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  1. #1676
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    nonstop loops in and around Boston

    hi folks, I'm looking for a few loops where I can ride at a pretty hard pace for a couple of hours without stopping. traffic lights, stop signs, and other impediments are what I need to avoid. residential neighborhoods are not ideal.

    one I've done before is around the Brookline Golf Course, which is about 4 miles. do you know of others? they are harder to find than you might think!

    (btw, I live south of the city in Westwood, so loops that are north and west are less useful)
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  2. #1677
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Found a little time for another little ride up to Lexington Center and back at sunset, ten chilly miles. Temperatures in the low 20s, cold enough to freeze the water bottle by the ride's end. Stiff wind out of the north, made the flag on the pole in front of the bank snap to attention. Had the pleasure of seeing some kids playing hockey on a well-executed backyard rink that I'd followed the construction of on previous rides. Surprisingly little ice on the trail, given yesterday's damp.

    rod

  3. #1678
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    No ride. We went x-c skiing. We'd gotten out only once earlier this year. Yesterday at Bear Notch. It was okay. Today at Jackson. It was better with more snow but mostly the snow was packed granular. Today was cold. Temp about 8F when we got off the trail. Driving home it dropped to 1F at the top of Crawford Notch, up to 2F across Bretton Woods and Twin Mt, then down to 1F again as we started down Franconia Notch. Yeah, it was cold. The 21F when we got home felt downright balmy. Did I mention that it was cold?
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  4. #1679
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    hi folks, I'm looking for a few loops where I can ride at a pretty hard pace for a couple of hours without stopping. traffic lights, stop signs, and other impediments are what I need to avoid. residential neighborhoods are not ideal.

    one I've done before is around the Brookline Golf Course, which is about 4 miles. do you know of others? they are harder to find than you might think!

    (btw, I live south of the city in Westwood, so loops that are north and west are less useful)
    That IS hard. Fresh Pond has a continuous loop, but doesn't really support a fast pace. There's a nice loop through Concord and Carlisle (Monument Street, River Road, 225, Maple Street, North Road, Curve Street, 225, Acton St, West St, Pope Road, Strawberry Hill Road, Barret Mill Road, Barnes Hill Road, Liberty Street, and back to Monument Street... something like that, anyhow). It's a long loop with a few stop signs and no lights, supports a good pace and has some hills, but... it's NW of Boston...

    rod

  5. #1680
    on a road near you... cmolway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    hi folks, I'm looking for a few loops where I can ride at a pretty hard pace for a couple of hours without stopping. traffic lights, stop signs, and other impediments are what I need to avoid. residential neighborhoods are not ideal.

    one I've done before is around the Brookline Golf Course, which is about 4 miles. do you know of others? they are harder to find than you might think!

    (btw, I live south of the city in Westwood, so loops that are north and west are less useful)
    Why can't you simply ride out to the Blue Hills Reservation and do the race loop there? http://ridewithgps.com/routes/276615

  6. #1681
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    ah, it came to me this morning - the Wells Ave loop in newton, where the racers go on Sundays. I'll go on a Saturday. .8 mile totally flat loop!
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  7. #1682
    Am I evil? I am Man!!! Mr Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmolway View Post
    Why can't you simply ride out to the Blue Hills Reservation and do the race loop there? http://ridewithgps.com/routes/276615
    I so want to try that ride. Maybe once around the block to get to know it. Then go all out, and see how slow/fast I could do it.
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  8. #1683
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmolway View Post
    Why can't you simply ride out to the Blue Hills Reservation and do the race loop there? http://ridewithgps.com/routes/276615
    I didn't know there was a race loop there. thanks very much.

    and right next to my hillclimb location (Great Blue Hill), very nice!
    Last edited by mtalinm; 02-13-12 at 06:49 PM.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  9. #1684
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    ah, it came to me this morning - the Wells Ave loop in newton, where the racers go on Sundays. I'll go on a Saturday. .8 mile totally flat loop!
    As someone who works there (and lives 5 minutes away), I will caution you to choose your times carefully. The traffic can be heavy at times, which might force you to to slow down, etc. I'm assuming you're looking for an interval loop for Mount Washington.

    If you're in the area, this might be a good option: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/941921

    A nice two mile road, no stops, relatively flat. It's my solid choice for shorter intervals, though you would have to stop and turn at the end.

  10. #1685
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Right you are. I'm really looking for a loop so I don't stop at all
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  11. #1686
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Took an evening ride out to Depot Park, Bedford, 20 miles, said hi to the Buddliner. Temperatures in the high thirties to start, mid thirties to finish, comfy enough compared to Sunday. Rode the LHT for the first time since it came back from its tune-up. After a few weeks of toiling on the squat, heavy, warthog-like winter bike (with it's hedgehog-like winter tires), the Surly was a delight. New brake pads proved useful in an encounter with The Invisible Pedestrian: a young woman dressed in black from head to toe, pushing a baby carriage down the center of a dark stretch of the Minuteman in Arlington. No telling what she thought she was doing... maybe looking for one of the guys out for a ride without lights.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-14-12 at 10:03 PM.

  12. #1687
    on a road near you... cmolway's Avatar
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    With my mother-in-law in town and volunteering to pick up the 3yo from school, I was able to sneak in 35 miles after work. Temps said 40 but the high humidity made it feel pretty raw. Planning on "40 for 40" this afternoon--in shorts even!

  13. #1688
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    it would be clear on Saturdays, right? that's when I'm thinking...

    Quote Originally Posted by godshammgod View Post
    As someone who works there (and lives 5 minutes away), I will caution you to choose your times carefully. The traffic can be heavy at times, which might force you to to slow down, etc. I'm assuming you're looking for an interval loop for Mount Washington.

    If you're in the area, this might be a good option: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/941921

    A nice two mile road, no stops, relatively flat. It's my solid choice for shorter intervals, though you would have to stop and turn at the end.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  14. #1689
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    so i rode to work for the first time this year. I've been recovering from an injury, and even this was probably premature, but I just got a new wheel built yesterday so I wanted to go for it.

    wow it felt GREAT. I had energy all day at work instead of feeling tired. gotta do this more often.

    the bike lanes on Mass Ave are terrific, too.

    only bummer was some masshole on Washington St decided to throw stuff at me. I caught up ith him on a hill and he did it again. got the plate number, but there's probably no point in reporting it.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  15. #1690
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    it would be clear on Saturdays, right? that's when I'm thinking...
    Yeah, it's dead on Saturdays.

    I've tried to do intervals there, but I just don't have the mental fortitude. I need changes in scenery. But, for a non-stop loop you really can't get a better location. Plus it's fun to work on your handling while bombing down the one slight downhill around a right hand curve. That was a fun one in my first crit there with 50+ riders...

  16. #1691
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    I got out for 15.5 miles this afternoon, Waltham to Lexington and back. It was quite lovely, cool but not cold, with light traffic. The vehicle of choice was this one:

    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  17. #1692
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
    so i rode to work for the first time this year. I've been recovering from an injury, and even this was probably premature, but I just got a new wheel built yesterday so I wanted to go for it.

    wow it felt GREAT. I had energy all day at work instead of feeling tired. gotta do this more often.

    the bike lanes on Mass Ave are terrific, too.

    only bummer was some masshole on Washington St decided to throw stuff at me. I caught up ith him on a hill and he did it again. got the plate number, but there's probably no point in reporting it.
    You can at least call it in. The probably won't do more than talk to the guy, but if they give him a talking to that might put the fear of the law into him.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  18. #1693
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Cool, breezy, quiet evening ride from E. Arlington to Lexington Center and back. Kept to an easy pace, spinning gently to favor my right leg, which I seem to have damaged a bit, apparently by riding the winter bike too hard for too long with the seat too high, earlier in the season, and ignoring what my body was telling me about that. Did get it right eventually, though, and am now back on the LHT, which fits well and actually makes the leg feel better when I ride it. Arlington drivers seemed paticularly erratic and demonstrative tonight, lots of honking and swerving, but all of it directed at other cars, not at me. It was a bit like a Wild Kingdom episode involving a wildebeest migration, at least for the first five minutes... then, serenity.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-17-12 at 08:11 PM.

  19. #1694
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    We took the tandem out for 33 miles today. Temps in the mid to low 40's. A nice day. Concord, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Carlisle, Concord. In Lexington we had a pleasant stop at Ride Studio, then sat on a bench for a picnic. A lovely day. It's nice that the sun is getting a bit higher in the sky. That low sun back in December made seeing the road pretty difficult.

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  20. #1695
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Family obligations (including a very pleasant walk in Estabrook Woods) had me mostly enjoying today's splendid weather on two legs, rather than two wheels, but I did manage a sunset ride to Depot Park, Bedford, at the end. The sunset itself was unusual: no color at the horizon that I could discern, just a gradual loss of light, as if the sky were on a big dimmer switch installed by the IBEW. I assume this was an effect of what the Victorians would have called a "lowering sky", a low ceiling with thick clouds that moved in late in the day. Paradoxically, once night had truly fallen, these same clouds acquired a purple-orange glow from reflected street lights. Eventually, they also began to drizzle (had to rule out the competing hypothesis of incontinent flying squirrels before I believed it, though), a gentle rain that, in combination with the relatively mild temperatures and unusually active (for February) critters (barking frogs and a possible Tundra Swan call heard at Tophet Swamp, singing bugs whose identity I could only speculate about, a LARGE moth in the headlights), made this seem an awful lot more like early Spring than mid-Winter. Met some strange dogs: two little dogs dressed in clown suits, a dowdy pit bull carrying panniers, and a couple of truly nasty creatures with frantic, explicitly hostile shriek-barks in the castrati range, lunging at all comers. I responded with a baritone territory-challenge bark sequence (I learned to speak Dog my sophomore year), and this sent them into such a paroxysm of micro-canine rage that I could still hear them over a mile away. I have always assumed, perhaps unfairly, that badly-behaved animals are projections of their owners' psyches; there's somebody in Bedford I really don't want to get to know...

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 02-18-12 at 11:38 PM.

  21. #1696
    Life Is Good ZIPP2001's Avatar
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    Was able to get out and do my Greenfield ride with my friend Chris. We have been riding out of Bicycles Unlimited the last 4 Saturdays, on a 27 mile loop. I just can't believe how great this winter has been for riding. I had no miles for January and February last year, and have 380 miles so far this year.

  22. #1697
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    25m around the Wells Ave loop in Newton. kept the heart rate at 160, no stops. sore quads!

    oh, and btw wells is hardly "dead" on saturdays but swarming with cellphone soccer moms not looking where they're driving. probably my fault for not getting out of bed earlier
    Last edited by mtalinm; 02-18-12 at 11:17 PM.
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  23. #1698
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Took out the new trailer for the first time today so my little one got her first bike ride. Just around the Jamaica Pond and the other ones right there as I wanted to get her used to it. Wow, it's a very different feeling pulling a trailer. When you get going it feels like it's pushing you and uphills (even the little ones) are a lot more of a chore. Gonna be shifting a lot more. She seemed to like it, but hated the helmet and found a way to get it off. Guess I need to get it to be fitting her better so she can't get it off. I thought our trailer had a helmet compartment, but I might not have it set up quite right as it kept pushing her head forward.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  24. #1699
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    We took the tandem out again today, but today we left straight from the front yard in Waltham instead of driving out to the further 'burbs. That meant navigating Waverley Square and the hill up past McLean Hospital toward Lexington. Instead of running the narrow climb past Belmont CC we went west on Concord Rd and climbed the STEEEEEEP hill past the radio towers. Oh, and did I mention that that hill is steep?

    35 miles through Lexington and Bedford to Concord, around Concord center for some shoppe sight-seeing, then back home. Heard chickadees on the Minuteman, sounds of spring. (We saw no juncos in the backyard this year.) Stopped briefly at Ride Studio on the way home and the bike caught the attention of a group of roadies who pulled up as we are about to leave.

    Temps in the low 40's. Very light traffic, partly because we got out early (while the temperature was still low). Got home, had lunch, then we spent the rest of the day the MFA in Boston. It was another good day.
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  25. #1700
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quick evening ride to Lexington Center on the Minuteman before dinner. Felt a little colder than the thermometer suggested, smelled like rain coming, clouds building up. Lots of company tonight, looks like more cycle commuting than normal for a February evening, but then it's an atypical February.

    It's Mardi Gras, y'all. Laissez les bon temps roullez, on two wheels when possible.

    rod

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