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Old 01-15-13, 01:36 AM   #2451
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Rod, that's great you helped that person get there phone. How's the Mitman doing, wondering if I can go through with summer tires yet?
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Old 01-15-13, 10:25 AM   #2452
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The Minuteman is fully passable right now (but watch out for the connecting sidewalk at Depot Park; it was icy on Saturday). However, snow is predicted tonight. Ride today, ski (or skate) tomorrow.

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Old 01-15-13, 09:11 PM   #2453
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Went to put some air in the front tire of my LHT, found the valve was seized; forced it, and was rewarded with a satisfying POUF!.as the valve stem blew out. Feeling lazy and pressed for time, I took the winter bike instead, crackling and crunching on carbide studs up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman, ten miles with temperatures in the mid-thirties. Aldebaran and Jupiter were in conjunction near zenith, visible through a rift in the clouds, the Moon riding lower to the West, moonlight diffusing through thin clouds foretelling snow. Heard a dog snarl in a hostile encounter with ... ?

rod

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Old 01-16-13, 04:26 PM   #2454
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Did I really do my first ride of the year on Monday or was that just this old cave bear's hibernation hallucination?

With all this white ground I see today, it must have been a dream.
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Old 01-16-13, 06:08 PM   #2455
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I hear you, it wasn't that bad of a snow shower. Let me know how it is for tomorrow(Thursday).
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Old 01-16-13, 06:25 PM   #2456
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today completely sucked. I thought "oh it's not that bad" but it was just warm enough that most of the snow turned to slush and lodged itself in my gears. about halfway to work I was effectively riding a singlespeed. never happened before, yuck.
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Old 01-16-13, 11:04 PM   #2457
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Glad you are all getting in some rides. All I've done bike-wise since the weekend is clean up the bike I got so dirty on Saturday. Otherwise it's been work.
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Old 01-18-13, 02:28 PM   #2458
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Hi guys, new to Boston here. I'd like to get back into some regular road-riding, but I don't really know the good routes around here. Does anyone want to get a group ride going out of the metro Boston area? Hope to see you all around as the weather starts warming up.
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Old 01-18-13, 11:06 PM   #2459
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Hi guys, new to Boston here. I'd like to get back into some regular road-riding, but I don't really know the good routes around here. Does anyone want to get a group ride going out of the metro Boston area? Hope to see you all around as the weather starts warming up.
Welcome! If you're looking for group rides in the Boston area, the Charles River Wheelmen (http://www.crw.org/) may very well have what you need. Another option is the Ride Studio Cafe, in Lexington (http://ridestudiocafe.com/studio-com.../weekly-rides/).

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Old 01-18-13, 11:28 PM   #2460
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Rode out to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman, 10 miles, temperatures ranging from the low 20s to the high teens, cold enough for the ICEBIKE Mittens, which once again kept my fingers toasty. Jupiter is in Taurus, still keeping company with Aldebaran; Orion was right there as well, a fit object for Winter contemplation. The Moon is First Quarter, which, paradoxically, means half, supplying plenty of light to reflect off the snow, a bright night. Had the place mostly to myself, only saw one other cyclist, plus a couple of runners and pedestrians. The sections of the Minuteman I rode in Arlington and Lexington were down to dry, bare pavement. There's one nasty exception that folks not running studded tires should watch out for: the access road for Seasons Four is a rutted ice sheet where the Minuteman crosses it.


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Old 01-19-13, 02:06 PM   #2461
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Lunchtime ride on the Minuteman out to Depot Park, Bedford. The temperature rose eight degrees in the course of the ride, to 48, nearly thirty degrees warmer than the coldest of last night's ride. Another thaw is in progress, and last night's rutted ice sheet is today's puddle. The water is rising in Tophet Swamp.


With all that heat transfer comes wind, in gusts that snapped flags, sounded in treetops, and got in my face. Once again I was impressed with the sheer number of fallen trees that have accumulated in the woody margins of the Trail due to the storms of the last few years, a sort of visual integral of the material effects at a very local scale of energetic changes at a very large scale.


The Minuteman is clear from Arlington Center to Depot Park.

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Old 01-19-13, 02:46 PM   #2462
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Hi guys, new to Boston here. I'd like to get back into some regular road-riding, but I don't really know the good routes around here. Does anyone want to get a group ride going out of the metro Boston area? Hope to see you all around as the weather starts warming up.
Hi, D3. We're always up for a ride with folks, as long as we can actually schedule it at all. For the next few weeks things look unlikely though.
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Old 01-19-13, 03:53 PM   #2463
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Hi, D3. We're always up for a ride with folks, as long as we can actually schedule it at all. For the next few weeks things look unlikely though.
Yup, what he said. This week is tough but PM me if you want to ride in SW MW. I rode in Sherborn, Dover, Westwood and Medfield today and tomorrow will ride a "comfort" ride with a neighbor.

To add to Rod's ideas, there are a fair number of local rides within Metro West. Landry's in Natick and Grace in Holliston are bike shop inspired group rides in my neck of the woods.
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Old 01-19-13, 04:54 PM   #2464
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.....Once again I was impressed with the sheer number of fallen trees that have accumulated in the woody margins of the Trail due to the storms of the last few years, a sort of visual integral of the material effects at a very local scale of energetic changes at a very large scale.....
rod
Yep, Nature's pruning and to some degree the effects of fallow farm land growing trees of all the same age. Riding through Metro West's we get to enjoy trees and wooded areas. I like seeing old trees becoming bug infested bird feeders and eventually fall and return to the earth. Winter lets us see further in the woods and those drops open up sunlight for the next generation. It was so nice out today in the balmy 40s and pretty dry, no ice roads I enjoyed a "nice to get out" ride. Only one mph slower than Spring ride times means I can still bend with those breezes.
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Old 01-20-13, 08:32 AM   #2465
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Yep, Nature's pruning and to some degree the effects of fallow farm land growing trees of all the same age. Riding through Metro West's we get to enjoy trees and wooded areas. I like seeing old trees becoming bug infested bird feeders and eventually fall and return to the earth. Winter lets us see further in the woods and those drops open up sunlight for the next generation. It was so nice out today in the balmy 40s and pretty dry, no ice roads I enjoyed a "nice to get out" ride. Only one mph slower than Spring ride times means I can still bend with those breezes.
I'm with you, but what I'm seeing is that many of the windfalls are a break from that classic sequence: not old, not buggy, young-to-middle-aged, simply knocked over. To quote the King of Siam out of context, "It is a puzzlement".

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Old 01-20-13, 01:19 PM   #2466
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I wonder if weather is windier pruning based on roots or other tree health. A few gusts today made me appreciate the added mass of my winter..stomach....muscle helping my tires root to the road.
Nice ride out to the Hopkinton hinterlands.
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Old 01-20-13, 03:21 PM   #2467
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I have to nothing offer about winter pruning other than a generic "ayup". But we did a nice 22.5 mile ride in today. It was, ahem, quite windy. Also warm for January, though we often have a January thaw. Saw a few bikes. Talked to a few cyclists at Fern's.
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Old 01-20-13, 05:43 PM   #2468
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Spent some maintenance time with the LHT this afternoon. Was starting to change the front tire (still flat after spitting out its valve core) when I noticed the missing valve core on the garage floor. Took a close look at it, realized it was threaded at the base, freed up the seized top knob with a pair of pliers (how I had gotten into trouble in the first place), and reinstalled it; in the spirit of experimentation, tried pumping it up; it held air, wonder of wonders. Lubed the chain and the derailleurs, then took a little sunset ride on the Minuteman to Lexington Center (nothing too long, Pats game coming). The tire held, and the sunset was lovely.


Lots of wind of course, mostly in my face on the outbound, uphill leg, mostly at my back on the return. At dusk, as I was rolling past Brown Homestead a screech owl called three times over my left shoulder. Eerie.

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Old 01-21-13, 08:01 PM   #2469
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At 4:30 the snow still hadn't started falling in Arlington, and the weather radar showed the nearest snow showers out in Framingham and Marlborough, so I hopped on the LHT, hoping to enjoy bare, dry pavement one more time before the storm. Had a pleasant ride up to Lexington Center in a day without a sunset, light gray turning to darker gray, then briefly to a deep lavender before simply getting dark. After talking to one of the Trail regulars who was walking his Siberian Husky (and getting pulled up the trail by it, happy dog), I checked the weather radar again and discovered the snow had apparently commenced throughout the region: not an encroaching thing coming from the southwest, but a thing developing overhead (to be fair, one of the TV weatherpeople had predicted exactly that last night, in the post-Pats-debacle devastation). I turned on my headlights, and, sure enough, there were the snowflakes; not a lot, yet, but definitely falling.


I could, of course, have turned around at that point, it would have satisfied my original purpose, but instead I kept going, riding further into Lexington and continuing to Bedford. At some point, the snow began to stick to the Trail pavement. A bit after that, enough was sticking to leave tracks in. By the time I was riding through the industrial park neighborhoods of Hartwell Ave. and Wiggins Ave., there was no mistaking it: this was a snowstorm. I spent a good deal of my early professional career in those parts, and the sight of snowy parking lots at night filled me with a peculiar nostalgia.


Turned around at Depot Park...


... and rode home. The snow had now accumulated to a depth of about a centimeter, enough to change the experience from riding through (falling) snow to riding in (accumulated) snow. Light was diffused, sound was dampened. I noticed the former when the flashing lights of an aircraft on final approach to Hanscom illuminated the path like lightning; I noticed the latter when I encountered on-coming cyclists and couldn't hear their tires (the sound of bicycle tires on pavement is subtle, but present... until it's absent). The LHT and its 37mm touring tires did just fine with these conditions; I've often read that getting first crack at a snowy path is a treat, now I believe it. Was dusted with snow and had a fine, frozen beard by the time I reached home. Poured myself a glass of wine, and went to work on a kettle of beef stew. Colder weather's coming...

rod

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Old 01-21-13, 08:10 PM   #2470
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Hi guys, new to Boston here. I'd like to get back into some regular road-riding, but I don't really know the good routes around here. Does anyone want to get a group ride going out of the metro Boston area? Hope to see you all around as the weather starts warming up.
I don't know where you live or if you prefer loops or driving to a starting point; I do loops from Kenmore Square.
FYA, I posted this personal compendium about road cycling in Boston, to this thread, “living in saugus, working in boston, where and who to ride with?” (The original reply was posted to a Hawaiian who moved to Saugus.)

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Welcome to Boston and environs; I love riding in and around this town. I'm a year round commuter from Kenmore Square downtown to Norwood 14 miles southwest of Boston and an ocasional centurian...

For some generalities, my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston. I think of the area in sectors radiating from downtown and surrounded by a circumferential belt about 10 to 15 miles from Downtown, known as Route 128 ("America's Technology Highway").

I would describe the sectors as (mostly for road riding outside of Rte 128):...
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Old 01-21-13, 08:15 PM   #2471
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Jim! It's great to hear from you!

rod
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Old 01-21-13, 08:58 PM   #2472
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Jim! It's great to hear from you!

rod
Indeed!

Rod, nice pics and nice story, as usual. I feel like I was there with you (instead of slogging my way home from work ).
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Old 01-22-13, 10:05 AM   #2473
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Yup, what he said. This week is tough but PM me if you want to ride in SW MW. I rode in Sherborn, Dover, Westwood and Medfield today and tomorrow will ride a "comfort" ride with a neighbor.

To add to Rod's ideas, there are a fair number of local rides within Metro West. Landry's in Natick and Grace in Holliston are bike shop inspired group rides in my neck of the woods.
Seconding this. Landry's is my go to weekday ride during Spring/Summer. It's Wednesday night's at 6:00. Nice group, a 20 + mile loop at a steady pace-- not much "attacking."

I'll also second the Ride Studio suggestion. They do a great Saturday morning ride. It's hard and fast.

David, where are you living?
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Old 01-22-13, 11:52 AM   #2474
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Jim! It's great to hear from you!

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Indeed!
Thanks for those nice replies. I had posted regularly to this thread through about August 2011 about my weekend long-training rides throughout the entire Metro area besides, but including Metrowest, since I always started from Kenmore Square. At about that time I got really busy at work, and my rides got fewer, with less time to post

I resumed training in around April 2012, but before I could get into really long rides, I was hit from behind by a car on my commute home the night of June 1. Soon after I posted my first reply in July to the Forums after the accident, I read an admonition from one of the moderators of the Commuting Forum not to post about one's cycling accident for legal reasons. So I have been mum about my cycling progress, but I resumed my 14 mile one-way commute from Kenmore Square to Norwood in mid-November (I take the Commuter Rail home in the evening). I did meet up with mtalinm with whom I have previously ridden, since we commute the same route, but in different directions.

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hey folks, been off the bike for a few months with a torn calf muscle. just getting going, and ride to work for the first time last Friday.

today I had a special treat: my phone rang with a call from "Jim from Boston"! he said that he was going to ride home from where he works in Norwood and did I want to join him. so I rode from Westwood down to the hospital, met up with him, and rode back. ...

we are both pretty slow right now, but it was sure good to see him on two wheels!

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Mtalinm!

Mtalinm with Jim from Boston.

Welcome back. Getting out on a nice ride and posting it is a Thanksgiving gift.
Thank you!
jimmuller and rholland also wished me well after that post.

Nonetheless, it's no secret among those who know me that I'm back on the Road again. I get mixed opinions about commuting again, but the majority are positive. To the negative minority, all I can say is that the benefits outweigh the risks. The benefits for me in particular are the cardiovascular effects that I can acquire with little overall increase in time expenditure, and the strengthening of my lower back and hip tissues surrounding the lower spinal hardware. I've even assuaged my mother's concerns. I also continued to follow the various Forums I read before the accident.

I have been meaning post to this thread about a special event on Saturday July 27. Mass Bike is hosting their Annual Summer Century and Family Ride, probably beginning from Lexington High School. For the past four years on the Fifty-Plus Forum, it’s been a tradition for those interested to gather for a weekend on organized ride. Usually about twelve or so subscribers attend. I did the Second Annual Ride held at Watkins Glen in Finger Lakes Region of New York, and the Third in Chelsea, Michigan. This year I have suggested the Mass Bike ride, and receive a good number of favorable responses. For further information see:

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… Here’s some of the basic logistics:

THE RIDE:… they describe it: “All rides (8, 26, 47, 62 and 100 miles) will traverse the heart of American Revolutionary history, from Paul Revere’s Ride through Lexington and Concord, to nearby battlefields. Longer rides visit the towns and villages that sent the first Minutemen. After the rides, everyone is invited to stay at Lexington High School for lunch and socializing. Lunch will be provided by Redbones!…For details, see: http://massbike.org/summer-century-family-ride/

So a tentative plan is:
  • Thursday: ? early arrivals, with a (?) ad hoc get-together late afternoon/early evening
    Friday: expected arrivals, with a planned activity late afternoon and/or early evening
    Saturday: the Ride with a following activity, to be decided
    Sunday: to be decided
    Monday – Wednesday: to be decided (though if there is not much interest, I’ll not take the days off.)
This is all tentative and flexible, but at least the date is pretty reliable, and will be officially announced in February…
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Old 01-22-13, 12:07 PM   #2475
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Hi guys, new to Boston here. I'd like to get back into some regular road-riding, but I don't really know the good routes around here. Does anyone want to get a group ride going out of the metro Boston area? Hope to see you all around as the weather starts warming up.
Ride Studio Cafe are awesome. Quad Cycles (a bike shop) in Arlington does a weekly group ride, too. Both of those are too fast for me, but they're great people, so I'm sure the rides are, too. Many of the other shops likely have rides -- ask around.

If you want to escape the city without fighting through traffic on a bike better suited to country roads than heavy traffic where the potholes have potholes, you can take bikes on the Red, Orange, and Blue T lines and commuter rail all of the time except rush hour. Taking the commuter rail out to the 'burbs, riding around, and then riding home rather than relying on the schedule can be nice.

Get a copy of the Eastern Massachusetts Rubel bike map, too. Super-useful. I wish the Central MA ones were still in print.
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