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Cruising at 23 mph on Comm Ave (Boston)

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Cruising at 23 mph on Comm Ave (Boston)

Old 07-19-08, 09:12 AM
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apricissimus 
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Cruising at 23 mph on Comm Ave (Boston)

I just got back from a ride and on a whim I decided to go down a street I've been avoiding due to terrible conditions (Comm Ave near BU for Boston folk). When I got there I found that the street had been freshly paved! I can't fully describe how awful this stretch of road has been over the past year or so, so to see it like this was amazing. I looked down at my computer and saw that I was going at 23 mph without even trying too hard! Incredible! That would be literally unthinkable just a short while ago.

I've very happy about this, but I'm not going to get too excited. For whatever reason they've been paving that street, tearing it up again, and repaving multiple times in the past year or so, so I'll just enjoy it while it lasts.

However, this new pavement looks more "permanent" than the other times they've repaved. Or is this just wishful thinking??
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Old 07-19-08, 09:20 AM
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Congrats on your 23mph cruising speed. My cruising speed is more like 10mph. But, I've been singing and going a long at 14 or 15mph too.

Now the fastest I've gone on flat land was 18.2MPH. Very proud of that..and that is without a HILL as a starter.
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Old 07-19-08, 10:50 AM
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As Greg LeMond said, "it doesn't get any easier, you just go faster."

After a year of holding myself to my aerobic limit while riding and pushing a bit past it on my 7 mile round-trip commute, I now cruise at about 18 - 22 mph, depending on my cargo load, headwinds, pavement conditions, etc. I've held a nice comfy 25 mph on fresh pavement with a tailwind. I think my record is around 28 mph on a flat.

It's really the acquisition of a road bike that ruined me. Before that I was quite content to go much slower while wearing regular street clothes.
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Old 07-19-08, 10:52 AM
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i've been on comm ave before. i only rode it on a weekend morning, so it seemed pretty tame to me. but i have a feeling the traffic can get pretty intense on it, right?
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Old 07-19-08, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by timmhaan View Post
i've been on comm ave before. i only rode it on a weekend morning, so it seemed pretty tame to me. but i have a feeling the traffic can get pretty intense on it, right?
As city streets go, it's actually not that bad, outside of a few notable tricky intersections. It's pretty wide so even when there's heavy traffic, there's usually plenty of room for bikes between the right lane and the parked cars.

Lately though there's been tons of construction on it, which is what's made it really bad. All kinds of potholes, divots, lumps and irregularities, raised man holes and storms drains, and merging into one lane if the street's partially blocked.

Double parking in the Back Bay can get pretty bad though.
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Old 07-19-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by HeIncreasesMe View Post
Congrats on your 23mph cruising speed. My cruising speed is more like 10mph. But, I've been singing and going a long at 14 or 15mph too.

Now the fastest I've gone on flat land was 18.2MPH. Very proud of that..and that is without a HILL as a starter.
If it's any consolation, I had a tailwind to help me. I normally never get that fast without a hill assist. I think it just goes to show you how much perfectly smooth pavement can help. That was my main point. A good road can make such a big difference.
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Old 07-19-08, 01:13 PM
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I've clocked in at 21 MPH going at my quasi-top speed (on my hybrid no less) by those road-side radars.

Now, I just have to make that my cruising speed
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Old 07-19-08, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
I just got back from a ride and on a whim I decided to go down a street I've been avoiding due to terrible conditions (Comm Ave near BU for Boston folk)
6 years on that road in grad school. I know it well. I'm still waiting for the 2-3 mile stretch of Comm Ave once you pass Eagle's Deli in Brighton heading west to be re-paved - it's been crap for at least 15 years.
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Old 07-20-08, 08:38 AM
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I ride a bit of Comm Ave near BU every morning on the way to work. They've done a really good job getting it super smooth and having the manhole covers level, etc.

Now if they'd just hurry up and resurface the side roads off Comm Ave that they've dug up. Urgh!
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Old 07-20-08, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
However, this new pavement looks more "permanent" than the other times they've repaved. Or is this just wishful thinking??
Ha-ha. Knowing Boston, they probably had the road-ripper-upper machine following behind you, just out of earshot.

Well-deserved cynicism aside, I certainly hope the new pavement is permanent. Comm Ave. and Beacon St. are decent roads for cycling (wide, bike lanes in some spots), but patchwork pavement syndrome turns them into minefields. Beacon street got repaved all the way through Brookline last year, and is much better now.

Now that Comm Ave. has been repaved too, all we need is for them to finish and repave Kenmore Square. That should happen around the time the Big Dig debt gets paid off...

(bitter? me?)
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Old 07-20-08, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
I'm still waiting for the 2-3 mile stretch of Comm Ave once you pass Eagle's Deli in Brighton heading west to be re-paved - it's been crap for at least 15 years.
Eagle's Deli is on Beacon! Beacon west of there is not in the best shape, but I've seen worse. Comm Ave, on the other hand, is a disaster going either direction from that area.
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Old 07-20-08, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by GRedner View Post
Eagle's Deli is on Beacon! Beacon west of there is not in the best shape, but I've seen worse. Comm Ave, on the other hand, is a disaster going either direction from that area.
I was wracking my brain about Eagles Deli on Comm Ave... But now I think I know where it is. That's near the reservoir, right?
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Old 07-20-08, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GRedner View Post

Now that Comm Ave. has been repaved too, all we need is for them to finish and repave Kenmore Square. That should happen around the time the Big Dig debt gets paid off...

(bitter? me?)
What's the deal with those weird raised curbstones that are now crossing the streets in Kenmore Sq.? Anyone know? Speed bumps???
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Old 07-20-08, 08:02 PM
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Ooh, nostalgia. Went to school nearby for four years. Didn't have a bike then, though, so whenever I passed through that region, it was on the wide BU sidewalk.
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Old 07-20-08, 08:25 PM
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congrats! i recently switched from the MUP along the road to the road, and i'm averaged about 22mph on the road, and i was only getting about 12 or 13 on the MUP. mostly because it had elevation changes, and the road does not.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:52 AM
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Don't get too happy about Comm Ave -- as of Thursday, the outbound was still ripped up and grooved. Inbound was sweet though.
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Old 07-21-08, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by GRedner View Post
Eagle's Deli is on Beacon! Beacon west of there is not in the best shape, but I've seen worse. Comm Ave, on the other hand, is a disaster going either direction from that area.
Doh! That's absolutely right. I was thinking of Comm Ave right after you cross Chestnut Hill Ave...which cross Beacon St right by Eagle's Deli. So I was close :
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Old 07-21-08, 07:42 AM
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Rode outbound on Comm Ave last week on my way out to Belmont. Horrible.

Have to say that all around Boston and the western suburbs repaving activities have been unusually heavy and it IS sweet when they're done.

Still waiting for them to finish up paving "my" hill that I've had to avoid for the past 3 months because it got so torn up this winter.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:50 AM
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I work at BU and ride Comm Ave through there daily. Inbound is now heavenly but outbound is still a freaking mess, I've been taking Beacon home to avoid it (and I *hate* riding on Beacon). And now they've got the Trolley closed (where am I supposed to go for lunch!). Kenmore Sq is a nightmare. I wish they would just finish one damn thing there before tearing another hole in the ground.

Last edited by dr_bovine; 07-21-08 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:51 AM
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Yeah the outbound side is still really rough with the manhole covers several inches above the "pavement." I can't wait 'til they finish paving that side too. They've been working on this seemingly forever, and it's a terrible stretch to ride. Sadly I have to do it everyday, it's the simplest way for me to get home.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:13 AM
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Now that I live on Comm Ave, I tend to ride it quite a bit. I only wish the road was as decent as Beacon (at least between BC and Washington Sq). I read somewhere that they want to put a bike lane on Comm Ave in the near future.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:48 AM
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I spoke too soon ... it looks like they've repaved a big stretch of outbound Comm Ave this morning (or over the weekend). Finally.

Comm Ave (between Packard's Corner and Kenmore Square) is wide enough that it doesn't *need* a bike lane (this a actually the most trouble-free part of my commute), but painting lines might make drivers more aware (?). I'd love one on Brighton Ave though.
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Old 07-21-08, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by newbojeff View Post
Still waiting for them to finish up paving "my" hill that I've had to avoid for the past 3 months because it got so torn up this winter.
That wouldn't happen to be the Belmont-Trapelo hill on the Watertown-Belmont line would it? You've described my feelings and actions toward that hill perfectly.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_bovine View Post
And now they've got the Trolley closed (where am I supposed to go for lunch!).
They closed the Trolley?! So many memories...of scarfing cheap tabouleh before dashing back in to finish a lab.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
What's the deal with those weird raised curbstones that are now crossing the streets in Kenmore Sq.? Anyone know? Speed bumps???
I discovered today that their true purpose is to smack my handlebars directly into the still-healing road rash on my hands (see https://www.bikeforums.net/33-road-bike-racing/440840-i-raced-i-crashed-i-went-e-r.html), causing much grimacing and an expletive or two. Those traffic engineers think of everything!
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