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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 01-01-23, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by gregoryorzol
Nice shoot!
Welcome!

rod
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Old 01-01-23, 11:41 AM
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This weather weenie got outside in New Year’s day. Just a short ride around the neighborhood, (3 miles) but i did it.
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Old 01-01-23, 11:49 AM
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Deleted. Duplicate post and not interesting.

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Old 01-01-23, 01:29 PM
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Brava!

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Old 01-01-23, 03:06 PM
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Happy New Year all! We kept our festivities modest and were in bed around 12:15 but even so, I wasn't up for too much exertion today. So I drove to Chelmsford center around noon and rode the Bianchi from there to NARA Park and back. While the open roads around here were pretty much bone dry, the BFRT for the most part hadn't dried off yet, and there was just enough wind to be unpleasant. But overall, really not a bad day for a ride, and another one to come tomorrow they say.

Right at the beginning of the ride I passed a deaf rider I've seen on the trail before. Sadly I don't know a shred of ASL. He was in high spirits, calling out Happy New Year to everyone coming the other way. Hard to understand but obvious. All I could do was wave as I passed.

The BFRT was quite popular, understandably, but after a while a free stretch opened up and I got in a minute or two of free-hand riding.



NARA Park always seems pretty well-kept overall, but this particular kiosk has clearly outlived its usefulness.


Walking the bike around the pond was a little tricky because of large puddles, and on one of the detours in the grass my rear wheel picked up some, um, unpleasantness. At least I noticed before it got flung elsewhere. While I was trying to clean up the mess with leaves, an older rider got up from the bench next to me and we had a nice conversation about our respective vintage rides. His was sans decals but he proudly announced it was a 1971 Raleigh Competition and he'd bought it just a year later when the original owner wanted a Fuji instead. So 50 years on the same bike, and mostly original components, including clips and straps. The very modern front wheel (deep V rim, radial spokes) and saddle stood out but he claimed between the reduced drag and the 1 pound saved over a Brooks -- here he nodded towards mine -- instantly improved his average by 3 mph. I wished him many more miles and we went off in separate directions.

A nice couple of hours. Let's call it the first 23 km for 2023.
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Old 01-01-23, 08:23 PM
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Happy new years all!

I took advantage of the weather by hiking, not riding, but I did get some indoor miles this evening, so 2023 is off to a good start!
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Old 01-02-23, 02:37 PM
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Today I decided that traffic on this day off (for most) should be quiet enough to ride mostly on the road. So I headed south, picked up the BFRT from High St to Route 27 (1.5 miles) just for convenience, and then turned down Elm St towards the Chelmsford-Carlisle cranberry bog.



I contemplated riding the gravel in there, but I could see it was pretty popular with walkers (which always means dogs off leash, entirely legal on the Carlisle side BTW) and I was on 25mm tires.

Instead, I continued on towards Great Brook Farm and then turned back north to reach Route 4, made a quick stop to catch my breath at the Warren-Pohl land, and eventually negotiated Chelmsford center. Traffic was light indeed and I was able to change lanes and cross over onto the sidewalk to avoid most of the Westford-St-and-Routes-4-110-129 maze. Climbing was easier today than it had been recently and I mashed up that last hill before my house in 42x21 the whole way, also a good sign. Total of 12.4 miles and 338 feet of elevation, Google says.

Last nice day for a while, it seems, and I probably should have stayed out longer. Maybe somebody stupid enough to challenge The Animal would have appeared

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Old 01-04-23, 05:07 PM
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Found myself with about an hour of full daylight left in the afternoon, mid-40s, very slight drizzle. The Zizzo folder, which has fenders, was the obvious choice, but where to ride? I decided to add road loops at either end of a stretch of the BFRT, turning today's outing into a very elongated figure 8. Starting at Chelmsford center, I headed south as far as Sunny Meadow farm, with its penny farthing sculpture, once again forgetting to take pictures. What can I say, the Zizzo has a rack so my phone was even further out of reach than usual. I continued on Robin Hill Rd to Kate's Corner (almost 22 years in this town and I still have no clue who Kate was), turned west and north and so basically rode parallel to the BFRT on Maple, Hunt and High, and thus hopped back onto the trail.

A little past the center I finally checked out the recently installed Fitness Court® (not making this up, it really is trademarked) at Chelmsford St and Wilson. Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield so it is, decidedly, dreary-day-defyingly, blue.


Caused a bit of a stir with the usual "well nobody consulted with me first" crowd on the local FB group who promptly declared it an eyesore. Bit of a stretch given the immediate neighborhood (Papa Gino's, Subway, laundromat, nail salon, youth baseball fields) but we all know no good deed goes unpunished.

Now that I had my phone out, I did take the obligatory drive side shot for the forum:

From there I rode a bit of empty sidewalk and rejoined the BFRT all the way to the Lowell end, did an extended loop of the Crosspoint/Showcase cinema parking lots, and then hurried back as daylight was now fading fast.

All told probably another 12 miles or so, and incidentally a good test of the aforementioned padded liner that came with those clearance sale shorts, as well. Let's just say I still remain unconvinced. The rest of my casual outfit (regular stretch pants, tight-fitting 1/4 zip sweater over a cotton T, Harbor Freight work gloves, runners) worked well, although I did wish for better wind blocking at the cuffs.
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Old 01-04-23, 05:27 PM
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I like the slogan. cool pics!
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Old 01-04-23, 08:05 PM
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got out on the road bike tonight, after taking care of some obligations. not quite as dry as I was expecting. but all signs of ice were gone

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Old 01-05-23, 04:15 PM
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I realized that, between one thing and another, I hadn't been on the bike this year. So I put on some layers and took the Sam Hillborne out in the cool and damp (but not raining or freezing) afternoon. A spin up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman limbered me up.


Ahhhh...Much better!

rod
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Old 01-05-23, 04:41 PM
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" I continued on Robin Hill Rd to Kate's Corner (almost 22 years in this town and I still have no clue who Kate was), "
I grew up in Chelmsford (1967-1990-ish). I remember it as Phil's Market. Rode by it every day going to Byam School.
Here's more than you wanted to know about the store
https://chelmhist.org/FunFactFiles/1824Kate'sCorner.htm
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Old 01-05-23, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ralphs
" I continued on Robin Hill Rd to Kate's Corner (almost 22 years in this town and I still have no clue who Kate was), "
I grew up in Chelmsford (1967-1990-ish). I remember it as Phil's Market. Rode by it every day going to Byam School.
Here's more than you wanted to know about the store
https://chelmhist.org/FunFactFiles/1824Kate'sCorner.htm
Welcome!

rod
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Old 01-06-23, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ralphs
" I continued on Robin Hill Rd to Kate's Corner (almost 22 years in this town and I still have no clue who Kate was), "
I grew up in Chelmsford (1967-1990-ish). I remember it as Phil's Market. Rode by it every day going to Byam School.
Here's more than you wanted to know about the store
https://chelmhist.org/FunFactFiles/1824Kate'sCorner.htm
fun historical photos!
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Old 01-06-23, 08:56 AM
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if this tease gets a little whiter, it might be fun to take a studded ride tonight!
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Old 01-07-23, 05:47 PM
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Added 10 uneventful and unphotographed miles today by going out and back on the BFRT from Chelmsford center to Route 225, again on the Zizzo. Very few isolated spots of ice/slush. Made a mental note to look into the shifter (1x7 Shimano Altus, nothing fancy) that seems to hesitate between 4th and 5th. Well, it was a mental note until I typed this, I suppose

Back home the bike got a quick warm shower from a watering can and a wipe-down. I have no intention do try this in freezing temps, though. What works for you guys?
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Old 01-07-23, 09:42 PM
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cleaned mine with as little water as possible. used a long handled brush & some warm soapy water but didn't really use the water. just kept rinsing the brush

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Old 01-07-23, 11:43 PM
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After contemplating the question of black ice Saturday afternoon, and deciding it was unlikely, I took the Sam Hillborne and rode East.


This was my more-or-less-weekly hills-and-traffic drill, through the ups and downs of Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham, sometimes with a town or two more thrown in, but not today. I think of it as paved portions of the Fells Escarpment. Climb to heat, descend to cool: it's a good system. The traffic was full of honking drivers like so many geese today, but they were mostly honking at each other, as far as I could tell. I attribute this to the tendency of Massachusetts drivers to drive a little worse whenever the weather is noticeable (including days when the weather is noticeably fine, btw). Not a lot of photos today, the ride was in my foreground.

After the regularly scheduled freakish early darkness had set in, as I headed back, I did take this photo, all lit up on High Street.


Looking forward to Spring, but enjoying the ride in the meantime.

rod

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Old 01-08-23, 04:31 PM
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Uh-oh. I seem to have found an outfit that works for barely-in-the-30s weather like we're having today. I realized one of my long sleeved shirts has thumb holes for that much needed wind blocking effect, in combination with a sweater over and another T under, and two pairs of gloves. Two long layers below, the outer one being a pair of lined Gore-Tex pants I barely remembered. Decades old, my wife's from college days but they're actually too long for me, and she's 7 inches shorter!

The roads were bone dry so out came Bianchi-san. I set off on what could have been the short road loop I like, into Westford, with a brief stop at Grassy Pond. Deserted today, be it on wheels, feet, or paws, but I spotted a sign of cyclists past:



Not that I've ever seen any BMX activity there but the sticker, and indeed the kiosk it adorns, is clearly a recent addition.

The much broken asphalt of Plain Rd was endured, in which context thanks was said for Gatorskin tires, and shortly thereafter the decision was made not to turn back home the shortest way at School St but rather to continue on Main. The sun was out, my outfit was proving adequate, traffic was very light, so I ventured into the wilds of North Chelmsford aka NoCho. So named, I suspect, by uppity Chelmsford-MA-01824-ians to imply "no-go" but long since adopted by the proud locals of MA 01863.

Main St has a 30mph speed limit, and a radar sign to go with it, but all I could manage was 17 (it's a slight uphill), green and steady,

This kid from rainy Germany who never learned to skate worth a d4mn is still fascinated by backyard rinks. I noticed two today, one in the shade, one with full southern exposure and thus liquid, neither one in use.



NoCho or not, almost everybody in town comes to Sully's in the summer, and their opening day (March 1) is bigger news around here than the one at Fenway:



I added another little detour here to make an attempt at another radar sign, this one on a flat stretch of Old Westford Rd, and aided by a preceding slight downhill, I clocked... 22 mph. Grumble. However, at home I found that the speedometer app on my watch recorded 26 at that spot, so who knows.

Not pictured but there's another Chelmsford story attached to that stretch of road. The triangular piece of land between Old Westford, Davis, and Graniteville is what remains of Avila Farm, after it was sold to build Chelmsford High about 50 years ago. The Avilas remained nearby and for decades kept one horse and one cow on the little pasture. Known to generations of Chelmsford kids bringing them apples, carrots, and lettuces as simply Horse and Cow, their real names were John-Boy and Elizabeth (Here I should probably insert a little hint for the younger ones among us)



Well, John-Boy (the horse) passed in 2021, I think, and Elizabeth (the cow) was recently moved to be with others of her kind. So for the first time in our almost 22 years here, I rode by an empty pasture.

Not much time for such thoughts in the moment, though, for I was now approaching a mile-long ascend I tend to avoid, with both the steepest grade and highest elevation of my ride, at 4.6% and 302 ft, respectively. Yeah, not exactly Alpe d'Huez, I know. Coming down the other side, I took it easy, both on account of the winter debris along the side, and not wanting to "ruin" the GPS app that was still recording my speed with a downhill peak. Hairpin turn at the bottom, too, but my luck continued and the driver waiting there did see me and yielded.

11.5 miles, 455 ft climbed, and my total 8 days into 2023 now stands at 49 miles. I have nothing to compare this to, as I don't track myself other than posting here, but definitely my best start into a new year.
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Old 01-09-23, 04:55 PM
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Belated Happy Year. I went riding today for the first time since December 30th. Over the past few weeks I gave the Fuji and Checkpoint their annual maintenance and deep cleanings, so I selected the hardtail for today's ride.

I headed toward Lexington on the MM, figuring I would ride to the visitor's center and then decide whether to go further...
Well, I felt good so I chose to continue on to Depot Park and then decide whether to go further...
So, at the Depot I decided to ride the Elm Brook Trail from South Rd to where it meets the Reformatory Branch Trail, then consider whether to go further...
At the RBT junction I decided to ride out to route 62... where I in fact turned around!

On the Elm Brook Trail it was fun to see that someone has put up some holiday decorations. Here is an example, with the RBT in the distance:



How was the RBT? I would describe it not so much as muddy, but as "greasy". The cold nights have frozen the ground probably a few inches down, but the mild days have thawed the surface leaving a general wet stickiness. The riding was great fun given that I had the right bike and tires.

It ended up being a 23 mile round trip, appropriate for the first ride of 2023.

Tom
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Old 01-09-23, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
It ended up being a 23 mile round trip, appropriate for the first ride of 2023
ha! great! love the trail description. thank you
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Old 01-10-23, 08:02 PM
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got out for a little under 2 hours. wasn't too cold & the ground was clear & dry. this is the BFRT (Bruce Freeman) in Acton
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Old 01-11-23, 04:10 PM
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I missed out on yesterday's milder weather due to work but today I grabbed an opportunity and went on a quick mid-afternoon ride, dressed in three long layers above and two below, and filling my bidon with hot tap water. The route was another variation on the "long stretch of the BFRT with curlicues" theme. In fact, here's my Strava plot:



I jest, of course. I don't do Strava, I had my personal scribe draw this up.

Cold weekday afternoon out here means frequent stretches of empty trail. I more or less managed to find the sweet spot between spinning my lungs out because I could, and retaining some feeling in my fingers against the wind chill.


The swans looked a little unhappy with the change in temperature. H[e]art Pond.


Nobody else around so I could take this gratuitous lean-against shot without feeling too silly. Southernmost point today, the Route 27 crossing.


Back in Chelmsford center and I finally remembered to document the "we don't need cyclists" attitude at Ginger Ale Plaza that I've ranted about before. This has been going on for years. Makes you wonder if the owners have ever spent any time at one of the cyclist-friendly businesses along the BFRT down in Acton, might give them an idea what they're missing out on. My dollars go elsewhere.

Back home up the hill on Westford St, made it before my water froze, and I even noticed that the worst of the potholes on the I-495 bridge--the one where the rebar was fully exposed--has been patched with asphalt. 12.5 miles and 425 ft according to RidewithGPS.

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Old 01-11-23, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
The route was another variation on the "long stretch of the BFRT with curlicues" theme.

Back in Chelmsford center and I finally remembered to document the "we don't need cyclists" attitude at Ginger Ale Plaza that I've ranted about before. This has been going on for years. Makes you wonder if the owners have ever spent any time at one of the cyclist-friendly businesses along the BFRT down in Acton, might give them an idea what they're missing out on. My dollars go elsewhere.
excellent!

was gonna try to park in Chelmsford last night but opted for Acton near Ice House Pond instead. was going to look to see if there was signage near the trail down by the condos but I never made it there
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Old 01-12-23, 08:57 AM
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fwiw - the BRFT has a solid dusting of snow this morning. I noticed as I whizzed by. no pics sorry. looked pretty & like it would make a fun ride
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