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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-28-22, 06:47 AM
  #10276  
EVlove
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Work and weather had conspired to keep me off the bike all week but yesterday afternoon was indeed to good to miss. I picked the Bianchi which is now sporting a used set of 25mm Conti Gatorskins, a much better fit than the fork-rubbing Schwalbe CX Comp. I decided to take a different route to the BFRT this time, which involved the worst road surface anywhere around here (Pine Hill Rd) at downhill speeds for the first time. Not my smartest move. My frame mounted pump parted ways twice and the second time, did get destroyed under a car tire before I could retrieve it. Thing is, I knew perfectly well that its plastic bracket was cracked and super-glued in one spot, and briefly thought I should really strap it down. And then didn't.

It's a really thick layer of leaves on the Chelmsford side now, in one spot hiding a twig that almost brought me down. I was taking it easy on the unfamiliar tires but they were fine, and smoothed out the ride noticeably better than the 23mm Michelins I was running most of the year. 80 psi versus 100 does make a difference, who knew.
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Old 10-28-22, 08:06 AM
  #10277  
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
Work and weather had conspired to keep me off the bike all week but yesterday afternoon was indeed to good to miss. I picked the Bianchi which is now sporting a used set of 25mm Conti Gatorskins, a much better fit than the fork-rubbing Schwalbe CX Comp. I decided to take a different route to the BFRT this time, which involved the worst road surface anywhere around here (Pine Hill Rd) at downhill speeds for the first time. Not my smartest move. My frame mounted pump parted ways twice and the second time, did get destroyed under a car tire before I could retrieve it. Thing is, I knew perfectly well that its plastic bracket was cracked and super-glued in one spot, and briefly thought I should really strap it down. And then didn't.

It's a really thick layer of leaves on the Chelmsford side now, in one spot hiding a twig that almost brought me down. I was taking it easy on the unfamiliar tires but they were fine, and smoothed out the ride noticeably better than the 23mm Michelins I was running most of the year. 80 psi versus 100 does make a difference, who knew.
reminds me:
  • I have a favorite pump which I transfer from bike to bike, depending ... so I bought 2 more proper pump mounts, so now all 3 bikes have the same pump mount. don't remember where I bought it. I just checked my Amazon account but it wasn't there ... maybe it was ebay (the screw holes match up with one of my bottle cages)
  • 4 wheelers are reminded that when riding on forest roads leaves can cover tree stumps which can cause problems
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Old 10-28-22, 10:37 PM
  #10278  
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11 days off the bike after testing positive for Covid, and after two negative antigen tests over the last 4 days, I took the Rambouillet for a tentative spin up the Minuteman to Lexington and back.


A band played in Arlington Center, hooray!


Mr. Bones continued to do his best at Hazel's Flying School, with mixed results.


The big catalpa has put on its Autumn finery and glowed softly in the evening.


Gentle sunset colors hung in the sky, waiting to be noticed.


So far, so good.

rod

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Old 10-29-22, 06:43 AM
  #10279  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
11 days off the bike after testing positive for Covid, and after two negative antigen tests over the last 4 days, I took the Rambouillet for a tentative spin up the Minuteman to Lexington and back.
The absence of your ride reports was conspicuous, so I was wondering if something was up. Glad you are OK and well enough to ride again.

Tom
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Old 10-29-22, 07:19 AM
  #10280  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
The absence of your ride reports was conspicuous, so I was wondering if something was up. Glad you are OK and well enough to ride again.

Tom
Thanks! I enjoyed reading everybody else's reports: lots of interesting activity lately.

rod
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Old 10-29-22, 04:20 PM
  #10281  
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Took the Rambouillet out again on Saturday, for a gentle spin to Depot Park and back, another turn of the crank towards getting my body cranking again before Winter sets in.


All graffiti is ephemeral, but some endure a bit longer than the others, for whatever reasons. Here are two candidates from the current year that I've gotten kind of attached to.




The creations of the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders are at the other end of the spectrum, often changing daily. Their evolution is fun to watch. Just now, they seem to have discovered population pressure and crowding. A story goes with it: rock on.


Competence/Incompetence (no photos):

Outbound, I encountered two young women who were coasting down the long hill between Bedford Street and the Route 128 overpass (I-95, if you're not of a certain age); at intervals, they were moving from normal riding position to assume a Lotus position on the saddle. They'd hold it for a few seconds, then put their feet on the pedals again, only to repeat the process a few secondsl later. I was impressed by the skill involved. Beats a wheelie, any day.

Inbound, I watched another young woman manage to fall over on her bike, in a crowd, and then put the bike across the middle of the path and commence tinkering with it. Yikes! Everybody maneuvered around the obstacle thus created. Nobody said anything.

Lots of folks out today, not necessarily paying attention. The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders were onto something.

rod
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Old 10-30-22, 12:47 PM
  #10282  
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There are no wrong turns, Halloween edition

So, if it hasn't become clear from my contributions already, I tend to be pretty loose about my route planning. Largely because a handlebar cellphone mount is #4 on my list of The Top 5 Things I Do Not Need On My Bikes.* The plan, if indeed it may be called that, for today was to head north on the BFRT for a change and explore urban Lowell in the relative safety of a sunny, sleepy Sunday morning. This scheme was hardly well-laid and indeed gang agley not two miles from my house with a sharply hissing rear flat. For which I had only myself to blame, not only for trusting the used inners that came with the used Contis, but evidently for also installing them in haste and without a dusting of cornstarch. A fold was pinched under the bead, which fact, in hindsight, had been announcing itself towards the end of my last ride with a noticeable rear shimmy I should have investigated thoroughly. A veritable omelet in my face, in other words.

Verbally abusing my past self in two languages, I pushed the bike into a church parking lot, briefly considered my options, and decided it was still early in the game, so I was going to fix the flat and ride on. A spare tube, levers, pump, and even cornstarch were at hand, and it would be good exercise for having to do this under likely less desirable circumstances next time.

The fix went well but lost time, the manually underinflated rear, and the now equally suspicious front all suggested I should pick a shorter loop than intended. So I hopped onto the BFRT and turned... north after all! To the Cross Point parking lot, where a large group ride seemed to be assembling for an 11 AM start time; I didn't ask who they were. I looped around the deserted cinema parking lot and left via Industrial Ave and the rotary, using the bumpy, neglected sidewalk for a while. I stayed on Industrial when I should have turned, the smooth, flat, deserted asphalt was just too much pretend-time-trial fun. U-turn, and back to the at least somewhat more familiar surroundings of the Lowell cemeteries, and finally south via Carlisle St and Brick Kiln Rd, where I briefly explored the powerline corridor, devoid of signs prohibiting such because...



...you don't get very far, anyway. Today's irrelevant "my bike leaning against" shot. (Also today's "my handlebars have been creeping downwards" shot.)

Now I was back on familiar roads and knew what to expect when I reached Route 129. The most recently repaved section does have a marked bike lane but naturally it's along a stretch that really doesn't need it, while we still have to fight our way through car-centric intersections on either end completely unaided. To be avoided if possible, even on Sundays, read my mental note.

Chelmsford center was reached in good time, however, and featured this like-minded if stationary apparition:


I questioned their choice of footwear.

Added up to about 13 miles before lunch today. The afternoon shall be given over to checking that front tire, and miscellaneous wrenching.

*Because I know you're dying to hear, the current list goes like this:
5 - Carbon
4 - Turn-by-turn navigation
3 - Clipless pedals
2 - Strava
1 - "Kit"
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Old 10-31-22, 01:11 PM
  #10283  
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I was in the mood for a longish but familiar (i.e.no need to consult maps) ride today, so I headed to Concord via the Minuteman and the Reformatory Branch Trail. Weather and trail conditions were perfect.

On the RBT I noted several signs taking a position on the Minuteman Bikeway Extension vote at the upcoming Bedford Town Meeting. Most, but not all, the signs were against. A surprising number were in the small slice of Bedford between Route 62 (Concord Rd) and the Concord line. This was the largest and most stridently against that I saw:



I didn't know there was such a thing as a "cycling highway"...

The end of the trail at Lowell Rd was very autumnal. Not intense colors, but very nice nonetheless:



About 27 miles.

Tom
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Old 10-31-22, 04:36 PM
  #10284  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
I didn't know there was such a thing as a "cycling highway"...
There sure is, and we should be so lucky in this country: Bicycle highway
I haven't had a chance to use one but it's on my list for a future visit back home in Germany. Come to think of it, I wonder if this is anybody's avatar yet:

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Old 10-31-22, 05:41 PM
  #10285  
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
There sure is, and we should be so lucky in this country: Bicycle highway
I haven't had a chance to use one but it's on my list for a future visit back home in Germany. Come to think of it, I wonder if this is anybody's avatar yet:

That's interesting. In this case, it certainly seems the sign maker used the term pejoratively.
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Old 10-31-22, 06:56 PM
  #10286  
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Took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler out for a Halloween spin as the light faded.


Saw all sorts of costumed hilarity, although this was the only photo of same that I came away with.


In particular, the costumed Wheelie Boys who were cutting capers in both lanes of Broadway in Arlington were noteworthy. I applauded their skill, if not their judgement.

When Mr. Bones doesn't wear his shades, he reveals hidden talents.


rod
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Old 11-01-22, 01:23 PM
  #10287  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
hehe that's a great use of the gif!
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Old 11-02-22, 03:37 PM
  #10288  
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Took a Day of the Dead ride up the MM to Lexington this afternoon. I was in the mood for just a bit more distance and a path less frequented so I added on out-and-back on the Vine Brook Trail. This trail is easily accessed by jumping off the MM at Fletcher Ave, Lexington. Its 3.5 miles roundtrip from there to North St. On the way out I used Grant St to bypass the lumpy single track section between Hayes and Brockwood. On the way back I bumped my way through that narrow rooty stretch.

Some nice color along the Vine Brook:



Tom
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Old 11-02-22, 09:54 PM
  #10289  
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Stopped by Battle Road Bikes to say hi and tell tall tales, and discovered that they had finished up one of the last 3 project bikes left in my bike-tinkering backlog that they've been drawing down this year. This is a Rivendell Sam Hillborne, one of their "country bikes", with a black and white (or black and cream, if you prefer, "tuxedo" for short) paint job and a felicitous build that includes a mix of components that have worked for me over the years, a 9-speed drivetrain, Paul Neo Retro brakes up front and Paul Touring Cantis in the rear, XT derailleurs, and other bits from Sugino, Nitto, Paul, and Shimano that I know will dance felicitously together from experience with prior builds. Wheels laced up by Rich Lesnik at Rivendell on White Industries hubs, with 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralights. And a big old Jandd Expedition rear rack.

I enjoyed the happy surprise, rode the bike around the parking lot (thereby inaugurating New Bike Day), then paid the remaining invoice, hoisted it onto the rack, and drove home.


Spent part of the evening adding a bag, a bell, light mounts, and lights. I'll take it for a spin tomorrow.

rod
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Old 11-03-22, 05:09 PM
  #10290  
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Took the Sam Hillborne out for a spin on the Minuteman towards sunset. It was comfortable and quick. I'm quite happy with how it handled, and how responsive it seems. And it's a pretty bike, of course.


It was another fine Autumn day. I just cranked along and smiled.


rod

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Old 11-04-22, 06:37 AM
  #10291  
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Looks like I'll be missing out on this latest stretch of fantastic riding weather due to work. It is supposed to last so maybe on Monday. Meanwhile, nice to read what you've been up to, and I did change my avatar
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Old 11-04-22, 08:03 AM
  #10292  
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
Looks like I'll be missing out on this latest stretch of fantastic riding weather due to work. It is supposed to last so maybe on Monday. Meanwhile, nice to read what you've been up to, and I did change my avatar
That avatar is a keeper.

rod
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Old 11-04-22, 05:14 PM
  #10293  
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Friday developed as another day with a (short) ride sized hole just before dinner. I rolled out on the newly-fledged Rivendell Sam Hillborne a few minutes before sunset.





.
... and that was it for sunset colors. Before hopping on the Minuteman, I stopped in Arlington Center to introduce Sam to Sam. They got on well, and at one point (Uncle) Sam confided to Sam (Hillborne) that, "I always wanted a pump peg, but in my circle that sort of body piercing just wasn't done. I admire yours." They parted friends, I think.


My speedy passage on the Minuteman went unphotographed, and night fell in the middle of it. The moon presided over the evening.


The headlights on this bike are mounted on Paul Gino light mounts on the mid-fork braze-ons. The illumination pattern is useful without being obnoxious.


rod

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Old 11-05-22, 10:56 PM
  #10294  
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Saturday, I took the Rivendell Sam Hillborne and rode East.


This hills-and-traffic drill through Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham was a test both of the new bike, and of my own post-Covid lungs and legs. The bike passed, and I didn't pass out, so all is well.








The Sam climbed eagerly and descended with stability and control. It navigated the high-traffic segments of the route with precision, and the 38mm Compass Barlow Pass Extralights soaked up the occasional bits of rough pavement. I did have to correct a creeping problem with saddle pitch, but that was easily enough done by the side of the road with a hex wrench. As for my own condition, I do feel I lost a little something from the recent bout of Covid, but I was cranking up the hills without undue difficulty, and reckon anything I lost will return if I ask it to persistently enough. Ah yeah, and the fork-mounted headlights got a workout on the return, allowing me to see and avoid the worst of the pot holes after darkness fell. Executive summary: whoopee!

rod
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Old 11-06-22, 11:51 PM
  #10295  
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Sunday, by the time my schedule freed up (read: by the time the Pats game ended), it was 4:30 EST, and the sun had just set. Insert the set of all relevant timezone rants here. But I rolled out on the Sam Hillborne wearing shorts and short sleeves (in November!!!) for a little twilight ride on the Minuteman. The sunset colors obliged me by sticking around long enough to be photographed here and there, starting as I set off:




Most everyone on the Minuteman was showing a light, except for an elite corps of idiots. Those of us who were prepared illuminated the idiots in the public interest. In the interest of brevity, I won't get into the prevalence of headlight aimpoint errors. Or of bright flashers (Dude, that thing is illegal in Germany!). The seasonal follies are upon us.




Peepers Pond: last call for sunset colors.


The trail was relatively empty, and I made good time.

rod

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Old 11-07-22, 03:39 PM
  #10296  
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Took the Sam Hilborne out in actual daylight.


It was a bright and windy day. Bright...


... and windy...


Bright and windy!


Meanwhile, the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders are herding flocks of turkeys. Or perhaps opening a day care center.


rod
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Old 11-07-22, 04:48 PM
  #10297  
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My wife joined me riding the MM out to Bedford today. She usually doesn't ride this late in the season, but the fabulous weather was too good to pass up. As was said earlier: shorts in November! It was warm enough to enjoy a picnic lunch at the tables by the Bedford passenger depot. I enjoy seeing the old railroad semaphore signals that are still there:



Its going to be 20' colder tomorrow. That's fine with me - I am ready for some seasonably cooler weather.

Tom
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Old 11-08-22, 05:25 PM
  #10298  
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I decided to get me some of that seasonably cooler weather, so I dressed for the occasion, took the Rambler out, and got some.


Got a little wash of sunset pastel as a throw-in. Cool! Cranked along on the Rambler, made my legs happy.

rod
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Old 11-09-22, 12:35 PM
  #10299  
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Today, the short-ride-sized hole in the schedule was found at noon, as the UU clock tower tells it. I took the Sam out into the cool and bright, after spending a bit of time in the morning reorienting its saddle in 3-space.


The new saddle position worked for me, and I proceeded swiftly up to Lexington Center, then swiftly back again, pausing only to photograph this combination retaining wall and deciduous tree planter, quaint while it lasts, and somewhat reminiscent of some of the Angkor ruins.


Also seen, but not photographed: a riding leaf blower clearing the trail in Arlington, a whole flotilla of MWRA vehicles, on maneuvers near the Arlington-Lexington line (ask me about my regional sewer line), two recumbent tricycles, an ElliptiGO, and a lawn chair being used to read a book in a park. A diversity of transports.

rod
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Old 11-09-22, 02:26 PM
  #10300  
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there was a time I would have jumped on this, nice little Hybrid for sale in the "metrowest" area

Marin Muirwoods Urban 29er bike - $300 (Sudbury)
https://boston.craigslist.org/bmw/bik/7554375680.html
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