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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 08-15-15, 05:50 PM
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We took the tandem out again today, 44 miles. Left the house at ~8:30, temperature eventually hit 90F with 50% humidity, ugh. We had fun though.

A brief stop for a photo op after crossing the Concord River:





There is a new farm stand on rt225 between Bedford and Carlisle:



They grow flowers too.



My sweetie bought about 20lbs of zucchini that we had to lug around for the rest of the day. And inside we found another of these signs!



At Depot Park we bumped into Rod Holland. Well, bumped figuratively. No one and bike was injured in the encounter and no momentum was exchanged. In fact, all three of us were on foot at that time. Spent a few minutes talking about the weather and where we'd been and where he was going next.

Finally, on our way home, at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Woburn St. in Lexington:



I think I know where we are now.
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Old 08-16-15, 07:36 AM
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Took the Trucker DeLuxe out in the late morning Saturday, not knowing where I was going but figuring I'd get a clue at Depot Park. Stopped there for a little break, and had a nice conversation with Jim and Sharon, similarly breaking. Still didn't know where I was going after that, but figured I'd know more when I got to end of the Reformatory Branch Trail, which gave me a little dirt riding on the 44mm Compass tires.


Along the way, I remembered an efficient route from Concord Center to the Assabet River NWR and the Stow section of the Assabet River Rail Trail, so I took that, following Sudbury Road, Concord, into Sudbury, where I took Concord Road, Pantry Road, Haynes Road, and Marlboro Road (all designated "Scenic"), then picking up a little run of not-so-Scenic Route 27 to the Maynard Line, where I picked up an unmarked dirt extension of Taylor Way.


Rode that into the Assabet River NWR, enjoyed the swamps and the bunkers of the erstwhile ammo dump, not to mention riding the mix of dirt, gravel, and sometimes-broken asphalt, then picked up the Assabet River Rail Trail, dirt in the Stow segment and still used by local fishermen in pick-up trucks (just smile and wave), stopping at Crow Island, site of an eccentric little airfield and the Crow Island Aviators (C.I.A. to their friends), who fly nothing larger than a Piper Cub, and lots of things smaller.










Nothing seemed to be doing that day at Crow Island, so I continued to another just-occurred-to-me-en-route destination, Lake Boon, site of a grisly massacre of settlers during King Phillip's War. Found a marker indicating the trail to the Boon Monument. This looked to be more hike-able than bike-able, and the poison ivy and brambles counseled long pants, so I noted its location and rode on and enjoyed the lake cottage architecture of Lake Boon, a place where the fact of Summer was in no doubt. Remarked the signs of a NIMBY campaign against the "Tank Museum" that the Globe fortuitously shed some light on when I scanned it later that evening.


Started rolling home, past the Massachusetts Fire Academy, eyeing the massing clouds and improvising an efficient return route that kept the best bits of the outbound sequence, but cut out Concord Center and Bedford, instead zig-zagging through Lincoln and Waltham to get back to Arlington a little quicker, and to avoid some meteorological ugliness to the North.




Arrived home accompanied by claps of thunder, but dry (unless you count the sweat that comes from riding in 90-degree weather). 56 miles, with 5192' of climbing, through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Sudbury, Maynard, Stow, Hudson, Lincoln, and Waltham.

rod

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Old 08-16-15, 02:18 PM
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I rode a rare solo ride today, took the Masi, started at 8:30AM, rode straight west to I-495, finished with 59.2 miles.



Found a bit of history no one ever sees when zipping by in a car.





Doubled back a ways, turned north and found some absolutively beeaauutiful roads running from nowhere to nowhere under a thick canopy of trees. Didn't dare take any pics for fear of breaking the spell. Had a nice munchie break in Boxborough, classic New England, the town hall built in 1901. Sitting on those steps I ate a slightly melted frozen fruit thingy my sweetie concocted for me. Saw half a dozen bikes go by. I wonder what their route was, never got a chance to catch them and ask.





A small WWI memorial in front of the Town Hall. Hard to believe WWI started over 100 years ago. We have invented a lot of things since then but have we learned much in the last 100 years?



Spent the middle third of the ride stopping at every intersection to check the GPS so I wouldn't get lost. Try going east from Boxborough. I was trying to avoid the Withywindle but all trails led down to the Withywindle. "You can't get theah from heah." Really. I finally found a reasonable route through Acton to West Concord. I don't recommend rt111 west of Acton though, too narrow, no shoulder.

Crossed the Assabet River, stopped for more munchies. The banana I was carrying had turned to banana soup in the shell.



It was a great 59.2 miles.
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Old 08-16-15, 08:01 PM
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The Somerville Community Path is finally open to Lowell Street.


Moment of silence:


-mr. bill
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Old 08-16-15, 09:44 PM
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The Town of Arlington has announced a partial closure of the Minuteman this week:
Bike Path Closures August 17-21
Weather permitting, sections of the Minuteman Bike Path will be closed for tree work from Swan Place to Lake Street between 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
the week of August 17th. Please observe “Do Not Enter” signs and seek alternative routes around work areas during these times. All modes of travel (pedestrian, bicycles) will not be allowed in work areas. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
rod
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Old 08-17-15, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I rode a rare solo ride today, took the Masi, started at 8:30AM, rode straight west to I-495, finished with 59.2 miles.


Jim, every time I see the Masi, I think, "Damn! That's a beautiful bike!" It's now a well-established conditioned reflex; at least it doesn't involve drooling...

rod
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Old 08-17-15, 02:56 PM
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love this thread
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Old 08-17-15, 07:52 PM
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15 miles on the Minuteman tonight, a real sunset ride for a change; this, of course, is a token of the fact that we're in mid-August, and the days are getting shorter. Things were still pretty hot and muggy when I set out, but between the evaporative cooling when the bike was actually in motion, and the cool spots along the route, it was a jolly ride. Took the LHT on this one, and enjoyed the cushy ride of the big 38mm Compass Barlow Pass tires.

This young woman turned out to be riding an electric-assist bike, as I learned when she zoomed past all comers on the Minuteman, with a distinct whirring sound, a little later in the ride.










rod
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Old 08-17-15, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Jim, every time I see the Masi, I think, "Damn! That's a beautiful bike!"
Thank you! (It's the red that does it. And the chrome. And the yellow in the decals. )

I rode it on my commute today. Yeah, it's nice.
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Old 08-18-15, 06:46 AM
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those Arlington crosswalks give you very little time! and coming back there isn't even a button!
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Old 08-18-15, 08:00 PM
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Perhaps unwisely, took the Rawland out on the Minuteman for 15 miles at sunset, tempting the Weather Gods who were playing with a couple of big storms that the weather radar suggested might roll over me and my fenderless bike. As it happens, the storms fell apart and I got the benefit of all of 5 raindrops, each nicely presented and perfect, like the entrees at a certain type of fancy restaurant. Saw two more electric bikes on the Minuteman, one of which passed me going uphill, the other of which trailed me on the long descent, but couldn't, or didn't, pass me. Score one for high gear and gravity.


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Old 08-19-15, 06:19 PM
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That ride was right through my neighborhood in Stow, Rod. I live right up the street from the Assabet Refuge. It would be nice to ride together some time...
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Old 08-19-15, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by guidoStow
That ride was right through my neighborhood in Stow, Rod. I live right up the street from the Assabet Refuge. It would be nice to ride together some time...
Sounds good. That's a pretty part of the state.

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Old 08-19-15, 08:40 PM
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Took the old GT Karakoram with the balloon tires for a street-clothes ride up to Arlington Center for an ABAC meeting, 3 miles. That sort of incidental urban riding is one of the roles that has fallen to that bike. It's been a while since I've ridden it, and, as is often the case, I found myself wondering why I don't give it more turns in the rotation: it's fun!

In lieu of a photo, here's a QR code to the lion's share of the Massachusetts law governing bicycle operation.


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Old 08-20-15, 07:02 PM
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Tweaked the pre-load on the Rawland's headset again, a little tighter, a little righter, and rolled out the Minuteman to Depot Park, Bedford, and back, 20 miles at a brisk pace, yippee!!! Along the way, again encountered the large man coasting up hill on his e-bike without pedaling. The fact that he turned around and coasted down the hill again shot the hypothesis that this was purely transportation all to hell; I did see him pedal a couple of times, perhaps it was exercise.


rod

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Old 08-21-15, 09:26 PM
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Took the venerable GT Karakoram out for a spin after work, 15 miles on the Minuteman rolling along on the 55mm Schwalbe Big Ben balloon tires it wears at this time of year, pumped up (or down) to 30/33 PSI. I figured I'd probably get wet at some point on the ride, and that started up with a little drizzle on Broadway in Arlington, pleasant and cooling. This was followed by a sustained rain, even pleasanter and more cooling, while I was transiting Arlington's Great Meadows. That let up as I cleared Maple Street, and I got a reward at Woburn Street: a lurid sunset display.






The rain picked up in earnest as I cleared Lexington Center, and I turned on my headlights. I paused at the Hancock Street crossing, and a car headed North stopped for me. As I was crossing, a woman on a bike booking along the Minuteman inbound, showing no lights, charged into the crossing, nearly getting nailed by the car, which had started rolling again: several morals to this story, but one is the particular importance of showing a light on a dark and rainy night. After this excitement, I continued outbound, turning around at Bedford Street. All the while, the rain intensified, and turned into a regular frog strangler, although I did narrowly miss a toad that was hopping across the path. The Minuteman flooded in places on the return, and I found myself wondering if the water sluicing over my shoes at the bottom of the pedal stroke was perhaps getting into the bottom bracket (hope not). At this point, I figured I was pleased and cooled enough, and the weatherman didn't owe me anything further. For all that, made reasonable speed, and had a fine time on the old GT.

rod

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Old 08-22-15, 07:28 AM
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Minuteman partial closure in Arlington extended into the coming week

From the Town of Arlington:
Bike Path Closure Extended Aug 24th-28th

Date: 08/21/2015 10:39 AM
Bike Path Closures August 24th-28th

Weather permitting, sections of the Minuteman Bike Path will continue to be closed for tree work from Swan Place to Lake Street between 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. the week of August 24th. Please observe “Do Not Enter” signs and seek alternative routes around work areas during these times. All modes of travel (pedestrian, bicycles) will not be allowed in work areas. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.
I guess chainsaws and thunderstorms don't mix well.

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Old 08-23-15, 07:29 AM
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Took the LHT on a big loop to the NW yesterday, 84.45 miles with 7031' elevation gain, max speed 41.14 mph (wheee!), through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Acton, Littleton, Harvard, Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, Nashua, Dunstable, Tyngsboro, Westford, Chelmsford, and Carlisle, mostly roads but including sections of the Minuteman, Nashua River, and Bruce Freeman rail trails. What struck me as interesting about this ride was that, though it was long, it was composed almost entirely of segments already ridden (I'm not so sure about the segment through Pepperell and Dunstable after leaving the NRRT). It's getting harder to simply blunder into novelty, I'll have to squint harder at Google Maps before setting out. On the other hand, this single ride united trajectories of a number of smaller rides, and it sure was fun.

Kayakers on the Concord River, seen from the Lowell Street Bridge.


Stopped to admire Lake Nagog, then stopped again to buy a couple of fresh-picked ears of corn at the Nagog Hill farm stand, then managed to stuff them into the trunk bag, inspired by Jim and Sharon's practice of combining a ride in the country with a trip to the grocers. The apple trees laden with fruit and the turning leaves of a Virginia creeper were harbingers of Autumn that I didn't quite ignore, but didn't fully embrace, either.


Shaker Road, in Harvard. Shaker architecture, Shaker artifacts, but no Shakers. Near this spot, I got closer to a pileated woodpecker than I ever have in my life, as big as a chicken and flying almost within reach. Wow! Couldn't photograph that, so this slow-moving Shaker dormitory will have to do...


Snake Hill Road, Ayer. Those boys are more Rollers than Shakers, I think, and somewhat more likely to reproduce.


Ayer is, among other things, an oasis town built around Sandy Pond and its pleasures, with a fine old downtown district. Picked up the Nashua River Rail Trail there (noting the posted bulletin about bears), enjoying its familiar delights, including a beautiful little swamp (I'm from South Georgia, so "beautiful swamp" doesn't seem like an oxymoron) with buzzards and cedar waxwings at play. I noted a elegant and functional piece of public art titled "Swamp Tree Bicycle Stand". Rolled up through Groton and Pepperell on the NRRT, and got just far enough into New Hampshire to spit on it, then headed home.


Climbing twisty Hollis Street, Peppell.


Lots of tall cornfields today, this one at the corner of Hollis and Fletcher, Pepperell. Real country, real farming.


Rolled out of Pepperell and into Dunstable, with its stately Center and extensive boneyard, then on down through Tyngsboro and Westford. It was fun descending the big hill on Scribner Road for a change.

Dad captains the family for a boat ride on Long Sought For Pond. I could hear him lecture from shore.


Managed to avoid getting lost in Westford (always a risk, in my experience). As I cut across the Heart Pond beach in Chelmsford, on my way to Carlisle, it occurred to me that it's probably a lovely place for pond swimming, and Ellen and I should give it a try.

More tall corn, on Curve Street, Carlisle. I saw a mail box with an address of "360 Curve" on it, and figured it was a fitting description of this ride.


Back on the Minuteman by sunset, which put me out of reach of all but the most inventive Saturday night drunk drivers, and reduced the ride to familiar terms.


rod

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Old 08-23-15, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
I've been falling behind putting rides in for a few weeks now, which means that my Good ride today's are getting put in the queue behind the Good ride the day before yesterday, and looks like I may never get out of the backlog.

So, I've decided to to get out of this error I'll change from FIFO to LIFO, and if I ever go back to the older rides I'll warn….

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
What stops you from riding?

My job; either too much to do, so I stay (comfortably) overnight and resume very early in the AM, missing my commute; or have to travel afar for a meeting.

Having a mileage-based training schedule however, effectively motivates me to make time to ride…
Like @mr_bill above, I have gotten far in arrears in posting about my cycling. Winter and early spring were pretty dismal, not so much because of the winter, but I just got in about 25 miles a week. In May I started my mileage-based training program. I had been listing all my rides on scraps of paper, and just last week while on vacation I had the time to make up my spreadsheet, enter the data, and assess my progress.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…Busy as I am all year, during the nice weather I make extra effort to get out and ride well beyond my commute to increase my fitness level. I try to adhere to a mileage-based training schedule facilitated by the increased daylight and beckoning temperatures. Spiritually though, I get out to just savor the weather, and not be so disappointed by missing it so much when it ends.

I think of my Summer rides like "canning" the produce of summer to enjoy (in memory) during the Winter. The more I ride, the more I have to enjoy.
So although the training schedule increases over 10 weeks from about 100 to 190 miles per week, I have at least been able to get in about 100+ miles per week.

Nonetheless, I’m pleased about that because after about 10 years of training by (time-consuming) miles I finally came around to emphasizing intensity (speed) more, and for me the effects seem even more beneficial. A second change is that whereas I was wedded to the idea to training via commute in the morning, I have time-shifted to doing more riding from my workplace in Norwood in the late afternoon-early evening. I have discovered in particular the nearby towns of Norfolk, Walpole, and Westwood as being on the borderline to exurbia with some really nice cycling roads, even during the “rush hour.” A few road pictures below:



And some points of interest:

  • the Fairbanks House in Dedham, oldest surviving timber frame house in America, circa 1640
  • Guild Cemetery on Old Post Road in Walpole. Aaron Guild was a farmer in South Dedham (now Norwood) who left his plow and oxen when news of the fight at Lexington and Concord reached (now) Norwood and he went with other Dedham men on the skirmishes that day as the British retreated back to Boston.
  • Cedar Junction, formerly Walpole State Prison.
Some other cycling highlights this summer:
  • Traveled to Michigan in July to visit family and ride the OneHelluva Ride with fellow BF subscriber @Road Fan and Mrs. Road Fan, and met up with freedomrider1 and Blazing Pedals

  • Made the acquaintance of the Ashland Bicycle Club, a nice friendly group who does leisurely, nice back routes out of Ashland and vicinity. I did one in July, and found I could ride to and from their Rides conveniently from Norwood or Kenmore, at my training pace, and enjoy a slower, social ride with them in the meantime.

  • Showed BF subscriber (and roadie) @datlas around the Metro Boston, and felt comfortable riding at a pace hopefully suited to his needs.

  • Back to Michigan last week for a family visit. While riding I hit a poorly marked chain across a park entrance and fractured my carbon fiber handlebar (right hand drop). Just took it to the shop yesterday.
    Then for the Fall:
  • On September 12 is an Tour de Streets, an organized ride to benefit Liveable Streets Alliance. I did the ride last year, and if I can get it together I would like to propose it as a Fifty-Plus Forum Boston Bicycling Weekend event.

  • I’m particularly anticipating a BF Fifty-Plus Annual Ride in Pensylvania during the Columbus Day weekend. Often my training schedule peters out in September, so this will be a further incentive to keep up, and besides I’m enjoying the rides much more. Nonetheless. I will be losing the advantage of the extra daylight that provided a time advantage during May up to now.
Anyways, during the Summer I have kept up with the postings of my fellow Metrobostonians, though I did miss the scrivenings of @spb, and was glad to read of his return,

Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Rode my comfy, LWB recumbent 8 miles to Holliston last Friday then 6 miles Saturday and yesterday a nice, fairly flat 20 mile ride down Pleasant St in Millis/Myrtle St. in Norfolk to new pavement on Grove and Union., then north through the rotaries in Norfolk Center, north on the new pavement on Fruit St and back up Nason Hill. Nice to be able to post a ride after a crash 8 weeks ago

Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Newly back to biking, I gingerly rode across suburban intersections in Holliston, Hopkinton and Ashland. No stupid whims or honking. It was my third 20 mile, tree lined, back road recumbent ride and a mixture of shaded humid breeze and that excitement on the first ride beyond your neighborhood. Thanks to all your brilliant reports I can't wait to cruise from Joe Moakley to Paul Revere. Great posts all!
especially since he rides on roads I know well, in the Dover-Sherborn-etc sector, and in the City itself.
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Old 08-23-15, 07:41 PM
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Jim from Boston,
Thanks! I stayed close to home today by riding a 37 mile clover leaf in the misty low cloud. It was very pleasant. I saw the feathers from a free range goose or duck on Claybrook Rd in Dover, stopped to pick up a plastic bag roadside trash to some but for me convenient, replacement rain protection for my phone, glimpsed at the headwaters of the mighty Tubwreck Brook in TTOR Powisset Farm, sailed over more new pavement on parts of Pine on route to Medfield then north on North/Centre all the way through the center back to Claybrook, avoiding the temptations to head for home on Farm or Springdale then took Claybrook all the way to the sweet, smooth pavement at the top of Claybrook and Pleasant in Natick then back via Farm to Bridge St and Sherborn.
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Old 08-24-15, 04:24 AM
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Old 08-24-15, 06:41 AM
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WABAC machine - Week of July 20 - Down the Cape.:

My favorite MUP tunnel.


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Old 08-24-15, 08:23 PM
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Took the Rawland out for 10 miles on the Minuteman before dinner: energetic, peaceful.


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Old 08-24-15, 08:40 PM
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I just rode my commute again today, first time riding since having a wisdom tooth pulled on Thursday. A bodily insult and antibiotics will take it's toll. Still, it was nice to get on a bike. Today was, ah, hoooomid but not too hot.
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Old 08-25-15, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I just rode my commute again today, first time riding since having a wisdom tooth pulled on Thursday. A bodily insult and antibiotics will take it's toll. Still, it was nice to get on a bike. Today was, ah, hoooomid but not too hot.
Jim, you are smart to take a few days off to recover. Speaking of taking a toll, I am recovering from a few ailments but found the "riding in a cloud", relatively cool, misty weather so pleasant I rode a solo 37 miler two days ago and had a few leg cramps that evening. Yesterday I agreed to a 25 miler with a friend and was gassed towards the end. I'm thinking there is some kind of correlation and will play it smart and take a day off........but this late August weather is nice.
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