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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 09-06-16, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Yow! mr. bill, where was that? Beneath the Tobin Bridge?

rod
Yes. I always thought it was a MassDot facility. But ran into folks from Downeast Cider at the Union Square Farmers market. (Cubanelles are great hanging pine trees for messenger bags btw.)

Anyhow, Downeast will still have something left at 200 Terminal under the bridge, but their big new digs are opening in East Boston.

-mr. bill
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Old 09-06-16, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by essiemyra
I am looking for a suggestion of a ride that would put me in Wells state park(Sturbridge MA) as my destination starting in the Sutton area. I am looking for the roads to ride in that area that have less traffic. Can anyone give me some suggestions?
I have no suggestions, but hope to read the ride report. Sounds like a great trip!

rod
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Old 09-09-16, 06:53 PM
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Cranked up to Lexington Center and back on the LHT, enjoying this little isolated bit of Summer.


The Japanese knotweed along the margins of the Minuteman is in bloom. It's an invasive, but the bees seem to like it. I bet the goats would, too. Perhaps Arlington and Lexington could get into the resveratrol business...


Speaking of things Japanese, a cloud-kirin floated over Arlingrton's Great Meadow (and over another thicket of knotweed), showing the beginnings of sunset colors.


It's late enough in the season that this was a real sunset ride.


rod
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Old 09-09-16, 08:08 PM
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I marvel at dried up Minuteman, knotweed, Hart Pond, Mass Ave movies and the Tobin belly. I wish I knew Sutton to Sturbridge better. Google mapping bats about as well as Jackie Bradley which would be helpful if we were talking baseball.

I've ridden the Upper Charles trail Holliston to Milford a number of times and it just gets better and better. Holliston's recent acquisition north to Sherborn forecasts paving and bridge work in the next few years. Today I rode a little 18 mile loop into Dover and up Pegan Hill for a nice albeit humid view.

Farm St in Dover and part of Claybrook are paved so smoothly that once I almost fell because I thought I must have stopped. The other time it was so smooth I thought my chain broke and was going to get off when I ran over a pine needle and the bump was such a shock. That's some smooth pavement.
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Old 09-11-16, 07:01 AM
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Saturday I rode in the City to Suburbs Bicycle Procession to the installation ceremony of Eugene Thornberg's ghost bike in Lincoln. Ultimately about a dozen took part in that ride, from Medford, Cambridge, Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord. The Ghost Bike memorial installation itself was well attended, with perhaps 150 people, most of whom rode to the event. There was good logistic support (bike racks), and the LPD closed Rt. 126 for several blocks. The ghost bike itself was a metal sculpture, rather than a bicycle painted white; there's a story there, and while I've heard several theories about that (some including the phrase "might alarm motorists"), I'm not confident I know what it's really about. In any event, it was a good ride and a good turnout on a grim occasion. The investigation of the crash continues.











After the ceremony, the bike was moved across the street from the actual crash site, and chained to a tree. This was apparently negotiated with the Town. If I understand correctly, it may be removed after the weekend. Once again, concern about "alarming motorists" was adduced. Wouldn't want to do that...


The ceremony concluded, I bade farewell to the folks I had ridden out with, and took the Monster Trucker off the roads and into the woods, riding the Mount Misery Trails, the Adams Woods Trails, and on into Walden Woods and the north end of Fairhaven Bay. It was pretty but sometimes challenging riding, and every now and then it turned into a pretty walk. Along the way, a passing shower cooled things down, not totally unwelcome.








After a stop at the Fairhaven Bay overlook, rode up the gravel section of Fairhaven Road to Route 2, then along the sidewalk to Sudbury Road, across Route 2, and back to Concord Center, picking up the Reformatory Branch and the Minuteman, then home. 39 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, Concord, and Bedford.

rod

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Old 09-11-16, 07:14 PM
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After Saturday's ride, I got a call from Tyler at Paramount Bicycle Repair to let me know the old GT Karakoram was ready to pick up, after an overhaul that replaced the bottom bracket and other bits and pieces. This rigid MTB will turn 30 in a few months, and mostly does ice bike duty these days, with studded Nokians... when there's ice. When there's no ice, for the last couple of years it's been wearing 2.15" Schwalbe Big Bens, heavy, armored monsters that roll over anything once you get them up to speed... eventually. This year, though, it's shod with Compass 26"x1.75", light, supple tires with the Compass standard casing and a Pasela tread, recently discontinued by Compass (in favor of something even whizzier) but still with plenty of life in them; I had these on the Trucker DeLuxe until the Rat Trap Pass tires became available, and appreciated their sure-footed quickness on that bike.

Tonight I took the GT out on the Minuteman before dinner, and was tickled at how peppy it was with this new pair of shoes; it'll be fun having it back in the rotation. I nipped along through the darkness enjoying the Night Chorus.

rod

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Old 09-12-16, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
...... roll over anything once you get them up to speed... eventually. ....

rod
Rod, your Lincoln ride and then Fairhaven route were your usual superb. Thank you again for your adventure and observations. My ride yesterday was like your pasela tire treads; eventually. Wife and I met up with one of our sons and our in-laws in Newburyport and rode the rail trail out to the train station and back then through town to Plum island (on nondescript single speed and non descript 35c Kenda tires and an increasingly descriptive Brooks saddle with one of those notched seat posts that with my wrenching held the saddle almost in correct adjustment). We stopped to admire a beach near the southern end and biked back. The southern mile or two of the road road turns to sand and gravel and reminded me of early New Balance shoes with the ripple soles and then reminded me of Mother's washboard we used up at the summer cottage when I was a kid; then it reminded me of both of those together. The salt marsh and long distant views were beautiful and well worth it and Newburyport town center was a prosperous blend of history and vibrant.
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Old 09-12-16, 07:48 PM
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Took the Rawland for a low-energy spin up the Minuteman at sunset, solar dazzle giving way to moonlight, with a delicate pastel glow on the horizon as the day turned and the Night Chorus told us what's what.






rod

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Old 09-14-16, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Thanks rod.

-mr. bill
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Old 09-14-16, 08:24 PM
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Rode the GT down to Arlington Center and back for an ABAC meeting, spinning up Broadway and down Mass. Ave. in shorts and sandals (a little chilly on the return trip).


rod
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Old 09-15-16, 05:56 PM
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MetroBoston, DownEast Division - Today I rode my trusty Peugeot UO-8 up Cadillac Mt and around Acadia Natl Park's Park Loop Road. Not too shabby for a 44y.o. bike!

Overlooking Bar Harbor


Neat the top


At the top


The best part of the day - Dinner!
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Old 09-16-16, 05:45 AM
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Yesterday's bicycle (strictly speaking, tricycle) content consisted of encountering an ELF on Summer Street, Arlington, during my morning driving commute. The ELF driver looked like he was having a good ride, and he was pedaling, so I figure this is at least vaguely on-topic.


Anybody on this list try one of these things?

rod

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Old 09-16-16, 07:32 PM
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Rode the LHT up to Lexington Center this evening, darkest ride of the season so far. Checked out the football scene at Arlington High School.


I was hoping to ride with the Harvest Moon, and there she was on the return.


The Arlington Town Day fireworks started up while I was still in Lexington, the dull reports reverberating in the darkness. A single leaf fell through my headlight's beam, inspiring a moment's regret.

rod

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Old 09-18-16, 07:37 AM
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Saturday was Town Day in Arlington. I rode the GT down to Arlington Center and locked it to a rack. One of its roles these days is to tempt fate in park-and-lock situations. It's an ugly enough duckling for the job, although the same doesn't apply to the lights, pump, and saddle bag. Civic virtue carried the day over petty larceny, I guess.


We had beautiful late Summer weather, and the Town Day crowds were out and doing.


General levity aside, I was there to help man the ABAC tent. We had good traffic, lots of bicycle commuters, new cyclists, and parents of young children discovering the pleasures of bikes. We had donated kid's helmets and high-visibility vests to distribute, along with Minuteman maps and some useful information on the HAWK Signal that is coming to the Mass. Ave./Swan Place intersection before the end of the year (this should help, after the initial learning curve). We only had a few cranks, there to gripe about the schedule of the Arlington Center reconstruction or to tell us exactly why drivers hate cyclists, which made me think once again about the notional Fully Connected Graph of Complaint, uniting drivers, cyclists, runners, skaters, dog walkers, and pedestrians in a tangle of aggrieved soliloquies (because, after all, who's listening?). Perhaps next year we'll have a hand-out about that...


After a shift in the tent, I rode home and put in some quality time cutting back the ivy that's trying to turn my backyard into its own sort of fully connected graph. I admire its enthusiasm, but not on my back porch. That done, I got to work on the LHT, removing the old 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralights and swapping in a set of the just-released 44mm Compass Snoqualmie Pass Extralights. The Barlows are my favorite bicycle tires of all time, but the pursuit of additional volume and lower pressure in light, supple tires is compelling, and I needed to give this form factor a try. The Snoqualmies, mounted on Alex Adventurer rims with SV-18 tubes and inflated to 40PSI, had an initial measured width of 40.49mm. I expect they'll stretch somewhat with use, and will measure them again in a few months.


They fit under the SKS Longboard fenders on my LHT. This made me happy (and prevented my reflexively pulling the trigger on a new bike build project).






After a quick ride around the block as a smoke test, it was time for a longer shake-down ride. 20 miles at sunset to Depot Park, Bedford, and back, was all I had time for, but had the virtue of being a known route, a good basis for comparison. I kept a fast-for-me pace, and the performance of the tires on the rough pavement of Arlington Center was encouraging.


Elm Brook, Bedford, was bright with the sunset.




I rolled swiftly home through the darkness, dodging the occasional invisible pedestrian. So far, so good with these tires, I suspect the next few weeks will offer some rides on other surfaces that will further take their measure.

rod

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Old 09-18-16, 06:55 PM
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As always another week of awesome ride reports and pictures to illustrate it. I was able to creativity squeeze in all my riding in 25 mile chunks at a time this week. 4 of them to be exact, mostly before sunrise.
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Old 09-21-16, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by essiemyra
I am looking for a suggestion of a ride that would put me in Wells state park(Sturbridge MA) as my destination starting in the Sutton area. I am looking for the roads to ride in that area that have less traffic. Can anyone give me some suggestions?
Have you looked at the Strava heat map? https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#12/-...68/orange/bike
You may have to go south through Southbridge for a better route.

Originally Posted by rholland1951
29-mile circuit through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, and Lincoln, late Saturday afternoon.

Lincoln: the N end of the Cambridge Reservoir was looking much worse than I expected. Somehow, that grass is particularly unnerving.


rod
I took the same picture this past Sunday, though with my phone, so your pictures shows more detail. It's rather scary how green that grass is:



Top image is from July 8th

Your pictures and reports are cool, the Minuteman is my backyard. It's going to get very pretty soon with the foliage. I sometimes wish it didn't get plowed in winter time.
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Old 09-22-16, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
I took the same picture this past Sunday, though with my phone, so your pictures shows more detail. It's rather scary how green that grass is:



Top image is from July 8th
This starkly illustrates the drought's progress. Wonder if this week's rain made a noticeable difference?

rod
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Old 09-22-16, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
This starkly illustrates the drought's progress. Wonder if this week's rain made a noticeable difference?

rod
Unfortunately, not, according to United States Drought Monitor > Home > State Drought Monitor

(by the way, in the image from July 8th the water's already low - I believe it usually goes all the way to the trees and covers the rocks)
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Old 09-22-16, 06:10 PM
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A few pics from yesterday's commute. These folks were out again today. Don't they realize that Thanksgiving is getting closer?



Now something less silly. There is a backstory to this.



Some weeks before we went away on vacation I noticed in this busy intersection what I supposed was a cartridge for a nail gun. It seemed to have fallen from a truck. Well, a week or two later the nails, dozens and dozens of them, were scattered around that portion of the intersection. Since it was on state jurisdiction roads I called the Mass DOT and they eventually connected me with the office responsible for that area. I explained the situation and the guy promised to get a crew out to check on it. Ah, needless to say, a week later the nails had not gone away, just got more scattered and more rusty.

When we returned from vacation and I finally rode my bike to work again (on Tuesday) I noticed they were still there. Who knows how many flat tires have been accomplished there over the last month? So yesterday I took a few pics and vowed to call the state again, offering to send them the pics if they didn't believe me. (That pic shows maybe a third of what could be seen from the curb where I wait on my bike for the light to change.)

So early this afternoon I called again, went through the same forwarded-phone-call sequence but got connected to a recording saying "Radio room, please leave a message." Hmm, skeptically I left a message. Then I called the state DOT again and explained to the first person who answered why I was calling again, that the intersection was complicated enough that whoever might "go look" might possibly not see anything. Then I gave explicit instructions where to stand, what would be across each street, etc. The woman promised to follow up on it.

An hour later I got a call from someone at the local office saying those nails had been swept up, were on the island in the intersection, and would soon be picked up. He then gave me his desk phone number and said to call him directly if I ever had any other problem to report. Wow, that was fast, especially after the first phone call got no results for a month. Maybe my second call today rattled the bars of his cage, ya' think? In any case, when I rode home today the intersection was the cleanest I've seen it in the almost three years I've been commuting it.

Sometimes you have to be an activist.
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Old 09-23-16, 07:28 PM
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After a week of business travel, flew home today and landed in time to take a bike ride in the mid-afternoon.


Took the LHT with its new shoes (41mm Compass Snoqualmie Pass Extralights) out for a familiar 32-mile ride, a variant of the North Bridge loop with River Road and Monument Street outbound, the Reformatory Branch on the return, and the Minuteman coming and going. This kept me off the roads during rush hour, not a bad thing. The route let me get a better look at the new tires on climbs, fast descents, and off pavement (hardpack, roots, rocks, sand, gravel), and I liked what they showed me.

On the Minuteman, Peepers Pond (Lexington) is effectively Peepers Flat. Not much water left, folks.


The giant space crabs on the Minuteman descent from Bedford Street to Hartwell Ave have been jointed by a robot, complete with a flying saucer. This is new, but very much in the style of the older pieces. I'll reach out to the artist, and see if it's his work. If not, some third party has made an homage to the Bolted Sign Project.


The Town of Bedford appears to have gotten organized and repaved Railroad Ave., between the Minuteman and Reformatory Branch trailheads. One moonscape fewer to go bumping over.


Crossed the Concord River on Route 225.


Picked up Skelton Road in Carlisle, the beginning of a series of rolling hills on pavement, that continued with River Road and Monument Street. The climbs were steep enough to count, the descents fast enough to inform me about the tires behavior on the fast and smooth as well as the fast and bumpy (there are some rough bits on this route, and the pneumatic suspension helped smooth them out at speed).




Crossed the Concord again on Monument Street, a long line of cars with their headlights on coming in the other direction. No hearse, don't think it was a funeral, but it sure was anomalous.


Picked up the Reformatory Branch and got to play in the dirt with the new tires. They liked it. At first I had the trail to myself, but found I had encountered nine other riders before I got back to Railroad Avenue.




Tokens of Fall were down on the various roads and trails, and I guess I can't deny that it's here. Nice ride, anyhow.

rod

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Old 09-25-16, 10:15 AM
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Got started earlier than usual Saturday to take part in the 14th Annual Historic Bicycle Tour of Middlesex Canal, Sullivan Square to Lowell, led by Dick Bauer and Bill Kuttner of the Middlesex Canal Commission. This is something that I've meant to do for the last five years, and that circumstances, weather, and my own internal clock finally came together to permit. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and Dick and Bill helped us ride in time as well as space to peer at Middlesex County in the first half of the 19th Century.

I was running a bit behind, as usual, and the day began with a sprint down Broadway to the ride's Sullivan Square start point.


I made it just in time, and off we went, through Charlestown, Somerville, Medford, Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington, Chelmsford, and Lowell. What with a long road-work detour, a flying tour of the Lowell canal system while waiting for the commuter rail back for a quick return, and rides to and from home, I reckon I put in 47 miles.


The old lock keeper's house, Boston Ave, West Medford.


Arlington Street, Woburn, runs in the Canal's former track; the Canal climbed the hill with a series of locks. Dick Bauer brought it back for us.


The Richardson-architected Woburn library served as a particularly elegant site for a pit stop. Stories of the checkered career of Count Rumford provided color commentary on the time and place.


On our way to the most southerly surviving wet segment of the Canal, windfall trees turned the ride into a cyclecross event.


Site of an aqueduct in the Wilmington Town Forest. The landforms of the canal bed--berm, channel, tow-path--are clearly visible, preserved now as a walking path.


The WPA reconstructed the pilings of the Shawsheen River acqueduct.


Much of the Canal survives; knowing it when you see it is the trick.


Pawtucket Falls, Merrimac River, Lowell: gravity + water = power; power + capital + labor = industry. Bill Kuttner took some of us on a flying tour of Lowell water works--the Francis Gate, the Pawtucket Canal, Pawtucket Falls, the Northern Canal--a series of civil engineering projects for power and navigation, complementing the Middlesex Canal's regional transportation story.


After that brisk and informative bonus ride, Bill led us back to the train station for a ride home on the modality that ultimately killed the Canal with speed.

rod

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Old 09-25-16, 01:39 PM
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Another solo river crossing.


-mr. bill
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Old 09-26-16, 07:46 AM
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Crisp morning

Nothing really out of the ordinary, but this was my first sub-50 degree ride into Cambridge since spring. First time wearing long sleeve shirt and trousers. Autumn is here. But, it's nice not to arrive a sweaty mess for once. A nice time before I arrive as an ice cube.
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Old 09-26-16, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnHuth
Nothing really out of the ordinary, but this was my first sub-50 degree ride into Cambridge since spring. First time wearing long sleeve shirt and trousers. Autumn is here. But, it's nice not to arrive a sweaty mess for once. A nice time before I arrive as an ice cube.
Indeed. It was 41F when I left the house this morning. It was nice to ride without overheating!

Considering the stuff I was wearing I'll probably overheat on the way home.
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Old 09-26-16, 07:03 PM
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Took the Rawland for a spin in the cool air in the late afternoon, the Night Chorus tuning up with some of its constituent critters making a dry croaking sound, which I chose to attribute to the drought. The sunset didn't get organized until I was putting the bike away.




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