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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-22-13, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Rod,
Your observations always seem to hit the nail on the head but did you have to mention, "ice in the water bottle" so..., so..., gosh, so soon? If you didn't mention it would cold weather come any way?
This being New England, it will come, and go away again, frequently. We get our seasons parceled out by the day, after all. I'm guessing I won't need the ice tires for another month or so...

rod
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Old 11-22-13, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bishbike
Group ride out to Chelmsford today.

https://ridewithgps.com/trips/2011258

Bish, your rides are impressive and your mapping tools is clever. 52 miles at over 18 mph on that route says you've got it!

Does the group ride convene in Belmont or Concord? How many folks ride? I ride in groups occasionally and the impact of the group on my speed varies. One group of about 8 riders rides "loose" and very rarely call out traffic or pavement conditions (yoyo or "your on your own") until we get tired then the last 1/4 of the ride bunches up and gets more organized to take advantage of wind reduction. There are 6-8 riders and it is aggressive riding. Two other groups of 2-4 riders tend to tuck right in and in one case we work hard but I don't feel in the end my average time is better than if I ride alone. It seems the close quarters riding and maybe pushing up hills takes more effort than my solo or "loose" group rides. Another small group rides tuck in and it clearly helps; average speed seems 1/2 to 1 mph faster than solo or loose.
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Old 11-22-13, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Bish, your rides are impressive and your mapping tools is clever. 52 miles at over 18 mph on that route says you've got it!
Thanks SBP. I use the Map my Ride app. on my cell, then import the ride to Ride w/ GPS.

Group varies from week to week. Sometimes it is 2 riders, sometimes 5 or 6.Usualy meet at the Corner of Spring St. and Concord Ave in Lexington, then pick up more riders in Concord.

We try to keep it as close knit as we can, calling out obstacles, directions, etc. Also some paceline stuff as well. Not really an aggressive ride, but more of a social thing and we try to keep the group together.

When I ride this route solo I can manage between 16.5 and 17.2 average, so the drafting and group mentality does seem to help. 18.2 is a personal best for me on this route.

There are some very strong riders that join us on some of these rides, and I know at any point, if they decide to hammer, I am off the back and shelled like a peanut.

Last edited by Bishbike; 11-22-13 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 11-22-13, 08:18 PM
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Took the LHT up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman tonight, 10 foggy miles; at 46degF and 96% relative humidity, the air was remarkably comfortable, even if I ended up, uh, moist. As always, the fog transformed the scene.






The Winter Moths were back in force. Turns out they're somewhat difficult to photograph, but here's one...


The fog was thickest at Arlington's Great Meadow, which once again looked like Grendel habitat. A hooded pedestrian operating a gate with a dry click at Woburn Street acquired a sinister aspect, reminding me of Bergman's Seventh Seal. But the real story was the bunnies: dozens of 'em, more cottontails this evening than I've seen on the Minuteman in a year. Dunno why, but the place was hopping tonight.

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Old 11-23-13, 12:08 PM
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Lunch-time ride up to Lexington and back, 10 miles, but in daylight for a change. Temperatures roughly the same as last night, but with half the humidity and a gusty wind, it felt a good deal colder. Kept a pokey pace outbound, the headwind didn't help, quicker on the return. The first cold front of the weekend had already blown through, and this was a bright day, the bare trees lit by a low noon sun, great arcing cirrus clouds like angel wings spread across the sky.




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Old 11-23-13, 01:40 PM
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I got out this morning, a short jaunt before the neighbors come over for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. 35.1 miles home to the North Bridge in Concord. Managed 33.6mph top speed down one of the hills (which I had to climb on the way outbound, of course).

A rare site, the Minuteman Bikeway empty:


Concord Center was pretty empty too:


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Old 11-24-13, 07:17 PM
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The second cold front blew through, bringing temperatures in the mid-20s and wind gusts to ~50mph, the beta release candidate for Winter. I took a ride in that in the early afternoon, getting the layering more or less correct from memory. Drivers were frantic, the way they are with any noticeable weather, so I stuck to the Minuteman. The WNW wind gave me a head-wind outbound, real push-back, with the occasional playful buffet from the side when it got bored. Near Lexington Center, I got hit by a whirlwind with a dense load of leaves and dirt; I don't make a habit of closing my eyes when riding, but did then. Lots of sticks and small branches down on the path, but nothing big, at least when I rode it. Bright day, but somehow my horizon constricted, and mostly I was aware of sounds: the wind in the treetops, sighing and roaring in turn; the wind whistling in my ears; leaves scritching along the pavement; branches creaking and clacking; street signs clanking; wind-chimes taking mad solos; bell-like birdsong penetrating the rest of it a few times along Arlington's Great Meadow.

I turned around at Depot Park, and suddenly I had a tailwind, my pace picked up, the air seemed calm as I rode in harmony with it, the leaves raced along beside me like friendly dogs. Wild day for a ride, 20 miles.

rod

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Old 11-28-13, 04:35 PM
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Took a Thanksgiving Day ride on the Minuteman in the last of the daylight, turkey dinner time in many households. Arlington Center, Lexington Center, the Minuteman, and the roads were as empty as I've ever seen them; a little girl rode a small bike in circles in the Arlington Center municipal lot in the fading light, not something she could have done almost any other day of the year: I waved at her. Cold, low thirties to high twenties, with a wind from the NNW that was mostly gentle and constant, but had a few gusty moments, as well as a period of flat calm. Beautifully clear light, but mostly side-light at that hour. The trees are bare, it was a good day to see birds' nests.









The evening star shone over Arlington's war memorial as I rode home to some spend some time in the warmth of the kitchen.


rod
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Old 11-29-13, 11:41 AM
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Yesterday for the third consecutive Thanksgiving Day in a row, fellow "Metro Boston" subscriber mtalinm and I did a late morning ride from Norwood into Boston. He and I are year round commuters on similar routes in the opposite directions, he from Westwood to Cambridge, and me from Kenmore Square to Norwood. I usually go into work on T-day for a few hours in the morning, and for the past three years I’ve called mtalinm to meet me in Norwood, and he rides with me up to about Jamaica Plain.

He set a stronger pace than I usually ride, with my excuse that he was warmed up and I wasn’t, though eventually we evened out as I got to draft. It was an exhilarating ride, sunny, about 30 but with a strong, chilly headwind, and light holiday traffic. The wind and our ear coverings limited conversation, though we did chat for a few minutes prior to our departure, We rode Rte 1A (Washington St), Court St to Rte 109, and the VFW, eventually to Newton St and the screeching downhill run on Goddard by the Hellenic College to Jamaica Pond. I did warn him that he would have to climb one hill or another to get back to Westwood.

On Wednesday, I had kiddingly asked a professional nutritionist what she was serving for Thanksgiving. Her answer was the standard fare, but she (knowing I’m a cyclist) said be sure to at least take a walk. As mtalinm and I split I said “Same time, next year,” though we do rarely encounter each other en route during the year.

On this Northeast Discussion Forum is a current thread, What Is It About Riding On A Holiday?. Certainly the lack of traffic, and working off (or in anticipation of the feast) are especially compelling reasons, and I’m glad m’ and I are making it a tradition.

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Old 11-30-13, 10:00 AM
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Woohoo, that was fun JfB!

Garmin died just after I turned around to head home by myself, but here's the joint ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/97523847
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Old 11-30-13, 12:00 PM
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Brilliant ride you two! Inspirational!
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Old 11-30-13, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Brilliant ride you two! Inspirational!
join us next year! We meet at the Norwood hospital and ride toward Boston. I peeled off at Jamaica Pond to go back home to Westwood.
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Old 11-30-13, 07:17 PM
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14 miles tonight on the Minuteman, temperatures well down into the 20s, but no wind: dark, calm, and cold. I was experimenting with a slightly eccentric layering scheme, and got mixed results from that. I'm pleased to report zero Winter Moths tonight, perhaps it was simply too cold for them. The fancy QR pedals on the travel bike occasionally chirp, something I haven't gotten to the bottom of yet; they were doing it tonight, and I found I could do a little echo-location with that, hearing the trees chirp back at me; fun, but think I'll oil the pedals anyway...

rod

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Old 12-07-13, 12:14 PM
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FYA all you Metrobostonians, I referenced this thread, and a post by rod (rodholland 1951) to a thread on the Fifty-Plus Forum, Top urban bike paths across the USA.
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Old 12-07-13, 01:15 PM
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When I worked in Cambridge the past two years, I would ride the 28 miles to the end of the Minuteman Trail (actually used to go a bit into Bedford too) almost every day. Even though it was a little bumpy and chopped up by town roads, it was a great ride, and your pics brought back a lot of fond memories. I recognize all of them occasionally long for the crisp autumn and early winter air (but not the winds!). As consolation I have the 32 mile round trip Hawthorne Trail in Gainesville, FL. And I can ride it year round.....
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Old 12-07-13, 05:15 PM
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The salt on the roads from last night's snow made us keep the tandem indoors today. So I took the Bertin out for a spin, part of which was on the Minuteman. 33.4 miles, home to Concord and back.

This part, a study in orange, was in Waltham.


But why would they salt a closed road???


In Bedford for lunch before continuing on.


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Old 12-07-13, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
FYA all you Metrobostonians, I referenced this thread, and a post by rod (rodholland 1951) to a thread on the Fifty-Plus Forum, Top urban bike paths across the USA.
Some interesting material on that thread...

rod
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Old 12-07-13, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wthensler
When I worked in Cambridge the past two years, I would ride the 28 miles to the end of the Minuteman Trail (actually used to go a bit into Bedford too) almost every day. Even though it was a little bumpy and chopped up by town roads, it was a great ride, and your pics brought back a lot of fond memories. I recognize all of them occasionally long for the crisp autumn and early winter air (but not the winds!). As consolation I have the 32 mile round trip Hawthorne Trail in Gainesville, FL. And I can ride it year round.....
Florida starts sounding appealing about now, for sure...

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Old 12-07-13, 05:44 PM
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Jim, was that the Metropolitan Parkway?

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Old 12-07-13, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Jim, was that the Metropolitan Parkway?
Yes. The closed part is the loop in the road where the bike path takes a shortcut. Someone told me they were planning to restore that building there, the one with the time capsule that was broken into. Some sort of construction has been currently going in the vicinity for a few months.
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Old 12-11-13, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Florida starts sounding appealing about now, for sure...

rod
I dunno, sometimes the grass is always greener on the other States' yard.
I'm just back from Florida and a visit on a new multi-use trail that included walker, wheelchair, bikers, a park ATV, something that ate berries and grass a day earlier and I'm guessing a panther that ignored the "wet cement" sign.

There's no place like home.
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Old 12-11-13, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
...
There's no place like home.
Just the mantra to chant while mounting winter tires!

... that being said, set up my work stand in the basement, warmer than the unheated garage, and mounted a set of Continental TopContact Winter IIs on the LHT. These are winter tires, but not studded tires (cf. the studded Nokians on the GT, currently still in the shop): soft rubber, micro-siped tread. Rode 'em around the block, so far, so good...


rod

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Old 12-14-13, 02:40 PM
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Brrrr. 9 degrees when I left the house. probably zero with wind chill

https://www.strava.com/athletes/402911

I was plenty warm above the waist: baselayer, jersey / arm warmers, and two jackets. two balaclavas, and some PI WxB gloves I got for my birthday (in June, haha).

the nether regions did not fare as well. I had my AmFib tights on, but I needed another layer, grr. also, I had two layres of booties over my shoes but that was dumb - after 2m was cold. when I got home, swapped my pedals so I can wear my Lake boots (with felt insoles). should help.

of course now it's nearly 20, and it'll be too snowy to try again tmw a.m.
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Old 12-14-13, 04:19 PM
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Ah yes, two layers of tights and Lake boots did the trick. Much warmer on second ride.

Originally Posted by mtalinm
Brrrr. 9 degrees when I left the house. probably zero with wind chill

https://www.strava.com/athletes/402911

I was plenty warm above the waist: baselayer, jersey / arm warmers, and two jackets. two balaclavas, and some PI WxB gloves I got for my birthday (in June, haha).

the nether regions did not fare as well. I had my AmFib tights on, but I needed another layer, grr. also, I had two layres of booties over my shoes but that was dumb - after 2m was cold. when I got home, swapped my pedals so I can wear my Lake boots (with felt insoles). should help.

of course now it's nearly 20, and it'll be too snowy to try again tmw a.m.
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Old 12-14-13, 07:20 PM
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Went for a ride this evening, after the beginning of the storm had put an inch or two over whatever residual ice was on the Minuteman. Rather than sensibly taking the old GT with the studded Nokians, I rode the LHT with the new set of Continental Top Contact Winter IIs, no studs but soft rubber and a tread geometry like a gecko's foot, lots of little sipes ("lamellae") for traction. Aside from wanting the fun of a ride in the snow, after a couple of weeks mostly off the bike, I was simply curious about how the new tires would fare in the cold, snow, and occasional ice fields. Had a nice ride, temperatures in the teens, snow coming down the whole time. The tires have great traction at these temperatures on dry pavement, wet (briny) pavement, and an inch or two of new snow on dry pavement or smooth ice. Some snow-covered fields of bumpy ice on the Lexington stretch gave me more transverse movement than was strictly desirable, but this was manageable. A bit before Seasons Four, I managed to find a snow-covered icy rut that put me down hard enough to get my attention; I figured this was Nature's way of telling me to come back with studded tires, so I turned around to defrost, remove the ice from my moustache, have a glass of wine, and make some dinner. 10 chilly miles.






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