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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-03-21, 09:30 PM
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Spun out some of my work-related frustrations on a 14 mile ride today, up to Arlington center via the community path and the minuteman, then with a loop around the mystic lakes. It felt like I was dodging raindrops the whole time, but most of them missed.
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Old 06-03-21, 09:47 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out for a ride on the Minuteman before dinner.

Arlington Center: we each wait for the light to change in our own way.


While most of the ride consisted of focused cranking, with the occasional dodging of those who required it, I did spend a few minutes watching a lacrosse game in progress on Peirce Field. If you want to prepare a young woman to meet the vicissitudes of life, hand her a lacrosse stick.


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Old 06-04-21, 04:59 PM
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Took the GT out just after noon, ahead of the thunderstorm that, at least in Arlington, never quite got here.


Traffic on the Minuteman was sparse, as the threat of dunderheads had a certain inhibiting effect. But a few were out, enjoying the breeze. Some downy reproductive vegetable fluff was drifting on the wind.


rod
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Old 06-05-21, 04:33 PM
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Was hoping to get out early this morning but I overslept, so instead I rode in the 90 degree heat this afternoon. Thankfully humidity was present but not overwhelming. Today's route could best be described as "circuitous."



While looping around Fresh Pond, I found what will be the start of the Watertown Greenway. It's not open yet but it's looking like all it really needs is some stripes down the middle, at least where it begins.




Treated myself to JP Licks on the way home. After a couple hours' riding in that heat, I definitely felt like I earned it.

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Old 06-05-21, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
Was hoping to get out early this morning but I overslept, so instead I rode in the 90 degree heat this afternoon. Thankfully humidity was present but not overwhelming. Today's route could best be described as "circuitous."



That's a nice map. Like the projection of speeds on paths. What tool did you use to make it?

rod
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Old 06-05-21, 11:16 PM
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Saturday, took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out in the warm afternoon, and headed East for a ride through the flats and into the hills, through the towns that cluster around the Fells escarpment.


I finally conceded to the season, and switched to my Summer riding shoes. Since they're thinner-soled than the shoes I've taken to using the other three seasons, I was doomed to a bout of saddle adjustment. Got it right on the second try, blew it on an attempt at fine tuning on the third, and got it a slightly-different-but-possibly-better right on the ninth. Now I'm standing pat, probably until the next time I take the bike out of the garage. Repeat until done. Thank god for QR constrictors.


Malden, Northern Strand Community Trail: mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun.


Malden, the intersection of Main and Centre Streets. I witnessed the tail-end of an acrimonious road-rage incident, which fortunately came to nothing but noise. A missionary saving souls on the traffic island had advice to offer the participants. This was the first of several episodes of snarky driving that were on display that afternoon. I blame the heat, although almost any noticeable weather is enough to disrupt the composure of drivers in Eastern Massachusetts.


Fleeing the flats for the hills, I tried to make the most of evaporative cooling and enjoyed downgrades as they presented themselves, especially the shady ones. Wore a summer jersey in microweight merino wool that was in its element. Had one eye on the clock, and headed West again when it waved its hands at me. A useful, if not cool, breeze had blown up to help things along.


High Street, Medford, provides the first and last few hills of this route, and has a dandy little rotary right in the middle of them. It's been subject to various construction projects over the last few weeks (months?), and the pavement is a bit gnarly, especially on the westbound lane descending into West Medford. That makes for a speedy, bumpy ride, with a certain amount of lane jockeying that feels a lot like playing in traffic. A young woman embedded in one of the larger SUVs gave me an irritated honk at the bottom of the hill. I made a brief speech for her edification. I'm sure it helped.


rod
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Old 06-06-21, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
That's a nice map. Like the projection of speeds on paths. What tool did you use to make it?

rod
The map is generated with my Garmin Edge 130+ and displayed with the Garmin connect app
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Old 06-06-21, 05:42 PM
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Lately Iíve been lurking and liking here. I rode my Redsky through the quintessential area roads through Lincoln, Concord, and surrounding towns Wednesday and Friday. Saturday morning I rode my Redsky to Littleton skipping the few extra miles that would have got me to Harvard. Not because I donít enjoy that loop but I had to take my helmet off and put my dad hat on before the afternoon. Today I packed my Evergreen in the back of my Fit and drove to Kennebunk Me and rode the Eastern trail to Scarborough, then looped through Cape Elizabeth to South Portland before heading back via the Eastern trail for 65 awesome sunny and enjoyably hot miles.



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Old 06-07-21, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Lately Iíve been lurking and liking here. I rode my Redsky through the quintessential area roads through Lincoln, Concord, and surrounding towns Wednesday and Friday. Saturday morning I rode my Redsky to Littleton skipping the few extra miles that would have got me to Harvard. Not because I donít enjoy that loop but I had to take my helmet off and put my dad hat on before the afternoon. Today I packed my Evergreen in the back of my Fit and drove to Kennebunk Me and rode the Eastern trail to Scarborough, then looped through Cape Elizabeth to South Portland before heading back via the Eastern trail for 65 awesome sunny and enjoyably hot miles.



Beautiful! That's inspiration to reinstall the hitch-rack...

rod
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Old 06-07-21, 12:39 PM
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out to Depot Park in the sultry Sunday afternoon weather. I cheered the tree canopy, and was cheered by it in turn.










A rhetorical question was asked...


... and answered.


rod
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Old 06-08-21, 10:46 PM
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Monday was another hot one. I took the GT Karakoram up the Mystic Valley Parkway, where people (and dogs, specifically the Giant Schnauzer) were very sensibly jumping in the lake.


At the Wedgemere commuter rail station, I picked up the start of the Tri-Community Greenway, with a thought to exploring parts of its Woburn and Stoneham segments that I hadn't ridden yet.


I crossed Bacon Street, then stopped to study the posted map, first of many that I made use of along the ride, most with very helpful wayfinding "You are here" indicators, and decided it was going to be a practical ride. What I wasn't prepared for in the ride that followed was the big slug of novelty the Greenway presented me with. There was a great deal of that in what proved to be a short ride with a lot of changes. Rather than trying to lay out a sequential travel narrative, which would require multiple linked posts, what follows are some highlights and observations on this surprising path.

The Tri-Community Greenway knits together disparate neighborhoods in Winchester, Woburn, and Stoneham. For the most part, the Greenway doesn't stray far from either the Aberjona River, the commuter rail tracks, or both. It's good to ride close to water on a hot day.


A spur runs from Skillings Road, Winchester, to Horn Pond, Woburn; I followed the other branch of the Greenway, that runs from Winchester, through Woburn, and on into Stoneham. Much of the Greenway is laid out as a paved, two-lane MUP, and most of that is well shaded. Significant portions in Winchester, Woburn, and Stoneham are on-street or on-sidewalk segments, with wayfinding aids that seemed largely adequate. As with all Eastern Massachusetts navigation, I suspect it's easier if you've already learned the route.

The familiar, manicured beauty of Winchester Center, the Mill Pond fringed with walking paths and gardens, falls right in the middle of the Greenway. This is one place where some of the wayfinding is implicit, rather than explicit, and it was the one place where I managed to leave the Greenway for a few blocks. Stay to the left of the Mill Pond, work your way up past Judkins Pond, and cross Skillings Street, by which time the wayfinding becomes explicit again, if a trifle subtle. The Greenway makes use of existing footpaths here, and if they are crowded, walking the bike may be indicated.


North of Winchester Center, the Greenway goes on-road for several blocks, with signs and sharrows indicating the way through a quiet residential neighborhood. Again, the wayfinding can be a little subtle... a sign that says "Bike Route", generic-looking sharrows used as Greenway path indicators, but it soon becomes second nature to read the runes correctly. And an entrance to the next paved MUP segment is hard to miss.


The paved MUP segments pick up again, running along the Aberjona River through leafy parkland.


At Washington Street, Woburn, the Greenway makes a left and runs alongside the road on what to my eye is a double-wide sidewalk, but might be called by some a protected bike lane. This runs to D Street, where another left turn begins an on-road segment that runs through a group of old Jewish cemeteries, 25 in all, each representing a particular community in its own time period. There's a lot of history there. It's easy to miss when you go whizzing by on Washington Street in a car. Seen from a bicycle, pedaling slowly up a side street, there's more time to notice, and to reflect.


The on-road segment continues on Central Street, and connects with another paved MUP segment. This leads to more surprises.

The Atlantic Gelatin factory used to be, until very recently, where Jell-O came from. It still draws my eye every time I drive South on I-93. The Greenway runs right in back of it. It's deserted now, but still imposing. More history, industrial this time, to be contemplated.


After Atlantic Gelatin comes another surprise: a tunnel under I-93. So much of route planning for bicycle rides in Massachusetts involves driving over, under, or around obstacles that cannot be ridden: limited access highways, military bases, pig farms, etc. So a bike path with a tunnel under I-93 is a gift, indeed. It is decorated with a pleasing (to my eye, anyway) collection of street art, which nobody has insisted on obliterating, commendable forbearance on whoever's part.


Emerging from the tunnel, reborn, as it were, in Stoneham, the paved MUP segments continue, crossing Maple Street, Montvale Ave., and William Street (with a genuinely dangerous immovable gate that seems to be somebody's malicious attempt to "get those bikes to slow down!"), before finally fetching up at Main Street, a.k.a. Route 28, and another on-road segment. Need Psychic Palm Reading? Soft Serve? Get 'em here.


I didn't need my palm read, and understood from my wearable horological omen that it was time to turn the bike around, so, with a prediction that I'd return some other day to see where the Greenway ends, I pedaled home, pleasantly surprised.

rod

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Old 06-10-21, 09:00 AM
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Still getting out for my morning simulated commutes up and down the community path and minuteman. I've been a bit mystified by the traffic patterns on the latter lately, trying to figure out when the best time to get out for minimum pedestrian traffic is. So far it seems like before 7:30 or after 8:30 is fine but the hour between is better spent on Mass Ave. More research is needed I suppose.
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Old 06-11-21, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
More research is needed I suppose.
I've found it a convenient trail for me after work on weekdays. I drive my bike there. but one has to watch for evening bike commuter traffic. some very impressive riders, fully loaded moving quite fast. regarding pedestrians, I try to avoid the trail on good weather weekends, in the middle of the day. it's a great trail during snow storms ;-)
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Old 06-11-21, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
I've found it a convenient trail for me after work on weekdays. I drive my bike there. but one has to watch for evening bike commuter traffic. some very impressive riders, fully loaded moving quite fast. regarding pedestrians, I try to avoid the trail on good weather weekends, in the middle of the day. it's a great trail during snow storms ;-)
I think my main issue is the elementary school by the traffic light in East Arlington, as the 7:30-8:30a block has a lot of parents taking their kids to school along the trail. I rode a little after 9 this morning and it was pretty clear. The school problem will resolve itself in a couple of weeks at least.
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Old 06-11-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
The school problem will resolve itself in a couple of weeks at least.
ah yes, but then the parents will be teaching the little ones how to ride their bikes! :-) btw Wifey & Daughter are both Teachers & I recently confirmed their last day of school, for both, is next Thursday 6/18
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Old 06-16-21, 02:12 PM
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I've been away in Maine for a few weeks. Today I took the day off and rode instead of working. 44.78 miles, Bedford to Heart Pond in Chelmsford and back, all via circuitous routes of course. A nice day, if a bit breezy. It's good to see that your folks have been keeping up the miles in my absence!

I rode the Peugeot PF10 today. Here it is on a Bridge in Great Brook Farm, Carlisle.
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Old 06-17-21, 11:38 PM
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One consequence of the unexpected writer's block I managed to develop putting together the ride report on the surprising Tri-Community Greenway was a backlog of additional ride reports, seven and counting. So, here's an attempt to catch up on a week's worth of riding.

Wednesday, June 9, I took the Rawland Nordavinden for a late afternoon spin on the Minuteman, keeping a good pace and enjoying the people watching.


Friday, June 11, it was off on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe for a ride East, playing in traffic and rolling up and down the hills in Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. It also involved snaking around a fair bit of road work.


Saturday, June 12, was my rematch with the Tri-Community Greenway, on the 1987 GT Karakoram, the old bike with the new tires. I made better sense of the Greenway this time, made better time, and got to the northern trail head, in a park in Stoneham.




Sunday, June 11, had me back on the Minuteman for another ride before dinner, again on the Nordavinden, again people watching.


On Monday, June 14, I made a liberal interpretation of the weather radar to license a ride out to Depot Park on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe. This got me, and the bike, pretty wet. I'd like to thank my fenders for doing their job that day.


Before the heavens opened, I saw this guy on an electrified scooter go whizzing past under the ominous clouds. He can be proxy for all the varied electrical manifestations I encountered this week. The sheer futurity of the electric unicycles still makes me giggle.


Tuesday had me back on the Minuteman, on the GT, keeping a lickety-split pace before dinner. This didn't stop me from admiring the big Catalpa in bloom.


Wednesday I had even less time than usual before dinner, but managed a miniature ride up the eastern bank of the Mystic Lakes, on the Rawland.


Thursday--that'd be yesterday, by the time anyone reads this--I took the Surly for a quick-paced ride on the Minuteman, racing my shadow and the dinner bell.


Phew! I caught up.

rod

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Old 06-18-21, 07:29 AM
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the rain gif is a new brilliant application! well done!
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Old 06-18-21, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
the rain gif is a new brilliant application! well done!
Thanks! It speaks well for the phone's watertightness.

rod
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Old 06-18-21, 10:50 PM
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Took the GT up the Minuteman before dinner, turning around at Lexington Center. Over the years, that's emerged as my default ride. Today's instance of the ride featured solitude for many minutes at a time, with occasional knots of cyclists to be passed, or to be seen whizzing past.


I took almost no photos on this ride, in the interests of making time. One thing I wished I had photographed was a tall man riding a big unicycle, the kind with pedals and a bicycle wheel. The wheel in question was large diameter (700c, maybe) and wore relatively fat tires. No electric entanglements.

rod
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Old 06-19-21, 10:18 PM
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Rode the Surly Trucker DeLuxe East on a hot, hazy Saturday afternoon, for the usual round of playing in traffic and rolling around the flats and over the hills in Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham.


The Massachusetts drivers were busy validating my conjecture that the quality of their driving deteriorates any time there is noticeable weather. Today this manifested as intermittent crankiness, horns and squealing tires, especially in the more urban parts of the route. The leafy, hilly segments, e.g. the long green rollers on Fellsway East, had a calming effect. And traffic was pretty light, overall.


After enough was starting to be enough, I headed West again.


I paused at the top of the last big hill on the route, the High Street descent into West Medford, and took its picture. Then I rolled on down myself.


rod
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Old 06-20-21, 10:53 PM
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Took the GT Karakoram out the Minuteman for a quick ride up to Lexington Center on a breezy, warm, and humid Fathers Day afternoon, having already saluted my son in his role as father to my granddaughter. Red bicycle, green meadow, blue sky, white clouds.


The invasive knot weed in the vicinity of Arlington Heights is encroaching on the trail, effectively narrowing it and creating a safety hazard. Guess it's time to submit a trouble ticket to the DPW.


The youngest self-propelled Minuteman user today had apparently not quite turned 2, and was scooting along competently, watched over by her mother and what may have been an aunt. I worried a bit about the riskiness of that, but admired it, as well.


rod

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Old 06-21-21, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by DBrim
Spun out some of my work-related frustrations on a 14 mile ride
bikes are great for that aren't they?
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Old 06-21-21, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
The youngest self-propelled Minuteman user today had apparently not quite turned 2, and was scooting along competently, watched over by her mother and what may have been an aunt. I worried a bit about the riskiness of that, but admired it, as well.
but had a helmet!
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Old 06-21-21, 10:59 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out to Depot Park on Monday afternoon. The sultry weather was balanced by a playful breeze that managed to be cooling in spite of the humidity.




When I reached the turn-around point, I found that what had been a headwind outbound was now a headwind inbound. Curious...


After crossing Woburn Street on the return, I encountered a young man on a bike who beamed at me with altruism and empathy and said, "I hope you have a truly wonderful day!" There was no irony in it, although it's always possible my Irony Detector was on the fritz again, and I was reminded of the "beamish boy" in Jabberwocky. As I puzzled over that, I realized that I felt very tired, and wondered if he had seen that on my face before I felt it myself, but still didn't discount the possibility that the kids have a new flavor happy pill. A mystery, in any case.

A little farther on, between Fottler Avenue and Bow Street, I came upon the scene of an incident, with an older man (meaning, my age more or less) sitting on the grass beside the trail, talking to a policeman or fireman. Numerous bikes were laid on the grass in the vicinity, presumably by the numerous bystanders, two of which were talking to a baby, seemingly cheerfully unperturbed, who sat in some sort of conveyance near the man. I rode on by, since one more bystander wasn't going to help and the first responders were already responding, and didn't stay long enough to be able to say with any certainty whether the man had been riding or running or walking, whether there was a collision between the man and some third party, whether the man had succumbed to heat exhaustion or something similar, whether the baby was with the man, or had simply been parked by a bystander, etc. In short, beware of eyewitness testimony; at least, beware of mine.

I took my tired self home without breaking any speed records, and took it easy for a bit.

rod

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