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  1. #2001
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    10-mile ride to Lexington in the late afternoon, after work and after the heat had begun to give way to tolerable warm breezes. The bugs and frogs in the orchestra pit were tuning up for tonight's show. Saw a couple of shirtless guys out on wheeled ski trainers, laboring up the path with their ski poles, conjuring Winter.

    rod

  2. #2002
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    32-mile loop to North Bridge and back. Cool, gray day, clouds at the beginning looked like old Chinese brocade, the ceiling gradually lifting; lovely, pearly light the whole time, made everything look about as beautiful as it was ever going to. Wish I had had the time to take pictures, but did get this one of that fine meadow on the South side of Virginia Road, Concord.


    Heard the ritual music accompanying the striking of the colors at Hanscom AFB while descending the hill at Mill Street, Lincoln.

    Saw a great blue heron poised on a rock in the Cambridge Reservoir.

    Overheard on the Minuteman: "Yeah, after thirty years of marriage and four kids!"

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 07-20-12 at 10:00 PM.

  3. #2003
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    45 miles on the tandem today, 47 yesterday. The full story and pics here:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-Big-Adventure
    Last edited by jimmuller; 07-22-12 at 08:16 PM.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  4. #2004
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    20-mile ride to Depot Park, Bedford, after work, in the warm, humid late-afternoon air. Tophet Swamp looked pleased with itself, good day to be a swamp.

    rod

  5. #2005
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Sunset ride on the Minuteman to Lexington Center, splashing through the puddles left by today's storms. Good day for fenders, those without were often decorated with a dorsal stripe. Imposing thunderheads marched across the horizon; a few dunderheads marched up the Minuteman, imposing on the patience and good will of the female companions whom they were earnestly lecturing, thunderous if not enlightening. The falling temperature and wet air raised a thin ground fog over Arlington's Great Meadows; tried to put it in my phone.


    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 07-25-12 at 11:44 AM.

  6. #2006
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    I had a great ride following the Emerald Necklace. But, my tire blew when I got to Franklin Park so i had to hop on the T and ride it back. I really wanted to see the Southwest corridor. i guess i'll go try again tomorrow! (and bring a spare tube)

  7. #2007
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    My sweetie and I did about 40 miles on the tandem today. After our 1-night tour last weekend the bike felt like a feather. Got back to the car about 15 minutes before the rain/t-storm hit. It's raining hard now. I finished up re-building a '72 Bertin last night and was going to take it for a short spin. Ain't going to happen today... Boom! splat! pitter patter pitter hissssssss
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  8. #2008
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    So, the plan was to ride out Route 117 to Stow, play around on the roads there and a ways into Harvard, then ride home. A glance at the weather radar suggested that, depending on storm tracks, there was a chance it could work. Life was jolly out through Concord, with bright, if not cloud-free, skies, warm and breezy. Encountered a woman walking what looked like a blond bear, which I took to be a Newf-Golden cross, charming in a large, furry, slobbery sort of way (meaning the dog, of course). The skies began to darken in Sudbury; another check of the weather radar suggested there was still a chance, so I kept at it. Near the Maynard line, the sky was quite dark, and an authoritative peal of thunder told me riding West was no longer the thing, and that I should probably take a remedial course in Weather Radar Interpretation.

    Plan B was to back-track a little, then execute a swooping trajectory Southeast/Northeast on Sudbury Scenic Roads: Mossman Road, Morse Road, Plympton Road, Water Row, Lincoln Road; note that this "plan" was a complete improvisation. This bought me some time with a pleasant ride, and the general Eastward trend was helpful, but Zeus grumbled through the celestial sub-woofer from time to time to remind me not to dawdle. Stopped for a brief water/fuel break at Water Row, and took this picture looking East: the sky was still bright. Behind me, it was getting darker.


    Continued across the river to Sherman's Bridge Road, grazed Wayland, and rode past Drumlin Farm on Lincoln Road, continued to Trapelo and resolutely (if a little tardily) headed East over those rolling Lincoln hills, the skies darkening in all directions along with more frequent booming now instilling greater urgency. Near the top of one climb, was startled by what sounded like an old Chevy with a loose belt bearing down on me. Turned out it was a particularly well-turned-out flock of turkeys, gobbling an alarm call, presumably for my benefit. They were feeling territorial. Since I didn't have time to hang around to talk with them (or roast one), we came to a mutually satisfactory understanding with a few turns of the meat tenderizer. Went zooming down the final Lincoln hill, crossed the Cambridge Reservoir, climbed Waltham hills, crossed Route 128, and began to feel a few raindrops.

    Headed into Lexington, crossing Route 2 on Spring Street, and found myself in a refreshing thunder-drizzle, with the occasional lightning flash for emphasis. Bombed down Marrett Road exchanging damp greetings with other cyclists along the way, picked up Mass. Ave., and hopped on the Minuteman at Maple Street. By now, the drizzle had become an unmistakable shower, a fine demonstration of how much water Merino wool can actually absorb (turns out it's a lot, and the wool doesn't care whether it's sweat or rain-water). The real downpour started in Arlington. Every overpass bridge had half-a-dozen refugees huddled under it. The normal precision trail-use choreography of the Minuteman riders/skaters/walkers/dogs was somewhat disrupted by this excitement, and I had the pleasure of hearing a mother explain to her nine-year-old daughter the semiotics of a bicycle bell (mine). I just kept riding, on the grounds that I probably couldn't get any wetter, and the Continental Contacts were still getting decent traction through the puddles, the brakes were still braking, lights were still blinking, etc. Got home in good order, riding through a somewhat thinned and umbrella-equipped Mass Migration at Saint Agnes Parish in Arlington Center. Was pleased to see my new, improved Korean phartphone hadn't drowned in the pocket of my very wet shorts.

    In the end, what had been intended as a longer ride turned out to be 43 miles of soggy, contingent fun, through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Sudbury, Wayland, Lincoln, and Waltham.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 07-29-12 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #2009
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    Had the opportunity to reunite a cyclist with his Garmin today. It popped off his bike just as he passed by me running. I was able to find out where he started from and figured he was on his lunch break, so I dashed over there around the time lunch ended and found him in the parking lot. Yippee for good karma.
    ~Kat

  10. #2010
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinggrrrl View Post
    Had the opportunity to reunite a cyclist with his Garmin today. It popped off his bike just as he passed by me running. I was able to find out where he started from and figured he was on his lunch break, so I dashed over there around the time lunch ended and found him in the parking lot. Yippee for good karma.
    You just won a few point in heaven for that!

    I wanted to zip out to the Batteries Plus in Woburn to recycle a dead laptop battery, and I intended to do it by bike. So Sharon says "Want to go on the tandem?" Sure! A bit under 20 miles, some significant hills, and we made it home safely!

    There's one section of Concord Rd heading west from Belmont with a wicked steep hill. We've made it up on the tandem several times, and bailed out on a few too. I bailed today because a big truck was coming up behind us as I was tiring near the top, and I didn't want to wobble in front of it. I recently got a copy of DeLorme's TopoUSA so I checked its gradient. Avg gradient through the steep section is 12%. No wonder it feels steep - it is!
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  11. #2011
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    When I posted yesterday, I realized that I hadn't really been out on the bike much. Too busy training for a few running races later this summer, I suppose. Felt guilty enough to get in a nice 25 with the bike trailer behind me today. My precious cargo has been on a growth spurt and I felt every single pound (plus all the books, legos, action figures, etc.)
    ~Kat

  12. #2012
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Bike's back from the shop, took it out for a sunset ride on the Minuteman for a shake-down. Everything works, as good as new or better after Tyler at Paramount Bicycle Repair worked his customary magic. The deep Summer night chorus was raucous, cicadas like samba whistles.

    rod

  13. #2013
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    After a full roster of Saturday errands, set out at 5pm thinking there was time to ride the North Bridge loop. Dark clouds, (refreshing) drizzle, and thunder rumbles met in Lexington called this into question. Stopped in Lexington Center to check the weather radar: looked like a thunderstorm centered in Acton, headed North. Continued out to Bedford, and the drizzle became a gentle shower. Checked the weather radar again in Depot Park, and it now appeared that the thunderstorm had extended its skirts to include Concord and Bedford along the Concord River, pretty much where I was going. Turned around and headed East, but hopped off the Minuteman at Wiggins Avenue and took the Preston Court-Bridge Street Worm-hole across the Shawsheen River, then rode up Pine Street and Shawsheen Road to Page Road. Climbed the Page Road hill, exercising the low range of the newly-modified drive train in the process. The sky had darkened, the thunder was nearly continuous, and the drizzle was back; as I spun up the hill, my mental sound-track was stuck on Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross's "Cloudburst": topical, and the tempo was right, but the sky never quite opened. As I approached the intersection with Carriage Road, a man in a pick-up truck towing a boat hesitated, then entered the intersection across my path, turning left, and the boat kept coming, and coming, and coming, diagonally across the intersection. It was a cigarette boat, pushing 50 feet long, and the truck and trailer combination had a footprint like a hook-and-ladder. I made an improvised right turn, to avoid becoming a novel item on the local news ("Arlington Man on Bicycle Run Over By Drug-Smuggling Boat"). After this small dose of surrealism, went charging down the hill on Grove Street, making an energy withdrawal from the same gravity account I had just been making deposits to, and hit 33 mph if the My Tracks app can be believed. On the East side of the hill, the drizzle and thunder were gone, the skies brightened, and I rolled home without incident. 22 miles through Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 08-05-12 at 02:01 PM.

  14. #2014
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Rode out to Depot Park and back after work, 20 miles on the Minuteman. Had a chuckle when a guy went put-putting by on some sort of motorized bicycle, maybe a vintage motorbike, maybe some sort of gas engine assist in an ordinary bicycle, it went by too quick to tell, but the engine looked old and nasty, in contrast to the frame, which had fresh paint, at least. Had another chuckle imagining this contraption pursued by an Arlington cop on a Segway.

    rod

  15. #2015
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    We've gotten some miles in lately, much of it posted elsewhere. On Saturday we did only 18 miles on the tandem. The humdididity was way too much. On Saturday we met BF member photogravity, Dallas Blair and his wife Rachel, up from Maryland for the week, and did a joint tandem ride. 41 miles, Bedford, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord. It was a great day.

    Today Sharon and I rode eastward toward Cambridge, threw in a few errands and a grocery stop on the way home. That's one of the good/bad things about having that much pannier capacity. Then later in the day Sharon shoved me out the door to ride solo, over to Lexington and back. Another good day.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  16. #2016
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Sunset ride on the Minuteman, 10 miles, the air warm, moist, and a little chewy. The sunset, when it finally came, was gorgeous, a pastel light show in high clouds.

    rod

  17. #2017
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    Did the minuteman for the third time this week, but this time I took out my steamroller with cross tires and it up the reformation branch trail. Anyone know why biking is off limits in the Great Meadow?

  18. #2018
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bael View Post
    Anyone know why biking is off limits in the Great Meadow?
    I've never been up that trail so I can only guess. The name Great Meadows covers a lot of area designated national wildlife sanctuary and mostly off-limits to humans. Much of the banks of the Sudbury and Concord Rivers are part of G.M.
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  19. #2019
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bael View Post
    Anyone know why biking is off limits in the Great Meadow?
    Guess they're trying to strike a balance between access (walking is OK) and not alarming the birds (or the bird watchers). They may also be worried about possible trail degradation (cf. the nasty mud-holes on the Concord stretch of the Reformatory Branch). The Oxbow NWR has the same restriction, which is too bad, since the Tank Road there would be a natural. The Assabet River NWR does permit biking on some of its trails, not on others. And as Jim points out, the Sudbury section of Great Meadows NWR is largely off-limits even to walkers (Weir Hill excepted).

    If you're looking for an off-road extension to the Reformatory Branch Trail, ride to Monument Street, ride a couple of blocks to Estabrook Road, take that a couple of blocks North until the pavement ends, then enjoy miles of unpaved fun on the "abandoned carriage road" that runs up to Carlisle, or branch off onto the numerous trails that criss-cross the Estabrook Woods.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 08-09-12 at 07:13 AM.

  20. #2020
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
    The Oxbow NWR has the same restriction, which is too bad, since the Tank Road there would be a natural.
    I don't know Tank Road (as in "tanks from Ft. Devins"?) but I've canoed the section from Lancaster to Ayer many times. Most of the bank is off-limits, either federal property (ex-Ft. Devins and still echoing with machine-*** fire occasionally) or Oxbow Wildlife Sanctuary. At least one large shallow lake area that would be great for a canoe is marked off-limits. That's okay, I don't mind sharing the world with herons.
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  21. #2021
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
    I don't know Tank Road (as in "tanks from Ft. Devins"?)
    Yup, that seems to be the general idea. Tank Road is a generous dirt path running N-S along the eastern edge of the Oxbow NWR, with an underpass across Rt 2, no less. It would be a pleasant and strategically-routed unpaved bike road, except that it falls under the Reserve's "No bikes" diktat. If I weren't essentially well-behaved, I'd be tempted to ride it anyhow...

    rod

  22. #2022
    Senior Member rholland1951's Avatar
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    Took a 10-mile ride in the rain to Lexington Center in the late afternoon. Cooling. Also wet (put the phone in a zip-loc). Sounds: the impact of raindrops on helmet, pavement, grass, big leaves, little leaves, the hiss of tires on wet pavement, the slish of tires through puddles, the occasional boom of thunder from heaven, catbird cries of complaint from the bushes.

    rod
    Last edited by rholland1951; 08-10-12 at 06:01 PM.

  23. #2023
    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    2 seconds

    All your mass migrating, sun setting, steamrolling, samba cicada, drug smuggling, tank road, tire hissing, good karma has worn me down.

    My normal Metrowest exercise ride has been the same old route over Dover's Strawberry, Pine and Claybrook roads. Nothing wrong with these roads, they are a privilege to ride; it's just that other than errands, it's all I've been riding.

    The texture of the "humidity" and my lack of energy made me pleased just to get out on the bike. No fantasies of Tour de France or Wells Avenue today.

    Two fox raced across the road ahead of me just before Claybrook and induced maybe 2 seconds of appreciation of where we ride.

    Ten miles later I rode passed a broken Nantucket Nectar bottle and MacD trash and grumbled about humans and the bell curve location of those that break glass and litter roads. 200 meters after the glass your karma and sunset talk wore on my anti-social self. I went back, picked up the glass, cut my finger, reveled in grumbling about humans again and then slowed even more and picked up a couple of more pieces of trash.
    pine trash.jpg
    I've no idea if a very small and very rare good deed makes any difference but I do appreciate where we ride.
    Last edited by sherbornpeddler; 08-11-12 at 12:28 PM. Reason: typo
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  24. #2024
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    Sherbornpeddler, you did a good thing.

    Sharon and I did 19 miles on the tandem today. Yesterday our band played a show on Nantucket. We got up at 6, drove down to catch the 10AM fast ferry, played the show (in the rain, with the audience snuggled up under the covered pavilion with us, a very cozy show), hung about for an hour, caught the 8:30 fast ferry back, drove home. Yesterday was long and late, so today wasn't our strongest.

    Got caught in the rain going through Carlisle, stopped and flipped on our lights, made the rest of the run back to the car in Concord safely. It was humid today, but not as humid as yesterday.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  25. #2025
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
    I've no idea if a very small and very rare good deed makes any difference but I do appreciate where we ride.
    You bet it makes a difference!

    Ran today but saw plenty of cyclists out there. Snuck in a quick 20 mile ride yesterday to accommodate my need to work out and the nearly 4 year old's need to nap. Worked out well for both of us. Best news to report: Route 62 leaving Bedford center towards Concord is now paved! It had been pretty rough but now is smooth as silk until Evans Way.
    ~Kat

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