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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-15-22, 11:19 PM
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Another variation of the Perfect Day For A Ride, so I took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler and rode East.


This is the weekly Hills & Traffic drill that I've become quite fond of: good for the legs, good for the lungs, good for the wits. Here's a little animation with miscellaneous details from this week's version.


There were an unusual number of doted-on cars out on the road today: a baby blue 1957 Cadillac convertible with the top down, a 1966 Corvette, also with the top down, and an electric-blue shark-like object that may have been a Lamborghini, whose owner was doting on it by blasting it between red lights with an accompanying roar of the engine and an EPA-rated 10mpg city. Fun to watch, and he didn't hang around for long. The OAC Rambler didn't roar, but it maneuvered admirably in the traffic and kept a good pace. I doted on it a little, too, for equity's sake.

rod

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Old 10-16-22, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
And I hope that wasn't one of you guys leaving Chelmsford center on Westford St a little later, neon jersey, white beard?

...
Plenty of white beards to choose from here. ;-)

rod
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Old 10-16-22, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Plenty of white beards to choose from here. ;-)
I figured as much Well on my way there myself but at 55, still at the salt and pepper stage.

I had ambitious plans for a grand loop taking in all of the Narrow Gauge trail and Reformatory branch today, from my door, which would have added up to about 28 miles. Sanity prevailed when I realized how much of the connecting pieces would be numbered highways, including over 5 miles on Route 4 into Billerica with its nasty (for me) hills that aren't any flatter just because it's a splendid October Sunday. So instead I drove to the Great Meadows parking lot right by the Concord River, from where a mere 1.2 miles and 85 vertical feet got me to the northern end of the Narrow Gauge. It still was a bit of a rocky start, or more precisely, sandy and pebbly--the very northern section turned out to be in barely rideable condition. Things improved muchly after the first gate:



And indeed, joy was subsequently found in more ways than one.


I went all the way to Bedford and continued on the Reformatory (surprisingly lumpy by comparison) to, I guess it must have been, Hartwell Road. Reversed back to my car and thus had ridden about 11, very gentle, miles. I congratulated myself on my choice of shorts, possibly the last such day this year, though not so much on my choice of briefs. Enough said.

Lunch at home and my wife was still looking at a whole afternoon of work, a looming deadline, so back out I went. This time I rode from my front door to the BFRT and all the way to the Route 2A bridge. On the return leg, NARA Park offered this lovely bit of foliage...


... as well as a welcome change of posture for a walk around the pond, pushing the bike and munching a cereal bar.

Then on to H[e]art Pond where a couple of youths were busy blowing leaves off the trail, and ruining the mood to contemplate the sky.




But that was soon forgiven when another young'un decided to challenge me to a race! One look at his posture (hybrid bike with the saddle way too low for speed) and I took the challenge, quickly passing him in 52x19, and making sure to shift into 17 teeth while he could still see me, just to make a point. Sweet. Doesn't happen all that often

So all told I did ride well over 30 miles in the end, but with a minimum of road traffic and ascents. Suited me well today.
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Old 10-16-22, 07:47 PM
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finally tried out electric bikes. got lucky with a very good use. but 5 way intersections aren't any less challenging. this is where Beach Rd meets Beach St., Beach St. Extension, Lagoon Pond Rd., & Water St. in Vineyard Haven. which I think is easier on a bike because ppl let you go, regardless of when you arrive at the intersection. w/ Wifey in the lead, I just held my tongue & my breath




intriguing implications as a car substitute

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Old 10-16-22, 07:54 PM
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Sunday, I swapped out the MKS AllWays pedals on the Rambouillet, with a little help from the Battle Road Bikes mechanics to disentangle the KneeSavers pedal extenders that remained stubbornly attached. Why this was necessary involves a quirk of my personal anatomy, and I liked the AllWays, except for how they interacted with my right foot. Anyhow, replaced them with a pair of MKS Gammas, which I know work for me. Having changed the pedals, of course I had to take a shake down ride, this one a quick sprint at sunset on the Mystic Valley Parkway. The sunset colors came and went.









The Rambouillet spun along through the evening.


rod

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Old 10-16-22, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
this one is so great! hope you don't mind I tweaked it a little
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Old 10-16-22, 09:28 PM
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Yessa. Sure was.
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Old 10-17-22, 05:55 AM
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From the BFRT Facebook page:

The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail will be closed for resurfacing between Acton and Griffin Rd in Westford on Thursday 10/20/2022 and possibly 10/21/2022.
This is the section with the serious root damage.

In other BFRT news, the official opening of the Route 2 bridge is postponed at least until spring due to a chain reaction of "can't do X until Y is finished" brought on by apparently undersized fencepost footings.
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Old 10-17-22, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
From the BFRT Facebook page:



This is the section with the serious root damage.

In other BFRT news, the official opening of the Route 2 bridge is postponed at least until spring due to a chain reaction of "can't do X until Y is finished" brought on by apparently undersized fencepost footings.
Yikes! You just can't find a systems engineer when you need one...

rod
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Old 10-17-22, 01:14 PM
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I might as well quote that, as well, since I don't see it on the BFRT website:

UPDATE - THE BRIDGE OVER ROUTE 2: The bridge over Route 2 (Phase 2B), expected to be completed in November, may be delayed until spring due to weather and asphalt plant closures for the season.
The bridge project is still an active construction zone because of an issue with the installation of the chain link fence next to the State Police Horse Barn. The footings were undersized to handle the wind load once fabric was added to the chainlink, potentially creating a “sail” in high winds. To rectify this problem cedar fencing will be added along the path the entire length of the state-owned land adjacent to the horse barn property. However installation of this fencing has been delayed because of supply issues. The final course of asphalt cannot be laid until the cedar fencing has been installed.
The much-anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony likely will be held next spring or early summer.
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Old 10-19-22, 03:48 PM
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A couple of weeks ago I was riding the NGRT and I noticed what looked like a relatively new information kiosk about 25 feet from the trail, about a half mile north of Fawn Lake. It marks an entrance to the Buehler Pond Trails. That day I only went a short way up the side trail, enough to see that it looked better suited to an MTB. Today I went back to explore further.

This is the kiosk:



The map posted there is a somewhat updated version of this one: https://www.bedfordma.gov/sites/g/fi..._-_2018-12.pdf

Here's a snippet:



I think the kiosk is where the more southerly yellow trail meets the NGRT.

The trails were typical for New England: as much rocks and roots as dirt. I had a hard time navigating, as there were so many forks in the trails - seemingly even more than on the map. There are blazes, but they are hard to see at biking speeds, especially when you are trying not to crash into a tree! I did manage to get to one of the ponds, in a roundabout way.



This is the kind of place you need to explore on multiple occasions and get familiar with. It certainly was picturesque on such a beautiful fall day.

I always get a kick out of this signpost where the southernmost blue trail meets the NGRT:



It goes to North Road, of course!

Heading back to the Bedford Depot, I checked out the great color at Fawn Lake:



Took the MM back to Lexington and then on home to Arlington. In Lexington Center the new parklet is fully open. In an earlier post, when the furniture was still wrapped in plastic, I mused about the cube next to the bench. It turns out it is a small bench. The main bench, curiously, has solar panels in the seating area. What is the collected energy for? There's a USB socket in the end of the bench. You can see it in the blue stripe in this picture:



All in all a pleasant 25 miles of both familiar and fresh riding.

Tom
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Old 10-21-22, 12:29 PM
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Back from a quick roll on the new to me Lotus. I can confirm that the surface damage between Acton Rd/27 and Griffin has been fixed and the section is open again. Also, while Westford has cleared leaves off the trail, it's covered in a thick layer for the most part on the Chelmsford side.
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Old 10-22-22, 03:10 PM
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what a day, what a day!




took the road bike out, rode Concord to Arlington on the MM

saw the witches place




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Old 10-22-22, 08:45 PM
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tried to help a gentleman I saw struggling with the saddle of his electric bike. he was from Woburn & we were in Concord. he had stripped the bolt insert so it was hopeless. his plan B kicked in, calling da-wife. another rider stopped as well, so for a good long while, the 3 of use were tag teaming the saddle clamp parts, tool & saddle. how many cyclist does it take to reattach a saddle? well, 3 couldn't get it done today. hahaha
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Old 10-22-22, 09:44 PM
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Well that changes my plans to hit the BFRT from near the Rt 2 rotary.

Does anyone know if I’ll avoid that mess if I pick it up near the Team Works in Acton? At this hour on a Saturday evening, I can’t remember if I’ll be clear if that construction or not.
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Old 10-23-22, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by thin_concrete
Well that changes my plans to hit the BFRT from near the Rt 2 rotary.

Does anyone know if I’ll avoid that mess if I pick it up near the Team Works in Acton? At this hour on a Saturday evening, I can’t remember if I’ll be clear if that construction or not.
Sorry, too late to help with your Saturday plans, but in general I understand the bridge is perfectly usable as is, just "officially" a construction site for liability reasons. New base layer asphalt is smoother than most of the actual roads around where I live so it's a matter of pretending to be distracted by the fall foliage as you ride past the signs...
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Old 10-23-22, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
Sorry, too late to help with your Saturday plans, but in general I understand the bridge is perfectly usable as is, just "officially" a construction site for liability reasons. New base layer asphalt is smoother than most of the actual roads around where I live so it's a matter of pretending to be distracted by the fall foliage as you ride past the signs...
I parked across the street from the prison and took the BFRT to Nara Pond (~8mi) without a hitch. They do have signs, but that section of the trail needs very little. Just complete the fencing over RT2. Lots of walkers, runners and a handful of cyclists so no worries if anyone wants to head down the trail in that area.
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Old 10-23-22, 02:47 PM
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the outdoor seating in front of the Kickstand Cafe seems to have expanded. or rather it's just getting used more so they've invested in umbrellas



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Old 10-23-22, 03:27 PM
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Another game of "beat the rain" for a quick spin and today I won. Grabbed the Lotus and went in search of the side entrance to Warren-Pohl (see #10238 above). It is completely unmarked and better suited to mountain bikes but for the sake of completeness, look for this, alongside 66 Bartlett St:



Found the trails deserted once again, and just one car in the parking lot as I left on that side. I should add that Google Maps shows a loop of public road to get in and out of the lot, this is incorrect, half of that is in fact private property. This must be a common error; the dirt road through the apple orchard next door to me has been showing as public for years, and my neighbor has tried to get that rectified to no avail.

Back to the Chelmsford center BFRT trailhead, where I decided to test the weapons grade stainless pump at the tool station. Eight years (I think) since the trail opened and the pump itself is still in perfect condition, but will need new gaskets in the head soon. Presta wouldn't grab, Schrader with my adapter did work. The selection of tools however should not be relied on anymore, plenty of rust and signs of abuse.

Still no real sign of rain so I continued on the BFRT to High St and then turned towards home via back roads. Took a turn I didn't mean to and capped my ride with more climbing than planned ("oh hey water tower, you old b*st*rd, well at least it'll be all downhill now"). All told about 8 miles plus tooling around in Warren-Pohl, not bad for just trying to beat the forecast.
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Old 10-23-22, 03:35 PM
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not a fan of dogs off leash but this one was so good
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Old 10-23-22, 03:56 PM
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I would never have dreamed of taking my dog along like that. She was much too easily spooked, for one thing, but this is just wrong on so many levels and really, a sign of disregard for the dog's health and safety. They should walk the dog, or jog with the dog, on a lead, of course. Or go out on the bikes without the dog, or get a trailer. There is no in between.
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Old 10-23-22, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
I would never have dreamed of taking my dog along like that. She was much too easily spooked, for one thing, but this is just wrong on so many levels and really, a sign of disregard for the dog's health and safety. They should walk the dog, or jog with the dog, on a lead, of course. Or go out on the bikes without the dog, or get a trailer. There is no in between.
The best dog in Middlesex County runs to heel alongside his master's bicycle, under effective voice command. So it can be done. But that's the only case I know of where the training truly seems good enough. Somewhere I've got a photo of the dog, the man, and his bike.

rod
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Old 10-24-22, 04:29 AM
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the dog never took his eyes off the guy. they were headed right toward a ton more ppl & leashed dogs ...

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Old 10-24-22, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
the dog never took his eyes of the guy. they were headed right toward a ton more ppl & leashed dogs ...
Good dog!

rod
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Old 10-27-22, 02:45 PM
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I got my flu shot this morning, which left me a bit fatigued. Still, after four days of rain, there was no way I was going to let today's beautiful weather go to waste. So I pulled myself together and got on the bike. I felt better immediately! Rode the MM out to the Bedford Depot:



As someone said recently "what a day!"

Tom
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