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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 01-08-16, 09:53 AM
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Commuting between Harvard and Newton this week - conditions are pretty decent on the Charles River paths - practically no ice, and temperatures are tolerable with sensible layering. I'm seeing quite a few bike commuters out there. The main issue is that ice on the side of roads tend to push me more toward traffic on the few busy streets I have to take.
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Old 01-08-16, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnHuth
The main issue is that ice on the side of roads tend to push me more toward traffic on the few busy streets I have to take.
Sunday's rain storm should clear that right up!
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Old 01-08-16, 11:55 AM
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I rode to work this morning, first time since the snow/ice storm. The MM from Water St in Arlington Center to Bow St was completely clear, as I expected it would be. Ice wasn't a problem but there were a few places where people had pushed their snow out into the street or the shoulder. With a bit of luck I won't have any problem getting home this evening.
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Old 01-08-16, 02:53 PM
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I've been away, hiding out in a warmer location, but am back now, and contemplating a ride tonight
Question: how much salt is down on the roads?

rod
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Old 01-08-16, 04:25 PM
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Quite a lot as far as I can tell from driving and walking around between Stow, Burlington and Somerville. All of my riding in the new year has been on the trainer... Stay warm!

Originally Posted by rholland1951
I've been away, hiding out in a warmer location, but am back now, and contemplating a ride tonight
Question: how much salt is down on the roads?

rod
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Old 01-08-16, 05:40 PM
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A fair amount of salt, yes. Take your plastic bike! Okay, I rode steel today because all my bikes are steel. The roads were more or less dry and free of ice. I made it home safely, for which I am incredibly grateful. Or maybe credibly grateful. It was good to ride again.
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Old 01-08-16, 06:38 PM
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Thanks, both! I'll keep the virginal Rawland sequestered, in that case, and roll out the nasty old GT... maybe tomorrow...

rod
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Old 01-09-16, 04:22 PM
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Took the old GT Karakoram out to Depot Park, Bedford, 20 miles in the gray and damp, temperatures in the upper 30s. Snow and ice weren't really a factor, and the carbide studs on the Nokians crackled on the bare pavement like bacon in a skillet. Pleasant, low-energy ride, the first of the year for me.




















rod
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Old 01-15-16, 08:56 PM
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After a week off the bike while I overindulged in the pleasures of work, work, work, I finally got back on the old GT this evening, 10 miles out to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman. Temperatures were in the relatively balmy upper 30s, and a modest thaw had set in, leaving little snow and ice for my studded Nokians, just a bit on the bridges in Arlington, only enough to silence the carbide crackle for a moment as I crossed. I'm not complaining...

Lots of bicylce commuters out tonight.


The flash went off by happy accident...


The sky was glowing over Arlington's Great Meadow. There was a little residual Night Chorus, don't ask me what species.


Encountered emergency vehicles near the end of the ride, on Winslow Street.


A block from home, I met an unlit kid gliding down Raleigh Street on a hoverboard. He didn't catch fire, fall over, or get hit by a car, at least while I was watching him.

rod

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Old 01-16-16, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
After a week off the bike while I overindulged in the pleasures of work, work, work, I finally got back on the old GT this evening, 10 miles out to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman. Temperatures were in the relatively balmy upper 30s, and a modest thaw had set in, leaving little snow and ice for my studded Nokians, just a bit on the bridges in Arlington, only enough to silence the carbide crackle for a moment as I crossed. I'm not complaining......
Hi Rod, et al,

FYA, I posted a quote from this post on a Winter Cycling Forum thread about studded tires, describing the author as

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...one of the most lyrical subscribers to Bike Forums...
Well said about overindulging at work.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...I have previously posted to this thread, 'What stops you from riding?"

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
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
PS, @rod:

On 1/15, you wrote:

Originally Posted by rholland1951
After a week off the bike while I overindulged in the pleasures of work, work, work, I finally got back on the old GT this evening…Temperatures were in the relatively balmy upper 30s, and a modest thaw had set in…
And on 1/8,

Originally Posted by rholland1951
I've been away, hiding out in a warmer location, but am back now, and contemplating a ride tonight…
So I won’t cry for you, Argentina.

Nonetheless, I just remembered I also quoted you last week on a recent General Cycling thread, ”Dealing with overly courteous motorists”,

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Yup, you've got to watch out for the more typical drivers (jackwagons), other than the overly courteous ones. A fellow Bostonian cyclist has referred to them as Niceholes.

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Old 01-16-16, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Well said about overindulging at work.
Overindulging at work, he says. I have commuted by bike only once since that first snow/ice storm. Now that the rain has washed away most of the ice (which insists on re-freezing during the night) I'd like to ride again. But we at Star Labs are hard at work on our newest meta-human-foiling project so I've been forced to overindulge this past week.

Perhaps on Monday the timeline will have been restored back to its normal state.
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Old 01-17-16, 03:44 PM
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We took ye ol' vintage tandem (the only one we have) out for a quick 19.9 miles today, home to Lexington. It was chilly but tolerable, tolerable. Some road surfaces and more of the Minuteman Bikeway had ice patches, frozen holdovers from yesterday's hard rain. T'was nice to get out on the bike.

First stop shortly after entering the Fitchburg Cutoff, my sweetie had to pull out the mittens. So I took a pic of the bike.



At the Lexington Visitors Center this magnificent beast showed up. Not sure what it was, probably an immature Red Tail which are fairly common around here.





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Old 01-17-16, 03:50 PM
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A bird of good omen!

rod
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Old 01-17-16, 07:45 PM
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Yes it is a first year RedTail... I always think of them as a nice omen too...

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Old 01-18-16, 08:49 AM
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got it in before the snow!
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Old 01-18-16, 05:02 PM
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After a morning spent enjoying one winter sport, snow shoveling, I took the 1987 GT Karakoram in its ice bike aspect out to Depot Park, Bedford, in part to check conditions on the Minuteman after the storm, but mostly for the sheer fun of a real Winter ride. This was 20 miles with temperatures in the mid-20's and a stiff West wind, experienced as a keen, cold headwind on the outbound leg, but as a friendly tailwind on the return. The skies were clear, but from time to time the wind whipped up some blowing snow, sometimes as a fine powder blowing from roofs, sometimes in clumps from the boughs of trees, looking for all the world like the trees throwing snowballs.


The Minuteman had been plowed in all three towns, with a bit of plowing still in progress in Lexington and Bedford, and was generally in good shape... meaning that there was either bare pavement, a more-or-less thin layer of packed snow, or smooth ice in most areas. A few small patches of deeper snow were getting rutted in a way that could become dangerous after a freeze-thaw cycle or two, and there was a field of bumpy ice near the Maple Street overpass (Lexington) that got my attention. Conditions often varied across the width of the trail surface, with the inbound lane generally snowier & icier than the outbound lane. And a few road crossing points had a barrier of snow, left by some plow operator as part of that special form of Murphy's Law that operates in Winter; the worst of these is at Mill Street, Arlington.










Cause...


... and Effect. Cool!


Mindful of the big storm coming on Saturday, I guess I'll be sending another donation to Friends of the Lexington Bikeways, Real Soon Now...


I'm running Nokian W240 559-47 tires on the bike, with an aggressive tread and 240 carbide studs, and they were in their element in these conditions. Encountered plenty of other riders, the majority running studs themselves, with an enthusiastic minority on fat bikes (some fatter than others), and one or two on road bikes who were getting along on skinny tires and skill; there were also lots of pedestrians, runners, dog walkers, and a couple of cross-country skiers in the margins.




rod

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Old 01-19-16, 08:49 AM
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awesome! can you imagine being able to work commute by bike on that trail. really impressive maintenance! will they do that through all storms?
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Old 01-19-16, 12:44 PM
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They'll certainly try...

rod
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Old 01-22-16, 08:07 PM
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Ten miles on the Minuteman this evening, cold and calm, temperatures in the upper 20s with no wind to speak of, a big moon in a bright, milky sky, something singing in the night, but I don't know what it could be, perhaps it's the song of my nervous system in the stillness. Here and there, a bunny hopped along, then paused. The pavement was mostly bare, but that could change tomorrow.






The Moon followed me home. Can I keep her?

rod
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Old 01-23-16, 09:44 AM
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ooh clear trail! and a balmy 28 degrees right now!
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Old 01-23-16, 02:36 PM
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Rolled out on the GT this morning for 20 cold miles on the Minuteman before whatever piece of this storm we're going to get reaches us.


The dominant life-form on the trail today was the runner. There were oodles and scads of them, coming and going...


The Minuteman was in great shape, bare pavement for the most part...


That won't last, though, so the Friends of the Lexington Bikeways invite you to send them a tax-deductible contribution to keep the Lexington stretch clear; the next plowing job will be needed Real Soon Now...

Arlington's Great Meadow (in Lexington, natch) in Winter. I paused briefly to let a party of half-a-dozen riders on 29ers and fat bikes make their way into the trail system. Wasn't quick enough to get a picture of that, too bad, they were plenty photogenic...


Lexington Center boasted the worst patch of ice on the Minuteman this Saturday morning, not much to it, but it was a snare for the unwary. The studded Nokians made short work of it, of course, almost the only fun they got to have all day. I watched two guys on skinny-tired Cervelos make their way across, too. Bravo to them: sometimes the studs are in the tire, sometimes in the saddle.


"Ice in the bottle" fits the templated naming schema for fiddle tunes. The "Polar" label is accidentally appropriate.


As I rolled past Bedford Street, Lexington, the first of a series of fine, dry snow flurries began. Soon streamers and wisps of snow were blowing along the pavement when the wind blew, and painting it with streaks when the wind subsided.


The old farm on Wiggins Ave., Bedford. I remember when this was still a lively, if quiet, place, with an old horse grazing in the pasture; that was over 40 years ago, however, sic transit...


Tophet Swamp is iced in.


Sumac, phragmites, and ice, in the little marsh in back of Peepers Pond.


rod

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Old 01-23-16, 11:28 PM
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glad to say I got out there too, I think after you

so glad the Lexington Visitor Center was open. Used it on the way in and on the way out. The 2nd time I also defrosted my bottles for a drink

so glad to make it to the Kickstand Cafe





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Old 01-24-16, 07:38 AM
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Nice ride!

rod
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Old 01-24-16, 11:04 AM
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glad you got a marsh photo, I was tempted to stop for one as well. what do you use for feet? it's been a while for me to ride in such cold and my plan was less that stellar. also what do you look like in case we ever cross "paths"? this is me
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Old 01-24-16, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
... also what do you look like in case we ever cross "paths"? ...
Had to go back to August for this one, shot in a sort of house-of-mirrors sculpture at the DeCordova. At least the helmet's right...


rod
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