The venerable old 1987 GT Karakoram has been fiddled with in various ways, including a new bottom bracket and seat. It's back in its icebike persona now, wearing fenders and 47mm Nokian W240 tires with carbide studs and aggressive treads. I took it on its first ride of the season this afternoon, 20 miles on the Minuteman out to Depot Park, Bedford.
Naturally, there was almost no ice; the thaw had accelerated, temperatures were well into the 50s, and the Minuteman, that had been a troublesome bobsled run only a few days ago, featured wet pavement, dry pavement, and puddles. The carbide studs made their customary crackling sound on the bare pavement, which at least alerted the numerous pedestrians and intrigued their dogs. Here and there, a little ice remained, generally soft, punky remnants which were easy enough to avoid; I made a point of riding through some of them, to hasten their dissolution and to give the Finnish tires their due.
The only ice that still had any moxie left was on the little bridge across the Shawsheen River, in Bedford. I saw this take down a cyclist who was yacking on a phone which she was pressing to her right ear with her hunched shoulder. Oops.. She bounced right back up, though, no apparent injury.
Meanwhile, the Mighty Shawsheen rolled on, unperturbed.
At Depot Park, there is a Right Way and an Wrong Way to exit the Minuteman.
The Wrong Way involves riding all the way to the end and traversing the snow pile left by the Bedford DPW plows.
The Right Way is to take the plowed ramp into the Depot Park parking lot. Look Ma, no snow!
Speaking of snow removal, while the Bedford and Arlington sections are cleared by those towns' respective DPWs as a public good, the Lexington section is cleared privately by the Friends of Lexington Bikeways. If you ride the Minuteman and are rounding out your charitable tax deductions for the year, they'd like you to think of them, and have helpfully posted a few signs to that effect.
A warm and merry Solstice to us all.