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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 09-28-16, 05:25 PM
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to/from/around the Fells

It's feeling cooler out there, some photos from my ride to/from/around the Fells the other day.
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Old 09-30-16, 04:06 PM
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Had the day at home, and took the Trucker DeLuxe with its big shoes out for a ride ahead of the rain, in the mid-afternoon, sullen clouds and a cool breeze setting the scene.


Middle-schoolers and high school kids were making their escape from class, and two particularly athletic girls climbed a lianna hanging from a tree on the side of the trail: up they went, and I'm sorry not to have photographed that. I did snap a picture of an improvised wigwam, woven out of vines, near the skating rink.


The breeze set the goldenrod to dancing.


At Bedford Street, Lexington, I checked the weather radar, and saw that the rain was reaching out for me. I turned tail and rolled home.


Made it before the raindrops did.


rod
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Old 09-30-16, 07:19 PM
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Cool day, turning cold. I was planning a 50 mile run today but the approaching green and yellow on the weather radar map made us cut it shorter.

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Old 10-01-16, 01:35 PM
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Took the GT Karakoram out for 10 drizzly, drippy, splashy Minuteman miles after one storm blew through and the next was still thinking about it, just enough ride to keep the moving parts moving and to remind me how, and how not, to dress for these conditions.












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Old 10-01-16, 09:27 PM
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The Middlesex Canal is an amazing trip. The Museum at the Concord River high point is well done and the Shawsheen River Aqueduct is hard to imagine. Rod, Did you see the grooves in the rock and the big turn around the wetlands?

Thanks for reporting
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Old 10-01-16, 09:46 PM
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I did get out for what turned out to be a pleasant 37 mile ride in mist this afternoon. Rode my single speed because those fenders were just right on very well paved roads in Sherborn, Dover, Westwood and Medfield.

The weather was reminiscent of last week when we got in a few days of trail riding on the Great Allegheny Passage that runs between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, MD then becomes the tow path of the B&O Canal. We loaded gear and credit card toured on hybrid bikes perfectly suited for wet, crushed stone trails.
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Old 10-02-16, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
The Middlesex Canal is an amazing trip. The Museum at the Concord River high point is well done and the Shawsheen River Aqueduct is hard to imagine. Rod, Did you see the grooves in the rock and the big turn around the wetlands?

Thanks for reporting
Here's the rock; a little zooming may be necessary to see the grooves worn in it by the ropes pulling the canal boats. I thought of it as dental floss on a monumental scale.


It is a wonderful ride. It's clear to me that I'll need to do it again, at least one more time: there's a lot of history between Charlestown and Lowell, and I have a sense that each of these rides takes a somewhat different sample.

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Old 10-02-16, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
I did get out for what turned out to be a pleasant 37 mile ride in mist this afternoon. Rode my single speed because those fenders were just right on very well paved roads in Sherborn, Dover, Westwood and Medfield.

The weather was reminiscent of last week when we got in a few days of trail riding on the Great Allegheny Passage that runs between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, MD then becomes the tow path of the B&O Canal. We loaded gear and credit card toured on hybrid bikes perfectly suited for wet, crushed stone trails.
Fenders, hurrah! What a difference they can make...

I'm intrigued by the Great Allengheny Passage. That one sits in the back of my mind whispering "Ride me!"; so far I haven't gotten organized to do it (there are a few other unridden rides like that, of course, so sometimes it gets a little noisy in the back of my mind). It's good to read your favorable report of it.

rod

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Old 10-02-16, 04:03 PM
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We took our tandem out for 42 miles today without fenders. But the mounting stuff for the panniers act sort of as a fender, and I stuck a mini-fender on the back. It was Christmas gift from a neighbor a year or so ago, works great on the tandem but on a solo bike isn't long enough to be useful. Wet roads, cold-ish temps, no active rain. My sweetie ended up with a clean rain jacket!



The aftermath:
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Old 10-03-16, 07:19 PM
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Took the LHT for a ten-mile run up to Lexington this evening, keeping a brisk pace through the darkness on the Minuteman, meeting a lot of lanternfish and a few invisibles. In Arlington Center, early in the ride, pulled up behind the 79 bus; a couple of riders were gathered to its right, and 3 more pulled up before the light changed, charging across the intersection and through the bus stop at the green. This could have ended badly, but the bus driver compensated not only for the riders he could see, but also for a couple he couldn't. Sheesh.


The crash that didn't happen notwithstanding, I had a bracing and much-needed mental health ride, and my good opinion of the Compass Snoqualmie Pass Extralights was reinforced: they're dandy tires, more fun than a barrel of monkeys (and somewhat more practical, to boot). I'm running them at 40/45 PSI, and they're quick, cushy, and nimble.

rod

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Old 10-03-16, 08:56 PM
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Rod, I see lots of stoopid bike behavior. Some must really be lucky.
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Old 10-03-16, 10:30 PM
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Felt like summer was just around the corner. I left at noon on a ride I've not made in 2 years and it was grand. 67 miles. Not much traffic, up through Dover and Wellesley then into Weston and Lincoln on swooping roads, past Gropius and the new Walden visitor Center. I refilled at the Concord rotary and could not resist dusting off autopilot and letting the bike dash up Monument St.

I decided it wise to take a break at Ferns and then head down Lowell St, down past Verrill's into Sudbury, Haynes Garrison then Glezen Lane, Plain Rd then Rice Rd and back past Rivers School and Wellesley then Natick and Sherborn. The second half is flood plain flat and made me feel stronger just because it is faster than the first half. When I would have felt fatigue the threat of 5 o'clock traffic into the afternoon glare provided enough adrenalin so I sped up a bit more and finished in fine form.

A couple of hours later I felt fine enough to dig up a headlight and blinkie and rode a 5 mile night time errand mostly on the Upper Charles Rail Trail section in Holliston. They've extended the smooth crushed stone pavement so all but a small section is done from Centre St to Milford. Longest daily total in 2 years. I guess it was the warmer weather and clear skies after a few days of damp and even then the drizzle did it's own swooping return but gosh what a nice day.
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Old 10-04-16, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Felt like summer was just around the corner. I left at noon on a ride I've not made in 2 years and it was grand.67 miles. Not much traffic, up through Dover and Wellesley then into Weston and Lincoln on swooping roads, past Gropius and the new Walden visitor Center. I refilled at the Concord rotary and could not resist dusting off autopilot and letting the bike dash up Monument St…

Longest daily total in 2 years...
I’ve been meaning to report to this Metro Boston thread a particularly memorable ride I did in that area on Sunday,Sept 26. On the Fifty-Plus Forum since August a subscriber and recent retiree from North Carolina, @jppe has been riding his bike across the country from Oregon to Boston along Rte 20, America’s longest highway, supported by his wife driving a van. I had offered to meet and pilot him into Boston.
Originally Posted by jppe
A perfect end to an incredible adventure!!

Kudos to Jim from Boston for escorting me from the Wayland Depot all the way through the heart of Boston to the Atlantic Ocean. He took me by many historic sites and shared the history of the area along the way. While I've toured Boston on foot I could see the value of having someone show you the city from an insider's perspective. We enjoyed roads with few cars, a bike path and of course urban riding amongst lots of vehicles, although lighter than it could be since it was Sunday. They even had a street blocked off just for non vehicle use along the "Dirty River". I'm thinking that Jim has some inside connections and arranged that street closure just for us???

There were LOTS of cyclists out all over the area but particularly around Concord. At first I thought they were part of our welcoming committeebut they were simply cyclists out enjoying a beautiful early Fall day.

It hasn't sunk in that this ride is over, that I don't need to wash clothes tonight, look at tomorrow's route, check the weather forecast, plan for the next few nights stops, etc. After 41 days of riding out of 43 days, those things just become a normal activity. It's really not a bad gig at all.

Jim and me at the North Bridge and Minute Man statue where the British retreated after facing a lot more opposition than expected.

A bittersweet site......the end of Hwy 20 East......but for somethe start of Hwy 20 West!!!

As Far East as I could ride on this trip.

Jim and his bike shop. A real treat to visit and meet Dan and Dave who have taken terrific care of all Jim's cycling needs. Hooray for our LBS's!!!I lost count of the bike shops I visited along the way.......especially for tubes!
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
It was one of my most pleasant cycling days in 40 years of cycling, to ride with jppe, and to direct his wife in the van to various locations and ultimately the Atlantic Ocean. We met at about 9:30 AM at the Wayland Depot,about 20 miles from the Atlantic Coast and we hit it off immediately. jp called us the “3 J’s,” Joe, Jeri and Jim (and Sushi, the13 year old family dog). I got to look inside the well-packed van with the camping and bicycling gear, including an extra bike,with room to spare for his traveling bike.

We mapped out a route to include a few historic sites that Jeri could meet us at by car. We stopped at the Walter Gropius home, a national historic architectural landmark; rode by Walden Pond; and lingered at the oldNorth Bridge in Concord, site of the Battle of Concord on the first day of the Revolutionary War. The day was as perfect as the pictures portray. I hope I didn’t embarrass jp to all the people I told of his exploit including those who took our pictures, but he graciously chatted with all of them. I mentioned to him that on a Fifth Annual 50+ Ride, we visited the bridge, and Iwas delighted to hear that he had participated in the very first Annual 50+Ride in Colorado (I had ridden on five, beginning with #2)

In my Road Cycling Guide to Metro Boston,I have descrbed this area as:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…Western[suburbs]: Lincoln, Lexington, Concord,Wayland, etc: Very ritzy, buccolic andhistoric; very popular forriding…
We next rode to Bedford, and took the 11 mile Minuteman Bikepath to Arlington.We could ride two abreast, and I had a chance to hear all the details of his ride. As did many respondents to his threads, I already knew of thevirtually day-by-day details, and I asked pretty specific questions about theactivities.I was impressed by his engineer’s approach to planning the trip. We took a side jaunt to the Lexington Green, site of the skirmish that preceded the Battle ofConcord, and then then rode through Arlington into Cambridge and meandered around Harvard Square.

His description of the ride was spot on, though in referring to the Charles River as “Dirty River,” the actual term is “Dirty Water” as in the1960’s song by the Standells, “Love That Dirty Water.” It’s a virtual Bostonian anthem, played at all the Red Sox home games:..

The picture of the END ROUTE 20 sign was taken about two blocks from our condo in Kenmore Square. Again jp was so gracious to visit my shop and tell his story, one block further down, and closer to the ocean. We then headed straight though downtown for Castle Island on Boston Harbor.

We waited for Jeri to arrive with Sushi, and jp told me the heartwarming story of how they acquired him (I think). So Jeri arrived with the handsome dog, and right away a group of three young ladies gathered around admiring, ignoring the guy in the superhero costume. I had to tell them that the dog had just come across the country from Oregon, and oh yeah...with the guy in the red suit on a bicycle.

I told jp, Well this far, and no farther.”(a favorite line from an episode of Columbo), and we took the end-of-ride pictures. We then had a celebratory dinner at a fine Boston seafood restaurant (Legal Seafood Harborside). We re-hashed our respective cross-country trips,including the current one with Jeri’s point of view. While jp was away from the table, I asked her how she liked the trip…I had a blast.”

The day was long, and they then left for Vermont about 5 PM, because they wanted to see the Green Mountains, then get back to North Carolina to see the new grandchild…

I’d like to think he wanted to savor those last few miles. I was leading him most of the route, but on our way to Bedford, I asked him to lead at his usual pace. I drafted for about two miles and then said, Better let me lead, so I don’t burn out.”
For me too, it was my longest ride of the summer, 60.3 miles, but an intermittent and convivial five (5) hours of riding time, eight (8) hours elapsed time.
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Old 10-04-16, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
On the Fifty-Plus Forum since August a subscriber and recent retiree from North Carolina, @jppe has been riding his bike across the country from Oregon to Boston along Rte 20, America’s longest highway,supported by his wife driving a van. I had offered to meet and pilot him into Boston….

We met at about 9:30 AM at the Wayland Depot, about 20 miles from the Atlantic Coast…
The Wayland Depot is a favorite rest stop of mine. A couple of years ago, I took these photos there.
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Old 10-04-16, 09:22 AM
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I used to see how far I could walk on a rail past that depot. I did put a penny on the track to flatten it but didn't find it later.

Jim, Sweet thing you did by enhancing jppe's already great ride.
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Old 10-04-16, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
I used to see how far I could walk on a rail past that depot. I did put a penny on the track to flatten it but didn't find it later.

Jim, Sweet thing you did by enhancing jppe's already great ride.
Thanks for your, as usual gracious reply, @sbp, but I also posted on my ride thread,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
...jp and Jeri on a few occasions thanked me for the tour, but I told them it was for my benefit, so to repeat for them why, besides the honor and delight of the ride: For the last few weeks for certain reasons, I have been riding about a lackluster 15 miles per week. I‘m ready to resume a more robust ~ 100, and I was uncertain if I would be able to show jp around at a decent pace. I even considered taking the train out to meet him. Well, inspired by his journey, I did a round trip of about 60 miles Sunday, something I probably wouldn’t set out to do on my own, and now I’m back in the saddle again.
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Old 10-04-16, 06:54 PM
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Rolled out at sunset on the Rawland, the season of night rides has begun in earnest. Temperatures fell through the 50s, and the descent through Arlington was downright chilly, nature's way to telling me I should have worn a long-sleeved base layer and warmer gloves. A crescent moon traveled low in the southern sky.


The kids with Big Lumens were shining obliviously; I had words with a few, and on one occasion resorted to the
, an homage to Vik Banerjee. I was probably flirting with a migraine, I'm not usually that snarky.

rod
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Old 10-06-16, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
I used to see how far I could walk on a rail past that depot. I did put a penny on the track to flatten it but didn't find it later.
My friend and I used to ride to Mendon Center, then a tiny rural place in the corner of Monroe County, now a gentrified executive bedroom community.

We would put pennies (plural) on the Lehigh Valley tracks, and when we were feeling rich, nickels and dimes and even occasionally a quarter. Next day we'd come back and collect. Put one on, you'd never find it. Put a bunch on, and once you found one you found most of them.

We turned them into fishing lures and tried to sell them.

I guess our theory was Penny+Train+Hook+Swivel=profit. Maybe now with Etsy our plan might have worked? Maybe not. They were horrible fishing lures - never caught a single fish with one. But they looked cool.

Oh, the tracks are gone. They are now a rail trail.

-mr. bill
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Old 10-06-16, 08:45 AM
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Big lumens, huh? When I first started commuting after DST stopped and was riding home in the dark every evening I used a B&M LED headlight powered by bottle generator. (It is still on one bike with fenders which my sweetie made me install for commuting in the rain. I hate fenders so I don't ride it much. But I digress.) Then I picked up a 600 lumens L&M rechargeable LED headlight so I could ride any bike. Even later I rebuilt a wheel with a SP dynamo hub for another B&M headlight. In compliance with German law the B&M has a well-controlled light field and a strong central spot. The L&M scatters light everywhere but is brighter so it is great for near and intermediate distance illumination. With both the B&M and the L&M I get great road coverage and enough light to see the road even with oncoming headlights.

So why this story? I had started riding a route home which used part of the MM to reduce the distance I went on roads. I realized that my lights would be too bright so I would run with the L&M on its lowest setting. Then I began pointing it downward, then covering it with my hand when approaching another cyclist. Eventually I just turned it off. I would even cover the B&M with my hand though it required an inconvenient reach while negotiating a now-hard-to-see narrow path with the other. Even so, I'd still get an occasional comment about bright lights from other cyclists and my conscience.

Of course the real problem was that most cyclist were riding the MM with very dim lights or none at all. At one point it seemed that 75% of the other cyclists had no light, none, zero, were effectively riding blind well after dark. The only way I could accommodate them was to ride blind myself.

I finally told myself screw this. I will not ride dangerously just to accommodate all those other idiots who choose to. I have lights for a reason ("and so should you..."). I gave up on using the MM and returned to commuting home via an all-road route. The MM is a dangerous road by itself, even more so after dark.
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Old 10-06-16, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Big lumens, huh? When I first started commuting after DST stopped and was riding home in the dark every evening I used a B&M LED headlight powered by bottle generator. (It is still on one bike with fenders which my sweetie made me install for commuting in the rain. I hate fenders so I don't ride it much. But I digress.) Then I picked up a 600 lumens L&M rechargeable LED headlight so I could ride any bike. Even later I rebuilt a wheel with a SP dynamo hub for another B&M headlight. In compliance with German law the B&M has a well-controlled light field and a strong central spot. The L&M scatters light everywhere but is brighter so it is great for near and intermediate distance illumination. With both the B&M and the L&M I get great road coverage and enough light to see the road even with oncoming headlights.

So why this story? I had started riding a route home which used part of the MM to reduce the distance I went on roads. I realized that my lights would be too bright so I would run with the L&M on its lowest setting. Then I began pointing it downward, then covering it with my hand when approaching another cyclist. Eventually I just turned it off. I would even cover the B&M with my hand though it required an inconvenient reach while negotiating a now-hard-to-see narrow path with the other. Even so, I'd still get an occasional comment about bright lights from other cyclists and my conscience.

Of course the real problem was that most cyclist were riding the MM with very dim lights or none at all. At one point it seemed that 75% of the other cyclists had no light, none, zero, were effectively riding blind well after dark. The only way I could accommodate them was to ride blind myself.

I finally told myself screw this. I will not ride dangerously just to accommodate all those other idiots who choose to. I have lights for a reason ("and so should you..."). I gave up on using the MM and returned to commuting home via an all-road route. The MM is a dangerous road by itself, even more so after dark.
Lights, of course, are a GOOD THING, and are essential on the MM at night. Bike light technology has advanced radically, now they actually help to see, not just to be seen. The trick is how to aim them, under what conditions, and when/whether to run in flash mode. I'm encountering a certain number of riders with admirably bright lights aimed too high, into the eyes of on-coming riders. The worst of them are flashing. Put an unlit pedestrian with no reflective gear in the middle, and things get interesting. A little attention to mounting/aiming and appropriate use under trail versus road conditions goes a long way, I think.

rod
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Old 10-06-16, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Lights, of course, are a GOOD THING, and are essential on the MM at night. Bike light technology has advanced radically, now they actually help to see, not just to be seen. The trick is how to aim them, under what conditions, and when/whether to run in flash mode. I'm encountering a certain number of riders with admirably bright lights aimed too high, into the eyes of on-coming riders. The worst of them are flashing. Put an unlit pedestrian with no reflective gear in the middle, and things get interesting. A little attention to mounting/aiming and appropriate use under trail versus road conditions goes a long way, I think.

rod
Originally Posted by Minuteman Commuter Bikeway Map
After dark
  • Bicycles are required by State law to have a front facing white light, a rear facing red light or reflector, and reflective gear visible in all directions.
  • At night all pedestrians should wear a reflective jacket, vest, or sash. Lights are recommended.
I've gotten thanks for my Halo Belt (not the collar) and hand held white light while walking. I'm also noticing lots more people walking doing the right things. This is not good because it is a clear indication that people walking are very afraid of the people on bikes without lights.

-mr. bill
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Old 10-07-16, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller

Of course the real problem was that most cyclist were riding the MM with very dim lights or none at all. At one point it seemed that 75% of the other cyclists had no light, none, zero, were effectively riding blind well after dark. The only way I could accommodate them was to ride blind myself.
I think there may be a seasonal phenomenon at play here. The first couple of dark weeks of Fall seem to bring with them an unusual percentage of unlit cyclists (and pedestrians). I think the darkness surprises them, and they find themselves unprepared. Then lights get mounted--badly, in too many cases--and the lanternfish come into their own. After a few weeks, we have a new equilibrium. Then the snow starts...

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Old 10-07-16, 07:30 AM
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Charles River, near Waltham, MA metro, during my morning commute.

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Old 10-07-16, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by NewATBikeComute
Charles River, near Waltham, MA metro, during my morning commute.
Oh no, no photo show. So?
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Old 10-07-16, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Oh no, no photo show. So?


Yo, photo no show. I go, thou.


Seriously, browsing the Help section to figure out why my photo links no link. Tried flickr and Google Photo.
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