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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 05-16-15, 07:37 PM
  #4651  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
That's Harwood Ave. Great climb from Newton Rd.
Ah! We've ridden that! As I recall that part of the world has some tough hills!
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Old 05-16-15, 10:12 PM
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For awhile, Harwood Ave. was the site of The Great Pyramids of Littleton... then they sold a lot of that firewood, and the moment passed....

rod
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Old 05-17-15, 08:25 AM
  #4653  
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It's been a fun BTWW in Boston ( MassCommute Bicycle Challenge ) with lots of neat little events around the area, including a lavish coffee-breakfast at the foot of the Minuteman at Alewife Station on Tuesday. I did my usual commuting, but added a ride yesterday to my future office in downtown Boston to get a feel for what it would be like (increases my daily riding from 11 miles to 18 miles).


I went across Fort Point Channel and picked up a couple growlers at Trillium and ported them in the pannier to Porchfest in Somerville. Good riding and good drinking.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:36 PM
  #4654  
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The sole bicycle content of the weekend just ended was to retrieve the LHT from Paramount Bicycle Repair, where George (Tyler's new consulting wrench) had overhauled it, and returned this bike with 11K miles on it looking surprisingly new. Took that out this evening for a standard 10-mile mental health ride on the Minuteman, up to Lexington Center and back. Enjoyed the ride, enjoyed the bike, enjoyed the redwing blackbirds' song, enjoyed the fact that I rolled back into the driveway just before sunset. More daylight, less darkness, for now...

rod
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Old 05-19-15, 06:51 PM
  #4655  
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10 miles on the Minuteman after work, surprisingly warm, with the trail surface a good deal wetter than the roads. Blue jays and decolletage, people shedding their Winter skins like snakes.


Someone has reattached a note to the Egg, trying to contact the artist, and the vegetative riot is encroaching. Didn't intervene, this time.




rod
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Old 05-21-15, 08:33 AM
  #4656  
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Three-mile, street-clothes ride on the GT last night, to and from Arlington Town Hall for an ABAC meeting. Saw a little more of Mass. Ave. at night, and a little more of the Spy Pond region of the Minuteman, than I usually do. I'm trying to get my brain around the idea of using the bike for incidental basic transportation in more situations. Feels like an experiment, also feels like fun.

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Old 05-22-15, 10:20 PM
  #4657  
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Inaugurated the long weekend with 10 miles on the Minuteman before dinner; shorts and short sleeves with temperatures falling through the 60s and breezy made for an invigorating ride, cleared out the cobwebs from a busy work week.


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Old 05-23-15, 09:44 PM
  #4658  
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Errands and chores, then a couple of hours of inconclusive wrenching on the DeLuxe; by then it was 6pm, and I took the LHT out to Depot Park, Bedford.


The legs really wanted to work, and I was sorely tempted to keep going, but evening commitments loomed, and I turned around and sprinted back. In general, the ride was the thing, the usual round of epiphenomena blew by unphotographed and mostly unnoticed, except... Outbound, I saw what looked like an abandoned marionette at Lexington Depot, and was puzzled by it. On the return, it was still there, and I stopped for a closer look, and discovered that somebody had set up an unusually elegant trash pick right on the Minuteman, including a nice-looking old headboard, a high chair, two nice old ladder-back chairs, a doll's house, a carpet sweeper, two candelabra (one electric, one literal and wax-encrusted), all keeping the marionette company. I marveled at this for a minute, then took off again and zipped home. 20 miles, a bit quicker than my usual pace.


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Old 05-25-15, 07:31 PM
  #4659  
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Tis the season. Not always this crowded (and the photo underestimates here) - but lots of folks out today, many clearly for the first time in a long time.



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Old 05-26-15, 07:14 AM
  #4660  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
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.


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?
Picked up two of my own to add to this:


and


Both are along 62 in the Wilmington/North Reading area.
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Old 05-26-15, 05:54 PM
  #4661  
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AntimonyS, now I am thoroughly lost!

I rode today, but it wasn't anywhere close to Boston. Mt. Desert Island, Maine.

A little taste, climb up Cadillac Mt:

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Old 05-27-15, 09:08 PM
  #4662  
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10 warm and breezy miles after work, up to Lexington and back, lots of like-minded company on the Minuteman, most operating for conditions, one young man on Mass. Ave. operating like an organ donor. A pleasant ride, on balance.


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Old 05-31-15, 07:36 AM
  #4663  
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Got out mid-morning Saturday for a 70-mile ramble through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Billerica, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Westford, Tyngsborough, and Groton, much of the day in frank, but not extreme, Summer conditions, mid-to-upper 80s and muggy. Haystack Observatory was the nominal destination, but I did a good deal of wandering out in the hilly parts of Middlesex County, improvising the route as I went. I realized afterwards that most of the route was ground I had covered before, on other rides in other years, but some of the combinations of segments were new--some worked well, others, not so much. By the end of the ride, I was glad to get off the bike, perhaps because of mismanagement of water, electrolytes, fuel, perhaps simply a function of miles not ridden this season... but the temptation at each turn was to go farther, and I tended to say "yes" each time the question arose during the first two-thirds of the ride, then paid for that during the last third, the wages of overdoing. The pocket devil claimed 6751 feet of elevation gain for this ride, and that feels about right.

I normally do the ride to Haystack as a straight shot out Route 225, coming and going, and hop off that on the outskirts of Forge Village. This time, I stayed north and east of Route 225, first taking the cool and shady Narrow Gauge Rail Trail up to Billerica, then using the northern segment of Dudley Road in Billerica (where there were some stunning yellow irises blooming in a pool of swampwater) to connect to Route 4, taking that as far north as Treble Cove Road, then picking up East Street, Billerica which shortly turned into North Road, Carlisle. Several North Road addresses are working time machines.


Continued on North Road past Great Brook Farm State Park, then picked up Curve Street and took that as far as the Cranberry Bog, where I stopped to eat half a peanut butter sandwich and to consider the next leg of the ride.


Google Maps suggested a path through the back 40 of the Bog, and in fact I had walked a portion of that in a previous year. I gave that a try, first riding along the gravel path on the berm. I encountered a few fishermen, and this family of geese. I asked the geese for directions, but got nothing but a few honks by way of an anser.


The blazed trail back into the woods didn't start exactly where the map suggested, but was quite ridable, some roots and rocks nothwithstanding, on the 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralight tires I was running that day. It's pretty back there.






After that cool interlude, I picked up Elm Street, Chelmsford, and followed a very short section of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail along Heart Pond.


I hopped off the Bruce Freeman at the little beach access road at the top of Heart Pond, and headed west on Parkerville Road, Chelmsford, which soon became South Chelmsford Road, Westford. I turned north on Tadmuck Road, which crosses I-495 without ramps. Turns out "tadmuck" is an Algonquin word for swamp. I passed a trailhead for Mystery Spring, which looked enticing (not to say mysterious), but kept pedaling, making a mental note to investigate it later; seems to me I've done that before. I looked for the house with with Cubist fence, seen on that road three years ago, but new owners appear to have repainted the house and taken down the fence, another sign that the country's going to Hell.

After a bit more dodging and weaving through Westford--a couple of short blocks west on Main Street, and longer runs north on Providence Road, Depot Street, and Dunstable Road past Long-Sought-For Pond--I was on Scribner Road, Tyngsborough, spinning up the long, hot climb on Scribner Hill. Phew!


At Groton Road, Tyngsborough, headed west, I took all that potential energy I had deposited on Scribner Road, and withdrew it for a series of fast rollers, topping 30mph in the process. Groton Road is a favorite descent, and I actually overshot my next stopping point, the little dam at the north end of Cow Pond Brook Reservoir. I had the other half of that peanut butter sandwich here, and chilled out.


This end of Cow Pond Brook Reservoir is a traditional swimming hole for the Groton and Tyngsborough kids, complete with an overhanging tree with knotted rope swings and rungs nailed into the trunk: Norman Rockwell country.


I was tempted to have a dip myself, but the logistics of that seemed problematic, so I headed west into Groton.

To be continued...

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Old 05-31-15, 01:59 PM
  #4664  
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So, a couple of really short errands yesterday and a longer (but still quick) ride into Harvard Square and back.

I don't know how quite to tell the story.

Heading back on Mass Ave in Harvard Square at the head of the Dudley Bus line, a homeless man (I'll call him Dan) fell and hit his head. Dazed and confused, he was lying in the street unable to get up in front of the bus. I called 911 (turns out one other man on a bicycle also called 911 just before me). A small but immobile concerned crowd gathered on the sidewalk, and a far larger crowd went about the day - ignoring what was happening in front of them.

Dan manage to sit up, but he was really looking like any moment he'd tip over backwards.

So I ended up sitting on the road with Dan for several minutes until the ambulance arrived. We talked - well, at first I talked and I was relieved as he began to engage in conversation.

Early on somebody on the sidewalk asked me if I wanted somebody to hold my bike, yes, thanks. So I have video of me sitting on the road with Dan. Odd.

The ambulance arrived, a couple of people on the sidewalk actually said, and I am not making this up, "Thanks bicycle man." Checked in with the EMTs about what I could about Dan, and left as they were pulling the stretcher out.


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Old 05-31-15, 02:29 PM
  #4665  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
So, a couple of really short errands yesterday and a longer (but still quick) ride into Harvard Square and back.

I don't know how quite to tell the story.

Heading back on Mass Ave in Harvard Square at the head of the Dudley Bus line, a homeless man (I'll call him Dan) fell and hit his head. Dazed and confused, he was lying in the street unable to get up in front of the bus. I called 911 (turns out one other man on a bicycle also called 911 just before me). A small but immobile concerned crowd gathered on the sidewalk, and a far larger crowd went about the day - ignoring what was happening in front of them.

Dan manage to sit up, but he was really looking like any moment he'd tip over backwards.

So I ended up sitting on the road with Dan for several minutes until the ambulance arrived. We talked - well, at first I talked and I was relieved as he began to engage in conversation.

Early on somebody on the sidewalk asked me if I wanted somebody to hold my bike, yes, thanks. So I have video of me sitting on the road with Dan. Odd.

The ambulance arrived, a couple of people on the sidewalk actually said, and I am not making this up, "Thanks bicycle man." Checked in with the EMTs about what I could about Dan, and left as they were pulling the stretcher out.


-mr. bill
Yow! Nothing like getting off the bike to meet people: the wheels stop, and there you are. "Thanks bicycle man" about covers it. You did a good thing.

rod
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Old 05-31-15, 03:04 PM
  #4666  
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mr_bill, well done. And well told too.
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Old 05-31-15, 05:28 PM
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Continued...

From the swimming hole, I followed Groton Road up the hill to Old Dunstable Road, Groton, and took that leafy, rolling ride south to Hoyt's Wharf Road, following that southeast on a rollicking, curvy descent that had me topping 36mph, and tapping the brakes occasionally. Stopped to admire Cow Pond Brook and its well-maintained beaver lodges.




Picked up Cow Pond Brook Road headed south, and took that to Lowell Street, Groton. One very short block brought me to Millstone Road and the Haystack Observatory.


Haystack,straddling the borders of Groton, Tyngsborough, and Westford, is an essential cycling destination for those riding from Boston, a kind of 20th Century Stonehenge, peaceful and solemn, but simultaneously playful on a grand scale, with mammoth instruments of scientific inquiry dotting the landscape. The seeing is good, and they welcome amateur astronomers. It's a great place to bring kids to see a meteor shower or a comet, inspirational in many dimensions. My kids are grown, but I am still drawn to return.








Sat in the shade near the big radiotelescope and consumed my last bit of road fuel, a Cliff Bar, and noted that I had one bottle of water left; more than that would be needed to get home. Rode back through the Haystack campus, which incidentally has some excellent hills of its own (where else do you put a telescope but on a hilltop, after all), thought about the route home, and made a somewhat whimsical choice. I turned southeast onto Millstone Hill Road, a beautiful little rural road where I had seen and heard pileated woodpeckers in the past. It wasn't really the direction that I necessarily wanted to go, but I had hopes to meet those birds again. No woodpeckers, as it turned out, but the scenery was as beautiful as always.


After that, I was headed east on Groton Road, Westford, and puzzling how to rationally turn that into a return route home. What seemed plausible was to make my way back to Tadmuck Road, and run the tape backwards from there as far as Rutland Street, Carlisle. I turned south on North Road, Westford, with that in mind, but with a somewhat fuzzy idea about what lay immediately ahead. I made choices at major intersections, aiming for Westford Center, and trying to avoid obvious errors, such as following signs to Forge Village. I picked up River Street, still heading south; so far, so good. I got a sense of what the rest of the ride would be like when I hit a long, steep climb on Graniteville Road... and ran out of energy. I was pooped. I got off the bike, had another swallow of water, and walked the bike up the hill. The return, from then on, was slow and somewhat painful, although punctuated from time to time by noteworthy distractions: a cheerful bacchanal on the Westford Common associated with Prom Night; a very rapid descent down Main Street, cooling, easy and welcome on both counts, to Tadmuck Road; the disappearance of the Mystery Spring trailhead on Tadmuck Road, mysterious indeed.


I picked up an extra bottle of water at an ice cream truck at the Heart Pond beach, and made my way back across Chelmsford and Carlisle, ultimately taking Maple Street to Route 225, and picking up the Minuteman in Bedford, refilling water bottles, and slowly spinning home. In Lexington, I was struck once again by the liveliness of a particular old tree, glorious in the sunlight, worthy of a druid's veneration.


Today's road-kill tally: numerous snakes, both adult and juvenile, quite a few turtles, and a salamander. Look both ways before you crawl, kids.

By way of a postscript, I woke up at 2 in the morning with the beginning of leg cramps. I got up, went to the kitchen, had a little salt and some soda water, and went back to bed. The little pulse of sodium seemed to nip that in the bud, and suggests to me that I had gotten dehydrated and sodium depleted on the long, hot ride. I'll avoid that mistake the next time.

rod

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Old 06-04-15, 08:34 PM
  #4668  
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Low energy ride on the Minuteman late this afternoon, a little chilly and with enough crowding and bad choreography to bump up against my misanthropy threshold. However... some bodhisattva has erected a little lean-to against the rail at Arlington's Great Meadow.


The attached note explains that this is shelter for a turtle nursery.


rod
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Old 06-05-15, 06:18 PM
  #4669  
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10-mile mental health ride on the Minuteman in the bright, cool evening; a brisk pace dispelled the work week's mental fatigue.

rod
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Old 06-06-15, 10:43 AM
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Took the GT up to Lexington this morning to attend a meeting of the bicycle committees of Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford to discuss the Minuteman and other topics of common interest. Lots of changes coming, most of them good. After the meeting, I rode back on the very thing we had been discussing, and encountered a father and his little son on a trailer-cycle, staring raptly up at a big hawk perched on the lower branch of a tree, and talking excitedly about it in hushed voices. Not bad for an old railroad right-of-way. 13 miles of the basic transportation variety.

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Old 06-06-15, 12:28 PM
  #4671  
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Back from another trip to Seattle and a ride courtesy of Timbuk2.

I do not understand West Coast Capitalists - free loaner bike, free loaner bag, free loaner Kryptonite u-lock, even free loaner toolkit for as long as open-to-close. Also free helmet, leading to an interesting misunderstanding:

"I don't need a helmet."
"Oh yes you do, in Seattle you have to have one. It's the law."
"I know but I brought my own helmet."
"Oh, that's all right then."



I could only go out for the briefest of rides before heading to SEA, so decided to ride the infamous new 2nd Ave protected bike lane to the stadiums and back.

This post 2nd Ave highlights:

Heading downhill, with 2nd Ave traffic (on this block, protected by parked cars):


There are no parked cars where there are left turns, the bike signals are easy to see *AND* cars are never permitted to turn left when bicycle signals are green:


Exception who proved the rule - honestly most motorists were *VERY* well behaved.
The guy in front of me rang his ding-dong bell half a dozen times expressing disapproval:


There were long stretches where there was no parking - just the buffer. Honestly, those were most comfortable to ride in:


Easy to understand turn boxes:


The green wave was easy to ride all the way down the hill. So descending 2nd Ave quite pleasant all in all.

Parts of 2nd the bike lane is one way (with traffic) on the left side, which leads to merging into the left lane for obstructions such as this beemer parked Boston style over a yard from the curb. (KEWB YA CAH!):


Climbing 2nd Ave however. It's an easy climb, but you are riding an anti-green wave (could only catch two greens at best). The first green was easy to catch on a comfortable climbing pace, but the next red meant you could drop to bottom gear and spin at twice walking pace and still have to wait for the green. Could never get the right rhythm. And it ended like this. WHAT?


Not to leave this post on a down-note, but TWO ghost bikes at University and 2nd.


All in all, I'd probably ride down 2nd, but choose another route uphill.

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Old 06-06-15, 12:41 PM
  #4672  
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Timbuk2 Seattle, part 2.

Pedestrians. They make Boston pedestrians look cluefull. However, they are way polite!

It didn't matter, road, bike lane, oblivious:

On the road, first guy is saying "Sorry Dude!" to me after he realized I stopped. The guy running with the basketball didn't ever look:


Coming from the passenger side of the van, also never looked, either way (yeah, we are all far enough away, but that was just chance):


No lookie-loos expected at places like Pike's Place (in fairness or Faneuil Hall for that matter):


Don't ask why I'm riding under the viaduct. He ran across the street just before the light turned to green. Stopped running when he saw me stopped at the light to tell me that it's a nice day for biking. Yes, yes it is! Like I said, crazy pedestrians, but FRIENDLY!:


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Old 06-06-15, 12:55 PM
  #4673  
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Timbuk2 Seattle Part 3 or 3:

On the road.

On the plus side, I'm guessing *NOBODY* rides in the door zone here. But I'm also guessing nobody crosses these tracks at as close to 90 degrees as possible, unless you count 30 degrees as close:


This is 1st Avenue South, traffic was slowing *ME* down (BTW, if you are getting the impression construction is EVERYWHERE, it is):


This is no Yawkey Way, but *far* easier to ride (except for the bike killer grates). Even hours before the game everything smelled WONDERFUL:


And this is no Beacon Hill (when vehicles with automatic transmissions roll back, that's a respectable grade):



So again, thanks again Timbuk2:


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Old 06-06-15, 01:56 PM
  #4674  
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Rode the tandem 52.8 miles, home to Carlisle and back. LOTS of bikes out today!
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Old 06-07-15, 04:20 PM
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DBrim
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Medford, MA
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Bikes: 2013 Trek 7.2FX

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Life has been crazy busy lately with a bunch of business travel and the move last week. I finally got out for a bit around my new home (Medford) this weekend.

Saturday morning began with a ride to Assembly Square in Somerville to catch a movie. Just 5.5 miles round trip, but some good neighborhood exploring.


I worked across the river from Assembly Square about six years ago and it's crazy how much that place has changed. It used to be a strip mall with a lot of vacant lots in a not-so-great neighborhood. Now it's an upscale shopping area with it's own brand new T stop. It's a cool area though so I feel like I'll be making that ride fairly often.

Today was a longer ride, about 14 miles, with a main purpose of doing a "dry run" of the new commute. I added a bit of a loop along the Charles from the Lechmere Canal, across the Harvard Bridge, then back across on the Longfellow.


I was pretty happy with the results of the commute on the way there (other than a headwind, but nothing I can do about that). I got lost on the way back this time, but the path I stumbled onto was pretty viable. I already know that I'm going to hate riding through Powder House Square...
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