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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 03-23-23, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
What width tires are you running?

rod
Yeah, so they are labelled 25mm, but are actually 28mm according to my calipers and Bicycle Rolling Resistance. The rims are 15mm, narrow by today's standards and I'm guessing a variable in the tire width/puncture protection equation, though I'm a bit skeptical of the hype around rim width.
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Old 03-24-23, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
currently choosing between new & used w/ low miles, both priced about the same
decided on the 9 yr old car w/ low miles. bare bones, no bells & whistles, which I will miss for sure, but right now, I need a highway machine to keep visiting Mom 200 miles away. got the same thing I'm trading, a 2014 Jeep Cherokee. my "Limited" has 204,000 miles & the next "Sport" has only 24k miles. the interior looks brand new. must have been a fleet car, or rental, I guess

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Old 03-24-23, 03:58 PM
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I decided it was time to check out the Reformatory Branch Trail condition, so I headed out that way this afternoon.
To get to the RBT, I rode the Minuteman out to Depot Park. I didn't know what to expect of the off-road trail surface, so I saddled up the hardtail MTB. I've got a similar stem mount on that bike that holds my Cateye Padrone and the action camera.



I generally prefer to use the Elm Brook Trail to get from Depot Park to the RBT, so that's what I did today. The surface conditions there were quite good. There was an interesting overhead condition however:




The RBT itself was fine. Certainly would have been no issue for the gravel bike. Definitely some evidence of the late winter wind storms we had:



My heart was really into riding the RBT to the end at Lowell Rd Concord, and my knees were feeling pretty good. But given the issues I had last weekend I decided to turn around at Hartwell Rd, near the Bedford water treatment plant. I headed back east on the RBT, this time using Railroad Ave to reach Depot Park, then the MM home to Arlington. It ended up being about 21 miles for the foreshortened ride.

I can't speak for the rest of the RBT, west of Hartwell Rd, but the part I traversed was certainly no mud pit.

As I write this a few hours after returning, I am feeling pretty good. I think all the quad stretching has helped. I live to ride another day!

Tom

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Old 03-24-23, 10:30 PM
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With the Nobilette still in the shop, Friday I took the Sam Hillborne and rode East.


Rode the hills-and-traffic drill through Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham on Friday rather than the usual Saturday, hoping to dodge the East wind and cold rain the weather witches were predicting. Conditions Friday were favorable, and I rolled the Sam up hill, down dale, and in and out of Friday traffic that seemed heavier than the Saturday variety. Not a real surprise, that. I realized during the first hill climb that thanks to the speedy cranking on the Nobilette earlier in the week my legs were tired and a little sore, so I kept the gear ratios a little lower than usual and spun gently: not so fast, but fast enough.

I'm enjoying EDT since it returned: more usable daylight, with a better chance to photograph sunset colors, and the ride generally done before nightfall.


rod
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Old 03-25-23, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
I decided it was time to check out the Reformatory Branch Trail condition, so I headed out that way this afternoon.
To get to the RBT, I rode the Minuteman out to Depot Park. I didn't know what to expect of the off-road trail surface, so I saddled up the hardtail MTB. I've got a similar stem mount on that bike that holds my Cateye Padrone and the action camera.
I generally prefer to use the Elm Brook Trail to get from Depot Park to the RBT, so that's what I did today. The surface conditions there were quite good. There was an interesting overhead condition however:
The RBT itself was fine. Certainly would have been no issue for the gravel bike. Definitely some evidence of the late winter wind storms we had:
My heart was really into riding the RBT to the end at Lowell Rd Concord, and my knees were feeling pretty good. But given the issues I had last weekend I decided to turn around at Hartwell Rd, near the Bedford water treatment plant. I headed back east on the RBT, this time using Railroad Ave to reach Depot Park, then the MM home to Arlington. It ended up being about 21 miles for the foreshortened ride.
I can't speak for the rest of the RBT, west of Hartwell Rd, but the part I traversed was certainly no mud pit.
As I write this a few hours after returning, I am feeling pretty good. I think all the quad stretching has helped. I live to ride another day!
that's nothing to sneeze at on a mountain bike!
not familiar w/ the Elm Brook Trail, I just ride the short road stretch, but that intersection right at the depot can be problematic if I'm not patient
loving the pics & gifs!
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Old 03-25-23, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
that's nothing to sneeze at on a mountain bike!
not familiar w/ the Elm Brook Trail, I just ride the short road stretch, but that intersection right at the depot can be problematic if I'm not patient
loving the pics & gifs!
FYI, I posted a map of the Elm Brook Trail to RBT route about a year ago: Metro Boston: Good ride today?

(Bedford changed the URL for their trail map since that post. I just edited it there.)

I generally go that way outbound if I am riding the MTB.

Tom

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Old 03-25-23, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
Hi. This map posted by Bedford shows the paths along the Elm and Mongo brooks: https://www.bedfordma.gov/DocumentCe.../Elm-Brook-PDF
Here is an annotated snippet from Google Maps that shows the route I normally take:
From the Depot, you ride just a couple hundred feet south on South Rd. There is a red fire hydrant just before the path into the woods. I actually found this by exploring from the other direction, that is coming from the Reformatory Branch Trail, where there is a significant intersection at the Mongo Brook.
I like this because it bypasses Railroad Ave. Also, you don't have to cross Railroad Ave twice (assuming you would ride on the right side of the road from the Depot to the RBT parking lot), just South Rd, which you would have to cross in any case.

Let me know if you need more info.
thank you & yes please
got pics of the detours? where you enter at each end? I know, I'm greedy
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Old 03-25-23, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
FYI, I posted a map of the Elm Brook Trail to RBT route about a year ago: Metro Boston: Good ride today?
(Bedford changed the URL for their trail map since that post. I just edited it there.)
thank you
I like the features & benefits!
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Old 03-26-23, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
thank you & yes please
got pics of the detours? where you enter at each end? I know, I'm greedy
Happy to oblige. At first I thought posting the pics you are asking for would have to wait till the next time I am out that way. Then I remembered that I was recording video the whole time I was on the Elm Brook Trail. So, I was able to create a couple of gifs from that video, showing the entry and exit points of the detour.

This shows going southbound on South Rd just after leaving Depot Park. Go onto the sidewalk at the driveway just before the red fire hydrant, then turn right to get onto the path:



Follow the Elm Brook path to where you can't avoid taking a curve to the right. At that point Mongo Brook will be on your left. Keep going till you intersect the RBT, as shown here:



I know you are familiar with the RBT, so I think you will recognize that junction, in case you want to do this in the other direction.

BTW, there is another Elm Brook path, marked by the sign seen at the end of the exit video, that is much rougher. I took it once, it was all rocks and roots - it is the twisty one shown on the Bedford map.

Tom
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Old 03-26-23, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
Happy to oblige. At first I thought posting the pics you are asking for would have to wait till the next time I am out that way. Then I remembered that I was recording video the whole time I was on the Elm Brook Trail. So, I was able to create a couple of gifs from that video, showing the entry and exit points of the detour.
This shows going southbound on South Rd just after leaving Depot Park. Go onto the sidewalk at the driveway just before the red fire hydrant, then turn right to get onto the path:
Follow the Elm Brook path to where you can't avoid taking a curve to the right. At that point Mongo Brook will be on your left. Keep going till you intersect the RBT, as shown here:
I know you are familiar with the RBT, so I think you will recognize that junction, in case you want to do this in the other direction.
BTW, there is another Elm Brook path, marked by the sign seen at the end of the exit video, that is much rougher. I took it once, it was all rocks and roots - it is the twisty one shown on the Bedford map.
wow, those are amazing! thank you much! will def. give it a try!

google satellite view has it as "unblazed" trail


but then there's yellow & blue blazed trails


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Old 03-27-23, 03:43 PM
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I had a busy morning of shopping at both Home Depot and Costco today, so I really needed a clear-the-head ride after lunch. Went out to Depot Park on the MM, which was a mix of calm and frantic.

Calm: Arlington Great Meadows still wearing its winter colors



Less calm: Lots of fellow cyclists in East Lexington:



Calm: Depot Park :



Frantic! what seemed like the entire Lexington school system running westbound while I was headed back to Arlington.



The line of runners went on and on. I made sure not to dally too long at the Lexington visitor's center, for fear they would turn around and now be in front of me.

The weather was quite pleasant, though definitely turning cooler and windier by the time I got home, my head suitably cleared.

Tom
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Old 03-27-23, 03:52 PM
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I managed to get a nice little exercise ride in before lunch today, once again on the Bianchi. It was (just) warm enough for fingerless gloves and shorts without tights, a nice change from yesterday's nasty wind. My usual route to the BFRT at High St, but today I had time and energy to go all the way to NARA Park. An anonymous chalk artist provided some much needed color in the still dreary landscape.



On the return leg I once again decided to leave the trail via Pond St, and noticed that the concrete barrier had been moved aside, no doubt to allow access for seasonal work on the beach. Hunt Road was quiet enough for a few hundred feet of hands-free exercise here and there, on the more recently paved, smoother sections, and brought The Beach Boys to mind, that rare, collectible New England pressing: Good Undulations

16.0 miles, 536 feet climbed.
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Old 03-27-23, 05:18 PM
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So, I picked up the recently-tinkered-with Nobilette at Battle Road Bikes on Saturday. Most significant change was swapping the 26mm Cayuse Pass Extralights out for a pair of 28mm Chinook Pass Extralights. I've had plenty of cognitive priming (about a decade's worth) from the manufacturer, so it seems to me I can detect a noticeable increase in pneumatic suspension on rough pavement. Not bad for 2mm!

Rolling on Monday:


Once again, @bike_tom and I obeyed the Fermi-Dirac statistics on the Minuteman.






Nice day for a ride. And the Nobilette continues to be great fun.

rod

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Old 03-27-23, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951

Once again, @bike_tom and I obeyed the Fermi-Dirac statistics on the Minuteman.
That's too funny! I was somewhat keeping an eye out for you, but if we did pass, I was too busy avoiding all the kids to spot you.
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Old 03-29-23, 09:44 PM
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Managed to fit a speedy spin out the Minuteman on the Nobilette in between a trip to the grocery store and making dinner. That bike continues to show me things, starting with speed and continuing on to agility, and makes me smile.


Another bright and dazzling day, with the low sun painting shadows like barcode on the path surface. To scan the code, just ride the trail. Wind is a headwind inbound, as it often has been the last few days.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have left us a solitary character...


... with a message:


As the ancient poet sang, "Read the rock before you throw it."

rod

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Old 03-30-23, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Managed to fit a speedy spin out the Minuteman on the Nobilette in between a trip to the grocery store and making dinner. That bike continues to show me things, starting with speed and continuing on to agility, and makes me smile.
Another bright and dazzling day, with the low sun painting shadows like barcode on the path surface. To scan the code, just ride the trail. Wind is a headwind inbound, as it often has been the last few days.
The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have left us a solitary character...
... with a message:
As the ancient poet sang, "Read the rock before you throw it."
oh I like those extra in-line brake levers! did you add them, or did the bike come w/ them?
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Old 03-30-23, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
oh I like those extra in-line brake levers! did you add them, or did the bike come w/ them?
That was me. The only original equipment on the Nobilette build was the frame and fork. Tyler Oulton supplied the headset (Campy Super Record, NOS), Pete at Battle Road Bikes bult the wheels (and laid hands on pretty much everything else), and most bits came from my parts bin. The interruptor levers are Pauls, as I remember .

rod
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Old 03-30-23, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
That was me. The only original equipment on the Nobilette build was the frame and fork. Tyler Oulton supplied the headset (Campy Super Record, NOS), Pete at Battle Road Bikes bult the wheels (and laid hands on pretty much everything else), and most bits came from my parts bin. The interruptor levers are Pauls, as I remember .
nice!

I still have phantom impulses to squeeze my road bike bars right there, as if I still had the old suicide levers from the '70s. it was a nice spot for the hands & some light, occasional braking
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Old 03-30-23, 04:38 PM
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Took the Nobilette out in the chilly, windy afternoon, dancing over the pavement and through the gusts. Not as cold or windy as all that, but we'd like our Spring weather NOW, dammit!


Everything in due time. Meanwhile, here's yet another picture of barcode on the trail, just before I scanned it. The encoded message read, "The unicycles are not what they seem." And indeed, one of them followed me for a quarter-mile, shortly thereafter.


I encountered a number of men in military gear, training for Tough Ruck 2023. They were generally cheerful.

In future, I should remember that when the question is "Was that sound I heard my tail light hitting the pavement?", the answer is always "Yes."

rod

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Old 03-31-23, 01:58 PM
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I decided to do the Arlington, Cambridge, Watertown, Somerville, Belmont tour today. This was basically a series of out-and-backs on the spokes of a wheel, with Alewife at the hub.

Heading east on the MM at Lake St, I dutifully waited for the green:



Up and over the railroad tracks to get to Fresh Pond:



That's a very reassuring curb and guardrail!
Cambridge has made some rumblings about creating a bike path along the New St tracks behind the Fresh Pond mall that would make this route unnecessary, but I'm not holding my breath.

This sign on the Watertown Cambridge Greenway has always puzzled me:



Do they really want pedestrians and bikes going in the same direction to be on opposite sides? What do I do as a biker when I encounter a pedestrian coming at me on my side? Do I keep to my right and expect them to move to theirs? Am I missing something?

After returning to Alewife I headed to Somerville via the Cambridge Linear Park. Caught sight of the Amtrak Downeaster from the Lowell St overlook:



The Community Path extension along side the Green Line is still blocked off, so that was my turnaround for this spoke,

The "found" art along the Somerville Community Path is always entertaining:



Next spoke of the wheel took me to Brighton St Belmont:



Finally, the last spoke took me back home to Arlington via Spy Pond:



The whole journey was a bit over 17 miles, without ever being more than about 4 miles from home.

It was chilly, but the birds were chirping, so hopefully real Spring weather isn't too far away.

Tom
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Old 03-31-23, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
I decided to do the Arlington, Cambridge, Watertown, Somerville, Belmont tour today. This was basically a series of out-and-backs on the spokes of a wheel, with Alewife at the hub.

Heading east on the MM at Lake St, I dutifully waited for the green:



Up and over the railroad tracks to get to Fresh Pond:



That's a very reassuring curb and guardrail!
Cambridge has made some rumblings about creating a bike path along the New St tracks behind the Fresh Pond mall that would make this route unnecessary, but I'm not holding my breath.

This sign on the Watertown Cambridge Greenway has always puzzled me:



Do they really want pedestrians and bikes going in the same direction to be on opposite sides? What do I do as a biker when I encounter a pedestrian coming at me on my side? Do I keep to my right and expect them to move to theirs? Am I missing something?

After returning to Alewife I headed to Somerville via the Cambridge Linear Park. Caught sight of the Amtrak Downeaster from the Lowell St overlook:



The Community Path extension along side the Green Line is still blocked off, so that was my turnaround for this spoke,

The "found" art along the Somerville Community Path is always entertaining:



Next spoke of the wheel took me to Brighton St Belmont:



Finally, the last spoke took me back home to Arlington via Spy Pond:



The whole journey was a bit over 17 miles, without ever being more than about 4 miles from home.

It was chilly, but the birds were chirping, so hopefully real Spring weather isn't too far away.

Tom
Dandy route design!

rod
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Old 03-31-23, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Dandy route design!

rod
Thanks Rod.
You've probably noticed that I ride this route periodically, probing for new options as the infrastructure builds out.
Last year it was the opening of the Watertown Cambridge Greenway connection at Fresh Pond.
This year, hopefully, the opening of the Somerville Community Path extension is not far off. That will allow the opportunity to complete a loop via the Charles River paths.

Anyway, having just done this urban route, I'm hoping to ride the RBT or the NGRT or both next week. Depends on how much rain, and thus mud, we get tomorrow

Tom
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Old 04-01-23, 10:12 PM
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The weather on Saturday was vexing, rain and 40s, until it wasn't. When the weather broke, I took the Sam Hillborne out and rode East, starting out a little before 2, looking for the familiar hills and traffic, and finding both...


The weather progressively improved, eventually turning sunny and a balmy 63°F. This meant the temperature towards the end of ride was 22°F warmer than the beginning of the ride. Zippers in the shell worked well enough to manage the heat, but I was definitely comfortably damp by the end. Hill descents felt good. I hit my stride with hill climbing on the Sam today, something I've been experimenting with over the last few weeks; today it all just fell into place, and up the hills we went at a smooth, efficient pace..

Crossing the Mystic River, outbound, headed into West Medford. Rain done yet?


Multi-modal transportation pause, West Medford. AAA posted a charming digest of bizarre state traffic laws this morning, including one from New Hampshire that prohibited sniffing auto exhaust for the purpose of achieving euphoria. As far as I could tell from sitting in traffic behind a great, farting behemoth, that trick doesn't seem to work. Maybe it works in New Hampshire.


Northern Strand Community Trail, Malden: sculptures rolling in missing man formation.


High Street, Medford: cresting the hill on the return.


rod

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Old 04-03-23, 02:16 PM
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Bikes: 2022 Trek Checkpoint ALR5, 2014 Cannondale Trail SL1, 1983 Fuji Royale II

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It was windy as heck this afternoon, but the forecast looked iffy for the next few days, so I took advantage of the sunshine.

I decided it was time to give the old Fuji its first time in the sun for 2023. Depot Park was my destination. The bike felt odd at first, especially the relatively narrow (40cm) bars. The vintage side-pulls, even with Kool Stop salmon pads, also took some getting used to, as I am spoiled by the hydraulic discs on my other bikes. After a few miles we were reacquainted, so all was mostly well (more on that below)

The "yes, I really went to Depot Park" shot:



BTW: The bathrooms are NOT yet open at the Depot.

Lexington (Visitor Center is behind me in this photo):



I couldn't resist taking this old-meets-old photo at Mals:



I think the Caddy is a '76, 7 years older than the bike.

At the start of this post I said almost all was well. The not-so-well was persistent skipping when on the 3rd largest cog of the freewheel. I installed a new chain over the winter, so presumably the old cog doesn't like its much younger dance partner. I will need to resolve that.

Tom

Last edited by bike_tom; 04-03-23 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 04-03-23, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
It was windy as heck this afternoon, but the forecast looked iffy for the next few days, so I took advantage of the sunshine.
Same here!

Originally Posted by bike_tom
I decided it was time to give the old Fuji its first time in the sun for 2023. Depot Park was my destination. The bike felt odd at first, especially the relatively narrow (40cm) bars.
I may have been using the very same bars today. Nitto Olympiade 114? Mine are just about the only piece I kept off a ratty old Fuji that was my theft-proof commuter in Brookline/Newton 25 years ago.
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