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Old 06-25-14, 06:13 AM   #3626
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Baldwin to Lowell

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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
Finally downloaded my weekend pictures -- had one of those rides where nothing in my legs felt right. Headed north up to Lowell along some favorite roads, one of which was in grooved mode getting new pavement (which it desperately needed, but I could have done without riding on the corduroy).



And then on up into NH, although I was having a bad enough day I stopped taking pretty pictures and just slogged on for a while.
Antimonysarah!
Slogging through tough rides makes the nice ones seem so bright. Good for you and good for you for posting this photo.
I've not seen the Baldwin monument for a few years and you've inspired me to go back. I followed about half the Middlesex Canal from Charlestown up through Wilmington but not made it on up to Lowell or to the Thompson/Rumford museum in Wilmington. I'm interested in favored roads and corduroy alerts although by the time I get there aiming for corduroy will get me smooth pavement.

Thanks again for your inspired and inspirational ride.
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Old 06-25-14, 07:24 AM   #3627
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Antimonysarah! ...
I've not seen the Baldwin monument for a few years and you've inspired me to go back.
Very nice, and of a monument I have not seen. Where is it??
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Old 06-25-14, 09:26 AM   #3628
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Very nice, and of a monument I have not seen. Where is it??
It's along Chestnut St in Wilmington, approximately here:
http://goo.gl/maps/gXE9Y

That was the road under construction as of Saturday.

As for favorite roads, this was not the loop I did this past weekend, but includes a bunch of favorites heading up to the outskirts of Lowell: Lowell 50 miler - A bike ride in Medford, MA (Going into Lowell yields a lot of fun lunch stops although also a lot of traffic.) It does follow the Middlesex Canal fairly closely in places, and if you're interested in the canal there's a historical bike tour every spring and fall that does a one-way ride along the canal and then uses the commuter rail to go the other way (it sometimes runs N-S and sometimes S-N). Lots of fun, does go off-road but all on good trails.

If you take a left on Rattlesnake Hill Road near Foster's Pond you can head over to the Harold Parker state forest and parts further-east, too.
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Old 06-25-14, 02:18 PM   #3629
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It's along Chestnut St in Wilmington, approximately here:
http://goo.gl/maps/gXE9Y

That was the road under construction as of Saturday.

As for favorite roads, this was not the loop I did this past weekend, but includes a bunch of favorites heading up to the outskirts of Lowell: Lowell 50 miler - A bike ride in Medford, MA (Going into Lowell yields a lot of fun lunch stops although also a lot of traffic.) It does follow the Middlesex Canal fairly closely in places, and if you're interested in the canal there's a historical bike tour every spring and fall that does a one-way ride along the canal and then uses the commuter rail to go the other way (it sometimes runs N-S and sometimes S-N). Lots of fun, does go off-road but all on good trails.

If you take a left on Rattlesnake Hill Road near Foster's Pond you can head over to the Harold Parker state forest and parts further-east, too.
Perfect! I'll report back when I meander the Middlesex. Your comment about lunch stops reminds me of a couple of years ago going through a Lowell neighborhood biking south from Hudson, NH and it was near dinner time; the smells were diverse and fabulous. A few years earlier I had lunch at small place across from the canal in downtown. I'll have to build in time for wandering.

Lot's of conditioning to do before that ride or rides. I did get in a 37 mile loop de loop in Sherborn, Dover, Westwood and Medfield.

Last edited by sherbornpeddler; 06-25-14 at 03:13 PM. Reason: left out the loops
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Old 06-25-14, 06:14 PM   #3630
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Early this morning, an end to end round trip Minuteman run with friends plus a spur of Alewife Brook Greenway to Mass Ave. Exposure could be better, but what a gorgeous morning.



We registered for the Bike MS Cape Cod Getaway tonight.

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Old 06-26-14, 02:13 PM   #3631
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13 mile loop with Mrs SBP included a swim stop at Farm Pond then switched to spandex mode for a solo 37 mile loop de loop Sherborndoverwestwoodmedfielddoversherborn as the front went through and it felt 10F cooler. Light showers, stinging rain and dry roads with bright sun a few times.
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Old 06-26-14, 03:25 PM   #3632
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...37 mile loop de loop Sherborndoverwestwoodmedfielddoversherborn...
What roads may I ask (written please); I can't seem to read the maps you post. I frequent this sector of the Metroverse on my loops from Norwood.

In fact, I recently posted this to a thread on the Living Car Free Forum, Show Us Your Current Current Commute/Errand Routes :

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…Humbly, if Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner.

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"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways":
  • I have a direct one-way 14 mile ride outbound from downtown Boston to a suburb through varied pleasant residential and light commercial streets (pleasant urban; pleasant suburban; ritzy suburban; and gritty, but safe and interesting urban neighborhoods). IMO, 10 miles is a minimum distance for exercise benefit….

  • For training purposes I can extend my commute through additional nice routes including premier cycling suburbs, such as Dover and Sherborn…

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Old 06-26-14, 09:11 PM   #3633
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What roads may I ask (written please); I can't seem to read the maps you post. I frequent this sector of the Metroverse on my loops from Norwood.

In fact, I recently posted this to a thread on the Living Car Free Forum, Show Us Your Current Current Commute/Errand Routes :
JimFB, Sorry for my poor map skills. I'll try again to attach a map saved as a JPEG. I've done this loopdeloop so I can recite it in the middle of winter. LdLs offer the chance to back out at several places and this one has shade, smooth pavement, enough hills and low traffic.

For a convenient meeting spot I start at the intersection of Mill and Nason Hill Rd in Sherborn (55 Mill St gets you there via google). Mill north to east on Woodland to Goulding West across S. Main St (Rt 27) to Goulding East to Forest to Farm across the Charles River Bridge St in Dover, then north on Farm St to Main St the east on Claybrook, south on Centre, SE on Cross to N/East on Dedham to S on Strawberry Hill, E on Wilsondale, S on Summer in Dedham, S on Rt 109 and W on Dover in Westwood, Powisset in Dover to N on Walpole St to Dover Center. This is about half way. S on Centre, S on Pine to Medfield, NNE on North/Centre back through Dover Center all the way to W on Claybrook, across Main to SE on Pleasant, S on Main become Farm, WSW on Bridge/Farm, W on Forest to Goulding E to Goulding W SW to Woodland/Mill.
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Old 06-27-14, 11:50 AM   #3634
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...37 mile loop de loop Sherborndoverwestwoodmedfielddoversherborn...

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What roads may I ask (written please); I can't seem to read the maps you post. I frequent this sector of the Metroverse on my loops from Norwood….

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JimFB, Sorry for my poor map skills. I'll try again to attach a map saved as a JPEG. I've done this loopdeloop so I can recite it in the middle of winter. LdLs offer the chance to back out at several places and this one has shade, smooth pavement, enough hills and low traffic...

For a convenient meeting spot I start at the intersection of Mill and Nason Hill Rd in Sherborn (55 Mill St gets you there via google). Mill north to east on Woodland to Goulding West across S. Main St (Rt 27) to Goulding East to Forest to Farm across the Charles River Bridge St in Dover, then north on Farm St ….
Hi sbp,

Thanks for the favour of a reply. Your map and orienteering skills are excellent; I just couldn't zoom in on the maps with enough resolution to read the route. I can visualize it well. I follow the above route from Holliston (often from Hopkinton except as described last week). However then I take Springdale to Walpole St to Powissett into Westwood and on to Norwood.

I have ridden the other streets too. I have an acquaintance who lives on Pine St and gets squeamish whenever I tell her I rode there. Many years ago before I cycled much in Dover I had dinner at a friend’s house who lives near Glen (went by car). I remember aimlessly driving the dark roads of Dover until I encountered familiar Route 16.

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Rode 40 slow miles to a southwestern spur of Metro Boston, Diamond Hill, Cumberland, RI. Took back roads through Millis, Norfolk, Wrentham, Franklin, Cumberland and back through Franklin and Millis. Good news is Burnt Swamp Rd past Adams Farm and Diamond Hill and Arnold Mills reservoirs is as beautiful as ever.

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My first long training ride this season, on May 3 was to Cumberland, RI; indeed that was the first time I had ridden south of Wrentham and first time in Rhode Island. I started in Norwood on Rte 1A to North Attleboro, then Rte 120 to Rte 114/121 back into Massachusetts to Norwood….

One of the joys of cycling is my reputation as a “Road Warrior” and I have an endless source of conversation with my deep, as well as casual acquaintances…
Just yesterday, I was chatting with a colleague who is an Iron Man triathlete about routes, and he described for me how much he enjoys riding by the the Diamond Hill Reservoir.

Then, apropos of this post:

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My usual ride to Carlisle.............in Lincoln the Baker Bridge/Carroll School/Gropius House swoop out past the farm fields towards Walden Pond…
When we first moved to Boston after a cross-country cycling honeymoon, I vividly remember riding to Walden Pond via Baker Bridge Road as one of our earliest and favorite rides. A colleague of mine has a child who attended the Carroll school for a summer session and we had chatted about its location on Baker Bridge. Just this morning I saw her and mentioned that, and she said, “Pray for us…He’s applying for a full-time slot.”
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Old 06-27-14, 12:59 PM   #3635
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I've not mastered posting those very impressive interactive maps.

Metro Bostonians have mastered a lot of the same roads.
We all have very individual, favorite routes. I bet we could compile a list of favorite sections of roads where the sun, shade, swoops and turns fly by just right.

From this forum, we could rate roads with traffic and without, swoops, trails, water fountains, hill climbs, stops, historical, flora, fauna, mysterious tourists and places where they sell fig newtons.

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Old 06-27-14, 02:19 PM   #3636
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...

Metro Bostonians have mastered a lot of the same roads.
We all have very individual, favorite routes. I bet we could compile a list of favorite sections of roads where the sun, shade, swoops and turns fly by just right.

From this forum, we could rate roads with traffic and without, swoops, trails, water fountains, hill climbs, stops, historical, flora, fauna, mysterious tourists and places where they sell fig newtons.
I've been thinking similar thoughts. Currently puzzling out how best to do that with the tools that the forum software provides, with enough simplicity to make it sustainable...

rod
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Old 06-27-14, 05:07 PM   #3637
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I've been thinking similar thoughts. Currently puzzling out how best to do that with the tools that the forum software provides, with enough simplicity to make it sustainable...
I'd love to have a reasonable database that qualifies roads as good for biking or not. I know there is Google maps and similar, but I never know how much to trust.
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Old 06-27-14, 05:26 PM   #3638
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I'd love to have a reasonable database that qualifies roads as good for biking or not. I know there is Google maps and similar, but I never know how much to trust.
My favorite route planner is the AAA Metropolitan road map. It covers from the Coast to beyond I-495 to the West, Southern New Hampshire to the North and a bit of Rhode Island to the South, essentially a one day loop from Kenmore Square or Norwood.

The map scale is reasonable to show nice back roads yet large enough to plot an entire loop. The various road types are nicely colored to approximate the amount of traffic they carry. I then may identify various short, more intricate sub-routes on a loop from Mapquest. I draw concentric arcs from Kenmore or Norwood (on different maps) at five or ten mile intervals to estimate distances to satisfy my training goals.

I consider myself a "cartographile." Nonetheless almost every road is a good road if you ride it early enough in the day.

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Old 06-27-14, 06:13 PM   #3639
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I'd love to have a reasonable database that qualifies roads as good for biking or not. I know there is Google maps and similar, but I never know how much to trust.
Maybe it already exists. Inspired by our conversation I looked at MAPC's map and just noticed a "favorites" although I see it is intended for pragmatic and constructive alerts and opportunities for improvement rather than ratings of euphoria. . BTW, unlike the picture, clicking on the link loads the map slowly, first in a blur then amazing detail.
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Old 06-27-14, 07:03 PM   #3640
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Got home 7ish, and when I went to the garage discovered that the LHT had a slow leak in the front tire, and wouldn't hold air there. Rather than have the post mortem and repair of that in a zero sum game with dinner, I took the GT out for a spin up to Lexington Center and back. Once past the first few minutes of solar glare, it was a serene ride, lots of bunnies out, including one little crepuscular critter who crossed my path with millimeters to spare. The big catalpa tree is still in bloom, and I got pictures of that, along with a brace of dogwoods that flank the driveway for the Little House in the Woods.






Somewhat contrary to the spirit of the evening, a bicycle commuter came cranking up the hill in Arlington Heights repeating "F*ck you!" with increasing emphasis with each iteration; I guess he was on the phone.

rod

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Old 06-27-14, 09:06 PM   #3641
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.....Somewhat contrary to the spirit of the evening, a bicycle commuter came cranking up the hill repeating ... with increasing emphasis with each iteration......rod
its that Rod reported that with such a perfectly unfazed, objective expression*

*triangulated between Emmett Kelly's Weary Willie, the farmer and his wife in Grant Wood's, "American Gothic" and any picture of John Adams.

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Old 06-27-14, 09:51 PM   #3642
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its that Rod reported that with such a perfectly unfazed, objective expression*

*triangulated between Emmett Kelly's Weary Willie, the farmer and his wife in Grant Wood's, "American Gothic" and any picture of John Adams.
Illustrious company, to be sure!

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Old 06-28-14, 06:56 AM   #3643
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Illustrious company, to be sure!

rod
I was trying to think of expressions of an observant reporter unfazed by expletives from a cellphone talking knucklehead. Given this venue I should have considered Eddy Merchx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, Tom Brokaw, Ansel Adams, Karl Williams and Galen Rowell.
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Old 06-28-14, 07:51 AM   #3644
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I was trying to think of expressions of an observant reporter unfazed by expletives from a cellphone talking knucklehead. Given this venue I should have considered Eddy Merchx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain, Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, Tom Brokaw, Ansel Adams, Karl Williams and Galen Rowell.
Wait, wait, you forgot Buster Keaton...

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Old 06-28-14, 03:39 PM   #3645
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I rode the same section on Sunday....
I also would not recommend doing the trail while hung over, but that's another story.
DBrim, I don't believe we ever welcomed you to MetroBoston, so welcome! One day you'll have to 'splain the "hung over" comment.

My sweetie and I did 49.55 miles on the tandem today. I was hoping it would trip 50 because Sharon would have liked that, but noop, not this time even though I did a loop through the Bedford schools parking lot to add mileage. I guess it wasn't enough.

Carlisle was having some sort of celebration, Old Home Town Day or something. Lots of goings-on, including a book sale at the library:


It was pretty hot today, about 85deg, so a rest at Fern's was welcome!


LOTS of bikes out today. We stopped for lunch at Heart Pond in South Chelmsford and met a bunch of folks who'd ridden down from Lowell to go swimming. They called themselves the Bikini Riders or something similar. Interesting mix of people with bikes both old and new. This was a Raleigh Sport, believed to be 1952, ridden by a 20-something. He'd done a century on it!
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Old 06-28-14, 07:09 PM   #3646
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After a day full of other stuff, looked into the flat front tire on my LHT and determined it was a pinch flat. I've been running the 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralights at 40/45 PSI, which felt great but, I guess, was pushing my luck, especially since they tempted me to rapid acceleration with my weight further forward than usual, which, of course... Anyhow, swapped in another tube and pumped the tires up to 45/50, still probably pushing my luck, but we'll see what happens. Had a very pleasant, and brisk, 10 miles on the Minuteman after that, with no cell-phone-mediated f-bombs this time, and no pinch flats of which I am yet aware. The Mysterious Tourist (once again, skating), did return my nod this time, which may be a first. What's next, World Peace?

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Old 06-28-14, 09:07 PM   #3647
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DBrim, I don't believe we ever welcomed you to MetroBoston, so welcome! One day you'll have to 'splain the "hung over" comment.
(snip)
LOTS of bikes out today. We stopped for lunch at Heart Pond in South Chelmsford and met a bunch of folks who'd ridden down from Lowell to go swimming. They called themselves the Bikini Riders or something similar. Interesting mix of people with bikes both old and new. This was a Raleigh Sport, believed to be 1952, ridden by a 20-something. He'd done a century on it!
Looks vaguely similar to the cruiser I rode while I was in Indianapolis when I was there on business earlier this week:


No gears, coaster brakes, big basket on the front. I felt like I was 12! I did five miles on it, and that was enough. Couldn't imagine doing 100.

Re: Hang-over. Not much of a story there. I was a groomsman, there was an open bar, and we took advantage of it.

---

I went for a ride on (primarily) the Danvers Rail Trail today. This was my first time riding there. I started where it intersects Lowell Street in Peabody:


The Peabody section is in rough shape. Lots of sharp gravel on the path itself, and litter along the edges. I thought I was in for a long ride before arriving at the Danvers town line, where the rough gravel gives way to nice stone dust. It was really smooth, probably doable in a road bike though it was maybe a bit deep and soft for my liking.

The path is nice and scenic. My only quibble is that Danvers has a lot of street crossings, so it was hard to get into a good rhythm at first. Once the path gets through the center of town, the crossings thin out.

I turned around in Wenham where 97 crosses the trail for the first time, then stopped for a half-mile hike on the Wenham Swamp Walk. The name is... accurate:


There's a lot of wildlife, though most of it is of the bitey insect variety. Next time, I'll bring bug spray. I also saw some frogs and a snake (!) of the harmless variety, but it's the first time I've seen one in the wild out here. The insects proceeded to eat me alive as I struggled with my U lock bracket. I'll be paying for that bug spray mistake for a few days.

Riding home, I stopped to take this portrait at the Danvers/Peabody line. This is my "new" toy and what got me back into cycling a couple months ago after a ~14 year layoff:


Overall, a 12 mile ride, not a bad day's work for me.

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Old 06-28-14, 09:51 PM   #3648
sherbornpeddler
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.........I turned around here, just short of Holliston center. Pretty bridge. The scenery on the trail is great, but I'd recommend a mountain bike:


I also would not recommend doing the trail while hung over, but that's another story.
There is a short section between Chestnut St and Summer St that is leased, not owned and is still packed dirt with undulating rollers from past ATV use. I bet a drowsy rider would not react well sailing along nice, flat trail and encountering that section of undulating rollers and would welcome reaching the new, smooth stone dust.
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Old 06-28-14, 10:01 PM   #3649
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DBrim, I don't believe we ever welcomed you to MetroBoston, so welcome! One day you'll have to 'splain the "hung over" comment.

My sweetie and I did 49.55 miles on the tandem today. I was hoping it would trip 50 because Sharon would have liked that, but noop, not this time even though I did a loop through the Bedford schools parking lot to add mileage. I guess it wasn't enough.

Carlisle was having some sort of celebration, Old Home Town Day or something. Lots of goings-on, including a book sale at the library:


It was pretty hot today, about 85deg, so a rest at Fern's was welcome!


LOTS of bikes out today. We stopped for lunch at Heart Pond in South Chelmsford and met a bunch of folks who'd ridden down from Lowell to go swimming. They called themselves the Bikini Riders or something similar. Interesting mix of people with bikes both old and new. This was a Raleigh Sport, believed to be 1952, ridden by a 20-something. He'd done a century on it!
We did the Concord to Carlsile loop and stopped for lunch. The tag sale ended and they took down the sign while we sat outside or maybe they sold the tag sale sign.
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Old 06-29-14, 05:25 AM   #3650
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My favorite route planner is the AAA Metropolitan road map...

The map scale is reasonable to show nice back roads yet large enough to plot an entire loop. The various road types are nicely colored to approximate the amount of traffic they carry. I then may identify various short, more intricate sub-routes on a loop from Mapquest. I draw concentric arcs from Kenmore or Norwood (on different maps) at five or ten mile intervals to estimate distances to satisfy my training goals.

… almost every road is a good road if you ride it early enough in the day….
My training goal for Saturday was a 60 mile loop from Norwood, then later in the day 14 miles back to Kenmore Square. Besides general inertia and a lack of time, a disincentive to ride a long distance for me is a lack of novelty of the route. I have done a lot of training over the entire Metro Boston area for several years, so many routes are too familiar but the region is so diverse that a novel and interesting route can always be found.

Yesterday morning, I decided to ride from Norwood to Westborough. I was going to go through Dover and Sherborn to the heavy-black-line road of Rte 16 to Wellesley, to the heavy black line of Rte 135. Looking more closely at the map I then decided to instead take the thin gray lines from Sherborn Center, of Maple St to Whitney, on to Ashland, and then Pleasant St. to Cordaville and Southville, then on to Westborough.

So I left Norwood at about 5:15 AM at 50º F dressed in long sleeves, long-legged tights and full-fingered gloves. I took the previously-described route through Dover Center to Sherborn Center, though via Farm Rd instead of Forest. Then what a pleasant surprise! Almost all of Maple, and much of Whitney were “enchanted” roads as previously depicted. I was surprised when Whitney intersected Rte 126 in Ashland, because that Shaw’s Plaza there was a well-recognized landmark on many previous trips on heavy-red-line Rte 126 south from Framingham. Now I was back into mainstream America.

In the “Cyclist Guide to the Metroverse,” I had previously described that sector, which includes Ashland, perfunctorily as:

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… Metrowest: Framingham, Natick; pleasant suburbs though pretty commercial along Rte 9...
I don't see many ride descriptions from there on this thread. West of Rte 85 was nice though, but the last couple miles to reach the requisite 30 miles were through a featureless technologic park.

The novelty of my new route was very satisfying. Doing a straight out-and-back is almost like doing two separate routes, because the trip back offers a new perspective on the route due to the different viewpoint, and different time of day.

I did have a few “Deep Thoughts,” à la Jack Handey from Saturday Night Live”:
  • If a Road is a good Road for cycling (at anytime of the day) it’s a fabulous Road early in the morning.

  • As I was riding Farm Rd. through Dover I was struck by how green it was, nearly covered with a canopy of over-arching trees. I thought “It’s so green… it’s…chlorophyllic!”

  • As I was crossing the bridge over the Charles River in Dover I thought “I don't really resent the “One-Percenters” as described by the Occupy Movement. Otherwise we would not have such beautiful regions like Dover and Sherborn to ride, since even these residents need roads to travel. I don't consider them suburbs, but Disneyesque Bicycle Theme Parks."
[Please don't send me over to Politics and Religion ]

I recently posted to this thread on the Living Car-Free Forum, “Sprawl-free vs car-free”:

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“I don't know what sprawl is, but I know it when I see it.”*

From my limited travels in the United States and Canada, I suggest that Boston suffers the least from sprawl that I have ever seen. In less than one hour on my bike, I can pass through fairly high density urban, into compact suburban, and then into exurbia. Or I can take the commuter rail with my bike even further.

This farmland is within 2 miles of my workplace destination, 14 miles from downtown.

Some pictures of Saturday’s ride:


  • The greenery of Farm St in Dover (actually taken on a different ride)
  • Up the Charles River from the bridge in Dover
  • A farm on Maple Street just past Sherborn Center.
  • A meadow on Whitney Street
  • A favorite rest stop on Rte 85 and Cordaville Rd
  • More greenery on Maple Street on the return trip.
I postponed posting this ride description until Sunday morning so I could add:

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It was a good day.
Then my sweetie and I went dining and ballroom dancing in Malden. A fabulous evening.
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Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-29-14 at 06:45 AM.
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