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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 04-02-15, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller


I did my first bike commute this morning. Temperature about 29F when I started. It was great to be back in the pedals. Of course I'm only halfway through, still have to ride home this afternoon.

At least one of the roads had been swept, but dang now I've forgotten which one,. Wait, now I remember. The 1/4 mile or so of Sycamore St before the left turn onto Belmont's Lexington St into Waverley Sq. Not a great victory, but considering I suffered three flats from the debris on the stretch last year the clean sweep was nice to see.
Been commuting exclusively with the road bike w/23cm tires for the past three weeks (even through a couple of non-accumulating snow flurries over the past week). Ready to put away the winter commuter w/ the studded tires and declare the winter officially over.

The ride home today should be wonderful with the sun and mid 50s temp.

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Old 04-02-15, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sing
Been commuting exclusively with the road bike w/23cm tires for the past three weeks...
The ride home today should be wonderful with the sun and mid 50s temp.
I don't recall seeing your name in MetroBoston before, so welcome!

What part of the city are you commuting through? I ride from Waltham to Woburn.

Nice move doing it on 23's, that demonstrates confidence! Last year I did it a some on bikes with expensive 23 Vittoria clinchers or 23mm sew-ups, and it really increased my chances of getting a flat!

Addendum-dum-de-dum-dum: On the subject of tires and bikes and commuting, all of my bikes are vintage road bikes and most of them carry 25mm tires. They have served me well.

The ride home was awesome but tiring because of the strong headwind. Plus, I was wearing clothes more suitable for the sub-freezing temperatures of this morning. Oh, and did I mention that it was windy? Still, it was great to be back on the bike.
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Old 04-02-15, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I don't recall seeing your name in MetroBoston before, so welcome!

What part of the city are you commuting through? I ride from Waltham to Woburn.

Nice move doing it on 23's, that demonstrates confidence! Last year I did it a some on bikes with expensive 23 Vittoria clinchers or 23mm sew-ups, and it really increased my chances of getting a flat!

Addendum-dum-de-dum-dum: On the subject of tires and bikes and commuting, all of my bikes are vintage road bikes and most of them carry 25mm tires. They have served me well.

The ride home was awesome but tiring because of the strong headwind. Plus, I was wearing clothes more suitable for the sub-freezing temperatures of this morning. Oh, and did I mention that it was windy? Still, it was great to be back on the bike.

Waltham to Woburn. I'm in Waltham. I mostly head west on 117 to 126 and have a bunch of different length routes I normally ride.
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Old 04-02-15, 05:21 PM
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Welcome new contributors! New perspective and new views are very much appreciated.
I rode a loop through Millis, Norfolk and Medfield and over dressed for 57F but the half booties were good for the snow melt washing over the road. A few noteworthy potholes but generally "seasonal".
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Old 04-03-15, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I don't recall seeing your name in MetroBoston before, so welcome!

What part of the city are you commuting through? I ride from Waltham to Woburn.

Nice move doing it on 23's, that demonstrates confidence! Last year I did it a some on bikes with expensive 23 Vittoria clinchers or 23mm sew-ups, and it really increased my chances of getting a flat!

Addendum-dum-de-dum-dum: On the subject of tires and bikes and commuting, all of my bikes are vintage road bikes and most of them carry 25mm tires. They have served me well.

The ride home was awesome but tiring because of the strong headwind. Plus, I was wearing clothes more suitable for the sub-freezing temperatures of this morning. Oh, and did I mention that it was windy? Still, it was great to be back on the bike.

I have been in the city most of my life. My current commute is from Hyde Park (southwest neighborhood) to downtown, just about 9 miles one way. Half the ride is on the streets and half on the SW Corridor bike path. Yeah, yesterday's ride home was into a pretty stiff headwind but pleasant nevertheless.

Bikes: My daily commutes are split between a '83 Shogun 600, '85 Shogun 1000 and a '90 Marin Tassajara (winter bike). These were my first good (and good fitting) bikes to replace a too-big '77 Peugot (from college days) and a '88 Specialized Hardrock (with 24" wheels). Some more recent acquisitions but less ridden bikes include a 2009 Hardrock Pro, 2011 Downtube 9s and a 2012 Origin 8 Bully (mini-velo).

Don't fun ride much on weekends anymore, although on occasions I do get out on the road bike to the Minuteman or the Charles River path to Watertown, Waltham, Weston, Lincoln down to Walden Pond; or some offroad riding in the nearby Stony Brook Reservation, Blue Hills or Wampatuck down the south shore.

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Old 04-03-15, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by sing
I have been in the city most of my life. My current commute is from Hyde Park (southwest neighborhood) to downtown, just about 9 miles one way. Half the ride is on the streets and half on the SW Corridor bike path...

sing
Hi sing,

I’m one of the few other urban cycle commuters who posts here. I’m lucky to ride year-round in the reverse of the usual commuter direction, from Kenmore Square to Norwood, usually through Brookline, or JP-West Roxbury, to Dedham and Norwood. In the nice weather I add miles, often through Hyde Park on Hyde Park Ave to Canton to Norwood.

FYA, for details of my commuting process, see this thread, ”Describe Your Commute.” Otherwise my routes are numerous, depending on how many miles I want to ride, up to about 30 miles into work on weekdays. The one-way straight shot is 14 miles, and I take the Franklin Commuter Rail home to Back Bay.

JfB

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Old 04-03-15, 03:39 PM
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Spy Pond is still frozen:
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Old 04-04-15, 11:52 AM
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Today's ride was dictated by the weather, predicted to be windy with gusts pushing 50mph. So I figured it'd be best to stay sheltered. What better route than the Nashua River Rail Trail (NRRT)? So we drove out to the southern end in Ayer, put all our usual riding stuff, picnic, camera, etc. plus ourselves on the tandem, and headed north into the wind counting on a tailwind for the return. We didn't get far before the trail was completely covered over with snow and ice. So we turned around, went back to the car and drove home. Round trip 0.35 miles.

On the drive home we went past Fern's General store in Carlisle, a guaranteed favorite cycling hangout. There was no bike to be seen in their racks.

Don't bother trying to ride the NRRT on road tires for another few weeks.
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Old 04-04-15, 01:31 PM
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Wind advisory? Should have listened to the news I guess.

Close encounter of the wow kind outside The Cathedral of the Holy Cross. At least I didn't hit anything, nor take the Lord's name in vain.


-mr. bill

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Old 04-04-15, 02:27 PM
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Managed to get out for my first outdoor ride of the season today. Just 6 miles due to the crazy winds, but good to get the legs moving again regardless.

I've changed jobs since last fall, and my 7 mile bike commute is now a 25 mile train commute, so it's going to be a lot harder to build stamina this year. That probably means that it's time to move.
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Old 04-05-15, 01:15 PM
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The unpaved portion of the Marblehead Rail Trail isn't quite ready yet.

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Old 04-07-15, 07:44 AM
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Last week I posted,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
So I wanted to add this ride description as a coda to my previous Chronicle of This Historic Winter.” Last Tuesday (3/24) was the first ride on my carbon fiber bike since January 1, because I keep it pristine, only ridden on dry, salt and debris-free roads…

All in all, it might have been premature to ride that route on my CF bike, but it still was a pleasure….Anyways I considered the above ride a sign that this Historic Winter is over, but nonetheless a difficult ride due to the road damage by the severe weather…
On sunny, cloudless Saturday afternoon (4/4), I did the first true ride of spring, on the carbon fiber bike, from Norwood to Kenmore. First time this year with:
  • no facemask, balaclava or goggles
  • single pair of thin knit gloves
  • overly warm with fleece, instead of winter jacket
  • single pair of tights
  • single pair of socks, no cycling boots.
  • dry snow free-roads, and shoulders with wide swaths of debris-free pavement.
I did encounter a few shiny wet patches, and though it was likely in the 50’s, thoughts of black ice did recur.

Originally Posted by jimmuller
Today's (4/4) ride was dictated by the weather, predicted to be windy with gusts pushing 50mph…

Originally Posted by mr_bill
Wind advisory? Should have listened to the news I guess.

Close encounter of the wow kind outside The Cathedral of the Holy Cross. At least I didn't hit anything, nor take the Lord's name in vain…
My ride too was one of the windiest I can recall in Boston with gusty pushing winds, as head-, tail- and cross-winds, with sporadic gusts strong enough to push me leftwards towards the traveling lanes. Another reason to have a rearview mirror, to monitor upcoming rearward traffic for those surprise deviations from the straight forward progression.

My ride included the previously described “Goddard Street Swoop" in Brookline,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I want to also tout [the downhill run on] Goddard Street by Larz Anderson Park in Brookline. From the top it’s about 1.5 miles past Jamaica Pond to Boylston Street (Rte 9). So it’s very scenic with gentle curves, with low traffic, and notably only one cross street as I recall, on the uphill side, until the road starts to flatten out at the Pond…. Just past the crest is a turn-off, so you can allow any cars behind you to pass, and then cruise almost uninterrupted for nearly the entire length. Even after the single traffic light just past the Pond, it is still declining and one can easily (for me) pedal up to 20 mph.

Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
…Metro Bostonians have mastered a lot of the same roads.

We all have very individual, favorite routes. I bet we could compile a list of favorite sections of roads where the sun, shade, swoops and turns fly by just right.
with this further observation; the road surfaces were smooth asphalt with no potholes until it started to level out in Boston at Jamaica Pond.

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Old 04-08-15, 06:31 PM
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I did my commute today. The morning was dry, a bit cool, quite pleasant except for the persistent headwind from the northeast. The ride home was, ah, different. Even SmartWool socks get cold when saturated at 35 degF. The really interesting experience was hearing the clickety-click of sleet on my helmet. All in all a very nice day.
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Old 04-08-15, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I did my commute today...The ride home was, ah, different. Even SmartWool socks get cold when saturated at 35 degF. The really interesting experience was hearing the clickety-click of sleet on my helmet. All in all a very nice day.
Sleet?!! Jim, I just signed off on winter and removed the studded tires on my beater bike this past Saturday.
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Old 04-08-15, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I did my commute today. The morning was dry, a bit cool, quite pleasant except for the persistent headwind from the northeast. The ride home was, ah, different. Even SmartWool socks get cold when saturated at 35 degF. The really interesting experience was hearing the clickety-click of sleet on my helmet. All in all a very nice day.
Thank goodness the NE wind was to my back on the way home. The ice pellets would have been horrible otherwise. Bike traffic was probably 25% of normal today.

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Old 04-09-15, 09:37 AM
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I like routine because it is easier to measure progress but too much routine and I like a little change.
There is just never too much routine in Spring.

Together we report being grateful for NE wind ice pellets, studded tire change outsmarted, clickety click helmet sleet, single sock carbon fiber ride, holy side winds and not quite Marblehead and Nashua River trail reports. A few days ago on a pleasant 45F day I rode a 25 mile loop a little faster but yesterday I took the easy, cross training way out by running a 3 mile loop in blustery sleet.

It is damp and 34F. On days like this I have to decide if I gear up and bike or not. It's the same every year.
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Old 04-10-15, 04:46 PM
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I rode my commute again today, a pleasant way to get to work and get wet. And to get home and get drier. My poor workhorse UO-8 was filthy after the previous commute, so I'd cleaned it up. It was filthy again when I got to work, too many puddles to go through. So I brushed off some of the debris before rolling it into the building. The ride home was drier with the result that when I arrived home both my bike and the skunk stripe on my rain jacket were cleaner than when I started.

Sometimes entropy really does go down, I guess.
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Old 04-10-15, 09:06 PM
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Work and travel have kept me off the bike for the better part of two weeks, but I got a night ride to Lexington Center on the Minuteman after work, 10 miles. Temperatures were in the low 50s, I was dressed more for the low 40s (force of habit), but didn't suffer much for that. It was a real Spring ride, with a little drizzle thrown in for good measure. Kids were practicing lacrosse on the AHS field, mushy romantic music was leaking out of the ice rink (dance?), and some sort of folk music floated up from the direction of Mass. Ave. Farther along, I heard the bell of the Follen Church toll eight. On the return, the "folk music" seemed to resolve itself into the singing of a cantor, puzzling, but I had dinner in mind and didn't leave the trail to investigate. Dark, pleasant ride.

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Old 04-11-15, 04:00 PM
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We managed 38.45 miles through 25mph winds today, a good start to the season. I'd taken us up rt110 with the expectation of riding the BF south. (Rt110 was quite nice, seemingly new pavement with clean smooth shoulders.) We stopped for a while to talk to another tandem couple on rt110 just south of Chelmsford. They told us to expect snow patches. Hmm, we did go south on the BF, but turned off at the first opportunity to take High St then back south on Hunt Rd. After riding around for a while and a stop for lunch at Heart Pond we took rt27 south. I like to approach the rts27/225 intersection on the BF instead of rt27 because it sort of avoids having to make a left turn through the stoplight. This time however that last southern leg on the BF had a large snow patch with others visible in the distance. Okay, I guess we won't go that way, take rt27 after all.

The ride started with a muster of the militia in Bedford prior to a Patriots Day parade:


A brief stop (not the lunch stop) at Heart Pond, with a bit of snow still showing on the far bank. It was windy:
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Old 04-11-15, 10:35 PM
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Friday night's ride must have included a roll through the debris field from a broken bottle: this afternoon's ride started with the discovery that the rear tire had flatted overnight. I found the small hole in the tube, and found the glass shard that made it, poking somewhat timidly through the tread (which accounts for the small hole and relatively slow leak). After swapping in a new tube and pumping up, I inspected the tire to make sure the bead was properly seated on the rim, whereupon I found two more glass shards in the tread, neither of which had quite gotten through yet. Replaced the wheel, and, as long as the bike was already in the stand, went ahead and lubed the chain and the derailleurs.

That nonsense settled, I finally got on the road, temperatures dropping through the 50s into the 40s with a stiff breeze that was a headwind on the outbound leg, except for one slightly unsettling episode in Arlington Center when it decided it would rather be a cross-wind in the Mass. Ave./Mystic Street intersection: perfect! I managed to dress for yesterday's conditions, so was underdressed today to about the same degree as I was overdressed yesterday, and found things a little chilly. Headed out the Minuteman, and turned around at Bedford Street, Lexington, for a 14-mile round-trip.

The Minuteman was heavily traveled today, lots of walkers, cyclists, runners, and more skaters than I've seen in months, including an apparent couple, he a very strong speed skater, she not so much; when she fell, he continued; "Dear Ann Landers..." Many of the folks out today appear to have been sleeping in a hollow log the last few months, and seemed wobbly and erratic; a good grasp on the lane use and right-of-way protocols was in short supply, and there were an unusual number of children on the loose, doing what they do on foot or on wheels.




Saluted the Egg, which has made it to April, and can now claim Easter Egg status.


The streams and ditches were charged up and running high, babbling, gurgling, splashing, laughing, all that water talk stuff.


Here and there the odd pile of Winter was still in evidence, but the vernal pools were open for business, and some froggy-buggy voices could be heard.




All in all, it was a pretty day for a ride, wind and all.






A road-kill toilet seat trailside in Arlington Heights reminded me that the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee is looking for volunteers to help with the annual Minuteman Spring Clean-up, next Saturday (4/18), from 9:30-12:00.


rod

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Old 04-12-15, 06:42 AM
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Got to admit, I've never seen the rare and elusive road kill toilet seat.
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Old 04-12-15, 06:10 PM
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How about a roadkill freewheel?

We developed a strange thump in the tandem's drive train with 7 or 8 miles to go on our 24 mile run today. Here's what I found when we got home:



After pulling the FW off the bike I found we had two problems. That's what happens when both riders have quads of steel!

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Old 04-14-15, 08:33 PM
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Had a sunset ride on the Minuteman to Lexington Center, 10 miles, temperatures in the low 60's. My legs felt eager tonight, and my brain was sufficiently full of work nonsense to make a brisk pace through the gray evening just the thing. However, a lovely sunset developed, and I paused briefly a few times to capture that, then got rolling again.










The peepers were peeping at Peepers Pond: Spring is unambiguously here.

After the turnaround, I rode home in the dark at a good clip, both headlights shining. On the fast descent past Arlington Heights, I encountered a family group approaching in the outbound lane, a father and two small kids, carrying no lights and wearing no reflective clothing on the dark trail. One of the kids, a little boy on a scooter, veered suddenly into my path. I yelled "WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!" while rapidly braking, and managed to avoid hitting the little dear. The father said nothing, either to his son or to me, and I kept riding. Darwin was thwarted this time, I guess, and an unpleasant karmic entanglement avoided. Hurray for good lights and good brakes: sometimes they compensate for the short supply of working brains.

rod

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Old 04-14-15, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
How about a roadkill freewheel?

We developed a strange thump in the tandem's drive train with 7 or 8 miles to go on our 24 mile run today. Here's what I found when we got home:



After pulling the FW off the bike I found we had two problems. That's what happens when both riders have quads of steel!

I gather you were out of the hills and wanted to tighten up the ratios on your freewheel for the flats?
Neither your freewheel nor that Kohler or American Standard saddle Rod noticed look comfortable.

I rode 25 yesterday and 37 the day before and saw only sand and potholes; certainly no missing teeth. How'd you rip of a single then three? They don't look all that worn so you kids really did rip them off!
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Old 04-14-15, 09:37 PM
  #4550  
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
How'd you rip of a single then three? They don't look all that worn so you kids really did rip them off!
I have no idea. If you look closely you'll see that the body of the FW is stamped "Tandem" but I guess they are just normal cogs. The big cog could have been like that for a while. We actually don't use it all that much on a per mile basis. But that middle cog, I just don't know. (FWIW, I believe it lost two teeth.)

Good you see you are getting out. I commuted'ed again today. Some roads have been swept, but not enough!
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