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  1. #2976
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    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.

    rod
    Beautiful ride. I grew up in Marblehead and know exactly what you mean about the "culture shock."
    . i
    It is also great riding up there. Heading north from Marblehead is still my favorite riding territory.I marvel at your courage for riding on the Lynnway. Even riding on Lynn Shore Drive to Nahant is nerve wracking for me...

  2. #2977
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godshammgod View Post
    Beautiful ride. I grew up in Marblehead and know exactly what you mean about the "culture shock."
    . i
    It is also great riding up there. Heading north from Marblehead is still my favorite riding territory.I marvel at your courage for riding on the Lynnway. Even riding on Lynn Shore Drive to Nahant is nerve wracking for me...
    Hope to go farther next time, now that I know the way. No more Lynnway for me, however; once was plenty.

    rod

  3. #2978
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    My venerable 1987 GT Karakoram, hobbled by a cracked crankarm this summer, came back from the shop on Sunday after an overhaul and some component enhancements: sure-footed 55mm Schwalbe Big Ben tires, Cane Creek Ergo Control II bar ends, and VP-001 pedals.

    Took it out on the Minuteman for a 10-mile mental health ride tonight. All the new stuff worked, and the overhauled old stuff worked. The usual nocturnal pleasures of the Minuteman were in effect. The ride on the big balloon tires is soft and speedy, floating over rough pavement; I look forward to trying them out on some mixed-surface rides. The bar ends allow enough additional hand positions to cure the hand numbness that used to mar rides on this bike, and the pedals are wide enough for my big old feet, and retain them nicely with their built-in pins.

    Here's a photo of the bike, taken with a flash which exaggerates the reflective stripes on the Schwalbes.


    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 09-10-13 at 07:00 AM.

  4. #2979
    Senior Member HillRiderEast's Avatar
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    http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/cou...county-map.gif

    Central Mass = Worcester County.
    Western Mass = Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties

    Some great biking out "west"

  5. #2980
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRiderEast View Post
    http://www.digital-topo-maps.com/cou...county-map.gif

    Central Mass = Worcester County.
    Western Mass = Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties

    Some great biking out "west"
    Amen. That's where they keep the hills... Got some favorite rides?

    rod

  6. #2981
    Life Is Good ZIPP2001's Avatar
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    All kinds of climbing out this way. If you want a fun route do the 3 different climbs up to Worcester Airport, then top it off with a short thigh burner up George street.

  7. #2982
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Rode the new bike (Surly Trucker DeLuxe, a.k.a. the STD, the Pig Trucker, and various other monikers) over to Ball Square, Somerville, to confer with Tyler at Paramount, then rode out to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman, 14 miles, mostly in the dark. Almost everybody on the Minuteman-cyclists, skaters, runners, babies in their carriages, walkers, dogs--was lit up tonight, a rare state of affairs. On the in-bound leg, a little frog crossed the path in three leaps; a minute later, a fat skunk scurried peaceably across.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 09-10-13 at 08:37 PM.

  8. #2983
    Senior Member caffein8ed's Avatar
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    Rode the Nashua River Rail Trail with my two kids last weekend. We started in Nashua, NH, and made the ~26 mile round trip to Ayer, MA and back in a little over 2 hours. It was a really nice, casually-paced ride on a trail that we've never taken before that was mostly flat, and primarily passed through forests and wetlands.

    We discovered, however, that much of what appears to be a river and ponds alongside the trail on Google Maps is actually swampland. The majority of our ride time was during off-peak mosquito hours, though, so that wasn't really an issue. But, at times the swamp stench was pretty bad, and virtually inescapable.

    All in all, though, it was a good, fun ride that we're looking forward to taking again soon.

  9. #2984
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    The pleasures of work left me more in need of a ride than usual this evening, and I did the 10-mile run to Lexington Center on the Minuteman just before the promised storms blew in, mostly in the dark. Took the new bike, and aside from a little roadside mechanical tweaking, had a brisk ride with an unusual level of torque on my part, presumably for therapeutic effect. The brief return to Summer weather had the Night Chorus positively shrieking, after their buggy, froggy fashion. It was the ride I needed.

    rod

  10. #2985
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Caff, the NRRT is indeed a nice ride. Those swamp areas are oxbow lakes off the Nashua River. We've never noticed a swamp smell before but maybe we've never been there on the right days. The roads through Dunstable are interesting and quiet, but occasionally hilly!

    Our riding was MetroBoston, Downeast division, two days ago. Two loops of Acadia Natl Park's Park Loop Road.

    Real cyclists use toe clips.
    jimmuller

  11. #2986
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Rode over to Ball Square this evening to shoot the breeze with Tyler at Paramount, and to let him tweak the drive train on the new bike. The City of Somerville has dropped a Hubway kiosk at his front door, an odd thing to do to an LBS. Rode home in the dark, all lit up, enjoying the bike.


    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 09-14-13 at 06:25 PM.

  12. #2987
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Took the new bike out to Carlisle, Concord, and Lincoln on the North Bridge loop, 32 miles, to test out yesterday evening's drive train adjustments. River Road and Monument Street were as hilly and beautiful as ever. The Concord farms and gardens are bringing in the harvest, tractors are out on the road, and the Hutchins Farm stand is mobbed; one of the SUVs parked there was guarded by a fierce, or, at least, excitable dog named Tillie. The Wayside is closed for the season, clad in scaffolding. Pumpkins in the field and woolly bear caterpillars crossing the road are sufficient to license anyone so inclined to curse the end of Summer. The weather was cool and cloudy, a little breezy, but noticeably warmer whenever the sun put in an appearance. The meadow at the end of the Hanscom runway still looks like a place where you could become airborne just by getting a running start and flapping your arms, at least in childhood or in a dream. The Cambridge Reservoir is low.
















    rod

  13. #2988
    Senior Member gabedad's Avatar
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    a quick ride to concord ma this morning for muffins. 70 mile ride yesterday to londonderry NH area. Picked up some apples at macks apples

  14. #2989
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    I've come to the revelation that my next bike might just be steel.

    I've been riding a friend's steel bike for the past week or so (my CAAD-9 is in the shop with a broken shift lever) and I love it. Such a smooth ride, and I don't think it's that much heavier. He built it up from a Soma ES frame with some spare parts. The bike is a 56, so it's a bit small for me, but I've made it work. It's been a great bike to ride as the temperatures dip and I'm more inclined to simply cruise and enjoy the scenery. I did so this morning and it was wonderful. A bit of crispness in the air as the sun rose. Refreshing ride.

  15. #2990
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godshammgod View Post
    I've come to the revelation that my next bike might just be steel.
    If so, you will have plenty of company here. :-) Good to hear that the Soma ES is as nice as it sounds.

    I wimped out on a ride this morning. I know 40's will feel positively balmy come February, but ...

    rod

  16. #2991
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    If so, you will have plenty of company here. :-) Good to hear that the Soma ES is as nice as it sounds.

    I wimped out on a ride this morning. I know 40's will feel positively balmy come February, but ...

    rod
    Indeed it is. I think the feeling of smoothness is also accentuated by the fact that my aluminum CAAD-9 is a pretty "rough" ride. I also love the stiffness of the frame. That seems to offset any weight penalty.

    And, I wimped out this morning too. It's nice, but I needed a day off anyways, and a morning like this seemed like a good excuse!

  17. #2992
    Senior Member caffein8ed's Avatar
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    On Sunday, I took a long (for us) ride with my two kids. We covered just shy of 28 miles of neighborhood-like side streets, and only needed to cross one major road, (a two-lane, 40mph secondary highway).

    Unfortunately, staying away from major roadways, even those with a generous bike lane, is a significant concern because my ten-year-old daughter tends to get nervous and unsteady when cars are whizzing by. Which, while perfectly understandable, definitely limits the scope of our excursions.

    The bottom line, though, is that we had a great ride together. The weather was fantastic, and the ice-cream break midway through was both an excellent incentive and reward for the kids.

  18. #2993
    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    Great to be back. Rode Hubway from S. Boston to and from the Sox game Tuesday night and noodled 25 miles through Franklin and Norfolk. My first two rides in weeks.

    Looking forward to this weekend. The Mayors Cup pro races around City Hall is Saturday and Hub on Wheels ride all around Boston is Sunday morning.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  19. #2994
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Between the weekend's pushy rhinovirus and three days of low-energy recuperation from Tuesday's oral surgery, this afternoon's 20-mile Minuteman ride to Depot Park, Bedford, came as a welcome metabolic kick-in-the-pants. Took the new bike, whose recently-adjusted rear derailleur is still on probation; it behaved itself. The warm air and clear sky seem to have given everybody the same good idea at once: the Minuteman was packed, and many of the sunset regulars--the Mysterious Tourist, the One-armed Roadie, the Reading Woman, the Blind Woman--were out and doing.


    Something new, and real: a few yards beyond Wiggins Avenue, in Bedford, an informal and highly personal shrine has been created on the trunk of a tree.



    The shrine consists of a bicycle water bottle, an inner tube, and a note. The note is a cry from the heart, and alludes to some not-quite-specified family catastrophe, in the context of an enduring childhood friendship. Don't know what or who, the note doesn't say, but whatever and whoever it was, somebody is shaken, and in pain. The note won't survive the next rain, of course, but in the meantime it is an eloquent memorial, however ephemeral, that hovers on the boundary between the personal and the public.

    As I rode home, the sun set modestly, the sky too clear for a gaudy display, and the evening's cool air and raucous singing commenced.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 09-20-13 at 09:33 AM.

  20. #2995
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post

    Something new, and real: a few yards beyond Wiggins Avenue, in Bedford, an informal and highly personal shrine has been created on the trunk of a tree.

    Of course, it might not be a shrine; it might be the Lost & Found Tree...

    rod

    P.S.: It has since occurred to me that this very well could be a shrine, in reference to the death that occurred near this spot in June. I don't know...

    P.P.S.: It is now clear that this is indeed a shrine to Perry ("Peb") Stone, who died near this spot on June 23rd. Here is a legible image of the note:


    Apologies if my own confusion confused others.

    rod

    Last edited by rholland1951; 09-22-13 at 06:48 PM. Reason: P.S., P.P.S.

  21. #2996
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Rolled out to Bedford again at the end of the day, turning around at Depot Park just at sunset.


    On the way out, encountered two young women studying the note at the tree-shrine, visibly disturbed. I talked with them; they didn't know what to make of it.

    The ride back featured trail users visible and invisible, some of the visible ones downright blindingly so, with the bugs and frogs singing while the singing's good, making the most of the dwindling season. Some slinky bourzouki music drifted over from a festival in progress at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, in Lexington Center. At Arlington Center, continued down the Minuteman to Spy Pond, to enjoy the fireworks in the run up to Town Day tomorrow. Good civic fun. 22 miles.










    rod

  22. #2997
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    For this last full day of Summer, I headed East to Medford, exploring the parks and paths along the lower Mystic River and the Malden River, places that I had driven by for decades, but never ridden or walked, a short 13 miles packed with novelty; I often found myself stopping to look (and to take a few pictures, of course). The paths are either paved or stone dust, there's a good feeling to the place (actually 3 separate parks, each with its own character).

    Took Harvard Street and High Street from West Medford through Medford Square to Riverside Avenue, then took Freedom's Way (with a red-white-and-blue street sign) into a school campus that connected with the first of three parks, the Mystic Riverbend Park.


    This includes a memorial to Medford's 250-year-long ship-building heritage, with the clipper ships remembered with special affection.


    A floating dock, presumably used for the crew shells that sat in a cage up the slope, was open. I rolled the Surly out on it, and had a look, giving the bike amphibious status in the process.




    The path continued under Route 16, through an urban art museum...


    ... and provided a glimpse of the Boston skyline in the process...


    Around the bend lay MacDonald Park, part of the Mystic River Reservation. This features an observation tower, with fine views over the river and marginal forest at the river's edge, and on into Boston. I locked my bike to one of the several racks provided in the park, and climbed up for a look.




    I continued along the path through parkland and a charming aisle between phragmites and slender birches and aspens to busy Route 28, walking the bike across a controlled intersection, and picked up the Wellington Greenway, passing a marina before running alongside the Orange Line and Commuter Rail tracks.


    This has a fine view of the Mystic River Locks, the Mystic Power Plant (all 2,600 Megawatts of it), and the MWRA's wind turbine that's used to run a sewer pump. If your lights turn on and your toilet flushes, at least part of the reason can be found here.


    After that industrial vista, the ride up the Malden River that followed seemed positively bucolic, just me and a few cormorants. I got as far as Wellington Station before turning around; I can vouch for the hot dogs, they're good!

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 09-27-13 at 07:04 AM.

  23. #2998
    Senior Member Bishbike's Avatar
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    Nice easy spin on the Minuteman this evening.



    IMG_0723.jpg

    IMG_0736.jpgIMG_0738.jpg

  24. #2999
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    Just finished up the Berkshire to Boston Ride organized by MassBike. Great ride! Everything was extremely well organized on a beautiful route. Highly recommended.
    Just call me, Fred.

  25. #3000
    Senior Member antimonysarah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerPete View Post
    Just finished up the Berkshire to Boston Ride organized by MassBike. Great ride! Everything was extremely well organized on a beautiful route. Highly recommended.
    So did I! I'll come back and toss some pictures in this post when I've dumped them from my camera. Perfect weather, a great route, and a lot of nice people. And I'm sure next year will be even better; there were a few minor organizational hiccups that a year's experience will fix. (This was the first-annual run.)

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