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mtalinm 10-22-11 11:33 PM

Did 30 miles with my cousins to kick off our family reunion in Phoenix. That was way fun.

rholland1951 10-24-11 04:42 PM

Rode to work today, E. Arlington to Bedford, 24 miles round trip. Spinning, thinking, wheels turning, seasons turning. Did a little incidental people-watching, but got into something of a meditative state, especially in the half-light of the return, so nothing to report but "Om Surly", I guess...


jimmuller 10-24-11 07:00 PM

Did the commute thing today. It was nice to get on the bike again; commitments and weather have conspired against riding for a week or two.

When I left the house this morning the upper-40's temperature had me apprehensive and wondering if the fleece I was wearing would be sufficient. By the time I got off the train in A'boro things had warmed up to where only the vents in my helmet felt cold. After a few miles I was nicely pumping and feeling good. Maybe it was from the short layoff or maybe from the cool weather but I felt strong today.

The ride home was lovely and rather serene considering the circumstances. Under an overcast sky I left the office about 5:05, a bit later than I intended. A co-worked or a boss always wants to talk about some work we've been doing. As usual traffic was frenetic but the drivers were polite. I made good time down rt116 and Old River Road, then dropped down to the river by the expedient route, straight down Cullen Hill Rd where I always pray I don't snap a brake cable near the bottom. Ran the Blackstone Bikeway south to my turnoff, said hi to some other cyclists I've seen before at that time of day. Before re-entering the public roads I flipped on my generator lights.

Then partway to A'boro on rt123 I began to feel hungry. Uh-oh. I had a Larabar and a banana with me but didn't want to take the time to eat. By the time I reached the A'boro water station I had to stop, just didn't want to make the climb through the I95 intersection on an empty stomach. Okay, I still had 30 minutes to go maybe 4 miles, no problem, so I made a quick stop for the banana. That did the trick.

When I re-started I noticed I could see the glow of my headlight on the road in front of me. Dusk had snuck up on me while I was eating. Wow, and I hadn't dawdled over that "meal". Even so, the rest of the run to the train station was easy. The road is wide and smooth, the drivers stayed polite. I always wave and mouth thanks when someone waits for me to go by. Night arrived quietly as I waited for the train.

It was another good day.

mtalinm 10-25-11 02:28 PM

crud. caught a cold in California (if such a thing is possible) and have missed 2 days of bike commuting in this crisp but clear weather. rain tomorrow but I may try anyway if I wake up non-dizzy

jimmuller 10-25-11 04:33 PM

Originally Posted by mtalinm (Post 13412225)
crud. caught a cold in California (if such a thing is possible) and have missed 2 days of bike commuting in this crisp but clear weather. rain tomorrow but I may try anyway if I wake up non-dizzy

Bummer. Be careful. Get some rest, drink plenty of fluids. There will be other crisp clear days.

I was wonder how bad tomorrow's rain might be, thinking of trying to dodge the predicted occasional shower. Then my boss asked me to bring in some sound-recording equipment to test a new product. Ah, I don't think I want to throw that stuff on the bike.

I did get out today though. I was working from home, logged into work remotely. I kicked off some long-running tests, and my sweetie made the marvelous suggestion that I take the bike out for a spin. Great idea! So I spent an hour running around town. Today's adjective: Windy.

rholland1951 10-25-11 06:25 PM

Today's commute was cooler and featured what, for awhile, seemed to be a UNIVERSAL HEADWIND. Encountered three Scandanavian women walking together on the Minuteman, two chatting, one dancing ecstatically in a swirl of wind-blown leaves. It was that sort of morning.

On the return, hit the Running of the Bulls at peak rush hour stampede, picking my way through without incident. I remain convinced that the one driver who honked did so out of a sincere and commendable desire to not run over a cyclist while executing a merely routinely-aggressive Massachusetts traffic manuever. I thanked him appropriately, the bastard.


godshammgod 10-25-11 08:13 PM

Originally Posted by rholland1951 (Post 13413118)
Today's commute was cooler and featured what, for awhile, seemed to be a UNIVERSAL HEADWIND.

I noticed this as well during today's 20 mile loop. About midway through I took a turn, expecting a nice tailwind. Not so much. Smacked in the face with a strong wind gust. Oh well, made for a better workout.

I have a few more weeks of putzing around with shorter rides, before I need to regain focus. I actually have ''goals'' this winter. We'll see how it goes.

mtalinm 10-27-11 06:46 PM

commuted for the first time in a few weeks (travel, etc). rained all day, yuck. had my gear but still, yuck.

on the way home pulled over and jumped on the bus. put my folder on the bike rack and it held perfectly. might be doing more of that this winter!

cmolway 10-28-11 05:58 AM

1st sub-freezing commute of the year! It was weird passing snow covered lawns and cars on the way into the city. Risk of black ice kept the ride on the slow side. I know that in a couple of months, I'll think of 32F as "balmy".

pocky 10-28-11 09:04 PM

Rode from Watertown to Northeastern for a conference yesterday morning in the pouring rain. About a third of the way through, I noticed that I was completely dry except for a nice big puddle right under my butt crack. On arrival, I sat on the heater vent and tried to assess what went wrong. Seems my 20-year-old PVC rainsuit from EMS has begun to delaminate right around the crotch seam (the PVC layer is perfectly peeling off of the nylon layer right at the seam), and the "man-bits pressure relief channel" on my saddle functioned as a perfect bowl to simply collect a pool of water that I was sitting in for the whole ride, seeping through the seam. I'm impressed that the rainsuit has lasted this long and is otherwise still in pretty-great condition.

On a separate note, I saw a unicycle commuter riding in traffic LIKE A BOSS this morning, hauling up Mountfort Street and merging left across the trolley tracks onto Comm Ave. He was riding a BIG wheel and making good speed. My wife saw him trucking across the BU Bridge a few minutes later. Anyone know him?

mtalinm 10-31-11 05:04 PM

got in 13 miles (equivalent to my usual one-way commute) but don't be too impressed; I rode in the afternoon, once the temperature was above 50.

maybe I'll try the early commute tomorrow. got my second folder in great shape & am eager to ride it

rholland1951 11-01-11 05:56 PM

Did a cycle commute for the first time in a week, E. Arlington to Bedford, 25 miles round-trip. Our early snowstorm made a mess on the Lexington section of the Minuteman, with downed trees completely blocking the trail at more than a dozen spots betwen Seasons Four and Revere St. This unexpected bit of cyclocross fun added an hour to the outbound commute, but gave me the information needed to craft a sensible detour for the return.


rholland1951 11-02-11 05:26 PM

Did the commute again, only 24 miles this time--no detours. People have gone out on the Minuteman with tools and elbow grease and cleared most of yesterday's obstructions, at least enough to make it rideable with a little care. Met three of them on the ride out. Bravo, y'all! Looks like the Lex DPW may have cleared some sections, as well; similar bravos to them, too. There are still plenty of snares for the unwary or unlit, and lots of opportunities to eat beaver chow, along with one BIG log still across the path, but it's much better than yesterday.

On this evening's *cool* ride home in the dark, chased a cottontail bunny for about a minute, illuminating its little behind with my headlights. That bunny tail works pretty well as a reflector.


jimmuller 11-02-11 05:57 PM

I too did the commute today. Intellicast says it was 38degF when I left Attleboro this morning. I was wearing two layers of fleece under my cycling jersey, so I wasn't too cold. I warmed up after a few miles. Furnaces and fireplaces are definitely in operation now. Traffic on rt128 getting to the train station was verrrrry heavy and slow due to solar glare, but once I stared biking in A'boro traffic was light.

The ride home was nice too, not as cold as the morning. I flipped on my generator lights with about 3 miles left to go. I continue to be impressed with how calm and courteous most of the drivers have been. Got to the station as darkness drew in. Train headlights in the distance are so much more impressive when the sun has gone down.

I don't know if I can manage the schedule for the rest of this week, and with the clock change back to EDT this weekend this may be the last week I can do the bike thing. Of course the worst thing about the Daylight Saving Time change is having to get up at 2AM to reset the clocks.

mtalinm 11-02-11 07:58 PM

did the round trip commute today. plenty cold on the way in, leaving me with the common "winter headache". fluids + excedrin helped, but it was aggravated by the ride home (which was nearly 20 degrees warmer). probably was probably a cold head, so I picked up a woolen balaclava for tomorrow's ride.

rholland1951 11-03-11 05:42 AM

Black Ice advisory this morning. Good luck, all.


rholland1951 11-03-11 05:53 PM

Couldn't pass up today's good weather, black ice advisory or no, and rode to work despite a very full calendar. My first meeting caught me en route, and I pulled over near the Bedford end of the Minuteman to dial in (wait, does my mobile phone have a rotary dial?). Propped my bike against a fence rail, and propped myself on the same rail, a few feet away, in a sunny spot. Joined the meeting: yack, yack, work, work. After a few minutes, the sunny spot moved a bit, and I followed. More yacking.

At this juncture, a vagabond walks by. He eyes the bike, now 20' away, and takes a half-step towards it. I make eye contact with him and he does a course correction and keeps walking.

Cycling is always transporting; in this case, it transported me, just a little, out of my suburban-professional bubble.

Ride a bike, meet people. Park a bike, meet people.


jimmuller 11-06-11 08:10 PM

It wasn't exactly metro Boston, more like metro Boston Cape Cod division. We did 44 miles on the tandem today, the entire length of the Cpae Cod Rail Trail, Dennis to Wellfleet and back. It was a glorious day! A bit cold at the end though...

mtalinm 11-06-11 08:27 PM

I heard DST was over last night so I squeezed in 25m as the sun went down at 5:30 ... for the last time in the next several months.

I hate winter riding because of this. why not DST all year long?!?

rholland1951 11-07-11 09:19 PM

Great commute today, lovely weather. Embraced EST and had a nice ride home in the dark.

The Minuteman is now completely clear of fallen trees and other vegetable obstructions, so it's possible once again to wool-gather while peddling without getting mugged by an Ent.

Finally put my repair stand together, and used it for the first time to lube the chain and machines. Beats flipping the bike over and dribbling lube on the rims. Happy shifting, happy braking, happy happy.


rholland1951 11-08-11 06:19 PM

Another commute, the weather was a gift. One of those days when spinning felt right, made reasonable time anyhow. Mis-timed the return so that I was in congested, gridlocked traffic in the dark, which was interesting. The quiet of the Minuteman was striking--the night chorus is largely gone, but I did hear another screech owl. Old Lady Moon and Old Lady Venus were all tarted up and on a stroll over Tophet Swamp and Great Meadows, looking good.


mtalinm 11-08-11 06:44 PM

Lousy commute today despite the weather. One of my valve stems blew about 10m in (3m from work), and my spare tube was just a little big for my rim. And they wouldn't let me on the Orange line even though it was a folder.

Then I called around to find a 20" tube. Forgot to ask Schrader vs. Presta and after lugging my bike a mile to the store, lugged it right back again.

Not my day.

cmolway 11-09-11 08:08 AM

finally got some decent miles in yesterday. temperature swings (and available light) on my commutes the last two days have been tolerable as well.

jimmuller 11-09-11 06:05 PM

Originally Posted by cmolway (Post 13471559)
finally got some decent miles in yesterday. temperature swings (and available light) on my commutes the last two days have been tolerable as well.

The last few days have been good. For reasons of work I didn't get to commute yesterday but I did today! Had a meeting that started at 9AM but finished early enough that I could leave before dark. So I caught the early (6:45) train from rt128 station. The meeting was productive but I am sleeepyyyy... I left the office about 4:15, got through the rt146 gauntlet with plenty of daylight. Night fell about halfway back to Attleboro, but I've got bright lights on the bike and the road is well-lit. It was an uneventful, pleasant ride.

rholland1951 11-11-11 05:24 PM

My employer observes Veteran's Day, so had the day off. Got on the bike around 1, and headed out, expecting to spend what remained of the afternoon in Concord and Carlisle. The very brisk headwind made the high 40's feel a good deal colder, and I stopped after a couple of blocks to put on a shell I had packed, but hadn't expected to need. Tooled out the Minuteman, enjoying the yellow leaves newly fallen in the path, and the crunchy music the tires made going through them. The temperature continued to drop, and the wind was stiff enough to slow me noticeably.

100 yards from the Bedford end of the Minuteman, it began to rain. I pulled under the eaves of the Depot Park Freight House and checked the weather radar on the Swiss Army Phone: it was raining everywhere I had been planning to ride. Decided this was Nature's way of saying "Not today!", and turned around. Twenty degrees warmer, and I would have kept going. Pleasant ride anyway, just shorter and simpler than hoped.

On the return, stopped near Maple Street and managed, with the help of a surprisingly strong young woman, to roll a large tree branch off the path; it hadn't been there Tuesday.


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