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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Old 11-07-18, 06:43 PM
  #7851  
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It's November, and a quick ride before dinner means a ride in the dark; I reached for the Nordavinden again, that bike is simply a pleasure to ride.








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Old 11-07-18, 08:22 PM
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Today I did my first commute since DST gave way to the proper EST. It was nice riding home after dark, except for the fear of hitting something or someone on the MM. Lots of headlights came out of the gloom toward me. I spent most of the MM part with my generator light off and the battery light pointed to the ground. Apparently a few folks were never told by their mothers they should wear bright clothing at night. Still, it was a serene ride home.
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Old 11-09-18, 07:45 AM
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From the Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should desk:

Last night I was fiddling with the saddle angle on my adventure bike and was eyeing the 32mm smooth tires on my wife's old hybrid because they're the same 700c size. I've been feeling lately that the somewhat-knobby Xplor MSOs are a little overkill and buzzy for my commutes, which is most of my riding these days, and were a little rough after a long ride offroad. I wanted to try a smoother commuter tire in the 32-38mm range - my rims can take it. Well, switching the tires felt like too much work... but then my tired mind said hey, why not swap the 26-inch wheels from the old MTB bike that you don't ride anymore and been meaning to get rid of! I was also interested in seeing how big of a tire I can run on this bike for rougher terrain. Well, the brake rotors are the same diameter on the MTB rims, so it was a direct drop in except my bike is a 10-speed and the MTB rear wheel is an 8-speed - but no problem, I'll just switch my bar end shifter to friction mode!

So this morning I commuted on somewhat of a Frankenbike. It was a very interesting experience - lowering the center of gravity made the bike feel more nimble (also decreased the fork trail so steering was more responsive). I have slick 1.5-inch tires on these MTB rims and even at their top end PSI of 80 they felt more supple and forgiving than the MSOs. The one and only problem with this setup is that crank clearance is reduced so the pedal can hit the ground during turns. I will definitely try knobby low-psi 2-inch MTB tires next and also the 32s to see if I can tell the difference from the 1.5" (38ish mm).

Honestly, the real excitement here comes from tinkering with the setup and knowing that this kind of stuff is possible. And of course, post is worthless without pics

Before:



After:

(by the way, those are 26-inch franken-fenders which I installed one day for a surprise rain shower because that's all I had and I never replaced them with 700c fenders because... they're free and they work)

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Old 11-09-18, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
nice pic!
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Old 11-09-18, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
From the Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should desk
awesome
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Old 11-11-18, 06:54 PM
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Yesterday I got out mid day for 40 miles. It started out drizzly and mucky which ensured a gross layer of road grime coated every surface of my bike and put my clip on fender to good use. Eventually it transitioned to sunny and dreadfully windy. The party continued as I got a flat at the last big intersection before my neighborhood. Today was a quintessentially good November Sunday ride. It was sunny, pretty and cold. Nothing proper garment selection couldn’t tame. I rode 55 today.
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Old 11-14-18, 02:38 PM
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Bitter wind, so today I *really* wanted drops on my flat bar knee scooter.

Tomorrow another BIDMC followup. I’m getting (slowly) better, so wish me patience no matter the answer. And may the snow cover be brief this week.


On the bright side, my right leg is now really really beefy. (Ignore the the skinny jeans left leg.)

Whenever they clear me for PT, I’ve got some serious deantisymmetric exercises ahead of me. (They woudn’t put me on the knee scooter left legged for two months, would they?)

-mr. bill

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Old 11-14-18, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Tomorrow another BIDMC followup. I’m getting (slowly) better, so wish me patience no matter the answer.
May you have as much patience as necessary, and no more than necessary!
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Old 11-15-18, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Whenever they clear me for PT, I’ve got some serious deantisymmetric exercises ahead of me. (They woudn’t put me on the knee scooter left legged for two months, would they?)
after breaking 1 leg & knee surgery in the opposite leg I know what you mean about atrophy in general. 11 years from now, you won't be able to tell the difference. hang in there! ;-)
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Old 11-18-18, 06:38 AM
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I managed a ride yesterday, 55.68 miles on the Peugeot PFN-10. Not the best of conditions but still a good day. If you are heading west on the MM be aware that between Wiggins Rd and Depot Park it has not been plowed.

Where are all the bikes?
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Old 11-18-18, 08:31 AM
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Headed East on the LHT yesterday, on the theory that less snow fell there, so less should remain. That worked out pretty well.




The Malden stretch of the Northern Strand was clear of snow. Riggers were hanging high-tension lines on the replacement pylons, but the trail remained open.




Temperatures fell through the 40s, and soon enough night fell. Drivers seemed strangely well-behaved, not that I'm complaining.






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Old 11-18-18, 12:01 PM
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I took ye ol' vintage PFN-10 out again today, 36.35 miles. Made two discoveries. 1. It is Wiggins Ave, not Wiggins Rd. Whodathunk a road like that deserved the moniker of Avenue? 2. That stretch of the MM seems to have all melted itself. I mean the snow melted. To judge by all the leaves still in place it was not plowed though there were signs of some cursory effort in a few spots.
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Old 11-18-18, 12:49 PM
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Yeah, Bedford does plow that stretch, but they're easy graders (no pun intended) and seem to conflate a minimal effort with a successful outcome. This has been the status quo for years.

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Old 11-18-18, 04:25 PM
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Winter is here. I squeezed in 5 rides this week. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday each saw 22 miles added to the weekly tally. One ride it was only 19 degrees. I was hoping and praying the whole ride for no flat tire as it would have been absolutely terrible to deal with at that temp. My attire and chemical glove inserts kept me warm enough Surprisingly I crossed paths with 3 other cyclists that morning. Saturday was wet grimy and gross. I rode 39 wet and grimy miles. Sunday was the pick of the week. It was dry enough, mid 30’s, and the snow added to the scenic appeal to make it a very pleasant 45 miles. I am only 555 miles from my 7233 mile goal for the year. 1 more than last year. My cross bike is seeing lots of use as my primary road bike until my Seven is ready for delivery and springtime.
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Old 11-21-18, 11:32 AM
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I rode 21 miles this morning. If I didn’t have the studded tires on I doubt I would have gotten very far. I wanted to ride yesterday and Monday. I’ve learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable however 35* and steady rain makes being uncomfortable really really uncomfortable. I’ll be out of town Friday afternoon thru Sunday so my window to ride this week is very compressed.
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Old 11-22-18, 08:03 PM
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This morning was a delightful looking yet bitter biting cold time to ride. Chemical inserts in my gloves made the 14 mile possible.


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Old 11-22-18, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
This morning was a delightful looking yet bitter biting cold time to ride. Chemical inserts in my gloves made the 14 mile possible
In your photo is a peculiar, seemingly floppy extension, kind of like a fighter pilot's oxygen mask. Though I've been winter commuting for decades, this weekend, I'm going to REI to refurbish and perhaps innovate my winter apparel.

BTW,of particular note to Metro Boston winter cyclists, I recently posted to this Winter Cycling thread,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Emergency Winter Cycling Kit?

I too ride on urban / suburban routes with similar measures, but early, before 6 AM. I envision going to an indoor ATM machine to fix a flat, so I carry a bank card too.

I routinely bring enough clothing in a pannier to accommodate any wet / cold weather, with enough space to doff items, from about 50° F to zero. I don’t carry a lock and wouldn’t want to abandon my bike, with hassle of picking up later.

I have only about three times called a taxi on my decades of commuting, all in temperate weather. I haven’t used Uber yet, so I don’t know how long wait (and inactive) times would be, especially in the early AM,so I would prefer to keep moving in the cold.

Since I have excellent Commuter Rail as an alternative commute, even on which to take my bike, I have frankly disdained busses, which are more accesible and frequent on my routes.
Last week I did take a bus with my bike, and was pleased with the service, and carrying capacity, so now that looks like a primary emergency measure.

PS: I also use Kevlar tire liners year round, even on my fair weather carbon fiber road bike, to hopefully forestall flats.
This morning I was in at my workplace having stayed over with my bike, 14 miles from home, at 19° F, and NO winter jacket, gloves or neoprene booties. The bus stop is right outside.

I went out about 5 minutes before the scheduled stop and it was right on time. I had a frigid, underdressed ride of about 1 mile from the terminus in Boston to home.


I haven’t used chemical warmers, but for the hands, thin knit gloves under windproof ski gloves, and for the feet, thin and thick socks, neoprene booties, and Goretex wrap-around shoe covers.

Finally, I also posted on this recent Commuting Forum thread, Comfortable clothing for cycling *when it’s snowing*?
Originally Posted by ripkin View Post
Hey all,

Was debating whether to post in commuting vs. winter biking— decided to do it here, since commuting is the main reason I usually cycle due to limitations in my free time on weekends.
Originally Posted by ripkin View Post
here’s the layer plan: …

Anyone else have glasses and a solution to them fogging up all the time when you’re wearing a a balaclava or something? Maybe some antifogging lens wash or something, I guess?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I too have cycle-commuted year-round in Boston due to time limitations…

IMO, the worst precipitation in Winter is rain at less than 40°F, and good waterproof gloves become crucial.

I frequently post about eyeglasses, goggles and fogging; and the strategies to prevent:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I perennially post about my winter eyewear for my 14 mile year-round commute, from about 35° down to as low as 0°. I must wear my prescription eyeglasses, and fogging is one of the worst dangers of winter riding. I am entirely satisfied with my system:…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
IME, and from reading numerous posts on the subject, there are three basic methods for preventing fogging, caused by exhaled moist air onto the cold surface of the eyeglasses and goggles:…
Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
LISTEN to @Jim from Boston

he knows his $hit!
PS:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
(from a now-closed thread): In the past I have offered IMO several useful suggestions about cycling, particularly for winter and urban cycling, to multiple repetitive threads. They are usually lost in the morass of often scores of replies, both in agreement and dispute with mine.
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Old 11-24-18, 06:24 AM
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Hi Jim! Last fall I picked up that 45Nrth wool balaclava. It has a face shield with breathing holes. I use it when its below freezing. Friday morning I repeated the same 14 mile ride. I would loved to do more but it was downright cold.
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Old 11-29-18, 08:12 AM
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Yesterday and today I open the garage door at 0445 and headed out for rather delightful early AM rides. The rain free mid 30* temperatures was easily tamed by the gear selection. Once again I pulled the studded Schwalbe Winters off as it appears to be ice free for the next few days.
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Old 11-29-18, 02:07 PM
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So, I haven't updated the Pills and Ills section of Good Ride Today for too long.

The day before Thanksgiving, the wise and powerful cabal of amazing medical experts talked amongst themselves, and having spent months observing that my hole in my leg has been getting smaller and smaller and smaller, called me and said I could (finally) start partial weight bearing, working up to weight bearing as tolerated.

So Turkey day was celebrating good times with good family on a semi-good leg. I did the pies this year, GF no sweetener of any kind apple pie, damnation apple pie (gluten crust plus *gasp* brown sugar), and lactose free pumpkin pie (yes, it had eggs). But the evening was scooter free, being able to (tentatively) walk with crutches.

Since then, I tolerate well.

Still using the scooter for long "walks." But I actually walked walked [not sic sic] into Arlington Center (with trekking poles, not to be confused with Trekkie polls) a couple of days ago.

Felt soooo good, but soooo very slow. Like when a toddler first learns to run. So much motion for so little motion. But who cares that running might be far slower than walking, gleeful giggles!

I'm on track for 500 miles on the scooter. My right leg is oxen, my left leg is, uh, chicken?


On the cold - amazing sweet spot in between walking and biking.


Finally - My reality check.

I always knew, but I didn't know.

Different - I have never talked to so many strangers while out in the world. On the sidewalk, on the bikepath, on the T, people talk with me.

Same - Ascending and descending into the world of the T - gah! Alewife, Harvard, Central elevators out of service, through "spring" of 2019! All the signs point you to the out of service elevators. Central is forget about it, for getting on or off the inbound platform their "solution" is an on demand shuttle to Kendall. Green line trolleys never stop at the same point on the platform, so it is not possible to queue up near accessible doors, since you don' t know where they'll land. (That said, the T workers are marvelous.)

Surprise - Minuteman, Linear Path, Paul. D White are my superhighways. I can "run" on them.

But like I said before, bricks suck (as in jackhammer), but trash days suck too. (And it's almost always trash day somewhere.)

And please, shovel, especially the ADA ramps! (The last of the FIRST snow impediments only just melted.)

-mr. bill

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Old 11-29-18, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
So Turkey day was celebrating good times with good family on a semi-good leg. I did the pies this year,
Were any of the square? They are supposed to be, you know, even though people usually make the round.

It's good to see you are getting out as a biped!

I rode my commute today, only the second (or third?) time these last two weeks, IIRC. The weather, various commitments, and other obstacles keep getting in the way. Today the ride was nice, chilly though and with a fierce headwind for much of both directions. Traffic is exhibiting lots of anxiety these days.
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Old 12-06-18, 11:04 AM
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got out last night for a ride Concord, Bedford & Billerica using Reformatory Branch & Narrow Gauge Trails. it was cold, I wore stuff, it was fun, I slept well :-)

the mud was interesting, it wanted to freeze up but was still loose & sticky, with crunchy edges. it seemed crunchier on the way back to Concord. I've got the studs on now so I'm ready for the good stuff when it arrives. didn't see any critters like the coyote last year but I did see a pair of eyes low to the ground at one point in the distance. Bedford Depot restrooms are closed for the season. oh well.





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Old 12-10-18, 09:46 AM
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@Ghazmh , was that you who rode by us on the trail in Concord yesterday?

Today I just rode my kamyoot again. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Well, just once today. 'Twas cold this morning, about 19degF when I left the house.
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Old 12-10-18, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
@Ghazmh , was that you who rode by us on the trail in Concord yesterday?

Today I just rode my kamyoot again. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Well, just once today. 'Twas cold this morning, about 19degF when I left the house.
Hi Jim! It may have been me. I was out mid afternoon yesterday on my Boone 7 cross bike. I rode 40 through Weston, Maynard, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle and Acton. I had on a blue jacket, blue helmet and was using my handlebar headlight in throbbing mode instead of pulling it off to mount my diminutive blinker I often use. I don’t recall seeing the blue tandem nor was I on a path/trail but I did ride through Concord. It was a nice ride, so much better than Saturdays 29 miles of finger freezing fun.
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Old 12-12-18, 09:27 AM
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got out last night for another ride Concord, Bedford & Billerica using Reformatory Branch & Narrow Gauge Trails. temps steady in the high 20s. this time I packed my winter riding stuff in the car & brought the bike to work. it's a bit more hassle but I'm done & home earlier. plus the Concord parking lot is on my way home, so it just makes more sense. with a week of freezing temps, despite some daytime warmups, the mud was now fully frozen with only 1 exception near some deeper water



there were some flat glare ice patches but still don't need the studs. took more than my usual pitstops, guess I drank way to much before leaving work. anyway, on my way back, approaching the Concord Great meadows I saw another headlight! he turned before reaching me so we really never "saw" ea other. but he was so nice to call out "you OK?" I assured him I was fine "just taking a pitstop". I had prepped a thermos of hot water w honey & needed to do some sipping ...


kind of surreal in the extreme darkness with only bike lights & reflective bits showing where the voices were coming from. thank you whoever you were ...!
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