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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 08-10-23, 09:05 PM
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Thursday, chores accumulated. By the time they had been discharged, THE WEATHER was encroaching, at least in the weather radar display on the Pocket Devil. I squinted at that, and compromised with Fate by taking a fast sprint up the Mystic Valley Parkway, the shortest, briefest, quickest ride I normally do. I took the Rambler for this, and discovered that the Mystic Lakes area was pretty much deserted: THE WEATHER was coming, and folks had skedaddled. I didn't stay long myself, but I did take one photo.


I cranked vigorously, and was rewarded with a gentle, cooling drizzle: refreshing. Got home before THE WEATHER strangled any frogs. In fact, my impression from subsequent observations was that the frogs were safe today, and that THE WEATHER had not lived up to its billing. This is not a complaint.

rod
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Old 08-11-23, 01:09 PM
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Despite last night's rain, I decided to check out the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail today. Not knowing what to expect, I saddled up the Cannondale hardtail. It was due for some attention anyway.

I made my way out the Minuteman to Depot Park. It was actually a popular spot today, though I had it to myself when I took this photo:



From the Depot I headed north on the NGRT. The surface conditions on the lower section were pretty good. My timing was also good in that I got to this downed tree just after a DPW truck had cleared it:



You can just see the truck receding in the distance.

Further north, I encountered a modest stream running down the trail:



This is the wettest I have seen this trail. It reminded me of a section of Estabrook Rd Concord (which is on my list to revisit...)

So, you know the really rough 1/4 mile or so past the gate at the Billerica line? I was debating whether it was worth the effort, but I was curious, so I ventured around the gate. After a ways, I was on this:



Some of those are my tracks, as I had turned around at that point. If there was some good riding to be had past the muck I would have pushed on, but I would have turned around just ahead at Spring Rd in any case.

Fawn Lake has a wonderful layer of lily pads - much more appealing than the pea soup at Peeper's Pond:



Despite what I show above, riding the NGRT wasn't too bad, as long as one kept an eye out for washouts, like this area near the VA hospital:



That section is always rough, as it retains the runoff damage from every major rain.

Arriving back at Depot Park, I encountered this "gang" of recumbent trikes for the second time this ride (the first being when I was outbound on the MM):



After some chitchat with a bunch of fellow riders at the Depot, I headed home.

So, a somewhat muddy but very enjoyable ride!

Tom

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Old 08-11-23, 04:53 PM
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Got a ride up in Ipswich with my grown daughter Betsey, 15 miles from the Hamilton line up to the Great Neck Conservation Area, she on her Cross Check, I on my Rambler. Beautiful day, lovely weather, hilly enough to keep the legs happy, late enough in the season to banish the greenheads.














Good ride today, yup!

rod

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Old 08-12-23, 10:06 PM
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Took the Rivendell Rambouillet out Saturday afternoon and rode East.


This was the latest iteration of my more or less weekly hills-and-traffic drill, a ride through paved portions of the Fells Escarpment, with a bit of coastal plain flats thrown in, as found in Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, and occasionally others. I credit regular riding of this route with improving my biking skills and stamina, and was pleased with evidence of that I felt I got while climbing and descending the hills in Ipswich on Friday.

Today, an odd thing happened. There is always a connection between the "hills" and "traffic" parts of the ride; hills get climbed and descended after the traffic moves past. But this time, in a variety of situations, all the traffic broke in my favor, and I went hill-surfing gleefully unimpeded. Nice when that happens, and I can't say I remember a time when quite as much of it happened on one ride. No real picture of that, it would take a GoPro or similar, but here's a stand-in from Fellsway East.


Made good speed, and proceeded cheerily. The Rambouillet, shod with 32mm Rene Herse Stampede Pass Extralights, acquitted itself well in all conditions and speeds encountered.

rod

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Old 08-14-23, 08:19 AM
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I misplaced my round tuit on Friday but having recovered this essential item, I shall now report briefly on another semi-strenuous afternoon training ride. Still on the single-speed incarnation of the Van D, I set out without a clear route in mind, other than needing to avoid long steep hills. For variety, I decided to loop north, away from the BFRT. A stretch of Old Westford Road near my house is currently being repaved, which necessitated a bit of sidewalk riding and portage, but this was followed by over six miles of net downhill, punctuated by traversing a hillside along Davis Rd where the grade briefly reaches a whopping 2.7%. The descent is a good deal steeper though, and almost always requires a complete stop at the bottom, as the traffic light heavily favors the cross street, which is busy North Rd (Route 4). So my brake levers, which were chosen more for their on-again, off-again ease than their efficiency, needed a firm squeeze.

North Rd is likewise under construction and was found to be in a rough coat of asphalt, with sharp 2 inch drops either side that made me thank myself inwardly for having a freehub so I could concentrate on timing my hop. A little more undulating, low traffic joy along Smith Rd brought me to Stedman St, which is anything but. Almost flat, almost always busy, and on this Friday afternoon it was as bad as I've seen. It comes to a four-way stop at Dalton Rd (well, technically five-way, but there might as well be a sign saying "All hope abandon" for anyone trying to exit Subway Ave at this hour) and it was backed up for something like a quarter mile. I cautiously made my way to the front and across the intersection, only to find myself curiously alone at the very next light, everybody else apparently having turned.

I picked up the BFRT, relieved to have left the worst of the day's traffic behind. Next stop, and the only photos of the ride, at Heart Pond.



While it wasn't as deserted as the photo makes it appear, a handful of people at a picnic table, two little boys on a tire swing, and a few trail users loading and unloading bikes is not what a warm and sunny Friday afternoon should be like. Reopening the beach requires two consecutive weekly water tests coming back negative, and with the amount of runoff from recent weather, that may not happen anytime soon.

I was delighted to see these pondside beauties in full bloom, however:



Rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), my ID app tells me.

I continued on the trail to Route 27, turned around, and went back all the way to Chelmsford center, from where I needed to regain most of the vertical drop I had enjoyed, bringing the ride total to 18.8 miles and just over 600 vertical feet, and well over 50 miles for the week. The training paid off at the track yesterday, I was able to race in a significantly higher gear than before (46x13) and put up a hard fight for overall 2nd out of 5 riders, missing by one point.
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Old 08-14-23, 10:21 PM
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Took the Nobilette up the Minuteman to Lexington Center, a quick sprint before dinner.


The good weather brought people out in their numbers, and the quick sprint was, at times, the deliberate and careful sprint.


So quickly, deliberately, carefully, I rolled on to dinner.

rod

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Old 08-15-23, 07:27 AM
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After dinner, in my case, for which the daylight window is quickly closing now. An unremarkable little loop except that it was the first time in 11 months that I was riding the Dawes Super Galaxy. It had been sitting in the basement, in need of various small tasks, and there it stayed while I got side-tracked into building up and racing the Van Dessel. It really deserves a full strip and repaint but I finally decided this shouldn't keep me from attending to more immediate needs, as the duplicated effort would be small. So, when I found myself with some time and a partly shaded driveway to work in yesterday afternoon, I dragged it out and reacquainted myself with what needed doing, and chased down the various bits of it that had found gainful employment elsewhere in the fleet in the interim. The Brooks saddle was of course on the Bianchi, but it took a little longer to locate the pedals, freewheel, and chain. I also never even ordered all the parts that should be renewed (cables, pads, hoods, bar tape) and so I threaded the tired, but still safe, cables back in, stripped and repacked the sticky headset, and trued the rear wheel. The old school BB still felt fine and was left in situ for now.

A very short spin around the block before dinner revealed nothing seriously amiss, except that the rear axle nuts had been tightened with insufficient oomph. I even managed to find just enough room to park it in the garage, next to the Bianchi and Van Dessel.

My wife wanted a little time to pursue one of her hobbies after dinner, and I was aware of the wet weather forecast for today, so I quickly returned and mounted my Specialized dual-purpose light up front in white flasher mode, supplemented by my helmet light for rear duty. I really don't like riding in less than full daylight, so this was going to be brief and on quiet roads, an abbreviated version of the northerly loop from my previous ride. The Super G is an old-fashioned tourer with a 3x6 setup, but trying to shift onto the big ring for the downhill stretch I realized I should have checked the limit screw--I dropped my chain. No big deal and in reality, the middle ring and just two or three of the small sprockets was quite sufficient for the modest hills.

I stopped briefly for pictorial documentation (turning the bike into the holy drive side view; in reality I was going the other way):



The dusk is hiding many flaws here, and I don't even like the bar ends pointing down, but the clamp screw is in need of some penetrating oil before it will move. The frame, while comfortable, is a size too large for me. I may need to find a different seatpost. This one is fluted and the flutes end up partially hidden, ready to trap rainwater.

About ten minutes later, I was putting the bike away and heard a train pass this very crossing. We're talking long, slow freight trains here. I could have been stuck on the other side of the tracks for quite some time!

4.7 miles and 230 vertical feet.
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Old 08-15-23, 04:48 PM
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So that brief ride was enough to make me want to take the Dawes on a longer outing. The rain stopped and the roads were beginning to dry sooner than I had expected, and so I decided to put on a long-sleeve jersey (first time in months), mount a bottle holder and go see what the BFRT was like. With its long wheelbase, Reynolds 531 frame, and 27x1-1/4 cyclocross tires at 70 psi, this is easily the most comfortable bike in my fleet. Even the broken and pockmarked concrete on the bridge over I-495 was considerably less jarring. I was prepared to turn around if I found the BFRT dripping wet under the tree cover, but it was just damp, and not very popular with other users. I could have gone for miles but instead left at Pond St in favor of the southerly loop around the Chelmsford/Carlisle cranberry bog--except this time I went off-road. I figured it was the right time, place, and bike for it. Here, too, the gravel paths were mostly empty, with just a few walkers here and there, more often than not with dogs.



The smoothest of the paths but by and large, they were easy to ride, with just small puddles here and there.

Mosquitoes attacked as soon as I stood still, but there was also a squadron of swallows keeping their numbers in check. The rain increased to a steady drizzle a couple of times, but I was still seeing bumblebees at work, so I could hardly complain.

This area is indeed popular for dog-walking, with the attendant problems that gave rise to this row of signs:


Got dog? Like bog? Left poop? Please scoop!

Despite the drizzle and puddles, the old pair of five-digit splashometers strapped to my pedals was still comfortable, and no water at all was reaching my bottom, so once back on the road and heading back to Chelmsford center, I began to wonder if the Warren-Pohl land would be fun, as well. In I went, first in the open--nice, but even buggier, due to a relative lack of swallows--and then in the woods. Got my wheels moderately mucky. The woodland loop is marked as just over half a mile, and I probably did about three times that in total, so it was starting to accumulate.




I splashed my remaining water over the brakes and rims and on leaving the site, found a puddle that was even better for the purpose. Followed soon after by a proper rinse and towel at home, of course.

I managed to map my road and cranberry bog route in RideWithGPS but gave up trying to recreate the rest of my off-road rambling. On the order of 17 miles and 600 vertical feet total.
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Old 08-16-23, 08:14 PM
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Wednesday, I put the Rivendell Sam Hillborne back in the rotation, and took it out on the Minuteman for a quick spin up to Lexington Center before lunch.


The long-wheelbase bike rolls along on 38 mm Rene Herse Barlow Pass Extralights, planted and imperturbable while remaining speedy.

The Minuteman used to be pretty swampy after rainstorms, but the Lexington DPW has largely fixed the drainage problems. A few small puddles remain, to mirror the sky, the foliage, and the occasional cyclist.


My route home on these rides involves cutting through an alley behind Arlington Center. There's been a lot of construction in a commercial block that the alley serves, and it seems to be coming to a head.


rod

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Old 08-17-23, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
Wednesday, I put the Rivendell Sam Hillborne back in the rotation, and took it out on the Minuteman for a quick spin up to Lexington Center before lunch.
I believe I saw you headed eastbound on Broadway near the fire station, as I was headed west. About 2pm. I was going to call out, but you were about to enter the intersection at Franklin St, which I had just cleared, and I didn't want to distract you!

Originally Posted by rholland1951
My route home on these rides involves cutting through an alley behind Arlington Center. There's been a lot of construction in a commercial block that the alley serves, and it seems to be coming to a head.
That's interesting. When I reach Mystic St on the way home, I generally walk or slowly ride (yeah, I know I shouldn't...) down the Mass Ave sidewalk to get to Broadway plaza. Are you cutting through the parking lot behind Alington Cathodic to get to Medford St? Then what? Do you go around the block using Compton and Alton?

BTW: I rode out to Depot Park. As I am sure you noted, the temperature was great, but the air was really clammy.

Tom
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Old 08-17-23, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
I believe I saw you headed eastbound on Broadway near the fire station, as I was headed west. About 2pm. I was going to call out, but you were about to enter the intersection at Franklin St, which I had just cleared, and I didn't want to distract you!



That's interesting. When I reach Mystic St on the way home, I generally walk or slowly ride (yeah, I know I shouldn't...) down the Mass Ave sidewalk to get to Broadway plaza. Are you cutting through the parking lot behind Alington Cathodic to get to Medford St? Then what? Do you go around the block using Compton and Alton?

BTW: I rode out to Depot Park. As I am sure you noted, the temperature was great, but the air was really clammy.

Tom
The timing was right, that was probably me.

My endgame, coming in on the Minuteman from Lexington, is to leave the Minuteman at Water Street, bearing left into the no-name private street that comes up from the parking lot, follow that for a short block parallel to the Minuteman, then to jog left onto Russell Terrace, then a quick right onto Winslow Street, rolling down the hill on that between the Arlington Housing Authority and the Knights of Columbus. Winslow Street ends at an uncontrolled intersection with Mystic Street, which I cross (carefully) and enter the Russell Common Municipal Lot (which hosts the Arlington Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoons). I pick up the little alley I mentioned from there, take that past Arlington Catholic High School to Medford Street, pick my way past the Covid-era dining area and barricades, and take a left onto Medford Street., followed by a right onto Compton Street. From Compton, I turn right onto Alton Street, following that up to Broadway. A left on Broadway takes me past the fire station and rolling into my East Arlington home neighborhood. It's more intuitive than it sounds...

rod
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Old 08-17-23, 09:37 AM
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Another afternoon without work assignments (not good) so I grabbed the Dawes yet again and headed south on the BFRT. Coming to NARA Park, someone passed me and proceeded through the twists at what I considered irresponsible speeds, weaving through pedestrians. I'm not aware of any collision statistics around there but I'm afraid there must have been accidents already, and the recently added signs ("Please slow your pace in this special place") don't seem to be making a difference. Wouldn't surprise me if we get speed bumps next.

Anyway, I continued through NARA and the road crossing in safe fashion and then tried if I could catch that rider, but they were about 1/4 mile ahead and, of course, continuing their reckless speed around other users and at road crossings. I didn't lose sight all the way to the MCI, though. A good workout. This was going to be my turnaround point and I pulled into the parking lot just to see if those baby turtles were hatching yet.



I suppose the stake marks the spot but if it was me marking that site, I would divert attention from the real nest, so who knows.

It was close to 5pm and I was on dinner duty (recreating a dish we had at a Cambodian restaurant recently, mee-katang) so time to head back. Approaching NARA Park again, I suffered a sudden rear flat that had me puzzled for a moment. Nothing sticking in the tire. I had just replaced the drive side spokes, was one of the spokes too long? But the embarrassing truth was that my left brake pad was high and had punctured the sidewall. Good thing it's only a cheap Kenda tire. I had tools and patches on board and pushed the bike to the nearest bit of rail to lean on, but I really should have pushed on a little further to the park itself, as this particular spot turned out to be infested with mosquitoes.



The fix posed no particular problem but I was really glad for the piece of Tyvek mail envelope I recently added to my kit, now that I'm no longer likely to have dollar bills on me. Even so I wasn't sure the boot would last the whole 8 miles home, but it did.

24.5 miles, 660 vertical feet, and dinner was a full success. Recipe here (literally just the top search result in Google, anyway).
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Old 08-17-23, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
The timing was right, that was probably me.

My endgame, coming in on the Minuteman from Lexington, is to leave the Minuteman at Water Street, bearing left into the no-name private street that comes up from the parking lot, follow that for a short block parallel to the Minuteman, then to jog left onto Russell Terrace, then a quick right onto Winslow Street, rolling down the hill on that between the Arlington Housing Authority and the Knights of Columbus. Winslow Street ends at an uncontrolled intersection with Mystic Street, which I cross (carefully) and enter the Russell Common Municipal Lot (which hosts the Arlington Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoons). I pick up the little alley I mentioned from there, take that past Arlington Catholic High School to Medford Street, pick my way past the Covid-era dining area and barricades, and take a left onto Medford Street., followed by a right onto Compton Street. From Compton, I turn right onto Alton Street, following that up to Broadway. A left on Broadway takes me past the fire station and rolling into my East Arlington home neighborhood. It's more intuitive than it sounds...

rod
Thanks. I might try the second half of that (Russel Lot -> Medford -> Compton -> Alton) by making a left on Mystic at Mass Ave light. Not as keen on crossing Mystic at Winslow!

Tom
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Old 08-17-23, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
Thanks. I might try the second half of that (Russel Lot -> Medford -> Compton -> Alton) by making a left on Mystic at Mass Ave light. Not as keen on crossing Mystic at Winslow!

Tom
Mystic & Winslow can certainly be a caution. I've been doing that long enough to have found its rhythm...

rod
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Old 08-17-23, 10:07 PM
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For the first time since mid-June, I took the Rivendell Atlantis out for a spin.


This is the MIT (Made in Taiwan) Atlantis, with the very long wheelbase and sporting 700C x 55 Rene Herse Antelope Hill Extralight tires, inflated to 30PSI. It's kind of a hoot to ride. I spent a little time adjusting the saddle, which had gotten too high in June, it seems.


It didn't take very long to get the hang of this bike again. I'd like to take it out on the Reformatory Branch to give the big, soft tires their due (to say nothing of Estabrook Road).


It is, after all, a touring bike. Maybe next Summer...

rod

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Old 08-18-23, 08:47 AM
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quiet on the weekday trail yesterday. fond memories of Daughter & Wifey joining me on long, lazy, summer days

the bollards are def. wide enough for a car to pass thru. 4pm, still locked & unavailable

the old restrooms are now a little bit of storage space I guess

hopefully a new entrance road is on the agenda
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Old 08-18-23, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
So, you know the really rough 1/4 mile or so past the gate at the Billerica line? I was debating whether it was worth the effort, but I was curious, so I ventured around the gate. After a ways, I was on this:
saw similar, what looked like new sand on the RBT. I'd think gravel would work better. probably better to ride over
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Old 08-18-23, 04:10 PM
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Started getting the Rivendell Sam Hillborne ready to roll Friday at 3:30, which was just when the rain started, after a bully threat display from the clouds that had accumulated along the cold front. I took the opportunity to lube the chain and derailleurs, and by 4 o'clock they were slick and the last few raindrops fell, at least in my yard. I rolled out, headed West, for a little jaunt on the Minuteman in its newly washed condition.






Virginia Creeper on a Minuteman overpass tells a tale of Autumn.


Best to ignore it.

rod
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Old 08-19-23, 10:42 PM
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Saturday, took the Rivendell Sam Hillborne (Sam to its friends) and rode East.


Self-portrait in a convex mirror... if it worked for John Ashbery, maybe it'll work for me...


This was the now-familiar hills-and-traffic drill. Traffic made more of an impression on me than the hills, which I simply scooted up and rolled down (the Sam is good for that).


"NO TURN ON ROD"... I would agree with that...


The Malden River is not a hill, but I was stuck in traffic there, and opportunistically snapped its picture, so I declare it compliant with the overall theme.


rod

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Old 08-21-23, 03:14 PM
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I took the Fuji for a spin up the MM to Depot Park this morning. It was humid, but temps were low enough at that time that it was quite pleasant.

The MM was quiet in general, but just west of Arlington Center it was hopping:



Green is good:



These hydrangeas near the Depot are past their peak, but still pretty spectacular:



A detour sign beckoned those going westbound into the parking lot:



It turned out there wasn't any work happening on the MM itself, but rather repaving of South Rd:



The "I was there" photo:



A great summer morning outing, though I must admit I am looking forward to crisp fall riding.

Tom
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Old 08-21-23, 09:07 PM
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Monday afternoon in Arlington Center, same as it ever was.


I cranked out on the Rivendell Atlantis, digging the long wheelbase geometry and 700C x 55 Rene Herse Antilope Hill Extralights that floated over the broken pavement and root heaves like a hovercraft. Kept a brisk pace out the Minuteman to Lexington Center and back, the big bike is more biddable than one might think.


rod

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Old 08-22-23, 11:28 PM
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Tuesday afternoon, my son John and I rode off to explore the newer southern reaches of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, he on his Cross Check, I on my Rambler.


Of course, getting there is somewhat more than half the fun, and we found ourselves riding 52 miles, a great big cartographic lollypop with the Minuteman as the handle and the candy comprising the Bruce Freeman, the Reformatory Branch Sucking Mire (it's baaaack...), and numerous back roads in Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Acton, Westford, Sudbury, and perhaps a few other municipalities as well. Early in the ride, I discovered that the Carlisle Maple Street beavers have apparently been dispossessed. This is too bad, but I guess I might feel differently if they were flooding my basement.

We cranked away to get where we were going, through familiar routes through Bedford and Carlisle, Railroad Ave., Mudge Way, Route 225, Maple Street, East Street, Rutland Street, the North Road Time Machine past Great Brook Farm State Park, then a brief jog on Lowell Street to connect to Curve Street, past the Cranberry Bog, onto Fiske Street which becomes Elm Street at the Chelmsford line, on to Route 27, then another little jog onto Lakeside Avenue, then onto the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail at last. Once on the Bruce, we pointed the bikes South (Lowell will have to wait for another day and another ride), and rode through segments of the trail that we had already experienced. After enough pedal strokes, we began to feel we had gotten somewhere new at the new bridge over Route 2 (there's nothing like a monumental landmark for that feeling of novelty). So I had to take its picture, of course.


Rolling down the hill, I was a little disconcerted to see that the bike path ran under the watchful eyes of the DCI Concord guard towers.


By now, John had vectored off on his own explorations, and we're exchanging images in the chat stream.




John plots his own return, riding back to Concord Center on Route 62, picking up the Reformatory Branch Trail, which he reports was "fun" (can't keep a cross bike away from the mud for long, after all) and stopping at Bedford Farms for a restorative frappe before picking up the Minuteman to roll home. I continue to pedal doggedly South, and am cognizant of the notion that the sun will eventually set.

West Concord provides a multi-modal transport discontinuity, inviting us to walk our bikes to the next trail segment, rather as Arlington Center used to do. Failure to comply might be imagined to result in incarceration in a convenient nearby correctional facility, so behave yourselves.


After a little walking, we're rolling again, and admiring the Assabet River, as we cross it. This route also takes us across the Concord, the Sudbury, and the Shawsheen. It's well-watered.


A little while and a few hundred pedal strokes later, a lordly swan is observed holding court in a swamp that must have a name, but not one that's known to us.


At the Powder Mill Road overpass, we are informed that the Bruce Freeman ends, but not really and not for long. What follows is in use, though a little scruffy, and will be cleaned up and paved in no time, or so the little birds tell me.


Powder Mill Road is an old bicycle haunt of mine, and soon leads me to Sudbury Road, equally familiar, which takes me back to Concord Center, where I pick up Monument Street, and soon make the dubious decision to take the Reformatory Branch Trail back to Railroad Ave. and Depot Park. All well and good, except that the rainy spell we've had this Summer had restored the Two Sucking Mires. The Rambler, and its Pasela-treaded 38mm Soma C Line tires, proved equal to the challenge (cue Flanders & Swann)..


And, yes, some well-meaning fool or outright devil has dumped significant quantities of sand where they will do no conceivable good. As Darth Vader is said to have said, "DO NOT WANT!"). In spite of all sand and mud issues, I make it to the Minuteman well in advance of sunset, and roll home for supper, convinced that the New Bruce is a dandy addition to the map, and its utility should become clearer with use.

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 08-25-23 at 09:16 PM. Reason: toponym scrub in progress. more mud.
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Old 08-23-23, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
..., past the Cranberry Bog, onto Fiske Street which becomes Elm Street at the Billerica line, on to Route 27, then another little jog onto Lakeside Avenue, then onto the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail at last.
cough - Chelmsford - cough

Belated welcome to my neck of the woods!
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Old 08-23-23, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by EVlove
cough - Chelmsford - cough

Belated welcome to my neck of the woods!
Yikes! Thanks! Will do a Toponym Scrub and an editing pass!

rod
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Old 08-23-23, 03:00 PM
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My ride today included the gravel loop of the Reformatory Branch and Battle Road through Minuteman Historical Park. I hadn't done that in awhile, partly because I knew that boardwalk replacement was causing trail closures this summer: https://www.nps.gov/mima/mima-gaoa.htm

Like many rides, I started out by riding the Minuteman out to Depot Park. Other than this sighting, that was uneventful:



Your guess is as good as mine...

The RBT had another day to dry since rholland1951 's report yesterday, so the mud bog just east of Great Meadows wasn't too bad, until I encountered a small pond in the middle of the trail, with a stream flowing across it. The source turned out to be water being pumped off the property adjacent to the trail.

I left the RBT at the Concord waste water treatment plant access road, aka Great Meadows Rd, which brought me to Concord Rd and St Bernards Cemetery.



As my father used to say "folks are dying to get in here!"

There's a somewhat hard-to-find trail at the back of the cemetery that leads to Old Bedford Rd near Meriam's Corner. Normally I would pick up the Battle Road trail at that point, but knowing it was closed at the Farwell Jones House, I used Lexington Rd to get Shadyside Lane. I decided to explore Shadyside Lane while I was there. I was rewarded with this scenic meadow:



Near the end of Shadyside I encountered this somewhat threatening sign:



Oh well.

Anyway, thinking I was home free at that point I headed east on Battle Rd. I only got a short way before I encountered another trail closure at Brooks Village. Argh - I should have reread that NPS posting before I left! Anyway, a bit more road riding on 2a got me to another segment of Old Bedford Rd and back on Battle Rd. No more trail closures from there, but lots of washouts and ruts.

Hartwell Tavern:



Near the Captain William Smith House I encountered a well meaning couple walking the other way who warned me I would meet certain death if continued on the rutted trail. I thanked them and continued on my way.

It was pretty rough in spots, but I was cautious and had no incidents. None of my on-the-fly photos do justice to the ruts, and I didn't feel like stopping, so you will just have to use your imagination.

At the end of Battle Rd I did the two steep climbs on Old Mass Ave and Mass Ave to get back to Lexington Center and the Minuteman.

I guess my bike and I weren't significant enough to trigger this speed sign:



Back home on the Minuteman.

A varied 27 miles.

Tom

Last edited by bike_tom; 08-23-23 at 03:20 PM.
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