weekend, had a 14-mile sunset ride on the Minuteman: peaceful and quick.

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Old 09-03-13, 06:56 PM   #2964
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Worked an early schedule today, and took the new bike over to Paramount Bicycle Repair, Ball Square, Somerville, to have Tyler Oulton lay hands on the rear derailleur throat screws, which he did, successfully. We had a long chat, then I took a ride out to Bedford on the Minuteman, pleased that the weather radar showed the nasty stuff sliding out to sea to the South, and content with the few drizzles that fell from the ominous-looking clouds. Saw the Mysterious Tourist, fully loaded, in-bound. Enjoyed the ride, enjoyed the bike, and enjoyed the sunset, when it finally came around. 24 miles.








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Old 09-04-13, 08:28 PM   #2965
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Took the new bike out for a quick ride to Lexington Center at sunset, 10 miles. The cloudless sky and a moonless night made for a ride that got darker than usual, quicker than usual. The folks riding, skating, and walking without lights found themselves in an exciting situation, hazards to navigation. Rode along dodging the invisible ones, and playing the reciprocal dimming game with the bright ones. Listened to the Night Chorus from end to end, struck by how much local variation it has; wish I could identify all the various critters by their songs, but can hear enough to tell that the populations vary according to neighborhood. An otherwise pleasant ride was marred by a couple of episodes of drivetrain misbehavior: this bike is still in the troubleshooting stage. On the bright side, I hit a big pothole on Medford Street that I've been avoiding since February (wool-gathering), and the 44mm Compass tires shrugged it off, barely felt a bump... won't make a habit of that, though.

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Old 09-06-13, 07:38 PM   #2966
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Took the LHT out at sunset. Another evening with a cloudless sky and no moon, cool enough that I added a long-sleeve jersey and full gloves. The evening star hung salient over the bright pastel band on the Western horizon. The Night Chorus seemed a little subdued, compared to only a few evenings ago. This ride through the darkness did not feel like Summer. There was a rare sky full of constellations over Arlington when I wheeled the bike into the driveway after 14 miles, Arcturus twinkling at me over the garage.

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Old 09-06-13, 08:22 PM   #2967
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I did my commute on the Ironman today. Besides riding a color-styled bicycle i also enjoyed the first taste of autumn. Delightfully cool dry air.
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Old 09-07-13, 07:03 AM   #2968
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I did my commute on the Ironman today. Besides riding a color-styled bicycle i also enjoyed the first taste of autumn. Delightfully cool dry air.
Jim, looking forward to seeing a picture of the Ironman.

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Old 09-07-13, 07:17 AM   #2969
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Jim, looking forward to seeing a picture of the Ironman.
Ah, well, I've posted pics in other forums (other fora?) but I guess not everyone reads the C&V.



And lest anyone question the color scheme, here is an Acroclinium roseum



And a picture taken 3 days ago on my commute



1987 style still lives!
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Old 09-07-13, 07:45 AM   #2970
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Thanks! That's a thing of beauty, for sure!

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Old 09-07-13, 10:02 PM   #2971
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Headed East and North today, a 51-mile ride from Arlington to Marblehead, meandering through Medford, Malden, Saugus, Lynn, Swampscott, and Revere, coming or going. This included a lot of urban riding, some more suburban stretches, three contrasting rail trails, and one serious routing error (never, ever, ride the Lynnway on a bicycle: that's not what either of them are for). It also provided a compact tour through an array of socieconomic strata, from the "gateway cities" of Lynn, Revere, and Malden to the posh enclaves of Marblehead and Swampscott, with Arlington, Medford, and Saugus wedged in the middle somewhere: lots of poor folks and rich folks on the same ride through Massachusetts in 2013. Frankly, I got a bit of sensory overload on this one. Rather than try for a fine-grained, consecutive narrative, here are a few pictures.


The Northern Strand Community Path in Malden is paved, and quite useful.


Need a new engine for your Lionel train set? These folks'll set you up...


The Northern Strand Community Path in Saugus is worth a visit. It starts rough (actually, the undeveloped patch is in Revere; think NGRT in Billerica), and turns into a very pleasant gravel trail (crushed asphalt, really, but it rides like gravel), crossing the tidal Saugus River and its associated water meadows.




All good things come to an end: welcome to Lynn.




I took very few pictures in Lynn: I was too busy negotiating the traffic, getting a little lost (I missed several turns), and taking in the street life; as my sweetie said afterwards, "You don't spend much time around poor people any more." For example, after seeing an old gentleman riding a tricycle laden with large bags of returnable bottles, I was passed by a minivan so full of bags of returnable bottles that the driver's sight-lines were impaired in every direction but through the windshield. The sheer density of interesting details--a restaurant called "Dante's Inferno Kitchen", ubiquitous posters for candidates for city offices like "Alderman, Ward 2"--filled the eye and the brain. The good news is that it's not a bad city to ride in (the Lynnway excepted), and any street marked with green dots in the Google Maps Bicycle view is probably pretty good.

Culture shock at the Lynn-Swampscott line...




more coming...

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Old 09-07-13, 10:33 PM   #2972
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A few more pictures from today's ride, and some comments:
(this is the first, paved block of the Marblehead Rail Trail, being used as a driveway by the abutters)


(a more typical stretch of the Marblehead Rail Trail)


The historic district in Marblehead is a hilly, densely-packed jumble of fisherman's houses built in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries. It's genuinely beautiful.




Fort Sewell has layers of history, a great view of Marblehead harbor, lots of benches to sit on while you're enjoying that, and public toilets. Worth a visit.


Marblehead Neck has larger, more recent (19th & 20th Century) houses, and prior occupants.




Lynn Shore Drive is a good place to ride. The Lynnway emphatically ain't: heavy traffic, pretty fast, indifferently-trained drivers, some behavior that looked a bit like racing in cars with tuned (LOUD) exhaust pipes, no shoulder. The bridge across the channel to the marsh has a great view, but everything bad about the Lynnway goes double for it: the cars speed up, the pavement develops weird ridges, and there's a lifetime supply of broken glass silting up along the margins of the right-most lane. There does appear to be a pedestrian walkway on the East side of bridge, but it's closed on the West side, so using it when riding South is problematic at best. The interesting view is not worth the interesting ride. I'm glad I did it, once. Also glad I didn't get squished. I'm pleased that my tires appear to be ok.




Revere Beach Boulevard is the prize you get for being foolish enough to cross the bridge; it's nice.


A little more coming...

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Old 09-07-13, 10:53 PM   #2973
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I was largely navigating by Google Maps on this trip. Here's what a solid green line in the Google Maps Bicycle view means in Revere:


Back to Malden, and the Northern Strand Community Path. A bit farther on, two groups of kids were throwing rocks at each other, for fun. Everyone else ignored them.


I stayed on the Northern Strand a little too long; it turns South where I wanted to go West, but I got a look at the Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden's Old Burying Ground.


Got home by dark, before the rain. Got to admire the Medford City Hall, looking stolid, along the way.




rod

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Old 09-08-13, 06:21 AM   #2974
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Headed East and North today, a 51-mile ride from Arlington to Marblehead, meandering through Medford, Malden, Saugus, Lynn, Swampscott, and Revere, coming or going. This included a lot of urban riding, some more suburban stretches, three contrasting rail trails, and one serious routing error (never, ever, ride the Lynnway on a bicycle:













Culture shock at the Lynn-Swampscott line...



more coming...
Hey! I grew up about four blocks away from that sign! I miss the old town but culture shock is right. Equally as vast, but more subtly presented in the gap between Swampscott and Marblehead! While I never got to bike in Revere or south of there as a kid, I peddled my Redline BMX all over those other three towns and never once checked the mileage. And no, do NOT ride your bike on the Lynnway!
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Old 09-08-13, 10:13 AM   #2975
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Hey! I grew up about four blocks away from that sign! I miss the old town but culture shock is right. Equally as vast, but more subtly presented in the gap between Swampscott and Marblehead! While I never got to bike in Revere or south of there as a kid, I peddled my Redline BMX all over those other three towns and never once checked the mileage. And no, do NOT ride your bike on the Lynnway!
The point about Swampscott and Marblehead is well-taken: the difference IS vast, and its presentation IS subtle; in terms of the ride, it takes a few miles to sink in, whereas the Lynn-Swampscott line more or less slaps your face with it. Kids who range freely on bikes learn a lot more about the world than kids who don't; the Internet is a poor substitute.

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