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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 01-25-16, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
... 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.
Some years ago, I switched from SPD pedals to wide platform pedals. My winter bike (1987 GT Karakoram rigid mtb, with 559-47 studded Nokian W240 tires) currently sports VP-001 pedals. In the cold weather, I wear an ordinary pair of New Balance hiking boots, and some heavy wool socks. This combination works pretty well: the pins in the VP-001's provide remarkably good foot retention, and the boots and socks keep my feet as warm as I need them to be. Part of the trick to that is that they're wide enough.

If you're committed to clipless, and want to be warm, Lake boots have a good reputation, but I haven't tried them.

Here's a photo of my winter bike, with a pedal showing.


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Old 01-25-16, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
"Ice in the bottle" fits the templated naming schema for fiddle tunes. The "Polar" label is accidentally appropriate.



Originally Posted by rumrunn6
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


I have posted previously about this standardized definition of a cold ride:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...I have often posted that for any evaluation of winter gear, the poster should specify temperature and distance (as a function of time). One post once suggested that a "cold" ride is one where the water bottle freezes solid; a function of temperature and time. For my 14 miles that occurs at about 15 degrees F or less (-9.4 C).


I did ride 14 miles at 8⁰F on Jan 4, and it met the definition. I also rode this AM on the Jamaica Pond Bikepath at about 25⁰F, thinking to myself that after Saturday’s snowfall, the path was passable and virtually pristine with scant ice and hardpack snow. Then I ran into a single patch of deeply rutted snow near the boathouse, about 20 feet long, and had to dismount and push.
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Old 01-25-16, 10:03 PM
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Took the old GT up to Lexington Center tonight, rolling 10 miles on the studded Nokians, just at the moment when today's extended thaw was turning into tonight's hard freeze. All in all a beguiling ride, a few others out there, but long stretches of solitude, under a veiled moon.

Arlington Center is still sporting its somewhat ashen winter lights.


A little snow on the Minuteman near Russell Place.


A little snowplow slop complicated the intersection with Mill Street, Arlington.


Rolled over a surprising amount of bare pavement, interspersed with occasional runs of ice or snow, mostly in the shadow of buildings or on bridges: the plows did a good job with the Minuteman after our last little storm.


At Bow Street, Lexington, a field of rutted slush will turn into dangerous icy ruts by morning.


The moon peeked though the clouds at the little house in the woods.


There's a shadow on the snow.


Turnaround.


My headlight picked up bunny tracks.


City lights gave the sky a purple glow as I headed East.



rod

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Old 01-26-16, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston


I did ride 14 miles at 8⁰F on Jan 4, and it met the definition. I also rode this AM on the Jamaica Pond Bikepath at about 25⁰F, thinking to myself that after Saturday’s snowfall, the path was passable and virtually pristine with scant ice and hardpack snow. Then I ran into a single patch of deeply rutted snow near the boathouse, about 20 feet long, and had to dismount and push.
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Old 01-26-16, 01:20 PM
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Commute today along the Charles path (south side) - Newton to Cambridge - Starting at Galen Street, it had been cleared (not so west of Galen), then clear until crossing Arsenal St, with a couple of nasty patches of ice/snow. After Arsenal, the path itself was not cleared at all, but the sidewalk was somewhat passable. Some 400 meters were clear before Eliot Bridge. At that point, I crossed over to the north side - mostly clear, but bad patches.

I expect with the warm weather (relatively speaking) today that a lot of that stuff will clear out - but still expect the section east of Arsenal to be impassible, so the sidewalk is the alternative for now.
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Old 01-26-16, 09:49 PM
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Ten miles on the Minuteman tonight, sloshing through puddles in this displaced, day-long Spring we had, temperatures in the high 40s (and had been higher), the Night Chorus shrieking raucously, my legs getting with it and pumping vigorously, moving the bike along at a brisk pace, at least relative to recent outings, a pleasant breeze adding energy to everything.

The drivers were a little nuts, but that's generally the case any time we have noticeable weather (including noticeably nice weather).


Once on the Minuteman, commuting cyclists owned the night.


I was pleased to see that last night's slush field at Bow Street, Lexington, was gone, either melted or shoveled.


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Old 01-26-16, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnHuth
Commute today along the Charles path (south side) - Newton to Cambridge - Starting at Galen Street, it had been cleared (not so west of Galen), then clear until crossing Arsenal St, with a couple of nasty patches of ice/snow. After Arsenal, the path itself was not cleared at all, but the sidewalk was somewhat passable. Some 400 meters were clear before Eliot Bridge. At that point, I crossed over to the north side - mostly clear, but bad patches.

I expect with the warm weather (relatively speaking) today that a lot of that stuff will clear out - but still expect the section east of Arsenal to be impassible, so the sidewalk is the alternative for now.
When I returned from Boston tonight the path was clear- it melted from the parking lot in Brighton, past the kiddie park, by the Boathouse. I expected the melt but I didn't expect the warm temps this evening as I came home around 8 pm. So there was none of the usual black ice through that stretch.

I'll watch for your Madrone. If you wear a helmet what color is it? I commute 5-7 days of the week on this path but at irregular hours and some days I head into Boston via Brighton and Commonwealth Ave when conditions on the path are too bad or I am running late.

This time of year I'm on an old blue Specialized Mountain bike with studded tires, basket on rack, blue helmet.

Hope to see you out there!
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Old 01-26-16, 10:03 PM
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buzzman, welcome back!

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Old 01-27-16, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzman
When I returned from Boston tonight the path was clear- it melted from the parking lot in Brighton, past the kiddie park, by the Boathouse.


Hope to see you out there!
Yup, I took the sidewalk on the way home, just to be on the safe side, but I saw that the path was clear there - so this AM it looks like it will be smooth going. I have a green/white helmet - these days I wear one of those bright yellow jackets (yeah, highly distinguishing, right?). I typically have a red pannier on back, and a backpack with a reflective/bright triangle.
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Old 01-27-16, 10:15 AM
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I finally rode my commute again this morning. Clear shoulders on the roads. It should be fine for the return this PM too.
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Old 01-29-16, 05:04 PM
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So, yeah-no, like, you know, I rode my commute again today. Half of the return was in snow! It was great!
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Old 01-30-16, 01:41 PM
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Took a ride at lunchtime, gray skies and temperature just under 40. Didn't feel inspired, and turned back at Lexington Center to go home and do some errands. Oh well...






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Old 01-30-16, 02:35 PM
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Rod, I'm surprised we didn't bump into each other. We took the tandem over to Alewife, out the MM, then through Concord to Carlisle for lunch, a tidy 50.1 miles. We probably ran the MM westward as you were heading back home.

A brief stop at the Lexington Visitors Center


I've always wanted a pic of the McHugh Farm sign. It was cold!
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Old 01-31-16, 03:04 PM
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That was close! My first ride of January. 28 miles looping Sherborn, Dover and Medfield. 48F when I left and 54F when I returned. A lot of riders out enjoying the warmth and dry, wider roads.
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Old 01-31-16, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
That was close! My first ride of January.
Glad you made it! Nothing like waiting till the last minute.

RodH, was that you I passed on the MM this morning?

I took the Gazelle out for a quick 40 miles. Rode some new sew-ups I glued up yesterday. Had to mess around with the rear axle this morning when I tried putting it on the bike. I should have checked it before. But it all worked out fine and was on the road by 10:30.

Made a quick photo-op detour over the Concord R. between Concord and Carlisle:





Stopped for lunch at Fern's, parked the bike amid some high-end company.



Those other four are a Cannondale, a Specialized, a Litepseed, and a Cervelo. While I was eating two riders showed up on a Seven and an Independent Fabrications. Just another day at the ol' watering hole.
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Old 01-31-16, 06:13 PM
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Today's ride was ... eventful.

I've mostly been riding inside these days, but the good weather meant that today was a good day for a ride out to Depot Park on the Minuteman.


Unfortunately, on the way back, things went, well, off the rails. Today's ride was the first time I've been outdoors with clipless pedals (had previously just done platforms). On the way home I experienced my first, and inevitable, accident. On the oncoming side of the trail, a large group of cyclists was passing a stroller. They kept coming even though I was approaching, and I got forced into the shoulder where it was icy. I actually did unclip, but while struggling for control I accidentally clipped back in, and down I went. Luckily on my side I escaped with a bruised hip and a small cut on my shin, but otherwise I'm in one piece.

However, the same can't be said about my bike. About a mile after getting back on the road, this happened:


I can't even begin to tell you how strange a feeling it was when the seat disengaged from the rails. I tried to bodge it back together:


But the seat came back off less than two miles later. I was back in Arlington at this point, and managed to nurse the bike about a mile to Quad Cycle Shop on Mass Ave. The seat was unrepairable, so it got replaced:


I made it back home on the new saddle with the decision to bring my lights on the ride paying dividends. I suppose it's also good that I'm doing my clipless learning now on a cheap bike and not on the new road bike I'm buying in the spring.

Overall, 25.3 miles, one crash, two seats.
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Old 01-31-16, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
...
RodH, was that you I passed on the MM this morning?

...
T'weren't me. The only two-wheeled vehicle I had truck with today was a hand truck, trucking a superannuated dishwasher down two flights of stairs, by hand. I felt like Beowulf, or maybe a Teamster: very little difference between the two for this old software engineer... anyhow, didn't damage myself or the house unduly in the process. Did take a walk in Great Meadows (Concord) NWRA later on , agree it was a beautiful day!

rod
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Old 01-31-16, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
...
Unfortunately, on the way back, things went, well, off the rails. Today's ride was the first time I've been outdoors with clipless pedals (had previously just done platforms). On the way home I experienced my first, and inevitable, accident. On the oncoming side of the trail, a large group of cyclists was passing a stroller. They kept coming even though I was approaching, and I got forced into the shoulder where it was icy. I actually did unclip, but while struggling for control I accidentally clipped back in, and down I went. Luckily on my side I escaped with a bruised hip and a small cut on my shin, but otherwise I'm in one piece.
...
I suppose it's also good that I'm doing my clipless learning now on a cheap bike and not on the new road bike I'm buying in the spring.

...
This brings back memories. When I got my LHT, I set it up with SPD pedals, and had (and still have, gathering dust in a closet) a nice pair of Sidi Megas to clip into them. I went like a bat out of Hell, and was favorably impressed by that. However... the first sign of the new complexity that had come into my life came one day, at the end of my street, when I braked for a crossing pedestrian, removed my feet from the pedals... except I had forgotten I was clipped in.. the bike reared like a skittish horse, and the look of horror on the pedestrian's face was a sight to behold... I managed to diagnose the situation and clip out in the milliseconds available for that, and didn't fall, no harm done... Over the next few years, I had some low-speed misadventures that led to occasional falls, including one at the end of a 75-mile ride when I was either too tired to remember to clip out, or too tired to do it. The worst was a moment on Route 62, stopping in heavy traffic, when there were a few milliseconds of doubt about whether I'd successfully clip out... I did, and all was well, but falling there and then would have been no joke...

Round about that time, I stumbled over Grant Peterson's fine rant (or manifesto, if you prefer), The Shoes Ruse. This made intuitive good sense to me, and I switched to MKS Lambda platform pedals and five.ten Impact shoes (very grippy soles). I lost perhaps 1 mph doing that, but gained an enormous amount of simplicity, and, I suspect, a real measure of safety...

rod

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Old 02-01-16, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
However, the same can't be said about my bike. About a mile after getting back on the road, this happened:
Ouch. Hope that wasn't a fancy 'spensive super-light saddle. Hope you weren't hurt in any meaningful way!
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Old 02-01-16, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Ouch. Hope that wasn't a fancy 'spensive super-light saddle. Hope you weren't hurt in any meaningful way!
The saddle was the one that came with the relatively cheap bike, so ultimately it wasn't a big loss. Unfortunately the only saddles in the bike shop without several inches of padding started at $85, so I'm now the proud (?) owner of a more pricey one.

As far as injuries go, it's nothing that won't heal in a week or two, and nothing that should prevent me from riding while it does so.
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Old 02-01-16, 09:19 AM
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Glad you are ok and mend quickly. Weight weenies might pick up on your newly invented light weight saddle.
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Old 02-01-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
........Stopped for lunch at Fern's, parked the bike amid some high-end company.



Those other four are a Cannondale, a Specialized, a Litepseed, and a Cervelo. While I was eating two riders showed up on a Seven and an Independent Fabrications. Just another day at the ol' watering hole.
Where are their brake cables, shift levers and.......toe clips?
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Old 02-01-16, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Where are their brake cables, shift levers and.......toe clips?
Don't know about the shift levers and toe clips, nor about the C'lo, the C'dale, or the S'zed, but on the Litespeed you can ride so fast that you don't need brakes. When you come to a barrier you do the quantum-tunneling thingy and just ride right though it. Well, some of the time anyway. But you are never quite sure where you are.

Actually, the typical amount of high-end machinery there is frequently paired with a similarly high lack of understanding of how bikes work. I told this story over in the C&V but I don't know if I told it here.

On a ride back in the summer I had stopped for lunch and while eating starting observing the wheels on what looked like an expensive bike-shaped object, one of a trio of bikes whose owners were inside eating. I believe the wheels said KRYSIUM! KRYSIUM! KRYSIUM!" but I might have been mistaken. Anyway, the front had only 20 or so spokes or maybe even just 16, and the rear only about 24. I noticed that the drive-side spokes on the rear were strung radially, the non-DS in a more typical tangential crossing pattern. (I saw a pair of similarly rigged Mavics yesterday.) So why rig them that way? Radial spokes can't exert any drive torque. But according to Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle Wheel a typical hub undergoes measurable twisting from the torque of the chain in hard acceleration. This means that with a tangential pattern the DS spokes take more of the drive stress in addition to their 2:1 static weight load over the non-DS from the wheel dish. Rigging the DS radially moves all the drive tension to the non-DS and presumably increases the fatigue life of the DS spokes.

So when the three riders came back outside I asked about the wheels, commented how they were unusual. They asked how so and I explained about the drive side radial pattern. With completely blank faces all three of them looked at me for five seconds, stared down at the hub for ten seconds, then started back up at me. All three of them had empty bubbles over their heads, not even a question mark showing. Finally the owner said he just went with what his mechanic had recommended. I said something like "cool" and wished them a nice ride. Of course, parked on the other side of the bike rack was my bright red Masi Gran Criterium...

When I posted the story in C&V another member responded that to top it all off they probably had no clue what I was riding. Of course they didn't! I allowed myself to feel very smug on the ride home.
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Old 02-01-16, 02:36 PM
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An even better day! Biked a 21 mile errand into Boston by Mission Hill and took a new route variation by Crystal Lake. I took my single speed through Sherborn to Centre St in Dover and stopped in Needham by their transfer Station on Central St. to take off layers. I took Central all the way to Elliot across Rt. 9 then Lincoln St. to Lake around the north side of Crystal Lake in Newton to Beacon past Mary Baker Eddy and BC to the south side of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir then Washington St through Brookline Center and over to Mission Hill. . The toughest hill was Mission Hill.
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Old 02-01-16, 07:19 PM
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10 miles tonight on the Minuteman, after a particularly draining day. The old GT with its Nokian W240s rides like a tractor on bare pavement, but it crackles nicely and the air was delicious. Lots of kids seem to have gotten new headlights for Xmas.


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