Thought I'd share another photo from San Francisco, a bit of home away from home.
Thought I'd share another photo from San Francisco, a bit of home away from home.
Wellelsey's trail page. Framingham, Sherborn and Natick are in stages of the permit process for a few bits and pieces.
I got out for a ride after work today, 13.4 miles in just about one hour on the nose. It would have been faster but I spent a lot of time weaving my way around stopped rush hour cars who insisted on hugging the far right side of the road.
I had the Peugeot in the car, so on the way home I stopped by Bedford's Depot Park, rode out to Concord, up Monument Rd into the edge of Carlisle, back to Bedford on 255. It was a glorious ride. And we have a fine, fine, fine crop of pot holes this year! Fortunately I didn't bust a rim like when I rode the Peugeot a few weeks ago. The wheel I strung up a few days ago held up nicely.
Wonderful 26 mile out and back to Concord today. Managed to avoid the potholes, but somehow ended up in this snowbank...:rolleyes:
I did my first commute by bike to my new job. 14.1 miles to work, 14.9 miles home by a slightly different route. From Waltham across Lexington into Woburn, through Four Corners and Woburn Center, up Mishawum St to MISHAWUM ST WITH ALL THE CARS GETTING ON AND OFF 128, then up Commonwealth Ave short way.
I had driven the entire route so I knew what to expect, and it turned out to be exactly as I expected. Traffic not too fierce and the roads in reasonable shape. In Woburn Center two street cleaners were kicking up dust clouds capable of shielding an advancing infantry column, so I had to wait them out. Otherwise it was quite pleasant. DeLorme Topo USA says the route was nearly 800 ft of climbing each way. Yeah, Woburn has a few big hills, and Lexington is a high point too.
I rode though Metropolitan Parkway to avoid Waverley Sq. Waverley Oaks Rd is still blocked off due to flooding, and all the frustrated drivers have to go through Waverley Sq., waiting out long backups.
On the way home I snapped a few pics while riding.
Of course, M.P. itself is still blocked off but bikes can get through.
My most direct routes from Kenmore Square to Norwood are also about 14 miles one way (home on Commuter Rail). When in training for a century I progressively extend the distance from about 16 to 30 miles on weekdays, and from about 40 to 70 on the weekends I go into work at my convenience. In fact,
BTW, there was a previous thread in the Commuting Forum, ”How to handle highway exit”
JimFB, thanks for the nice comments! A couple of quick responses to:
Thanks for the highway-exit link. I think there's good advice there. For some left turns and especially at stoplights I often take a traffic lane if I can do so without inconveniencing anyone and if I can be seen easily. I try to be courteous and not give anyone a reason to get irritated. But a friend, an ex-bike racer and fellow musician, once described to me the necessity of not letting drivers not see me. If I fade into the shoulder they may not notice me but if they have to respond to my presence then they can't accidentally not see me. I figure no one wants to hit me, so I have to make it possible for them to not hit me.
I actually don't have much trouble with exit ramps. I avoid the one for 128 by turning an early left from Mishawum into the parking lot of the shopping center. The long lines-of-sight and the traffic light timings make that pretty easy to do through big gaps in the traffic. The reverse left turn on the way home is a bit harder and can involve a wait. I can wait. So far, which is exactly twice, it has worked out great! A bit cold, but great.
An interesting side story is that Woburn is the site of a great frame builder named Nao Tomii.
This past winter I took the fork of a vintage Motobecane (I believe a '74 Champion Team) to his shop so he could align it. We spent a while talking bikes and he asked me to bring the whole bike by some day. It so happens that my commute goes half a block from his shop. So maybe one day I'll ride the Motobecane, sew-up tires and all, and stop by on the way home.
”The Cyclist’s Guide to the Metroverse” describing my travels to all four corners of Metro.
I once called in to the Howie Carr radio talk show during an on-air anti-bicycle rant to explain my riding style:
But back to bicycle commuting, there is one more thing I try to do to keep drivers in my favor. I smile at them, I make eye contact, I wave and mouth "thanks" when they wait for me. I guess that's four things. I supposed it may have startled a few people, and maybe made it easier for the next cyclist they encounter. That's something you can't not like. :D
I used to do that on my Attleboro-Lincoln, RI commute and it made people smile. After my first year of that I wrote a letter to the Attleboro newspaper thanking the drivers of Attleboro for being so courteous. I hope the newspaper published it. So far drivers through Lexington and Woburn have seemed quite courteous too.
#3 . i.e. it's not "no one wants...to not hit me." (saved by the intervening clause). Anyways, “Hey big fella. How about bending a couple in the Doo Dah Room? If you catch my meaning…if you get my drift.”
Sharon and I waited out the morning rain and dampness and finally got out for 30.5 miles on the tandem. It was supposed to turn sunny. Yeah, right. The temp started about 51degs. At one point the temp fell and the sky clouded over and threatened rain, but that's all the bluster it could muster.
First stop, Great Brook Farm State Forest. Still a bit of snow here and there.
Some local history in Chelmsford
Rod, was that you who called out as you passed us on rt 225? Sorry we didn't stop. I was on the big ring and we were crankin' at the time. I didn't hear you and then Sharon said he'd called my name. Sorry for not stopping.
Took off just before 3 this afternoon for a 41-mile ramble through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, and Lincoln. It was a blue-gray day, lots of clouds and a wind that made it seem colder than the nominal low-50s temperature. Later, of course, it actually was colder, falling into the 40s by sunset. The trees are still bare, but some have noticeable buds now, and the big willow on the Minuteman is a hopeful shade of yellow, suggesting progress towards warm, verdant days ahead.
I rolled out the Minuteman past Depot Park, noted that Mud Season has now come to the Reformatory Branch Trail, and continued on Rt. 225, admiring last year's growth of phragmites in Bedford's Carlson Conservation Area (also known as that big swamp on the way to the river).
Immediately thereafter, out of the swamp and back in the trees, I saw a couple on a tandem, heading East as I was heading West; made me think of Jim and Sharon. A second or two later, I realized it WAS Jim and Sharon, booking right along.
Crossing the Concord River into Carlisle, I noted that the water is still quite high, and the floodplain is doing what it's best at: being flooded. This theme was continued throughout the ride, with every low spot either holding its water, or else dribbling some of it to an even lower spot, often across an intervening road. The vernal pools are in great shape, and I heard rousing and raucous frog-song from many of them: froggy's gone a-courtin', for sure.
In Carlisle, the sun came out. Hurray! This was good for a couple of degrees of perceived warmth, and happened at intervals thereafter. It was not to be counted on, however.
Turned off on Maple Street, noticing that the new tires (Compass Bicycles Barlow Pass Extralight 700C x 38mm) cornered well on the initial zigs and zags of that little street, and shrugged off the stretches of rough pavement with their relatively generous air volume and low pressure (53 PSI front, 60 PSI rear; still tweaking to find the best value for that). It had been awhile since I'd last had a look at the Maple Street swamp (actually, Greenough Pond, part of the Greenough Land conservation area, if I'm understanding what Mr. Google is telling me), so I paused for a few minutes and enjoyed this little gem.
Followed East Street to Rutland Street to North Road, pausing at Great Brook Farm State Park for a pit stop, then picked up Curve Street and rode to the Cranberry Bog, my nominal destination and the inflection point of this ride.
Continued on Curve Street to Rt. 225, and after a brief hill-climb picked up Cross Street, with its cluster of semi-ruined stone buildings left over from a prior farmstead.
That brought me to Concord Street, Carlisle, which in due course became Lowell Road, Concord, and provided more views of the Concord River floodplain doing its job.
Passed through Concord Center, noting as I did the burying ground creeping down the hill to the back yards, that pivot between death and life that I take as a token of the wisdom with which these old New England towns were laid out. Keeps things (including the traffic) in perspective.
From there, home by what has become the default return route from Concord: Lexington Road, Old Bedford Road, Virginia Road, another Old Bedford Road, Hanscom Drive, North Great Road, Mill Street, Lexington Street/Lincoln Street (noting that the Cambridge Reservoir is as full as I've ever seen it), Middle Street, Marrett Road, Mass. Ave., Maple Street, and the Minuteman. By the time I reached the Minuteman, the sun was setting, the temperature had fallen, and the wind had risen to such a degree that I was grateful it was now a tailwind. Home before dark, poured myself a glass of red wine, and made a hot meal.
Wonderful day. Had a shepherder at the Mass Ave Cambridge Street merge. (Two of us seemed to calm the drivers a bit - maybe because they saw we were not holding anyone up?)
No pics for me today. Just experiences to convey. I rode another commute, the 3rd to my new job, round trip about 29 miles, 800ft of climbing each way. I took the Motobecane today, my first on it and my first on sew-ups. The ride was great and the bike was terrific, very comfortable at speed. Maybe it was the tires or the rims or the frame, or something, but it felt very fast. Maybe it's just the slightly lower gears. :o
I had another first experience today too, changing a sew-up on the side of the road. Less than 30 miles on it and the rear goes bang, well sort of bang. Bummer. :( You know that hill past the radio towers on Concord Rd. in Lexington? I was cranking in high gear after flying down that hill at nearly 30mph. The cut it picked up would likely have punctured a Gatorskin too. Now I have to decide whether to bother fixing it. But I won't be riding the Motobecane again until I have a spare. Double bummer. Something tells me St. Tullio is behind this.
However I did have an unexpected pleasure. I stopped into Belmont Wheelworks for some black cloth handlebar tape. (They didn't have any! That's like asking for a hamburger at Mickey D's and finding they've run out. Oh, well.) As I was getting ready to leave there was a guy checking out my bike. It turns he was BF member and MetroBoston poster bishbike. We spoke for a few minutes. I'd have spoken longer but I figured Sharon was already wondering why I was so late getting home. Bish, we need to schedule a ride some time. :thumb:
Did a quick blast out to Concord and back today. Great riding weather for sure. Only regret is that I could not stay out longer.
However I did have an unexpected pleasure. I stopped into Belmont Wheelworks for some black cloth handlebar tape. (They didn't have any! That's like asking for a hamburger at Mickey D's and finding they've run out. Oh, well.) As I was getting ready to leave there was a guy checking out my bike. It turns he was BF member and MetroBoston poster bishbike. We spoke for a few minutes. I'd have spoken longer but I figured Sharon was already wondering why I was so late getting home. Bish, we need to schedule a ride some time. :thumb:[/QUOTE]
Jim, great to finally meet you tonight at WW. We will have to ride sometime soon and talk about music and bikes.
Quick 10 miles out to Lexington on the Minuteman after work, breezy, temperatures in the 60s, home before dark. Spring is growing on me.
Hey Minuteman crowd, I'm thinking of going there this weekend for a ride. I've been riding the northern strand and doing the 3.5 mile length over and over is getting a little old as I've increased my riding to 90-120mins per outing. Is the best place to park at Alewife (coming from Malden)?
Lake Street, Arlington; there's some more on Linwood Street, Arlingon, in the vicinity of Spy Pond. A bit further out, there's a free lot where the Minuteman crosses Bow Street, Lexington. Or you could drive out to the Bedford end and park for free at Depot Park. The virtue of that is that it also puts you near the trailheads for the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail and the Reformatory Branch Rail Trail, along with a lot of beautiful roads in Bedford, Concord, Carlisle, Lincoln, Sudbury, and Out Yonder. Finally, it's possible to ride from Malden across Medford and Arlington and pick up the Minuteman in Arlington Center.
Later this year, the Revere section of the Northern Strand should be completed, connecting the Malden section to the already complete and very pleasant Saugus section. http://www.biketothesea.com/ has an update on that, along with what looks like a very pleasant 15-mile group ride out of Malden this Sunday that should shed some light on trails in Medford, among other things.
Right, it'll be crushed asphalt, like the Saugus section. That stuff's rideable with 28mm and wider tires, becomes more pleasant as you add tire width and lower tire pressure, and will get you your Gravel Grinding merit badge. Towns resort to it because it's cheap. A not-for-profit outfit called Iron Horse Preservation Society will tear up the old tracks, sell them for scrap, and construct a crushed asphalt trail on a low- or no-cost basis to the host community; these days, that's a hard proposition to pass up.
I'm going to have to learn some of these interesting trails I keep reading about. The online guides to the Mystic River trails aren't helpful.
Today was another routine 30 mile ride with 8 hours of work in the middle.
26 mile out and back to Concord before teaching today. What a day to be on the bike!
Sunset ride on the Minuteman to Lexington Center, 10 miles, 50s and breezy. The peepers were peeping at Peepers Pond, of course, and various bugs'n'birds'n'frogs added their distinct voices at intervals, a critters' motet: Spem in Proserpina.
Unfortunately for me, this winter has been “Work: the days that separate bike rides.” :( Nonetheless, this weekend the studded tires come off the beater, and the carbon fiber comes out from winter storage.
Speaking of quotes,
Anyways, the quote should be easily recognized by the cognoscenti.
On further review, I believe I misquoted this. It probably should beQuote:
I know what I saw...
"I saw what I saw and I saw what I didn't see, if you take my meaning."
This version at least has the contradictory use of words which makes it interesting. But a Google search for this doesn't turn up anything interesting either. I'm pretty sure this was in the movie. I"ll have to check if it was in the book. Or maybe I remember what I don't remember, if you take my meaning.
Obligatory bike content:
In a little while I will be heading off for my morning commute. Perhaps I'll be able to bike it, but a few "issues" are contriving to make it problematic today. :(