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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 02-28-21, 07:52 PM
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Hey everyone,it has been a while since i have visited the forums. Wonderful to see that everyone doing well and riding their bikes. The road bike has been living on the trainer the past couple of months, so I have been riding the roads of the North Shore on my fixed gear. I have to say, this thing is a blast to ride! _Dave


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Old 02-28-21, 08:34 PM
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Took the GT out on the Minuteman in the late afternoon, cranking along in a meditative reverie, listening to the peepers, squeakers, and croakers of the Night Chorus warming up for the evening and the Spring, the wind occasionally whistling in my ear, the sky gradually darkening in a grayscale sunset with not a pastel shade to be seen. Turned around at Bedford Street, Lexington.

The thaw proceeds apace. It will be briefly interrupted on Tuesday.


rod
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Old 02-28-21, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Velobass
Hey everyone,it has been a while since i have visited the forums. Wonderful to see that everyone doing well and riding their bikes. The road bike has been living on the trainer the past couple of months, so I have been riding the roads of the North Shore on my fixed gear. I have to say, this thing is a blast to ride! _Dave


Good to hear from you! The North Shore has some great riding.

rod
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Old 03-02-21, 04:58 PM
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Took the GT out on the Minuteman Monday afternoon, in the window between the morning's rainstorm and the late evening's Boreal Blast. Temperatures fell through the balmy 40s with a boisterous breeze that, while Boreal, only qualified as a Semi-Blast at best, and was more often a Semi-Demi-Blast. This provided a headwind outbound, a tailwind inbound, and a buffeting cross-wind whenever it felt like it. Any clouds still in the sky were only passing through, and the clear light vividly manifested this little corner of the world in as much detail as a reasonable person could be bothered with.






I turned around at Woburn Street, enjoying the tailwind and wondering if the timing and conditions would allow for any sunset colors. I began to see a little in Lexington.




That was pretty subtle, though. As I got into Arlington, I began to believe the sunset was following me home.








It followed me home, can I keep it? In memory, perhaps. As long as I keep paying Mr. Google for the storage.


rod

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Old 03-03-21, 09:46 PM
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Late Wednesday afternoon found me on the GT rolling up the Minuteman once again, temperatures in the 40s. The recent windstorm seems to have blown a great deal of construction debris into Mill Brook; COVID restrictions will probably delay an organized cleanup for at least a few more months.


A soft sunset was setting up as I rode out past Arlington's Great Meadow. By the time I returned, turning around at Woburn Street, it was done.




A few of the Minuteman users were not wearing masks. I haven't seen that for months. They looked out of place. Maybe they were visitors from Texas.

rod
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Old 03-04-21, 10:47 AM
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Since the new year most of my cycling consists of riding my old Gary Fisher hybrid with massive 29x2 Schwalbe Winter Marathon wire beaded dual row studded tires. With panniers, fenders, handlebar bag and headlight it weighs in at 38lbs All if it’s use these days consists of short 2 mile or less rides to the gym, the grocery store with the Nomad in tow and the library. Far too short and silly to add to Strava. Now that March is here it’s time to get 2-3 rides in per week before the warmer weather turns that into 5-6 days a week. Yesterday I set out at 0600 on my 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Winter double row studded tires equipped Trek Boone 7. The 4 or so linear feet of ice I may have encountered out of the 16 short miles wasn’t enough to justify the dreadfully heavy weight and rolling resistance of those tires that would make the Borg take notice. Snuggled up under my BarMitts and boots with thick wool socks the bitter cold made breathing through a glasses fogging balaclava labored and less then fun. Not exactly how I wanted to kick off the 2021 riding season. Today I decided studded tires not required so I set out at the same time on my Honey Allroads with its smooth 32mm Gravel Kings. The 35 degrees felt so mild compared to yesterday’s cold. No Bar Mitts or fogged glasses just 20 miles of good cycling.

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Old 03-04-21, 05:14 PM
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Took the GT up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman in mid-afternoon, temperatures in the mid-30s, wind gusts in the mid-20s, Ra beaming in the midst of a pure blue sky with not a cloud to be seen, illumination or glare, depending on how you saw it, casting barcode-striping-eyelid-strobing shadows on the trail surface.


Arlington's Great Meadow is beginning to thaw out. The frogs will be cheering bye and bye.


Schoolboy football is back and drilling on Pierce Field. This looks like a calculated risk, but whose calculation and whose risk? The drills looked to be middling socially distant, at any rate.


rod
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Old 03-05-21, 11:48 PM
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I took the GT for yet another cold and windy sunset ride on the Minuteman, turning around at Woburn Street, Lexington. A headwind is as good as a hill.












I haven't gotten tired of sunsets yet: so much variety manifested in something that is nevertheless always the same.

On the ride out, I took a picture of this device, which has been hanging over the Minuteman from the Park Avenue bridge for the last 6 months or so.


After dark, it comes alive.


As someone who rides after dark on the Minuteman relatively frequently, I have to say I find it a cheery display, and assume it is an art installation of some sort. Question is, does anyone know who put it up? Is that documented anywhere? Lately, somebody has opined that it might be a hazard, and the Town is trying to understand what it is and how it got there. It would be a shame to lose it because people weren't talking to each other.

Schoolboy football continues. Good luck with the social distancing.


While I was riding, the temperature fell below the freezing point. That, and something about the way the combination of my beard and the KN-95 mask channel warm, moist exhalations produced a couple of icy stalactites.


Rumor has it we're having a few Spring days next week. Sign me up.

rod

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Old 03-06-21, 11:42 PM
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Another bright but chilly day. I took the old GT and rode East.


I was pleased to see that the stupa in the Kurukulla Center's yard was free of snow and ice. Can Spring be far behind?


The usual round of hill-climbing, rapid descents, and traffic-dodging proper to this ride ensued, sometimes using my knees as active suspension devices when the pavement got rough. Eventually sunset started to get itself organized, and I started to wrap up the ride, still up in the hills, but headed back now.


I used the several-minutes-long descent on the Fellsway East into Malden to remember Smokey Robinson's name. It took the first two blocks of Salem Street eastbound to remember that his band was called the Miracles. Never get old, kids.


Riding West, I stopped briefly at the Kurukulla Center and noted that they're still showing Winter lights on the stupa.


As I rolled over the High Street hills, I reflected that it's taken almost till the end of Winter to work out the ideal layering of some of the new clothing for the various cold-weather temperature ranges and other conditions we encounter in the cold months. With luck, I'll have a chance to forget all that until next November.

rod

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Old 03-07-21, 07:08 PM
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Rode singlespeed today for a 41 mile out and back to Smolak Farms in North Andover. Plenty of sunshine, dry roads, and donuts.



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Old 03-08-21, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Velobass
Rode singlespeed today for a 41 mile out and back to Smolak Farms in North Andover. Plenty of sunshine, dry roads, and donuts.


Nice guinea hen. Their eggs were used by unscrupulous boy scouts to win egg-tossing contests back in the day, since the shells were extra tough, giving an advantage of several yards to a team who used one. Be prepared.

rod
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Old 03-08-21, 09:49 PM
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Cognizant of the likelihood that the Minuteman Frost Fair will wind up as early as tomorrow, I took the 1987 GT Karakoram in its full studded-Nokian regalia out to Depot Park, Bedford, in the early afternoon, clear skies, bright sun, temperatures in the upper 30s. The cracks in the pavement on Broadway were white with road salt dust; I'll need to think twice about which bikes to subject to that, until we've had a good rainstorm.


Bare trees did their skeleton dance for places in the sun, even though that will profit them nothing till they leaf out for the season. Some tango with lianas.




When the snow has melted on the trampoline, Spring will come bouncing in.


Rolling down the hill towards the converted railroad bridge across Route 128.


Winter is the best time to see the beaver lodge at Tophet Swamp. As the old song put it, "the man who wrote 'Home Sweet Home' never was a married man"... but he might have been a beaver.


Continued across Route 128 and into Bedford. Paused at Elm Brook.


Paid my respects to the Buddliner, at the turnaround.


Localized warping of the space-time continuum reported in Bedford.


Cranking away towards home, I pulled up short at Peepers Pond, East Lexington, distracted by an apparition: a transparent tetrahedron pushing up through the ice like the conning tower of a glass submarine. Further inspection suggested that it was a hockey net that had partially sunk, then been captured by refreezing ice, a victim of the end of the Frost Fair.


rod

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Old 03-09-21, 11:42 PM
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By the time I got everything that wasn't a ride cleared away, sunset was imminent, but temperatures were in the mid-50s, having been even a little higher early in the day, so I gave the GT with the ice bike tires the night off, and took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe with the big, supple Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralights out of the garage instead. Thus mounted, I rode up the Minuteman as far as Lexington Center hunting the sunset and a good time. Found both.

The clear sky conduced to the sort of subtle sunset that seems to make the horizon fluoresce: all color and no shape.


There were only three of us waiting at the light in Arlington Center, a middling fair omen.


On the Minuteman itself, there was the usual cheerful sunset crew.


Between the clear sky and the relatively late start, I felt impelled to race the setting sun, so I cranked along at an enjoyably quick pace, stopping to take a picture from time to time.






Other cyclists, as well as pedestrians and their dogs, began to show lights. So did I.


I turned around at Woburn Street, and the sunset ride morphed into a night ride on a pleasant evening.


The LED art piece turns out to have a name, "Rays of Hope", and an artist, Mark Kriegsman: there was a somewhat unobtrusive sign under the bridge, and the recently aroused dragons of Arlington bureaucracy have started to curl up and go back to sleep.


I pedaled rapidly home in the dark, pleased that ice bike season appears to me to be ending, and I can glide along on light, supple tires again.

rod

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Old 03-10-21, 05:20 PM
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Bright day, cool-but-not-cold day, temps in the high 40s. I took off as the mid-afternoon was thinking about becoming the late afternoon, riding the Surly Trucker DeLuxe up to Lexington Center and back, seldom stopping, mostly just cranking along and enjoying the ride. A few photos did manage to sneak through the "seldom stopping" behavior, however, so here they are.




The Woodman has now grown antlers, and is identifiable as Herne the Hunter, or so Professor Jung whispered in my ear. Perhaps this is the Bikeway of the Collective Unconscious; that would explain a few things.


As I tell the tale, the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders passed through a decadent period, exemplified by the use of pebbles painted with inspirational texts. There followed a catastrophic extinction event, after which the mile marker was bare for a few weeks. They now seem to have returned, with a very pleasing neo-classical style. The current example gets a lot of expressive power from three stones, multum in parvo.


Sam's got the week off, so I photographed the Surly at Mal's yard, which as usual contained a few object lessons.


rod
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Old 03-11-21, 10:53 PM
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Perhaps because lately I've been dreaming of long rides on warm days, today's ride out to Depot Park in 70° weather felt dreamlike.


Of course, the Minuteman was thronged. I used the pocket devil's Throng-o-vision feature to capture a couple of throngs, and could indeed have spent the day getting all the rest of them, but keeping up the pace of the ride seemed like the greater good. After all, if you've seen one throng, you've seen them all. The trick is not to collide with any.




Meanwhile, back in Dreamland, the Shawsheen River, full of meltwater, hidden by trees, made its way slowly North towards the Merrimack, which will carry it to the dreamed-of sea.


rod

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Old 03-12-21, 07:28 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out on the Minuteman one more time before the cold returns, a pleasant ride.




rod

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Old 03-13-21, 10:37 PM
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Turned out that Saturday was Spring after all, temperatures in the 40s, so I took the Surly and rode East.


There was an antic, and at times, forceful wind that gave me a tailwind East, and a headwind West. North and South got a buffeting crosswind. The familiar hills were, of course, subject to this, and some of the descents were memorable due to an Aeolian foot on either the brake or the accelerator, depending on the vector addition of the moment.


West again, into Medford, paying my respects to the Kurkulla Center's stupa coming and going.


Medford rewarded me with a lovely sunset. That city is growing on me, with its clipper ships, Vajrayana Buddhism, and sunsets.


The return of Daylight Savings Time will cut back on the sunsets. That's ok by me.

rod

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Old 03-17-21, 05:23 PM
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Absolutely fabulous day for a ride. Took the Mooney off of the trainer and took here out for a 41 mile out and back to Smolak Farms in Andover. Felt strange to be on a geared bike having ridden fixed gear/single speed all winter.



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Old 03-19-21, 06:16 PM
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MBNSRR (Metro Boston North Shore Ride Report) for Friday March 19. Feeling more like winter than spring, but still a fabulous day for a 26 mile out and back to Ipswich.

​​​​​​​








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Old 03-19-21, 10:24 PM
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After the better part of a week off the bike, I hoped for Spring but dressed for Winter and got a bit of both when I took the Trucker DeLuxe out on a little ride on the Minuteman in the late afternoon. There was a warm sun that was decidely Spring-like, but also a cold headwind outbound that called for cold-weather stoicism. Turning around at Lexington Center turned it to a friendly tailwind, of course, so Spring seemed to get the nod. Better days a-coming.


Between the windstorms we've been having at intervals, and the ubiquitous construction activity (luxury condos! two for a nickel or one for a dime!) that has carried on through the season, the Polyethylene Fairies can often be seen nesting in the trees and dancing in the breeze.


Perhaps it was the headwind, but this ride felt more solitary than it actually was. Sometimes it goes that way.


rod
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Old 03-20-21, 10:21 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe East for a Vernal Equinox ride.


I have to say that Spring delivered, temperatures in the 50s, clear skies, and a Sun that meant it. Yesterday's wind had subsided to a pleasing zephyr. Vigorous hill climbs and whizzy descents ensued. The last of the descents, west-bound on High Street headed into West Medford, occurred with the Sun still a few degrees of arc above the horizon, not really sunset ride territory, and already after 6...


Welcome, Spring!

rod
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Old 03-21-21, 12:41 PM
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Having an opportunity to ride on a Sunday for the first time in a few months I relished in the delightful Spring morning. I rode 48 miles that crossed through the area’s quintessential cycling towns from Weston to Carlisle and every town in between. I stopped for a snack at Ferns and again at Monument square for a picture. Today was the first 2021 ride on my Seven Redsky with virgin 28mm Continental GP5000’s and a Rapha handlebar bag.



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Old 03-21-21, 05:25 PM
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MBNSRR Weekend Edition,


Did a quick 15 mile out and back to Topsfield yesterday, followed by a longer 62 mile ramble through, Topsfield, Wenham, Ipswich, Georgetown, and Boxford today. Spring has sprung!


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Old 03-21-21, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Having an opportunity to ride on a Sunday for the first time in a few months I relished in the delightful Spring morning. I rode 48 miles that crossed through the area’s quintessential cycling towns from Weston to Carlisle and every town in between. I stopped for a snack at Ferns and again at Monument square for a picture. Today was the first 2021 ride on my Seven Redsky with virgin 28mm Continental GP5000’s and a Rapha handlebar bag.


That is one sweet Seven!!!
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Old 03-22-21, 04:32 PM
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14 mile ride today on the Danvers Rail Trail.

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