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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 04-28-23, 09:37 PM
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Friday afternoon I took the Nobilette and rode East.


Having lumbered around the countryside on the Rivendell Atlantis for a week or two, it was a bit of a shock to be back on the Nobilette, with its 28mm tires. After 100 meters or so, I asked myself, "Do I normally ride this thing in such an aero posture?" But this fenderless bike is for fair weather riding, and that's what Friday had to offer. I went cutting along on the hills-and-traffic drill, a bit faster than usual, making time. Aside from the standard animation of the Kurukulla Center's back yard, I only took one photo, of a Tufts crew rowing on the Malden River.


The Nobilette loves hills, loves to climb them and loves to roll down them. The traffic today was just a bit ferocious. The agile, responsive bike carried me through that.

rod

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Old 04-29-23, 10:23 PM
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Emboldened by improving weather forecasts, Saturday I took the Rivendell Atlantis and rode East again.


This was a sort of final exam for the Atlantis saddle-height adjustments made over the last few days, and all went well. The bike was comfortable to ride, and proper shift points for gear ratios that worked for the gamut of grades found in this hills-and-traffic drill came to hand naturally. Speaking of traffic, the traffic on High Street, Medford, descending into Medford Center, was unusually heavy. I took this photo after I had worked my way to the front of it, but it stretched bumper-to-bumper all the way back to Winthrop Circle.


Melrose: communications device for time travelers. To call the Past, bring your own handset.


Malden: jet d'eau in the pond at Fellsmere Park, whose waters dance at the foot of a long, rolling hill that carries Fellsway East from Stoneham, through Melrose, and on down to Malden. I clocked 26mph on the long descent. After that, more traffic, to get to more hills.


Doing the same hilly route two days in a row on two bikes as different as the Nobilette and the Atlantis helped me see both bikes for what they are, and helped improve my riding technique with each. The fact that Friday's fair weather was followed on Saturday with nothing worse than occasional light drizzle was a real gift.

rod

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Old 05-01-23, 05:02 PM
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Monday saw me, as expected and even hoped for, virtually without work (May Day is a holiday for my customers). Also as expected and hoped for, the deluges ended and the roads dried off. I spent the morning with yard chores, mostly fighting my nemesis this time of the year, garlic mustard. An invasive weed that has spread from the adjacent woods in recent years and is very hard to get rid of. Individual plants are easy enough to pull but every single one you miss, or that grows back, can scatter hundreds of seeds. Granted, it is edible, but not particularly tasty. Deer won't eat it, that's part of the problem, although my neighbor's goats love it. But then goats will eat anything, even poison ivy.

As I didn't have the car today, the Van Dessel was out, it would have needed too much work to be safe on the open road, and able to climb hills. Instead, I chose the Bianchi, which only needed a pair of pedals and some air. Ah, right, the compressor is with said car. Hmm. Struggle with the mini hand pump? Or with the $2 yard sale foot pump that can barely fill a soccer ball without complaining? The solution was to take it easy on the first couple of miles and pick up the BFRT in town center at the tool and pump station. I even remembered to bring a Presta adapter, as the Presta side of the pump head is known to be shot.

The afternoon was wide open, pleasant except for the side wind, I had water and a snack on board, so my plan was to put in a long-ish exercise run all the way to the construction site at the bridge. No time or speed measurements, just go at a good clip. This worked very well and I was pleased to find that I was able to crank 52x17 for much longer stretches than last year. No stops and hence, no photos, except there was a dead tree down at 45 degrees across the trail, just south of NARA Park. I stopped to take a picture, managed to break off a particularly hazardous branch, and was wondering who I should contact about it. As it happened, just a couple miles further on, a landscaper's truck was right in the trail, either Acton DPW or whoever they contract with. I let the operator know and on my return, saw him again near the site, armed with his chainsaw and ready to go at it. So this hazard should be no more as of now.

I decided against continuing past the construction signs, even though I knew the trail is fine and being used. But it's covered in loose grit and probably other puncture risks and I was 12 miles from home, with one spare tube and nobody to call to pick me up.



Turning around presented this sight. "Ran when parked," I'm sure. Parked next to the RR tracks at that time, probably.



During my brief stop to eat my cereal bar, a number of cyclists passed and I decided to see if I could catch up with one of them who had on a bright orange jacket and thus would be easy to spot ahead. I did--she wasn't pedaling too hard--but in the meantime another cyclist got on just ahead of me, going at a faster clip, though on a hybrid bike and with a parachute for a shirt. Once again I had a wheel. I lost a little ground because I actually do slow down going through NARA, but once back out on the straights, I was consistently faster and passed him several times after, again, being more careful than him at road crossings. I had a pretty good lead by the time we came to Heart Pond

Which is where I turned off the BFRT, stopped for comfort, and saw that maybe those teenagers on Friday had been right about the new dock not being anchored too well:



That will need beefier posts.

Home via Pond St, Hunt Rd and a little bit of climbing. Total of 23.2 miles and 655 vertical feet. Looks like mixed weather until Saturday now.
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Old 05-01-23, 11:03 PM
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Early Monday afternoon, the weather was so good it seemed a shame not to ride, so I took the Atlantis out for a spin up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman.


Paused to have a brief conversation with Sam, who was excited at the thought that the Atlantis was almost big enough to fit him. Since I learned some years back never to make technical arguments to statuary, I simply gave him the Rivendell contact information and wished him well, then pedaled on up the trail. Sam gets embarrassed when people see him using a cell phone.


"Green, green, rocky road, promenade in green," the ancient poet sang, and so it was.


After the *****cat dumped the Owl, she took up with the Monkey, with whom she shares a taste for watching the World go by on the Minuteman.


rod (who marvels at the substring bowdlerization directed towards a harmless character from an Edward Lear poem)

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Old 05-02-23, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
rod (who marvels at the substring bowdlerization directed towards a harmless character from an Edward Lear poem)
I'm afraid soon enough we'll be longing for the times when computers were dumb
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Old 05-02-23, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
I'm afraid soon enough we'll be longing for the times when computers were dumb
And in the meantime, we've got
BETTER LIVING THROUGH DEMOS.

rod
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Old 05-03-23, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
I have always wanted to make a video of riding through the RBT pinball section. Here it is:



Tom
Nice, but the question remains, did you take the sweet dirt jump at the end or not?!
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Old 05-03-23, 02:38 PM
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That bike is beautiful!
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Old 05-04-23, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
Nice, but the question remains, did you take the sweet dirt jump at the end or not?!
Truthfully, I've never taken the dirt jump in the westbound direction. I have, on several occasions, climbed the back side of the jump going eastbound.
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Old 05-07-23, 03:16 PM
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First day at the track! Northeast Velodrome in Londonderry, NH. Basically just off the south end of Manchester airport. Pushing the "Metro Boston" envelope a little, but hey, we had participants from Waltham and Swampscott, so there.

The new rider clinic was a blast but I decided to sit out the racing today, it was an Omnium format and felt like just a bit too much to get used to all at once. I've never competed in anything, I don't even ride in groups really, and it showed. Speed was not the issue, it was just practice after all, but we were doing a lot of laps of paceline drills and I was having a hard time getting used to following closely. My road mind wanted more of a safety gap.

In reality I think I would have been fine, as the B level racing (where newbies are starting out) was strung out pretty long around the course with a lot of riders just doing their own thing. But anyway, I had fun, it was a great and welcoming group and a low-key atmosphere. If I can make it with my job, I plan to go back Thursday night for sprint racing.

Unfortunately my GPS app didn't like me going in circles and didn't register any speed at all. Another reason I want to go back and see what's what in the flying 200m.

My steed in race trim:



Worked very well, but it was too windy for my makeshift stand. A few other bikes went over, as well, though; there wasn't enough room on the rail for everyone to hang their bikes by the saddle. The Radio Flyer belonged to the youngest fan in attendance



NEV is originally a motor racing track with very shallow banking. Most recently shared 50:50 with a kart group but I understand they pulled out after last season. The facility is looking a little rough as a result. That's a lot of asphalt and fencing to keep up in a New England climate.




Besides piles of old racecar tires everywhere, there was also this reminder of a higher-octane past.



The Specialized is one of their rental fleet, available for $10 for the day. Race fee is $30 on Sundays and $20 on Tuesday (mass start races) and Thursday (alternating timed events and sprints) nights. https://nevelodrome.com/ but their Facebook and Instagram posts actually seem to be more up to date than the website.



I also want to check out the Londonderry Rail Trail which passes very close by. Close enough that I could see myself using the trail for warming up (with a front brake mounted), as practice time on the track is limited.

I have no idea how many laps we did. It's nominally 333m per lap, but I'm sure it was at least 30 laps so let's say 10km/6 miles today at a minimum.
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Old 05-07-23, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
First day at the track! Northeast Velodrome in Londonderry, NH. Basically just off the south end of Manchester airport. Pushing the "Metro Boston" envelope a little, but hey, we had participants from Waltham and Swampscott, so there.

The new rider clinic was a blast but I decided to sit out the racing today, it was an Omnium format and felt like just a bit too much to get used to all at once. I've never competed in anything, I don't even ride in groups really, and it showed. Speed was not the issue, it was just practice after all, but we were doing a lot of laps of paceline drills and I was having a hard time getting used to following closely. My road mind wanted more of a safety gap.

In reality I think I would have been fine, as the B level racing (where newbies are starting out) was strung out pretty long around the course with a lot of riders just doing their own thing. But anyway, I had fun, it was a great and welcoming group and a low-key atmosphere. If I can make it with my job, I plan to go back Thursday night for sprint racing.

Unfortunately my GPS app didn't like me going in circles and didn't register any speed at all. Another reason I want to go back and see what's what in the flying 200m.

My steed in race trim:



Worked very well, but it was too windy for my makeshift stand. A few other bikes went over, as well, though; there wasn't enough room on the rail for everyone to hang their bikes by the saddle. The Radio Flyer belonged to the youngest fan in attendance



NEV is originally a motor racing track with very shallow banking. Most recently shared 50:50 with a kart group but I understand they pulled out after last season. The facility is looking a little rough as a result. That's a lot of asphalt and fencing to keep up in a New England climate.




Besides piles of old racecar tires everywhere, there was also this reminder of a higher-octane past.



The Specialized is one of their rental fleet, available for $10 for the day. Race fee is $30 on Sundays and $20 on Tuesday (mass start races) and Thursday (alternating timed events and sprints) nights. https://nevelodrome.com/ but their Facebook and Instagram posts actually seem to be more up to date than the website.



I also want to check out the Londonderry Rail Trail which passes very close by. Close enough that I could see myself using the trail for warming up (with a front brake mounted), as practice time on the track is limited.

I have no idea how many laps we did. It's nominally 333m per lap, but I'm sure it was at least 30 laps so let's say 10km/6 miles today at a minimum.
That's fascinating! I had no idea that was operational. Velodromes used to be more common, I understand, it's wonderful this one survives. Thanks for this post!

rod
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Old 05-07-23, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
That's fascinating! I had no idea that was operational. Velodromes used to be more common, I understand, it's wonderful this one survives. Thanks for this post!

rod
That's exactly their problem, lack of awareness. I had no idea it existed, either, until last fall when I stumbled on the entry in Google Maps, while looking for new ride options. And it's really perfect for noobs, not as scary steep and polished as an indoor velodrome, just register, show up with a fixie (no brakes, no freewheel, no quick releases, that's pretty much the extent of the requirements), take the clinic, and race twenty minutes later. I really wish I had found out about it years ago.

Edited: Or, of course, show up with your own pedals, shoes and helmet and grab a loaner for an extra $10. Not sure how many they have available but today only two were claimed, I think.

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Old 05-08-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
Truthfully, I've never taken the dirt jump in the westbound direction. I have, on several occasions, climbed the back side of the jump going eastbound.
I like to take it in both directions, but as tempted as I might be, I don't "jump" it
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Old 05-08-23, 04:29 PM
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I'd been off the bikes for a week, and my legs were starting to send cease and desist letters to my head, so I took the Sam Hillborne out for a spin on the Minuteman.


It was, after all, shorts weather.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders had their totemic figures assembling for some ritual purpose I couldn't quite make out.


The frogs were singing. Or was it the bugs?


Meanwhile, the children vanished into the swampy margin of Peepers Pond.


What to do? A visit to the bike shop fixed everything.


rod

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Old 05-09-23, 05:03 PM
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At the end of a long and slightly vexing day, I took the Sam Hillborne on a quick spin out the Mystic Valley Parkway, inevitably to check out the scene along the E shore of the Mystic Lakes. In a word, it was quiet. The Tufts Bacow Sailing Pavilion appeared deserted, but a young man sitting out of view on the steps was singing a quiet song.


A couple of power boats are now docked at the dam, on the Lower Mystic Lake side. First I've seen this season. Boats berthed in the Lower Mystic Lake can cruise right down the River, through the locks, into the Harbor, and out to sea.


At Shannon Beach, a man, his dog, and the dog's stick reenacted an old, old story, revered by dogs, men, and sticks since the dawn of time.


What more could I have wanted?

rod

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Old 05-10-23, 10:53 PM
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Wedged in a quick ride up to Lexington Center and back on the Atlantis, shod with Rene Herse 700c x 55mm Antelope Hill Extralights.. I'm still learning how to get the best performance out of this bike under various conditions, but was able to coax quick-for-me times out of it this afternoon on the Minuteman, with its rail trail grades. The bike is all about momentum, and I'm still learning how to make it wake up and accelerate when that's desired. It's big enough so that I occasionally think of ElliptiGO riders on their escaped-from-the-gym exercise machines. But it's a pretty bike and can carry a full touring load, and those tires give it some interesting possibilities. Today I just cranked along in the thankfully unseasonable weather, enjoying the ride and trying this and that to help me get to know the bike.


rod
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Old 05-11-23, 03:09 PM
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This morning I heard that the Bike Stop had burned overnight. I took the Sam Hillborne and rode out the Minuteman to see what could be seen. As I approached the Bike Stop, APD was just reestablishing an earlier detour E of the site, and AFD firefighters were spraying presumed hot spots. While the fire had previously (2am) been declared officially extinguished, there looked to be more to do. The Town of Arlington announced that the Dudley area of the Minuteman would be closed into the evening. I took one photo, of the AFD at work, then rode home.


If you're traveling on the Minuteman today, expect to make at least one detour.

rod
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Old 05-12-23, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
This morning I heard that the Bike Stop had burned overnight. I took the Sam Hillborne and rode out the Minuteman to see what could be seen. As I approached the Bike Stop, APD was just reestablishing an earlier detour E of the site, and AFD firefighters were spraying presumed hot spots. While the fire had previously (2am) been declared officially extinguished, there looked to be more to do. The Town of Arlington announced that the Dudley area of the Minuteman would be closed into the evening. I took one photo, of the AFD at work, then rode home.


If you're traveling on the Minuteman today, expect to make at least one detour.

rod
Early reports are that the fire started in a storage area above the bike shop. My first thought was that an e-bike battery caught fire while being charged, which may still turn out to be the cause.

A shame in any case.
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Old 05-12-23, 07:33 PM
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Beautiful, warm day (I'm from Georgia, once upon a time, so I won't say "hot"), and I sallied forth on the Atlantis in shorts and short sleeves, out to Depot Park on the Minuteman. There's a nice azalea bush at the Mile 10.0 marker, something I'd never noticed before.


Operations proceed at the Bike Stop. One of the emergency management personnel told me, "It'll be back" In the meantime, the stretch of the Minuteman in front of the shop is somewhat narrowed, but passable.


More fun learning about the big bike, starting with adjusting the saddle height in three passes, then experimenting with accelerating by standing on the pedals and pumping: made me feel like I was 8 years old. Turns out the Rat Trap Pass Extralights on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe respond similarly. More fun, more to learn.


rod

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Old 05-12-23, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
This morning I heard that the Bike Stop had burned overnight. I took the Sam Hillborne and rode out the Minuteman to see what could be seen. As I approached the Bike Stop, APD was just reestablishing an earlier detour E of the site, and AFD firefighters were spraying presumed hot spots. While the fire had previously (2am) been declared officially extinguished, there looked to be more to do. The Town of Arlington announced that the Dudley area of the Minuteman would be closed into the evening. I took one photo, of the AFD at work, then rode home.
If you're traveling on the Minuteman today, expect to make at least one detour.
aww what a shame. I've stopped in there a cpl times for a look-see. I may have bought something small
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Old 05-12-23, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
aww what a shame. I've stopped in there a cpl times for a look-see. I may have bought something small
I had them fix a flat for me one night when I wasn't in the mood to fix it myself. They did a good job.

rod
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Old 05-13-23, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
I had them fix a flat for me one night when I wasn't in the mood to fix it myself. They did a good job.
if they rebuild, it would be a good spot for a "bike shop / cafe" w/ public restrooms & refreshments. but I guess then, that's not really a bike shop. & what self respecting bike mechanic, would want to clean a public restroom ...
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Old 05-13-23, 10:20 PM
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Saturday, I took the Sam Hilborne and rode East.


This was the latest instance of the hills-and-traffic drill I've been using to improve skills and maintain fitness levels. Consequently, there were hills...


... and traffic...


... with a little riding close to water thrown in.




rod
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Old 05-14-23, 10:33 PM
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Sunday afternoon, after the Celtics game's very satisfactory conclusion and before dinner, I took the Nobilette on a quick ride I really didn't have time for out the Mystic Valley Parkway and along the E shore of the Mystic Lakes.


It was a sort of shift change at the Lakes, with some who had been there for several hours just leaving, and the nocturnal crowd not yet well established. Made for a quiet visit. The Nobilette, of course, made good time; its frame glowed in the light of the low sun.

rod
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Old 05-15-23, 09:51 AM
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was driving on Dutton Rd, Sudbury Sunday morning, & crossed what looked like would be a great rail trail, but then saw signs objecting to "power lines". I wonder if both can co-exist, if the power lines were maybe under ground? I did see someone walking in there

not sure if this was the spot
https://goo.gl/maps/ZRqCjm1a4ipj2tzF...78572&entry=tt















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