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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 07-06-19, 03:48 PM
  #8226  
rholland1951
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Rode the LHT on an extended, sweaty sprint up to Depot Park and back, racing the incoming thunderstorms. I beat both the storms and my usual time by comfortable margins, watching the skies along the way.

Mill Street, Arlington, outbound:


Depot Park, Bedford, turnaround:


East Arlington, destination:


Even had time for a shower before the lightning started jumping around.

rod
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Old 07-07-19, 06:57 PM
  #8227  
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Nice rides and pics. Glad you made it back before that thunderstorm!

I've done my commute to work from the Melrose Highlands down to near Alewife a couple times now, 10.5 mile each way. Today i rode it there and back to drop off supplies for the week. It's a nice ride along the Mystic Valley Parkway through Winchester and down into Arlington. I get a small section of dirt in and a few minutes on the Minute Man as well. If/when i start feeling strong i might add a shoot out on the Minute Man and make a loop back home. Looks like 17 miles if i go out to Lexington and 24 if i went out to Depot Park. These loops would take me by Horn Pond on the way home.
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Old 07-08-19, 05:35 PM
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Took the Trucker DeLuxe with its big, fat, soft Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralight tires on a 24-mile ride on the Bike to the Sea route, a mix of suburban/urban roads (Arlington, Medford, Malden) and a rail trail that goes from pavement (Malden), to gravel (Revere, Saugus), and finally to unimproved single-track next to the unimproved rails (Lynn). It was a good day for it, and if I hadn't had time constraints, I would have continued on to the Lynn Shore or Nahant. As it is, I turned around in a jungly section of the single-track, after having ridden the causeway across the Saugus River estuary (a treat!). Lots of changes of air, and plenty of sea breeze.

This was East, of course. Medford.


Malden Community Garden, Northern Strand Community Trail.


The Bike to the Sea mural, Malden. The barbed wire fence is not shown.


Revere: the informal public art is back under the Route 1 overpass. I, for one, welcome it.


Revere: Rumney Marsh.


Revere: Clean Joe, uh-huh.


Saugus: DINOSAUR SIGHTING!!! An herbivore, mercifully. Also saw a bloodhound.


Saugus: Saugus River estuary.


Lynn: causeway, single-track, informally-modified railroad bridge, Saugus River estuary. What more could you want?


Lynn: jungly bit, lots of fun, but when I got to a mudhole, it was time to turn around and go home.


rod

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Old 07-09-19, 07:36 AM
  #8229  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Took the Trucker DeLuxe with its big, fat, soft Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralight tires on a 24-mile ride on the Bike to the Sea route, a mix of suburban/urban roads (Arlington, Medford, Malden) and a rail trail that goes from pavement (Malden), to gravel (Revere, Saugus), and finally to unimproved single-track next to the unimproved rails (Lynn). It was a good day for it, and if I hadn't had time constraints, I would have continued on to the Lynn Shore or Nahant. As it is, I turned around in a jungly section of the single-track, after having ridden the causeway across the Saugus River estuary (a treat!). Lots of changes of air, and plenty of sea breeze.

This was East, of course. Medford.


Malden Community Garden, Northern Strand Community Trail.


The Bike to the Sea mural, Malden. The barbed wire fence is not shown.


Revere: the informal public art is back under the Route 1 overpass. I, for one, welcome it.


Revere: Rumney Marsh.


Revere: Clean Joe, uh-huh.


Saugus: DINOSAUR SIGHTING!!! An herbivore, mercifully. Also saw a bloodhound.


Saugus: Saugus River estuary.


Lynn: causeway, single-track, informally-modified railroad bridge, Saugus River estuary. What more could you want?


Lynn: jungly bit, lots of fun, but when I got to a mudhole, it was time to turn around and go home.


rod
You get into the darndest places by local standards AND have pictures to prove it!

I recently spent 2 weeks traveling in the south of Germany (Bavaria) and Austria not even touching a bike but ogling at plenty. The biking infrastructure there is mind-blowing: dedicated bikeways everywhere, even in the countryside, everything is signposted with mileages, amenities, and nearby attractions/towns. There's a bike trail (Innradweg) that follows the Inn river for ~320miles, and then in Passau you can pick up the Donauradweg to Vienna. All this infrastructure brings out lots and lots of cyclists, just an incredible number of them. The ratio of drop bars and non-electric bikes to flat/comfort bar and electrics over there is reversed from what you see in the US - you'd be hard-pressed to find non-electric or drop bar bikes. Even most of the dual-suspension bikes I saw in Innsbruck (which had a bike-wash on the street, crazy!) were electric. And people leave their bikes most of the time not chained to anything, just with a lock through the wheel in a "please don't carry my bike away" fashion. Both driving and cycling habits are more restrained than in the US and you really get the feeling that near the cities cycling is actually treated as first-class mode of transportation (or maybe 2nd after public transit).

After getting back I've done a couple of muted commutes, thinking that hey, at least things are getting better here. On the weekend the weather was perfect for a 30ish-mile ride through the usual popular roads in the suburbs - 225, Great Brook, Strawberry Hill. We have some great roads here as well and I was happy to see dozens, if not close to a hundred cyclists out there - looked like most were getting ready for Pan-Mass. So we have some good things going on over here as well.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:43 AM
  #8230  
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New pedestrian crossing signs, together with "SLOW" and "LOOK" at the intersection of Hurd Field and the Minuteman behind Trader Joe's and Starbucks in Arlington Heights:



-mr. bill
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Old 07-09-19, 11:03 AM
  #8231  
rholland1951
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
New pedestrian crossing signs, together with "SLOW" and "LOOK" at the intersection of Hurd Field and the Minuteman behind Trader Joe's and Starbucks in Arlington Heights:



-mr. bill
That's been a long time coming. The idea was to get people to use their brains, rather to believe in cross-walk binary magic.

rod
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Old 07-09-19, 11:05 AM
  #8232  
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I went out for a quick 25 today. My first stop was at Fern's in Carlyle, and the crew was there to paint the crosswalks. I then rode out to Pedal Power in Acton where I was pleased to buy a couple bottles of pickle juice. Beautiful day, and a beautiful ride.


Last edited by E53; 07-09-19 at 11:08 AM. Reason: add photo
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Old 07-09-19, 07:41 PM
  #8233  
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In the absence of an official announcement, I reckoned that the work on the Conant Street overpass was likely done and that the Mass Central Rail Trail - Wayside was likely open for business, so I rode over to find out, 42 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Lincoln, Wayland, Sudbury (maybe), Weston, and Waltham., via the Minuteman, the Reformatory Branch, and Route 126. Sure enough, the trail is freshly paved from the Waltham line to Wayland Center, and continues as a stone dust trail to the Sudbury line. I wasn't able to detect the rough trail in Sudbury, but have read enough about it to believe that it's there, and I just didn't look hard enough. For the other end of the trail, read on...

West of Wayland Center, stone dust surface.


Headed East, the new paved trail and bits of the old single-track coexist.


In Weston, headed East.


The last time I was here, this little pond (near Conant Street) had a canoe in it. It's possible that the great blue heron has stood there the whole time, however.


The new Conant Street overpass, a bulwark against the cycling hoi polloi no longer.


The trail continued in good order beyond Conant Street, until the end of the line was reached at the Waltham border. But wait, there's a hole in the fence...


Cross the bridge!


A rough trail beckoned, leading me to an industrial park parking lot.


There I found an even rougher trail, headed East.


No time to follow that one today, however. I wended my way around the Cambridge Reservoir on Winter Street (Waltham) and Old County Road (Lincoln), then climbed the hill on Trapelo Road and continued on home.


rod

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Old 07-10-19, 07:40 AM
  #8234  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Mass Central Rail Trail
intriguing cuz I've ridden part of that trail out in Rutland MA
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Old 07-10-19, 10:19 AM
  #8235  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
New pedestrian crossing signs, together with "SLOW" and "LOOK" at the intersection of Hurd Field and the Minuteman behind Trader Joe's and Starbucks in Arlington Heights:



-mr. bill
Not surprised. I've seen an accident there (cyclist down) plus had to slow down myself for several instances of questionable behavior.

Also new (no pic): NO TRESPASSING, state property signs near and under the Rt. 2 bridge at Alewife.

Originally Posted by E53 View Post

Don't know why, but that is a very "New England" picture

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
The new Conant Street overpass, a bulwark against the cycling hoi polloi no longer.


rod

Hot damn, I'm excited to see this happening! So much biking infrastructure getting built up. Bruce Freeman, Assabet River, Mass Central, the Minuteman to Charles River (Dudley) Path connector...
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Old 07-10-19, 10:55 AM
  #8236  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
intriguing cuz I've ridden part of that trail out in Rutland MA
The Mass Central Rail Trail is perhaps our longest rail trail story, if you add the duration of the project to the distance of the trail. The railroad ceased to be what it once was in the '38 Hurricane. Bits and pieces hung on into the 90s. The rail trail vision has settled on it over its whole length, but different locales have proceeded differently. Weston, in particular, had a vexed history with the rail trail conversion in the 90s, but has since come around as fears of a Rail Trail Apocalypse were shown to be ungrounded. A good whole-trail synopsis can be found at the Golden Spike 2018 website. Bravo to all those who are making it real!

rod
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Old 07-11-19, 07:13 PM
  #8237  
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Took the LHT for a gentle spin up to Lexington Center and back between chores, errands, and thunderstorms, and before dinner.


rod

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Old 07-14-19, 07:38 PM
  #8238  
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A couple of weeks ago, I realized that I had started to play round-the-bolt with the Rawland Nordavinden's seatpost constrictor. I knew how that game would end, so I put the bike in the garage and ordered a Paul QR constrictor. It arrived yesterday, and I installed it today. Worked nicely, as expected based on similar installations on other bikes, and I took the Rawland out for a quick run up to Lexington Center. It was a pleasure to ride that bike again, quick and nimble, with light, heat -reated tubes and a low-trail geometry. Good Summer ride.


rod
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Old 07-15-19, 10:00 AM
  #8239  
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Saturday "walking" through Davis Square, Art Beat.

Note that Johnny D's on the left side is slowly morphing....



-mr. bill
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Old 07-15-19, 02:32 PM
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Bow & Minuteman:



-mr. bill
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Old 07-15-19, 07:12 PM
  #8241  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Bow & Minuteman:



-mr. bill
Hah!

rod
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Old 07-15-19, 07:42 PM
  #8242  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out for a longer ride, 32 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, and Concord, one of the variations of the North Bridge loop, out on River Road and Monument Street, back on the Reformatory Branch.

Lexington: sunny spot at Tophet Swamp.


Route 225, Bedford: the sleeping Jeep Grand Cherokee travels in time, amidst the persistent vegetative riot.


Monument Street, Concord: Day lilies across the street from the horse barn.


Monument Street, Concord: top of the hill.


Reformatory Branch: somebody drained the swamp at the second sucking mire.


Reformatory Branch, Concord: the Minutemen marched here in 1775.


Two comments about the Reformatory Branch: the biting flies were out in force, and there was zany congestion, especially in the narrow stretch in Concord approaching Route 62. A pimply voice yelled "Passing left!" and did, on a 29er mountain bike, widening the trail somewhat in the process. Lots of people squeezing by in the other direction.

East Arlington (or maybe Eden): one of the resident bunnies welcomed me home. Hello, bunny!


rod

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Old 07-16-19, 06:56 PM
  #8243  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden up to Depot Park before dinner, the air like bathwater.


Paused at Arlington's Great Meadow to take a picture of Peak Green. Not quite pure green, but probably as green as it's going to get this year.


rod
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Old 07-17-19, 08:04 AM
  #8244  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Took the Rawland Nordavinden up to Depot Park before dinner, the air like bathwater
the air was still like that, when I let the cats out this morning at 5am
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Old 07-17-19, 05:15 PM
  #8245  
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I took the Trucker DeLuxe (a.k.a., Monster Trucker) out at 1:30, thinking there might be time to ride out the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail from Depot Park, perhaps picking up Dudley Road, but mindful of the fact that the various weather-forecasting imps that keep company with the Pocket Devil were changing their story frequently about the approach of Post-Tropical Annoyance Barry. As the Accident willed it, it seemed prudent to turn back at Fawn Lake, Bedford, for a total of 24 miles through Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford. Quiet ride, with a little cooling drizzle but nothing more severe than that where I was, when I was there.

Stopped to adjust my saddle at the Bobby Mac memorial, and spent a minute reacquainting myself with that.


Every few months, the big catalpa captures my attention; it happened again today.


The Narrow Gauge Rail Trail beckons.


The old patent medicine factory, now converted to condos, at Fawn Lake.


Fawn Lake itself appears to be eutrophying. Sweetwater, indeed!


Great Road, Bedford: the westbound traffic illustrates the appeal of bike trails in this town.


The gathering clouds as seen from Tophet Swamp. Almost immediately after I took this picture, a cooling drizzle started, that accompanied me home for much of the balance of the ride.


The Best Dog in Middlesex County, the standard by which all other dogs are judged, runs at heel next to his master's bicycle.


It seems a serious shower had moved through East Arlington while I was elsewhere, and left before I arrived, leaving puddles.


Barry gave me a free sample of his stuff a little later, while I ran an errand to Ball Square. Sometimes it's good to be in a car.


rod

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