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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 08-15-14, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
I rode in yesterday, but it was not so great because Washington St. in Roslindale is pretty much torn up for a long stretch. climbing it was un-fun and I figured descending would be a nightmare so I took the T home instead....

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
when I encounter a certain morning runner approaching in the opposite direction, I know it’s going to be a good day… known to me as the “Fleet Goddess.”

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
For all the times we have encountered each other over several, maybe more than ten years, I can anticipate her on a segment of Washington St in Westwood less than a half mile long, between about 6 to 6:30 AM, though not always.
Nice reading from you again, mtalinm. I know you also ride Washington St in Westwood too, so watch for Her of Whom I Speak.
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Old 08-15-14, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Anyways, is anybody riding this week? ... At about 4:30 AM to my surprise the streets were wet and the rain icon was on the weather channel as a mass of green was almost finished passing over Boston.
...
Nonetheless, beyond the usual benefits of riding the bike rather than driving the car, I was greeted by the Fleet Goddess.
I have ridden every day except Wednesday when it rain so heavily. Earlier in the week I rode the Masi. On Thursday morning I took the Centurion anticipating that the shoulders might be dirtier than usual with storm debris. The streets were slightly wet when I started at about 7:45 but the roads were surprisingly clean. Even some omnipresent piles of sand seem to have been rendered smaller. Unfortunately Lexington St in Woburn has a few new piles of broken glass, so the Centurion's Pasela TG tires were a good choice. Today Accuweather's hourly prediction called for showers ending around 7, and sure enough a shower passed over before I departed. But the roads must have dried out pretty quickly. I rode the Centurion again today.

This past week I picked up a handlebar mount for a camera and rode with it yesterday, took a dozen videos of lengths half a minute to several minutes. I figured some of the downhill runs might be interesting. Yeah, right. If you don't mind getting seasick from the bouncing! They are interesting to no one but me, I suspect. Did get a few still shots though. Climbing the west side of the big hill between Lexington and Woburn:



One reason I mounted the camera in the first place was to capture some of the blatant traffic violations I see a few times a week. On the return while waiting at the Waverley Oaks/Trapelo stoplight I turned the camera on just in time to catch a driver run the red. Traffic got hung up in Waverley Sq so I was tempted to tap on the guy's window and tell him "I captured a video of you running that red light", then ride away. I really don't know what I would do with it, maybe send it to the local police department or something, but it might make him think twice the next time to realize that anyone could be recording anything anywhere. The only problem was, by the time I caught up with the stopped traffic I wasn't sure which car it was; it could have been any of half a dozen identical gray Nissahondayotas.

The camera mount should do nicely when I'm ridding Acadia NP's smooth roads next month. A video of the run down Cadillac Mt should be fun. A video of the run up would take too long!

I know of no Fleet Goddess, alas.
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Old 08-15-14, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
One reason I mounted the camera in the first place was to capture some of the blatant traffic violations I see a few times a week. On the return while waiting at the Waverley Oaks/Trapelo stoplight I turned the camera on just in time to catch a driver run the red. Traffic got hung up in Waverley Sq so I was tempted to tap on the guy's window and tell him "I captured a video of you running that red light", then ride away. I really don't know what I would do with it, maybe send it to the local police department or something, but it might make him think twice the next time to realize that anyone could be recording anything anywhere. The only problem was, by the time I caught up with the stopped traffic I wasn't sure which car it was; it could have been any of half a dozen identical gray Nissahondayotas.

The camera mount should do nicely when I'm ridding Acadia NP's smooth roads next month. A video of the run down Cadillac Mt should be fun. A video of the run up would take too long!

I know of no Fleet Goddess, alas.
Nissahondayotas....Great neologism...A mot juste!

In a more primitive, low-tech way, I have sometimes caught up with a cager who offended me, pulled up behind, and pretended to jot down their license plate, hopng they were watching me and sweating out the stoplight.

PS: What road is in the photo? It looks like a nice shoulder.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-15-14 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 08-15-14, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
PS: What road is in the photo? It looks like a nice shoulder.
That road actually has several different names. That picture is Woburn St which runs east from Lexington Center, then turns northeast when it crosses Lowell St. Just over that hill it crosses into Woburn and so becomes Lexington St. At the bottom of a steep downhill it crosses Rt 3 at a busy intersection I like to call Woburn Center West but which I've been told is actually named Four Corners (there must be a few dozen of these in Massachusetts). It continues northeast for another mile or so and then inexplicably changes to Pleasant St. before proceeding through Woburn Center. The straight line continuation through W.C. (which you can't quite do in that direction because you have to loop around The Common) becomes Main St/Rt 38, trending north in a block or so. (The other part of Main St/Rt 38 comes up from the south and merges with the loop around The Common.) So it has either three or four names depending on how you see it.

It has that nice shoulder, wide enough to take parked cars but hosting virtually none, from Lowell St all the way through W.C. A good third to half of my commute.
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Old 08-15-14, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
There is an infinite number of cyclists in Bedford, apparently.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Rod, your video clips are hypnotizing. As I was watching this one I noted how precisely the the long-sleeved white-shirted rider morphed into the short-sleeved gray-shirted one. Great camera work if that was your intention.
Originally Posted by jimmuller
It is curious how the rider's jersey changes from light to dark and his pannier disappears as he crosses onto the near shoulder of the road.

Originally Posted by rholland1951
Two bikes, of course, along with some real luck as to the start and end times of the gif sequence...

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Good eye...I missed that. Also for a time the alter egos are separated and appear simultaneously, supporting Rod's hypothesis.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I zoomed in and slowed the sequence and noted that the "transformation" occurs in front of that boxy apparent generator of the lighted sign rather than behind it, and the transition still looked seamless, even down to the position of heads and shoulders and tilt of helmets.
I zoomed in again to the clip to see if the riders' cadences were in sync, but I could not tell exactly but seemed so. I did note the white-shirted cyclist has 26 inch wheels, but the gray shirt has 20 inch. So even the bikes morphed!

Now back to my regularly scheduled Work-Life, already in progess...

Originally Posted by rholland1951
After looking at my calendar and the weather forecast, I declared a Work-Life Balance Emergency and went home early enough to take a 31-mile ride...

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Most of my Work-Life Balance Emergencies resolve in favor of Work.

Nonetheless, I can always read the Forums and enjoy the pictures to tilt the Emergency a bit towards Life….

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-15-14 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 08-15-14, 08:58 PM
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Any tips on a place to rent a road bike for a couple of days? I have a friend coming in for a conference and I know she will be itching to ride in between her meetings. Unfortunately I do not have a spare for friends built up yet.
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Old 08-16-14, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Nickel
Any tips on a place to rent a road bike for a couple of days? I have a friend coming in for a conference and I know she will be itching to ride in between her meetings. Unfortunately I do not have a spare for friends built up yet.
I highly recommend Back Bay Bikes at 362 Comm Ave right at the corner of Mass Ave in Back Bay. They are my excellent LBS, and I even bought my Cannondale mountain bike from them as a used rental several years ago. I believe that they even rent high level bikes, and may fit them with clipless pedals, but call ahead about that.

I mention the location because they are in a garden level space with their sign at street level. Phone is (617) 247-2336. Tell them Jim from Boston of the Specialized S-Works sent you.

An alternative offering convenient and widespread pick up and return in Boston within a few miles of downtown is the Hubway Bike Sharing System, though selection is limited and subject to more restrictions.

There was a recent thread about bike rentals in general: ”Rent a good bike - N+1 mitigation”, and I replied. If your friend is further out from Boston proper, I could suggest some outlying shops you could contact.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-16-14 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 08-16-14, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Nickel
Any tips on a place to rent a road bike for a couple of days?
If mine fit you are welcome to borrow one. They are generally 58cm steel, DT shifters, good tires, ready to ride.
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Old 08-16-14, 06:19 AM
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Hello --

Thank you very much for the suggestions. Jim, you are very kind but we are very short.

Her conference is actually in New Hampshire (Sunapee) but I thought it might be easier to find a bike rental near Boston. Maybe not?
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Old 08-16-14, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Nickel
Any tips on a place to rent a road bike for a couple of days? ….

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I highly recommend Back Bay Bikes at 362 Comm Ave right at the corner of Mass Ave in Back Bay….I believe that they even rent high level bikes, and may fit them with clipless pedals, but call ahead about that.

Originally Posted by jimmuller
If mine fit you are welcome to borrow one. They are generally 58cm steel, DT shifters, good tires, ready to ride.
On my original read of your post. Nickel, I missed that the search was for a road bike. Before reading your current reply I went on the BBB website and noted that they rent Cannondale Synapses. I never saw such high quality bikes for rent in other cities I have visited.

I have seen jimmuller’s generous offer made previously on this MetroBoston thread (and I don’t think you would find that in other cities either). But do note his tagline:

Originally Posted by jimmuller
”Real cyclists use toe clips"
Just sayin'
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Old 08-16-14, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Nickel
Hello --

Thank you very much for the suggestions. Jim, you are very kind but we are very short.

Her conference is actually in New Hampshire (Sunapee) but I thought it might be easier to find a bike rental near Boston. Maybe not?
Mr. Google suggests that Village Sports in New London, NH, rents mtbs and hybrids. There's some good trail riding in the vicinity, so that might be a good idea, even though it wasn't the original idea. If a road bike is really what's wanted, an alternative source is Quad Cycles, in Arlington. They're pretty good. Will your friend have access to a bike rack, to transport the bike?

rod
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Old 08-17-14, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I think she is renting a large enough car to easily fit a bike inside. She raced yesterday so we have decided to take it easy today and just hike. She will look at those shops in NH for the bike.
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Old 08-18-14, 04:43 AM
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We didn't ride on Saturday because our band had a show in Wolfeboro, NH, on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Getting home was a very late night. Nevertheless we took the tandem out on Sunday, 44.4 miles. We just left from home, went through Belmont to Alewife, rode the whole MM out to Bedford, then out to Concord where we had a nice picnic at the North Bridge.

The requisite stop to buy cucumbers for pickling.


Resting while my sweetie shopped.


Crossing the Concord Rver.


Taking a break on the Minuteman as we return.


The MM can be a busy, dangerous thoroughfare at times on the weekends with all the children and dogs and strollers and adult Lance-wannabes. Arlington Center is the worst. When Sharon sees a gaggle of rolling obstructions she calls out "Incoming!" Fortunately the brakes on the tandem work and the bike is stable at a walking pace. Anyway, it was a day for taking it easy. A nice relaxing ride.
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Old 08-18-14, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
…Nevertheless we took the tandem out on Sunday, 44.4 miles. We just left from home, went through Belmont to Alewife, rode the whole MM out to Bedford, then out to Concord where we had a nice picnic at the North Bridge.

The MM can be a busy, dangerous thoroughfare at times on the weekends with all the children and dogs and strollers and adult Lance-wannabes. Arlington Center is the worst. When Sharon sees a gaggle of rolling obstructions she calls out "Incoming!" Fortunately the brakes on the tandem work and the bike is stable at a walking pace. Anyway, it was a day for taking it easy. A nice relaxing ride.
Always a nice ride description. Did you ride the tandem from Waltham, via Rte 60 I presume? Rte 60 was part of my intended ride on Saturday.

Also a general question for anybody: What is the parking situation at the beginning of the MM in Arlington during presumed peak times, e.g. Saturday and Sunday late AM and afternoons, and weekdays? Not for me, but for vistors who may want to drive and ride. Are there other access points with parking?
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Old 08-18-14, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Always a nice ride description. Did you ride the tandem from Waltham, via Rte 60 I presume? Rte 60 was part of my intended ride on Saturday.
Thanks. Rt 60, yes. We wanted to do Main St/Rt 117 through Waltham despite a late start. We barely got over the RR bridge when I decided the smart move was a right onto Linden St for a dash through Waverley Sq instead. We took Pleasant St/Rt 60 past Belmont Center and almost to Rt 2. Turned right on Brighton St over to the nice bike path that runs to Alewife. (I can never remember that path's name, maybe it's part of the Alewife Greenway. It's actually a longer way than necessary but we had no special time or speed goals.

It sounds like your planned Saturday ride didn't work out as intended. Bummer.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Also a general question for anybody: What is the parking situation at the beginning of the MM in Arlington during presumed peak times, e.g. Saturday and Sunday late AM and afternoons, and weekdays? Not for me, but for visitors who may want to drive and ride. Are there other access points with parking?
I've never tried parking in Arlington. Of course the MM actually starts at Alewife with its big commuter parking garage. Spy Pond has a small lot, I believe. There is parking in Lexington behind the businesses on the north side of Mass Ave. There is good parking in Bedford at the western end of the MM, a small park named Depot Park, and also in the lot behind The Bikeway Source bike shop across the intersection.
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Old 08-18-14, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Also a general question for anybody: What is the parking situation at the beginning of the MM in Arlington during presumed peak times, e.g. Saturday and Sunday late AM and afternoons, and weekdays? Not for me, but for vistors who may want to drive and ride. Are there other access points with parking?
One possibility is Thorndike Field, Arlington. There's a certain amount of parking in a lot there; approach from Margaret Street. I'm not sure what restrictions on parking (duration, etc.), if any, are in force there. On-street parking in the neighborhood is also available. Here are directions, courtesy of the Arlington Soccer Club.

99 Margaret Street, Arlington, MA 02474- Route 2 to Lake St. (exit 60)
- Take right on Margaret St.
- Continue to end of street
- Enter at “Thorndike Field” sign
- Thorndike Field is on the right

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Old 08-18-14, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...I've never tried parking in Arlington. Of course the MM actually starts at Alewife with its big commuter parking garage...
I did not know that. Thanks to you and Rod for your replies. When rtool did the MM ride three weeks ago, I sent him to Arlington Ctr about 8:00 AM on Sunday. His report:

Originally Posted by rtool
…Sunday I took off on my own to ride the Minute Man Trail. Weather was great going to Lexington and Bedford, but it rained fairly heavy on my way back. Minuteman Trail is really nice and wide with plenty to see along the way…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...Rte 60 was part of my intended ride on Saturday. ...

Originally Posted by jimmuller
...It sounds like your planned Saturday ride didn't work out as intended. Bummer.
Thanks for your comment; preview of coming attractions. I’m working on my Ride report.
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Old 08-18-14, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I did not know that. Thanks to you and Rod for your replies. When rtool did the MM ride three weeks ago, I sent him to Arlington Ctr about 8:00 AM on Sunday.
Yes, well, you see, when you are standing at the mouth of one section you can't easily see the other. The two ends are about half a block from each other and on opposite sides of Mass Ave. You can see the other section's sign if you look diagonally, peer through the trees, and scrunch your eyes up the right way so that light goes around corners.

When you emerge from the western part you are facing busy Mystic St/Rt 3. That is also the straight-line continuation of Pleasant St/Rt 60 which comes up to cross Mass Ave from the south. Mystic carries a lot of traffic, with a narrow right-turn-only lane that fills up with cars and thus isn't suitable for a bike to use to cross either Mystic/Pleasant or Mass Ave. Plus, it has a very high curb so you'd have to dismount to get down to the pavement anyway. It is a very bike-unfriendly intersection where cyclist and pedestrians sometimes just stop and block other bike traffic. As a result, most cyclists coming from that end turn right on the sidewalk and ride up to Mass Ave despite the obvious sign saying that in Arlington it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk, a sign obviously put there specifically for that short section. At the Mystic/Mass Ave intersection you have to go left to find the MM. The Lances blaze across the intersection diagonally, sometimes with the stoplight, sometimes against. Some of us, such of we with our tandem, the semi- of the bike world, wait for the pedestrian light to cross Mystic then walk the 100yds or so to the small street across Mass Ave from which the MM picks up again.

Unfortunately negotiating Arlington Center requires care and foreknowledge for cars, pedestrians, bikes, planes, boats, and even trains. What other intersection do you know where the stoplights show green for going straight but a red arrow forbidding turning right in a lane marked right-turn-only?
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Old 08-18-14, 11:51 AM
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Parking at Alewife is $7.00.

Parking in Arlington at the lots at Thorndike Field and Hurd Field, and the metered lots in Arlington Center are limited to two hours.
Parking in Lexington Center is either 30 minutes, two hours or four hours, 25 cents per hour.
Parking at the Railroad Avenue and Depot lots in Bedford is complimentary, other than no overnight I don't know that there is a meaningful limit.


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Old 08-18-14, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...

Unfortunately negotiating Arlington Center requires care and foreknowledge for cars, pedestrians, bikes, planes, boats, and even trains. What other intersection do you know where the stoplights show green for going straight but a red arrow forbidding turning right in a lane marked right-turn-only?
Revere Beach Parkway in Everett/Revere, where traffic lights follow their own special "rules". I think this was was the inspiration for:



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Old 08-18-14, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Yes, well, you see, when you are standing at the mouth of one section you can't easily see the other. The two ends are about half a block from each other and on opposite sides of Mass Ave. You can see the other section's sign if you look diagonally, peer through the trees, and scrunch your eyes up the right way so that light goes around corners...

Unfortunately negotiating Arlington Center requires care and foreknowledge for cars, pedestrians, bikes, planes, boats, and even trains. What other intersection do you know where the stoplights show green for going straight but a red arrow forbidding turning right in a lane marked right-turn-only?
Hey jmm,

Thanks for your discussion. Rarely do I get near Alewife, usually taking Alewife Brook Pkwy (early AM) out of Cambridge to Mass Ave to Arlington Ctr and northwestward on Mass Ave. I also know that notorious intersection by turning onto Mystic St/Rte 3A northward. IMO it’s a nice ride up to Rte 128, and beyond, especially in the AM. Ever done it?

JfB

PS: The Alewife segment is really on the opposite side of Mass. Ave? Well did you evah?

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-18-14 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Added PS
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Old 08-18-14, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Parking at Alewife is $7.00.

Parking in Arlington at the lots at Thorndike Field and Hurd Field, and the metered lots in Arlington Center are limited to two hours.
Parking in Lexington Center is either 30 minutes, two hours or four hours, 25 cents per hour.
Parking at the Railroad Avenue and Depot lots in Bedford is complimentary, other than no overnight I don't know that there is a meaningful limit.


-mr. bill
The two-hour limit has the ring of truth. That makes on-street parking on back streets the best (cheapest) bet on the Arlington end. Most of Arlington does not have resident-permit parking.

rod
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Old 08-18-14, 04:19 PM
  #3923  
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SATURDAY RIDE 8/16/14

Someone once said to me, ”You have more excuses than Carters has Little Liver Pills.”

GLITCH #1
On Friday, 8/15:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…I did my first early morning commute from Kenmore to Norwood in a few days this morning. At about 4:30 AM to my surprise the streets were wet …Since my carbon fiber bike does not go out under such circumstances, I had to prep the heavy beater mountain bike…

The ride was dry and the streets damp to wet, and I might have ridden the CF, but I was already “out the door.” I was unusually tired when I arrived, maybe from the bike weight…
I had planned to re-do last weekend’s attempted circumnavigation around Boston through the inner suburbs, but this time take the train home with the mountain bike to Kenmore on Friday night, and depart on the CF Saturday morning. A recent Metro Boston post however suggested another itinerary in a sector of the Metroverse I haven’t ridden in lately, so I decided on that new destination, I'm calling the "Magical Mystery Tour" because

Originally Posted by Kurt Vonnegut
”Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
GLITCH #2 :
I just missed the last train to Boston on Friday Night. So I stayed overnight in Norwood, but I still had the heavy duty mountain bike, not the best for a long, but time-limited ride. I had planned to return to Norwood by about 10:00 AM to do some work and errands, so I decided to ride to Kenmore and pick up the CF, and proceed from there.

Not a glitch, but a slip-up is that I left about 5:30 AM. For those who are not larks, IMO, early morning ends at 5:00 AM (though Saturday riding is still remarkably pleasant until about 8:00 AM. From 5:00 AM to 7 is mid morning, 7 to 9 late morning, and after 9 is pre-afternoon by my circadian rhythm.) I actually was up about 4:15 AM, but found something to distract me (a reply to a BF post).

I decided to proceed directly to Kenmore via the shortest route, Washington St, through Roslindale.

Originally Posted by mtalinm
I rode in yesterday (Thursday), but it was not so great because Washington St. in Roslindale is pretty much torn up for a long stretch. climbing it was un-fun and I figured descending would be a nightmare so I took the T home instead….
Since it was early Saturday AM, and I had the mountain bike, I decided to see for myself. The inbound ride from the Dedham line about halfway up to the High Point Shopping Plaza was new, nicely paved asphalt. The remainder of the uphill slope for about one-half mile, was typical grooved pavement, but with no potholes. There was a continous sidewalk on my side, and on the other, and it was residential, and seems little used whenever I ride by. On the inbound downhill slope (up hill on the outbound side) was pretty good pavement with no indication it was being re-paved. I didn’t notice if the opposite uphill side was being re-paved either. In any case, I thought it was nicely passable.

The city was waking up as I got to Kenmore Square to exchange bikes, and I tried not to dawdle too long at home (about one-half hour). Then I eagerly set out for my new "Magical Mystery Tour."

GLITCH #3 .
So I adjusted my saddle, raising it about 3 millimeters, and now everything was perfect. For some reason at about two miles into the Tour, maybe to make sure it was charged, I looked for my cellphone in my chest pocket, and it was not there. Now, I was carrying a beeper, and I needed to be able to respond to a page. It suddenly occurred to me that even though I had well packed up to take the train home Friday night, that I put my phone back into the charger in Norwood after I missed the train.

So back the 14 miles to Norwood on the same old route by about 9:00 AM. Notably on that return trip, now on my CF bike, I crossed a segment of Washington Street in Dedham that was grooved just like the segment in Roslindale. It was no problem to ride although more slowly. It occurred to me that when I rode that segment earlier that morning, though on my mountain bike, I had not even remembered it. Usually I will avoid a grooved segment for about a week after I encounter it, until I’m sure it is paved. So mtalinm and I seem to have different tolerances for "torn up roads" as riders in opposite directions.

Since I had planned to return to Norwood by 10:00 AM, and there was nowhere novel enough to get me back on the bike for just an hour, I cashed in at a total of 30 miles. To paraphrase that BF watchword, “Since it didn’t happen, no pictures”; and...

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…When I got back to Norwood, I told myself another tagline, to paraphrase that memorable character, the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, “No [strike]soup[/strike] chocolate milk for you.

Originally Posted by TransitBiker
I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.
Well, at least now I have two long Saturday rides planned out, the previous “low Boston orbit” and the new ”Magical Mystery Tour.”

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-18-14 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 08-18-14, 06:57 PM
  #3924  
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Lots of riding, but not much posting as of late.

Time trialed it from Waverly Square out to Concord and back this evening.

Gonna have a crack at the Charlie Baker Time Trial this Wednesday night. Riding so hard you want to puke seems like it might be fun. We shall see.
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Old 08-18-14, 09:58 PM
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Sunset ride on the Minuteman, 10 miles. Temperatures kissed the 60s, just cool enough in short sleeves and short pants to suggest the season that's coming. Kept a good pace. Last week's detour at the Arlington-Lexington line was tonight's newly-smooth pavement.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 08-18-14 at 10:14 PM.
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