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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 12-11-17, 11:02 AM
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Heh, hard to know. Arlington sometimes does it right away, sometimes in the morning. This time they even had the sidewalks cleared before the storm stopped. Last year I remember feet of snow on the sidewalks staying there for several days.

This am plenty of iced up portions on the bikeway. A surprisingly healthy number of cyclocommuters, though some of them seemed a little less prepared for/happy with the ice. My bike did OK but there were a few sketchy places where my back tire lost traction on acceleration - thankfully, no sideways motion. Judging from yesterday's weather I thought things would melt away and dry out more, but I was wrong. A little too icy and dirty for my tastes - maybe it was a mistake to take my steel bike out.
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Old 12-11-17, 12:54 PM
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I tempted fate Sunday morning and mounted my Marathon Winter studded 700x50 tires on my hybrid. I pumped em up to a whopping 12 PSI and ventured to the grocery store with the Nomad happily staying behind me. Plenty of slush and ice to avoid. Afterwards I rode the Charles River path from Waltham Center into Watertown without the Nomad. It wasn't plowed and was almost too much. Knowing a bad decision when I make one the return trip was on main roads, which come to think of it was questionable too.
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Old 12-13-17, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
I tempted fate Sunday morning and mounted my Marathon Winter studded 700x50 tires on my hybrid. I pumped em up to a whopping 12 PSI and ventured to the grocery store with the Nomad happily staying behind me. Plenty of slush and ice to avoid. Afterwards I rode the Charles River path from Waltham Center into Watertown without the Nomad. It wasn't plowed and was almost too much. Knowing a bad decision when I make one the return trip was on main roads, which come to think of it was questionable too.
Right, knowing when to bail is important. Shoulders are full of debris and ice right now. Guess winter has come. I could definitely tell today - quite a brisk commute, almost got blown off on the return. Small moment of Zen in the morning: perfect timing as I crossed the railroad bridge at Alewife with an outbound commuter rail coming through. I did not wave but I think the machinist saw me anyway because the train made a brief toot-toot. Almost nobody on the path on the way back, which made for a nice calm commute.

Saw a guy on an Xtracycle with a frigging snowboard in his rear pannier
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Old 12-13-17, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnHuth
How can we find out if bike paths are cleared? I commute in on the Charles River path on the south side of the river, and cross over on Eliot Bridge to the north side. I see that DCR has some priority system for snow removal, but this doesn't tell me whether it's actually been removed, since sidewalks/paths seem to sometimes be lower priority.

Thanks!
This crowd-sourced site is as close as we've got to what you're looking for, I think:
MassPaths Bikepath Snow Plowing Reports

rod
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Old 12-14-17, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by anx
Minuteman Bike path is looking clear. At least near Scutra in Arlington
this time of year whoever gets on it should post updates since conditions are so changeable
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Old 12-14-17, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Marathon Winter studded 700x50 tires on my hybrid. I pumped em up to a whopping 12 PSI
don't you find that too squishy?
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Old 12-14-17, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
don't you find that too squishy?
A little bit, yes. Then on Tuesday in a rare move I took my hybrid out to cover a small portion of my morning road bike route. Moving at a slower pace I covered 14 miles. For that ride I went up to 30 PSI. However Sunday morning the conditions were really questionable and I wanted to experience a little bit of that fat tire float.
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Old 12-14-17, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Sunday morning the conditions were really questionable and I wanted to experience a little bit of that fat tire float.
I may give that a try some time this season depending on conditions
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Old 12-14-17, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
I may give that a try some time this season depending on conditions
Im finding that each winter Iím wanting more and more. I contimplate a gravel bike with wide tires to keep going when the shoulders are cruddy. I contimplate a fat bike for snowwy days. Soon enough the hybrid will fall short of fulfilling these needs just as it did when I parked it in 2013 for a road bike. N+1 dilemma.....
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Old 12-15-17, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Im finding that each winter Iím wanting more and more. I contimplate a gravel bike with wide tires to keep going when the shoulders are cruddy. I contimplate a fat bike for snowwy days. Soon enough the hybrid will fall short of fulfilling these needs just as it did when I parked it in 2013 for a road bike. N+1 dilemma.....
Can you fit bigger tires on your hybrid? I have 40mm on my new bike and can probably go up to 50. That would be nice but not fatbike territory. 40mms let's me switch seamlessly between road and off road - not really sidetrack but unpaved level surfaces. For snowy days I dream of moving to California and biking in the desert/Death Valley

Man, it was balmy this morning. I fared well on my commute except for my index fingers...

Last edited by autonomy; 12-15-17 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 12-15-17, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
Can you fit bigger tires on your hybrid? I have 40mm on my new bike and can probably go up to 50. That would be nice but not fatbike territory. 40mms let's me switch seamlessly between road and off road - not really sidetrack but unpaved level surfaces. For snowy days I dream of moving to California and biking in the desert/Death Valley

Man, it was balmy this morning. I fared well on my commute except for my index fingers...
I've got 50mm wide Winter Marathons. They get the job done quite well but as I (happily) fall deeper into the cycling vortex I find myself wanting a wide tire drop bar bike where I can scoot along a little faster than the hybrid. The hybrid still fulfills a very important role as a short distance errand running and grocery getting bike.
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Old 12-16-17, 07:01 AM
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but don't narrower tires dig down to the pavement better?
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Old 12-16-17, 03:41 PM
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That cold was biting pretty darn hard this morning when I was out, not many folks on the road for the last full weekend before the holidays. Stopped off in Central Sq. at Hmart for coffee and pastries as my reward on the way home. Loving all the bike planes in Cambridge, protected or not.



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Old 12-16-17, 03:44 PM
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Delightful, though literally freezing shopping trip this afternoon. The layers worked out perfectly though, so not really freezing.

My new medium Timbuk2 messenger bag came in handy, always was a struggle to get everything into the small bag. Roads and paths are in great condition except for scattered sand and salt, so a day on the road bike with SKINNY (23mm) gatorskins felt a bit like a summer day down the Cape. Except a wee bit colder.

(I don’t know how people drive to malls to shop this time of year.)

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Old 12-16-17, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by anx
... Loving all the bike planes in Cambridge, protected or not.

Nice pic. What church might that be? So many churches look alike but that one doesn't ring any history bells from my time in Cambridge.

I'm curious about these bike planes. Do they, like, take off and land in Cambridge?
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Old 12-16-17, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Nice pic. What church might that be? So many churches look alike but that one doesn't ring any history bells from my time in Cambridge.

I'm curious about these bike planes. Do they, like, take off and land in Cambridge?

Ha Jim, oh dear that's quite the typo i had, I would take bike planes over lanes for sure if it meant I could be even further from the traffic

The church is the Old Cambridge Baptist Church on Mass ave., right before Harvard Sq, taken from the protected bike lane.

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Old 12-17-17, 06:06 PM
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I always marvel that Binney Street has a right “fork” to stay on Binney, but if you “stay straight” around the left bend onto Gaileo Galilei Way, after you cross Broadway there is a bike lane AND a two-way cycle track.

Bike Biplanes?

Even more amazing, I’ve never had anyone in a car rage at me if I “took the lane” to head left - or right.

-mr. bill

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Old 12-18-17, 08:39 AM
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I swapped on my studded snow tires the weekend of the first snow-storm. I pump them to 40 PSI - that's kind of the upper range limit. I found that the salt on the roads really corrodes the chain. I need to take it into the shop, as it looks like I've put a lot of wear and tear on the thing since August when I had my last tune-up.
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Old 12-21-17, 03:15 PM
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This morning I took out my Montare with its clackety studded tires. Not much ice on the 15 mile route so they were pumped up to 35 psi. It takes me about the same time to cover as it does to cover 25 miles on the Roubaix. It was absolutely dreadfully cold. Enough so that my fingers felt like hot dogs as I fumbled to unzip my jacket afterwards.
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Old 12-24-17, 01:42 PM
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I've fallen off the proverbial wagon no thanks to the combination of work, sickness, weather, and the holidays. Worst thing is, with the holidays I'm going to be getting cabin fever so even getting on the trainer doesn't seem like an option. Maybe a wintery hike is in the books, although considering the temperatures next week, it's best to stay indoors. Either way, Happy Holidays to all!
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Old 12-24-17, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
although considering the temperatures next week, it's best to stay indoors
weather man says cars will be dying & pipes will be bursting
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Old 12-25-17, 11:07 AM
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So, looks like Minuteman is cleared for biking regularly? Will my 700x37c WTB tires be sufficient?
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Old 12-25-17, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Amitoj
So, looks like Minuteman is cleared for biking regularly? Will my 700x37c WTB tires be sufficient?
For the most part yes, but be careful of black ice out there! My 700x38c Bontragers for the most part can handle the winter on the minuteman when its plowed and even a bit slushy, but not black ice or the 'ruts' from other tires when the slush refreezes.
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Old 12-25-17, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Amitoj
So, looks like Minuteman is cleared for biking regularly?
some vids from last winter, riding studded tires on the Minuteman





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Old 12-26-17, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by anx
For the most part yes, but be careful of black ice out there! My 700x38c Bontragers for the most part can handle the winter on the minuteman when its plowed and even a bit slushy, but not black ice or the 'ruts' from other tires when the slush refreezes.
Originally Posted by rumrunn6
Thanks!
It seems to be better maintained than the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail that my GPS wanted me to take the other day, when I was heading to Ride Studio Cafe from Nashua. I couldn't make more than 10 feet into the parking area when the tires slipped and deposited my ass on the ground I had to abandon my plans and headed back home.
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