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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 05-02-15, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...I've wanted a picture of this sign ever since I saw it. I go through this intersection twice a day. Welcome to Woburn. I don't know where I'm going but I know where I am.

Is that picture near the intersection of I-95 and I-93? I've gotten lost there every time on about three rides. If I recall correctly. once I got south of I-95 (Rte 128) on to Washington St in Woburn, I was golden, and it is a nice ride from there into into Winchester.

Speaking of Washington St, I took this photo in Braintree.

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Old 05-02-15, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Is that picture near the intersection of I-95 and I-93?...
Yes it is. Just west of 93, just north of 95 (which we all know is really 128, now don't we?).

Welcome to Boston where you can go from 95 S to 93 N by continuing straight east. And that sign is at the other intersection of 93 and 95, the one commonly known as Malfunction Junction.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Speaking of Washington St, I took this photo in Braintree.

Nice. We should start a thread on funky street signs!

Quick, without look at a map, how many Washington Streets are there within 30 miles of downtown Boston?
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Old 05-02-15, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...Quick, without look at a map, how many Washington Streets are there within 30 miles of downtown Boston?
Here's my list of Washington Streets I immediately can recall riding on:
  • Washington St from Roslindale through Deham to Norwood, a main commuting route, actually starting in Chinatown to Forest Hiill in Roslindale
  • Washington St starting in Newton Four Corners to West Newton
  • Washington St In Braintree
  • Washington St in Woburn
  • I think Rte 16 in Newton (?) Lower Falls to Wellesley might be Washington St.
A peculiarity about Metro Boston geography that I have cited as one of the reasons it’s easy to get lost is that often there are no street signs for the streets ridden on, but there are for the intersecting streets, and so often street names surreptitiously change at unmarked boundaries, known only to the locals.

Also confusing is the interchangeability of proper names, such as Washington, and Route numbers, but learning my way around Metro Boston is a very gratifying benefit of bicycling to me. On occasion such knowledge has helped me when driving through unfamiliar parts, but even more fun,

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 question spurs a lively conversation.

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Old 05-02-15, 07:13 PM
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We took the tandem out for 70.4 miles today, Bedford to Pepperell and back. Lovely weather, cool but pleasant, not overly windy! Had some nice conversations including a chat over our lunch in Pepperell with two kids out on bikes exploring for the joy of exploration. Top speed 30.0mph, total time riding 5hrs29min. Sharon wanted to put down some miles and both of us wondered if we'd be as tired as we were at the end of our CCRT ride of 54 miles. The answer is no, probably because our average speed was lower today though hills account for some of that. I made a decision that to cover a long distance we would coast as much as appropriate and we'd stop for food breaks often. I think it made a big difference.







We saw four other tandems today. One at Ferns in Carlisle:



And some wildlife:



Addendum, one more pic:

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Old 05-02-15, 11:09 PM
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What a stunning day! Got out of the house at 11:30, and enjoyed a variant of the North Bridge loop, with the Minuteman coming and going and the Reformatory Branch trail outbound, Monument Street, River Road and Route 225 returning.

Lots of cheerful congestion on the Minuteman, of course; for some reason I was hearing all the runners pant, and I passed a woman wearing a camelback that was audibly sloshing.


Stopped at Curious Velo, 97R Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington, a newly opened bike shop unlike any I'm aware of in the area. While sharp-eyed cyclists can see the shop from the Minuteman, there's no direct access from the trail: ride to Bow Street, Lexington, ride one short block to Mass. Ave., then find your way to the parking lot in back of the Mass Convenience store; riding or walking on the sidewalk is the easiest way to accomplish this. That's what the "R" in 97R is about. Here's the view from the Minuteman:


The proprietor, Nick Bennett, is deeply knowledgeable about English bicycles as they've evolved through the 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries, and his shop is at once a museum, a time machine, and an entirely practical bike shop where great old bikes are made new and offered to customers for their intended use: to be ridden. This practical function might be easy to miss, and that would be a shame; this is a great place to ride off with a reliable commuter bike or sleek classic road bike in double-butted Reynolds 531 for a very fair price.


Nick showed me some really interesting bikes, telling me their histories and pointing out significant design and fabrication details, for example the fine points of this carefully-wrought Swiss SKS from the early Post-War period. (Not all the bikes are English; for example, he showed me an Iver Johnson bicycle manufactured in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, in the 20's.)


Nick showed me three remarkable bikes: an 1896 Rudge, an 1892 Humber, and a 1949 Hawtin Clown Bike. The Hawtin was indeed made for clowns to use in their performances, and has a unique drive train: the clown puts his feet on a pair of rigid pegs, and bounces his bottom up and down on the articulated saddle, which drives the rear wheel. Wild! Wilder still, I actually got to ride the Humber and the Rudge, a pair of fine old fixies well into their second century. Thanks, Nick!


To be continued...

Last edited by rholland1951; 05-03-15 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 05-02-15, 11:29 PM
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After that, the rest of the ride was a bit of an anticlimax, but good fun, nonetheless. I noted with pleasure that the Egg has made it to May...


... and a fine crop of skunk cabbage is thriving in the Bedford lowlands.


When I reached the end of the Minuteman, I remembered Hugh's question about the Reformatory Branch, and decided to have a look, to see if it was indeed still too muddy to ride. The Bedford section was fine, nothing more than the occasional memory of mud in the largely dry trail surface...


Crossing Route 62 and picking up the Concord section, things started well...


Soon enough though I came to what I think of as THE FIRST SUCKING MIRE, on the approach to the Great Meadows NWR. Here the memory of mud was much more vivid than it had been in Bedford, but it was still just a memory, in most spots, and was quite passable. Someone (the town of Concord? someone else?) has been systematically improving the drainage of this section of the trail, and their efforts have born fruit.


The Reformatory Branch showed me its usual delights, including some nice views of Great Meadows...


On a section of the trail that runs along the margin of a large field, I watched a young man launch and fly a large, radio-controlled model sailplane. It had a satisfying flight soaring on the breeze over the field, and landed intact after a few minutes.


After the field, the Reformatory Branch heads back into the woods, in places sending a lane around each side of a large tree trunk, and soon enough begins running along a berm through wetlands. At one point, an intersecting berm goes marching off towards Concord Center, and an historical marker tells us that troops marched here in 1775. As the Reformatory Branch approaches Monument Street, we come to THE SECOND SUCKING MIRE. This turned out to be somewhat wet, with some actual mud, but wasn't actually sucking today...


So, the overall status report for the Reformatory Branch Trail is: passable and pleasant with the 38mm Compass Barlow Pass tires I was running on my LHT that day, probably no problem down to 28mm or so, but a little wetter than is absolutely ideal in a couple of spots. This will be better tomorrow, and probably better still better later in the week. Give it three days' rest after any rainstorm.


I hopped on Monument Street and enjoyed a rolling ride through a beautiful Spring day, then headed home, noting as I did a roadkill garter snake on Skelton Road and a roadkill fisher on Route 225.


32 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, and Carlisle.

rod

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Old 05-02-15, 11:36 PM
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After the ride out to Concord and back, I brought Ellen's mid-90's Raleigh hybrid up from the basement, put it on the stand, and got it into riding condition. Then we rode a 5-mile loop down the Minuteman to Alewife, then along the Alewife Greenway to West Medford, then along the Mystic River path and back roads to home. This was a jeans & sneakers ride, and I took the old GT Karakoram, newly freed from icebike duty and just back from Tyler's shop in its Spring trim, shod with 55mm Schwalbe Big Ben balloon tires.


It was a nice ride in a different register.

rod

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Old 05-03-15, 11:59 AM
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Ant tracks from Seoul.
Red = bicycle
Magenta = foot
Yellow = metro



Bicycling was just on either bank of the Han.

Protests from the anniversary of the ferry sinking, labor, and both changed my plans of where I planned to wander, but even so I got to the Korean War Memorial, National Museum of Korea, Seonjeongneung, Olympic Sports Complex, Olympic Garden, and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.

Google Maps both let me wander and got me wonderfully lost at times. No walking directions, only transit, so I'd have bus/metro directions and set off on foot using them more for way finding. Directions to the Olympic Park had me head to the tiniest of pocket parks by mistake - which was wonderful way to explore a neighborhood.

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Old 05-03-15, 12:14 PM
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So, the Somerville Community Path extension to Lowell Street is still under construction, but the work gates were open and lots of folks (including me) took advantage of the ambiguous welcome to have a look:

Active work on the footpaths next to the paved path:


The Lowell Street bridge:


And just a couple of hundred yards past is the turnaround - going farther than this will be waiting for the GLX:



The bike ramp up to Lowell Street is nearing completion:


And the stairway up to Lowell Street is waiting for handrails:


Already the walking paths adjacent to the paved path are inviting walkers with the soft material, and of course stairways always invite sitting:


There are lots of bikeracks installed too along the short extension:


And back to the beginning of the new extension, not only places to park your bike, but benches to park yourself too:



So, soon-ish.

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Old 05-03-15, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Ant tracks from Seoul.
Red = bicycle
Magenta = foot
Yellow = metro



Bicycling was just on either bank of the Han.

Protests from the anniversary of the ferry sinking, labor, and both changed my plans of where I planned to wander, but even so I got to the Korean War Memorial, National Museum of Korea, Seonjeongneung, Olympic Sports Complex, Olympic Garden, and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art.

Google Maps both let me wander and got me wonderfully lost at times. No walking directions, only transit, so I'd have bus/metro directions and set off on foot using them more for way finding. Directions to the Olympic Park had me head to the tiniest of pocket parks by mistake - which was wonderful way to explore a neighborhood.

-mr. bill
Sounds like quite an adventure!

rod
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Old 05-03-15, 02:48 PM
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Shorts weather!!!

Thanks for the beta, rod; wonderfully detailed, covered all the bases. Sounds well worth the trip tomorrow. Unfortunately don't think i'll have the time for it tomorrow, but soon enough.

Also good intel from mr bill.

Today, my commute was colored by a leapfrogging character on Comm Ave. Clad in day-glo colored vest and bandana, he was spinning a consistent and quick cadence. I noticed his nice blue ortlieb rollers with white dots, a unique colorway to me. Also had a BBB waterbottle. Was this one of you? If it was, let me take longer shifts up front!!!

Seemed like this commuter NEEDED to be in front of me. I was pedaling along at my own pace and caught up to him, enjoyed a bit of his slipstream until growing restless and passing. He made a point of getting back in front of me (where I prefered him, honestly) and I'd save energy riding his back wheel. This process repeated itself 3 or 4 times til he hopped off the saddle at Kenmore and I continued through. I would've tried to engage as I normally do when riding with a stranger, but I didn't get the vibe from this guy. Maybe I'm projecting and they were just trying to get to work or wherever, but the deliberate passes (followed by slowing and panting a minute or two later) felt competitive. I'm more about companionship on the road, so that was a weird commute with him forcing himself back in front, but neither engaging or dropping me...

Hope today's warmth hangs around for the evening commute.
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Old 05-03-15, 05:57 PM
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Tried the ride-in-street-clothes experiment again, this time the 10-mile circuit up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman. Once again, rode the 1987 GT Karakoram with the 55mm Schwalbe Big Ben balloon tires; the GT has a QR seatpost constrictor that makes it very easy to adjust for different shoes. Kept a good pace, had a comfortable ride, and fit in a ride where otherwise perhaps a ride wouldn't fit. Years ago, this was the ONLY way I used to ride. It's not that I don't see the advantages of technical clothing, but there's something nice and immediate about simply hopping on a bike... Anyhoo, lovely weather for it, pleasant ride, and fun to play with the balloons.

rod
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Old 05-03-15, 06:08 PM
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I got no pics today. But I did get in 45.3 miles this morning. After yesterday's tandem run it was supposed to be a "recovery ride" but I pushed rather hard. Saw a mink scrambling into woods near where rt117 crosses the Sudbury River. Lots of bikes out today!
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Old 05-04-15, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Boston as a compact East Coast urban environment has a nice set of bikepaths that connect the downtown area through the midtown as it were, and out to the residential neighborhoods and inner suburbs, providing utilitarian byways for cycle commuting or recreation, though these paths are not completely connected. These include:
  • the Paul Dudley White bikepath …
  • the Southwest Corridor (Pierre Lallement) bike …
  • the Jamaica Pond Bikepath
  • the Minuteman Bikepath … Many nice photos are found on the local regional thread, Metro Boston: Good ride today?
One of those utilitarian, yet scenic and serene paths not mentioned above, is the Riverway (Muddy River) Path that parallels the Riverside Green Line though Brookline and is part of the Emerald Necklace, connecting the Fens to the Jamaica Pond Bike Path via a brief gap on Brookline Ave. It is short, but very close to the Harvard (Longwood Ave) Medical Area.The Muddy River is actually a series of brooks and ponds that run through the area (Wikipedia) and empties into the Charles River, just across the street from our home in Kenmore Square. Brookline was actually known as the Muddy River Hamlet until 1705. Another amusing factoid from Wikipedia:

The Muddy River is mentioned by John Winthrop, in his famous "Journal of John Winthrop," as the site of an unidentified flying object in March of 1638 or 1639, as described to him by witness James Everell. This event is considered by some to be the first recorded instance of such occurrences.
I ride the Riverway Path as long as it is light outside, for three of my four usual routes from Kenmore to Norwood. This morning I had hoped to leave about 5 AM, but dallied until 6, and rode the Riverway. A propitious time that made this ride worthy of comment .

Originally Posted by rholland1951
…I noted with pleasure that the Egg has made it to May...

Though I don’t ride the Minuteman, I have become fond of Rod’s egg and was glad to read it still survives. It is such a natural and organic ornament to that Bikepath. Well, this morning I stopped to scrutinize some stylized and “inorganic” ornaments on the Riverway that I had only seen fleetingly on fast homeward bound rides, and the light at 6:15 AM was suitable for pictures.



Now since I had dawdled so long en route this morning, I also decided to pay tribute to one of my favorite and most scenic intersections, Court Street and Church Street in Dedham, two blocks south of High Street, the location of the Norfolk County Courthouse, site of the Sacco-Vanzetti trial in 1920.



The intersection is dominated by the gothic, yet neighborly St. Paul Episcopal Church, and the nearby houses are strikingly white, with white picket fences. The traffic pattern shows the heavy inbound traffic, backed up about two blocks from High Street, while my outbound reverse commute side is clear and free.

Note that the house I serendipitously chose to photograph also has an egg too.
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Old 05-04-15, 06:05 PM
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I got out for my first real bike ride of the year today. Just a quick 6 miles around the lake and back, and I thought that I was going to die. Ten me and the little one went and puttered around on the bike trail. He's pretty fast on that little 16-incher of his! Sadly, I was too "into" riding to take any pictures (I do this on the motorcycle too) and I have come to the conclusion that I'll never be a Big Mileage Guy like some of you all are, but that's OK. It was good o get a little exercise and fresh air.
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Old 05-04-15, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy
Just a quick 6 miles around the lake and back, and I thought that I was going to die. Ten me and the little one went and puttered around on the bike trail. He's pretty fast on that little 16-incher of his!
That sound truly delightful!

I did my commute again today, rode the Gazelle. Yow, my legs paid dearly for the 115 miles I did over the weekend.
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Old 05-04-15, 08:50 PM
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10 much-needed mental health miles on the Minuteman after work, Work, WORK. Shorts and short sleeves, spring, Spring, SPRING!






rod
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Old 05-04-15, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Originally Posted by jimmuller
Just my commute again. Work, work, work, everybody work.

32 miles round trip. Got wet this morning but the ride home was lovely.
Hey jmm,

Are you burning out?

Just yesterday I sent a PM to a BF acquaintance:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Nice to see you on BF; just noted this post. I'm still restricted by work, and often stay over, but I have had my S-Works out a few times.
To quote the tagline of ItsJustMe, "Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides." While cycle commuting is an effective antidote to burnout, IMO, at least posting to Bikeforums is a pretty good placebo.

Another favorite quote of mine is the Workaholic's Prayer, "Thank God it's Monday."
Originally Posted by rholland1951
10 much-needed mental health miles on the Minuteman after work, Work, WORK. Shorts and short sleeves, spring, Spring, SPRING!
Hey Rod,

Are you burning out? Lucky you’ve got the antidote.
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Old 05-04-15, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Hey Rod,

Are you burning out? Lucky you’ve got the antidote.
Amen!

rod
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Old 05-05-15, 09:28 AM
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Helped a friend move last night/early AM and got rewarded with a glorious sunrise ride this morning. Like Grumps, I was too involved in the ride to get any pictures.

i did grab a (regretfully poorly composed) shot of my ride against some mural in JP.



Light rain and road spray on the commute later in the morning, with a lot of non-bicycle activity in the bike lanes down Brighton & Comm Ave. Par for the course.
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Old 05-05-15, 05:30 PM
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HM, that's a nice pic! Lovely mural.

I just did my commute again. Had to drop a car off for service this morning at Bay State Dodge in Newton then get to work in Woburn. So I put the bike in the car, then rode to work after leaving the car. Picked the car up again this evening. Had to get there before they closed so I did my Lance imitation without the performance enhancing drugs and without the enhanced performance. I made it with 10 minutes to spare.
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Old 05-09-15, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mr,grumpy
I got out for my first real bike ride of the year today. Just a quick 6 miles around the lake and back, and I thought that I was going to die. Ten me and the little one went and puttered around on the bike trail. He's pretty fast on that little 16-incher of his! Sadly, I was too "into" riding to take any pictures (I do this on the motorcycle too) and I have come to the conclusion that I'll never be a Big Mileage Guy like some of you all are, but that's OK. It was good o get a little exercise and fresh air.
That was a long, hard Winter we had. We're each recovering from that in our own way... but SPRING IS HERE!

Happy trails,

rod
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Old 05-09-15, 09:58 AM
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Old 05-09-15, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill







-mr. bill
Yikes! Wha dat? My best theory is an invasion by extraterrestrial lingerie...

rod
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Old 05-09-15, 05:14 PM
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Small world.

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