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Another intro from Massachusetts

Old 06-18-08, 07:47 AM
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cod.peace
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Another intro from Massachusetts

Hello all. I am working up to starting a bike commute in eastern MA, from Waltham to Burlington. The distance is roughly 10-11 miles. This won't save me a ton of gas (I fill up my Saab every 2 weeks normally), but I really need some regular exercise to drop a bunch of weight, I'm tired of traffic, and I spent my whole childhood until age 16.5 glued to a bike seat. Now at age 33 I find myself bikeless and wanting to get back into it. Coincidentally, a dedicated bike commuting co-worker of mine (Jake von Slatt of steampunk fame), started biking to work when he was in his early 30's for the mostly the reasons. I've been chatting him up for advice.

I think I've settled on the idea of a touring or cyclocross bike for mounting a rack and fenders and plan on visiting some area shops, probably starting with Harris Cyclery in Newton. I'm thinking of a decent used bike for the summer and fall, and then if I really commit to it I'll invest in a nicer setup over the winter. So far I have been trolling the web for information and reading "Effective Cycling."

I just need to get my wife on board with the idea...she's skeptical of the safety issues, although I dare say being overweight and too sedentary with family histories of Type I diabetes and cancer is more dangerous.

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Old 06-18-08, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post

I just need to get my wife on board with the idea...she's skeptical of the safety issues, although I dare say being overweight and too sedentary with family histories of Type I diabetes and cancer is more dangerous.
Not to say that commuting doesn't have it's own dangers, but Type I diabetes would have me cycling scared. You should get together with your family doctor to let the doctor explain to your wife that cycling is extremely beneficial.

You know Jake von Slatt? That is awesome...a lot of us like that steampunk thing, and we lurk in the AltBikes forum .

I love your username, by the way.

Welcome to BF, and feel free to PM me with any questions !

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Old 06-18-08, 08:13 AM
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Welcome from another Mass-a-holic. I'm a bit farther west from you on the other side of Fitchburg, but have been riding for 30 years and can attest to the benefits of cycling and maintaining weight and fitness. Sure, get your wife involved and get her on the forum too...then she can join the women's forum here and we can gossip about you!
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Old 06-18-08, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
You know Jake von Slatt? That is awesome...a lot of us like that steampunk thing, and we lurk in the AltBikes forum .
While I normally abhor off-topic blog whoring...an interview with von Slatt is here: steampunk interview Ah, nothing like basking in the light of celebrity

Thanks for the welcome, I appreciate it. I am starting to drive the back road route instead of the freeway with an eye towards figuring it out as a cyclist not as a driver. There's definitely some intersections I'd avoid and one section where staying on the left hand side of the road (with traffic - divided highway with multiple on/off ramps to freeway on right) would be wise, but most of it looks pretty good.

Suzie Green, how far into the cold weather do you keep biking? Most winters are not as snowy as last year's!
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Old 06-19-08, 07:05 AM
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Loved the interview! Thanks for that link. I am going to fetch Sianelle for this one .

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Old 06-19-08, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
Suzie Green, how far into the cold weather do you keep biking? Most winters are not as snowy as last year's!

I usually ride pretty steadily up into most of October. If November has some warm-ish weekend days, I might venture out on the road, but more likely I'll take the mtn bike out instead. I much prefer warm weather. I'm fine with cycling with the temperature (F) in the 90's but when it drops below 45 or so I have a hard time staying warm. I don't like riding with heavy gloves, shoe covers, face masks and all the other cold weather gear.
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Old 06-19-08, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by East Hill View Post
Loved the interview! Thanks for that link. I am going to fetch Sianelle for this one .

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Wow Jake von Slatt

After seeing Jake's work I can't walk/bicycle past an 'antique' shop or car boot sale without hunting about for objects with steampunk potential.
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Old 06-19-08, 07:03 PM
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aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh I like to see this Boston talk, I do miss the Boston area, I used to work in winter hill Waltham and lived in Wobun in the flats across from the big pond there (dont remember the name)

do they still have that bike/rollerblade track from bedford to that town just outside boston? (cant remember the suburb)

I miss papa ginos pizza and the 99 restaraunt marinated steakips

yumm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-19-08, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDarkMatter View Post
do they still have that bike/rollerblade track from bedford to that town just outside boston? (cant remember the suburb)
I miss papa ginos pizza and the 99 restaraunt marinated steakips
I think you mean the Minuteman trail: https://www.minutemanbikeway.org/ I cross it by car when I'm cutting through Lexington. One of my co-workers who bikes takes that from Arlington.

Papa Gino's (and Regina's of the Burlington Mall) is my 2 year old's favorite pizza
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Old 06-20-08, 03:49 AM
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ah arlington! thank you!

I love pizza regina I had forgotten about it , thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

yummo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-20-08, 04:52 AM
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Hello cod.peace.

Welcome to the fora, and to commuting!

You should look on bikely.com for paths to work. Here's one from Needham to Burlington, that goes through Waltham. There may be others on there that suit you better.

https://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...gton-alternate

You could use these as a starting point, and modify them as you learn the route.

Harris Cyclery is great! I think they have the best service. They have a ~$900 Surly LHT that would make a great commuter, and they also keep the Rivendell models. The bad thing about the LHT is that they told me that it will never be on sale as it is so popular.

Fenders are a must, and lights!! Get lots of good lights, especially if you're planning to commute during the colder months.

I live in Watertown and also commute in every day. Last year, I missed about a week of commuting during the winter, since there was not much snow. Well, they cleared out the snow quickly, so that helped.

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Old 06-20-08, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by yohannrjm View Post
Hello cod.peace.

Welcome to the fora, and to commuting!
Thank you! I ended up stopping by Frank's Spoke N Wheel in Waltham (they also have a store in Sudbury where we may buy a house next year - if prices keep falling!). He has a Masi Speciale CX coming in soon that can take fenders, a rack etc. that goes for about $900-1000.

I will definitely be investing in lights, I was just browsing Peter White's online catalog last night. At this point I will go for the much cheaper battery powered ones. If I keep it up a dyno investment is possible too, my car will be paid off this winter so I will have a little extra "transportation $" in the budget.

Thanks for the biklery.com link. Much of the route I am thinking about is similar to that but whoever made that up is much more familiar with Lexington than I am.
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