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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-25-14, 08:56 AM
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You guys are making me think about a ride in Dover and Somerville!

I rode my commute in again today. Temps pushing 60. I got about a mile from work and thought the front brake lever felt odd. Checked the lever and saw the cable fraying at the anchor! The ride home will have to be done carefully.
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Old 11-25-14, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Just a couple of shots from this weekend.

The Community Path Extension to Lowell Street - so close to completion - the fence is currently scheduled to come down in the spring. Yellow is the running/walking surface (will be on both sides soon). Here are the plans.



And in the topsy-turvey world of construction projects, Beacon Street reconstruction in Somerville has begun, I'm travelling in the "bike lane" remnants here. If you haven't seen the plans for this defacto bicycle highway, you should take a look at what is coming.



-mr. bill
All of this construction is heartening, even if the season for it will wrap up soon. A start has been made to the Mass. Ave. reconstruction in East Arlington, although that won't get any farther than some sidewalk alterations before the Winter break.

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Old 11-25-14, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
You guys are making me think about a ride in Dover and Somerville!

...
There's a challenge: a good route with a loop from Somerville to Dover and back...

rod
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Old 11-25-14, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
You guys are making me think about a ride in Dover and Somerville!

I rode my commute in again today. Temps pushing 60...
For several weeks I’ve been curtailed in my commute by work, but usually get about at least three straight shots a week between Kenmore Square and Norwood and vice versa. Even with winter coming and my carbon fiber bike to be put away, the flesh is indeed always willing (though the spirit may be weak). I rode from Kenmore this AM, also in the high 50's, and it was somewhat of a red-letter day. I finally got rid of my sagging trunk bag of several years duration, for a new Ortlieb (single) pannier.

Since it was warm, with a forecast of cold, wet, maybe snow, I carried a maximum volume of cold weather gear, and it fit in fine. My only problem was an occasional heel strike against the pannier. I’m concerned because when it gets colder I will be wearing more footwear. So I may need a longer rear rack to accommodate.

Also in anticipation of this winter, I had my studded tires put on this weekend, and also installed tire liners to hopefully forestall flats. Studded tires (not so much Marathon Winters) and tire liners are reputed to have increased rolling resistance, but given the increased weight of my Cannondale mountain bike, and the extra gear I carry, it’s not noticeable. When winter ends though, the CF bike becomes a special treat.

FYA, I posted this morning about my studded tire use on this thread on the Winter Cycling Forum, “How to make the decision to put on studded tires.”

PS: See also this subsequent reply to this thread on the Commuting Forum, ”Commuting with a single (rear) pannier.”

PPS: Here's another reply about the "single pannier theory,"

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-25-14 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Added PPS
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Old 11-25-14, 08:13 PM
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I made it home safely! Yay! I used only the rear brake/right lever. It's hard to signal a right turn with your right arm and operate the right brake lever simultaneously. Inspection this evening showed only two strands left on the front. Before I ride the Peugeot again that cable will be replaced.
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Old 11-25-14, 08:50 PM
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You can signal a right turn with your left hand too.

Glad you made it home safe.

Helpful hint, if the right brake cable is the same age as the left brake cable, replace it too while you are at it. Fatigue is funny that way, you've probably only got a few weeks/months left in the other brake cable. (Don't ask how I know.)

-mr. bill
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Old 11-25-14, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
You can signal a right turn with your left hand too.
Yeah, I know, but I figure the bent-elbow signal isn't as intuitive as simply pointing in the chosen direction. Ever since "they" invented self-canceling electric turn signals people's driving skill have been deteriorating.

Originally Posted by mr_bill
Helpful hint, if the right brake cable is the same age as the left brake cable, replace it too while you are at it.
Hmmm, how do you know? Don't answer that.

I intend to replace cables and housings. They are Mafac brakes and I don't have any cables for them. Will have to make an LBS run when we get back home. Off to visit the family tomorrow.
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Old 11-25-14, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
You can signal a right turn with your left hand too.

Glad you made it home safe.

Helpful hint, if the right brake cable is the same age as the left brake cable, replace it too while you are at it. Fatigue is funny that way, you've probably only got a few weeks/months left in the other brake cable. (Don't ask how I know.)

-mr. bill

Ha! Mr. B, I bet we learned the same way.
I used to break my brifter cable frequently enough so I could predict it by miles. I recall the time I rode over to try the Dover Time Trial and snapped the cable minutes before the start. It taught me to lean a little more towards prevention and a shade less towards penny pinching. The night before I put a set of new cables on my desk so I wouldn't forget. Now that I switched to a lower grade, heavier cable I'll need to recalibrate or just rely on an annual overhaul.

Speaking of miles, I got in another warm weather, narrow tire ride on a slight variation of my last Sherborn-Dover-Westwood loop. .
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Old 11-26-14, 08:50 AM
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Anybody riding on Thanksgiving Day? For the past three (nice) Thanksgiving Days, mtalinm and I did a Ride from Norwood to Boston, but this year dinner plans have changed, and a Nor’easter looms.

I've missed a lot of commuting this fall, so it's ironic that the opportunity presents itself tomorrow in messy weather and I may give it a shot.

Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
You tough and resolute riders have been pushed into winter cold weather and keep riding. You are all resolute...
We shall see.
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Old 11-26-14, 09:47 AM
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sounds like a lovely tradition. I suspect the roads are normally fairly quiet? good luck with the weather!
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Old 11-26-14, 05:49 PM
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May be a little icy. The Winter bike is in the shop for an overhaul, so we'll see...

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Old 11-27-14, 09:04 PM
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Did manage to get out for a short ride on Thanksgiving afternoon, 8 miles on a compact loop through Arlington, West Medford, and Winchester, following the course of the Mystic River, the Mystic Lakes, and the Aberjona River outbound, returning on a route just to the East on Washington Street and Grove Street. Took the LHT shod with 38mm Compass tires, which did just fine with the occasional slush and rough pavement; there was no ice worth worrying about, temperatures in the mid-30s. Little traffic, of course.

A few leaves remain on a few trees, but there was just enough snow on the ground to prematurely conjure Winter. The kids in West Medford have got a snowman organized on the basketball court.


Speaking of Winter, the Friends of the Lexington Bikeway are passing the hat once again to pay for plowing of the Lexington section of the Minuteman. Unlike the Arlington and Bedford sections, which are plowed by the DPWs in their respective towns, the Lexington section relies on the (tax deductible) kindness of strangers to get the snow and ice off. After the ride (and after hearing the forecast for a couple more inches of November snow tonight), I sent 'em some. Tis the season.

rod

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Old 11-28-14, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Anybody riding on Thanksgiving Day? For the past three (nice) Thanksgiving Days, mtalinm and I did a Ride from Norwood to Boston, but this year dinner plans have changed, and a Nor’easter looms….

I may give it a shot...

Originally Posted by rumrunn6
sounds like a lovely tradition. I suspect the roads are normally fairly quiet? good luck with the weather!

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...“God smiles on His Bicyclists.”...
Last evening (Wednesday) there were many reports of slippery ice-covered streets and sidewalks in Norwood. So I looked out at about 7:00 AM on Thursday, and the rain had stopped, the streets were only wet, and the temp was above freezing, so mtalinm and I decided to ride, especially since we both had studded tires. We met in Norwood at 11:00 AM and headed for Boston.

We have a similar commute, in opposite directions, so I showed him a pleasant, but convoluted route through residential West Roxbury that goes between, but avoids Centre St and West Roxbury Parkway. Traffic was light, and even on Washington St through Norwood and Westwood we could ride two abreast (we both wore rear view mirrors), so we had a nice chat.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…Besides meeting these E-acquaintances face-to-face, it is also much fun to meet them as residents of Bike Forums and especially Fifty Plus. None of my own personal circle know much of the Forums whereas those attending [rides] are now face-to-face acquaintances and also know the other personalities on the Forums. So we now as face-to-face friends could chat about those other subscribers [and their posts]…and their personalities as we perceive the personae they project on the Forums, making you all more “real” than I alone would imagine…
En route we even looked for patches of ice to test the studs. However, the roads were well-salted, and for me that means the carbon fiber bike goes into hibernation. Since I will now be riding the beater mountain bike so much, I think I will check out his recommendation for a new more comfortable saddle. (mtalinm, when/if you read this, can you remind me (and the thread) of the name and model?)

We parted company at Weld and Centre Streets since m’ had to get home to Westwood to make the mashed potatoes for his 2 o’clock family dinner.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 11-28-14 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 11-28-14, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Just a couple of shots from this weekend.

The Community Path Extension to Lowell Street - so close to completion - the fence is currently scheduled to come down in the spring. Yellow is the running/walking surface (will be on both sides soon). Here are the plans.



And in the topsy-turvey world of construction projects, Beacon Street reconstruction in Somerville has begun, I'm travelling in the "bike lane" remnants here. If you haven't seen the plans for this defacto bicycle highway, you should take a look at what is coming.



-mr. bill
I keep going back to this post. I love getting updates on such pro bicycle/pedestrian improvements. Mr. B, Thanks again.
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Old 11-28-14, 06:13 PM
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You know when you see something and think that is interesting as you pass it but would have to turn back to take a picture?
I got out for 21 miles on combination errands and cruise. My winter bike is a mountain bike with knobby tires, platform pedals and no fenders or rack. I'm still trying to fit a rack that will serve as a rear fender. Not as resolute as many of you but I did enjoy this pre winter day. The snow pleasantly contrasted with bark and brick.

This time I did stop, turned back and snapped this three foot diameter tree on Pleasant St. in Millis. I rode out to Norfolk and back to check out a route and gage the time it will take for a meeting next week. With 30F clothes and aforementioned winter bike I rode about 3 mph slower than my narrow tire, spandex road bike.
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Old 11-29-14, 01:17 PM
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Ready for some winter fun !
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Old 11-29-14, 06:08 PM
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Took a ride up the Mystic Valley Parkway and out to Horn Pond at sunset, a 10 mile loop through Arlington, West Medford, Winchester, and Woburn, pleasant ride with temperatures falling through the 30s. Discovered Jabberwock Reptiles, but the weather being what it was, they all stayed in their cages and didn't come out to play.













rod
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Old 11-29-14, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ZIPP2001
Ready for some winter fun !
Zipp! Great to hear from you and you look great. Still hammering hills "out west"? We only have a couple of inches of snow and the roads are bare here in Sherborn. I rode 7 miles on my mountain bike this morning running an errand. It was about 27F and unlike you I had 3 layers and ski cloves.
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Old 11-29-14, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Zipp! Great to hear from you and you look great.
Indeed! It has been a while.

So, like, we went away for three days, and when we came back what did we find??? You guy have trashed the roads with snow and salt! Plus, my Peugeot commute vehicle sitting in the living room seems to have developed a flat rear tire while we were gone. The bike and the roads were perfectly fine when we left them. What have you been doing while we were away??

The challenges never stop, do they?
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Old 11-30-14, 07:10 AM
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Thanks SBP & J ! Almost a foot of snow, so after this photo I jumped on the trainer I set up in the driveway for a little freeze fest 15 miler. The roads out this way aren't quite ride-able yet, I think I'll have to go toward my winter riding route in Sterling for some real outdoor riding. Stay safe out there and I hope everyone has a Fantastic Holiday Season.
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Old 11-30-14, 06:32 PM
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Rolled out the Minuteman to the barricade at Seasons Four in Lexington this afternoon, 10 miles, leaving a bit before kick-off for the Pats game, mostly to get a look at trail conditions in this little thaw after our little dose of premature Winter. The trail surface is wet with meltwater in many spots, with some fair-sized puddles in Lexington, but is otherwise clear; presumably we'll get some black ice on Tuesday morning, after more melting tomorrow.


Encountered a cyclist riding no-hands with a Christmas wreath around his neck, and, a bit later, a dog with a green strobe on his collar.

The Friends of Lexington Bikeways have their signs out again. In addition to the familiar snow-removal appeal with a url for tax-deductible contributions, they have a new sign giving an email address (mmbikeway At gmail Dot com) to report hazardous conditions. Stand by for snow-and-ice season...


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 12-08-14 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11-30-14, 06:58 PM
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Thanks for the condition update, hopefully I can get back on the MM next weekend.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:37 PM
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28 miles through Millis, Norfolk, Dover and back to Sherborn. Causeway St. in Medfield is like a larger scale version of Strawberry Hill/Wilsondale in Dover. Riding East they both swoop like downhill skiing.
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Old 12-01-14, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
28 miles through Millis, Norfolk, Dover and back to Sherborn. Causeway St. in Medfield is like a larger scale version of Strawberry Hill/Wilsondale in Dover. Riding East they both swoop like downhill skiing.
Hi sbp,

I just discovered Causeway Street this summer, and it has become a favorite segment of several oft-ridden routes through Millis, Medfield, and Walpole to or from Norwood. I had heard of the name from a new colleague who lived just off it. One day I searched for it while riding Forest through Millis, and I found the intersection, though somewhat hidden and easily missed. Whenever I ride it, I usually do a ride-by past my colleague’s house to say Hi if he’s outside.

For myself, particularly as a map afficianado (self-professed “cartographile”) a joy of cycling is discovering these hidden gems. Furthermore, as I posted this summer,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
… Often when I meet someone new, I ask them where they live because invariably I’ve ridden through their neighborhood, and that questions spurs a lively conversation...
Or, as above, they may suggest a new route for me.

The comparison with Wilsondale St. was also notable to me because I have often passed it riding on Dedham/Westfield St. I thought it was likely a dead end, but note on the map it hooks back up to Dedham Street via Strawberry Hill St. Looks like a nice detour to try sometime.

Finally I note Wilsodale St passes Powissett Brook, and I do know Powisswtt St in Dover quite well, So I googled “Powissett,” and nearly all the entries were for Powissett farm, and there is also a Powisset peak. But I could not find the origin of the actual name, seemingly an Indian name. So there’s another reason to strike up a conversation with my Dover acquaintances.

Wonkily yours,

JfB

PS: I suppose these street names are as obscure to the several Metrowesterners living in the vicinity of the Minuteman, as their geographic names are to me, but hopefully our respective descriptions beckon us all to ride in all those sectors of the Metroverse.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-01-14 at 05:28 AM. Reason: added PS
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Old 12-01-14, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
PS: I suppose these street names are as obscure to the several Metrowesterners living in the vicinity of the Minuteman, as their geographic names are to me, but hopefully our respective descriptions beckon us all to ride in all those sectors of the Metroverse.
Yes on both counts!
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