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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-17-24, 08:27 AM
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Time travellers, hurrah!

rod
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Old 06-17-24, 10:36 PM
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Monday was one last benign Spring-Summer day, and I knocked off for a couple of hours in the afternoon to enjoy a vigorous sprint out to Depot Park and back in the green coolness of the shadier precincts of the Minuteman.


I took the Rivendell Rambouillet on this ride, and was pleased to observe no lasting damage from the ride in Friday's flood.


Perhaps I'll dare a ramble in the heat, especially if I can organize myself to fly with the larks rather than with the owls. Could happen...


rod

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Old 06-18-24, 12:26 PM
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Haven't posted in a while, but I'm still around, riding in the area and various trips like a bikepacking overnighter in the Whites, where I had to chase a bear out of my campsite, and a lovely ride up & down the Burlington Island Line Trail, including a 45min-long wait at the ferry to get back.

Didn't see anyone post this, so: I went out for a short ride on the Battle Road Trail in Minuteman NP to find out that NPS, without finishing the work on the western part with the boardwalk, started resurfacing the eastern end, with rolling closures into mid-July. I'm glad NPS is finally doing something about the erosion, though I'm not happy about them closing the trail through the busiest season. https://www.nps.gov/mima/mima-gaoa.htm

This is the start in the east - you know that extremely bumpy "green tunnel" section that I personally used to avoid... yup, part of it is paved now!





We're getting a drainage ditch here!




At the bottom of Old Mass Ave/Fiske Hill


Across the Visitor Center




Visitor Center lot is still open but you can only reach the Visitor Center from it




Bonus: chased off a turkey and a deer
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Old 06-18-24, 01:52 PM
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autonomy , good to hear from you! Thanks for the NPS report. Glad to hear about the good experience with the Island Line, that one's a quiet treasure. Glad the frank exchange of views with the bear ended well.

rod
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Old 06-19-24, 01:46 PM
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Today the forecast called for a hot (mid-90s) afternoon, so I took the Rambouillet out and rode in the mid-80s morning. As far as I can tell, I'm approximately the last person in the world who's had and acted on this particular insight, but better late than never.


Some of the numerous others who got there before me:


Another day in the swamp (conveniently located behind Lexington Center).


Seems I put in my fastest time on this route (Depot Park) this year. That early-to-rise stuff may bear further study.


rod

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Old 06-21-24, 04:58 PM
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Spent a bit of time on the Minuteman today, Spy Pond to Depot Park. Some things get to take their turn at novelty: the Fairy & Elf Animal Shelter, for example.


It had been a while since I photographed the Pumping Station, so I did.


A sky full of cirrus clouds and a wide-angle lens can evoke Out Yonder from the most familiar scenes.


Stopping at the Lexington Visitors Center, I had occasion to reflect on the importance of good, well-maintained toilets for bike trails. There are some things a friendly tree just isn't suited for.


Bedford: the Lost Scripture of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway can still be found by those who seek it.

-
"WARNING: Cyclists move silently at 10-25 MPH"

The rest is commentary.

rod

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Old 06-22-24, 10:46 PM
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Saturday, I noted the rain predicted for later in the afternoon, so I put a very light Gore-Tex shell in the front bag of the Sam Hillborne and rode East.


The hills, the traffic; the traffic, the hills. All of the above. I had a good workout, and didn't get squashed. And the Sam provided good, controllable fun as usual.


Oh yes, and it did begin to rain, more or less as predicted. Out came the shell, on went the shell, and that was that. Kept me warm and dry, to spec. Many thanks to Ghazmh for originally recommending it.


Last photo in the deck is a pair of jets d'eau on the Fellsmere Pond. They're cooling, and appear to be proliferating. They serve as a gentle reminder that the ride is winding down. Extra points if you can see the green dinosaur looking fierce along the right edge of the animation.


rod

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Old 06-24-24, 09:50 PM
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Towards the end of Monday afternoon, I took the Nobilette for a quick sprint along the Eastern shore of the Mystic Lakes. Lots of folks were enjoying the water at the Tufts Bacow Sailing Pavilion, which exemplifies William Gibson's saying, "The street finds its own uses for things." Those outrigger canoes cut right along.


There's always a fisherman.


This paddleboard seemed never to quite get launched.


rod

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Old 07-15-24, 11:12 AM
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A few heat waves and some vacation travel later, I was back on the bike. The vacation had low bicycle priorities, but I did get to observe some informal French bicycle culture in the surfing town of Hossegor.


Back yesterday, and after a good night's sleep, I took the Seven out for a morning spin, before the heat got too nasty.


There was a sparse complement of trail users out for a ride, a walk, a run, the sweating few.




And dogs gotta walk...


Peepers Pond: actually toxic, or just unsightly? Waterfowl want to know.


How are you riding in this heat and humidity?

rod
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Old 07-16-24, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
How are you riding in this heat and humidity?

rod
Hey Rod. Good to see you posting again. As for myself, I've been riding but lax about sharing.
Like you did yesterday, I've been riding early in the day, aiming to get back by noon. Been doing the usual routes: Minuteman, Reformatory Branch, Narrow Gauge Trail. I can report that the last two have been dry and very good riding. I have had a hankering to complement RBT outbound with Battle Road on the way back, but haven't done so because of the trail closures.

Yesterday I did a quick trip to Charlestown via the Somerville Community Path:



Tom
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Old 07-16-24, 10:41 PM
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Tuesday I took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler out for a heat-dodging morning spin along the Mystic Valley Parkway and the Mystic Lakes.


Ostensibly, the ride was to check out a newly installed Brooks C-17 saddle.


But like all these little rides to the Mystic Lakes, the real motive is a desire to check out the several interlocking scenes that change with the weather and the season.


The swimmers at Shannon Beach were mostly elsewhere, having received OFFICIAL DISCOURAGEMENT. This didn't work for quite everyone, of course. Hope they didn't get too sick.


I got into a conversation with two old guys (read, my age or a little younger), one of whom was riding an old Redline hardtail that had been rebuilt to please him, and the three of us talked bikes, with an emphasis on 1990s hardware. No pictures of that, but this conversation about boats, photographed at the Tufts Bacow Sailing Pavilion, seemed to me to have been in the same spirit.


Rolled home on the Rambler, enjoying the thoughtful integration of the bike, and passed the Everett Street Spray Park. Nobody was telling the kids to stay out of this water.


rod

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Old 07-17-24, 09:21 PM
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Wednesday morning I took the Seven out for another little ride on the Minuteman to outrun the encroaching heat. I was feeling somewhat time-constrained, and rode with concentration. When I stopped to take this photograph, a woman riding a nice old Miyata who had been following me closely in what I thought was an informal game of Drop the Pursuer stopped to thank me for pacing her. Something new... I thought about it, and realized she had been pacing me.


As the heat ramped up, the shady green tunnel of the Minuteman was nearly empty, somewhat to my surprise. I cranked along, making my own windchill and riding from tree-shadow to tree-shadow.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 07-17-24 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 07-18-24, 10:47 PM
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Thursday I didn't ride until the afternoon, taking advantage of temperatures in the 80s but lower humidity and a pleasant breeze to ride out to Depot Park and back in the afternoon.


It was, indeed, a beautiful day.


One cyclist thought it was a fine day for a nap at Peepers Pond.


In Bedford, Elm Brook was carrying plenty of Water, with a bit of Earth and Sky mixed in.


I rode through the cool, green tunnel, enjoying the breeze.


At the Bike Stop, the Bad Boys have been experimenting with a Persistence of Memory wheelset, under license from the Salvador Dali estate. Looks like we have a vandal problem.


Seeing defunct bike shops makes me appreciate the ones still at work, so I stopped in at Battle Road Bikes and bought a water bottle. "Revolt, Repair, Respect".


rod
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Old 07-19-24, 12:58 PM
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I rode out to Concord this morning via the Minuteman and Reformatory Branch Trail. Beautiful weather after the heat and humidity we've been having.

A few observations...

Lexington is going to be paving the MM in Lexington Center starting next week:



Plan accordingly. Lexington has some info here: https://www.lexingtonma.gov/2008/Cur...uction-Project

Bedford has recently applied some fresh gravel to the typically muddy sections of the RBT between Railroad Ave and Hartwell Rd. Here's an example:



This should help make the trail rideable sooner after a rain.

No battle was raging at the North Bridge:




I decided to visit the lower end of Estabrook woods. Lot of signs at the entrance I had not seen before:



Bottom line: we can still ride through there (see https://estabrookcouncil.org/)

Today I only rode up to the first junction:



I'm leaving riding the full length of Estabrook to Carlisle for a cool day in the fall when I won't be eaten alive by mosquitos if I stop for a moment.

I did some exploring along Barnes Hill Rd, reaching the junction of Lowell Rd and Barrett's Mill Rd. Next time I head over to the BFRT via Strawberry Hill Rd I am going to use Barnes Hill instead of Lowell Rd to pick up Barrett's Mill.

I came back via the RBT and MM, pausing at Great Meadows. FYI: the new bathrooms there are still locked.

A nice ride that came to a bit over 31 miles.

Tom
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Old 07-19-24, 09:45 PM
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I took advantage of the beautiful Friday weather by taking the air on the Rivendell Rambouillet on a quick little ride out to Lexington Center. As I was riding out, I came upon a man sitting within arm's reach of a swan, both of them behaving quite calmly. I don't believe this is normal behavior for swans, who are somewhat territorial and can be aggressive towards humans. But perhaps they make an exception for calm ones. I rode off, and passed the swan again in a few minutes, this time in solitude: the man had moved on. This animation stitches both scenes together.


The Rambouillet has a peculiarly gaudy color scheme ("colorway", depending on who you're talking to) that sometimes picks up sunlight and throws it around. Here it is doing its thing parked under an overpass (I forget which) over the Minuteman.


As I rode back towards Arlington, I was passed by a man riding a Toyo-era Rivendell Atlantis. The Atlantis is painted a particularly calming shade of green, said to have been used in the manned decks of Soviet Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarines: a sort of end-of-the-world green. The bike's design has changed significantly over the years, but not the hue of the paint. "Nice bike!" I said. He waved, and pedaled on. No missiles were launched.

rod
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Old 07-20-24, 10:19 PM
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Nice weather Saturday, warm but nothing too much, so I took the Rambouillet out for a ride East.


Early in the ride, I watched a paddle board and a kayak salute each other on the Mystic River. Why do paddle boarders remind me of Charon?


On the Northern Strand Community Path, the Malden Bike Kitchen was open for business, and business was good.


The hills don't move around much, so it can be easy to forget to photograph them. You move around on them, instead. Then you're moving too fast to take photos.


The Fellsmere jets d'eau have been popular during the recent hot periods. They cool you off just looking at them.


Transportation, everybody's got some. In West Medford, things got interesting when several different transportation modalities started doing macrame with each other, in a riot of mutual dependency.


Earlier in the day the drivers were much given to honking at each other. Nobody honked at the train. One or two who looked like they were tempted to honk at the train, honked at the bikes instead.

rod

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Old 07-21-24, 10:18 PM
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Sunday afternoon I took the Rambouillet up the Minuteman to Lexington Center for a quick sprint, getting to the highest gear ratio early and staying there for most of the ride, passed only by e-bikes. I took only one photograph and concentrated on the ride.


For all that I kept a quick pace, I paid attention to safety, using the bell on a few occasions when it was needed.

rod

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Old 07-22-24, 03:58 PM
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My wife joined me for a ride out the Minuteman to Bedford Depot Park today. The weather was great,

We had a nice picnic lunch at the benches by the old passenger depot, then we headed over to the freight depot to use the restrooms. While there, I noticed that the Bedford DPW was repainting the crosswalks at the South Rd, Loomis St, Railroad Ave intersection:



That's great! However, if you've bike through that intersection, you may have noticed the signs that say "TO REQUEST GREEN, WAIT ON ". You can see such a sign just above the hood of the larger white van. (The bike symbol is not animated on the actual sign...) Well, at least to my eyes, there haven't been such symbols on the pavement at least since they repaved that intersection a year or two ago. I chatted with the worker about that, and he said "I've never painted one of those, but I do paint sharrows." So, the sensors to detect bikes and trigger the light may or may not be under the pavement, and if they are, we don't know where they are.

On the way back I spotted this insectoid like creature riding a powered unicycle:




Maybe I should add a flit gun to my bike tool kit?

Overall, a very nice ride.

Tom
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Old 07-22-24, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom
...

On the way back I spotted this insectoid like creature riding a powered unicycle:




Maybe I should add a flit gun to my bike tool kit?

...

Tom
A flit gun might also do for the Winter Moths...

rod
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Old 07-22-24, 10:00 PM
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Monday, I took the Rambouillet up the Minuteman to Depot Park for a peaceful, warm ride that felt like the True Summer.


It's getting on to the season for longer rides. Which means scheduling them, and making them stick. Haystack Observatory, maybe? Who'd have thunk that retirement could keep you so busy?

rod

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Old 07-23-24, 09:37 PM
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Tuesday afternoon, another ride on the Rambouillet, another ride on the Minuteman, another ride to keep the moving parts moving.


A number of true things can be said about the Minuteman. One such is that there are an awful lot of kids there.


Ipso facto, that means that when we go there, we share an obligation to help keep them safe.

rod

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Old 07-24-24, 09:54 PM
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Another brisk sprint out to Lexington and back on the Rambouillet, which lends itself to that activity. I stopped at Mal's yard to contemplate a number of object lessons, including one that invoked divine intervention (the blue Hyndai, below). Good luck with that.


rod
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