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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 12-21-12, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951
I think we're seeing an evolutionary process at work in the behaviors of the various classes of Minuteman users; at the limit, in the classic Darwinian mode, but more importantly as a set of curtural changes, with the initiation of new users in each class an important milestone. When I was a kid, many dogs, even in urban settings, chased cars. Now it's almost unheard of. While selection against car-chasing may certainly have been in operation, I suspect that there were shifts in the co-evolving dog-human culture that steered puupies coming up away from the behavior. Arf!

Happy Mayan Calendrical Reboot, y'all!

rod
Can't we just trap them (unlit pedestrians and high beam, trail riding cyclists) and relocate them to a safe place? I went by a dam built by endangered beavers and learned that is their fate and they don't even chase cars, silhouette or bark. I don't know if I was a Mayan puppy but I lit my headlight with a tire driven generator and didn't ride fast enough to silhouette or blind anyone. At any angle the beam sagged and fell to earth only a few feet in front of my balloon tire. Are we sure it isn't cyclists who evolved with the environmental disruptions of invisible fences and LED lights?
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Old 12-21-12, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Can't we just trap them (unlit pedestrians and high beam, trail riding cyclists) and relocate them to a safe place? ... Are we sure it isn't cyclists who evolved with the environmental disruptions of invisible fences and LED lights?
Not to add to the existentialism here, but on my return through Lexington yesterday I did see a woman walking a llama. With two el's yet. No, I had not been sampling the fungi in Tophet Marsh.

I would have mentioned it yesterday but I must have blocked it out.
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Old 12-21-12, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Can't we just trap them (unlit pedestrians and high beam, trail riding cyclists) and relocate them to a safe place?
Worcester, maybe?

rod
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Old 12-21-12, 10:15 PM
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Took a Winter Solstice ride to Depot Park, Bedford, and back, after dark but before dinner, 20 miles. Today's storm had blown itself off to Maine and the Maritimes, and all that was left was wet pavement, a friendly breeze, and temperatures in the mid-40s that felt surprisingly mild, more like the Vernal Equinox. Solitude prevailed for great chunks of time, which suited me fine. The Minuteman was relatively unscathed by the day's wind gusts, a few twigs and small branches on the pavement, with one young tree bent across the trail just beyond Seasons Four, its branches reaching down to smack any unwary & unilluminated cyclist in the face. Water was everywhere, standing or running, reflecting whatever light was available and singing as it moved. The brave Christmas lights here and there contesting the darkness were welcome, even the spectral ash-white LEDs that Arlington has draped on the trees in the Center. Of all lights on display tonight, my favorites were those wrapped around a large, bare deciduous tree next to an old farmhouse near the Trail in Lexington. This cellphone image doesn't begin to do it justice.


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Old 12-22-12, 09:14 AM
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Rod,
Spectacular photo! Your ride is inspirational and your report is generous! Thank you!
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Old 12-22-12, 05:09 PM
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SP, many thanks for making a space for this stuff! (I almost used the word "curating", but saw the flashing red light in time to suppress it...)

rod
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Old 12-23-12, 05:14 PM
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We did 36 miles on the tandem today. Temps in the mid to upper 30's, partly cloudy skies, light traffic. My sweetie/stoker ordered some new wind and rain shells for us, and they sure kept us warm! The bike looks a lot smaller when we're wearing yellow.



This next pic isn't quite up the the drama of Rod's tree pic, but it will have to do. A seasonal sight on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, one of several such trees:

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Old 12-23-12, 06:17 PM
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Rolled up to Lexington Center and back, 10 miles, after the Pats game. Still dusk when I set out, the Western horizon aglow with delicate pastel pinks and blues; this gave way to a bright evening, illuminated by a waxing gibbous moon and a squadron of stars and planets. Colder and clearer than Friday, 38 to start, 32 to finish. No ice in the picture, fine by me. Quiet.

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Old 12-24-12, 05:03 PM
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[QUOTE=jimmuller;15081418]We did 36 miles on the tandem today. Temps in the mid to upper 30's, partly cloudy skies, light traffic. My sweetie/stoker ordered some new wind and rain shells for us, and they sure kept us warm! The bike looks a lot smaller when we're wearing yellow.

This next pic isn't quite up the the drama of Rod's tree pic, but it will have to do. A seasonal sight on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, one of several such trees:

TE]
Bravo to you two for another leadership-set-and-example ride.
And another pretty wicked funny posting. I am fascinated by Rod's tree and your christmas bulb connection. Really good stuff!
BTW, Yellow does make you look bigger and perhaps more formal; your stocker is petite and cute as ever.

Yesterday I rode backpack errands on my single speed and felt really strong the whole ride. It may have been the smooth rolling 35c tires or that it was only 5 miles each way. No ornate trees, new duds or seasonal insight. Maybe tonight I'll bike to Christmas Eve services and soak up some of what you all have already shared. Thanks!
I wish you all Happy Holidays.
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Old 12-24-12, 06:42 PM
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Christmas Eve ride out to Bedford and back in the dark. No choirs of angels, but did get overflown at low altitude by a multi-engine jet on its landing approach to Hanscom. Close to a silent night otherwise, with the exception of some surprising remnants of the Night Chorus in a few spots; who knew bugs (surely not frogs) go in for caroling? Rounded the Depot Park mid-point, with the moon and Jupiter peeping down overhead, encircled by little icy halos.


Noticed my distant shadow pedaling along on the dry grass of Tophet Swamp, and that was all it took to notice it intermittently for the rest of the ride. Temperatures for this rolling vigil ranged from mid-30s to mid-20s, and left me with ice in my water bottle and rosy cheeks.

rod
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Old 12-24-12, 07:16 PM
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Rod, nice pic and nice report! One day we'll have to meet up with you and do the darkness ride together! Depot Park looks lovely lit up like that.

Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler
Bravo to you two for another leadership-set-an-example ride.
And another pretty wicked funny posting. I am fascinated by Rod's tree and your christmas bulb connection. Really good stuff!
BTW, Yellow does make you look bigger and perhaps more formal; your stoker is petite and cute as ever.
Thanks for the nice things to say! Shucks, we aren't trying to set an example, just out for some fun on the bike.

We got out again today, a similar ride as yesterday, but not quite as long, Bedford to Chelmsford, back to Bedford via Concord. Today was colder, I think, but we were both sweating inside our spiffy yellow shells. We started earlier today, seeing as how yesterday we ended up running our generator and lights from Concord back to Bedford as dusk was falling. Or does dusk rise? I really don't know, anyway it was getting dark. Since we started before lunch today, the first item on today's agenda was lunch at Great Brook Farm.

One goal was to get home in time for me to do some bike wrenching. I wanted to swap cranks around three bikes. It's a long story, but it involves moving the 165mm cranks on the Bianchi over to the Bertin with the low BB, and the old Sugino Maxy crank on the Bertin over to the Peugoet UO8 for which I'd bought that crank originally decades ago, and the newish Velo-Orange crank from the UO8 over to the Bianchi. It all went' smoothly except that the UO8 needs a longer spindle. Funny, I don't recall messing around with spindles decades ago, and that bike carried that crank for a long time. I think lengths must change over time, sort of like how a yellow jacket makes me look taller.
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Old 12-25-12, 05:01 AM
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buzz, thats incredible, hope to someday be able to grind out that mileage
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Old 12-26-12, 12:56 PM
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Lunch-time ride out to Lexington Center and back, 10 miles, not in the dark for once. The Arlington DPW has gone nuts with road salt, whether as an overreaction to yesterday's Whitish Christmas or as a down-payment on this evening's Northeaster, I couldn't say, but the streets (and my tire treads) are white with the stuff, and MBTA buses suck up great salty dust plumes behind them; tasty. The Minuteman itself was salt-free, a bit icy in shadows and over bridges. Little groups of kids were out, gleeful with their new bikes/skates/skateboards/scooters, with or without accompanying parents. One boy proudly followed me up the hill to Arlington Heights on his electric scooter, looking thoughtful in the way nine-year-olds can.

This was a bright, still Winter day, nearly perfect for a cold ride, no obvious sign of the coming storm, but with fallen trees as tokens of the recent ones. Peeper's Pond has a skin of ice.


After the turn-around at Woburn Street, I paused to photograph these back-yard prayer flags I have often admired on evening rides. No sense wasting daylight.


rod

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Old 12-30-12, 03:21 AM
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Minute Torchs here i come, i should install one of these light, lol

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Old 12-30-12, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JayBlurr
Minute Torchs here i come, i should install one of these light, lol

That ought to do it! Of course, the next week some guy will show up with TWO...

rod
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Old 12-30-12, 05:33 PM
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Sunset ride on the Minuteman to Lexington Center, 10 cold and crackly miles on the ice bike, with the temperature dropping through the 20s. Both the Arlington and Lexington sections of the Minuteman were plowed after the latest storm, leaving a surface that varied, meter by meter, from bare pavement to packed snow to icy snow to black ice to bumpy ice, made me happy I was running studded 47mm Nokian W240s on my old GT Karakoram. And, of course, there was a wind advisory, the well-known boreal blast, mostly headwind outbound, mostly tailwind inbound, occasionally a playful buffet from the side at the whim of Boreas. Here's a picture of the one cyclist who shared the Minuteman with me (along with a few runners and a couple of dog walkers).


I got to spend the morning playing my other Winter sport (snow-shoveling), with a nice walk thrown in; this was pretty good for a cold day.

rod

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Old 12-30-12, 06:18 PM
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Rod, your braver than I am, I wouldn't be able to do that, Kudos
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Old 12-30-12, 07:59 PM
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Don't know how far we went but we did get out for 3 hours at Bretton Woods, NH. The temperature dropped from 12degF to 5degF during the day.



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Old 12-30-12, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Don't know how far we went but we did get out for 3 hours at Bretton Woods, NH. The temperature dropped from 12degF to 5degF during the day.
Jim, that looks like great fun.

I did encounter a cross-country skier on the Minuteman today, scraping along on nearly-bare pavement and looking a little grim. During the era after the Minuteman was established and before the towns began to plow it, it was the preserve of XC skiers and snowshoers at this time of year.

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Old 12-30-12, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JayBlurr
Rod, your braver than I am, I wouldn't be able to do that, Kudos
Jay, it's mostly just a matter of getting used to studded bicycle tires. You learn to trust them on ice, they work surprisingly well for that, and make it possible to ride confidently in conditions that would otherwise be dicey. The motherlode for ice bike lore can be found at https://www.icebike.org/.

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Old 12-31-12, 05:16 PM
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Wow these are good posts! I always go through a winter transition figuring out how to dress, how to overcome my fear of ice and how an hour on an indoor trainer isn't as interesting as a 20 minute trip to town. All these take time and your adventures insure and accelerate the process. I prefer to think tame and still pretty game but more likely simply lame:

Winter whacked my wheeling but I did 3spd down the street , 2ski through the woods and waltzed through the MFA post card exhibit.
How can anyone not think of cycling?
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Old 12-31-12, 10:03 PM
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Last ride of the year at sunset, 17 miles on the Minuteman to Wiggins Ave., Bedford, buzzing and crackling on the ice bike. The interval between Wiggins Ave. and Depot Square has not been plowed, a good place for any snow shoes you might have gotten for Xmas. One day of melting/refreezing has worked its transformations on the plowed sections in Lexington and Arlington: lots more bare pavement, supplemented with plenty of black ice. Heard "The Star-Spangled Banner", as broadcast by the Hanscom AFB public address system, while transiting Tophet Swamp; the carillon in the First Baptist steeple in Arlington was belting out Christmas carols as I rolled down the hill, and the bells at St Agnes were ringing the changes to signal a wedding. Milder weather today, 30s and none of yesterday's harsh winds. Saw half a dozen cyclists on the Minuteman, including a couple making their way over the ice on 23mm road tires.

Happy New Year, y'all!

rod

Postscript: As I was riding in the dark under the overpass carrying Drake Road across the Minuteman, I was startled by a babble of voices, human-sounding but incomprehensible, reverberating under the bridge. These sounded downright spectral, and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand (literally); quite uncanny. If I had been a Victorian dilettante or a 21st-Century teenager, I would have sincerely claimed an encounter with the supernatural. Being the cranky old 20th-Century-refugee engineer that I am, I make lesser claims about pigeons, or possibly teenagers, the acoustics of the bridge, and my own mental contents, of whatever flavor. That's the thing about riding alone in the dark: there's a ghost story around every corner, always a chance that the outer darkness will converge with one's own inner darkness... or someone else's.

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Old 12-31-12, 10:11 PM
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rode to work today with the studded tires: https://app.strava.com/activities/34959981

Probably could have made it on my regular bike if I had avoided the bike paths (which were not plowed fully).

took FOREVER though!
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Old 01-01-13, 05:28 PM
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First ride of the New Year, 10 icy miles to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman. Chilly and breezy with temperatures falling from the low 30s to the high 20s, and an intermittent headwind of ~15mph. There was a beautiful Winter sky to start.

Mill Brook was looking downright wintry...

... as was the turn-around point at Woburn Street.


Was tempted to go further, but social obligations prevented that, so rode home in the twilight. The Trail's paved surface is progressively clearing, now more likely to be clear than not, although there's still snow and ice to be had in places, sometimes for long stretches. Lots of cyclists out now, and even more pedestrians; my bell got a lot of use, sounding cold and piercing, a fitting voice for a winter bike bell. Had a look at the Drake Road overpass: no sign of pigeons, teenagers, or haints.

rod

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Old 01-02-13, 06:17 PM
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Night ride on the Minuteman out to Lexington, 10 miles; at this time of year, leaving at 5pm gets you that. The Trail surface is in pretty good shape now, lots of cycle commuters out tonight, although there's still enough snow and ice in patches to make me glad I took the ice bike. When riding with studded tires I find myself listening to the way their song changes according to surface: a fireplace crackle for bare pavement, zipper sounds for smooth ice, muffled silence for packed snow; one more useful feedback channel. Mid-to-low 20s on this ride, with enough wind to fly the flag, but not enough to make it snap; I experimentally determined that these conditions are sufficiently cold to freeze snot on a mustache, to say nothing of the water in my water bottle. Speaking of Science, my pokey pace this evening once again confirmed the classic Minnesota Randonneur Theory of Speed vs Temperature for Winter Riding.

rod

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