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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 07-11-14, 11:33 AM
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A 25 mile afternoon ride courtesy of Timbuk2 Seattle Bikeshare. Gotta love west coast capitalists - priceless service - for free.



-mr. bill

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Old 07-11-14, 02:16 PM
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Last 3 days luxury touring Gloucester from Good Harbor Beach area. We noodled, stopped and explored.
Day 1. Looped Rockport, Annisguam and back to Gloucester by foolishly taking the third, not second exit off a traffic circle and went up on and promptly off Rt. 128. Discussions about if riding on sidewalks is legal pale in comparison to riding on 128.
2. Went out to Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham, Beverley, Manchester by the Sea and back to Gloucester.
3. Wingaersheek Beach and out Concord Rd to Conomo Point.
Gloucester has some nice bike lanes; there are a couple of difficult intersections no one can figure out and the traffic is slow and generally pedestrian and bicycle friendly. One local was annoyed with us slow pokes and a confused tourists right turned on us then sincerely apologized. No harm done and we did our best to be good cyclists all learning to get along. To get off island there are bits of hilly highway on Rt 133 and Rt 127. It gets better further west and Concord Rd north of Rt 133 towards Essex was fantastic. The Essex Ship Building Museum (with much appreciated shade) and the Ipswich Alexander Knight House are both real life, story telling museums. Most rides ended with a pleasant repast like this restaurant on Rocky Neck in East Gloucester.
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Old 07-11-14, 07:54 PM
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I had grand plans for a tour of Nahant after work today, but working late killed them. Still did a spur on the bike path, though. Took this portrait before turning around:


I have to work tomorrow, too. It should be criminal to work on a weekend day as nice as tomorrow is going to be. Bah.
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Old 07-11-14, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
I have to work tomorrow, too. It should be criminal to work on a weekend day as nice as tomorrow is going to be. Bah.
You are absolutely right, it should be criminal. I have to work, but playing music at a private party. I'd rather be riding.

I did do the bike commute today after skipping two days for music reasons. But I did not get by the seacoast today, just Waltham to Woburn and across 128, and back of course. The day was lovely.

I rode the Bianchi today. It has been getting the lion's share of commuting for several years now, probably 1000 miles this year alone. It finally complained about all the dirt and sand it has had to tolerate. Partway home the front derailleur decided it didn't want to shift. Usually they stiffen up such that the spring won't push it to the small ring. In this case it was the other way, the cable wouldn't pull over to the big ring. Ho hum, keep it on the small ring and shift the rear. And pedal like crazy until I can't keep up on the downhills. It's okay now after some TLC, cleaning and oil.
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Old 07-12-14, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
You are absolutely right, it should be criminal. ..... I'd rather be riding.......finally complained about all the dirt and sand it has had to tolerate..... Usually they stiffen up..... pedal like crazy until I can't keep up on the downhills. It's okay now after some TLC, cleaning and oil.
Today was a microcosmic metaphor of Mr. Muller's Bianchi ride. it's good to mix up ones training a little. Today I jumped in a local neighborhood run bike run biathlon. 2 mile run, 6 mile ride, 2 mile run. I've not run more than a few feet to get the door* this year so I was pleased to finish. I did crank the recumbent pretty well on the bike leg. In my metaphor TLC and oil was great collection of friendly folk, live music and a superb ale.

*ok, the refrigerator door
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Old 07-12-14, 11:23 PM
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Spent a quiet week in Little Compton, Rhode Island, decompressing. This stretch of the South Coast, lying on Buzzards Bay and Rhode Island Sound (depending on which side of Gooseberry Neck you're on), and comprising Little Compton and Tiverton Rhode Island, along with Westport and Dartmouth Massachusetts, has been dubbed by some clever flack "the farm coast". The term is evocative: there is indeed a visible agricultural legacy there, realized in old barns and silos and numerous roadside stands, including those selling fresh local strawberries (the season's just ending) and blueberries (the season's just beginning), among other things. The coastline is punctuated by rivers and creeks, with mill-ponds inland and a chain of salt ponds backing the dunes behind the beaches; flat and sandy terrain, with enough hills to be interesting. Much of the land is carefully manicured lawns and hedges, some of it opulent, but the fields of working farms, and a surprising amount of forest, offset that, along with a sort of characteristic vegetable riot along the roadside, comprised of wild grapes and beach roses, with a little poison ivy thrown in for sport. While this brief vacation wasn't bicycle-centric, the bikes came along, and got used to sample the great riding there in 10- and 15-mile segments; a couple of representative rides--to Sakonnet via South Shore Beach and Wilbour Woods; a neat loop through the village of Acoaxet by way of the village of Pottersville--stand for the rest. The week ended too soon, of course; I'll have to contrive to return for some longer rides.

An excursion to the Green Animals topiary gardens provided the required cognitive priming for an encounter with Vegetable Godzilla, who was definitely rioting.


A car-load of Rhode Island Reds, inhabiting some retired rolling stock in Little Compton.


A different sort of tree ring, seen on the ride to Sakonnet.



Riding down to Sakonnet Harbor.


Multum in parvo:
Sakonnet's West Beach (privately owned, with some limited access) sits hidden behind a honeysuckle-covered wall; passing through the gate is liminal magic.




The Sun asserts itself at Sakonnet.


Pottersville, on the road to Acoaxet.


A 19th-century hotel, now a private cottage, in Acoaxet.


Atlantic Avenue, Acoaxet, sits between Cockeast Pond and a line of dunes, with Rhode Island Sound beyond. This village was devastated in the 1938 hurricane, and lesser storms occasionally bury Atlantic Avenue under the dunes. Shingle-style cottages seen in the distance date in some cases as far back as the 1870s, when Acoaxet was created as a summer colony for the booming industrial city of Fall River.


rod

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Old 07-13-14, 01:24 AM
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Haven't visited in here for a while but got homesick for some New England bike ride stories- and you guys did not disappoint. Great pix!

I am so far out of Metro Boston these days but will post a pic from my July 4th weekend bike ride. That's the sun going down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of La Jolla, CA. Riding every day to commute to work and doing some nice road rides along the coast but not as many days off as I'd hoped.

I'll be back in New England in August and can't wait. Nice weather here but we have it beat in New England for sweet rides and destinations.

Enjoy your summer!

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Old 07-13-14, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzman
Haven't visited in here for a while but got homesick for some New England bike ride stories- and you guys did not disappoint. Great pix!

I am so far out of Metro Boston these days but will post a pic from my July 4th weekend bike ride. That's the sun going down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of La Jolla, CA. Riding every day to commute to work and doing some nice road rides along the coast but not as many days off as I'd hoped.

I'll be back in New England in August and can't wait. Nice weather here but we have it beat in New England for sweet rides and destinations.

Enjoy your summer!

Some good riding in La Jolla and environs. Enjoy!

rod
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Old 07-13-14, 02:09 PM
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Rode out to Marblehead Neck today, 12.5 miles round trip from the apartment so a quick ride, fighting a stiff headwind on the way there and riding a nice tailwind on the way back. I really like the park at the end of the neck. It's a good place to get some shade and top off the water bottles.

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Old 07-13-14, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Spent a quiet week in Little Compton, Rhode Island, decompressing.
Well, what the'? Our gig yesterday was in Little Compton. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, how did you end up in the same place? (And where is Big Compton, or even Medium Compton? Nobody seemed to know.) Maybe you were one of the two cyclists we passed on the way south along Main Rd, a road too small to be named Main St, I guess.

Originally Posted by DBrim
Rode out to Marblehead Neck today,...fighting a stiff headwind on the way there and riding a nice tailwind on the way back.
It was windy today, wuzznit? Heading south was harder than heading north! On the other hand, when the temperature hit 87F the headwind was a nice coolant.

We did 40.37 miles on the tandem today. Mostly our usual roads but we did check out something new, East Riding Drive in Carlisle (I think). It wasn't what I wanted but now I know what the road marked "Closed" from 225 must be, the northern end of Brook St. I took it from Maple as an alternate way to 225. Very pretty too. It hits East St so that a left heads into Carlisle Center.

We saw four other tandems today, plus a fifth as we were driving out of Bedford.

The view from lunch at Heart Pond, South Chelmsford, a hoppin' place today and a lovely local park and beach:


Lunch!:


A break for frozen smoothie, carried on an ice pack in the panniers of course:
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Old 07-13-14, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Well, what the'? Our gig yesterday was in Little Compton. Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, how did you end up in the same place? ...
Little Compton? Small world? Jim, I sense a theme coming on here...

14 miles on the Minuteman at the end of the day, warm and breezy, but not quite as much of either as earlier this afternoon, when we tried out the (relatively) new Spy Pond canoe rental service that the Arlington Recreation Department has organized on the weekends. That was fun, and of course is steps from the Minuteman. Getting back on topic, this afternoon's ride was one of those where I chiefly noticed fellow trail users: sometimes their bodies, which in this weather were generally on display in all their morphological variation (mine, too, of course, it's only fair); sometimes their minds, as manifested chiefly by their behavior... a certain amount of morphological variation there, too, and not quite as much discreet veiling as perhaps some thought they were employing. Oh well... Zappa has a song for that, as for so many other things...

Good news: the suspended vine egg is still bobbing resiliently from its tree. Bad news: the big willow in Arlington Heights sustained serious damage in last week's storm(s), and is wounded and diminished.


rod

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Old 07-13-14, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
…I have to work tomorrow, too. It should be criminal to work on a weekend day as nice as tomorrow is going to be. Bah.

Originally Posted by jimmuller
You are absolutely right, it should be criminal. I have to work, but playing music at a private party. I'd rather be riding.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…one other enjoyable advantage of my job is that I have a nearly perfect commute and the ride to work is a pleasant part of the job. Indeed, I usually go into work on Saturday for a few hours by way of a long training ride during the nice weather, and even during the winter, partly to have a destination to ride
So this past Saturday, I did a 62 mile extended commute from Kenmore Square to Norwood, to include some new segments linking old routes. I started at 6:00 AM and rode Comm Ave into Newton. Instead of turning directly onto Route 16, I went through Auburndale and rode about a mile on beautiful Victorian Woodland Road.

Originally Posted by jimmuller
…I have never really understood how to go south from metro NW. The MassPike/Rt20/Rt9/Natick/Framingham/Newton/Wellesley complex always seems a formidable barrier.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
… If though you inspect a map closely for roads that cross Mass Pike, and usually also Rte 9, one can find nice alternatives…
Woodland Road does cross the Mass Pike, and is not too far from Waltham. While Newton is known as the “Garden City,” someone on Woodland and did set up a beach volleyball court.



I linked up to Route 16 and took that through Wellesley to Holliston by way of route 27 and a different but nonetheless enchanted, Woodland St. to Mill to Fiske in Sherborn. I did do a side trip on Nason Rd to pass by a colleague's house. On Nason a well organized, tight paceline of about 10 riders (but not wearing uniform team kits) passed by.

My first rest stop was on Rte 27 just before Woodland St. One of the myriad joys of a New England ride is that a shaded stone wall is an excellent rest stop.



I know how other riders who travel with " sweeties,” eat well on the road; my “bachelor biker” picnic is pretty sparse.

Originally Posted by jimmuller


Lunch!:


Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Most rides ended with a pleasant repast like this restaurant on Rocky Neck in East Gloucester.


Then onto Route 126 down to Medway. I was feeling sluggish and did another stop at the Fatima shrine on 126, which had opened restrooms. From Medway I did a loop in Franklin down Pond which was residential suburban; across treeless, heavy commercial suburban Route 140 for about a mile, then up Union to Lincoln.

That last segment looked really easy to find on the map, but even at the corner of Main Street which apparently became Lincoln, I had to ask directions. The man pointed about a block down the road and said just stay to the right of that red brick schoolhouse, and indeed that's what it was, built in 1833. Lincoln was pleasantly almost rural back to Medway, but with a patched up road surface.



On a different thread this weekend about the utility of rearview mirrors, I described an episode on Lincoln St:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...At one point on my ride I was descending a hill at about 25 mph on a shaded and sun-dappled road with scattered potholes and a lot of wind noise. I took the full lane with confidence by glancing in my mirror, whereas a head/shoulder-check would have been more dangerous at that speed to encounter a pothole...
Then I took familiar Village St to Forest to the enchanted Causeway St in particular to ride by another colleague's house, who wasn't home but I did chat with his mother-in-law. Another less well organized paceline rode by on Causeway Street. Finally, I tried another new, also enchanted back route through Walpole, High St, which was fortunately also a long, rapid downhill because I was tired, and then on to Norwood.

That night, I made up for the lonely, sparse rations en route:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Then my sweetie and I went dining and ballroom dancing in Malden. A fabulous evening.
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Old 07-14-14, 08:09 AM
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So...who here is planning to ride the Massbike Century/Metric/32mile'r on Saturday the 26th, either as or not as a participant in the 50+ forum's Annual 50+ Ride?

My sweetie really, really, really wants to do the metric, starting at 9AM. Some of that route looks to be interesting, especially the run up to Harvard at about the 2/3rds point. Some of the rest we've ridden before, and it is very pretty. Any other takers?
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Old 07-14-14, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
So...who here is planning to ride the Massbike Century/Metric/32mile'r on Saturday the 26th, either as or not as a participant in the 50+ forum's Annual 50+ Ride?

My sweetie really, really, really wants to do the metric, starting at 9AM. Some of that route looks to be interesting, especially the run up to Harvard at about the 2/3rds point. Some of the rest we've ridden before, and it is very pretty. Any other takers?
No plans for it here, although I suppose I should have a look at the Massbike site and see what this is about. Thinking about it, I realize I've never done an organized ride of any sort...

rod
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Old 07-14-14, 09:01 AM
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I live in Bristol, R.I. and ride often in the entire area from Little Compton to, Tiverton, Westport to North and South Dartmouth. It is my favorite area to ride with little motor vehicle traffic and pretty country roads. There are some state roads but it's mostly county or town roads. One of the members of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen calls it "our sacred area". On clear days and on the segments that are along Buzzards Bay, there are awesome views of the Bay with Cuttyhunk in the distance and many sailboats near and hull down just over the horizon.

This past week-end, the club ride began in Middleborough and went NE toward Duxbury. I was surprised that being so close to Boston there were miles and miles of fine riding through beautiful forrest.
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Old 07-14-14, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
So...who here is planning to ride the Massbike Century/Metric/32mile'r on Saturday the 26th, either as or not as a participant in the 50+ forum's Annual 50+ Ride?

My sweetie really, really, really wants to do the metric, starting at 9AM. Some of that route looks to be interesting, especially the run up to Harvard at about the 2/3rds point. Some of the rest we've ridden before, and it is very pretty. Any other takers?
I replied to the same query on the Fifty-Plus Forum:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I’m so inclined, but as the “host,” I’d go along with the group, as we did last year, and all rode the 30 mile ride.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
These things usually sort out as the participants arrive. I would tentatively anticipate a leisurely bike ride on the Charles River Bike Path on Friday afternoon, followed by some possible walkin' around town, including a dinner. Saturday the ride distances to be chosen; it seems the 62 mile one is preferred; then walkin' around and dinner on Saturday night.

Sunday to be determined.
BTW, by “walkin around,” I don’t mean aimless wandering. Boston is considered one of the most walkable of cities, so perambulating is a definite activity.
If any subscribers to the Metro Boston thread want to join for any non-cycling activities, they are most welcome. Last year we had two enjoyable get-acquainted dinners with all of us as active cyclists.
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Old 07-14-14, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by berner
... One of the members of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen calls it "our sacred area". ...
That pretty well covers it...

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Old 07-14-14, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I’m so inclined, but as the “host,” I’d go along with the group, as we did last year, and all rode the 30 mile ride.
Sharon and I will be delighted to ride the 30 (which I think the Massbike website calls 32) if that is the consensus. If so we'll probably leave our car in Bedford and ride over, about 10 miles at each end of the day.

And I can lend a bike to whoever can't bring their own. All classic/vintage, all in good shape, and covering a range of performance levels.
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Old 07-15-14, 09:05 PM
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Ten miles on the Minuteman before dinner. All the big weather was booming through to the North and East, and the weather in Arlington and Lexington was warm and muggy. Arlington cops were on what appeared to be a fact-finding mission at the Water Street and Mill Street crossings, greeting trail users cordially and paying attention to how they crossed the road; more will come of this later, I expect, Arlington is trying to sort out a series of accidents involving trail users and motorists. A couple of members of the new APD bicycle corps were rolling on the trail. This is something of an improvement on the electric scooters they used to employ there.

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Old 07-16-14, 07:34 PM
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After the last of the storms blew through, went for a late-afternoon ride on the Minuteman, through the puddles and steamy air.

Lake Fottler once again gets the grand prize for grandest puddle. Good day for fenders.


Yes, it's vandalism, but it's charismatic vandalism...


There was apparently some significant flooding in places, leaving alluvial deposits--sand, sticks, mulch, rocks. The most hazardous was a field of fist-sized gravel, washed out of the bed of a drainage ditch in Mal's back lot.


Wrapped up the ride with a beautiful sunset organizing itself in my rear-view mirror.


rod

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Old 07-16-14, 10:30 PM
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Metro Boston culinary bicycle touring includes what we carry, buy, nibble, chew, wolf down and inhale.
We travelled by car to the Woods Hole ferry and cycled past car traffic for three humid days in Martha's Vineyard. We carried clothes, wine, books and on some hills felt like I included a rock collection in 38 year old, no name panniers. We took our host out to dinner at the Beach Plum, a local farm to table restaurant. Our bike ride from Vineyard Haven to Menemsha recommended by Google cycling included bike lanes, dirt roads and longer sections on State, Old County, Middle and on the way back in search of fewer hill via North Rd. We toured, shopped and found almost all traffic were bike friendly. We were very impressed with beautiful farm fields, conserved land and good work by the MV Ag Society. Stone walls and rolling fields reminded us of English Farms.
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Old 07-17-14, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
...We travelled by car to the Woods Hole ferry and cycled past car traffic for three humid days in Martha's Vineyard.
MV is indeed a cycling paradise, and I'm always amused to see MUPS alongside nice roads for cycling, with low-volume, friendly traffic.

I've made a couple trips by cycle from Boston to Woods Hole for weekends with friends in Oak Bluffs, then got a ride home. Rte 28 on early Saturday mornings was pretty tolerable, with a wide enough shoulder. After Wareham, the roads got a bit hairier, and alternative routes other than Rte 6 were pretty complicated to plot out.

The ride on high over the Bourne Bridge was not pleasant for me, and my eyes were entirely focused on the roadway directly in front of my tire. Once on the Cape there were pleasant side roads (photo 1). On my last trip, I accidentally discovered the Shining Sea Bikeway to Wood's Hole for the last 10 miles (2 and 3). Total distance from Boston was about 80 miles. Unfortunately our most gracious hostess passed away this year.

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Old 07-17-14, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Metro Boston culinary bicycle touring includes what we carry, buy, nibble, chew, wolf down and inhale.

We travelled by car to the Woods Hole ferry and cycled past car traffic for three humid days in Martha's Vineyard. We carried clothes, wine, books and on some hills felt like I included a rock collection in 38 year old, no name panniers. …
I brought Metro Boston culinary [and beverage] bicycle touring tradition with me to the Second Annual Bike Forum Fifty-Plus Ride in Watkins, Glen, NY in 2010:

Originally Posted by Road Fan
I still wanna see Jim's cycling martini kit!
Originally Posted by freedomrider1
Jim,I thought you had everything you needed in that huge bag on the back of your bike.

Originally Posted by freedomrider1
I said to Jim from Boston,"what do you have in that big bag Jim" he replied "everything for a better life"

Originally Posted by Louis
...And the portable martini kit. What the hell, man, he's ready now.

Originally Posted by miss kenton
...And I can assure you, the portables are potable!
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…I got the idea of a "field martini kit" (no refrigeration) from this scene from the movie M.A.S.H. (I don't carry it on the cycle; too heavy and no room.)…
Nor do I drink and ride.
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Old 07-17-14, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Nor do I drink and ride.
Nor do I.

However we have ridden on MV a few times, decades ago. As I recall there was a bike bikeway loop around the center of the island through what must have been park or conservation land. The trouble was, it wasn't very good to ride, one of those old-style bike paths where no engineer thought about turn radius or grade. Instead they just put down pavement along what might even have been a somewhat demanding walking path. Still, it made for a fun day, with an eye on the ferry schedule of course.
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Old 07-17-14, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
The trouble was, it wasn't very good to ride, one of those old-style bike paths where no engineer thought about turn radius or grade. Instead they just put down pavement along what might even have been a somewhat demanding walking path. Still, it made for a fun day, with an eye on the ferry schedule of course.
Think paved mountain bike trail...

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