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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-07-20, 07:13 AM
  #9076  
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Yesterday afternoon was a delightful time to ride. I set out at 3:00 PM for a 30 mile spin through Weston, Wayland, Natick, Sudbury and Lincoln on my Honey Allroads. Not long before getting home I switched my light from blinking mode to solid mode as it was getting kinda dark. Not sure if it was my expectations but the rush hour traffic was especially determined to show me no quarters as car after truck split right up the middle between me and oncoming traffic.
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Old 11-07-20, 06:00 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East.


Crossing the quiet end of the Mystic, East Arlington to West Medford.


Up hill and down dale on this route, as usual, through Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. I overdid it somewhat and returned a bit after sunset. Hurray for good LEDs! Hurray also for the big, supple Rat Trap Pass tires, that floated me over the occasional bits of rough pavement, and for the Schwalbe SV14a tube that replaced the delinquent SV14 without manifesting, thus far, any of the bad behaviors of the old tube.

Fellsway East, Melrose: top of the hill, close of the day.


Fellsway East, Malden, a few minutes later, bottom of the hill. The interval between the two photos was swift and breezy.


rod

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Old 11-07-20, 07:40 PM
  #9078  
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After watching today’s stage of the Vuelta Espania this morning I set out on my Allroads for 42 miles. Predictably so I pretended I had a 2km lead over the peloton as the breakaway sprinter. My racer fantasy was gleefully interrupted when my Garmin screen has a text message from Mrs Ghazmh informing me of the election declaration. Without venturing too far into P&R territory I’ll say that it made the ride even better.
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Old 11-09-20, 09:35 PM
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Another beautiful day! Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on a 25-mile ramble through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, and Lincoln, a ride whose route firmed up as I rode along.

Tophet Swamp, Lexington: tow-headed phragmites dream in the sun.


Depot Park, of course.


Reformatory Branch, Concord: Ra lights the way.


Great Meadows NWR, Concord: looking sere.


I jumped off the Reformatory Branch at the Great Meadows access road, and got back on the asphalt.


Old Bedford Road, Concord: photographing this fish-with-a-bicycle had become one of the two goals of the ride. Seems to me the fish is pleased.


Virginia Road, Lincoln: top of the hill looking back at what I'd just climbed. It's gotten easier, this has been a good year for hills.


Cambridge Reservoir, Lexington Road, Lincoln: Got drought? The mudflats say yes. Checking on that had become the secondary goal of the ride. Cantabrigians, flush with discretion.


Marrett Road, Lincoln: oak trees in autumn are easy to ignore or disparage, but the dying light painted them a handsome red.


Arlington's Great Meadow, Lexington (where else): as the clock would have it, this became a Sunset ride on the Minuteman; if this ride were a mathematical proof, that would constitute reducing the problem to one with a known solution. Pretty, though.


rod

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Old 11-10-20, 04:08 AM
  #9080  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Another beautiful day! Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on a 25-mile ramble through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, and Lincoln, a ride whose route firmed up as I rode along.

Tophet Swamp, Lexington: tow-headed phragmites dream in the sun.


Depot Park, of course.


Reformatory Branch, Concord: Ra lights the way.


Great Meadows NWR, Concord: looking sere.


I jumped off the Reformatory Branch at the Great Meadows access road, and got back on the asphalt.


Old Bedford Road, Concord: photographing this fish-with-a-bicycle had become one of the two goals of the ride. Seems to me the fish is pleased.


Virginia Road, Lincoln: top of the hill looking back at what I'd just climbed. It's gotten easier, this has been a good year for hills.


Cambridge Reservoir, Lexington Road, Lincoln: Got drought? The mudflats say yes. Checking on that had become the secondary goal of the ride. Cantabrigians, flush with discretion.


Marrett Road, Lincoln: oak trees in autumn are easy to ignore or disparage, but the dying light painted them a handsome red.


Arlington's Great Meadow, Lexington (where else): as the clock would have it, this became a Sunset ride on the Minuteman; if this ride were a mathematical proof, that would constitute reducing the problem to one with a known solution. Pretty, though.


rod
I rode by that very same fish-velomobile yesterday. Albeit it was around 6:00 AM,
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Old 11-10-20, 08:12 PM
  #9081  
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This afternoon I was short on time, but needed a ride, so I took the GT Karakoram on a quick sprint around the Mystic Lakes. It more or less did the trick.

While most of the ride was hard cranking to make time, I did stop briefly at the dam to see what was happening. Quiet afternoon, although the toddler was entranced.








rod
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Old 11-11-20, 06:08 PM
  #9082  
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I got out of the house uncharacteristically early for me, rolling out on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe a few minutes after 8 a.m. This odd behavior was triggered by a sadness that the warm weather was coming to an end, the knowledge that I had unavoidable errands in the afternoon, the inevitability of an early nightfall (curse you, EST!) and the likelihood of rain to follow. Besides, it was Veterans Day.

Once again, I rode East, in pursuit of that mix of hills and urban streets that's both close at hand and strangely compelling to ride.


After getting up and down the High Street hills in Medford, paying my respects at the Kurukulla Center, and rolling across the urban flatlands of Medford and Malden, I picked up the Northern Strand Community Path at the Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden's Old Burying Ground, harking back to 1649.


Northern Strand Community Path, Malden: rides occur both in the personal time of the ones who ride, and in the historical time of the larger community; in that spirit, I report this bit of street art, painted on the Path's surface.


West Wyoming Avenue, Melrose: trouble coming every day, as Frank Zappa once put it.


Main Street, Melrose: oak leaves were mustering out.


Fellsway East, Melrose: a warm wind kicked up and the clouds marched overhead. Started the long descent that my GPSlogger clocked at 31mph.


Fellsway East, Melrose: the warm wind blew, and the leaves flew down to dance in the street.


High Street, Medford: commencing the final descent of the ride. Traffic had been almost non-existent earlier, but was picking up now.


All the hills done with, I rode home and then went out to get a haircut.

rod

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Old 11-13-20, 08:00 AM
  #9083  
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Of the 4 rides on my Allroads this week today’s was the shortest at 22 miles but it was the funnest. Cold wet drizzle that was mastered with an assortment of Gore, gloves and winter boots. Wednesday was the longest at 34 miles, warmer and drier too. I am looking forward to some off-road trail riding soon.
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Old 11-13-20, 08:37 AM
  #9084  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
... Cold wet drizzle that was mastered with an assortment of Gore, gloves and winter boots. ...
My hat's off to you. Cold rain is the one condition I actively avoid. That's a problem, because we have a lot of it, on and off. Any tips you'd like to share about that would be most appreciated.

rod
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Old 11-13-20, 09:43 AM
  #9085  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
My hat's off to you. Cold rain is the one condition I actively avoid. That's a problem, because we have a lot of it, on and off. Any tips you'd like to share about that would be most appreciated.

rod
Why thank you sir. This morningís ride wasnít even something I could have considered 10 years ago. Having the correct clothes made it surprisingly easy and hardly a sufferfest. I have several pairs of Gore Bike Wear Goretex windstopper bib tights, a Gore Shakedry jacket, and Gore jerseys and baselayers. Today I wore my Gore bib tights, my Gore baselayer, a PI thermal jersey covered with my Gore shakedry jacket. This combination had the appropriate level of wind protection, warmth and breathability. I had a PI scull cap under my helmet, my 45Nrth winter gloves and Bontrager winter boots. Both the gloves and boots are claimed to be waterproof but Iíd describe them as being water proof to a point, todays light rain wasnít enough to soak through. I also had on a pair of prescription sports glasses that are clear but tint when itís bright out, great for morning and evening rides. Iíd say the biggest challenge on a day like today is visibility. They get foggy when stopped and need to be wiped often.

when itís above 50 degrees Iíll usually wear a Goretex jersey and Goretex bib tights without a jacket. If itís colder than today Iíll wear a warmer mid layer and I can always use my Bar Mitts. Again itís all down to the clothing. I learned along the way by buying and trying different garments but I hit the jackpot with all my Goretex tights and jerseys. I donít think it would have been possible to do it with the same degree of comfort if using other materials.

The last key factor, my kids are tired of hearing me say this but; ďya have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.Ē
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Old 11-13-20, 09:51 AM
  #9086  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Why thank you sir. This morningís ride wasnít even something I could have considered 10 years ago. Having the correct clothes made it surprisingly easy and hardly a sufferfest. I have several pairs of Gore Bike Wear Goretex windstopper bib tights, a Gore Shakedry jacket, and Gore jerseys and baselayers. Today I wore my Gore bib tights, my Gore baselayer, a PI thermal jersey covered with my Gore shakedry jacket. This combination had the appropriate level of wind protection, warmth and breathability. I had a PI scull cap under my helmet, my 45Nrth winter gloves and Bontrager winter boots. Both the gloves and boots are claimed to be waterproof but Iíd describe them as being water proof to a point, todays light rain wasnít enough to soak through. I also had on a pair of prescription sports glasses that are clear but tint when itís bright out, great for morning and evening rides. Iíd say the biggest challenge on a day like today is visibility. They get foggy when stopped and need to be wiped often.

when itís above 50 degrees Iíll usually wear a Goretex jersey and Goretex bib tights without a jacket. If itís colder than today Iíll wear a warmer mid layer and I can always use my Bar Mitts. Again itís all down to the clothing. I learned along the way by buying and trying different garments but I hit the jackpot with all my Goretex tights and jerseys. I donít think it would have been possible to do it with the same degree of comfort if using other materials.

The last key factor, my kids are tired of hearing me say this but; ďya have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.Ē
Many thanks!

rod
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Old 11-13-20, 03:59 PM
  #9087  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
...

The last key factor, my kids are tired of hearing me say this but; ďya have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.Ē
Inspired by @Ghazmh, I took off at 1pm in "light rain" and 48 degree weather. Dressed mostly for the temperature, and observed what effect the rain had on the various articles of clothing. The merino base layer fared best, performing the old "warm when wet" trick. The polypropylene pants worked pretty well, absorbing water and maintaining some insulating power, but I may have something more water-resistant at the back of the closet. The Sport Hill Symmetry II jacket, an absolutely reliable windblocking layer on a cold day, was really not coping with the rain. I have an old Gore-tex rain parka I could try next, although I'm not really sure it breathes well enough for cycling. Thick merino hiking socks under my summer shoes worked well enough, but I'm going to need to settle on winter cycling shoes and start tweaking saddle heights.

That said, it was a dandy little ride, up to Lexington Center and back via the Minuteman on my Rawland Nordavinden, which is now owed a cleaning and chain lube application. Hurray for fenders! I set out from East Arlington, noting that the Town trees have suddenly dropped their leaves, and I have some raking to do.


One advantage of this weather: you can have the bike path all to yourself.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have a Flood Myth now.


Arlington's Great Meadow, Lexington: a good day to be water.


Home again, seeing the world soft-focus.


rod
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Old 11-13-20, 04:05 PM
  #9088  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Inspired by @Ghazmh, I took off at 1pm in "light rain" and 48 degree weather. Dressed mostly for the temperature, and observed what effect the rain had on the various articles of clothing. The merino base layer fared best, performing the old "warm when wet" trick. The polypropylene pants worked pretty well, absorbing water and maintaining some insulating power, but I may have something more water-resistant at the back of the closet. The Sport Hill Symmetry II jacket, an absolutely reliable windblocking layer on a cold day, was really not coping with the rain. I have an old Gore-tex rain parka I could try next, although I'm not really sure it breathes well enough for cycling. Thick merino hiking socks under my summer shoes worked well enough, but I'm going to need to settle on winter cycling shoes and start tweaking saddle heights.

That said, it was a dandy little ride, up to Lexington Center and back via the Minuteman on my Rawland Nordavinden, which is now owed a cleaning and chain lube application. Hurray for fenders! I set out from East Arlington, noting that the Town trees have suddenly dropped their leaves, and I have some raking to do.


One advantage of this weather: you can have the bike path all to yourself.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have a Flood Myth now.


Arlington's Great Meadow, Lexington: a good day to be water.


Home again, seeing the world soft-focus.


rod
Nice! You already have the fenders so your almost there. I have and seldom use a conventional Goretex cycling rain jacket, not to be confused with my Gore Shakedry Goretex Jacket. It is waterproof but so unbreathable that I end up colder and wetter with it than without it. Iíd say itís good for short low effort round town rides. The only time I wear it now is short trips to the grocery store, packie, etc.
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Old 11-13-20, 04:20 PM
  #9089  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Nice! You already have the fenders so your almost there. I have and seldom use a conventional Goretex cycling rain jacket, not to be confused with my Gore Shakedry Goretex Jacket. It is waterproof but so unbreathable that I end up colder and wetter with it than without it. Iíd say itís good for short low effort round town rides. The only time I wear it now is short trips to the grocery store, packie, etc.
Ah, that sounds right. I'll look into the Shakedry, then.

rod
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Old 11-14-20, 05:46 PM
  #9090  
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Rode East, rode West, rode up, rode down, rode in daylight, rode in twilight.


Then I rode home.


rod
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Old 11-15-20, 08:53 PM
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After raking up all the leaves that had fallen off the Town's trees out in front of the house, I took the venerable old (1987) GT Karakoram rigid frame 26" mountain bike sporting now-discontinued Compass 1.75" tires (a.k.a. "Compasselas") out for a sunset ride on the Minuteman. I've been enjoying this bike with these tires too much to do what I know I should, and put the studded Nokians on to prepare for the inevitable next snowstorm. But not today, and I enjoyed a nice little ride up to Lexington Center and back.


Sunset colors were where you found them on this ride, in this case over the pumping station.


Found some more sunset colors over Mal's yard.


Willows are a personal favorite, budding early and keeping their leaves late. There are some nice ones along the Minuteman. Here's one in Arlington Heights, dancing in the wind.


Darkness was consolidating its gains on the ride back, and the night belonged to lanternfish and invisible pedestrians.


rod
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Old 11-17-20, 09:21 PM
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Gave the Rawland Nordavinden the promised cleaning and lubrication, then took off to Depot Park on the Minuteman, the weather cool and breezy, with a headwind outbound and temperatures dropping through the 40s. I'd say this was cold and windy except that I'm sure that then tomorrow would laugh at me. Medium-sized clouds were scudding through a bright blue sky, sometimes shoaling to put us in shadow. The Minuteman was pretty, and pretty empty. Thank you, cool & breezy day.


In my time of need, I took shelter in the House of Convenience.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have discovered community transmission. Maybe social distancing next.


Watching the clouds drift over Arlington's Great Meadow.


The woodpiles grew for over a year, and have been shrinking lately. Don't know what the story is. I try not to think of longhorn beetles.


Turning around at Depot Park.


The Shawsheen River holds the sky, and treetops grow down into it.


Kiln Brook in Tophet Swamp glowed in the low sun.


The Taylor Lane horses were calm at sunset: good horses.


This sunset was brought to you by the Public Health Service, which reminds you to keep your distance.


rod

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Old 11-19-20, 05:28 PM
  #9093  
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So, after managing not to ride in yesterday's frank cold and wind, I ventured out in today's somewhat less cold and merely breezy. It was still cold enough--low 40s with a 10+ mph breeze--to make experimenting with clothing worthwhile. I tried a candidate for cold-weather riding shoes, and liked what they showed me. And I tried mixing a balaclava with one of the KN95 masks that I've been using to good effect on rides; this made me look a bit like an extra in a Hieronymus Bosch painting, and I found the lower portion of the balaclava pressed part of the mask against my mouth, not what the doctor ordered, I think. A different balaclava that stays clear of the mouth area, or better still tucks under the chin, would serve. Now to see if such a one is hiding in a drawer somewhere.


So, in this modified attire I took the GT Karakoram out for a sunset ride around the Mystic Lakes, It was a peaceful day, if you didn't take exception to the cars enacting the beginning of the rush hour rituals.




Stopped briefly in the Mystic Valley Parkway breakdown lane to photograph the mouth of Mill Brook, flowing past the cemetery and into the Lower Mystic Lake.


A little farther along, stopped again to capture the sunset colors over the Lower Mystic Lake.


East Arlington: sunset over Everett Street.


Sunset over my neighbors' rooftops.


I never do this at sunrise.

rod
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Old 11-20-20, 10:54 PM
  #9094  
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Out again at sunset, this time taking the Rawland Nordavinden up the Minuteman to Lexington Center in the surprisingly balmy weather.

New signs up on the Minuteman. Uncle Sam's a local boy, so why not?


Bert is in compliance.


Soon enough, the semiotic nudging gave way to just the evening, and quiet beauty as darkness fell.






In darkness on the return, I found myself growling from time to time at riders whose headlights were aimed too high. I got a sort of karmic comeuppance when I rode smack into an unseen low-hanging branch, striking my face, or, rather, striking my helmet, my glasses, my KN95 mask, and my earlobe. Everything but the earlobe was pretty well armored, and no harm done, but I'll be wanting to return with a folding saw to remove that hazard.



rod
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Old 11-21-20, 11:07 PM
  #9095  
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Attachment.


Non-attachment.


Rode East; perhaps I'm getting attached to non-attachment.


The usual hills were climbed.

rod
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Old 11-23-20, 06:20 PM
  #9096  
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So, the fortune cookie said, "A ride begun at sunset will proceed in darkness." I ate the cookie on the spot, and took the ride this evening, rolling out the Minuteman on the Rawland Nordavinden in the aftermath of today's downpours, temperatures falling through the 40s.


Setting out.


Relatively few cyclists out, but those were showing lights, with rare exceptions.


Sunset at the Town Yard.


The shadows deepen, colors cling to the horizon.


An illuminated procession at Arlington's Great Meadow.


The moon wears the clouds like a fur coat.


Multiple police cars and an ambulance at the corner of Warren Street and River Street; just how bad the accident was, I don't know.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 11-24-20 at 09:05 AM.
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