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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-21-17, 09:01 PM
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Rode up to Ball Square, Somerville, to visit Tyler Oulton at Paramount Bicycle Repair, and swap stories, including a yarn about an episode of fork judder on the Ebisu when I braked during a 30 mph descent on High Street, Medford, yesterday. I built up the Ebisu on the back stand at Paramount, so it has a homing instinct for the shop.








rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 10-23-17 at 06:45 AM. Reason: If anybody is having difficulty seeing the photos in this message, please give a holler. Mr. Google is fooling around again..
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Old 10-22-17, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
You guys are having too much fun. I'm still two weeks away from the doc letting me ride again. At least I can read BF. @anx, that's an interesting bike with dial readouts for what gear you are in. Some of us are stuck in the stone age with friction(!) shifters.

As for that Opposites thing, @rholland1951 (did I get the name right?) also posted that a few months ago. I see that every day on my commute home. When I first saw it it bothered me, still does a little, because it penetrates my thought process when I'd like to become one with the ride. But what the heck, art makes you think sometimes so I'm not going to reach for a scrub brush.

@ZIPP2001, good to see your name here again!
@jimmuller, Sorry for the late reply (6 weeks?), I've not been online in forever been too busy riding and trying to avoid online forums (too stressful, not this one tho, ha). But to answer your question, yes these are SRAM grip shifters on my Trek 7100 that are still going (fairly) strong after 15+ years. I think I'm in the smallest ring (of 3) on the front and 6th on the back here while checking out the scene at Spy Pond.
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Old 10-22-17, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Hopped on the Ebisu and rode East.

rod

You are in my neck of the woods there, in Medford passing the Kurukulla Buddhist Center. The Northern Strand community trail is a fun respite from all the rt60 road traffic, gets hairy in Revere when trying to get to the beach there but taking it all the way to Lynn and Kings beach can be fun.
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Old 10-22-17, 12:05 PM
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Took the 22 miles of the Charles River trail yesterday totally forgetting that it was the Head of the Charles Regatta weekend and the crowds were a plenty, had to walk the bike for various sections, but took the chance to visit some of the food vendors, probably negated all of my good cycling work for the day

A collision between a 2 man team and a 8 man team ended in the former in the water, all were ok thankfully







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Old 10-22-17, 03:17 PM
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Another great weekend on (and off) the bike. Saturday morning I headed out on my 520 on a very indirect 27 mile route to Wilson Farm in Lexington. It was in the low 50's when I started which climbed to the upper 60's when it ended. Shorty after I loaded up the cars roof rack with my Smoothie and took Ghazmh junior to Depot Park to ride the Minuteman with the quintessential lunch stop at the Kickstand Cafe. Today began with my routine grocery shopping with the Montare and Nomad in tow shortly followed by a trip to Russo's sans Nomad. I snuck out for a late morning 50 mile ride with the R3 which was the best autumn weekend ride this season. Plenty others out enjoying the day. I stopped at the water fountain at Concord Center and was greeted by a fellow R3 owner and a nice chat ensued. I stopped at Ferns for a banana and coconut water. After that I was bombing up 225 sprinting away from the group opening a 30 second gap with the camera car on my tail. Just as I crossed the finish line surrounded by a cheering crowd I realized I was day dreaming. The rest of the ride home was fast, fun and visual bliss that only autumn in New England can provide.

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Old 10-22-17, 06:05 PM
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Yeah, today was spectacular, wuzznit? We took the tandem out for 19 miles on the Bruce Freeman. Started at Heart Pond, rode north to Lowell, turned around and rode south to 225, crossed over to the part not officially open, followed it to rt27 where it was roped off with a sign saying "Police will be notified." Okay, that's enough. Rode back north. Lots of folks riding that section now.

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Old 10-22-17, 08:32 PM
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(Bicycles may not make great tripods - love that dirty water - but crooked water?)

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Old 10-23-17, 09:23 PM
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I don't generally drive in order to ride, but today made an exception, throwing the Monster Trucker (Surly Trucker DeLuxe shod with 55mm Compass Rat Trap Pass ballons) on the back of the old Prius and driving to a parking area at the intersection of Eunice Williams Drive and Green River Road, in Greenfield. Green River Road is a mostly-dirt road that twists and turns alongside the Green River, passing through several towns and changing names as it does, starting in Massachusetts and ending in Vermont (or the other way around, if you take into account the fact that the Green River rises in Vermont). I followed it North for a while. So, 4 hours of driving for a 3.5 hour ride, but a good one, autumnal to a fault, with a merry little river to keep me company. I wasn't able to get to D2R2 this year (or any other, come to think of it), and this ride was intended to let me take a little nibble at that, before the days get even shorter and the rain (or worse) starts. Got a bit into Vermont before turning around.


A section of the road was newly-graded. That was a bit awkward on the outbound leg, but by the return, enough auto traffic (and there really wasn't that much) had compressed the loose dirt so that the road surface improved considerably. The other sections were fine.


There was a little conurbation of Airstreams by the river.














I had set a timer to call the turn-around point for this ride. As luck would have it, the pocket devil started beeping just as I encountered this elegant but somewhat improbably-offered quotation of W.S. Merwin, spot-on as usual.


.

rod

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Old 10-23-17, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
I don't generally drive in order to ride, but today made an exception, throwing the Monster Trucker (Surly Trucker DeLuxe shod with 55mm Compass Rat Trap Pass ballons) on the back of the old Prius and driving to a parking area at the start of Green River Road, in Greenfield, a mostly-dirt road that twists and turns alongside the Green River, passing through several towns and changing names as it does, starting in Massachusetts and ending in Vermont (or the other way around, if you take into account the fact that the Green River rises in Vermont). So, 4 hours of driving for a 3.5 hour ride, but a good one, autumnal to a fault, with a merry little river to keep me company. I wasn't able to get to D2R2 this year (or any other, come to think of it), and this ride was intended to let me a little nibble at that, before the days get even shorter and the rain (or worse) starts. Got a bit into Vermont before turning around.


rod
Very nice ride, that brings back some memories from D2R2. I remember most of the features in your pictures. Quite a lot of nice roads out there. I think it's totally worth the drive. BTW, nice SS couplers on your LHT.

Thanks to my mother in law my wife and I had the rare opportunity to get out without the kid. We bought felt guilty about not spending time with her but it's been a long time since it was just the two of us doing something together. So we opted to do a bike ride we haven't done in a long time: UMass Amherst to Montague Bookmill. I felt like our usual route was too boring and utilized too many highly-trafficked roads. Being proficient at this Strava heat map thing I spontaneously planned a totally sweet new route the morning we left without looking at the elevation profile - it included a monster hill. Oops! Fortunately, the hill didn't kill my wife and she almost didn't kill me for making her ride that, and afterwards it was mostly downhill and flat to the Montague Bookmill/Lady Killigrew Cafe, where we had a nice relaxing lunch outside with a view of the stream. Then onwards south to route 47, which at first was a reclusive country road but then turned into a monotonous upwind slog with cars whizzing by. By mile 30 the wife was getting really tired and I wasn't really feeling it, but we decided to tough it out because the final segment was the Norwottuck Rail Trail where we finished on a slow, relaxed note with fantastic autumnal views.

The little Honda that Could
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Most of the route to Leverett - perfect, windy New England back roads.

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Once we finally made it to the top of the hill (Cat 4 climb - so that's why it's called Cave Hill Road?) we just had to stop & rest. As it happened, we were passing by a favorite spot, the New England Peace Pagoda, one of only 6 in North America and 4 in the US. A rather odd creation in a very odd spot, but usually a humbling and very quiet/serene experience. Not this time, as there was a group of rather loud people having a picnic. We gave them a few dirty looks then went on our way to the Lady Killigrew / Montague Bookmill.

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Here we lingered for about an hour or so, with some tea and sandwiches. Long enough to cool down and for the shadows to grow longer.

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Then onwards to serene river views, followed by a windy slog through cabbage fields.

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The return on the Norwottuck Rail Trail (part of the mythical Central Mass Trail)

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The reward for doing all 36 miles - pizza from Antonio's!
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There's a lot of nice riding out that way. I regret not having joined the outing club and/or getting more serious about road biking while at UMass (I did some MTBing on the trails in the area solo). A lot of Bostonians just don't know how nice it is out here in Western MA and especially Berkshires - most go to NH to vacation, so there's usually not as much traffic to go out this way on major holidays.

Today, I just felt another urge to ride but being late and dark... I decided to try out Zwift, the virtual game/trainer thing. After fighting with the gadgets for about an hour and a half (damn it, I could've just gotten on the bike/trainer without any of this) I finally got it working and having sunk so much time into it (involved speed + cadence sensor, a laptop, and a smartphone) did a very hard, late hour of riding. A totally different and in some ways uncomfortable experience, but I can see how this helps alleviate cabin fever.

And now, wow, look at the time.
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Old 10-24-17, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
parking area at the intersection of Eunice Williams Drive and Green River Road, in Greenfield. Green River Road is a mostly-dirt road that twists and turns alongside the Green River, passing through several towns and changing names as it does, starting in Massachusetts and ending in Vermont
thanks for that location info, sounds like it would be worth trying! that dirt looks wet & sticky. good choice with the smooth tires?
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Old 10-24-17, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
thanks for that location info, sounds like it would be worth trying! that dirt looks wet & sticky. good choice with the smooth tires?
The Compass tires I was running have a low-profile file tread, not slicks in the conventional sense. This is designed to maximize contact surface area, one of those fractal tricks, like the coastline of Norway. Critically, they are big (55mm) and soft (30/35PSI). The road surface yesterday varied, ranging from freshly-graded (a new layer of soft dirt and gravel, with ruts compressed by car and truck tires). This was more work (better exercise!) than expected, with a little bit of transverse slewing at times when leaving a compacted rut and traversing some of the soft stuff, but it was ridable, and improved by the end of the day: the return conditions on that segment were definitely better than they had been. Since they only grade the road about ever two months (per a local), and this effect only lasts for a day or two, we can just chalk that up to luck. Knobbies would have been welcome in the worst of it, but the big, soft all-road tires did fine.


Most of the road surface was well-graded, hard-packed dirt, with a little gravel. The Compass file treads were pretty much ideal for that. By way of a benchmark, this surface was MUCH BETTER than Reformatory Branch. I wouldn't have hesitated to ride it with 32s.


Then, of course there was a bit of pavement, which was... paved.


For what it's worth, my tires got dusty, but never muddy. Of course, that was the last day of a minor drought... If I rode the same route today, it would have been a different story.


Perhaps there's some on-line information source that would allow folks to monitor when the Franklin County DPW is grading their lovely dirt roads. Road surfaces are, if not living things exactly, then subject to change, and riding dirt or gravel or trails or New England pavement involves placing some initial bets (choice of bike, choice of tires, choice of route), and then staying alert and being ready to deal with contingencies.

rod
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Old 10-24-17, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
tires & surface
ah, interesting! I was curious cuz I was on a dirt road (of sorts) last year that your earlier photo reminded me of. that one felt like fly paper to me. sounds like a good workout & def. scenic!
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Old 10-24-17, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
The Compass tires I was running have a low-profile file tread, not slicks in the conventional sense. This is designed to maximize contact surface area, one of those fractal tricks, like the coastline of Norway. Critically, they are big (55mm) and soft (30/35PSI).

Most of the road surface was well-graded, hard-packed dirt, with a little gravel. The Compass file treads were pretty much ideal for that. By way of a benchmark, this surface was MUCH BETTER than Reformatory Branch. I wouldn't have hesitated to ride it with 32s.



rod
FWIW, that is how it looked like for D2R2 and I did it on 28mm @ 80psi and saw a bunch of 'pros' on thin tires as well - they must know better than I do, right? It was a bit washboardy and I did take a couple of corners almost too fast for the conditions, but for the most part it was very ridable. Though if I could, I would've fitted 32+ to be more comfortable. Had it been freshly-graded, I'd have a much different opinion.

BTW, looks like Autumn is in full swing up there.
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Old 10-24-17, 12:58 PM
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Lots of awesome pictures all around! Looks like great riding.
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Old 10-25-17, 09:06 AM
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Plot of water level, Green River:

(via usgs.gov)

A different ride today, I think.

rod
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Old 10-25-17, 09:42 AM
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ha!
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Old 10-25-17, 06:42 PM
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Love those Western Ma photos, the wife and I often visit the Berkshires a couple times a year for weekends away, but I've never cycled out there tho, looks fun.

My photo for today is not quite as scenic, I've noticed a trend on a lot of my locals trails/routes of dog walkers starting a collection of doggy bags, of doggy doodoo, not sure what the point of bagging it is if you're just going to leave the bag.

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Old 10-25-17, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
ha!
Congratulations on post #6666 in this thread


Originally Posted by anx
Love those Western Ma photos, the wife and I often visit the Berkshires a couple times a year for weekends away, but I've never cycled out there tho, looks fun.

My photo for today is not quite as scenic, I've noticed a trend on a lot of my locals trails/routes of dog walkers starting a collection of doggy bags, of doggy doodoo, not sure what the point of bagging it is if you're just going to leave the bag.

Yeah, I've seen those around. Also, what about people who think they don't need to clean up because their dog pooped in the snow? One reason I hate being anywhere near Fresh Pond in the spring. BTW, from your picture it looks like that portion of the trail needs another sign


By the way, I cyclocommuted today again despite the weather. Wasn't as wet as forecast, was pouring in the morning but there was a window of almost no rain at 8:30 - although I did get rained on in the last 10 minutes on the way in. The bike path was not as empty as I thought it would be! That makes it 6 consecutive Wednesdays of biking. Starting in July, if you don't count my 2-week vacation, I missed only one Wednesday. Now I have to keep it going.

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Old 10-27-17, 07:17 PM
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Rode East, on the Monster Trucker this time. Its 52mm tires devoured the rough pavement, as well as the gravel segments of the Northern Strand in Revere and Saugus.






Malden and Revere are experimenting with dockless bikesharing systems: LimeBike in Malden, Ofo in Revere. Encountered significant numbers of both parked in Malden, and a few being ridden.


This gentleman rode an Ofo bike in from Revere, locked it, and unlocked a LimeBike to continue his journey.


Some folks seem to be a little haphazard about parking...






Keep riding East and you come to water.




rod

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Old 10-27-17, 09:42 PM
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We just got those dockless bikes in DC, and it's become a thing to stash them in weird places - on tops of statues, in Metro stations, in the docking stations for those bikes, and so on.
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Old 10-28-17, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951


rod
Oh, that is a nice route for a change.

By the way, Lexington finally got a bike share station right on the Minuteman, next to the Lexington Visitors Center.,
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Old 10-29-17, 07:35 PM
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We took the tandem out today trying to beat the predicted rain. We didn't. Well, we did take a ride but we didn't beat the rain. Couldn't decided whether to go out to Fern's or stop by Hutchins, ended up opting for Hutchins. Loaded the bike with about 35lbs of cauliflower and kale. That's when the rain started in earnest. We ended up with 43 miles, mostly wet.

Which of you was it that I waved to and who said hi as we rode past? I'm not sure what all of you look like.
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Old 10-29-17, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
We took the tandem out today trying to beat the predicted rain. We didn't. Well, we did take a ride but we didn't beat the rain. Couldn't decided whether to go out to Fern's or stop by Hutchins, ended up opting for Hutchins. Loaded the bike with about 35lbs of cauliflower and kale. That's when the rain started in earnest. We ended up with 43 miles, mostly wet.

Which of you was it that I waved to and who said hi as we rode past? I'm not sure what all of you look like.
Wasn't me today. No sir, no rides for me outside this weekend (just a quick hour on Zwift at night), but kudos to you with the rain and the cauliflower.

In the morning I went walking on the Reformatory Branch with the wife & kiddo - the Concord section. It will be a loss if it ever does get paved. However, maybe it will cut down on the amount of dog crap that's around

There were signs for the Bay Circuit Trail, which is something I've been interested in for a while, but all accounts I read say it's incomplete and/or overgrown in places. Well, first I'll have to do the Eastern Greenway which runs from Belmont to Waltham.
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Old 10-30-17, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
We took the tandem out today trying to beat the predicted rain. We didn't. Well, we did take a ride but we didn't beat the rain. Couldn't decided whether to go out to Fern's or stop by Hutchins, ended up opting for Hutchins. Loaded the bike with about 35lbs of cauliflower and kale. That's when the rain started in earnest. We ended up with 43 miles, mostly wet.

Which of you was it that I waved to and who said hi as we rode past? I'm not sure what all of you look like.
Not me, although I ride by Hutchins in the rain I saw only 2 lone cyclists on that whole ride.

Monday I was too lazy to get up for an early AM ride. I was out of town Wednesday thru Friday Evening. By the time Saturday rolled around I had a grand total of 9 miles for the week, all food shopping before Wednesday afternoon. Saturday I snuck out on my Roubaix for a great 55 mile ride. I underestimated how strong I would feel after being off the saddle for a few days. Sunday as mentioned I got out again in the rain and racked up 43 miles in the rain.
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Old 10-30-17, 05:34 PM
  #6675  
What??? Only 2 wheels?
 
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Today's ride was another commute, same route, very different conditions. Last night's storm brought serious debris. Branches, twigs, and gravel were abundant. Riding fast was not advisable. Halfway between Lake Street and Spy Pond I encounter this:



It had been cut and pulled aside by the evening commute.
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