Last edited by rholland1951; 02-25-14 at 06:11 AM.
Short, chilly ride on the Minuteman tonight, 8 miles, temperatures in the low 20s with a headwind on the outbound leg. The Minuteman was clear from Arlington Center to the Lexington line, but as I approached Arlington's Great Meadow I encountered ice that was too seriously 3-dimensional to look like fun for a ride in the dark; it looked like something else, not like fun...
Turned around then, but enjoyed the ride anyway; the Minuteman was practically deserted: a few cyclists, a few walkers, a few runners. Very quiet.
Spring, when it comes, will be welcome. A new pair of tires for the LHT arrived today, light, supple 38mm 700c tires from Compass Bicycles; I choose to take that as a harbinger of warmer days.
Last edited by rholland1951; 02-28-14 at 08:20 AM.
Got out on the GT in its icebike persona towards the end of the day, riding the Minuteman as far as Lexington Center; assessing conditions on the trail was most of the point of that route today. Arlington was clear, but the icy sections in Lexington that have cut into the usefulness of the Minuteman since the last snow storm (and, in some cases, before) seem to be stubbornly persistent. These will freeze up hard again overnight, along with some melt-water puddles that will make shiny new black ice in the morning. Here are a few samples, by no means the whole collection:
I rode most of them with the studded Nokians, but dismounted and walked once or twice, as much from Winter Cylcing Fatigue as anything else. Frankly, this season is starting to remind me of the faun's complaint about the weather in Narnia: "Always Winter and never Christmas." To be fair, I do dimly remember having Christmas sometime ago, but it has been Winter for quite awhile now, and I'm getting tired of it. Still, it does have moments of its own beauty, even if the novelty has worn off...
... but I'm definitely ready for Spring.
Picked up Mass. Ave. at Lexington Center, and rode that back East to Fottler Ave., admiring the great berms of frozen and blackened slush the plows have left us on the roadside, then picked up the ice-free segment of the Minuteman and took that home. There was a sunset, barely detectable, and somewhere along the route night fell.
I'm considering a LHT. I'll be riding in the US so availability of tubes and tire should be no problem. I'm just wondering about the ride. I'll be on paved roads primarily (as much as possible), but could also find myself on hard gravel and dirt. Nothing too "off-road". Since I'd be the engine for both, how does the ride compare, does one take more effort, is one more stable under load, does one climb better, is there a perceptible speed difference, etc...? Any other considerations?
If it matters, I'm a big guy (+/- 200 lbs). I have been riding road bikes with 700c 23's for years and haven't had a problem.
You're the guys and gals who would know.
PS rock these stickers and spread the good word
Got out for my first long solo ride of the spring (I did a group ride a couple few weekends ago which was mostly a blur of trying to hang on, albeit with some nice roads). The other half needed to be down near Sutton this morning for something non-bike related, so I had him drag me along and rode home. Started out cold, but quickly warmed up -- my new GPS claims it was in the mid-thirties when I started out, and broke 60 by the time I was home; somewhere in between I took off my jacket for the first short-sleeved ride of the year. It wasn't quite yet what I'd call nice out, but it was much nicer than most of the weather we've had.
Only one road, out somewhere near the start, was icy enough to need to walk; the rest was smooth (well, potholed, but free of ice) sailing. Came up back roads through lots of little towns I'd never done more than zoom past on the Pike in a car, till things started to look familiar in Framingham.
The ice was still thick enough on one reservoir I went past that someone was walking on the ice; elsewhere, many runners and walkers were out, but cyclists were still absent until about mile 45, somewhere Sudburyish or so, and then started springing up around every corner as I neared Lexington.
Bombed down Mass Ave homewards, only marred by somehow managing to drop my chain while turning left in Arlington Center and bruising myself and coasting wobbily through the intersection until I could pull it off the road and fix it. No harm done; the hazards of having a wide range of gears to select from and ending up in a poor choice.
Good to see you got out, AS. It was nice today!
We got out on the tandem, 33.8 miles, our second ride of the year (the first being Groundhog Day). Managed to get from Bedford to Heart Pond. Lots of water on the shoulders of the roads. We had to ride though some when cars came up behind us. The bike is not happy with me, all that fine vintage French steel getting so sandy. However the bike performed well nevertheless.
The Bruce Freeman is still a long way from being rideable!
Real cyclists use toe clips.
Went out on the northern strand trail, nice day but the southern part of the trail in Everett had a lot of pooling water, kicked up a lot of water and dirt. But did 20 miles overall, longest ride ever (almost 90 mins) as I get ready for a 75 mile ride this fall
Slogged out to the end of the Minuteman in thaw conditions on the icebike; I was curious about the state of the trail surface. While most sections in Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford were clear, some bad patches of ice in Lexington and (to a lesser degree) Bedford have proven surprisingly durable, considering how long it's been since the last snow fell. The trail was absolutely flooded with all classes of users; had my first elliptigo siting of the year, and called the Audobon Society. All this traffic did not interact well with the remaining ice, and I saw several roadies nearly wipe out on wet ice, especially near Woburn Street. Riders were passing warnings up the line. One enterprising individual was attacking the ice patch beyond Bedford Street with an ice chopper and a shovel, and making good headway.
Last edited by rholland1951; 03-08-14 at 10:19 PM.
FYA, rholland1951 recently posted this nice tribute to our urbane Minuteman Bike path to this thread “What is your favorite Bicycling Traii? , where is it? and why? on the General Cycling Discussion Forum.
Many of the trails mentioned and photographed have spectacular scenery, though often with crushed stone surfaces. Nonetheless IMO, they are “destinations,” while the Minuteman is a “way of life.”
Today was my first time bike commuting Quincy to Cambridge on a weekday. Having the sun rising over the Neponset river as backdrop was encouraging. I am planning to do this 2-3 times per week weather permitting. Does anyone else here commute from or through Quincy to Boston?
Had a pleasant ride on the Minuteman in the early evening, enjoying the thaw. Turned around at Lake Fottler, ~50 yards of full-width meltwater flooding to a depth of several inches, dammed by the plowed snowbanks. Seven miles.
I got out on the Motobecane after work today. The weather was too nice not to. Quick run across Watertown and back. Sunset made me turn around early. Drivers behind me had the sun in their faces so I worried.
The Motobecane turns out to be a 40y.o. speed demon. Not surprising, considering that Luis Ocana won the TDF on one much like it in '73. I had to be careful though. Didn't want to hit a pothole too hard with those Vittoria sew-up tires. 140psi make them hard enough, but they do track nicely. No pic today. It was too dark for decent pics when I got home.
Real cyclists use toe clips.
Got out for an out and back to Concord today. Great day to be out. Bike sure needed a bath at the end of the ride. Lots of meltwater and muck.
Actually was a warm and dry ride into Boston and Charlestown and back yesterday.
But the Mass Ave / Cambridge Street merge outbound from Harvard Square - love the new pavement. But one out of a million drivers. He drove over the center curb to force me out of the way....
Last edited by mr_bill; 03-12-14 at 07:40 AM.
Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.
Just an old gopro hero2 on a K-EDGE GO BIG handlebar mount. It's always running, so mostly I get to grab nice shots from time to time. But most of the time the video is direct to bitbucket.
Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts.