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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 03-30-20, 07:13 AM
  #8676  
hubcyclist
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so how much of a zoo is the Minuteman and the other local paths? I do my training stuff indoors but I've been going out with my 8 year old who just started riding without assistance last week. He's already done rides of 5, 7.5 and >12miles so he's really gotten the bug. Our little neighborhood has a pretty closed off .25 mile loop, but it gets boring for me lol
We have the tri-community path nearby, but I really don't like it because it's a constant getting off to cross roads, so it would be nice to take him somewhere with a decent combo of uninterrupted riding and not just riding in circles, but I imagine the trails aren't probably the best idea right now just because of having to go around various walkers/slower users and having to keep a lookout for faster users is a lot for a newbie to handle at the moment.
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Old 03-30-20, 07:36 AM
  #8677  
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Itís better during off hours or when the weather is bad. Thereís less traffic further west toward Bedford the Bruce freeman trail north of Acton typically has a lot less traffic in general
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Old 03-30-20, 04:06 PM
  #8678  
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Today before the evening rains rolled in I went out on my Allroads for 21 quick miles. I hadn’t cleaned the coating of road sand from yesterday’s ride.
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Old 03-30-20, 04:14 PM
  #8679  
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
so how much of a zoo is the Minuteman and the other local paths? I do my training stuff indoors but I've been going out with my 8 year old who just started riding without assistance last week. He's already done rides of 5, 7.5 and >12miles so he's really gotten the bug. Our little neighborhood has a pretty closed off .25 mile loop, but it gets boring for me lol
We have the tri-community path nearby, but I really don't like it because it's a constant getting off to cross roads, so it would be nice to take him somewhere with a decent combo of uninterrupted riding and not just riding in circles, but I imagine the trails aren't probably the best idea right now just because of having to go around various walkers/slower users and having to keep a lookout for faster users is a lot for a newbie to handle at the moment.
In good weather, since the Great Pause started, the Minuteman is about as densely packed as I've ever seen it, with the added benefit that some of the densely-packed trail users are coronavirus vectors. Lots of pedestrians, lots of runners and skaters, lots of dog walkers, some clumped up in a manner at least irritating, plus cyclists spanning the full gamut of skill and courtesy, including quite a few very young ones, some supervised, some free-range. It can be a little daunting, but most people manage.

In weather like today's, cold, damp, and gray, it's reasonable. Except for the weather, of course.

rod
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Old 03-30-20, 04:44 PM
  #8680  
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Speaking of which... I took the Rawland Nordavinden out for an afternoon ride in the cold and damp to clear my head, lungs, and karma. I was considering several different routes, but when I got to Arlington Center I saw that the Minuteman appeared vacant, so I hopped on that, telling myself I'd hop off again if it proved to be a goat rope. It was pretty sparsely populated, and I rode cheerfully in mostly splendid isolation for 15 miles, turning around at Bedford Street, Lexington, when the drizzle droplets grew larger and more densely spaced and began to resemble actual rain.


The Woodman has metamorphosed over time, and probably has something to say to anyone foolish enough to frequent that little park at midnight.


Arlington's Great Meadow is still looking sere, but greenery is coming.


The admonitory semiotic pollution of the Lexington segment of the Minuteman continues to evolve. While I don't fault the good intentions with which this was done, this is the first time a distinction has been made on the Minuteman between riding two abreast and walking two abreast, and it seems to have been done without stakeholder consultation, a bad sign (oops, pun).


A little bright spot in the murk.


Corkscrew vine, vernal pool, all within steps of Lexington Center.


Admonitions aside, the playful spirit of the Minuteman persists, if you know when to look.




rod

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Old 03-31-20, 06:32 AM
  #8681  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
After perhaps a few yards on Lexington Road, Lincoln, I turned right onto Mill Street, for another stage climb up to Route 2A (North Great Road). I followed that down to Old Mass Ave and the Fiske Hill section of the Minute Man National Historical Park, where I paused to photograph the full parking lot.

rod
That's the most crowded I've ever seen this trail... there was some increase use pre-marathon, but nothing like these days!

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
The Woodman has metamorphosed over time, and probably has something to say to anyone foolish enough to frequent that little park at midnight.


rod
Surprised no one has put a mask on him yet

Between family rides and a few rare solo rides in the past few weeks, I have spent more miles on my bike than in my car. That's a very good thing. One of the few ways to keep sane. I see that a lot of people are doing the same - there are a LOT of cyclists out there on the roads of western suburbs. Yes, the trails are quite busy as well. More people are spending time outside, which is a good thing - if they are following social distancing regulations.
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Old 03-31-20, 07:21 AM
  #8682  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
hadnít cleaned the coating of road sand from yesterdayís ride
yeah last two rides I didn't do that either, one was in a sloppy wet snowy ride so I figured straight wetness would be OK, they didn't treat the roads near me, so wasn't worried about salt. but since it was an off road ride & I had a sizeable collection of pine needles dry & drop off my front mud flap. last night while changing tires on two bikes I gave all three a wipe down & since I had the rear wheels off two of them, gave those rear derailers a little more attention, especially the rollers. so nice to have access to the inside angle on those, especially up on a stand. also the area around the front derailer that's tough to access with the rear wheel on. the rain ride the other day did accumulate a fair amount of debris from the wet paved trail & also from riding on my car's rear bike rack
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Old 03-31-20, 05:22 PM
  #8683  
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Got 26 after work miles in. Fairhaven ,Mattapoisett and Rochester area. Cold and windy

Ma
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Old 03-31-20, 06:42 PM
  #8684  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yeah last two rides I didn't do that either, one was in a sloppy wet snowy ride so I figured straight wetness would be OK, they didn't treat the roads near me, so wasn't worried about salt. but since it was an off road ride & I had a sizeable collection of pine needles dry & drop off my front mud flap. last night while changing tires on two bikes I gave all three a wipe down & since I had the rear wheels off two of them, gave those rear derailers a little more attention, especially the rollers. so nice to have access to the inside angle on those, especially up on a stand. also the area around the front derailer that's tough to access with the rear wheel on. the rain ride the other day did accumulate a fair amount of debris from the wet paved trail & also from riding on my car's rear bike rack
Nothing like a freshly cleaned bike!
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Old 03-31-20, 06:47 PM
  #8685  
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During my lunch break I rode my Allroads for 31 miles out to Carlisle. I stopped at the water fountain at Concord Center to reply to work emails for a brief moment. I was hoping the fountain would be turned on as it’s a pleasant sign of Spring. It wasn’t on yet. Perhaps they’re expecting freezing temperatures still or it’s low low low on the DPW’s list of things to do.
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Old 04-01-20, 08:11 PM
  #8686  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I was hoping the fountain would be turned on as itís a pleasant sign of Spring. It wasnít on yet. Perhaps theyíre expecting freezing temperatures still or itís low low low on the DPWís list of things to do.
I think water fountains and public restrooms will be a long wait this spring due to the pandemic
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Old 04-02-20, 01:37 PM
  #8687  
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Expecting rain to fall at any moment I dressed for the rains that didnít come until long after my 30 mile ride ended. I more or less rode my Allroads the same route as yesterday.
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Old 04-03-20, 11:34 AM
  #8688  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Nothing like a freshly cleaned bike!
I probably should have been more thorough. but at least I hit it, a little bit
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Old 04-04-20, 01:58 PM
  #8689  
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Today was a good ride on my Allroads. I headed out before the sun came out and seemed to dry the roads. I dressed to get wet but the clouds gave way to sun and I didnít mind. I rode 50.8 miles on a similar route as last Saturdays adventure. I rode through Weston down to rte 16 in Wellesley. From there I followed it to Sherborn then onto 27. From there I followed it to 115 into Millis. From there I got on 109 and followed it through Medway to Winthrop st and back to rte 16 but in Holliston. From there I followed 16 into Newton and then hopped into Comm Ave and onto a side road back into Weston before bringing the party home to Waltham. At the 30 mile mark my trusty friend Mr Headwind accompanied me most of the way home ensuring that maintaining 15 MPH would cause sensations in my chest and legs that had me wondering if I should slow down, I did.

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Old 04-04-20, 02:14 PM
  #8690  
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Got in 22 cold damp windy miles here on the south coast this morning
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Old 04-04-20, 09:50 PM
  #8691  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out in the mid-afternoon. In Arlington Center, when the light changed, 12 bikes peeled off onto the Minuteman, 3 others continued on Mass. Ave., including the Norda. While there were a certain number of bikes and even a few runners on the road, the traffic of all sorts was pretty sparse there, social distancing came naturally. I climbed up through Arlington Heights and into East Lexington, where I stopped for a moment to photograph Robbins Cemetery, a small family cemetery established in 1792, where the dead lie in matter-a-fact propinquity with the living, the latter hanging out the wash adjacent to the former. This arrangement seemed relatively cheery against the background of the current pandemic.


Continued on Mass. Ave. to Lexington Center, where I picked up Bedford Street and continued outbound.


I turned left onto the MInuteman a few minutes later, intending to use it to get across 128 and test the theory that that segment of the trail was relatively quiet.


There were crowds clumpy enough to have me muttering "Aerosol Alley" by the time I reached Depot Park.


The weather, which had featured sunshine and temperatures in the low 50s when I set out, had evolved into overcast skies, breezy, and a bit chillier. Rather than continue on to Carlisle and Concord, I reversed course, braving the breathers as far as Wiggins Ave, then turning left and cutting across a couple of parking lots to cross the Shawsheen River on the little pedestrian bridge at Bridge Street.


Rode the short length of Bridge Street to Pine Street, where I stopped to acknowledge a little history.


Crossed the Great Road and picked up Shawsheen Road, turning right onto Page Road, and began the staged climb towards Lexington. Just as I was digging into the first real grade, I saw a huge pileated woodpecker on the trunk of a dead tree, directly across the street, hopping about to find the best place to commence pecking, which it did with a basso percussive beat. I didn't stop to photograph that, being loath to give up such momentum as I had established, but admired the bird (the first one I've seen so close to Boston) and rode on with a sense of wonder and a little regret. I climbed the hill, waving to the farmer of "Please Don't Squish My Chickens" fame near the top, and getting a cheery hail in return, then whizzed down the long, steep Grove Street descent. I made my way to Lexington Center on back roads, then followed Mass. Ave. home, with what had become a chilly headwind. I was pleased to arrive, and proceeded to make a big pot of gumbo. God bless okra and andouille! 23 miles though Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford.

rod

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Old 04-05-20, 08:02 AM
  #8692  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
suddenly excited. I recall a good ride from home (Stowish) to my old stomping grounds at Porter Square via 2A & Mass Ave. might be time for a repeat if the roads are clear
finally did it. just under 44 miles & took the route I remembered. but gotta tell ya, not gonna do that again for a while. I went from a rural, spaced out population to a much more concentrated population, wearing face masks, including cyclists! guess I should get one designed for atheletic breathing. picture this, riding along the road & smelling someone's after shave / hair creme from well in front of me, on the side walk ... heck if I can smell that, on a breezy day, then certainly a few "droplets" of his exhaled breath could have flown into my lungs. as an average? cyclist I had the pleasure of being passed by stronger riders all day long. most gave me a wide berth, especially out West. but even then, I could imagine their breath's droplets lofting thru the air into my lungs







made my U-turn at Porter & had the somber memory of physician Bernard Lavins cycling death. tried to be mindful of how to navigate the area. shortly before reaching the massive, complicated, multilane & multi directional intersection, I spotted a place to pause & refuel in the sun. so all I wanted to do was make a U-turn. kinda missed using the specific cycling path just for that purpose. I think I managed it without actually breaking any traffic rules or getting injured. but did it partly on foot (edit: after watching the video I see I blew a red light)






a concentrated population, in spring time, can only spill out onto the streets. so watch out for the novice riders, unaware of how to cross a street. (me included I guess) impressed by this little one's cycling prowess, but not impressed with Dad's timing. note the green light. drivers were observant & patient tho. whew!



St Peter's church, my temporary sanctuary


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Old 04-05-20, 04:52 PM
  #8693  
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Got in 40 miles today on my 4 town ride Fairhaven, Acushnut, Mattapoisett, Rochester.
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Old 04-05-20, 06:18 PM
  #8694  
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79.4 miles to get to Portsmouth using the route I uploaded from Strava to my GPS. From Home to Carlisle Center was familiar. I rode through more towns than I can remember. Lots of hilly side roads. I think it was in Andover when I saw East Coast Greenway signs most of the way until Rye NH. I endured a not so gentle sea breeze up the NH sea coast. I stopped for a snack break at Hampton Beach where the state police were out enforcing the parking ban. thankfully no cycling ban. Eventually my touring bike and I stopped at a pre determined rendezvous point where Mrs Ghazmh met me just 15 minutes later for the drive home.


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Old 04-05-20, 08:03 PM
  #8695  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out in the late afternoon in the benign air and pearly light for a 13-mile loop out to Lexington Center on Mass. Ave., back on Lowell Street and Summer Street with some miscellaneous side-road connective tissue. Even though the Minuteman appeared relatively empty, I stuck with the roads for this one, enjoying the hills on Summer Street for the first time in many years.

Stopped for a peaceful minute in East Lexington, and took a few photos.






​​​​​​Experimenting with masks, but not on the bike (yet).


rod

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Old 04-06-20, 02:55 PM
  #8696  
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This afternoons 39.5 mile ride felt more like a Sunday ride than a Monday ride. Gentle sunny warmth and lots of other cyclists out. After logging so many miles yesterday on my heavy 520 loaded up with the obligatory unworn windbreaker, extra gloves, etc and plenty of snack today’s ride on my Seven felt so snappy and fast.

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Old 04-06-20, 09:40 PM
  #8697  
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Spent a couple of hours in the late afternoon riding in circles through Arlington, West Medford, Winchester, and Woburn, 13 miles of skipping from one body of water to the next: the Mystic River, Lower Mystic Lake, Upper Mystic Lake, the Aberjona River, Winter Pond (a.k.a., Spectacle Pond), Horn Pond, and Horn Pond Brook. Also followed the ghostly Old Middlesex Canal for much of the ride. Pretty day, no crowding, people generally pleasant if often masked, keeping a discreet distance.

West Medford: a sign of the times on a locked playground gate.


West Medford: the sun is already low, and touches the Mystic River with silver as it flows gently through the neighborhood; even here, it will take you to sea if you're set on that.


Medford: cruising up the Lower Mystic Lake on the Mystic Valley Parkway. This was what counted as heavy traffic today.


Medford: a sunny day at the dam separating the Upper and Lower Mystic Lakes. There was a lot of fishing going on, presumably for the table in hard times.




Winchester: approach to the site of the aqueduct that carried the Old Middlesex Canal across the Upper Mystic Lake.


Winchester: looking back at Spectacle Pond.


Woburn: an admonition to practice social distancing at Horn Pond, made easier by the fact that few people were there, due to a parking ban (cyclists welcome).


Woburn: Horn Pond Mountain. Once upon a time, Indians lived there and would come down to trade with the people on the canal barges. A grinding stone can still be seen in a clearing at the top.


Winchester: the Tri-Community Greenway is new to me, although the old dirt trails that it is built on are familiar in this segment. This looks promising.


rod

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Old 04-07-20, 04:47 PM
  #8698  
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Took the Trucker DeLuxe for a brief but intense 7 mile ride in Arlington today, East Arlington to Park Circle by way of Pond Lane, Wellington Street (first climb), Pleasant Street, Spring Street/Easter Ave (big climb), caught breath at Park Circle, then got lazy and rolled down Park Ave to Mass Ave, and down Mass Ave to home in time to make dinner. Some of the grades on this one were encountered a little too early in the season for me; remembered why I prefer to climb Park Ave.

Funny to ride under the Pond Lane bridge, since I usually ride over it.


Elks Club, middle ground, Boys & Girls Club, background. Off to the first climb (no pictures of that).


Looking back down Eastern Ave. Phew!


Still climbing.


Goal achieved. Watched the little soccer players for a minute. Thought about where to go from here.


Enough for one day. The good stuff came first this time. Rolled home.

rod

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Old 04-08-20, 04:31 PM
  #8699  
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31 more mile on my Allroads this afternoon down to Sherborn via rte 16 and on back up 27 to 135 into Wellesley before getting back onto 16 into Newton then home.
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Old 04-08-20, 08:46 PM
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As part of my on-going program of Minuteman Bikeway crowd aerosol minimization, I rode the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on a 19-mile course out Mass. Ave to Bedford Street, Lexington, turning left onto Valley Road for a fast descent and picking up the Minuteman with a ramp a few hundred yards from the 128 bridge, then rode out past Tophet Swamp before turning left onto Hartwell Ave., continuing past the HAFB and Lincoln Lab gates on Wood Street to Mass. Ave., crossing 128 again and climbing up the big hill and rolling briskly down to Lexington Center, and on back to Arlington and home. By my calculation, this allowed crossing 128 on the Minuteman with a minimum of slaloming around breathers. Lovely afternoon, lovely ride.

Every time I transit a deserted Arlington Center at what should be rush hour, I find myself wondering how long this can persist. Not that I don't enjoy it, from a narrow cyclist's perspective.


Cables, clouds, and more emptiness in East Lexington.


Some things are easy to miss. The plaque on this building, adjacent to the Battle Green, tells a tale. Wikipedia takes the story further, telling us that what started as the first publically-funded Normal School evolved into Framingham State University.


Lexington's Valley Road is an entire neighborhood of easy-to-miss, with a dandy descent to its terminus, a strip of weeds peeking out over the Route 128 traffic (such as it currently is). Social distancing is nothing new here.


The easy-to-miss ramp from Valley Road to the Minuteman.


Much pedaling later, I'm back on top of the big hill on the forgotten end of Mass. Ave. Seems to me that this hill, and the neighborhood atop it, must have a name. If so, it's a well-kept secret. I guess it could be added to the easy-to-miss list. It's also easy to leave, and I sailed down the nicely paved descent.


Balich's 5 & 10 was one of the last real dime stores in the area. A sole proprietorship that closed when the owner retired, it was slated to be redeveloped as a tavern, but the pandemic pushed the Pause button on that. Meanwhile, the facade reminds us of simpler days.


An interesting feature of this route is that it never quite leaves Lexington, as far as I can tell. It approaches, but does not transgress, both the Bedford and Lincoln lines.

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 04-09-20 at 02:34 PM.
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