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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 12-15-14, 05:43 AM
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We did 37.7 miles on the tandem today. Temps in the upper 30's, bright sun, a great day.

Here's a pic my sweetie snapped at a quick food stop. The dirty snow pile is where Fern's bike racks used to be. It's a harbinger of things to come. (Is there any other kind of harbinger? What sort of har does a harbringer bring anyway?)



Short afterwards we passed this curious building. Five bays, stone columns. I wonder what it was. An old carriage house, a firehouse, a garage for old farm machinery?



While I was snapping pics two women came walking by so I asked if they lived around there and what that building might have been. They said they didn't know. Then they pointed across the road to this tower usually hidden in the undergrowth. What was it used for? It probably wasn't a silo, too hard to clean. It might have been a water tower. One said that that region of Carlisle used to have mining and other interesting activities back in the 1700's but the tower was too new. It didn't look like the flue for a kiln.



And hidden even deeper in the woods, barely visible, is another stone building.



Fascinating.
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Old 12-15-14, 07:50 AM
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After being chastised and castigated (or simply chastigated) for removing pics, I have restored many of those which had gone away. Time and tide prevent me from restoring everything.
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Old 12-15-14, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller

...
Short afterwards we passed this curious building. Five bays, stone columns. I wonder what it was. An old carriage house, a firehouse, a garage for old farm machinery?



While I was snapping pics two women came walking by so I asked if they lived around there and what that building might have been. They said they didn't know. Then they pointed across the road to this tower usually hidden in the undergrowth. What was it used for? It probably wasn't a silo, too hard to clean. It might have been a water tower. One said that that region of Carlisle used to have mining and other interesting activities back in the 1700's but the tower was too new. It didn't look like the flue for a kiln.



And hidden even deeper in the woods, barely visible, is another stone building.



Fascinating.
Jim,

I've also seen that cluster of stone buildings, and wondered too. This sounds like a job for the Historical Society! Another case of bicycle as time machine...

rod

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Old 12-16-14, 07:53 PM
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Rode out to the barricade tonight in the foggy dew, 10 miles, mild temperatures just at 40, damp air, pleasant if you like that sort of thing, lights of all sorts diffused, headlight cones visible.


The well-designed private rink near Great Meadow is being reassembled for the coming cold season.


The massage parlor on Broadway, Arlington, seems to have the Xmas spirit.


This evening's ride was one of those in which my body and the bicycle seemed in harmony, everything just worked nicely, especially pedal strokes and cadences. Not quite everything was working however: I rode away from the house without my helmet, a mental lapse that made me smile.

rod

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Old 12-17-14, 10:36 PM
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My rides have been 6-10 mile errands or like today, 22 mile recreational exercise miles through Millis, Norfolk and Medfield back to Sherborn. With proper clothing choices these rides are a real pleasure. I've also been exercising 3 days a week indoors in a gym. I can assure you neither stationary bike or treadmill convey the same feeling of motion as biking 45F, slightly damp roads. They also don't convey the same sense of blunder and luck that I experienced today riding at dusk and early dark scooting home on a portion of Rt 27 aka South Main St. during rush hour. I did have little emergency blinkies and bright clothes but I should have left earlier.
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Old 12-18-14, 09:31 PM
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Out to the barricade and back on the Minuteman tonight, 10 miles. The barricade was scheduled to come down tomorrow, but time will tell. Dark night, temperatures in the mid-30s, breezy, not a lot of company on the trail, but one bike rode by with the crackle of carbide studs on bare pavement. I was on the LHT, its Compass tires whispering in the night.


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Old 12-20-14, 03:16 PM
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I took the Motobecane out for 32.5 miles today, cold, temps in the low 30's but at least above freezing.

The swollen Sudbury River with ice at the edges:



The Bridge over the Sudbury:



Of course it's not the only bridge, but it's the one with some significant local history. You see, about 20 years ago it collapsed. A big 15' chunk just fell out from the middle and dropped into the river. It carries a lot of traffic, and we had gone under it in our canoe the previous weekend. Analysis showed that when it was built maybe 80 years ago the construction company had completely left out the steel reinforcing rods called out in the engineering design. Were they cutting corners, i.e. cheating, to save money? Was there no oversight at the time? Was there no accountability? Apparently no one knows the real answers now!

I really should look up the details. The Brigham Farm farm stand just west of the bridge has newspaper clippings from the collapse posted on a bulletin board.

The state took several years rebuilding it. One reason is they saved the original stone and reconstructed the side walls and facade with them. The shape isn't quite the elegant compact arch of the original, but it should last a lot longer!
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Old 12-20-14, 08:08 PM
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If you go to google earth historical imagery, you can see the progress of the bridge replacement.

What I've always wanted to know more about is the many name changes in short order here - North Road to South Great Road to Fitchburg Turnpike to North Road then Great Road. (I don't know if you've ever noticed the North Road North Road intersection?)

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Old 12-20-14, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
What I've always wanted to know more about is the many name changes in short order here - North Road to South Great Road to Fitchburg Turnpike to North Road then Great Road. (I don't know if you've ever noticed the North Road North Road intersection?)
I always just call it Rt 117. But it does go through a bunch of towns in a short distance. Waltham, Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Bolton and points west. Of course I didn't ride it that far today.

Originally Posted by mr_bill
(I don't know if you've ever noticed the North Road North Road intersection?)
Actually, I have. But it isn't as obtuse as it sounds. Okay, the turns would be either obtuse or acute depending on which way you go. The name North Rd is assigned to Rt 117 for a while running west through Sudbury. Near the Maynard line Longfellow Rd comes in from the south and a road splits off the northwest. That road carries the name North Rd while Rt 117 becomes Great Rd. Unfortunately North Rd doesn't have that honor for very long. In about 1/4 mile it enters Maynard and the name changes to Waltham St. Sic transit gloria North Rd.
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Old 12-20-14, 09:49 PM
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Got an unusually (for me) early start this morning, and rode the North Bridge loop through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, and Lincoln, 32 miles, temperatures in the upper 20s to start, rising to the mid 30s by the end. During the coldest part of the ride, the Surly was making an odd rubber-on-rubber sound at the bottom of each stroke of my right crank arm; this seemed strangely familiar, but I couldn't remember just what it was reminding me of, until I hit on it: the sound of an old-fashioned Playtex girdle being removed; this was an odd and by now somewhat antique aural memory, and whether it had more to do with Hippolyta or Jocasta I didn't trouble myself much with, no sense in sweating that Freudian kid stuff in your 60s, but that was it. I never did figure out what caused the noise, as far as I know my bicycle contains no Playtex components, but it didn't seem to do any harm and disappeared after the temperature rose a couple of degrees. Cold air plays tricks. Standing water had at least a film of ice, running water flowed free, here and there a frozen puddle was easily avoided.

Firewood? Good idea!


Ice on the ditch-water, Lexington.


The culvert repair on the Minuteman between Seasons Four and Woburn Street seems largely complete...

... but that section is still closed due to comprehensive resurfacing near the Woburn Street crossing; that's intended to fix the bad icing we had in that spot last year...

...so I bailed on an unmarked right-of-way...

...that put me on Cottage Street, Lexington, a little fractal curlicue of a neighborhood that I never would have seen otherwise.

A bit of the Yuletide spirit on Skelton Road, Carlisle.


All the horses I saw were caparisoned against the cold, their segmented blankets reminding me of the Indian rhinoceros.


Crossing the Concord River on Monument Street.


A back-water of the Concord, icing up. So much for Autumn, hello Winter.


Plastic apparition on Virginia Road, Concord: quaint folkways to burn. Worth a trip back after dark, just to see it all lit up.


As I was climbing the hill at the Lincoln end of Virginia Road, I encountered a panel van coming from Hanscom with a placard that proclaimed its cargo as "Radioctive"--nuclear medicine supplies, most likely. After turning the corner at the top of the hill and heading down Old Bedford Road, Lincoln, I crossed paths with a fine flock of turkeys; I briefly addressed them, praising their beauty, dignity, and delicious meat. The turkeys were nonplussed by this speech, and wandered back into the woods. I rode home.

rod

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Old 12-21-14, 03:43 PM
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Adjusting to winter weather is taking me longer than many of you and I'm mostly riding short errands. I did go for a rare jog yesterday instead of a ride, cross training I guess, but nice to get out. Today I was inspired and took the windshielded recumbent in snow dusted chilly weather and was very comfortable.
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Old 12-21-14, 09:05 PM
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Went for a Winter Solstice ride, out the Minuteman to Bedford Street, Lexington, and back, 14 miles in the low thirties with persistent snow flurries giving a bit of moisture that made it seem colder than it was. I took the winter bike, a 1987 GT Karakoram, a rigid 26" mountain bike wearing fenders and studded 1.75" Nokian W240 tires. The studded tires were absolutely not needed, no ice to be found, but riding this bike on this day had a certain ceremonial value, besides which I had rearranged the bikes in the garage before I parked the car last night, anticipating rather more snow than we got. In the event, the snow was minimal, but the GT was in reach and the Surly, not so much. Spent an inordinate amount of time on this ride fiddling with seat height, and generally kept a slow pace, stopping to gawk at this and that occasionally.

The two white streaks in the middle-left region of this picture are the only images of falling snow I was able to capture today: not much to it, although I saw somewhat more of it than the camera did.


The Woburn Street crossing was open again, for the moment, but is obviously a work in progress, and will probably be closed for another day or two to finish up; hope the changes cure the icing problems.


Such snow as there was stuck to the thin ice remaining in the flooded low spots.


A little dusting stuck to this old log, lurking like a crocodile at trailside in Lexington near Bedford Street.


The big tree on Taylor Lane was lit this evening, the first time I've seen it so this season.


Night fell, and things got dark and cold. Chicken soup awaited me at home.




rod

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Old 12-22-14, 09:25 AM
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Winter riding is different than summer riding.

Rod, Your caparisoned horses, snow streaks, crocodiles, plastic apparitions and playtex sounds suggest you observe a lot. I've always felt we see more biking than driving. I wonder if high density, winter air inspires more observation and imagination.

Jim observed recent and longer term history with Fern's bike rack move and Carlisle stone buildings and tower then Bill joined him on the Fitchburg Turnpike bridge in Concord. Do we squirrel away acorns of questions for snow bound winter?
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Old 12-22-14, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Winter riding is different than summer riding.

Rod, Your caparisoned horses, snow streaks, crocodiles, plastic apparitions and playtex sounds suggest you observe a lot. I've always felt we see more biking than driving. I wonder if high density, winter air inspires more observation and imagination.

Jim observed recent and longer term history with Fern's bike rack move and Carlisle stone buildings and tower then Bill joined him on the Fitchburg Turnpike bridge in Concord. Do we squirrel away acorns of questions for snow bound winter?
It definitely is different. I sometimes think that when we ride in the cold, less is taken for granted by our bodies--we ride to stay warm, but if we ride too fast, our self-generated wind chill lets the cold steal in; hill climbs warm us, descents chill us, and we stop pedaling at our peril. Riding surfaces become complex, interesting but sometimes treacherous: this triggers an unaccustomed degree of feral attentive focus in our urbane and protected selves. Our little bubble of personal space shrinks a bit, and the index of refraction between ourselves and the surrounding world changes. There is also a deep quiet that, paradoxically, can be heard, and that in turn allows our mental contents to speak up and be recognized. It takes us a little longer to get where we're going, and we work a little harder to get there, but we see a little more of where we've been.

rod

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Old 12-24-14, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Winter riding is different than summer riding.

Originally Posted by rholland1951
It definitely is different. I sometimes think that when we ride in the cold, less is taken for granted by our bodies--we ride to stay warm, but if we ride too fast, our self-generated wind chill lets the cold steal in; hill climbs warm us, descents chill us, and we stop pedaling at our peril. Riding surfaces become complex, interesting but sometimes treacherous: this triggers an unaccustomed degree of feral attentive focus in our urbane and protected selves. Our little bubble of personal space shrinks a bit, and the index of refraction between ourselves and the surrounding world changes. There is also a deep quiet that, paradoxically, can be heard, and that in turn allows our mental contents to speak up and be recognized. It takes us a little longer to get where we're going, and we work a little harder to get there, but we see a little more of where we've been.
Lyrical description, Rod. More prosaically, I think about myself hunkering down, physically within my own outermost layers, and mentally within my attention to the immediate environment around me and to my own thoughts about whatever. Itís most pronounced in the early morning darkneess and doesnít occur in the nice weather. I call it cocooning, and it's a comfortable feeling, making winter riding enjoyable.
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Old 12-24-14, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Lyrical description, Rod.
Indeed. Me? I just get cold. And wear more clothes.
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Old 12-24-14, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Indeed. Me? I just get cold. And wear more clothes.
Wrong season for nude cycling, that's for sure.

rod
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Old 12-24-14, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Happy Holidays, or if you prefer, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This may be one of the northernmost ride descriptions on the Metro Boston thread. For the past two days the family and I have been visiting Toronto, and I’ve rented a bike-share bike, similar to our Hubways. I think if you were to distill the best features of New York and Boston, you would produce Toronto, at least for cycling. There’s the exciting and interesting environment of cavernous downtown streets, but easy access to pleasant neighborhood cycling. We stayed in a section at the periphery of the downtown called Yorkville, like Back Bay but larger and more elegant. Within about five minutes I was into a pleasant neighborhood of older but well-kept houses similar to Brookline.

The rental bikes were very heavy, but well-maintained, and tires properly filled. The three gears were quite suitable for the terrain and soon became pleasant to ride. Like the Hubways, the bikes are conveniently available, for about $8 for 24 hours. They similarly have 30 minute single-ride limits, but an extra half hour was only $1.50. I had become accustomed to renting from bike shops when away. But Bike-Share Programs like this are the way to go; so much more convenient and cheaper. Unfortunately I had to fit my riding into about an hour each day, prior to 7AM, so I did ride in the dark, as traffic increased with rush hour. Speaking of exciting downtown riding, though I went out with some initial trepidation into these new and unfamiliar streets, a rearview mirror instlled instant confidence.

My son was particularly interested to visit the various ethnic neighborhoods for which TO is famous. Though we walked and took the fabulous subway and streetcar system, cycling would be the ideal way to explore. Finally, to show how accepting the city is of cyclists, they have codified special dispensations to cyclists that in Boston are still de facto rather than de jure.



One downside perhaps of Toronto compared to Boston is that it appears at the outskirts to massively sprawl, and I suspent it takes quite a while to get out from the city into pristine country riding, like our Metrowest.
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Old 12-25-14, 08:02 PM
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I can't quite put my finger on what is missing in this picture.
(I know, I know, my thumbs. The wind, in the drops.)

Happy Holidays.



-mr. bill

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Old 12-26-14, 07:04 AM
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We got out on the tandem yesterday for 30.06 miles. It was indeed a nice day.



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Old 12-26-14, 05:17 PM
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We did a ride today with several other C&V participants, 44.4 miles, temps in the upper 40's (too many 4's if you ask me), and no one escapes unscathed.


L to R: Larry (my neighbor), PastorBobnlnh, Frog (a BF lurker), Ed. (apparently needing a cover story), Prowler (whose visit to the Boston area started this whole thing), my sweetie Sharon and myself. Ed. and Prowler treated us to a poetry recitation at the start, very high-brow.

Prowler wanted to ride my Centurion but I let him ride the Motobecane around the parking lot and that became his choice. At one point he passed us in a blaze of glory and we figured the next time I saw the bike ever again would be in Pennsylvania. But he was nice and slowed down.

We started in Bedford, made a run south across the Sudbury river, then a run north to Concord:



Then Prowler broke one of my tires, which gave me a chance to demonstrate my change-a-sew-up skills.







Along the way we kept our strength up by consuming luscious food - Pastor Bob's peanut butter fudge, Frog's pumpkin bread, and my sweetie's oatmeal cookies. We rode until it seemed appropriate to return and inexplicably found ourselves crossing the Concord River:



And of course we made it back to Bedford with the same number of bikes and people (and one fewer good tire) than we started with:

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Old 12-27-14, 03:00 PM
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After nearly a week off the bike in favor of a merry tangle of work, family, social engagements, and feasting, today's semi-balmy temperatures, brilliant light, clear, dry pavement, and lack of other engagements should have been a gift from the Bicycle Gods. However... somewhere along the line, I seem to have picked up a little virus, the principal symptom of which appears to be lassitude. On the off chance that this means "the state or condition of being Lassie", I should warn Timmy that if he falls in a well this time, he's on his own: I'm too pooped to go for help. I did, however, take the bike out in the early afternoon, after dragging around the house in the morning, a slow spin out the Minuteman to see if I'd perk up once the moving parts started moving. I seemed to be perking down instead, so I turned around at Bedford Street, Lexington, for a little ride of 14 miles. The month, day, and hour gave us a low sun, clear light, and long shadows, the shadows of tree trunks often striping the Minuteman like barcodes, producing the well-known stroboscopic blink on the sunny eyelid. Lots of folks of all sorts out on the trail today, but especially the proud owners of NEW BIKES! NEW SKATES! NEW SCOOTERS! NEW <proprietary wheeled conveyances>! These were mostly, but not entirely, children, and managed, mostly, to keep in their lane. They were having fun, and their parents were running interference for them. Riding-in-crowd skills were occasionally needed today.




The Taylor Lane horses were in their typically placid state of equine serenity. No traffic jams for them.


The high point of the ride was encountering Jim and Sharon on the tandem in the vicinity of Arlington's Great Meadow, exchanging a wave and a shouted greeting in passing. Hurray!

Now for a nap...

rod

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Old 12-27-14, 03:20 PM
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This unseasonably warm weather (near 50 in late December) at least provides great days for biking. So we took the tandem out again today, home in Waltham to Concord and back, 43.1 miles. Yes, we passed Rod and I actually recognized him soon enough to shout out a greeting instead of realizing 100yds later who I just passed!

We stopped at the Lexington Visitors' Center and my sweetie decided to snap some pics. Another cyclist stopping there commented "Still Life With Helmet" so that became this pic's title:


She and Sharon then talked for a while about riding a tandem.

The stop resulted in several other interesting conversations before we could take off again. One woman was on an interesting-looking steel bike I didn't recognize so I asked her about it. The DT lettering said Channel Islands Bicycles, the fork had a Campagnolo sticker, and it was equipped with a Campy NR crank. She said her brother used to run a small bicycle shop called Channel Island Bicycles in California and made bikes. He'd made that custom for her, and she loved it because it fit her so well. It looked well-ridden. (Long live vintage steel!)

Then another guy came along, offered to take our pic together, then said he had an ulterior motive. (Okay...) He'd just written a book entitled Boston's Cycling Craze 1880-1900, by Lorenz J. Finison (that was he), published by Univ. Of Massachusetts Press. So we talked for a while about that time period and he told us some things about races that used to run from towns north of Boston down to Walthm, turning around not far form our house, then back to the start. It sounded like it should be a great read!

Finally we got back on the bike and continued on our way. Rode the Minuteman Bikeway out to Bedford, then further on to Concord. They have been working on the MM this year. The rt225 crossing has been re-worked and recently given new stoplights. It looks like they are worried about safety there, as well they should be because rt225 is a busy road. The meaning of these lights should be perfectly clear.



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jimmuller
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Old 12-28-14, 02:01 PM
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Yesterday was indeed glorious for out and about in December. (Spouse informs me that MAMIT (Middle Aged Man in Tights) is more embarrassing than MAMIL (Middle Age Man in Lycra).) Ironically probably didn't need the wind tights yesterday.



-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 03-06-18 at 11:13 AM. Reason: photobucket
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Old 12-29-14, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Yesterday was indeed glorious for out and about in December. (Spouse informs me that MAMIT (Middle Aged Man in Tights) is more embarrassing than MAMIL (Middle Age Man in Lycra).) Ironically probably didn't need the wind tights yesterday.



-mr. bill
Hi Mr. Bill,

To this resident of Kenmore Square, I enjoy your familiar, though unidentified urban and suburban photos. I think this one shows the Park Plaza up ahead, and the one from 12/25 looks like Arlington, (?) Mass Ave. Last summer was a shot I knew conclusively, of Mass and Comm Aves right by my LBS, Back Bay Bikes.

BTW, have you seen this amusing and popular recent thread on the Fifty-Plus Forum devoted to MAMIL's, "Anybody recognise this man?".

JfB
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