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Old 09-03-11, 12:59 AM   #1351
mtalinm
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hello from Germany

been in Munich for the last couple of days and am headed to Berlin tomorrow. this place is a cycling mecca.

Munich has 800 miles of bike paths, most of which are off-street, separated facilities with their own traffic signals. drivers are incredibly respectful of cyclists, in no small part I'm sure because everybody stops for red lights. everyone. as a Bostonian it was like having an out of body experience.

also, they have an interesting approach to a bike share. instead of having a set of stations around the city where one picks up and drops off, individual bikes are scattered all over the place. you use a smartphone app to find where the closest one is, and when you're done with it, you just leave it wherever you are. I rented one of these yesterday morning and got in almost 15m for fun:

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/111183682 (not sure I actually achieved the recorded max speed of 1,700 mph though - gps bug I suspect!)

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Old 09-03-11, 08:57 AM   #1352
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How was the Lowell section of the route? Some great rides often have cities plunked down in the middle of them, and the best way through isn't always obvious.

rod
Rod,
Lowell was great. Because all roads lead to the Merrimac I noodled without navigational concerns through Wilder and Walker side streets off of Stevens and motor traffic is used to city speeds, kids playing about and sharing the roads. I took Mammouth Rd south all the way from Hudson, NH to the river and then the afore mentioned noodling to the Old Wang building and hopped on the railtrail. It was more difficult to find the trail head in the Cross Point parking lot than getting though Lowell.

Seeing the canals, water power and easy biking, Iím inspired to make an outing out of a rail trail ride then hop over to a lunch in Lowell, visit the industrial museum and Riverwalk then bike back.
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Old 09-03-11, 09:09 AM   #1353
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Cool! You were talking about trying that last year, as I recall. Safe journey home this afternoon.


Good to hear!

The ride into work this morning was superb, or in Suntour-speak superbe! I'm going to run out of adjectives before September is done.

Edit in the evening: The afternoon's ride was indeed quite...help, I've run out of superlatives! Except for one thing. A few days ago I re-positioned and re-tensioned the old French leather saddle I'm still riding on my '72 UO8 commuter. It's mounted on a Simplex alloy seatpost, the kind with two transverse bolts to clamp it in place. I got about 2 miles from Attleboro and hit a bump and the rear of the saddle slid down. I tried re-positioning it but without a 12mm wrench I couldn't move it. Of course that made the saddle a threat my various personal male-defining components so I had to do the remaining 2 miles standing on the pedals. Every day's an adventure.
Chainskid Muller,
You are inventive, resolute and a romantic! Pedal standing or not your perspective is a pleasure to read and please don't run out of superlatives.

BTW, my return ride north to Hudson, NH was shorter because I rode up Rt 126 through Natick, Wayland, Lincoln to Concord during pre traffic hours. I found Westford/West Street over through Carlisle (from your Cow Tunnel ride routing) and hopped on the Bruce Freeman. I did notice Mammouth Rd north out of Lowell is uphill and Keyes Hill into Hudson is hillish before breakfast. It was a great ride.
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Old 09-03-11, 06:12 PM   #1354
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Chainskid Muller,
You are...
Thank you, sir, for such kind words!

Didn't ride today. My sweetie and I spent the morning buying veggies at the Waltham Farmers' Market and then Brigham Farm on Rt117. Then we spent 6 hrs in our canoe on the Nashua River. Started at Rt110 in Groton, got up as far as the Squannacook R., tried to go up it but after maybe a quarter of a mile we were blocked by blowdowns. That's typical for the Squannacook, it's small, narrow, winding, shallow, and wild. (Um, it would be wilder without the audio provided by the planes overhead and a nearby firing range and an autocross going on in Devins. But it's still pretty wild.) If we'd had more time I could have sawed through part of the offending tree but what the heck, it was getting late. The trees along the Nashua took a few hits from Irene.

Now for the bike-related stuff. I can't ride tomorrow, Sunday. We have a gig in Charlton, MA for the town's 250th anniversary, an all-bluegrass Gospel concert sponsored by the Federated Church of Charlton. However on Monday, weather permitting, I want to do a long ride. I'd love to hit some new roads south of Concord/Sudbury/etc, but I really don't know much of what's there. So if any of you are up for a riding partner, drop me a note, jimmuller@rcn.com. I'm willing to start pretty early (as long as it's reasonable!).

Dang, I'm tired. Canoeing is hard work. Not to mention loading it onto the car. Why is it always heavier at the end of the day than it was at the beginning? But the beer helped even the score. (And the Sox won!)
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Old 09-03-11, 08:10 PM   #1355
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mingling

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"....Munich has 800 miles of bike paths, most of which are off-street, separated facilities with their own traffic signals. drivers are incredibly respectful of cyclists, in no small part I'm sure because everybody stops for red lights. everyone. as a Bostonian it was like having an out of body experience.
......
This is interesting and good to hear. Congrats for jumping in and going for a ride. Do you think Boston will get to where cars accept bikes as just another means of transportation? I saw a lot of well used trails in the Netherlands but where I've been in Munich, I didn't notice trails but pedestrians, bikes and cars and trucks all mingled. I struggled to obey the traffic lights with everyone else.
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Old 09-04-11, 03:53 PM   #1356
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Thank you, sir, for such kind words!

Didn't ride today. My sweetie and I spent the morning buying veggies at the Waltham Farmers' Market and then Brigham Farm on Rt117. Then we spent 6 hrs in our canoe on the Nashua River. ..... We have a gig in Charlton, MA for the town's 250th anniversary, an all-bluegrass Gospel concert .... I'd love to hit some new roads south of Concord/Sudbury/etc, but I really don't know much of what's there. So if any of you are up for a riding partner, drop me a note, jimmuller@rcn.com. .....
Your sweetie thing inspired a very nice bicycle ride with my sweetie to the local coffee shop for croissant and coffee and an hour of long over due chit chat. We finally re-launched and rode through Holliston, passed the 8 arch bridge and on to Maple St in Sherborn bisecting the CSA Silverwood Farm and home via a few extra twists and turns just for the feel of our self propelled wind. A few chores around the house, kids are all doing their thing and now I'm out back reading.
A splendid day.
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Old 09-04-11, 07:53 PM   #1357
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Your sweetie thing inspired a very nice bicycle ride with my sweetie to the local coffee shop for croissant and coffee and an hour of long over due chit chat...
That's sounds thoroughly delightful! Glad I could provide some inspiration. My sweetie and I have been married only thirty-mumble years, so chit-chat is always welcome.

Tomorrow I will ride. The dew point and temperature may make it sub-optimal but at least I'll be on the bike. My sweetie is pushing me out the door. I may go north up the Bruce Freeman, maybe pick it up from Rt27 in Chemlesford or Carlisle. Or I may go south into Sudbury and around west to Maynard, maybe Stow, etc. I'd go further south but Framingham and Natick seem to form a pretty good barrier.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:58 PM   #1358
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As threatened, I did ride today! 76.1 miles, a new personal longest. I'm pretty certain I could have gone another 25 but it would have required a gratuitous run to some extra place after I'd gotten near home, probably into Cambridge or Boston.
Plus I could hear a beer calling me home!

I got an early start, ran out to Concord by my usual route, went up Lowell St, cut left on Barrett's Mill Rd and up Strawberry Hill. (The duck house is still there with the black duck inside, but the "Beware of Attack Duck" sign has not returned.) When I got to the West St/Acton St crossroads I looked around for Robert Johnson, and not seeing him I continued straight toward Westford. Where West St and Rts 225 and 27 come together I picked up the Bruce Freeman Trail, ran it north until it ended in Chemlesford. Not sure where one would go from the big Motorola parking lot, so I turned around.

Back at the current southern end I decided to take 225 into Carlisle. Bad move! It goes up and up and down and up and up and down and up and up and down. First stop of the day was for some eatin' in Carlisle, then east on 225 to River Rd toward Concord and real lunch. My odo said if I went home it would be only 62 miles but I wanted to do more. So I went back up Lowell St to Carlisle, back around the 225/River Rd loop to Concord. Then toward home.

But the day wasn't over yet. At the head of the MM in Bedford was a Farmers' Market with all sorts of goodies and a zillion bikes. I noticed a nice Raleigh Professional equipped with a front dynohub, LED lights, and other spiffy gear. The woman who owned it came up and we complimented each others' bikes, mine being a '73 Gran Sport, hers a '74 Pro which she'd repainted to look original. She said she liked it because she was comfortable on it for days at a time, important because she said she runs ultra-long-distance races, up to 1200km (to be completed within 90 hrs). We spent some time talking about re-hydration and salt depletion. It made my little personal victory seem tame, especially since I hadn't hit it yet. Then I headed home.

It was a good day!
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Old 09-05-11, 06:41 PM   #1359
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As threatened, I did ride today! 76.1 miles, a new personal longest. I'm pretty certain I could have gone another 25 but it would have required a gratuitous run to some extra place after I'd gotten near home, probably into Cambridge or Boston.
Plus I could hear a beer calling me home!
...
It was a good day!
Sounds like!

rod
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Old 09-05-11, 09:38 PM   #1360
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Well done

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As threatened, I did ride today! 76.1 miles, a new personal longest. I'm pretty certain I could have gone another 25 but it would have required a gratuitous run to some extra place after I'd gotten near home, probably into Cambridge or Boston....It was a good day!
Congratulations! You must be in great shape! What a sweet ride. It sounds like all your miles this year paid off in an impressive accomplishment.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:59 PM   #1361
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A quick follow-up to my note from yesterday: I was fascinated that someone riding long distances would be using a vintage Raleigh almost as old as mine so I wrote up a thread about it in the C&V forum and got some interesting replies. It appears that the woman I spoke to in Bedford was Emily O'Brien, apparently well-known for some long rides (like Paris-Brest-Paris) on that bike. There can't be too many women doing that on a blue '74 Raleigh Pro, and the pictures I found online were pretty accurate to my day-old-and-fading recollection. Her bike is, or at least was, equipped as a fixie, a detail I didn't even notice. I also learned that these long-distance runs are not really competitions as I wrote above. (I wouldn't know, never having experienced anything like that, and I obviously mis-heard her in all the excitement buzzing around.) Well, it was a fascinating conversation, a totally unexpected pleasure near the end of a good day of riding. Ms. O'Brien, if you read this, thank you.
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Old 09-09-11, 08:26 AM   #1362
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Finally able to get a ride in this morning, not just a soggy commute! Rolled out at 6am in thick pea-soup fog that refused to burn off till my ride was nearly over. I was covered in large beads of water in the first 1000m, making my riding glasses all but unusable. Still it was great to get 35 miles and 1200' of climbing under my wheels first thing in the morning instead of sweating it out on the trainer.
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Old 09-09-11, 09:30 AM   #1363
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As threatened, I did ride today! 76.1 miles, a new personal longest.

I picked up the Bruce Freeman Trail, ran it north until it ended in Chemlesford. ..

I decided to take 225 into Carlisle. Bad move! It goes up and up and down and up and up and down and up and up and down.

It was a good day!
Awesome ride! Congratulations!

I have been running that rail trail with stroller in front a lot lately. It is wonderful to see it so well used by so many different folks doing different things. I have, however, decided that the cyclist wearing a helmet is amongst the unusual.

I know that icky feeling of turning from 27 onto 225E into Carlisle. Before we moved here, my now-husband lived in Acton. Every time we would go out cycling my stomach would tighten up when we made that turn because I knew what was in store. And as awesome as the descent is on that final approach in to town, the pavement is mucked up and requires caution, even if you take the lane. Hardly seems fair.

FWIW, for all you folks passing through Carlisle, the road department recently paved Cross Street (connecting 225 and South to Concord Road) as well as Fiske Street (connecting Curve to 27 in Chelmsford).
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Old 09-09-11, 11:15 AM   #1364
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Finally able to get a ride in this morning, not just a soggy commute! Rolled out at 6am in thick pea-soup fog that refused to burn off till my ride was nearly over.
It certainly was good to get out this morning. When I left home it was foggy and overcast but just as got off the train with the bike in Attleboro the clouds started breaking up.

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Awesome ride! Congratulations!
Thank you! I was wondering if I'd see you somewhere...

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I have been running that rail trail with stroller in front a lot lately. It is wonderful to see it so well used by so many different folks doing different things. I have, however, decided that the cyclist wearing a helmet is amongst the unusual.
That's a great trail! Very low stress too.

There was some foot traffic, mostly adults who seemed to know they were on a "bike" path and knew to stay out of the way. Lots of families on bikes too, some even with helmets. They were fun to see, especially the wee tots on tiny bikes with training wheels, feet spinning madly and they enjoying every minute of it. One father-teenage-son combo though was running slowly side-by-side, oblivious. I had ask to pass. Met them again coming back, had to ask again. But I guess it was the sort of conversation that is good to have happened, probably wouldn't have happened if son had had his face in a txt msgng cel fon. About halfway back I decided just to jump over to 27 to avoid all the traffic and road crossings. Train routes needed smoother grading than roads, but the unobstructed movement forward was worth the extra hills on the road.

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FWIW, for all you folks passing through Carlisle, the road department recently paved Cross Street (connecting 225 and South to Concord Road) as well as Fiske Street (connecting Curve to 27 in Chelmsford).
Nice to know.

As mentioned, I did my bike commute in this morning. I expected a lot of debris from all the rain. Had to dodge some branches and twigs but mostly the roads' shoulders were pretty good. The Blackstone Bikeway was blocked in one spot by a maintenance truck, the driver working a power saw on a fallen branch. I had to dismount, grab the bike's handlebar and back slowly through the narrow space between truck and wooden fence, pulling bike behind me. One more item, the Blackstone River is now a raging torrent, not high enough to threaten the bikeway but well over its normal banks. Lotta' water has come down lately.
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Old 09-09-11, 12:06 PM   #1365
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I just watched a woman (student? tourist?) on a city cruiser with zero bike handling skills and, distracted by the sights and sounds of Boston's North End, swerve to miss a patch of rough road only to hit a slightly larger bit in the middle of the street (hey it's Salem Street, what do you expect). She careens out of control (at slow speed) and plows her right handle bar into the door of a parked car, leaving a nice long scratch. Without stopping her forward motion (or falling down even!) she continues on her swervy, dangerous way down the street as if nothing happened (or it happens a lot for her). Hilarious!
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Old 09-09-11, 12:10 PM   #1366
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I just watched a woman (student? tourist?) on a city cruiser with zero bike handling skills and, distracted by the sights and sounds of Boston's North End, swerve to miss a patch of rough road only to hit a slightly larger bit in the middle of the street (hey it's Salem Street, what do you expect). She careens out of control (at slow speed) and plows her right handle bar into the door of a parked car, leaving a nice long scratch. Without stopping her forward motion (or falling down even!) she continues on her swervy, dangerous way down the street as if nothing happened (or it happens a lot for her). Hilarious!
I want video!
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Old 09-09-11, 12:20 PM   #1367
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It was one of those passing slices in time that happens before you even know it's happening. She didn't even put her foot down: wobble, crash, correct, and wobble some more.
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Old 09-09-11, 12:40 PM   #1368
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Yeesh! It won't be so hilarious for whoever owns that car.

It wasn't a Lexus or BMW, was it?
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Old 09-09-11, 05:43 PM   #1369
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Just got home from the evening commute. Cool dry air, moderate traffic, a nice run. I'm off for a few weeks vacation but I'll probably check into BF. Will be taking the Gran Sport and expect to ride the Acadia Natl Park Loop Road at least once. Maybe climb Cadillac again.

Of course, finishing up loose ends at the office meant I got a late start home. Had to hammer it more than I'd like but I made it to the train station with time to spare. (Lotta' people on the train this evening, maybe students from Providence going in for the weekend.)

Y'all be careful while I'm gone, okay?
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Old 09-09-11, 06:23 PM   #1370
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Yeesh! It won't be so hilarious for whoever owns that car.

It wasn't a Lexus or BMW, was it?
nah, it was some construction worker's F150 so I didn't feel too bad.
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Old 09-09-11, 10:24 PM   #1371
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On Rt 62, in the multilane interchange with Rt 3 and Crosby Drive ("The Running of the Bulls"), I was riding on the right margin of the center lane, lining up for a left turn onto Crosby Drive in a 100 yards or so. I was overtaken and passed--at a safe distance--by a driver who gave his horn the lightest of toots, to let me know he was there. I responded with a thumbs-up gesture. He assumed I wouldn't construe his companionable little toot as a hostile honk; I assumed he wouldn't construe my thumb as a middle finger. Semiotics on wheels.

rod

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Old 09-10-11, 08:56 AM   #1372
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Originally Posted by cmolway View Post
nah, it was some construction worker's F150 so I didn't feel too bad.
So she didn't get the BMW triple bonus score, then?

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 09-10-11 at 08:58 AM. Reason: dystypesia
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Old 09-10-11, 06:13 PM   #1373
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Busy day today, didn't get to ride until the end of it, a 20-mile sunset ride out to Bedford and back on the Minuteman. The temps started in the low 60s and ended in the high 50s, and the Summer riding clothes seemed a little chilly. Saw a woolly bear caterpillar crossing the path yesterday, so I guess the jig is up. The night chorus is still gamely creaking, croaking, and buzzing at Great Meadow, hanging on. As darkness fell, I encountered a tallbike headed West, sporting a regular 1967 light show: an array of lights which slowly cycled through a gamut of colors. I don't know how well the rider could see, but he had the being-seen thing licked.

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Last edited by rholland1951; 09-10-11 at 09:31 PM. Reason: spilling, spelling, what's the difference?
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Old 09-10-11, 06:26 PM   #1374
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52 mile tempo ride with NEBC from Burlington through Carlisle and Great Brook, out to Westford, looping back through Concord and Lexington. Air was cool, dry and the hills seemed effortless. Great day on the bike!
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Old 09-10-11, 11:20 PM   #1375
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
...I responded with a thumbs-up gesture. He assumed I wouldn't construe his companionable little toot as a hostile honk; I assumed he wouldn't construe my thumb as a middle finger. Semiotics on wheels.
Nice move. Whenever someone waits for me to pass before pulling out from a side street I always wave and mouth "Thank you". Usually a get a wave or a nod in return. Better for us all that way.

I envy those of you who rode today. We had gigs, two actually. Have another tomorrow, Verrill Farm in Concord in case anyone is looking for a destination.
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