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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 09-04-14, 06:33 PM
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Had a 14-mile sunset ride on the Minuteman Consolidated Commuter Bikeway, Zombie Walk, Conversation Pit, Dog Run, Mobile Phone Booth, and Pre-School: a late Summer late afternoon, with presence of mind in somewhat short supply, but sweet, nonetheless. Some wildflowers are still blooming, but the Virginia creepers are starting to turn red.


Turned around at Bedford Street, where the Lexington DPW promised me a bump, but failed to deliver. Where's my bump?


rod
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Old 09-04-14, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Turned around at Bedford Street, where the Lexington DPW promised me a bump, but failed to deliver. Where's my bump?
Trust me, there was a bump there. You wouldn't have wanted to ride over it on road tires.

I just rode my commute today. Same ol' same ol'.
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Old 09-04-14, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Trust me, there was a bump there. You wouldn't have wanted to ride over it on road tires.

I just rode my commute today. Same ol' same ol'.

This is an endorsement for Rod's 55mm tires if they caused the disappearance of a bump proportional to that sign.

Jim, your "ol" in "same ol' " might well be a version of great, good, fairly spectacular and/or quite a day to a lot of folks. The same ol' thing goes for a number of you other contributors. Ride on!
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Old 09-04-14, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Trust me, there was a bump there. You wouldn't have wanted to ride over it on road tires.

I just rode my commute today. Same ol' same ol'.
Jim, I think you used up all the bump...

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Old 09-04-14, 08:13 PM
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I got a pinch flat on that bump and I always have a heck of a time with the 23mm tires (which I had inflated to 110psi that day), so I won't miss it
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Old 09-04-14, 09:15 PM
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Today is multiple reply day. Or if it isn't it ought to be.
Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Jim, your "ol" in "same ol' " might well be a version of great, good, fairly spectacular and/or quite a day to a lot of folks.
A very kind thing to say! Thank you. It was a great great day. Heavy traffic this morning but tolerable. Nice weather. I arrived at work and at home safely, so that always makes it a great day.

Originally Posted by rholland1951
Jim, I think you used up all the bump...
We didn't use any of it. Ever since it showed up (when the pavement was scraped off for repaving) I've stopped and told Sharon to get off the bike and we walked across there. We left the bump in the same condition we found it, every time.

Originally Posted by hubcyclist
I got a pinch flat on that bump and I always have a heck of a time with the 23mm tires (which I had inflated to 110psi that day), so I won't miss it
It sounds like you would have done better to miss it!

Um, about your tire pressure. First some background discussion: There is a perpetual controversy in the C&V forum (where I hang out a lot since all my bikes are vintage) about tire optimal pressure and width. They seem to get their "info" from the rest of the cycling community or perhaps just one or two magazine articles which I confess not to follow. I guess too maybe Frank Berto or somebody once published a chart showing much lower pressures. The argument goes that there is no advantage either to running higher pressure or to running narrower tires or rims. The claim is that neither narrower tire or higher pressure offers lower rolling resistance and could even create more on some road surfaces, and that the rider suffers from harder bumps which are ultimately more tiring. I say poppycock. I can certainly feel the lighter weight of narrower tires and rims. Time and effort spent accelerating up to speed can be significant (not that I'm ever racing) and top speed is probably determined less by rolling resistance as by aero drag, so it's a moot point In any case, I like the feel of harder tires and I think they roll more easily over most of our roads. All that being said...

I have 25mm tires on the three bikes I use most for commuting (Bianchi, Raleigh, Centurion), 28mm on the utilitarian Peugeot, 32mm on the Bertin (not a great bike but seemingly better handling with larger wheels/tires), and 23mm on the two super-bikes (sew-ups on the Motobecane and wheelsets of both clinchers and sew-ups for the Masi). And 32mm on the tandem. The Bertin, Raleigh, and Peugeot have 27" wheels. I run all at their maximum rated pressure, except the Vittoria sew-ups on the Motobecane which I believe are rated to 210 so I run them at about 140-145. With latex tubes the sew-ups need to be pumped up every ride anyway. I rarely get pinch flats.

So I'm curious why you were running only 110psi on 23mm tires. The lower the pressure, the larger the contact patch must be to support your weight, and with a narrow tire the contact patch can be larger only by being longer, which means the tire must sit lower to the ground, which means it will be more prone to pinch flats. That's one downside to the run-lower-pressure argument, though it does argue for wider tires. My 25mm's are rated at 115psi (Pasela) and 120psi (Gatorskin). The 28s are rated for 105psi, the 32mm for 95psi. After 5000 miles we've never had a flat on the tandem. So why 110?
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Old 09-04-14, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
This is an endorsement for Rod's 55mm tires if they caused the disappearance of a bump proportional to that sign.
I was running 38mm tonight, but those 55mm balloon tires roll over the damnedest things: railroad ties, pot holes, volkswagens... They're at the opposite end of the spectrum from road tires: I normally run them at 30/35 PSI.

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Old 09-04-14, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
We didn't use any of it. Ever since it showed up (when the pavement was scraped off for repaving) I've stopped and told Sharon to get off the bike and we walked across there. We left the bump in the same condition we found it, every time.
That's ok, then.

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Old 09-05-14, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
So why 110?
Short answer: no good reason, other than my tires are rated at 120, and I hear/read that road cyclists usually do 100psi, so I kind of picked an in-between spot.
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Old 09-05-14, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist
Short answer: no good reason, other than my tires are rated at 120, and I hear/read that road cyclists usually do 100psi, so I kind of picked an in-between spot.
I agree. If tires are rated at 120, I would fill to about 115. I usually pump them up about every week. When I do, the pressure is about 90 to 100. I'm not sure if the decrease is due to diffusion of the air inside, or immediate release as I open the valve. I have heard, and personally noticed, that CO2 pressure is lost more rapidly, likely to increased diffusion.
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Old 09-05-14, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist
Short answer: no good reason, other than my tires are rated at 120, and I hear/read that road cyclists usually do 100psi, so I kind of picked an in-between spot.
Thanks. That's as good an answer as any.
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Old 09-05-14, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
If tires are rated at 120, I would fill to about 115. I usually pump them up about every week. When I do, the pressure is about 90 to 100. I'm not sure if the decrease is due to diffusion of the air inside, or immediate release as I open the valve. I have heard, and personally noticed, that CO2 pressure is lost more rapidly, likely to increased diffusion.
Hmm. You can test the release theory by filling them, checking the pressure, then immediately filling and checking again. If you don't see any reduction then it is a time-dependent phenomenon. As for CO2, I would think a CO2 molecule is larger than N2, the predominant component of air, and therefore slower to diffuse through the tube, but that's just a guess. My sew-ups have lightweight latex tubes which allow diffusion faster than butyl. They can go from 140 to 80 in a few days, so I have to pump them up every ride anyway.

In fact, this highlights another reason to run higher pressure. I first thought of this when we did our 3-day tour last year. Everybody was loading bikes and pumping tires in our front yard. One of the participants asked how I pumped mine, wondering how much pressure he should use. I realized afterwards that once we leave home we won't have access to that nice floor pump so whatever air you put in now will be what you ride on two days from now. If you lose 10psi, the 100 you use now will be only 90.

The only pinch flat I ever got commuting was in RI two years ago on the Bianchi with its nearly bulletproof Gatorskins. I hit an unseen hole hard while on Rt 116 approaching the Rt 146 bridge at speed. I realized afterward when I checked the good tire that I hadn't pumped them in a few weeks and was running much lower pressure than I usually do.

Besides that issue, I have no idea how CO2 cartridges work or what pressure they put out for how many fill-ups. Or even how you know when the tire is full enough. I've seen people just go pfssst until the tire was hard to the touch, and call it done. With a floor pump that has a gauge you can see as you go.
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Old 09-05-14, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Hmm. You can test the release theory by filling them, checking the pressure, then immediately filling and checking again. If you don't see any reduction then it is a time-dependent phenomenon. As for CO2, I would think a CO2 molecule is larger than N2, the predominant component of air, and therefore slower to diffuse through the tube, but that's just a guess. My sew-ups have lightweight latex tubes which allow diffusion faster than butyl. They can go from 140 to 80 in a few days, so I have to pump them up every ride anyway.
Good idea Dr. Science, but I’m usually pumping just before I go out the door. I’m an early rider but a lackadaisical departer.

Originally Posted by jimmuller
… I have no idea how CO2 cartridges work or what pressure they put out for how many fill-ups. Or even how you know when the tire is full enough. I've seen people just go pfssst until the tire was hard to the touch, and call it done. With a floor pump that has a gauge you can see as you go.
That’s me. Unfortunately I have wasted about one-third of the cartridges I have used, though now I think I have the hang of it. I have a Road Morph pump, because it was touted for use as a “floor pump” for on-the-road use. But I broke the foot strut, and the guage is small and hard to read, and is placed at the end of the tubing, so I would have to get down on my hands and knees, or bring it close to my eyeballs to read it.

Before I started to use CO2 cartridges I had this memorable experience on the 80 mile Second Annual Fifty-Plus Ride in the Finger Lakes of NY.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…At about mile 30 I stopped to apply some sunscreen, and Steve the sag wagon driver drove up to see if I was OK. …As I left my stop, I noted that my rear tire was softer than it should be and soon concluded I had a flat.

The worst part of a flat to me, especially on a long ride, is knowing I can’t pump up to maximal pressure, and am then riding with a less-than-optimal bike. If Steve had not mentioned his cell phone number I don’t think it would have occurred for me to call. He met me by the time I had changed the tire and filled it up to the max with his floor pump. Fortunately I found the offending shard of wire and removed it.

About three miles down the road I got another flat and again Steve responded by the time I repaired the tire. I found a nice puncture but no sharp object. I had only one new tube that I used on my preceding flat so I had to use an adhesive patch to cover the hole. I have found they don’t always work, but this one held. Steve again carefully described the route to take through Geneva a few miles ahead, and I put his cell phone number on my speed dial.

Geneva was a beautiful and relatively bustling town on the northern end of Lake Seneca. While I was stopped at an intersection looking at the map, a man …mentioned there was a bike shop a couple blocks down. I stopped at the shop to buy new tubes, and wouldn’t you know, good old Steve was there. He watched my bike for me when I went into the shop, and replenished my water. By now I knew he was my guardian angel…
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Old 09-05-14, 05:42 PM
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Today's "same ol' same ol'" was another commute, and I made it to work and home safely so it was a great great day. The trip home was tough though. Warm, a headwind, lots of traffic. I got about halfway and discovered I was TIRED, like REALLY TIRED, and I don't mean the kind you put on wheels. I'm glad to be home. Had a Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale. It helped a lot!
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Old 09-05-14, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Today's "same ol' same ol'" was another commute, and I made it to work and home safely so it was a great great day. The trip home was tough though. Warm, a headwind, lots of traffic. I got about halfway and discovered I was TIRED, like REALLY TIRED, and I don't mean the kind you put on wheels. I'm glad to be home. Had a Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ale. It helped a lot!
I waved at you leaving Woburn Ctr (right around city hall where I turn down into Winchester) as I was wrapping up my own 32 mile ride but you were too focused or blinded by the sun haha
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Old 09-05-14, 06:26 PM
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I've had a steady stream of contractors using my garage as a staging area this summer, and as a result did not put the Trucker DeLuxe (last year's project bike) on the road until this afternoon, first time since perhaps last November. Put it up on the stand, lubed this and that, took it down and went for a shakedown ride, and... it quacked like a duck (or maybe barked like a seal) on pedal down-strokes. Bearing in the bottom bracket? Cut the ride short (4 miles) and see a trip to the bike mechanic in my immediate future. On a happier note, the LHT passed the 10,000 mile mark on that ride in Maine on Labor Day weekend, and doesn't quack.

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Old 09-05-14, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist
I waved at you leaving Woburn Ctr (right around city hall where I turn down into Winchester) as I was wrapping up my own 32 mile ride but you were too focused or blinded by the sun haha
Sorry I didn't respond. You're right, I was focused. The road surface going through there is pretty bumpy, and I'm usually trying to make time up to the Arlington St stoplight while no one is behind me. One thing about co-operating with traffic, I try my best to stay out of people's way lest they become impatient, and it seems like there is always someone impatient thinking I'm in their way. So I'm often more focused on speed that I'd like to be. West of that stoplight the road goes downhill where I have to stay alert!
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Old 09-07-14, 08:00 AM
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Never complain about the absence of bumps; I'll explain in a bit...

Spent some more time this morning trying to debug the quacking bicycle, and pretty much ruled out anything I'm competent to repair, so loaded it on the Allen rack and dropped it off with Tyler Oulton at Paramount Bicycle Repair, Ball Square, Somerville. That done, I took the LHT (non-quacking) out at 2pm, with temperatures around 90 and thunderstorms predicted REAL SOON NOW. Between the time and the weather, the ride I had in mind was out of the question, so I improvised, first riding out the Minuteman to Depot Park, Bedford, with the intention of picking the next leg of the route when I got there, depending on conditions.

When I crossed Bedford Street, Lexington, I got the bump I was complaining about missing (two of them, in fact), traversing the weirdly sculpted curbs; I suspect the bump was bigger, earlier in the road repair process. The light, supple, wide Compass Bicycles Barlow Pass 38mm tires, pumped up (or down, depending on your perspective) to 50/60 PSI, rolled amicably over the Bedford Street Bumps, the first bumps of what became a very bumpy day.

When I crossed the line into Bedford, I was delighted with the progress that town has made resurfacing their segment of the Minuteman. No bumps here!


At Depot Park, I consulted with the pocket devil to see what the weather radar had to show me--seems the thunderstorms were getting frisky to the North and West, but South and West looked ok for the nonce, and nothing was imminent as far out as Concord. I also looked at the sky (the pocket devil is clever, but somewhat given to practical jokes, after all); the sky's message was like the Magic 8-Ball's: "Ask again later."


It was a hot afternoon, we hadn't had any memorable rain since Labor Day weekend, so a ride in the woods on the Reformatory Branch Trail seemed like a good bet, as indeed it was. Neither of the two sucking mires in the Concord section were actively sucking, so life was good. I rolled over the rocks and roots with abandon, bump bump bump. The cross-tie-shaped concrete obstructions lying across the path in the second Bedford section also got rolled over, BUMP BUMP, something I'd never successfully done before with any tires other than the 55mm Schwalbe Big Bens. This came as a pleasant surprise, but may also be taken as an indication that I was in a game mood, open to a little risk taking and trifling with bumps...


Reformatory Branch afforded me its familiar pleasures. At Monument Street, I stopped for a minute, puzzled about what to do next. One option would have been to ride up Monument Street past North Bridge, then either return home via 225 and the Minuteman (too short!), or perhaps to continue North on River Road and pick up Maple Street, riding some variant of the big loop out to Great Brook Farm and the Cranberry Bog (better distance, but the weather radar suggested it would likely be punished as Contempt of Zeus). So I thought a bit about what rides to the South I had been wanting to take lately but hadn't gotten around to... and remembered that I'd been wanting to try to ride the single track path in the Weston segment of the abandoned Mass Central line, the site of the once-hoped-for Wayside Rail Trail, scuttled in 1997 in an odd spasm of organized bike-hating in the Weston town meeting that continues to put a vague stink on that otherwise estimable suburb. My recent experience riding the Lynn proto rail trail had left me very curious about this one, and I had seen a mountain biker descend to it on a path from Conant Road and go merrily whizzing off. Fun!

I decided it was as good a day to try that route as any I was liable to have for the rest of the season, and while I had always assumed I'd ride it on the old GT mtb with the 55mm balloon tires, the LHT with the Compass tires was showing me nothing but good tricks off road, and could probably handle it. I plotted a route from Monument Street, Concord, to Conant Road, Weston, by way of Walden Street, Concord, and Codman Road and North Street, Lincoln. This had the added charm that it was a bit of the graph that I'd never actually ridden (though I'd ridden many of the individual segments on other trajectories), and looked like a useful trick.

I was tempted to stop here and ask for a tour of the ice house...


The sunflowers in the Hugh Cargill Community Garden on Waltham Street were emblematic of this gentle Summer that seems reluctant to die.


Business was booming at Walden Pond. Come back at 5:30...




Codman Road basked in pastoral beauty. A major arts & crafts festival was in full swing at the Codman House; in an alternate universe, I parked my bike and browsed the booths. In this one, I kept pedaling.


Spent the next 15 minutes with "Ghost Riders in the Sky" on my inner sound track...


In due time, riding down Conant Road, I came to the discreet little trail head for the Wayside Ghost Rail Trail, reeking of liminality; I took the right fork...


To be continued...

rod

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Old 09-07-14, 02:14 PM
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After scrambling down the steep path walking the bike (I believe this CAN be ridden, but it would be a little technical without knobbies), the scene changed completely. I found myself in a hidden valley, isolated from the surrounding town. In addition to the intact railroad tracks, a line of high-tension pylons march along to the horizon. The single track is usable, but scruffy, with surfaces changing frequently (varieties of the bump experience) and occasional steep little hills that were presumably not original equipment for the roadbed; at times, the trail runs close enough to an abrupt drop-off to focus the attention. But it's lovely, and a completed rail trail on this terrain would be a regional jewel.






The single track runs alongside the rails at varying distances, and occasionally crosses them, with very little notice, with a tight turn at a steep angle. The first time I encountered this, I quickly braked, then gingerly crossed. The next few crossings (I wasn't counting, which I now regret), I was hip to what was going on, and rode across at a decent clip, bump bump bump bump.


At one point, I found myself in the middle of a migration of baby snapping turtles, each perhaps 2 inches long; I think I managed to miss them all, hope so, I certainly tried. All of this was great fun, with big jolts of novelty...




... so perhaps I was getting cocky. In any case, I hit one of the crossings at a bad angle, my front wheel snugged up alongside the rail instead of rolling over it the way one likes a bicycle wheel to roll, and the bike turned into a catapult. I did what I think qualifies as a face plant, and my helmet struck the other rail. In the millisecond-domain perception that one gets in these situations, I heard two distinct cracking noises, both from my helmet, and regard it as having died for my sins, a good soteriological thing for a helmet to do, under the circumstances. I also felt a distinct, but relatively gentle compression of my cervical vertebrae; this seems to have been harmless. Various bits and pieces--nose, brow, knees, left shoulder--were somewhat the worse for wear, and a few were bleeding, but only to a decorative extent. A folded section of paper towel that I had brought along to deal with the greasy chain turned out to be very helpful in mopping up the odd sanguine effusion.




After a little reflection, I concluded that this was The Revenge of the Bump. The bike appeared unharmed, certainly functional, and after a little clean-up, the same appeared to be true of the rider. Good thing: this place is really pretty isolated, or at least it was that day. I only encountered one cyclist and one runnner the whole time I was there. It would be a bad spot for a serious injury. Somewhat less cocky, but still enjoying the ride, I continued on the trail to Wayland, where it started to rain.




To be continued...

rod

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Old 09-07-14, 08:55 PM
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With the rain coming down, I took shelter under the eaves of the old Wayland Depot, and took stock.


I hadn't assumed I was going to stay dry on this ride. The weather radar showed the major storms North of my location, moving West to East, with the rain in Wayland being a small excursion to the South. It looked like it might be possible to wait it out, but by then there was only so much time left before sunset, and I wanted to be a good deal closer to home when that happened. It seemed that the best route, given the weather patterns, was to ride East on Route 20, counter-intuitive as that seems, so I took off in a rapidly intensifying downpour. My lights were up to the challenge, keeping me visible on a busy road in genuinely tough conditions. I could have used windshield wipers on my glasses, but settled for the occasional swipe of my index finger. Got several more bumps along the way, with the streaming water obscuring declivities in the shoulder of Route 20; the worst of them was a depressed manhole cover that catapulted me vertically off the saddle by about an inch, ride 'em cowboy! No pinch flats from any of this abuse, I'm pleased to report; I'm getting very fond of these tires.

I turned off Route 20 into Weston Center, and the rain, already a downpour, intensified. Mercifully, there was no hail, but vivid and frequent lightning strikes, with associated thunderclaps, kept things interesting. I turned onto Conant Road heading North, and the rain began to subside, even though the pavement was still streaming. I was feeling wet and happy. The phone's camera lens was simply wet, and presumably cared less, but things got soft focus for awhile.




By the time I got to Old Conant Road, with its discreet neighborhood of first-rate modernist houses, the rain had moved elsewhere, although lightning and thunder were still presenting themselves to be admired. Skirting a gate, I picked up the single track connecting Old Conant Road to Old County Road, Lincoln, getting lashed by a number of pioneering vines in the process, one of which had thorns: a little more blood, but that wipes clean with a damp cloth, as the Hammacher-Schlemmer Catalog used to say, when there was nothing else to say about an item. Then I was on Old County Road, riding alongside the Cambridge Reservoir, looking freshly washed and downright pretty.






I turned onto Trapelo Road, got down in the low-low on the touring triple, and winched myself up the hill into Waltham, then turned North onto Smith Street, continuing on Spring Street into Lexington. Saw this somewhat bruised-looking sunset while crossing Route 2.


Picked up Marrett Road and rolled on that down to Mass. Ave., hopping onto Maple Street at the traffic circle in respectable vehicular cyclist form, and then rolled down the ramp and onto the Minuteman for a ride home in the dark and damp. Along the way I met this little froggy critter in the shallows of Lake Fottler, staring up at me "like a cat", as Ellen points out. I communed with froggy for a bit, then forded Lake Fottler with an audible slish.




Continuing into Arlington, I avoided a downed tree on the approach to Mill Street, and rolled home to a hot shower and a hot meal.


This meandering, highly contingent route through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Lincoln, Weston, Wayland, and Waltham accounted for 42 wet, bumpy miles by the time it was done. It was a lot of fun, taught me a few lessons about the wisdom of caution in unfamiliar terrain and the real utility of bike helmets, and introduced me to a magical, if challenging, off-road ride hidden in Weston that I expect I'll revisit. It would be a great thing if the folks in Weston could run the tape backwards on whatever fear and disinformation bit them seventeen years ago, and get behind the development of the Wayside/Mass Central Rail Trail.

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 09-14-14 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 09-08-14, 09:28 AM
  #4021  
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This is a short bike ride I've wanted to do for a long time, and finally took the moments this weekend to do it.

It's based on e.e. cummings poem she being brand new, which is literally about a new car and a trip from Harvard Square to the Public Gardens.

By doing this ride on a bicycle, it probably takes about the same amount of time as it did back then with the new car. But just as importantly, there are a few one way streets that you can walk a bicycle, and a segment of "road" that is now a narrow sidewalk.

But it starts here, where he was born, and where he literally learned to drive.



And this is mostly the route he might have taken from Harvard Square to the Public Gardens.



-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 01-10-18 at 12:11 PM. Reason: photobucket
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Old 09-08-14, 09:43 AM
  #4022  
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So, Irving Street is now one way (wrong way), so I set off on foot. However, I think it might have taken me the same amount of time to go up this street as it would have taken him, since he would have had to deal with the driveway gates.


Take a left onto Bryant, past Andover Theological Seminary on the right.


Take another left on Divinity Avenue. (This is where the bicycle is definitely required since there is now a very narrow walk connecting the two halves of Divinity Avenue.)


Jog right on Kirkland, Left on Quincy street where you'll run into the confounding one block one way. Again, walk, do not salmon.


Now Quincy once upon a time would connect to Mass Ave heading to Boston, but now with the one ways you can't get there from here without several blocks walking.


So instead, take a left on Harvard Street.


And then right on Ellery Street. I suspect the poet might approve of this diversion.


Remarkably, except for the relocated power lines, and the trolley power line down the center of the bridge, and the modern guardrail, modern lights, this bridge still looks very much like it did back then. The walkway railing is very close to the old railing too.


I suspect he would have turned down Newbury Street, but that's now running the wrong direction, so Commonwealth it is.


Finally, reach the destination. I think he would have made a left here. But just in case, I took a right and went around the block to the other side to the Commons entrance to the Public Garden.


All in all a delightful way to spend 20 minutes.

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 01-10-18 at 12:15 PM. Reason: photobucket
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Old 09-08-14, 11:25 AM
  #4023  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
This is a short bike ride I've wanted to do for a long time, and finally took the moments this weekend to do it.

It's based on e.e. cummings poem she being brand new, which is literally about a new car and a trip from Harvard Square to the Public Gardens.

By doing this ride on a bicycle, it probably takes about the same amount of time as it did back then with the new car. But just as importantly, there are a few one way streets that you can walk a bicycle, and a segment of "road" that is now a narrow sidewalk.

But it starts here, where he was born, and where he literally learned to drive.



And this is mostly the route he might have taken from Harvard Square to the Public Gardens.



-mr. bill
That's a lyric ride!

rod
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Old 09-08-14, 05:33 PM
  #4024  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
With the rain coming down, I took shelter under the eaves of the old Wayland Depot, and took stock.


I hadn't assumed I was going to stay dry on this ride. The weather radar showed the major storms North of my location, moving West to East, with the rain in Wayland being a small excursion to South. It looked like it might be possible to wait it out, but by then was only so much time left before sunset, and I wanted to be a good deal closer to home when that happened. It seemed that the best route, given the weather patterns, was to ride East on Route 20, counter-intuitive as that seems, so I took off in a rapidly intensifying downpour. My lights were up to the challenge, keeping me visible on a busy road in genuinely tough conditions. I could have used windshield wipers on my glasses, but settled for the occasional swipe of my index finger. Got several more bumps along the way, with the streaming water obscuring declivities in the shoulder of Route 20; the worst of them was a depressed manhole cover that catapulted me vertically off the saddle by about an inch, ride 'em cowboy! No pinch flats from any of this abuse, I'm pleased to report; I'm getting very fond of these tires.

I turned off Route 20 into Weston Center, and the rain, already a downpour, intensified. Mercifully, there was no hail, but vivid and frequent lightning strikes, with associated thunderclaps, kept things interesting. I turned onto Conant Road heading North, and the rain began to subside, even though the pavement was still streaming. I was feeling wet wet and happy. The phone's camera lens was simply wet, and presumably cared less, but things got soft focus for awhile.




By the time I got to Old Conant Road, with its discreet neighborhood of first-rate modernist houses, the rain had moved elsewhere, although lightning and thunder were still presenting themselves to be admired. Skirting a gate, I picked up the single track connecting Old Conant Road to Old County Road, Lincoln, getting lashed by a number of pioneering vines in the process, one of which had thorns: a little more blood, but that wipes clean with a damp cloth, as the Hammacher-Schlemmer Catalog used to say, when there was nothing else to say about an item. Then I was on Old County Road, riding alongside the Cambridge Reservoir, looking freshly washed and downright pretty.






I turned onto Trapelo Road, got down in the low-low on the touring triple, and winched myself up the hill into Waltham, then turned North onto Smith Street, continuing on Spring Street into Lexington. Saw this somewhat bruised-looking sunset while crossing Route 2.


Picked up Marrett Road and rolled on that down to Mass. Ave., hopping onto Maple Street at the traffic circle in respectable vehicular cyclist form, and then rolled down the ramp and onto the Minuteman for a ride home in the dark and damp. Along the way I met this little froggy critter in the shallows of Lake Fottler, staring up at me "like a cat", as Ellen points out. I communed with froggy for a bit, then forded Lake Fottler with an audible slish.




Continuing into Arlington, I avoided a downed tree on the approach to Mill Street, and rolled home to a hot shower and a hot meal.


This meandering, highly contingent route through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Lincoln, Weston, Wayland, and Waltham accounted for 42 wet, bumpy miles by the time it was done. It was a lot of fun, taught me a few lessons about the wisdom of caution in unfamiliar terrain and the real utility of bike helmets, and introduced me to a magical, if challenging, off-road ride hidden in Weston that I expect I'll revisit. It would be a great thing if the folks in Weston could run the tape backwards on whatever fear and disinformation bit them seventeen years ago, and get behind the development of the Wayside/Mass Central Rail Trail.

rod
Rod, you are an adventurer! Alas poor helmet. I'm glad you are pretty much ok and retained your reporter's perseverance and sense of duty to complete your report; even including a frogs posture and a slish. I'd be curled up on the ground rocking, waiting for AAA and or my spouse to bail me out.

If you can slash, catapult, bleed, roll, compress as well as slash, then I thought t least I'd pass on what I heard at a trail meeting. In 2011 our Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) leased the Wayside section from Berlin to Waltham of the proposed Central Trail. This past April DCR helped out by issuing the whole section a Massachusetts Environmental Police Act (MEPA) certificate and waiver for an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) so each town can work to improve their section. There are advocates in Weston but I don't know if they are yet in the majority.
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Old 09-08-14, 05:40 PM
  #4025  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Rod, you are an adventurer! Alas poor helmet. I'm glad you are pretty much ok and retained your reporter's perseverance and sense of duty to complete your report; even including a frogs posture and a slish. I'd be curled up on the ground rocking, waiting for AAA and or my spouse to bail me out.

If you can slash, catapult, bleed, roll, compress as well as slash, then I thought t least I'd pass on what I heard at a trail meeting. In 2011 our Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) leased the Wayside section from Berlin to Waltham of the proposed Central Trail. This past April DCR helped out by issuing the whole section a Massachusetts Environmental Police Act (MEPA) certificate and waiver for an Environmental Impact Review (EIR) so each town can work to improve their section. There are advocates in Weston but I don't know if they are yet in the majority.
SBP, that's outstanding news!

rod
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