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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-09-22, 05:27 PM
  #10301  
bike_tom
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I also rode the MM on this seasonably cool afternoon. My only constraint being getting back before dark (4:30ish), I rode out to Bedford and then continued on the RBT to Concord. I didn't see the riding leaf blower, but I did see a fellow blowing leaves from the grassy strip between the bike path and the Lexington school bus depot (at Bedford St aka 4/225) first onto the MM then across to the other side.

I had a nice chat with a fellow rider at the Depot Park on a Seven Evergreen SL with S&S transport couplers. To accommodate taking the bike apart Seven built it with a GRX Di2 wireless drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes. I should have looked more closely at his shifters, as GRX only comes hydraulic. There's apparently some space in the Shimano shift lever universe that supports wireless Di2 and mechanical brakes. In any case, he gave me a tip for traversing from the RBT to Battle Road via the Concord Waste Water access road and a woods trail to Merriam's Corner that I am going to try out some time.

I think this view at GMNWR sums up the somewhat moody autumn feel of the afternoon:



I got home at 4:15, so I met my goal of avoiding darkness. 'bout 27 miles.

Tom
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Old 11-10-22, 04:30 PM
  #10302  
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I went on ~25 mile rides on Bianchi-san both Monday and today but have basically nothing to show, the cell phone mostly stayed in the frame bag. The NRRT on Monday, out and back to the Nashua end from Groton, was 17 miles of leaf-crunching and acorn-popping in 70 degree weather, surreal. Shame about the root damage underneath, the trail was pretty empty but any attempt to go fast was quickly aborted. First time at the terminus for me, trails into the woods beckoned but it was getting late and it wasn't the right bike for that.



The sight of a couple on rack-less road bikes trying to figure out how to bring along a small pumpkin would have been some puzzler had I not passed the two big crates of free pumpkins earlier. Hundreds more left behind in the field for wildlife.

Earlier on Monday I also rolled a bit on the Narrow Gauge and Reformatory. Lots of anti-Minuteman-extension signs along the trail, quite a few pro-extension away from it. Go figure.

Today I decided to pick up the BFRT in a different spot for a change, and looped NE from home to where it crosses Golden Cove Rd. Stedman St turned out to be dicey on 25mm tires, with the weekday traffic mostly nixing evasive maneuvers. The trail was great, however. Blissfully free of leaves all the way to East Acton where I turned around, except for a few stretches in Westford where they did the blowin' before the oaks were done droppin'. The wind was a bit of a challenge but really, that's only fair given that NARA Park and the 2A bridge were the only "climbs". I spent more time than usual in the drops on account of it, now my shoulders are complaining more than my legs!
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Old 11-10-22, 05:34 PM
  #10303  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
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
oops


bad pic but its a phone no flash pic while I was rushing
will be a nice upgrade from my 7.0 alpha trek fx
perfect used bike, seller says it has 10 miles on it & I believe him. it's just dusty, otherwise brand new (from 10 years ago)
rolls & shifts perfect, brakes insanely engaging
I know just the tires I'll try 1st
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Old 11-10-22, 05:41 PM
  #10304  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
oops


bad pic but its a phone no flash pic while I was rushing
will be a nice upgrade from my 7.0 alpha trek fx
perfect used bike, seller says it has 10 miles on it & I believe him. it's just dusty, otherwise brand new (from 10 years ago)
rolls & shifts perfect, brakes insanely engaging
I know just the tires I'll try 1st
New Bike Day! Enjoy!

rod
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Old 11-10-22, 05:44 PM
  #10305  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
New Bike Day! Enjoy!
thank you. I'm excited & surprised
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Old 11-11-22, 07:49 AM
  #10306  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
intriguing bike, what tires & pressure did you use?
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Old 11-11-22, 09:49 AM
  #10307  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
intriguing bike, what tires & pressure did you use?
I am running the stock tires it came with: Bontrager GR1 Team Issue in 700 x 40c. I've been setting the pressures to 45-48 psi if I expect to stay on pavement, about 40-42 psi if I am going off-pavement (e.g. RBT, Battle Road, etc.) Very comfortable and still fast (for me at least.)

As I've indicated in my posts, I am very happy with the bike - about 700 miles so far. Trek specs max tire size as 700 x 45c or 650 x 2.1" For where I ride it, I haven't felt the need to go larger.

I saw you just got a new bike. I hope you enjoy it.

Tom

EDIT: I forget to mention that the tires on my Checkpoint are set up tubeless

Last edited by bike_tom; 11-11-22 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 11-11-22, 12:26 PM
  #10308  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
I am running the stock tires it came with: Bontrager GR1 Team Issue in 700 x 40c. I've been setting the pressures to 45-48 psi if I expect to stay on pavement, about 40-42 psi if I am going off-pavement (e.g. RBT, Battle Road, etc.) Very comfortable and still fast (for me at least.)
As I've indicated in my posts, I am very happy with the bike - about 700 miles so far. Trek specs max tire size as 700 x 45c or 650 x 2.1" For where I ride it, I haven't felt the need to go larger.
I saw you just got a new bike. I hope you enjoy it.
EDIT: I forget to mention that the tires on my Checkpoint are set up tubeless
oh, very cool. looks like a real blast & perfect for dirt
re: new bike, thank you. didn't "need" it, but then do we ever "need" a new bike? hahaha
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Old 11-11-22, 02:20 PM
  #10309  
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Back from a quick 7.2 road miles before the rain sets in. Today does have an end of riding season feel about it, but I've been wrong about that before. Most likely the end of "just hop on the bike as you are" season, though. Which outfit (i.e. long-sleeve T-shirt and stretch pants with USPS freebie rubber band at the ankle) actually proved too warm. The route was a familiar loop into Westford from my front door, west on one side side of Stony Brook and east on the other.

Brief stop at Grassy Pond, scene of countless walks with our dog who's no longer with us, the accessible platform is more recent.


Short as it is, this route includes three level RR crossings. Freight trains, so not on any schedule that we've been able to identify in 20+ years, except they seem to run very early in the morning, and around mid-day on weekends. The School St crossing in Chelmsford features this long abandoned building. Older Chelmsfordians remember picking out train sets there when it was a hobby shop. What a cool location for that. Long before our time. I do believe the huge set one of the local liquor stores would set up every year for Christmas came from there. Now that, too, is history.



And that was pretty much it. I did however receive my replacement pump minutes before I set out. Lezyne Sport Drive HP, on sale for $15.99 at Amazon. Small and well made, flexible hose with Schrader and Presta ends, comes with a sturdy plastic bracket with Velcro strap that doesn't look too out of place on a 1986 bike. I confirmed that a reasonable get-home pressure of 65 psi (I'm a middleweight) can be achieved without undue effort. The claimed 120 psi probably requires flagging down a passing bodybuilder, though

Last edited by EVlove; 11-11-22 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-11-22, 04:54 PM
  #10310  
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Friday, continued to put miles on the Sam Hillborne, taking it for a visit to my son Sam and granddaughter Ida. This gave me an opportunity to enjoy my favorite Belmont traffic sign.


Sam and Ida were in fine fettle, and we walked to one of Watertown's playgrounds and back. Here's Sam comforting Ida after a playground mishap.


Soon enough it was time to go. I wanted a longer ride, so I picked up School Street and rode S almost, but not quite, to Arsenal Road, turning onto the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway at the last possible moment.


You are here. Or I am there. Somewhere.


A blithe spirit shows the way.


Good old DCR.


Autumn still has something to show us.


The Star Market (or is it a Shaw's?) is sporting some new murals. Bravo!


My closest approach to Fresh Pond today. Cranked up the Concord Ave bike lanes, and on home. This little ride made me happy.


rod
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Old 11-12-22, 04:07 PM
  #10311  
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Did a little BRFT action this afternoon. Went from Concord over to the section of the trail behind Donelan’s in Acton and promptly crossed the street to Rapscallion. A short 12 miles total, but a pleasant surprise mid-ride.

Given the weather, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the number of cyclists on trail, but I was surprised by the amount of people riding 3 or 4 or 5 wide in some places. I get it - you’re riding with others, but it’s still a 2 way trail.
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Old 11-12-22, 06:18 PM
  #10312  
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Took the Sam Hillborne at midday and rode East, up hill, down dale, and in and out of traffic.


It was a warm day to start, but temperatures were forecast to drop as the day went on, so I rolled up my Taiga shell and put it in the small trunk bag that I carry on the front rack. It fit perfectly, and towards the end of the ride, as the day cooled and the year cooled, I took it out, put it on, and enjoyed the warmth. Sunset came and went, and the Fellsmere jets d'eau danced brilliantly in the night.


Headlights! Just what I wanted!


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 11-14-22 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 11-13-22, 06:32 AM
  #10313  
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got in a 1st ride on my new pre-owned bike. warm humid day out on the Assabet


shud have brought it in. bummed this morning to find out I left it out in the rain, oops
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Old 11-13-22, 06:36 AM
  #10314  
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Originally Posted by thin_concrete View Post
Did a little BRFT action this afternoon. Went from Concord over to the section of the trail behind Donelan’s in Acton and promptly crossed the street to Rapscallion. A short 12 miles total, but a pleasant surprise mid-ride.Given the weather, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the number of cyclists on trail, but I was surprised by the amount of people riding 3 or 4 or 5 wide in some places. I get it - you’re riding with others, but it’s still a 2 way trail.
yeah really. that borders on obnoxious. Wifey & I are very fond of Rapscallion. always meet good ppl around the fire pit over drinks & food
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Old 11-13-22, 06:43 AM
  #10315  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
You are here. Or I am there. Somewhere.
wow, gorgeous! would have loved to have shown this to my late Dad. when I was a young man I helped him find & document the 250 yr old sandstone mile markers of the old Boston Post Road in NY & CT that date back to Benjamin Franklin. fwiw just found this article about some of them


we even got into our local newspaper. fun father/son times
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Old 11-13-22, 06:51 AM
  #10316  
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
Short as it is, this route includes three level RR crossings. Freight trains, so not on any schedule that we've been able to identify in 20+ years, except they seem to run very early in the morning, and around mid-day on weekends. The School St crossing in Chelmsford features this long abandoned building. Older Chelmsfordians remember picking out train sets there when it was a hobby shop. What a cool location for that. Long before our time. I do believe the huge set one of the local liquor stores would set up every year for Christmas came from there. Now that, too, is history.

of that building needs some love
we used to visit a RR hobby shop in Acton
sorry about your late pet dog. nice remembrance *hugs*
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Old 11-13-22, 06:52 AM
  #10317  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Friday, continued to put miles on the Sam Hillborne, taking it for a visit to my son Sam and granddaughter Ida. This gave me an opportunity to enjoy my favorite Belmont traffic sign.
that's great
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Old 11-13-22, 07:57 AM
  #10318  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
wow, gorgeous! would have loved to have shown this to my late Dad. when I was a young man I helped him find & document the 250 yr old sandstone mile markers of the old Boston Post Road in NY & CT that date back to Benjamin Franklin. fwiw just found this article about some of them


we even got into our local newspaper. fun father/son times
DCR is doing a good job continuing the stone markers tradition, I think. Memory...

rod
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Old 11-13-22, 08:56 AM
  #10319  
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
Back from a quick 7.2 road miles before the rain sets in. Today does have an end of riding season feel about it, but I've been wrong about that before. Most likely the end of "just hop on the bike as you are" season, though. Which outfit (i.e. long-sleeve T-shirt and stretch pants with USPS freebie rubber band at the ankle) actually proved too warm. The route was a familiar loop into Westford from my front door, west on one side side of Stony Brook and east on the other.

Brief stop at Grassy Pond, scene of countless walks with our dog who's no longer with us, the accessible platform is more recent.


Short as it is, this route includes three level RR crossings. Freight trains, so not on any schedule that we've been able to identify in 20+ years, except they seem to run very early in the morning, and around mid-day on weekends. The School St crossing in Chelmsford features this long abandoned building. Older Chelmsfordians remember picking out train sets there when it was a hobby shop. What a cool location for that. Long before our time. I do believe the huge set one of the local liquor stores would set up every year for Christmas came from there. Now that, too, is history.



And that was pretty much it. I did however receive my replacement pump minutes before I set out. Lezyne Sport Drive HP, on sale for $15.99 at Amazon. Small and well made, flexible hose with Schrader and Presta ends, comes with a sturdy plastic bracket with Velcro strap that doesn't look too out of place on a 1986 bike. I confirmed that a reasonable get-home pressure of 65 psi (I'm a middleweight) can be achieved without undue effort. The claimed 120 psi probably requires flagging down a passing bodybuilder, though
I remember when the depot building was open, but never went in. Now it reminds me of the movie "The Station Agent", which I should post in the good movies thread. I don't think the train is ever on a schedule (but your "weekday early morning/ weekend midday" is accurate); they just seem to come along when I'm going somewhere.
That RR crossing at School Street is one that really gets your attention if you go too fast in your car, BTDT.
I always wondered what happened to the train set up at Harrington's Liquors. After John Harrington sold to Lincoln Liquors, a lot of the "home town" experience was lost (although the train set up (and John's Corvette and truck) did take up a lot of valuable real estate. I think he just relished all the space he had (Harrington's used to be located in a small space between Purity Supreme and Marshalls, which is basically where Andiamo/ Nobo are now).

Last edited by ralphs; 11-13-22 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 11-13-22, 12:29 PM
  #10320  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yeah really. that borders on obnoxious. Wifey & I are very fond of Rapscallion. always meet good ppl around the fire pit over drinks & food
My wife and I typically start and end our BFRT rides from the parking lot behind Donelans. I've noticed Rapscallion but never investigated. I just looked at the menu and it looks pretty good. Now with (both of) your recommendations, we'll definitely check it out next time we are out that way.

Tom
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Old 11-13-22, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
My wife and I typically start and end our BFRT rides from the parking lot behind Donelans. I've noticed Rapscallion but never investigated. I just looked at the menu and it looks pretty good. Now with (both of) your recommendations, we'll definitely check it out next time we are out that way.
hope to see you there. have an open mind & patience w/ the wait staff, they've been open all thru covid, it's an interesting setup w/ traditional indoor seating, patio seating & the fire pit area. for the fire pit you kinda order at the bar & bring it down on your own. same w/ food. bathrooms are inside straight back on the other side of the bar. good ppl run it. mention the bike forums if you meet a 65ish bike nerd ;-)
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Old 11-13-22, 06:37 PM
  #10322  
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Yeah - Rapscallion is a great place. We go there a lot by car, but by bike is way more fun. I anticipate going by bike a lot more!

It’s definitely a place that requires a bit of patience, but the outside area is top notch.
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Old 11-14-22, 10:38 AM
  #10323  
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So, now that the weather pattern seems to have flipped on us for good, who's still heading out? I don't even have any bike-specific warm clothes. I used to commute in the city through the winter, as long as the roads were dry, but that was a long time ago and a short commute...
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Old 11-14-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
So, now that the weather pattern seems to have flipped on us for good, who's still heading out? I don't even have any bike-specific warm clothes. I used to commute in the city through the winter, as long as the roads were dry, but that was a long time ago and a short commute...
stay tuned ...
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Old 11-14-22, 12:40 PM
  #10325  
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Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
So, now that the weather pattern seems to have flipped on us for good, who's still heading out? I don't even have any bike-specific warm clothes. I used to commute in the city through the winter, as long as the roads were dry, but that was a long time ago and a short commute...
I expect to ride all Winter. I've got clothes that can cope with it, a mix of merino wool and synthetic items that I've learned to combine to keep me more or less comfortable down into the 20s, plus gloves and mittens known to work at various temperature ranges. Brands include Sport Hill (mostly for pants, especially including their 3SP material, a polypropylene blend that keeps the cold out), Oregon Cyclewear merino jerseys, Smartwool merino base layers, Taiga wind- and rain-resistant shells, paired with their PolarTec fleece layers. And warm shoes, in my case just a pair of leather New Balance walking shoes, paired with various BMX platform pedals. To make room for the car in the garage, and to spare the newer and shinier bikes exposure to road salt and sand, I'll pare my active bikes down to two: my trusty 1987 GT Karakoram rigid mtb, fitted with studded Nokian tires, and the 700c Surly Long Haul Trucker, wearing Compass Snoqualmie Pass Extralights. The Karakoram will be used any time I think ice may be encountered; otherwise, I'll take the LHT. The choice of bikes may also be dictated by temperature: if mittens are needed, the flat-bar GT is preferable.

Several of the people on this thread are active Winter riders. Each one has his or her own set of solutions to the technical problems of Winter riding.

rod

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