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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 08-08-20, 06:45 PM
  #8951  
Ghazmh
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I’ve still been on the saddle often. 4673 miles this year to be exact. A few weeks ago I rode 84 on the Vineyard again then a few days later rode the CCRT, Old Colony Rail Trail and on up to Truro for 100 miles. Most of my riding has been on my Redsky in Weston, Lincoln, Carlisle, Concord, Acton, and Sudbury. I’ve also had more frequent weekday afternoon rides than years past. This past week I decided to ride the Minuteman and the Charles River path on my touring bike on the same ride. I meandered through Cambridge from the Charles River to Alewife to get on the Minuteman to Bedford and back before getting back on the River path. The following day I rode around the river again with the same bike. A quick temporary removal of the rear rack made room for my seat post pack and saved a few pounds in the process.



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Old 08-09-20, 02:48 PM
  #8952  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
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
Ha - can't quite see it because of the trees, but I grew up in a house at the left side of the picture. N-10s/Turnabouts are great learning boats. Other than on the dock, sailing really should be covid-friendly. And the dock is easy to manage - all the N-10s are moored, so you row out to get them.

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
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.
Yep - the canal crossed basically where Boston Ave. is. Just checked on a map and there's a "canal street" that dead ends just before that bridge.

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Mystic Valley Parkway, Winchester: crossing the Aberjona River, which is not nearly as toxic as it once was, or so they tell me.
Hard not to be less toxic than when the tanneries in Woburn were dumping their chemicals into the river, and then Grace (see A Civil Action)

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Old 08-09-20, 06:08 PM
  #8953  
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Made it out to Walden pond from Alewife yesterday! Early riding beats the heat & foot traffic on the Minuteman trail.
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Old 08-10-20, 04:45 PM
  #8954  
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The rides have been coming faster than the reports lately. That's not a bad thing, but here's a consolidated report for the last three days.

Saturday was a variant of the Rivers & Hills route that I've been experimenting with, through parkland along various sections of the banks of the Mystic River, Aberjona River, and Malden River, with hills in Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham providing long, sweaty climbs and swift, whizzy descents. It seems to be natural law that the sweaty climbing always takes longer than the whizzy descending. Absent a Go Pro, photos of whizzy descents are right out.

Cormorants fish in the Malden River, indifferent to the looming presence of the Encore casino tower just beyond its confluence with the Mystic. Wonder if the gamblers will ever make good on the pedestrian & bicycle bridge across the Mystic River that supposedly was part of the price for their presence here, or if they'll get away with substituting an aerial gondola? What are the odds?


Fellsway East, Melrose: you get your choice for how to climb the hill here. I stayed on the pavement, this time.


Sunday, I rode into South Medford to have a look at the Isaac Royall House and Slave Quarters, a relic of the Triangle Trade said to have the only extant slave quarters north of the Mason-Dixon line. The proximate cause for this ride was a story in the Globe on Sunday, but I was once at the place in a group ride without understanding precisely where I was, and have felt the need to clarify the map ever since. Turns out it's quite close to my East Arlington home base, a simple matter of climbing the hill on Boston Ave. to Winthrop Street, taking that to George Street, and following that to Main. The museum was closed, but I was able to walk around the grounds and take these photos. I'll return for a tour.

The manor house, put into its present form in 1737.


Adjacent to the house, the slave quarters housed 60, in the course of 40 years.


Monday morning, I got out ahead of the heat with a ride up the Mystic Valley Parkway, all the way to its northern terminus with the staged climb that leads to the intersection with Highland Ave. and another staged climb, followed by a series of delightful rolling hills and a plunging descent down to Main Street. I took a sharp right on Main back to the rotary that let me pick up Bacon Street for another swift descent back to Mystic Valley Parkway, and a cool and shady ride home.


The former dragon's nest on Broadway and Everett has sprouted a tower, at least by East Arlington standards. This reminded me of a Bible story.


Concision, hurrah!

rod

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Old 08-11-20, 11:50 AM
  #8955  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out after breakfast and chased my shadow up the hill from East Arlington to Lexington Center. I believe it chased me back to East Arlington again, but I didn't look behind me to verify this.


rod
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Old 08-12-20, 08:58 PM
  #8956  
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Took a turn around the Mystic Lakes after breakfast. Spent a few minutes poking around the trail network on the SE fringe of the Lower Mystic Lake, where it flows into the first few hundred yards of the Mystic River. A pretty place.


After that, it was back on the pavement for a quick 8 mile circuit.

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Old 08-13-20, 08:57 PM
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Took the Rawland up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman before dinner. Nice day for it, cooler air under a milky sky. Not so many people on the Minuteman, but a certain behavioral sloppiness was the order of the day, three-abreast walkers and centerline heroes who seemed to have never acquired or to have recently forgotten their passing skills. I also noticed a fair number of free-range kids on bikes who were better behaved than many of the alleged grown-ups. In other words, it was the Minuteman. A young woman on a skateboard carrying a particularly silly and tendentious sign to the evening's demonstration in Arlington Center convinced me not to take Mass. Ave. for the return. I could hear the noise of the demonstration when I passed a block North of the Mass & Mystic intersection. On balance, a quick and quiet ride, with only a handful of vexations, not a bad score for a vexatious time.


rod

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Old 08-14-20, 01:44 PM
  #8958  
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Rode the Surly Trucker DeLuxe clockwise around the Battle Green after breakfast. Weather was splendid, Mass. Ave. traffic approximated tranquil. Kept a good pace.


rod
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Old 08-15-20, 01:34 PM
  #8959  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
the pool at the bottom looked more clear almost tempting me to take a dip. the water levels all along the trail seem significantly low. glad I got to see some fury this winter & also after some heavier rains
Been riding much lately?
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Old 08-16-20, 09:03 PM
  #8960  
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Saturday afternoon, headed East for another variation of the Rivers and Hills ride through Arlington, Medford, Winchester, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. This runs through parkland on roads and trails along the Mystic River, Mystic Lakes, Aberjona River, and Malden River, and up and down hills in Winchester, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham, a little river, a little hill, repeat until done. The weather was overcast, cool, with gusty winds, and an occasional fine drizzle to cool the hill climbs.

Medford Center: the traffic seemed a little busier than usual, just an illusion I don't doubt, the traffic you have is always the most hectic. Note the kayaks on the roof of one of the SUVs.


Mystic River State Reservation: sometimes people climb the observation tower. Here are a few.


Two people were paddling an actual canoe on the Mystic River. Not a kayak to be seen. I found this cheering, somehow.


Wellington Greenway, Medford: this was one of the few other cyclists I saw on this route. The conspicuous counterexample was the Northern Strand Community Trail, Malden, which was crowded with riders.


Medford bank of the Malden River, with a fine view of the casino and the big power plant, point sources for pollution moral and atmospheric, all in a jolly pile like so many pigs.


Malden River Trail, Medford: looking back at the smallest, steepest hill on the ride. There are two root heaves for extra credit. The trick, of course, is a timely downshift. Sometimes I remember to execute that. If not, it's great fun to dismount with the bike pitched at an acute angle.


Malden River Trail: nice view of a wild length of the Malden River, with black-eyed susans, or something very like them, in the foreground.


Fellsway East, Melrose: the winding start of the longest, fastest descent on the ride, following a series of climbs. I hit 29 mph on the descent, and am grateful that the whole length was well-paved.


Fellsmere Park, Malden: the long descent leads to a couple of whimsical jets d'eau, and a farewell to parkland.


The Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies is reached with a little urban riding through Malden and Medford. After a quick stop to pay my respects to the stupa (chorten, properly), it was up and over the High Street hill into West Medford, across the tracks in West Medford, and rolling on home.

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Old 08-16-20, 11:06 PM
  #8961  
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Took the Rawland out the Minuteman Sunday afternoon, before dinner and before the rain began to fall in earnest. At the Mass. & Mystic intersection, there were a dozen or so kids, middle school and older, trying to work out the best way through the intersection through chaotic emergent behavior. There were no collisions with any of the cars, and the sole collision between bikes didn't knock anyone to the ground. The kids seemed to know each other, and it was easy to imagine it as an organized group, aside from the disorganization. Flash mob? Most of them were headed East. I was headed West, and took off up the Minuteman headed for Lexington. Three kids on BMX cruisers labored to pass me, stayed ahead for a while, then seemed to run out of steam as the Minuteman began to gently climb past Pierce Field. I passed them in due course, and the bell proved useful in getting them to change their three-abreast formation and give way. I found the kids likable, despite the fact that they were making things up as the went along, and getting it wrong half the time. That's what kids do. I've been seeing more of them on the Minuteman and on the streets, and I think it's a good sign that they're not little screen-bound slugs. Of course, their antics will make some people's heads explode, but I think we need to find ways to make them welcome, and perhaps school them in bicycle handling and riding in traffic skills.


By the time I got to Arlington's Great Meadows, there was no sign of the kids, and everything was green, green.


rod

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Old 08-17-20, 11:25 AM
  #8962  
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Took the Surly for a little ride after breakfast. While I was standing with the bike at the top of my driveway, trying to get the Pocket Devil to do my bidding and record a GPS track, a helmetless teenage girl on a bmx cruiser came riding down my street, no-hands, patted her hair, then popped a wheelie. She held that for about 3 seconds, then had an unscheduled dismount from the back of the bike, but landed on her feet and remounted with reasonable grace, and continued on her way. She could easily have been one of the kids from Mass. & Mystic yesterday evening, but in any case fits the demographic. The kids are all right.

Now equipped with something to ponder, I put the Devil in my pocket and rolled across the Mystic into West Medford, North up Mystic River Road and Mystic Valley Parkway along the East banks of the Mystic River and Mystic Lakes, on into Winchester and East on Bacon Street, climbing the hill to the rotary, there picking up Route 38 South, a.k.a. Main Street, Winchester, and riding a long undulation up, then down into Medford, with Main Street becoming Winthrop Street.


Got through the construction, with its steel plates, and then turned South West onto Playstead Road. I paused there for a moment to photograph the Oak Grove Cemetery World War I memorial at the top of the grand staircase. I need to come back on foot and explore, there's apparently a lot there.


Continued down Playstead to the West Medford village center, crossed the tracks, picked up Harvard Street, crossed the river, and pedaled home.

rod

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Old 08-17-20, 12:15 PM
  #8963  
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Annual caution, coming early. Due to pandemic, move in day is now move in month-ish, and it has just started (BU et al).

So beware of noobs, particularly in U-Hauls, while they get lost and/or stuck under a bridge, or who are so focused to not to that they never ever see you.

-mr. bill
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Old 08-17-20, 06:34 PM
  #8964  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Annual caution, coming early. Due to pandemic, move in day is now move in month-ish, and it has just started (BU et al).

So beware of noobs, particularly in U-Hauls, while they get lost and/or stuck under a bridge, or who are so focused to not to that they never ever see you.

-mr. bill
Any vehicle marked U-Haul is guaranteed to have an unqualified driver. One of life's verities.

rod
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Old 08-17-20, 10:07 PM
  #8965  
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Took the Surly out again Monday afternoon, on a 49-mile route through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, and Waltham. This was a chimeric route that stitched together Water Row, Pelham Island Road, the Wayland and Weston sections of the MCRT-Wayside, and Winter Street/Old County Road around the Cambridge Reservoir, plus transportation stages coming and going on the Minuteman, Route 62, Route 126, Sherman's Bridge Road, Trapelo Road, Smith Street, Spring Street, Marrett Road, and Mass. Ave. Plenty of hills, climbing and descending, with 3092' of climbing and a top speed of 33 mph on a descent on which I had the nerve not to touch my brake levers.

Concord Lamp & Shade, Walden Street, Concord Center: one of the thematic devices in this odd dystopian movie we've all been recruited as extras for is anxiety about the survival of beloved local institutions (to say nothing of people and entities in many other categories that suddenly seem seem awfully impermanent). I performed a wellness check on the Lamp Lady. She's fine, and I can reset my worry timer.



Route 126, Wayland, I believe: the turkeys have also found work in the movie; the script calls for them to panic, and they seem to have a knack for it.


Sherman's Bridge, ceremonially crossing the Sudbury River into Sudbury.


Water Row, Sudbury: the cattails and the purple loosestrife do the extinction dance.


Water Row, Sudbury: here a bullfrog said, "Howdy!"


Pelham Island Road and Landham Road, Sudbury: one nation, under ribbons.


Pelham Island Road, Wayland: Pelham Island doesn't exist right now. The Sudbury River, Wash Brook, Heard's Pond and associated wetlands would be happy to instantiate it, but the heavens are not releasing the necessary water. This is the Drought sub-plot in our movie. If the rains do come, we'll switch to the Flood sub-plot. If the movie is long enough, we'll have both, and maybe throw in Fire between the drought and the flood.


MCRT-Wayside, Weston: having ridden this (and spilled blood doing so) when it was just a socially-constructed single track path running alongside the rails and crossties, I'm pleased to dance on the graves of the NIMBYs who blocked it for so long. It really provides a nice option for east-west bike travel in the Post Road area, and today's route serves as an example of that.




I left the MCRT at the Church Street exit, and made my way past the Cambridge School of Weston to Winter Street, Waltham, following that on a clockwise winding around the Cambridge Reservoir, continuing that on Old County Road until I crossed the Reservoir on Trapelo Road and then climbed the hill to Waltham, laboring on into Lexington and then down a series of hills into Arlington and home. No pictures of any of that, the Pocket Devil played dead the next time I tried to use it, although I discovered that it didn't actually die until I was standing in my driveway; this considerately gave me a good track, behavior somewhat above the diabolical norm.

rod

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Old 08-18-20, 01:19 PM
  #8966  
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Took the Rawland up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman after breakfast. The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders continue on their whimsical evolutionary program.


The Ghost Bike is not evolving, but is quietly traveling in time, reminding us of peril. I find it ironic that the Appleton Street Ghost Bike has been delayed owing to ... peril, in the form of virus particles this time. Perhaps there's a way to sort that out sooner rather than later.


A number of police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and associated emergency personnel were busy in and around the multiway intersection at Russell Place and Water Street. More peril, but I didn't see any bikes involved.

rod
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Old 08-18-20, 02:01 PM
  #8967  
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Sadly, another ghost bike soon in Harvard Square. (Feeling the need to check-in as safe.)

-mr. bill

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Old 08-19-20, 10:21 AM
  #8968  
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Took the Surly on a quick sprint around the Mystic Lakes, N on the Medford bank, S on the Arlington bank, with bits of Winchester as necessary. Short, sweet, and relatively uncrowded ride after breakfast on a day that looked to become busy.


rod
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Old 08-20-20, 11:11 PM
  #8969  
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Rode the Rawland Nordavinden clockwise around the Battle Green Thursday morning. The Battle Green was at peace.


In Arlington Heights, black-eyed susans in a ledge garden were returning the sunshine.


Meanwhile, back in the bike box...


rod
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Old 08-21-20, 11:10 AM
  #8970  
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Bluebikes coming to Arlington

The placement of the first few Bluebikes docks in Arlington has been announced.

https://www.arlingtonma.gov/Home/Com...cklist=%2fhome

rod
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Old 08-21-20, 10:56 PM
  #8971  
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Rode the Rawland Nordavinden on a quick sprint around the Mystic Lakes late Friday afternoon. Summer's definitely back.


This ride is growing on me, a short route that has enough hills to give it some intensity, and enough quiet parkland riding to allow some mellow periods. The mellow stuff comes first, after which you're sufficiently warmed up to do the hills.

rod
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Old 08-23-20, 08:14 AM
  #8972  
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Bike boxes, black eyed susans and mellow stuff are contrasts to ghost bikes and feeling the need to check in. Friends, thank you for putting coherence and perspective to at least my feelings, particularly while cruising waining Summer Metro Boston. Maybe it is knowing we are still in August but September is looming. I'll stop short of a personal metaphor because my Summer years are back there a ways and I'm am not in Winter. I too feel the need to check in.

So far I am happy to enjoy your reports of Wayland and Melrose but am building for a late season swoop someplace. For now I'll report new pavement on Dover Road in Westwood, Pegan Hill Rd. from the Dover side is in construction so wait a couple of weeks to catch a view of Wachusett.
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Old 08-23-20, 04:55 PM
  #8973  
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Speaking of checking in, it's nice reading all the various ride reports. I haven't been riding at all since our tandem spill just before all the covid lockdowns. Sharon's arm has healed nicely and she occasionally suggests I should go out riding wearing a mask and face shield. I keep thinkin', maybe but I've had way too much to do since then. Working at home means more to do , not less!
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Old 08-23-20, 06:41 PM
  #8974  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Speaking of checking in, it's nice reading all the various ride reports. I haven't been riding at all since our tandem spill just before all the covid lockdowns. Sharon's arm has healed nicely and she occasionally suggests I should go out riding wearing a mask and face shield. I keep thinkin', maybe but I've had way too much to do since then. Working at home means more to do , not less!
Jim,

Hope to see you out there. There's still a bit of Summer left, and September has its own charms. Glad Sharon has healed up.

rod
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Old 08-24-20, 06:31 AM
  #8975  
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I concur with Rod on all points and point out all those rides inspired by all those work at home lists, chores and "just one more thing" things. If I were to do all those to-dos I don't know what would happen because it has never happened.

It is nice to check in and particularly nice to hear of mending and staying healthy.
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