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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-19-13, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
A useful resource for planning new rides are the Mass. DCR Reconnaisance Reports on the historic and scenic assets of a number of towns. These are in pdf format, and can be found here. A broader set of resources can be found here.

rod
One-stop shopping: links to all the reports on a single page.

rod

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Old 06-20-13, 08:24 PM
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10 miles after work on the Minuteman, a Solstice ride. Started late enough that the sun was in my eyes, and in the eyes of any drivers behind me. Ra!


All that radiance did have some utility: glass shards from a broken bottle on Broadway sparkled in a menacing constellation on the asphalt, as opposed to lying dully in the path of my tire treads.

Met my eldest son, out for a ride himself, and had a pleasant chat beside the trail.

rod

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Old 06-21-13, 07:04 AM
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Had a really wonderful ride this morning. Got out a bit earlier than usual (5:15 a.m.), so I decided to skip the group ride and just meander solo down some different roads. The air had that wonderful early summer (officially!) feel to it; warm with a hint of briskness. Incredibly refreshing and a great day to breathe deeply. Good day to ride and take stock of the wonderful scenery around my area.
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Old 06-21-13, 10:00 PM
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Low-energy ride to Bedford Street, Lexington, 14 miles on the Minuteman at the end of the day in the warm, humid Summer air. Encountered a couple of francophone novice unicyclists trying to stay upright in East Lexington. On the return, enjoyed the sight of a moon that, while not yet full, is already noticeably plump.


rod

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Old 06-22-13, 02:30 PM
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Chelmsford - concord. Down concord /lowell road and back up monument 22 miles.

Keyk Run tomorrow

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/548021 maybe a little further
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Old 06-22-13, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gabedad
Keyk Run tomorrow

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/548021 maybe a little further
You may cross paths with us. If you see a vintage blue tandem with a vintage bearded captain and petite stoker, give a shout!
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Old 06-23-13, 11:17 AM
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Late Saturday afternoon, after an 8-mile hike on the Western Greenway, wandered off on my bike for a 28-mile loop on the Minuteman, the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail, and Dudley Road as the day cooled a bit from the mid-80's at the start. While the muscle groups for walking and cycling are somewhat different, there's enough overlap that this felt like the tail-end of a longer ride. The NGRT was especially nice, too dry for mud-holes, damp enough to hold the dust down. Almost nobody was out on it. Noticed the fireplugs at intervals, certainly useful in the event of wildfires, but as incongruous in the woods as a light-post in a wardrobe. Rode out through the sandy stretches of the unorganized Billerica segment.






Nipped along to Dudley Road, whose surface could very well be the ISO Reference Standard for Rough Pavement (wouldn't use an iridium bar for that, certainly). Noticed again that the worst pavement guards the most beautiful scenery and the old, elegant structures. The recently-developed boring bits have smooth asphalt. The 32mm Grand Bois Cypres Extra Leger tires evened it all out.

On the return, finally photographed a couple of pieces of rusted steel sculpture behind the yard of a house in Lexington, objets d'art suggesting mysterious objets trouvés, imaginary abandoned railroad paraphernalia.


The moon rose as I rode through Arlington, either perigee-full or not quite there, depending on your reckoning, one of those Yoshi.toshi moments.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 12-27-20 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Interpolated a "." in the name of the revered Japanese artist, Yo****oshi, to defeat the silly pattern-driven bowdlerizaton.
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Old 06-24-13, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
10 miles after work on the Minuteman, a Solstice ride. Started late enough that the sun was in my eyes, and in the eyes of any drivers behind me. Ra!


All that radiance did have some utility: glass shards from a broken bottle on Broadway sparkled in a menacing constellation on the asphalt, as opposed to lying dully in the path of my tire treads.

Met my eldest son, out for a ride himself, and had a pleasant chat beside the trail.

rod
Rod,
Brilliant observation and perspective to see the bright side of glare as a constellation and any ride and chat with the next generation has a timespace goodness.

Friday I was sour and bothered by an angry bicyclist who swore at a car then, when asked to mind his language by a father with his two kids, yelled at the father. No harm done and it all passed but I was bothered by the overly amped up, self centered cyclist.

Saturday I planned a moderate ride but the fine weather mixed with wind we create when we ride, the shaded roads and the swirling colors of what has to be a record number of recreational cyclists all created a medicinal contrast to Friday. I metric-centuried the Carlisle loop and glare became radiance.

Sunday was a very pleasant bicycle stroll along the Blackstone in RI.

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Old 06-24-13, 05:23 PM
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I have no pics to offer today, just a bit of smug self-satisfaction. I rode my commute on the '73 Raleigh Gran Sport, 13 miles from train station to work, 14 miles back to the station (a slightly different route home). Today was predicted to be hot and humid, dew points near 70 for the ride home. In fact the temp was about 80 when I boarded the train at 8:10AM and about 90 and very humid for the ride home. You could say today's ride required commitment. I actually left work early to catch an earlier train than normal and to avoid possible t-storms, but that meant higher temps. About half an hour before I left the office I crammed as much ice as I could into my water bottle, filled it with cold water, and stuck it in the office kitchen freezer. It stayed cold most of the ride, was still cool when I reached the station. Small victories!

I've been reading a book titled Cycling - Philosophy For Everyone, a series of essays and stories by different people. It's heavy going sometimes, will never be made into a major motion picture, but it is generally engaging. Right now I'm wading through a particular essay titled Bicycling and the Simple Life by Russell Arben Fox. He argues that reverting to a simpler life (i.e. going more natural, or even "off the grid") is not always so simple. It sometimes requires complex decisions and indeed sacrifices. There is a win if you do it right, but it doesn't come free and isn't always obvious. Of course his claim in this context is that more cycling for transportation is one key way to go simpler. It does require decisions and commitment.

Today's commute was a real-life example. I saved 60 miles of driving today, saved no money when you count the cost of parking and train ticket, did my body good with all the exercise, and gave myself permission to be insufferably smug!
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Old 06-24-13, 08:06 PM
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Played tag with the thunderstorms on my usual mental health ride trajectory after work, 10 miles to Lexington Center and back. The storms were just to the North of the Minuteman for much of the ride, booming and flashing and kicking up wind. While I was up in Lexington, they rolled through Arlington, so that when I returned the streets were streaming and the drains were gurgling, and all the noise had moved South, but nothing was falling. Nothing like donner und blitzen to keep the pace up, it was a quick one.


Jim, don't know about the philosophy of it, but I saw a young woman commuting on her bicycle in a sun dress who was... memorable.

rod

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Old 06-24-13, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Jim, don't know about the philosophy of it, but I saw a young woman commuting on her bicycle in a sun dress who was... memorable.
That philosophy and sunsets are universal.
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Old 06-25-13, 09:34 PM
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Took a 10 mile ride to Lexington and back under a hot sky; all the thunderstorms were elsewhere.


While pumping up the tires, enjoyed the cool, green view through the ivy that covers the garage.


rod

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Old 06-26-13, 07:01 AM
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I rarely chase "KOMs" on Strava. On the one hand, I'm usually too slow compared to the racers/group rides who hold them. Also, I just generally think it's silly to ride fast simply because a computer has created a ranking system. If I'm riding hard and I get a good ranking, then I'm happy. But I won't typically speed up just because I know it's a segment.

Today, though, I made an exception. I ran into a friend and his friend on the road this morning, and our route took us down a long sought after KOM for them. It's actually slightly downhill (about -1.5% grade) for a little over a mile (see here: https://app.strava.com/segments/1669312). I decided to play leadout man and absolutely buried myself for about 90 seconds, allowing my friend to sprint the last 30/45 seconds or so to take the KOM. I ended up with the 6th fastest time on the segment. It made me really happy. Not just because I helped a friend reach a goal, but because there's something wonderful about pushing your body to its limit, even for a short period of time. For those 90 seconds (it seemed a lot longer!) I forgot about my back problems, stress, work, etc. and just twirled the pedals around really, really fast. I rode that endorphin high all the way home.
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Old 06-26-13, 07:36 PM
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Hit the hills yesterday for 47 miles in 90+ degree heat. Concord Ave out of Belmont center, Prospect Park in Waltham, Lincoln St., etc. the post-ride cold beer never tasted so good.

https://cyclemeter.com/0504741f9e4538...30625-1052?r=e

Rode out to Chelmsford today to visit a friend who is recovering from a run in with a couple of dogs that he had while riding in Texas. Glad to say that he is on the mend and looking forward to getting back on the bike.

Rode in the rain for a good portion of the 66 mile ride. After yesterday's heat it felt great to ride in the rain.

https://cyclemeter.com/0504741f9e4538...30626-1150?r=e

Noticed a poster in Concord center informing me that Jim and Sharon are playing a concert with Southern Rail at the Concord Free Library on July 24. Hope to make it out to hear the show!

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Old 06-28-13, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
W00t! headed out to buy some lights at Dedham Bike and on my way back home saw none other than Jim from Boston riding north on 1A!!!! Yelled out to him; he stopped, and we did several miles together. Best part was seeing his smokin' hot Roubaix SL3 with full Dura-Ace. my puny Domane 4.5 w/Ultegra was no match! though our shoes matched (no pic, sorry). route: https://app.strava.com/activities/60570311
Thanks for this post, mtalinm. He and I share a common, year round commute though in opposite directions, Boston/Norwood and Westwood, and have enjoyed riding and chatting for a few miles on a couple occasions.

My busy work and family duties have kept me away from posting, and somewhat less from cycling as much as I would like to. I have been out on the roads though, often in the Metrowest. My descriptions and photos pale in comparison to those of the more regular subscribers, but here’s a couple of contributions.

One frequent stop is at the Wayland Depot on Rte 27/126, just north of Rte 20. Perhaps many of the Metrowestophiles know that Rte 20 is America’s longest highway as attested by the T-shirt in the window of the Depot.

Another favorite Metrowest rest stop is pictured below. It’s very serene and shaded, and a perfect stop before hitting some nearby hills. Anyone recognize it?

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Old 06-28-13, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Bishbike
Noticed a poster in Concord center informing me that Jim and Sharon are playing a concert with Southern Rail at the Concord Free Library on July 24. Hope to make it out to hear the show!
Thanks for the bump!

We will also be playing in Concord even sooner, for their July 4th festivities. We've been playing that for many years! It's also free, in Emerson Field.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Another favorite Metrowest rest stop is pictured below. It’s very serene and shaded, and a perfect stop before hitting some nearby hills. Anyone recognize it?
It almost looks like Battlefield Park, a.k.a. the North Bridge. But there are many nice places around Boston which look like that, and I wouldn't say there are many significant hills nearby until you've ridden away for a while.

Alas, I have not ridden today.
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Old 06-28-13, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...It almost looks like Battlefield Park, a.k.a. the North Bridge. But there are many nice places around Boston which look like that, and I wouldn't say there are many significant hills nearby until you've ridden away for a while.

Alas, I have not ridden today.
Thanks for the guess. Here's a better picture that gives it away. It's on the grounds of the Southborough Library at Rtes 30 and 85. I don't get out of the Rte 495 perimeter much for the really big hills, but the hill I was anticipating was up Rte 85 southbound to Hopkinton, which was negotiable a couple weeks ago, but there is a pretty steep incline immediately before Main St in Hopkinton. Their Town Common is also a nice quiet, shaded spot on a Saturday morning.

Speaking of Metrowest, Mass Bike has announced its Annual Summer Century and Family Fun Fest to start in North Acton on Saturday July 27. I've been touting it on the Fifty Plus Forum as a venue for their Fifth Annual Fifty Plus Ride. Previous locales were in Colorado, the Finger Lakes in NY State, Michigan, and Tennessee. I've been to Rides 2 and 3, and North Acton is a lot closer. See these links:

https://massbike.org/summercentury/

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Here are some further details for the proposed Fifth Annual Fifty Plus Ride
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Old 06-28-13, 09:21 PM
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All the serious weather was farther West, sliding Northeast, so a ride to Lexington before dinner seemed like a good bet. While the clouds on the Western horizon looked to have some substance to them, the ones overhead were just for pretty.


The young bunnies were out in force tonight, on their crepuscular errands. A mockingbird gave a free concert at Arlington's Great Meadows, which have become lush and green in recent weeks, losing their sere aspect a bit at a time.


After the turnaround, it was dark enough that some folks were running lights, including a gentleman on a bicycle who was out with his dog. The dog was lit too, a red LED lantern hanging from its collar; got a chuckle at the lanterne rouge reference this elicited in the part of my brain that didn't have anything better to do with itself at the time than indulge in associations too loose to track. Another encounter with one of the Francophone aspiring unicyclists, his legs heavily armored, continued the Gallic theme.

My brakes have taken to squealing in humid weather. In some Minuteman traffic situations, this can be a passable, if somewhat alarming, substitute for the bell; I suppose that's a deprecated practice.

rod

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Old 06-29-13, 06:26 PM
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The day was full of productive and agreeable bustle, at the end of which I managed to squeeze in 10 miles on the Minuteman to Lexington Center. Conditions were so benign, the details of the ride faded, leaving only the spin.

rod
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Old 06-29-13, 06:56 PM
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Spin
I've ridden clover leaf loops with and without fenders the last few days. Today was a very clear blue version of heavy rain. Nice to get out.
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Old 06-29-13, 07:11 PM
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We did 49.3mi on the tandem today, Bedford past Littleton, almost to Ayer, to check out a route we're taking some folks on for a mini-tour later this summer. Since we'll all be carrying loads I wanted to find some route options which avoided a few really steep hills. I think we found the key...

A GPS/map check in Harwood, part of Littleton, I believe. We've been here before. Some of today's roads were new to us. Across the road is Rod's "stove repair business". Um, I saw nothing to suggest anyone was actually repairing all those dead stoves laying around.



Okay, so it isn't scenic. It's best I've got. So shoot me. No wait, Sharon already did. This is what came of it.
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Old 06-29-13, 07:28 PM
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The Internet says the stoves get repaired, it must be true...
;-)

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Old 06-30-13, 04:09 PM
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After yesterday's humidity-fest we did a recovery ride of only 25.5 miles. No scenic pics today, just these humble offerings.

Taking the bike out of the car. My sweetie likes these action shots. (Shield your eyes from the reflection.)


Looking for a parking space at a favorite lunch spot. (So many wheels, so little steel.)


The perfect lunch:


The high clouds gave us a rainbow though there wasn't a raindrop to be found anywhere:


On the way back to the car we stopped for a rest in Concord and spoke to a fellow riding a Co-Motion touring bike. He said it weighed 30lbs unloaded. When I questioned it he said go ahead and lift it. Wow. It was heavier than my upgraded UO8 with rack and lights. But he was big guy, probably 6'5" and the frame was big.
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Old 06-30-13, 10:38 PM
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Another little ride to Lexington wedged into the end of the day, 10 miles. Most everything that's going to be green this year was green today.


Once again, the storms were sliding on diagonal paths where I wasn't. This is not a complaint. The weather we did have was lovely, in a tropical way.


I've been noticing lately an increasing incidence of Regrettably Bare-chested Men on the Minuteman, which seemed to reach a local maximum this afternoon. No pictures of that.

rod

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Old 07-01-13, 02:36 PM
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Real Metro Boston posts, insightful, great to read and I learn more about this bicycle community.
Yesterday I rode Beacon into Boston and hooked up with my wife for North End meanderings out under the Zakim to Paul Revere Park and where the Duck boats dive in. We were admiring the three locks that make up the Gridley Dam and met a young couple visiting from Montreal. We gave them directions to an Indian restaurant on Mass Ave via the Esplanade. They were touring Boston using a smartphone app and rented Hubway bikes. They recognized similarities with the original Montreal version and our Hubway and were having a great time visiting Boston.

Last night we admired the same sunset from the locks named after our first Army Engineer, Col. Richard Gridley.
Today's weather was a different story. After the paths along the Charles I decided to take Rt. 16 in Watertown Square. The clouds shifted to dark and damp enough to force me into a Newton pub long enough to order a beverage. Influenced by last night's dinner in the North End and a recap of the tail end of today's stage the pub TV, my timing was perfect. The rain let up as the cup ran dry.
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Last edited by sherbornpeddler; 07-03-13 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Typo and clarity
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