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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-17-17, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
By the way, looks like Arlington installed a number of these signs, one on the bike path by Magnolia/Thorndike fields, one on Park Ave... where else?
There's also one at the corner of River St. and Mystic Valley Pkwy.
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Old 10-17-17, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
Newcomb Hollow Beach?
Close. Lecount Hollow beach, two beach areas further south.
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Old 10-17-17, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
...As a fellow cyclist I just have to shake my head...
I see bad driving many time a day. Fortunately most of the time it is fairly benign. I see foolish cycling every day or so too, usually by people who seem to think a bike is a child's toy so common sense doesn't apply. Or by riders who think the Minuteman is a velodrome for their own personal training sessions.
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Old 10-17-17, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy

By the way, in the 3 or so years of having a dashcam this is only my second video of a cyclist (first was a guy gunning through a red and almost getting hit). I have waaaay more examples of bad driving.
You live in Massachusetts . . . that's shooting fish in a barrel.
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Old 10-17-17, 09:17 PM
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Got back out for the first time in a week and a half this afternoon post-nagging respiratory illness. At least I thought it was post-. Had the intention of doing some modest hills (Hutchinson Rd in Arlington, Page Rd in Bedford/Lexington) to get the blood flowing again but about a mile in it became clear that the lungs had different ideas. So a gentleish 19-mile roundtrip it was. I no longer hate you all, but I am still mildly resentful.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:11 AM
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Speaking of bad driving, this was yesterday in the Minuteman National Park. Since so many of us ride these roads with low sun, just a reminder.

With the gap in oncoming traffic, and the long shadows pointing RIGHT at the driver in the truck, I knew he may not see me. (I had my lights on too!) Oh, my lane position? The lane.


-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 10-18-17 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 10-18-17, 09:23 AM
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Back on the Roubaix this morning for my usual AM route. No flats, near misses, or annoyances thankfully. Crossing paths with other cyclists in the dark is a whole different experience than a Sunday afternoon. Fellow cyclist are reduced to a solitary beacon of light with slivers of reflections from alloy brake tracks and the occasional whiz of coasting hubs followed by red blinks. I am delighted to report that the fresh chain and cassette give the bike a welcome absence of squeaks while gaining crisp compliance from shifter imputs.
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Old 10-18-17, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by eabeaj
Got back out for the first time in a week and a half this afternoon post-nagging respiratory illness. At least I thought it was post-. Had the intention of doing some modest hills (Hutchinson Rd in Arlington, Page Rd in Bedford/Lexington) to get the blood flowing again but about a mile in it became clear that the lungs had different ideas. So a gentleish 19-mile roundtrip it was. I no longer hate you all, but I am still mildly resentful.
Bronchitis, pneumonia, even whooping cough have have kept me off the bicycle from time to time. Asthma hasn't (directly) kept me off the bike yet, but....

Just want to say that you aren't riding alone with "Shut up lungs." A flatish ride is better than no ride, a shorter ride is better than no ride, and some of my fondest memories of being on a bike are those first rides after recovery.

Sorry, and hope you continue to feel better.

-mr. bill
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Old 10-18-17, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill
Speaking of bad driving, this was yesterday
interesting "dash" cam location!
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Old 10-18-17, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by drewguy
You live in Massachusetts . . . that's shooting fish in a barrel.
Indeed.

Originally Posted by mr_bill
Speaking of bad driving, this was yesterday in the Minuteman National Park. Since so many of us ride these roads with low sun, just a reminder.

With the gap in oncoming traffic, and the long shadows pointing RIGHT at the driver in the truck, I knew he may not see me. (I had my lights on too!) Oh, my lane position? The lane.

It's gonna be a bright bright Sun-shiney day!

-mr. bill
Uhh, considering how close the car in the other lane came, I think it's a case of "I'm in a truck, I don't give a crap" attitude... or just bad driving. Reiterates the argument of "you have to think not just for yourself but for others on the road". Well done avoiding a nasty collision (nope, NOT an 'accident')
But point about low sun taken. I biked in to work today and at times it was hard for ME to see what was going on in front, exacerbated by the fact that my toddler daughter broke off the visor from my helmet! Despite the chilly temperatures, still plenty of bike commuters out there. They tend to thin out by November though.

Originally Posted by eabeaj
Got back out for the first time in a week and a half this afternoon post-nagging respiratory illness. At least I thought it was post-. Had the intention of doing some modest hills (Hutchinson Rd in Arlington, Page Rd in Bedford/Lexington) to get the blood flowing again but about a mile in it became clear that the lungs had different ideas. So a gentleish 19-mile roundtrip it was. I no longer hate you all, but I am still mildly resentful.
Oh, goodie, Page Rd is nice, but I dind't know about Hutchinson Road. If you want to suffer a bit, do Park Ave -> Rt 2 Access road from Pleasant St/60 (only Cat 4 climb in the area), then down and back up Eastern Ave by Robbins Park.

I remember doing a 'sick' ride in the summer - sucked at first but actually made me feel better by the end, but it was totally flat. Get better and get out there!

Last edited by autonomy; 10-18-17 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 10-18-17, 07:48 PM
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Wow, wow, WOW, I had a close call today ON the bike path...

I was going west on the Minuteman on the usually busy but rather empty today stretch between Alewife and Lake St. As I was nearing Lake St., a middle schooler traveling in the opposite direction locked up his rear brakes mere feet before I was about to pass him and performed a rear-wheel skid directly into my path. I came within inches of a head-on collision with him, I didn't even have time to react - I think I slowed down a little bit and steered away but my brain didn't even register this fast enough to swerve/slam the brakes.

I turned around and he was still sitting there on his MTB, looking in my direction - I'm uncertain whether he was smug or scared. I thought for a second, turned around, and caught up with him - and his friend who was on foot. He didn't try to run.

"Do you realize that I could've killed you" - I was exaggerating, but running into this boy at 16mph didn't seem like it would result in a positive outcome, plus I didn't really know how else to express my frustration. "Sorry," he muttered, "I kind of lost it" - he was obviously oblivious to how close he (and I) came to being injured. At that point I was at a loss for words, looked him over and noticed that he was helmet-less. "You're not even wearing a helmet" - "I lost it at home" (what?). "Try to ride safely. Not for other people's safety, but for your own safety" was all I could come up with, and went on my way.

I'm still not sure whether he performed the skid to scare me, he was being stupid, or both. I'm glad I didn't flip out or start swearing at him - I think I put my dad hat on, except I don't think this boy cared. The rest of the ride was uneventful except for mouthfuls of bugs (hey, I'll take the warm weather though)

So... not a very good ride today. I need a 'dash cam' for my bike.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
Wow, wow, WOW, I had a close call today ON the bike path...
I know how you feel. You did the right thing by talking to him.

A few weeks ago I had a similar experience but from two adults. I was heading south on the Fitchburg Cutoff commuting home. There is one spot where a 3' stone wall ends and becomes a dirt slope. People walking from an adjacent apartment building drop down to the trail on that slope. The transition from wall to dirt is obscured by thick bushes. As I approached that spot a guy on a bike popped out of nowhere perpendicular to the trail about 15 yards on front of me. I slammed on the brakes and managed to not hit him. As I started up again his wife ( I guess) did the same thing, but this time I was only 5 yards away. Slammed on the brakes again. Yeesh. I told them I could have killed them. She apologized several times and he just sort of stood there not knowing whether to be scared, relieved, or angry at himself or at her or at me.

A month ago an adult did a u-turn on the MM just as I was passing him and after I'd called out "Passing on your left!" I swerved and managed to miss him. He was oblivious to the world around him.

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
I know how you feel. You did the right thing by talking to him.

A few weeks ago I had a similar experience but from two adults. I was heading south on the Fitchburg Cutoff commuting home. There is one spot where a 3' stone wall ends and becomes a dirt slope. People walking from an adjacent apartment building drop down to the trail on that slope. The transition from wall to dirt is obscured by thick bushes. As I approached that spot a guy on a bike popped out of nowhere perpendicular to the trail about 15 yards on front of me. I slammed on the brakes and managed to not hit him. As I started up again his wife ( I guess) did the same thing, but this time I was only 5 yards away. Slammed on the brakes again. Yeesh. I told them I could have killed them. She apologized several times and he just sort of stood there not knowing whether to be scared, relieved, or angry at himself or at her or at me.

A month ago an adult did a u-turn on the MM just as I was passing him and after I'd called out "Passing on your left!" I swerved and managed to miss him. He was oblivious to the world around him.

Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking.
Yeah, I wonder that too, but then I realize - those people aren't thinking. It doesn't matter whether they are walking, biking, or driving.

There's a spot on the Minuteman by Gold's Gym in Arlington Heights similar to what you describe - an entrance to the path with bushes surrounding it. I've learned to go wide when traveling eastbound. You just never know. Same with people making sudden u-turns or veering left. No point in announcing yourself if they are wearing headphones, just slow down and go really wide.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy

There's a spot on the Minuteman by Gold's Gym in Arlington Heights similar to what you describe - an entrance to the path with bushes surrounding it. I've learned to go wide when traveling eastbound.
Yeah, I always make it a habit of crossing into the other lane at that point ever since I saw a guy come jogging out of there a few years ago -- easily ahead of me enough not to cause me any immediate consternation but not so far ahead that I wasn't able to imagine the consequences.

Same deal at a spot on the MM just west/north of Hancock -- I've seen kids (always kids) pop onto the path from the dead-end of a street without warning a couple times. I guess you learn these landscape features instinctively after a couple hundred Minuteman trips...
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Old 10-18-17, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by eabeaj
Yeah, I always make it a habit of crossing into the other lane at that point ever since I saw a guy come jogging out of there a few years ago -- easily ahead of me enough not to cause me any immediate consternation but not so far ahead that I wasn't able to imagine the consequences.

Same deal at a spot on the MM just west/north of Hancock -- I've seen kids (always kids) pop onto the path from the dead-end of a street without warning a couple times. I guess you learn these landscape features instinctively after a couple hundred Minuteman trips...
Right, the dead-end Hancock Ave in Lexington. You mention a couple hundred MM trips, it's peculiar how well one learn the route after traveling it so often to pay attention to the slightest changes in elevation. How about that slight incline form Peeper's Pond/Waldorf School up to the Maple St. bridge, then a flat area up to Seasons Four, then another slight incline into Lex? I know exactly when to downshift/upshift there to maintain my cadence...

Same thing about crossing over 95/Tophet Swamp.
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Old 10-18-17, 10:21 PM
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Had a pleasant, unhurried, mid-afternoon ride out to Depot Park on the Ebisu. At one point, a ladybug landed on the inner surface of one of my glasses lenses. They're amiable enough little critters, for insects, and I gently removed it.


I had recently been reminded that Caleb Neelon, the street artist behind the Bolted Sign Project, had created an Art Museum under the bridge that carries the Minuteman over the Shawsheen River, in Bedford. That had been done in the early days of the Minuteman, ~20 years ago, I'd never seen it, and so I parked my bike to have a look for myself...


I clambered down the berm, and found the Museum, just as described. Aside from a little vandalism from kids with spray paint, it was in surprisingly good condition, with 10 pictures from the Bolted Sign project on display.




The Shawsheen just kept making its phlegmatic way towards the Merrimac, and I continued on the ride.






No denying it's October: the sun was low.


There's a new beaver dam in Tophet Swamp, not so far from the old one. Perhaps we'll get to see the beavers again.


I paused at the pole with the three Bolted Sign Project pictures (Crab, Jellyfish, Robot); just at that moment, the Hanscom loadspeakers broadcast "The Star Spangled Banner" to the neighborhood; it was 5 o'clock.


rod

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Old 10-19-17, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
Same thing about crossing over 95/Tophet Swamp.
I have the opposite sometimes, entering the Twilight Zone. I often find myself wondering if I have already passed 95/Tophet Swamp. How can I not notice?

And my doctor is off Hartwell. I can't tell you how many times I've doh'ed at Depot Park and had to turn around and head back down.

But if there is a BUN! I'm executing plan B and making the decision if I should plan C.

I doubt that plan D (bunny hop the bun) would lead to a good outcome.

(Buns, cute but very dangerous.)

-mr. bill

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Old 10-19-17, 09:32 AM
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This mornings ride was like most this time of year, an accomplishment within itself to have carefully chosen every piece of gear to match the temperature. Rolling into the garage with happy fingers and toes is as much a goal as fitness benchmarks. A few weeks ago I would see the sun rising over the trees behind the farm field at Baker Bridge Rd. Today it was an inky blue starry sky above with a transition to orange along the tree line, very pretty. Again a solitary beam of light hid a cyclist behind it as I sprinted away from it in an imaginary peleton.

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Old 10-19-17, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
This mornings ride was like most this time of year, an accomplishment within itself to have carefully chosen every piece of gear to match the temperature. Rolling into the garage with happy fingers and toes is as much a goal as fitness benchmarks. A few weeks ago I would see the sun rising over the trees behind the farm field at Baker Bridge Rd. Today it was an inky blue starry sky above with a transition to orange along the tree line, very pretty. Again a solitary beam of light hid a cyclist behind it as I sprinted away from it in an imaginary peleton.
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Old 10-19-17, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
I had recently been reminded that Caleb Neelon, the street artist behind the Bolted Sign Project, had created an Art Museum under the bridge that carries the Minuteman over the Shawsheen River, in Bedford. That had been done in the early days of the Minuteman, ~20 years ago, I'd never seen it, and so I parked my bike to have a look for myself...


I clambered down the berm, and found the Museum, just as described. Aside from a little vandalism from kids with spray paint, it was in surprisingly good condition, with 10 pictures from the Bolted Sign project on display.


rod
Wow, I had no idea. I'll have to check it out next time I'm out there.

Today's commute was uneventful (good!) - just the usual traffic gridlock in intersections with a sprinkle of a pair of Staties trying to decide what to do with a very (drunk? drugged?) woman by Alewife. Weather looks perfect through the end of the week and after that not so much...
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Old 10-19-17, 08:33 PM
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Took the Ebisu in the mid-afternoon for a variant of the North Bridge loop, out on the Minuteman, Railroad Ave., Mudge Way, 225, Skelton Road, River Road, and Monument Street, back on the Reformatory Branch, Railroad Ave., and the Minuteman. The idea was to get off the roads before rush hour really kicked in; that was the plan. By a happy accident, I discovered that at 4pm, the traffic on River Road and Monument Street is much heavier going N, towards 225, than going S, towards Concord Center; I was riding on the right side of the street.

A bit of irony in Mal's yard.


A new stop light at the intersection of Mudge Way and 225: most welcome.


Glare and traffic on Monument Street.


A quick peek at the Hutchins Farm vista.


Conditions on the Reformatory Branch were quite good. They've got a new sign, and maps.




After a bumpy run, I realized my front brake wasn't working. I pulled over, leaned the bike against the tree, and began tinkering. After 20 minutes or so of wrenching my moon unit, twisting my barrel shifter, and pulling my cable, none of which was nearly as much fun as it might sound, I realized the problem was that the housing and ferrule had hopped out of the front cable hanger, and I had been busy solving problems that I didn't actually have. Things came together rapidly after that, and I was on my way with a newly adjusted front brake.


Enjoyed the remaining bits of the Reformatory Branch, picked up the Minuteman, and rolled home to dinner.






rod

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Old 10-20-17, 06:25 PM
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Hopped on the Ebisu and rode East.












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Old 10-20-17, 07:01 PM
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Out to Lexington to visit the dentist. At the construction in East Lexington, went to the head of the queue where I got waived through straight while everyone else got stuck behind people turning left. Had Mass Ave all to my lonesome all the way to the Munroe School.

Then to Cambridgeside Galleria to visit Apple.

Would be fixed around 2:00 so wandered to the Seaport District.

Got a video of the art on South Bay Harbor Trail - see below.

Then back to Apple, then to Harvard Square with the fix.

Finally back to the beginning.

All in all a good day to be out and about. Friday traffic seems to be an all day thing though.


-mr. bill

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Old 10-21-17, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Took the Ebisu in the mid-afternoon for a variant of the North Bridge loop, out on the Minuteman, Railroad Ave., Mudge Way, 225, Skelton Road, River Road, and Monument Street,
Holy crap! I didn't know Mudge Way was a thing... sir, you have just saved me some degree of aggravation, since I've been stuck in backed-up traffic on South Rd trying to get up to 4 one too many times and didn't know there was an alternative. Tip of the cap to you.
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Old 10-21-17, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by eabeaj
Holy crap! I didn't know Mudge Way was a thing... sir, you have just saved me some degree of aggravation, since I've been stuck in backed-up traffic on South Rd trying to get up to 4 one too many times and didn't know there was an alternative. Tip of the cap to you.
Note that the Mudge Way trick only works on a bicycle...

rod
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