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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-14-22, 02:15 PM
  #10326  
thin_concrete
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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 have one pair of long bibs, a couple long sleeve jerseys and a jacket. My bike is going on the trainer this weekend or next and then I’ll hit the road again when it warms up. I don’t mind riding into the upper 40s/low 50s, but below that is just not fun for me.
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Old 11-14-22, 02:45 PM
  #10327  
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Speaking of riding in colder weather, I decided to get out for a ride this afternoon, after not having been on the bike for several days. Long cycling pants with thermal tights underneath, jacket over jersey on top, neck gaiter, skull cap under helmet, long fingered gloves.

I decided to see what, if anything, was new on the Somerville Community Path extension alongside the new Green Line tracks. Rode the MM to Alewife, Cambridge Linear Park to Davis, Somerville Community Path to Lowell St.

Progress? Yes! Check this out:



Compared to the last time I was there, about 6 weeks ago, the top coat of asphalt is on the path and the yellow line has been painted. Except for chain link fence, it looks ready to go.

As for my riding attire, I snapped this selfie on the back (Cambridge) side of Alewife:



I tooled around on the Fitchburg Cutoff and the MM, then headed home.

I hope to keep riding at least till mid-December. I have a bit more to go on my mileage goal for 2022.

Tom
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Old 11-14-22, 08:55 PM
  #10328  
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Took the Sam Hillborne out on the Minuteman along about sunset. Temperatures were in the low 40s to start.


The sunset progressed...


By the time I passed Peepers Pond the second time, the temperature was in the upper 30s, and my fingers were complaining about my somewhat ill-considered choice of gloves.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have graced us with a charming reclining nude. I do hope she doesn't catch cold..


rod
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Old 11-15-22, 04:20 PM
  #10329  
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I figure that if I keep riding, I won't think 40 degrees is cold anymore, so I got out again this afternoon. MM to Bedford Depot. It was super quiet - saw at most 10 other riders the whole round trip from Arlington. I am thinking, with the weather turning, it is reasonable now to ride the MM on the weekends, which I have been avoiding since last Spring. The majority of the leaves along the MM are off the trees now, and the surface was pretty clean - almost no leaf "mush".

I wore the same gear I had on yesterday. I was pretty comfortable, though maybe I should have gone with the insulated gloves.



There's something really nice about coming back from a cold weather ride and getting yourself, and the bike, back into a warm house,

Tom
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Old 11-15-22, 04:37 PM
  #10330  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
By the time I passed Peepers Pond the second time, the temperature was in the upper 30s, and my fingers were complaining about my somewhat ill-considered choice of gloves.
I did a quick test run on the BFRT after lunch today and found out the same. The rest of my attire consisted of hiking shorts with thermal tights underneath (just OK in 38 degrees, or whatever it was -- there was still ice on the puddle in my driveway when I got back), a merino/acrylic quarter zip over a polyester T-shirt (not nearly enough for the downhill approach to the trail) and my usual runners with cotton crew socks. But it was really the unlined gloves that made me think, who do you think you're fooling, the road bikes need to hibernate now. No indoor trainer, I have neither the space nor the slightest bit of inclination. I'll still go out on the folder now and then, I think, as it's safe and comfortable in regular winter clothes, and the brakes and shifter allow for thermal gloves.
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Old 11-16-22, 01:25 PM
  #10331  
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my strategy over the years, is to keep riding, as it gets colder, modifying my kit as temps lower. this way I'm not caught off guard trying to figure out what to wear, as in if I went from warmer weather to cold weather, it would be a real big adjustment. not sure if that made sense
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Old 11-18-22, 08:35 AM
  #10332  
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FYI: Since many of us who post in this thread regularly ride the Reformatory Branch Trail, here is news that Bedford voters rejected (again) moving forward with the Minuteman Bikeway Extension:

https://mass.streetsblog.org/2022/11...-town-meeting/

https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/20...hs-of-discord/

So, looks like we will get to continue to enjoy the RBT as a dirt/gravel trail. On the other hand, we won't see the safety benefits of an underpass at Concord Rd (Rt 62). I would say this also makes it very unlikely we will ever see the MM connected to the BFRT at West Concord (which was the original destination of the RBT when the railroad was active.)

Tom
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Old 11-18-22, 10:06 AM
  #10333  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
FYI: Since many of us who post in this thread regularly ride the Reformatory Branch Trail, here is news that Bedford voters rejected (again) moving forward with the Minuteman Bikeway Extension:

https://mass.streetsblog.org/2022/11...-town-meeting/

https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/20...hs-of-discord/

So, looks like we will get to continue to enjoy the RBT as a dirt/gravel trail. On the other hand, we won't see the safety benefits of an underpass at Concord Rd (Rt 62). I would say this also makes it very unlikely we will ever see the MM connected to the BFRT at West Concord (which was the original destination of the RBT when the railroad was active.)

Tom
Thanks for the update. So I guess Bedford will continue to roll in the mud.

rod
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Old 11-18-22, 01:20 PM
  #10334  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
FYI: Since many of us who post in this thread regularly ride the Reformatory Branch Trail, here is news that Bedford voters rejected (again) moving forward with the Minuteman Bikeway Extension:
https://mass.streetsblog.org/2022/11...-town-meeting/
https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/20...hs-of-discord/
So, looks like we will get to continue to enjoy the RBT as a dirt/gravel trail. On the other hand, we won't see the safety benefits of an underpass at Concord Rd (Rt 62). I would say this also makes it very unlikely we will ever see the MM connected to the BFRT at West Concord (which was the original destination of the RBT when the railroad was active.)
thank you. we'll just have to keep piecing together our rides. some day, maybe our grandchildren (which I don't have yet) will ride it all paved
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Old 11-18-22, 01:40 PM
  #10335  
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fwiw - gave my notice to my 2nd job which includes 1 weekend day & 2 week nites, that I'm cutting the week nites, for the winter. still driving to NY every other week to check on Mom & I need a breather. also some night rides!
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Old 11-18-22, 02:05 PM
  #10336  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
FYI: Since many of us who post in this thread regularly ride the Reformatory Branch Trail, here is news that Bedford voters rejected (again) moving forward with the Minuteman Bikeway Extension:
Thanks for posting. Fear of change wins once again.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:01 PM
  #10337  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
FYI: Since many of us who post in this thread regularly ride the Reformatory Branch Trail, here is news that Bedford voters rejected (again) moving forward with the Minuteman Bikeway Extension:

https://mass.streetsblog.org/2022/11...-town-meeting/

https://www.thebedfordcitizen.org/20...hs-of-discord/

So, looks like we will get to continue to enjoy the RBT as a dirt/gravel trail. On the other hand, we won't see the safety benefits of an underpass at Concord Rd (Rt 62). I would say this also makes it very unlikely we will ever see the MM connected to the BFRT at West Concord (which was the original destination of the RBT when the railroad was active.)

Tom
Well that’s a load of…well…lots of expletives.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:04 PM
  #10338  
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I finally put a new chain and cassette on the Dogma and went about 3 miles to make sure everything worked before getting fed up with the cold. I’ll put it on the trainer and put it through some real paces next week when I have to get rid of turkey/stuffing/pie weight.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:52 PM
  #10339  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Thanks for the update. So I guess Bedford will continue to roll in the mud.

rod
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
thank you. we'll just have to keep piecing together our rides. some day, maybe our grandchildren (which I don't have yet) will ride it all paved
Originally Posted by EVlove View Post
Thanks for posting. Fear of change wins once again.
Originally Posted by thin_concrete View Post
Well that’s a load of…well…lots of expletives.
I expected this to be of interest, and 4 replies shows it certainly is.

In some ways, this decision reminds me of Arlington's opposition to the Red Line extension in the late 1970s (before I lived there). That prevented the extension that was built from Harvard Square to Alewife from continuing westward. If not for that, the end of the Red Line might be at 128 today. Of course, that outcome gave us the Minuteman, which might not have been possible depending on how they built the subway.

In contrast to Bedford's rejection of the MM extension (after 15 years of planning and many prior votes to move forward), the BFRT chugs along. The BFRT Concord section will be complete when the Route 2 bridge officially opens, and Sudbury voted to move forward with their section. Sudbury had a similar land acquisition question at their town meeting last May which got the required two thirds approval.

Interestingly, when Concord voted on investigating improvements to their section of the Reformatory trail, it got a negative response. I wonder if it has something to do with the difference between creating a trail from an overgrown, unused, right-of-way (BFRT) versus converting an existing woods path (RBT) into a formal MUP.
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Old 11-18-22, 07:50 PM
  #10340  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Thanks for the update. So I guess Bedford will continue to roll in the mud.

rod
One observation: we've seen numerous signs of development along the Reformatory Branch Bedford segment in the last few years. This, in combination with the new developments in apparent ownership of the right of way suggest the operation of proprietary interest, real or imagined.

rod
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Old 11-18-22, 08:02 PM
  #10341  
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Found some warm gloves, and took the Sam Hillborne for a ride on the Minuteman after lunch, in the blustery dazziling chilly day.


Dropped in on Battle Road Bikes to work with Paul on the next couple of builds, and ended up, after the ride, bringing the Sam back to the shop for a couple of changes, after 100 miles of shakedown riding.

My fingers stayed toasty throughout the day.

rod

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Old 11-19-22, 06:48 AM
  #10342  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
I wonder if it has something to do with the difference between creating a trail from an overgrown, unused, right-of-way (BFRT) versus converting an existing woods path (RBT) into a formal MUP.
hmmm wouldn’t mind some kind of dirt improvement alternative
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Old 11-19-22, 08:09 AM
  #10343  
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And now for something completely different. Probably stretching the subject of the thread a little but you guys seem to be a flexible bunch.

I just realized there's a (modest, asphalt) track in Londonderry NH, the Northeast Velodrome. That's only about a half hour drive for me. I wonder if any of you have ever been?

Total track virgin here. Or any racing, as a matter of fact. I would just go for fun and exercise, if they have time slots for that. There's a website and a bunch of race videos on YouTube but there's apparently only a few people running it, and it's losing money, so no guarantees there will even be a 2023 season.

Yes, I did find the track subforum here. Not the most lively section so I figured I'd ask here, first.
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Old 11-19-22, 03:51 PM
  #10344  
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I layered up and got out for a ride this afternoon. I selected Concord via the Reformatory Branch Trail as my destination, because its one of my favorite rides, and also because the RBT was "in the news" this week. I picked my hardtail MTB as the tool of choice, partly because straight bars would be easier to manage with the heavier gloves I chose to wear, and partly so I could check out a side trail that I expected might be a bit much for the gravel bike.

The MM was wonderfully quiet for a Saturday, the benefit of the colder weather that keeps the hordes at home. There was a surprising number of walkers and bikers on the RBT. Maybe the publicity of the Bedford Town Meeting vote raised awareness of this resource.

The end of the RBT at Lowell Rd:



The side trail I explored is shown on maps (https://concordma.gov/DocumentCenter...anch-Trail-Map) as running from the RBT (between Lowell Rd and Monument St) to the North Bridge by The Old Manse. It turned out to be pretty rough,. The section just off the RBT was basically a washboard made of parallel logs laid down crosswise through a boggy section (pretty dry today). I managed to ride that, but I had to carry the bike over several downed trees. Then I got to this:



I could have walked the bike over that, but I could see there was something similar every 100 feet, so I decided I had proved this was not a viable option, so I wimped out and retraced my steps. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I took the RBT and the MM back to Arlington. BTW, the bathrooms at Depot Park are still open, as are the ones at the Lexington Visitor's Center.

Overall it was a great ride, and a great sense of satisfaction braving the chilly autumn weather.

28 miles.

Tom
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Old 11-19-22, 06:28 PM
  #10345  
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What, it's Saturday? Took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler and rode East.


Warming hill climbs, bracing descents, and lots of my fellow human beings enclosed in large metallic capsules propelled by dinosaur farts. Whoopee! The Rambler was ready for it all. Temperatures fell through the low 40s into the high 30s. The OR gloves worked, although I'd really like as much insulation and dexterity with a pair of gloves that worked with the Pocket Devil's touchscreen. Oh well, maybe next week. In the meantime, I mostly kept the gloves on, and only a few times slipped them off for a photo. This display of late-evening sky color during a descent through the Fells Reservation was probably the most worthwhile.


And then there was the bunny at the end of the road...


rod

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Old 11-19-22, 08:39 PM
  #10346  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
I had to carry the bike over several downed trees. Then I got to this:



I could have walked the bike over that, but I could see there was something similar every 100 feet, so I decided I had proved this was not a viable option, so I wimped out and retraced my steps. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
that's for feet, not wheels. covered w/ snow, that would make a mean trap
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Old 11-21-22, 03:49 PM
  #10347  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
I expected this to be of interest, and 4 replies shows it certainly is.

In some ways, this decision reminds me of Arlington's opposition to the Red Line extension in the late 1970s (before I lived there). That prevented the extension that was built from Harvard Square to Alewife from continuing westward. If not for that, the end of the Red Line might be at 128 today.
The houses abutting the MM aren't the most glamorous in Lexington, but I bet there's no way Lexington would've allowed public transit to go through there. Which is kind of sad, when you think about it. And how about all that massive development in Waltham near 95/Winter St/1st/2nd Avenue with zero public transit?
Had the Red Line continued through Arlington, it would've looked much, much different. Although it already feels like an extension of Cambridge and housing prices skyrocketed, I bet it would've been even denser. Just thinking out loud.

In cycling news, my last big rides of the season were in October - I did the venerable 4NaaP in NH after which I was inspired to return and ride Hurricane Mountain Road, reportedly the 2nd toughest climb in NH (and it was!). November riding has been down to a couple of local fair-weather rides and, as of last week, some uncomfortable miles on the trainer - still more fun for me then riding on the cold, dark, barren streets. I find that whatever discomforts I experience on my bike, they're multiplied 10-fold on the trainer. I am at 1650 miles for this year, which is slightly above average for me, so that's good, because it felt like I didn't ride as much. Winter hiking and XC skiing season is starting soon though.
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Old 11-21-22, 11:08 PM
  #10348  
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Took the Rambouillet out on the Minuteman for an hour this afternoon, temperatures in the mid-30s, the sky bright blue, the low sun dazzling, a stiff breeze blowing from the SW. I made a few changes to the layers I was wearing, and was generally comfortable.


A black squirrel crossed my path. Good luck, unless I hit it.

While I encountered other cyclists in the oncoming lane, I saw none in my own lane, neither overtaking nor overtaken. I took this to mean I had found the speed of the Minuteman that day, and was matching it. Made for a quiet ride. This condition persisted for 3/4 of the ride, until I was passed by one of the electrical kids: the exception that proves the rule..

As is most often the case, this simple little ride on the Minuteman centered me, and I went grinning into the rest of the day.

rod

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Old 11-22-22, 01:32 PM
  #10349  
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Got out for a ride this morning: MM->RBT->Battle Road->MM loop, but with a new to me route between the RBT and Battle Road. I learned of this route from a fellow cyclist I chatted with a few weeks ago. It may be common knowledge, but it was unknown to me, so I will describe it. Previously, I always traversed RBT to Battle Road (at Merriam's Corner) via Monsen Rd, Concord Rd, and Old Bedford Road. There's nothing really wrong with that way, but the new way is basically entirely off street and more scenic.

The traverse uses the Concord Water Treatment access road (labeled Great Meadows Rd on some maps), St Bernards Cemetery, and a woods path that comes out on Old Bedford Rd directly across from the Nathan Merriam House. Here's a map:



There's a short section of split log boardwalk, just past the back of the cemetery, that I walked the bike on. The rest is rideable on anything one would ride on the RBT. I was riding my Checkpoint today.

Some scenes along the way. RBT looking east, toward Bedford, at Great Meadows:



Battle Road at Hartwell Tavern:



I saw a deer about to cross Battle Rd at one point. She was shy, and stepped back into the woods till I passed by. The pigs that were penned up along the trail back in the summer are gone - probably bacon by now.

I made the Battle Rd to MM jump via Mass Ave (a satisfying climb!) to the Lexington Battle Green. It was very quiet everywhere: MM, RBT and Battle Road.

A great late fall ride: 26 miles.

Tom
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Old 11-26-22, 04:43 PM
  #10350  
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easy 9 mile safety ride, to brush off the cobwebs









loose pooch Grrr ...

the more I ride the new bike, the more I get used to it. it even rides on the bike rack differently

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