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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 01-13-15, 10:59 AM
  #4401  
mr_bill
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BTW, long ago it was a MUP.

-mr. bill
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Old 01-13-15, 07:04 PM
  #4402  
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"deaf old gentleman"... I resemble that remark, or, at least, am getting there by successive approximation.

rod
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Old 01-14-15, 10:15 AM
  #4403  
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For the amusement of this thread, with apologies to mr_bill, he posted these interesting images on the Commuter Forum thread, ”did you track your miles in 2014?

Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Ant Tracks from 2014:

Boston:


Greater Boston:
Cape:


He also had images of his trails in Phoenix, Montreal, Manhattan, San Francisco, Vancouver, BC, and Seattle.

I posted to that thread,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For me, mileage is motivating; at least ten miles to qualify as a "ride"; at least 40 miles for a "long ride." I've occasionally thought that those who disdain cycle computers, are like those who claim, "I'm not religious, but I am spiritual."
I would describe his tracking as "ethereal."
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Old 01-17-15, 06:03 PM
  #4404  
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Rode out the Minuteman to Depot Park, Bedford, this afternoon, temperatures in the low 20s to high teens, depending on just where and when along the way. The low sun delivered brilliant light through the clear air, and a silence prevailed that allowed stray sounds--a dog barking, a passing plane's engines--to stand out vividly in the foreground. Surface conditions varied, but all three towns had some significant icy stretches, and I was glad to be riding the old GT with the studded Nokians.






After reaching Depot Park, I rode out Railroad Avenue to the Reformatory Branch trailhead.


I was curious about the condition of the trail; with last night's hard freeze, it seemed mud wouldn't be a problem. I rode a short segment, and decided that there was enough rutted ice to make the ride a little too technical for my taste just then, producing more stress than fun, so I cut that experiment short, and backtracked. The tires were up to the challenge, however, and in the right frame of mind, this could be fun.


Rode back to the Minuteman, and pedaled home as the sun set and the temperature dropped. Defrosted with a glass of sherry and a bowl of chicken soup.










rod

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Old 01-18-15, 08:07 PM
  #4405  
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Morning ride - beating the rain even if was still a bit cold. Tried the Bar Mitts for the first time. Toasty. Even had to take my gloves off.
Ice on the Minuteman. Discretion said the Gatorskins were *not* up to the task, so bailed quickly.



Mass Ave through the East Arlington construction is not surviving the (frankly, very few) freeze thaw cycles - hazards abound until the Cambridge border.



Not used to mixing Smoots & Ice on the Harvard Bridge.


Dudley Square's Ferdinand's Building, one of my favorites around here. (Google Maps doesn't think this is in Dudley Square.)


Wonderful murals at the T's Bartlett Garage.


Sunday on Washington Street.


Boston's Chinatown.


Even on a grey day, Paramount's marquis dazzles.


-mr. bill

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Old 01-19-15, 07:45 AM
  #4406  
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mr_bill, nice pics.

I attempted to ride to work this morning, first time since mid-December. After last week's very cold weather the ground was frozen, and after yesterday's rain (go Pats!) everything was wet. My bike slipped three times before I'd gone half a block so I turned around and got the car. Bummer. Maybe tomorrow. At least I arrived at the office safely and very early.
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Old 01-19-15, 07:40 PM
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Out to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman at sunset, 10 miles, high thirties with a blustery more-or-less West wind. Took the GT Karakoram with the studded Nokians, in the first instance to give the pedal spacers I installed yesterday on that bike a shakedown cruise (they're fine, and do what they're supposed to do). I was curious about the surface conditions on the Minuteman. The trail was mostly clear and dry where I rode. There were exceptions: damp areas, which may or may not glaze at the hard freeze that's coming; wet areas, that will; flooded areas, in places covering the whole trail width, that will turn into little ice rinks; some stubborn patches of wet ice, first encountered on the approaches to the Maple Street bridge, then at intervals between Maple Street and Seasons Four, with a few between Seasons Four and Woburn Street. These have the potential to turn into rough ice when the freeze hits.

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Old 01-20-15, 08:35 PM
  #4408  
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Settled my brains this evening, not with a long Winter's nap, but with a short ride up the Minuteman to Lexington Center, temperatures in the low thirties to high twenties. There was ice more or less where I expected it, yesterday's puddles in odd spots between Drake Village and Woburn Street; in places where the puddles were particularly deep, it was forming ruts. Something was singing in the cold and dark at Arlington's Great Meadow. What sings in the dark in Mid-Winter?


rod
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Old 01-20-15, 10:44 PM
  #4409  
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I rode my commute today, Waltham to the north side of Woburn by way of Belmont, Arlington, and Lexington. The roads and MM were surprisingly clear of water, ice, debris. Plenty of road salt around though.
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Old 01-22-15, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
....
Mass Ave through the East Arlington construction is not surviving the (frankly, very few) freeze thaw cycles - hazards abound until the Cambridge border.


....

-mr. bill
Our local humorist on Road Demons!

(I'll have to check to see if the surface has been repaired at all. My experience, state wide, is a hole big enough to hurt a car tire or wheel gets filled pretty quickly. But a hole big enough to hurt a cyclist?)

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Old 01-26-15, 12:19 PM
  #4411  
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I’ve been busy with work, family duties and replying to fast-moving threads on other Forums, and haven’t posted here even about my 12-degree commute a couple of weeks ago; but I did post on the Commuting Forum this about last Saturday’s snowy ride:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Metrowest Boston, who's riding Tuesday?

I replied on the Fifty Plus Forum to this thread, ”Snow…Ugh’

Originally Posted by bruce19 (of Lebanon, CT) View Post
Just filled my moto racing gas can and got the generator started just to make sure it's good to go. Also checked out the three gas fireplaces to make sure their set. Now I'm getting set for being snowed in. Probably spend tomorrow drinking Bushmill's and having sex. Well, unless we lose power and I can't get on the porno sites.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post


I'll be staying home tomorrow too, and it will be one of the nicest days off (in downtown Boston) since the blizzzard of '78, but without power will be a nightmare.

Family duties will keep me off the bike.
Even though I’m mostly Metrocentral, I did get out during the 4+ inch snowfall on that obliterated the Jamaica Pond Bike Path on Saturday, and iced up the Riverway Path on Sunday.



My recollection of the Blizzard of '78 was that it was also preceded by a fair snowstorm that left a significant base layer to build on.
PS: I did take the above photos with this Metro Boston thread in mind.

If (pruriently) interested, see bruce19's rakish response to my reply.
Attached Images
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Pre Blizzard of 2015 001.jpg (92.4 KB, 66 views)
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Pre Blizzard of 2015 002.jpg (97.6 KB, 66 views)
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Pre Blizzard of 2015 003.jpg (99.0 KB, 68 views)
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Pre Blizzard of 2015 004.jpg (100.6 KB, 65 views)

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Old 01-26-15, 01:08 PM
  #4412  
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Stay safe, everyone. It is starting.
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Old 01-26-15, 06:54 PM
  #4413  
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X2
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Old 01-28-15, 08:40 AM
  #4414  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Stay safe, everyone. It is starting.

Originally Posted by otg View Post
X2
The family would not let me cycle Tuesday or today, though IMO, my winter mountain bike with the Marathon Winter studded tires was ideal for these cirumstances. If interested see my photoessay on this Commuting Forum thread, "Metrowest Boston, who's riding Tuesday?
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Old 01-28-15, 09:57 PM
  #4415  
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Sorry, got out of town just before "Winter Storm Juno." In Vancouver BC for a bit, got out for another ride instead of lunch. Brought a camera this time.


Strange piece of cycle track:



But becomes a nice bike lane in short order (you can see why Vancouver is a stand in for various cities in film production):



Robson Street - Newbury Street-ish (in some parts, more Boylston-y here):



The Hornby two-way cycle track:



Pacific Street:



BC Center Stadium, home of Vancouver Whitecaps FC. (Please, Revs, move to an urban football stadium!)



Climbing up to the Dunsmuir Viaduct:



Rogers Arena, home of the Canucks. (Who carelessly lost the puck last night in the defensive third with the goalie pulled, sealing a 4-0 loss.):



Waterfront Station:



Climbing the hotel lobby stairs with the bike:


-mr. bill

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Old 01-29-15, 05:08 PM
  #4416  
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Managed to get out today around the Western suburbs. The roads are pretty clear, but the path to my back door was snowy. I put 700x35 Schwalbe Duremes on my single speed Quickbeam to deal with the slush.

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Old 01-29-15, 05:40 PM
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I saw one intrepid soul biking along Rt2A in Lexington this morning. My car thermometer was reading about 4degF. He did not look happy.
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Old 01-29-15, 09:32 PM
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Any thoughts on streets from Watertown into Cambridge? Public transit is so terrible! If the Charles path is plowed east of Watertown, life will be good....
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Old 01-30-15, 10:08 PM
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A brief Florida vacation got unintentionally extended by one day by the blizzard (Jet Blue just didn't want to fly on Tuesday), one of those no-sympathy situations. Did note some nice looking bike paths on Sanibel Island, something for another trip. Managed to get back in time to practice my other Winter sport (snow shoveling).

Back home and back to work, and finally back on the bike, a 10-mile ride this evening to Lexington Center, mostly on the Minuteman, with light snow and temperatures falling into the 20s accompanied by a wind that rose as the ride unfolded. Took the Winter bike, my 1987 GT Karakoram, a rigid 26" mountain bike running Nokian W240s, studded tires with an aggressive tread.

The roads in Arlington were mostly clear but rendered narrower by the snowbanks on either side, and at least one driver was definitely unnerved and somewhat dangerous... they get that way any time the weather is noticeable. With narrower lanes to play with, I found myself getting cut off by cars--and one bus--a couple of times.

The Minuteman, once I reached it, was plowed and rideable (with treads and studs, anyway) in both the Arlington and Lexington segments, with surfaces mostly packed snow, some bare pavement, some ice. Kudos to the Arlington DPW and the Friends of Lexington Bikeways for moving all that snow. It's a good time to pitch in a few bucks with Friends of Lexington Bikeways to help get rid of the next storm's load.




The Egg made it through the blizzard.


Most every cyclist I encountered was running studs tonight, with the possible exception of one vexed rider who was cussing a blue streak while pedaling down the hill into Arlington Center.


The tracks in the snow suggest that some folks rode straight, some rode curly (apologies to John Prine).


Some snowflakes blazed through the headlights like meteors, some floated companionably along with me in a tailwind.


Arlington's Great Meadow's snow pack glowed faintly in the diffuse light.


There were three bad patches on the Arlington segment of the Minuteman, brief fields of deeper, soft snow that courted skids, one adjacent to Russell Place, the other two in the vicinity of the skating rink. All seem to have been unintended side effects of either the plowing of the path, or perhaps, in the case of Russell Place, of folks operating snowblowers adjacent to the path (oops!). Lexington had a soft patch, too, up near the Center where the kids from Cottage Street have improvised a little sled run again this year.






There's a hard freeze in progress, so some of tonight's snow is likely to be tomorrow's ice.

rod

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Old 01-30-15, 11:23 PM
  #4420  
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Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
Any thoughts on streets from Watertown into Cambridge? Public transit is so terrible! If the Charles path is plowed east of Watertown, life will be good....
There's a bit of information about that (as of Thursday) here. Things may have evolved since then, of course...

rod

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Old 02-02-15, 05:09 PM
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My neighbor rode his bike to work today. I telecommuted and shoveled snow. I think he had more fun.


rod
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Old 02-03-15, 05:50 AM
  #4422  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
My neighbor rode his bike to work today. I telecommuted and shoveled snow. I think he had more fun.
Rod,

Nice picture of a memorable snowfall. After the blizzard of '78, a colleague of mine, raised on a farm, commented about the previous historic blizzard of 1888, that they must have found an incredible amount of accumulated horse doo-doo after that snow melted.

Ask your neighbor if he encountered any hostility on the road or at work. I was frequently asked, "You didn't ride your bike today, did you?" not in the usual jest, but with a distinct trace of antagonism. I did not, explaining the family wouldn’t let me.

I did try to justify that the plowed, hardpacked snow was perfect for my studded tires, and I rode early, on lightly traveled roads, with adequate dress, but no one was interested in any further discussion.

JfB
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Old 02-03-15, 07:53 AM
  #4423  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Rod,

Nice picture of a memorable snowfall. After the blizzard of '78, a colleague of mine, raised on a farm, commented about the previous historic blizzard of 1888, that they must have found an incredible amount of accumulated horse doo-doo after that snow melted.

Ask your neighbor if he encountered any hostility on the road or at work. I was frequently asked, "You didn't ride your bike today, did you?" not in the usual jest, but with a distinct trace of antagonism. I did not, explaining the family wouldn’t let me.

I did try to justify that the plowed, hardpacked snow was perfect for my studded tires, and I rode early, on lightly traveled roads, with adequate dress, but no one was interested in any further discussion.

JfB
His report was that he only encountered 8 cars between East Arlington and Inman Square, Cambridge: a sweet ride. His business is bike-oriented, so no guff from co-workers.

rod
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Old 02-03-15, 08:26 AM
  #4424  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...
Ask your neighbor if he encountered any hostility on the road or at work. I was frequently asked, "You didn't ride your bike today, did you?" not in the usual jest, but with a distinct trace of antagonism. ...
JfB
So, what do you think the antagonism is about?

rod
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Old 02-03-15, 10:29 AM
  #4425  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Ask your neighbor if he encountered any hostility on the road or at work. I was frequently asked, "You didn't ride your bike today, did you?" not in the usual jest, but with a distinct trace of antagonism. I did not, explaining the family wouldn’t let me.

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
His report was that he only encountered 8 cars between East Arlington and Inman Square, Cambridge: a sweet ride. His business is bike-oriented, so no guff from co-workers.

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
So, what do you think the antagonism is about?
I probably overstated “antagonism”; maybe annoyance would be more accurate. When riding under such “treacherous” circumstances, I have encountered occasional gratuitous hostility on the road even though there is so little traffic, I‘m not an obstruction. My wife did recently chide me because I might obstruct snowplows (I anticipate them in my rearview mirror, and pull off the road for them). I have even pushed cars stuck on slippery surfaces.

The annoyance stems IMO from the general driver frustration: obstruction by bikes, and in particular fear of hitting cyclists, including with the added hazard of skidding. At work, I have encountered rare overt hostility based on the fear of hitting a cyclist, with IMO a generous concern for my welfare, by otherwise friendly people, especially since I was already hit once on a peaceful road in June.

Finally, while your friend works in a cycle shop, I work in a hospital, where the injured cyclist would be taken. Nonetheless, I enjoy my image as a cyclist, as I described in this thread ”If you are tough about cycling in bad weather, are you a tough person in general?”

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… My cycling reputation, mundane as my cycling might be to the hard-core cyclists, is always a source of amusement and conversation with my friends and acquaintances; e.g. in bad weather, “You didn’t ride your bike today, did you?,” or at fancy social events, “Did you ride your bike here?.” [Almost] Always asked with amusement and respect...
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