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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 07-13-20, 09:13 PM
  #8926  
rholland1951
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By the time I realized there was a break in the weather, there was almost no time left for a ride, so I took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on the loop around the Mystic Lakes, 8 miles. Stopped at the dam for one photo, otherwise just focused on the ride, which was soon over, but served its purpose..


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Old 07-14-20, 01:36 PM
  #8927  
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I took the Rawland out at 0915, having scrutinized the weather radar which informed me that I had very little margin w.r.t. the incoming storm. I rode up Mass. Ave. towards the Battle Green, watching the sky.


In East Lexington, I noticed that every fire truck in town, or, at least, the pumpers, seemed to be out on maneuvers, mostly parked in odd places, sometimes two or three at a time. One fire truck tailgated a heavy construction truck, Mack or Euclid, big fellow. The fire truck's lights flashed, its sirens wailed, and its airhorn honked raucously; the truck rolled imperturbably along, slowly, slowly, as if the firemen had asked the truck driver to wear a mask and the driver was pretending not to hear; not my emergency, pal.

At the Battle Green turnaround, the sky as seen over the big locust tree in the Harrington's yard was looking a bit more serious, lower and darker, and I went cranking back down the hill towards Arlington.


The first thunder turned out to be a rattling dump truck: false alarm. The undeniable drizzle started at the Arlington line. By the the time I had descended as far as Mill Street, fat, individual raindrops were speckling the pavement and my jersey. While I waited for the light there with another cyclist, a great, big, rip-roaring thunderclap cut loose, with both the ripping and the roaring utterances distinct and well-formed, Zeus getting his money's worth from the elocution coach. Nobody's dump truck. A cooling shower stayed just this side of inconvenient, and waited until I had gotten home and put the bike away to intensify. My plants rejoiced.


rod

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Old 07-15-20, 03:44 PM
  #8928  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe clockwise around the Battle Green after breakfast. Mass. Ave. was as busy as I've seen it lately; the clouds loomed ominously, but held their water nonetheless.


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Old 07-16-20, 04:10 PM
  #8929  
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On this fine day, I took the Rawland for a morning ride on the Minuteman.


There were some new public art installations, coming and going.




And, of course, the neolithic volunteerism of the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders was irrepressibly on display.


Among the automotive object lessons in Mal's yard, one stood out for the grim story written in the cracked concavity of its windshield.


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Old 07-17-20, 11:06 PM
  #8930  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East.


The Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies has a code of conduct for visitors posted, complete with COVID-19 precautions. Don't spin the prayer wheels.


After bobbing and weaving through urban traffic in the the flats of Medford and Malden, I found myself in the hills again, cranking up and whizzing down.


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Old 07-18-20, 02:59 PM
  #8931  
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I took off on the Rawland Nordavinden around 0930 Saturday morning, a little later than I like these morning rides to start, and rolled up to Arlington Center and lined up to get on the Minuteman. I was the second and last cyclist in line, I've been using the length of the line of bikes at the Mass. & Mystic intersection as a heuristic for estimating the likely crowding on the Minuteman. Today, I was more interested in riding in the shade than avoiding my fellow humans, and such a short line seemed to me to be a good bet.


Indeed, it worked out that way, at first: modest traffic in the shade of a leafy tunnel.


By about 10 minutes later, as I was getting into Lexington, the user-flooding began. I was routinely seeing a dozen, or dozens, of cyclists, walkers, families at once: the familiar Easter Parade. It occurred to me, somewhat belatedly, that this is a normal Saturday pattern on the Minuteman, and it does ramp up by mid-morning. So I simply rode with a little more vigilance, and a little less speed at times, used the bell as needed, and resolved to get an earlier start the next time. I also noticed that root heaves in the outbound trail surface just beyond Bow Street, Lexington, have become something of a hazard, and need a stripe of warning paint, at least.

When I reached the Woburn Street crossing, I left the Minuteman and got on Mass. Ave. for the ride home, which was better for my purpose. Although it was sunny, it was lightly traveled by motor vehicles, and those cyclists who were out knew what they were about. The ride in that direction is net down-hill, and the breeze of the descent and evaporative cooling largely compensated for the increased solar contribution to the thermal load.

I paused immediately below the recently-notorious Appleton Street intersection to photograph a patch in the asphalt that rattles your teeth if you hit it at speed, which is hard not to do given the down grade on that section of Mass. Ave., and the fact that it's pretty much dead-center in a typical East-bound cyclist's line at that point, handily indicated by a sharrow. I'll use that in a trouble ticket with the Arlington DPW.




On my in-bound transit of Arlington Center, I took this photo of the good-natured crowd in the bike box, just as the light changed. The fact that families with small children feel safe enough to use this strikes me as a good thing, progress. Perhaps it's time for a bigger bike box. At the Swan Place intersection, this group of inbound cyclists interacted with an even larger group of outbound cyclists (no pictures of that). The integration of Mass. Ave. and the Minuteman between these two intersections is something people just do now, rather than puzzle over.


rod

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Old 07-19-20, 11:52 AM
  #8932  
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Mindful of the impending heat, humidity, and ground level ozone, I took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out at 0830 for an easy spin up to Winchester Center and back, riding along the East bank of the Mystic River and the Mystic Lakes, then crossing the Aberjona River and riding along the West bank of that. Lots of walkers, runners, cyclists, kayakers, paddle boarders, tennis players, and little kids whose mothers had taken them to the playground were out with the same idea, have fun early before conditions get too harsh. Mask discipline and social distancing seemed pretty consistently observed.

Crossing the Mystic River, from East Arlington to West Medford. Those with sharp eyes or a zoomable interface may notice the kayak headed downstream in the middle distance, one of several who were paddling merrily on the Mystic River and Lakes.


Peeping through the greenery at a raft of lily pads on the Mystic River, from the East bank on the West Medford side. Here, the gestalt is "neighborhood river", encouraged by the parkland, playgrounds, and tennis and basketball courts at intervals along the bank.


South entrance to the Tri-Community Greenway, Winchester. This relatively new MUP has segments in Winchester, Woburn, and Stoneham. I'm still figuring out what it's good for, but a spur runs over to Horn Pond and past some Old Middlesex Canal relict features.


The Greenway continues on an appropriately green footing along the West bank of the Aberjona for a bit...


... until construction at Waterfield Road produces the "Game Over, Thank You For Playing" message. I took this as a gentle reminder from the universe that one of my goals for this ride was to keep it quick, so I reversed course.


The Mystic Valley Parkway, running along the East Bank of the Mystic Lakes, is the central axis of this route, and a genuine pleasure to ride (apparently, also to run, walk, or drive).


It was just a little ride, a hair under 8 miles, but it kept me moving and got me back home before the Eastern Massachusetts oven finished pre-heating.

rod

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Old 07-19-20, 02:22 PM
  #8933  
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So most of June Iíve been riding my Redsky about 150 a week. Usual 25-30 mile rides in the morning with the quintessential weekend rides. Yesterday I rode a brutally hot 40 miles. Iíve lately been stopping at gas stations for water refills as Concord Center fountain is clearly not getting turned on this year. Today I braved the Florida like heat for 55 more. I stopped 3 times for water refills. Despite the heat it was a really enjoyable ride. Weekends like this make me think fondly of cool November or April rides. Iíve got just under 5000 miles on the Redsky and itís original GP4000ís that Iíve rotated once. Once I get up over 5000 Iíll stop tempting fate and mount a fresh pair of GP5000ís Iíve got sitting ready to go.
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Old 07-20-20, 01:01 PM
  #8934  
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Out on the Rawland Nordavinden at 0900 for a clockwise circuit of the Battle Green in the shady-breezy-warm-and-moist air, before the worst of the heat, humidity, and ground level ozone got its act together, the latest in a series of short morning rides that seem to agree with both my schedule and the weather forecast.

Paused at the Robbins Cemetery in East Lexington; somehow this intimately peaceable assembly of the familiar (to each other) dead seems like better company than the unhinged and badly-behaved living that are described in the TV news and that we sometimes see on the streets and paths.


Clockwise around the Battle Green.


Seen from the West side of the Green, the flagpole dominates the view, and the other monuments disappear into the trees.


I've been riding the Nordavinden a good deal more this year than ever, and am really coming to appreciate its lively frame and low trail, at the same time that my body is becoming so familiar with the bike that it seems to disappear.

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Old 07-21-20, 09:46 PM
  #8935  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out at nine this morning, aiming for one of the now-customary quick rides up to Lexington Center and back. When I got to the Mass. & Mystic intersection, no one was in the queue for the Minuteman, so I got into the bike lane and took that. This time the bet paid off, the Minuteman was sparsely traveled and I had a swift and shady ride that was cooler than its Mass. Ave. counterpart would have been.


In the mid-afternoon, I got the chance to take another ride, so off I went on the Surly again, this time out to Carlisle and Concord for one of the variations of the North Bridge loop, out on the Minuteman, Route 225, Skelton Road, River Road, and Monument Street, back on Reformatory Branch and the Minuteman again.

Tophet Swamp: natural selection comes for the Burma Shave signs.


Depot Park: how do you get the last mile marker to give you a nice round number? If you said "fudge the origin", you win the Wisdom prize.


Route 225, Bedford: the ensorcelled Jeep Cherokee sleeps through the decades like King Arthur. As with Arthur, there's a story there, but unlike Arthur's we don't know it.


Route 225, crossing the Concord River from Bedford into Carlisle.


This sign on River Road, Carlisle, makes me happy every time I see it.


Monument Street, Concord: the high point of the ride, at Hutchins Farm.


Reformatory Branch, Concord, complete with instructions on how to exercise social distancing in the woods (hint: keep six feet away from any wild bears you may encounter).


Reformatory Branch turned out to be even less crowded than the Minuteman had been, a good thing, under the circumstances. The trail surface had more dust than mud, so I guess we probably need rain. But that's not a complaint. The field that the trail skirts is resplendent with the crop of yellow flowers (rapeseed? something else? will BF filters bowdlerize "rapeseed"?) that seems to be planted every year, with handsome wildflowers on the margins.


Between one ride and the other, I clocked 46 miles today. My body informs me I should do that more often, and the good weather won't last forever.

rod

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Old 07-22-20, 05:04 PM
  #8936  
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Woke up at 0730, and a pretty good rain shower was in progress. I bided my time, drank some coffee, stared at the weather radar, and eventually saw that there was a break in the rain. Problem was that I didn't have all that much time free to take advantage of it, so I hopped on the Rawland and rode across the Mystic into West Medford, then along the East bank of the river up to the Mystic Valley Parkway, following that along the banks of the Mystic Lakes, a beautiful and welcoming little ride.


Crossed the Aberjona River on that, then took a right on Bacon Street, Winchester, and another right onto Fenwick, with its 90 degree left twist up a stiff two-block climb to Grove Street. I followed Grove Street back into Medford, past the Brooks Estate and the Slave Wall (wha? Wikipedia helped with that one) to High Street, and then back into East Arlington and home.


Just 7 miles in all, but 7 miles when I needed them quickly.

rod

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Old 07-23-20, 10:26 AM
  #8937  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out on the Minuteman this morning, in that sunny interval between last night's and this afternoon's downpours. Took one photo, which was mostly green.


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Old 07-24-20, 02:14 PM
  #8938  
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Whatever happened to Rumrunner? He hasn't posted since May
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Old 07-25-20, 03:41 PM
  #8939  
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On Friday afternoon, I took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on a modified version of the rivers-and-hills East-facing route I've been experimenting with lately, adding a return along Winthrop Street, Medford, and Main Street, Winchester, that terminates in a pleasant run down the Mystic Valley Parkway along the Mystic Lakes. This spared me a second traversal of the hilliest, most under-construction segments of High Street, Medford, which treated me to a detour on the outbound leg of the ride. I walked the bike up hill for a block in the steepest part of the detour (Austin Road?). The standard excuse for that is "strategic energy management".

High Street, Medford: the East-bound traffic gets a detour; the West-bound traffic gets to follow a hearse. Slow going, either way.


Riverbend Park, Medford: this big, friendly willow tree wouldn't quite fit in the frame, and I didn't apply any of the usual optical shoehorns to make it do so.


River Path, Mystic River Reservation: a novice skater contemplates with some skepticism the proposition that gravity is her friend. The big Mystic power station can be seen on the horizon.


Medford: the Mystic River Reservation is reserving this, the living, breathing green core of the water margin. We get to ride by and admire it.


Station Landing Park, Medford: once upon a time, the Prudential Tower and the Hancock Tower were markers of futurity and transformation in Boston (even if the windows occasionally fell out). In spite of all the changes to the skyline since then, you can still take a bearing to that particular future, which, like most futures, is already past, while standing on the bank of the Mystic.


Wellington, Medford: the Malden River, as seen while passing under Route 16 on the bike path that was very considerately provided for the purpose.


Melrose, Wyoming Hill Station: waiting for the train between two hill climbs.


Fellsmere Park, Malden: one of these days, I'll get tired of photographing the little jets d'eau in the pond here, but it hasn't happened yet.


Medford: paid my respects at the stupa.


Mystic Valley Parkway, Winchester: the Upper Mystic Lake was glowing as I rolled home.


rod

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Old 07-26-20, 02:42 PM
  #8940  
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Thought I'd ride on Saturday, but managed to talk myself out of it at every turn, and eventually gave in and gave my legs the day off. Sunday morning I took a quick spin up the Minuteman to Lexington Center before breakfast.

Hmmm, I've purposely put myself in the queue for the Minuteman behind two guys on Blue Bikes, and in front of a guy on a contraption that I interpreted as a full-suspension 29er (good for that new crop of root heaves, I suppose). There's only one guy travelling outbound on Mass. Ave. Guess a desire for shade conquered all other considerations this morning, at least between my ears.


Turned out to be a reasonable choice. Such traffic as there was outbound sorted itself out nicely, there was shade, very pleasant, distancing and mask protocols were observed, and I made good time.


After the turnaround, things thickened up a bit, especially in the outbound lane; aside from bozos trying to pass two-abreast, and similar lane infractions, it didn't really matter to my inbound self, and the ride ended in time for breakfast. Caffeination continued.

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Old 07-27-20, 01:19 PM
  #8941  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on a ride after breakfast to beat the heat and humidity that the devils and soothsayers assured me were coming. First thing, I encountered this great honking apparition on Broadway in Arlington. "Honking" is not figurative language in this case, merely denotational, since the driver was giving happy little honks at one-second intervals, tooting his own horn, as it were.


This served to remind me what year it was. I peeled off on the Minuteman as soon as possible, for leafy green shade and peace and quiet. Got all those things. I observed that the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have constructed two different bird totems, and speculate that perhaps they are organized into two different, intermarrying clans. Someday I'll meet one of them and can ask about that.


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Old 07-28-20, 11:43 AM
  #8942  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out after breakfast, slithering through the wet air up the Minuteman to Lexington Center.

Swans and their cygnets were paddling through the duckweed in Peepers Pond, Lexington. I've never seen a jersey color-coordinated with duckweed before.


A bit of Eden seems to have visited the Minuteman this morning. A hundred yards up the Minuteman from Peepers Pond, a large doe discreetly crossed the trail. I caught her in this photo, looking back from a thicket, so perfectly camouflaged that she may as well be invisible. Perhaps she declined to be photographed, and left the frame.


I paused to get another picture of the Mile 4.0 bird totems. May they bring their clans good luck. Whoever is working so persistently and insightfully in this ancient and ephemeral medium of stone-on-stone has my sincere appreciation for these frequent glimpses into the Dreamtime.


rod

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Old 07-30-20, 04:31 PM
  #8943  
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Hello to anyone who's reading. There's been an eerie silence on this thread lately, but between the pandemic, the surreal news environment, and the heat waves, I suppose that's what random walk might deliver to us right about now. Anyhow, at the risk of recapitulating the "CQ DX" scene from Orson Welles's "War of the Worlds", here goes...

I continue in my short-ride-before-or-after-but-mostly-after-breakfast groove. Yesterday, I took the Surly up the Minuteman, turning around at Lexington Center. I was mostly focused on making time, and didn't take the one photograph that I really should have: a day lilly blossom, all yellow-orange-red intensity, lying on the Minuteman asphalt just after the Mill Street crossing. It was disturbing, somehow. However, I did photograph the prayer flags flying in the back yard of one of houses just past Maple Street. Long may they wave.


This morning, I rode the Nordavinden along the Mystic River and Mystic Lakes, making time the other way, by not going as far. I added a lovely down-stream riverbank excursion that I don't usually take, and promised myself that I'd come back on the fat-tired Surly to really do the dirt paths I've been riding by justice.


In the center of this image, there's a small bridge. (In case you can't see it, it's next to the doe). I had real difficulty settling in my mind what bridge that was, and what water it was crossing. An oneiric state ensued, which I attribute to insufficient coffee. Looking at familiar things from different perspectives, perhaps, or perhaps there's a little bridge in the neighborhood that I've never quite made out before.


This is the last photo from the downstream excursion, which does justice to the ample roots crossing the path. Back soon on the Surly.


Finished out the ride with the familiar run up the Mystic Valley Parkway. I was pleased to see that the kids at the Winchester Boat Club were out sailing their little boats on the Upper Mystic Lake. Haven't seen that in a while, perhaps it's a Covid reopening thing.


rod
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Old 08-02-20, 04:57 PM
  #8944  
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The little bridge that puzzled me on Thursday morning motivated me on Friday morning, and I took the Surly out to explore both banks of the Mystic River in the area bounded by River Street/Harvard Ave, (Arlington/Medford), Mystic River Road (Medford), Arlington Street (Medford), Boston Ave. (Medford), and Mystic Valley Parkway (Arlington/Somerville). The goal was to ride carefully through the roads and paths and get a sense of what's there, especially what's there that isn't obvious, and how it all fits together for various sorts of riding or walking. It was exploring close to home, things I should have seen and understood long since.This was a short ride (3 miles), but a slow one, since I was stopping frequently to look, see, sometimes photograph, and understand, and was often riding the Surly on rooty footpaths. The fat, supple Rat Trap Pass tires were in their element for that.


Got another look at the little bridge, from the West Medford bank.


Then I began to work my way downstream, on the path by the river bank. I wonder how much a hazard to navigation that fallen tree is?


The river bank path became intimate, preserving souvenirs of past childhoods; this rope swing was one such. I doubt it could be used today.


These steps were graceful and on a personal scale, reminiscent of what one might see at a family's lake cottage. Access to the river for those on familiar terms with it.


The path hit a dead end at Boston Ave.


While back-tracking, I came across this sign, another intimacy preserved on the river bank path.


I found a little right-of-way to Sharon Street (Medford), took that to Harvard Ave., took a right on Boston Ave., and crossed the river on that bridge into Somerville. I remember hearing that the Old Middlesex Canal crossed the Mystic River there, many years ago. From the bridge, I was able to get a river view of the bank I had been traversing.


I took a right into the open parkland that runs along the right bank of the Mystic River, parallel to the Mystic Valley Parkway/Route 16. Well set back from the road, the treeline concealing the right bank doesn't have a continuous path, although the lawn that fronts it does, but does have a series of keyhole access points to the river. I investigated one or two of those, and concluded they probably provided a convenient solution to the discreet-tree problem for passersby with full bladders, good to know.

I followed the Mystic Valley Parkway as it turned right into Arlington at the rotary, and was soon standing on the bridge that carries it over the Alewife Brook. This was the little bridge that had puzzled me, and the Alewife Brook was the water it crossed. Really, what else could it have been? I looked down the last few yards of Alewife Brook and across the Mystic River to the West Medford bank where I had been standing when the puzzlement began.


I rode upstream through the parkland on the Arlington bank, pausing to peer through the trees at the confluence of Alewife Brook and the Mystic. At the River Street bridge, I stood for a bit admiring the river as it flowed downstream, looking at where I had been from the river's perspective, then turned the bike and rode home.


rod

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Old 08-03-20, 04:16 PM
  #8945  
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I escaped the Little Morning Ride pattern on Saturday, taking the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on an extended foray East and North, another variation of the Rivers and Hills route I've been fiddling with lately. This started by riding N on Mystic River Road along the Mystic River in West Medford, picking up Mystic Valley Parkway at the little rotary that people pretend not to notice for right-of-way purposes, and following that up along the E bank of the Mystic Lakes on into Winchester, across the Aberjona River, and turning right on Bacon Street. Bacon Street offers a nice climb up from the flood plain into the skirts of the Fells escarpment, delivering a sweaty cyclist to another rotary that connects to Main Street (Winchester), a.k.a. Route 38, which turns into Winthrop Street (Medford) soon enough. This, of course, leads to another rotary (oddly called Winthrop Square, although it is round), which connects to High Street, on which it's down-hill into Medford Center. Note that the virtue of this somewhat roundabout route is that it by-passes all the construction and associated brutal detours on the West Medford stretch of High Street eastbound, well worth the couple of pleasant extra miles that it costs in pedaling. Continuing through Medford Square on High Street and ignoring all offers to turn left or right puts you onto Riverside Avenue by magical Massachusetts geographical processes, perhaps involving the transformational agency of passing under I-93. A right turn onto Freedom Way ("What is this, propaganda?", Mae West, My Little Chickadee, 1940) provides access to a whole network of trails along the Mystic River, traversing various school campus property and parks. Eventually, this leads to the Malden River, and another series of trails, with the beautiful Wellington Station parking lot in the middle of it all. The Malden River parkland trails ultimately dump you onto Commercial Street, which if followed North brings you to Medford Street (Malden), which if followed East brings you to the Northern Strand Community Trail and the Bell Rock Cemetery. Bell Rock Cemetery is Malden's old burying ground, and rather a nice one, but ignore it and head North on the Northern Strand, past the food trucks and public art and pick up Main Street, also North (the Northern Strand bent East when we weren't looking). This is the start of the second and longest hill-climbing segment; we're done with the rivers, and all those cool breezes. Crank up the long hill on Main Street, out of Malden and into Melrose, turning left on West Wyoming Avenue, bearing left onto Ravine Street when you come to it, and then left again on Fellsway East. You will have been in Stoneham for about 15 seconds, but only a surveyor could tell and there's no pain or residual odor associated with that, and you're back in Melrose for a bit. A long climb into the Middlesex Fells begins in earnest. After the first crest, there's a brief descent followed by another climb, and then a long descent, as swift as you dare (27.4 mph for me, this trip, but I'm old and slow), takes you hurtling back into Malden, across the intersections of East Border Road and Highland Avenue, and ultimately past Fellsmere Park with its mad jets d'eau and folks fishing for panfish. Turn right on Pleasant Street, follow it across Fellsway West, at which point it magically becomes Salem Street (Medford), and proceed West a few blocks until you reach Sheridan Street, where you turn left, or head South, depending on how you reckon such things. Follow Sheridan Street until it ends at Washington Street, then turn right (head West). The back garden of the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies will be just across the street, and if you're so minded it's a good place to gather your wits, or your karma, or whatever you've got. If you're like me, at this point, the battery in you phone will die, but never mind, continue West on Washington Street until you reach Park Street; turn left at the 4-way stop, and head South one block to Pleasant Street, where you take a right. This puts you, briefly, in the Old Ship Street Historical District, which appears to be getting redeveloped into LUXURY CONDOS, one building at a time. Follow along when the street bends to the left, ignore the dubious pleasures of Daniels Street, which will only take you somewhere you don't want to go, and turn right (head West) on Riverside Avenue. Proceed under I-93, being alert for the glass shards that are sometimes found there, and proceed straight through the first controlled intersection, Clippership Drive, and take a right (head North) at the next controlled intersection, City Hall Mall. Merge into the center lane of that, then take a left (head West) onto Salem Street (you can do that out of the center lane, and it will set you up for what comes next). Salem Street is Route 60; follow Salem Street to the main intersection in Medford Center, where you bear slightly right to continue to head West on Route 60, which proceeds now under the name of High Street. Climb High Street to the rotary (Winthrop Square), take the 3rd right (by my count) onto High Street/Route 60, and, after a brief descent, crank up the hill. You will be rewarded for this with a fast descent into West Medford, but you will be penalized with rough pavement associated with the roadwork. Depending when you ride this, there may be cops directing traffic. After an exhilarating or annoying (depending on conditions) descent, you'll be in West Medford. Phew! There may be a train. If you're me, you'll cross the tracks and turn left on Harvard Avenue, ultimately to cross the River Street bridge into East Arlington, and home. If you're you, you'll go wherever you want, many opportunities will present themselves.

Photos follow. Most are of the Rivers section of the ride. Shady paths and cool breezes are more conducive to stopping and taking pictures than cranking up hills and whizzing down them seem to be. One theme on this ride was the prevalence of kayaks. When did plastic kayaks supplant canoes as the people's boat? They were everywhere, starting with this section of the Mystic River, seen from Mystic Valley Road in West Medford.


Seen on the Mystic Valley Parkway: Velofix, a bike shop on wheels. One of those good ideas that comes back after having been chased away, like the cat.


One of the delights of the larger park and path network along the Mystic in Medford, perhaps in Riverbend Park, if I've reckoned it right, is a floating dock. Normally used to support crew practice, it's open access, and permits the closest thing to riding the bike on the river's surface that doesn't involve a really hard freeze and studded tires. While enjoying this change of view, I took note of a family group consisting of a man, a woman, two kayaks, and a dog. Kayaks are everywhere. Dogs, too.


Another dock, not floating, with a view of the big Mystic power plant.


The marina at Station Landing provides facilities for boats that are not kayaks.


On the Malden River, more kayaks. Nice day for it.


In the Wellington Station parking lot, a nicely done low rider conversion of a Lexus coupe was on display. Not cheap, and not a kayak. What happens if you hit a speed bump in one of those things?


A woman was doing plein air miniature landscapes on the path in one of the Malden River parks. I asked her if I could take a few pictures over her shoulder, and she very graciously agreed.


After that, much hill climbing and descending ensued. The last four frames captured on this ride were at the Kurukulla Center. Then the battery died, and there was nothing for it but to ride West and go home. The glow on the stupa suggests the solar glare that was leering at all who headed in that direction.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 08-03-20 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 08-03-20, 04:55 PM
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden up the Minuteman to Lexington Center Monday morning, after breakfast and before the heat that meant it had come in. I needed to make time, and did, but one of the ways was to take one picture, and that while stopped at the light in Arlington Center. Here it is. It features Norway.


Two things I wished I had stopped to photograph, except for the lost time, of course:
1) A father with two young daughters on a triple. It looked to me, the first time, that it was a real triple, with the older of the two daughters steering and the father (presumed) acting as stoker. The second time I saw it, I found myself wondering if that really was what was mechanically going on. Perhaps I'll get a chance to examine it again.
2) A woman walking with a beautiful, pink, Japanese-print paper parasol. I didn't think they made 'em like that anymore.

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Old 08-04-20, 01:15 PM
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Tuesday morning rolled around, and I rolled out on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe, a little late and pressed for time. As often happens under those circumstances these days, I followed a compact (polite term for dinky) route North on Mystic Valley Road along the Mystic River in West Medford, continuing North on Mystic Valley Parkway along the Lower Mystic Lake in Medford and the Upper Mystic Lake in Winchester, across the Aberjona River and up to the delicious-sounding Bacon Street, which I followed East up the only hill worthy of the name on this route to a rotary that presents many interesting options; in this case, I chose Grove Street, and followed that down a long, gentle descent out of Winchester and back to West Medford, passing the Brooks Estate, Oak Grove Cemetery, and the Slave Wall in the process, This deposited me on High Street (Route 60), a few blocks from home. 7 miles, and quick when I needed quick.

Mystic River Road, West Medford: nothing hits the spot quite like a massive industrial cogwheel lawn ornament.


Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford or Winchester, sometimes it's hard to tell: what's salient here is the absence of recreational walkers/runners/cyclists. It was very quiet this morning.


Mystic Valley Parkway, Winchester: crossing the Aberjona River, which is not nearly as toxic as it once was, or so they tell me.


Grove Street, Medford: most of the Brooks Estate is North of here, but the sign is here, so that's that. The estate harks back to the 17th Century, but most of the surviving artifacts are newer than that.


Grove Street, Medford, the Slave Wall: this is one of those surviving artifacts of the Brooks Estate, in this case from the 18th Century.


A long memory is a good thing. Read all about it.


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Old 08-05-20, 10:49 AM
  #8948  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out Mass. Ave. after breakfast for a clockwise circumvolution of the Battle Green in the beautiful Summer weather, the sky scrubbed clean by the passage of our tropical visitor. That same storm left lots of small branches in the street, so some care was required to avoid sucking them into the fenders.

Arlington Center, outbound: I queued up number 2 in the bike lane, the question of Minuteman vs Mass. Ave. still open, but as I grew a longer and longer tail, I stayed on the road when the light changed, along with one other cyclist. Everyone else headed for the Minuteman.


Clockwise around the Battle Green: the Lexington Minuteman, which has evolved into a supposed image of Captain John Parker, although no portrait from his life exists.


The Revolutionary Monument 1799, built on the site of the town's first school house. The memorial reads:

Sacred to Liberty & the Rights of mankind!!!
The Freedom & Independence of America,
Sealed & defended with the blood of her sons.

This Monument is erected
By the inhabitants of Lexington,
Under the patronage, & at the expence of
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts,
to the memory of their Fellow Citizens,
Ensign Robert Munroe, Messrs. Jonas Parker,
Samuel Hadley, Jonathan Harrington Junr.,
Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harrington and John Brown
of Lexington, & Asahel Porter of Woburn.
Who fell on this field, the first Victims to the
Sword of British Tyranny & Oppression,
On the morning of the very memorable
Nineteenth of April, An. dom. 1775.
The Die was Cast!!!
The Blood of these Martyrs,
In the cause of God & their County,
Was the Cement of the Union of these States, then
Colonies; & gave the spring to the spirit, Firmness
And resolution of their Fellow Citizens.
They rose as one man, to revenge their brethren's
Blood and at the point of the sword, to assert &
Defend their native Rights.
They nobly dar'd to be free !!
The contest was long, bloody & affecting;
Righteous Heaven approved the solemn appeal;
Victory crowned their arms; and
The Peace, Liberty & Independence of the United
States of America was their glorious Reward.



The plaque on the Jonathan Harrington house reads:
House of Jonathan Harrington who wounded on the Common April 19, 1775 dragged himself to the door and died at his wife’s feet.


The clockwise circumvolution thus completed, I rolled down the hill on Mass. Ave., Idaho stops were sometimes called for, but not at the intersection with Pleasant Street in Arlington Center.


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Old 08-06-20, 10:25 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out for what turned out to be one of the fastest sprints up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman I've done. Stayed in the drops most of the time, and focused on the ride and making time. The trail was sparsely enough populated that this seemed a fair use of it, although a little girl, out for a ride with her father, did yell "Slow down!" Observed the one-ride-one-photo protocol, this time of a particularly attractively-painted cement mixer, photographed while waiting for a light on Broadway in Arlington.


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Old 08-07-20, 06:47 PM
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An emergency babysitting gig with my granddaughter caused me to punt on my planned morning ride (I was already in the riding togs when the call came). However, I did get to put in 17 miles before dinner, riding out to the Cambridge Reservoir in Lincoln to check on the drought. My amateur omen-reading suggests that we've got one, but it could be (and often has been) worse.


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