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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-22-11, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
makes me think about getting contacts again...
Then all that water and road dirt will hit your eyes directly. I think I'm glad it hits my glasses instead.
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Old 06-22-11, 07:41 PM
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As a 4 year (now temporarily retired) Boston year-round bike commuter, I love the Showers Pass Jackets and Pants. However, I fully agree with cmolway... if you are
going hard (training, really fast commuting) or going long (more than 20-25 minutes) either your water-proof stuff won't let your sweat escape, and you're going to be soaked, or it isn't water-proof enough and you're going to be soaked.

If if I am out for exercise, and its raining... I pretty much ride in normal spandex with a cycling cap (brim down) until it gets below 65. Then I might add tights/long sleeves... down to 50 or so. I pedal hard enough to stay warm. If its below 50, I probably won't ride for fun if its raining.

When I commuted, if it was warm and raining I just let myself get soaked and then changed to dry clothes on arrival. However, in those <60 temps, shower's pass shell and long pants are AWESOME. I've gone 4 miles in a tropical downpour and have my outfit underneath be totally dry on arrival. The trick is to go slow enough you don't sweat up a storm.

Shower's Pass shells are also AWESOME in the winter as wind blockers and precipitation deflectors. I would commute down to 25 degrees or so with just a Tshirt, thin performance fleece, and a shower's pass shell (which was basically wind proof), with a thin scrub-pant under a shower's pass pants. If i was pedaling hard, I would be unziping the jacket halfway there to vent heat. I found it much harder to keep the fingers and toes warm than anything else.
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Old 06-22-11, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
hmm, interesting. I was in a paper-thin windbreaker which wasn't much better than not wearing anything. worst part for me is that rain gets on my glasses and obscures visibility. neither cat crap nor rain-x does the trick. makes me think about getting contacts again...
I wear contacts when I ride, and strongly suggest you keep glasses on over them in rain (also, just in general). With contacts on, a bit of dirt or water hitting your eye the wrong way can be painful and knock your vision out pretty well for a while. If you don't ride with a cap under your helmet, try a cheap one with the brim down next time you ride in the rain... it blocks a fair amount of the stuff coming down on your glasses.
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Old 06-22-11, 07:50 PM
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Oh and the hat trick of posts... I did get out for a real quick ride today in the early afternoon, just after I left work. Only 11miles, but about 1000ft of vertical gain (all in the blue hills) and set a new personal best time up the great blue hill access road (by all of 5 seconds). Nice warm weather with just a mist while I was out... only 45minutes though.
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Old 06-22-11, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JandersUF
I wear contacts when I ride, and strongly suggest you keep glasses on over them in rain (also, just in general). With contacts on, a bit of dirt or water hitting your eye the wrong way can be painful and knock your vision out pretty well for a while. If you don't ride with a cap under your helmet, try a cheap one with the brim down next time you ride in the rain... it blocks a fair amount of the stuff coming down on your glasses.
Yeah I've got a visor and that helps. And the Headsweats helps too. It's usually not until halfway through my 13 mile commute that it gets to me. But after that it's a mess.

This is one reason I ride a folding bike, so that if the rain is coming down really hard I just hop on the train and ride home...probably should've done that today
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Old 06-23-11, 06:03 AM
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Once your wet, your wet--1 mile or 20 makes no difference. As long as it's reasonably warm, I don't mind it. I rode in the on again/off again rain this morning. it was 62 when I left so wore the e-vent jacket. Still ended up taking it off 4 miles into my ride--I'd rather be wet and comfortable than dry and sweaty. I too ride with a cycling cap (brim down) under my helmet. I find it keeps much of the rain of my glasses. Funny my Oakleys have a hydrophobic coating that keep the lenses clear when it is raining. When it is misting however, like it was on part of my way in this morning, they just bead up with water, making them impossible to see out of.
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Old 06-23-11, 09:30 PM
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well I'm out of commission for a few days ... muscle spasm between the shoulder blades has reduced me to a whimpering child. worse, the muscle relaxant puts me to sleep like a narcoleptic dog. I hope it rains straight through the weekend so I won't feel like I've missed too much. may take the folder to a third LBS to see if they can fix my shifting problem...
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Old 06-24-11, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
well I'm out of commission for a few days ... muscle spasm between the shoulder blades has reduced me to a whimpering child. worse, the muscle relaxant puts me to sleep like a narcoleptic dog. I hope it rains straight through the weekend so I won't feel like I've missed too much...
Sorry to hear that, by which I mean sorry to read that. I recently went through a back issue and it's no fun. Feel better soon, or sleep through the rain.

I'm going to skip the car/train/bike thing today. The weather looks promising, promising to rain and T-storm all day. I spent a good amount of time cleaning up the bike yesterday from Wednesday's weather. I'm not ready to get it quite so dirty quite so quickly again.
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Old 06-24-11, 06:02 AM
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feels like weeks since I have had dry cycling shoes. I pull out the insole and stuff em with newspaper but they still feel damp when I pull them on. Rode in again. Weather is keeping me off the road for serious riding (cancelled group rides and such) so the commute is the only time I am getting on the bike. The thought of sitting in I93S rush-hour traffic for 30+ minutes makes my 27 minute bike commute, even with potential T-storms, worth while.
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Old 06-25-11, 09:49 AM
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cmolway, what's your route? I thought Boston was mostly bike-impenetrable from the north.
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Old 06-25-11, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cmolway
feels like weeks since I have had dry cycling shoes…Weather is keeping me off the road for serious riding (cancelled group rides and such) so the commute is the only time I am getting on the bike…
My 10 week Century training schedule called for 75 miles today. I’m tied up on the predicted pleasant Sunday tomorrow, and work has me so busy that I could only eke out 33 miles today. I went from Kenmore Square to Norwood via Comm Ave to Weston, Oak Street to Wellesley, Forest to Needham, Central Ave to Dover, Pine St to Medfield, and Rte 109 and Hartford St. to Westwood and on to Norwood. It was misty when I left about 5:45 AM, but the Doppler looked promising for a couple of rain-free hours. I took the road bike, which I normally wouldn't considering today’s forecast, but I intend to take it in the Bike Shop tomorrow for a complete cleaning prior to the Century on July 9.

The rain increased, with thundershowers in Wellesley, and I was ultimately completely drenched, but could have ridden further except for time constraints. I may fit in about 20 miles early tomorrow. I've been told that the annual ride in Michigan, called “One Helluva Ride” because it goes through Hell, Michigan, is known have rainy days, so it's probably good to include that situation in my training, even just for psychological preparation.

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Old 06-25-11, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
cmolway, what's your route? I thought Boston was mostly bike-impenetrable from the north.
Hey mtalinm, you've got to get out of Westwood-Dover more.
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Old 06-25-11, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
cmolway, what's your route? I thought Boston was mostly bike-impenetrable from the north.
Passing through industrial Chelsea to Charlestown, taking the MBTA's Blue Line, or a harbor ferry are about the only way to get here from the North Shore. Assuming the the crazy pie in the sky harbor flood control system and harbor island causeways are never funded.
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Old 06-25-11, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm
cmolway, what's your route? I thought Boston was mostly bike-impenetrable from the north.
Nah it's not too bad from where I am in Melrose. Here's my typical "on the way home" ride: https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/31584556
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Old 06-25-11, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Fenway
Passing through industrial Chelsea to Charlestown, taking the MBTA's Blue Line, or a harbor ferry are about the only way to get here from the North Shore. Assuming the the crazy pie in the sky harbor flood control system and harbor island causeways are never funded.
not true. from Main street to Malden. From there I take commercial street all the way to Wellington and then up and behind station landing to the Schraft building rotary, down main street Charlestown and over the Washington Street bridge to Boston. Takes me 30 minutes if I don't want to arrive at work sweaty--sooner if I do.
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Old 06-25-11, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fenway
Passing through industrial Chelsea to Charlestown, taking the MBTA's Blue Line, or a harbor ferry are about the only way to get here from the North Shore. Assuming the the crazy pie in the sky harbor flood control system and harbor island causeways are never funded.
For me, the North Shore is Revere Beach and northwards. I rarely go to Winthrop or south of that. I usually go up early on weekend mornings and return in the late morning or early afternoon, as I did last week:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
I went from Kenmore Square to Norwood to work for few hours, by way of Salem.

The first few miles through Everett are gritty urban; Revere Beach Parkway is nice in the early morning; Rte 129 and Atlantic Ave are particularly nice through Swampscott and Marblehead, and a prime destination is Marblehead Neck up to the lighthouse. When I arrived I even turned off my radio to listen to the quiet and had a snack overlooking the beautiful ocean coast and all the sail boats in the harbor. They even have a public restroom there. I then went to Salem and got lost for a few miles but found my way to Peabody and my pleasant inland route from the North Shore back to Boston..
I go through Everett on Rte 99 to Lynn St and then take Rte 60 to Revere Beach. Or for a less traveled inland route I continue on Lynn St to Cliftondale in Saugus and Boston St over to Parkland in Lynn, to Broadway up to Peabody, and then to the more distant North Shore via Salem or Danvers. The actual shoreline routes are pretty nice from the Nahant causeway in Lynn, and are really nice north of Beverly.

Of course one can always take the Newburyport/Rockport line on the MBTA to various points along the North Shore, schedule permitting.

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Old 06-25-11, 09:14 PM
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xx
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Old 06-26-11, 06:39 PM
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Got in 60+ miles in last two days. Praised be for a break in the weather! Coolest surprise came on the back side of Old North Bridge in Concord. Half way up the hill, alone and under a tree, stood a man playing the bagpipes. My little passenger got so excited he was speechless, a phenomena I am not used to with this little guy. We stopped and listened for a bit before the musician began his lonely march down the hill.
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Old 06-26-11, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cmolway
Nah it's not too bad from where I am in Melrose. Here's my typical "on the way home" ride: https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/31584556
oh ok, 28 makes more sense than 99, which I tried once. good for you
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Old 06-26-11, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by bikinggrrrl
Got in 60+ miles in last two days. Praised be for a break in the weather! Coolest surprise came on the back side of Old North Bridge in Concord. Half way up the hill, alone and under a tree, stood a man playing the bagpipes. My little passenger got so excited he was speechless, a phenomena I am not used to with this little guy. We stopped and listened for a bit before the musician began his lonely march down the hill.
Cool story!
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Old 06-26-11, 09:24 PM
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Agreed! Jim is right!

BG you and your son are very cool.

Getting in miles and still keeping wonder and appreciation in the formula is very cool.
Too often I focus on time or a self imposed goal that hinders special moments. As BG described it, how could one not stop? Bravo!

My weekend was not put to music but I did pause.
Saturday I competed in a very local run-bike-run biathlon and danced across stones on top of a small dam on the first lap. Second run was slower and I got to the dam, 1/2 mile from the finish and met a determined older fellow with a cane pondering wet, dam rocks. He really didn't want to turn around. Maybe not bagpipes but this seemed more rewarding than a few minutes faster time. We held on to each other and after the first stone decided to inch our way across around the stones in mud and water. Soggy and unscathed we crossed upright and a good time was had by all.

This evening I rode my 37 mile weekend warrior route after spending the day at a family event. I've got to get in weekday rides!
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Old 06-26-11, 10:09 PM
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Really great ride down to Rehoboth from Newton. Saw tons of cyclists on South street and Pine Street in Needham. Been doing this route for years amazing to see how many more riders there out now than in the past. More bikes than cars for sevearl miles. Total 44. Back to Newton tomw afternoon.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:12 AM
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I am missing out on so much riding this year with my wife's schedule that I broke down and bought a Chariot cougar bike trailer for my 3yo son. I saw a racing tandem absolutely flying through great bridge while towing a chariot couple of weeks ago and I caught the bug.

Gonna be fun towing THAT thing up strawberry hill. Anything is better than not getting a ride in though.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
For me, the North Shore is Revere Beach and northwards. I rarely go to Winthrop or south of that. I usually go up early on weekend mornings and return in the late morning or early afternoon, as I did last week:


I go through Everett on Rte 99 to Lynn St and then take Rte 60 to Revere Beach.
This is the route I take--I can get to 99 by going over the Alford St. bridge by the power station. From 99 sometimes I'll cross over to 107, which is easier now that the construction is finished. I've gone through Chelsea to get there, but riding past the warehouses and oil storage tanks is unpleasant.
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Old 06-27-11, 09:32 AM
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I stay clear of 99. too much traffic and too little shoulder. Heck, that road is the main reason I started commuting in the 1st place.
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