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Enjoying a nice little back road.

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Enjoying a nice little back road.

Old 07-15-19, 05:56 PM
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ZIPP2001
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Enjoying a nice little back road.

So every now and then it's nice to find a road you can enjoy riding on without dodging potholes. It wasn't long but it was nice.
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Old 07-15-19, 06:31 PM
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Enjoying a nice little back road.
Originally Posted by ZIPP2001 View Post
So every now and then it's nice to find a road you can enjoy riding on without dodging potholes. It wasn't long but it was nice.
So, is that your only critierion? I have described probably similar “nice little ("enchanted") back roads,” akin to a classic “nice little black dress” in the fashion world.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
All my cycling as a decades-long, year-round commuter and occasional centurian in Metro Boston ranges from dense urban, to suburban, to exurban, but no rural. I'm goal-oriented, be it miles or destinations, so I take the Road as it comes, to satisfy my Goal.

Over the years, I have described roads, so for this post I compiled my descriptions in order of cycling pleasure (paved roads only):

  • Enchanted
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...There are certain roads I have discovered, unfortunately usually short, that I describe as “intimate,” or “enchanted”; so serene and peaceful, shady, lightly traveled, and without shoulders...
  • Exurban (no residences, no commercial buildings)
  • Residential: Urban (dense, multi-unit dwellings), Suburban (single unattached homes)
  • Light commercial (storefronts close to the sidewalk, street parking)
  • Heavy commercial (shopping malls, driveway accesses, parking lots)
  • Industrial: (dreary vistas, rough roads, debris-strewn)
  • Downtown (the urban canyons and narrow, often-crowded streets of Manhattan, or the Financial District of Boston)

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-15-19 at 06:48 PM. Reason: added photo
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Old 07-17-19, 06:12 PM
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There are many of those quiet little roads in this area of coastal Rhode Island and Southern, coastal Mass between Plymouth, Mass and Providence. state roads can be busy but county and town roads are very quiet and the people who drive them are considerate. Mostly the roads are in very good condition. It is also very flat here which may be good or bad depending. I usually reroute to get some hill work in but I've not found anything more than about 8% and one mile long.
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Old 07-18-19, 03:24 PM
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There are many quiet and pretty back roads along the Northern California coast.

Here’s a favorite: Gazos Creek Road, near Pescadero. Shady, winding, follows a creek. Almost no traffic. Redwoods.



Gazos Creek Road
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Old 07-18-19, 03:59 PM
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Wow, would love a backdrop like that around here.
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Old 07-18-19, 06:10 PM
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added picture of Zingerman's

Enjoying a nice little back road.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...There are certain roads I have discovered, unfortunately usually short, that I describe as “intimate,” or “enchanted”; so serene and peaceful, shady, lightly traveled, and without shoulders...


Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
There are many quiet and pretty back roads along the Northern California coast.

Here’s a favorite: Gazos Creek Road, near Pescadero. Shady, winding, follows a creek. Almost no traffic. Redwoods.



Gazos Creek Road
Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Wow, would love a backdrop like that around here.
Now that’s enchanted.

Hi @bobwysiwyg,

Noting that you post from Ann Arbor, MI with the big block M, I have posted,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Back in the 60’s in the Motor City, I had an “English Racer,’ and longed to tour at about age 14, but then joined the car culture.

In Ann Arbor MI in the 70’s I really realized the utility of bicycles for commuting, and began touring on a five-speed Schwinn Suburban, but soon bought a Mercier as did my girlfriend, later my wife. We toured in Michigan and Ontario.

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston...
I recall Ann Arbor as a great place to cycle, though admittedly I do not recall any specific “enchanted roads”; (?) maybe Barton Drive.

Besides cycling around town, favorite rides were round-trip along Huron River Drive to Dexter and back, and Whitmore Lake Road beyond North Territorial Road, and back.

My first weekend tour was out Pontiac Trail to visit relatives in Waterford Township, and back. I was a member of the then-fledgling Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, and we did some weekend overnight trips to local state parts such as Pinckney.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…The sponsoring Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society is an amazingly well attended and active bike club with an impressive website when I came upon it in well before even 2011.

Back in the early 1970’s I rode with a ragtag, loosely University-(of Michigan) affiliated student club of the same name.It was a small group of about maybe 5 to 10 regulars, led by a woman who basically suggested weekend rides (and taught me bicycle mechanics).

I have occasionally wondered if the current AABTS is the direct continuous sucession. I did ask about and named one rider from the seventies who was immediately recognized. One current rider had a jersey indicating the first OHR was in 1976. The name “One Helluva a Ride,” is taken from the nearby town of Hell, MI…
I also did a few rides back to the East side of Detroit via Plymouth Road.

In 2011, I participated in a Fifty-Plus Annual Ride (gathering) on the One Helluva Ride from Chelsea. The day before, we did a ride on Huron River Drive.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…[BF subscriber] @Road Fan had a nice itinerary laid out with the first stop at Zingerman’s, a fine deli for breakfast.



We left about 10:00 AM for the ride on Huron River Drive, as picturesque as it was in the 1970’s when I rode it as a yute
Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce.

I have met several Michigan grads here in Boston, and I liken Ann Arbor to a distillate of many of the finer points about Boston, and imbued with Midwestern sensibilities.

Speaking of backdrops to cycling, in Boston (as well as Ann Arbor),
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I have ridden out West in the Desert, Rockies, and vast Plains, and while interesting and scenic, the views are unchanging for miles, and I really enjoy the intimate quirkiness of Metro Boston.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-19-19 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 07-19-19, 03:57 AM
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Nice post Jim-From-Boston. As a card carrying old guy, I like a good tour into memory lane.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
There are many of those quiet little roads in this area of coastal Rhode Island and Southern, coastal Mass between Plymouth, Mass and Providence. state roads can be busy but county and town roads are very quiet and the people who drive them are considerate.

Mostly the roads are in very good condition. It is also very flat here which may be good or bad depending. I usually reroute to get some hill work in but I've not found anything more than about 8% and one mile long.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Enjoying a nice little back road.

I have posted, I recall Ann Arbor as a great place to cycle, though admittedly I do not recall any specific “enchanted roads”; (?) maybe Barton Drive.

Besides cycling around town, favorite rides were…Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce.
Originally Posted by berner View Post
Nice post Jim-From-Boston. As a card carrying old guy, I like a good tour into memory lane.
Thanks for that nice reply, @berner. I have noted for years that you post from Rhode Island. My only excursions into RI were from the Mass. State line to Cumberland and back; and a ride to Newport via New Bedford, MA; both on pretty well traveled main roads.

Nonetheless I have heard nice things about that East Bay Bike Path out of Providence, and the local cycling on the seacoast around Little Compton.

FYA, I have in the recent past quoted you on a few occasions regarding safety:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I liked these posts by @berner (also from the Northeast Megalopolis) about the fundamental use of mirrors, furthermore of the safety mindset I employ:
Originally Posted by berner View Post
I'm a firm believer that experience is the best teacher and it does not have to be your own experience. Just as much can be learned from evaluating how others may have screwed up.

With this in mind, learning of the misadventures of others, as in A&S, can be valuable provided we really pay attention.

Now really paying attention is a large category. Part of it is not only being visible but how our visibility changes depending on clothing worn and shade...
Originally Posted by berner View Post
Anticipating is one thing to work on to improve our safety but the act of paying attention is equally important

I believe I know how to keep myself safe, or safer, on a bike but I don't know how that might be taught. Being hyper alert is not a characteristic we are born with. It is a characteristic to work on improving.
conguent with my post earlier:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I was hit from behind by a “distracted” (? inebriated) hit and run driver on an otherwise seemingly safe and peaceful route. By good fortune, I’m alive and relatively unimpaired.

Over the past few months I have come to realize that my safety aphorisms, collected over the years by personal or vicarious experience, are my way of actively aligning the stars in my favor, to anticipate those unseen and otherwise unanticipated dangers.
So even a “nice little back road" requires vigilance.

More recently, on a slightly more cheerful note,
Originally Posted by berner View Post
Live to 100 or more?

I'm not convinced I want to live that long although my grandmother and great-grandmother did.
Originally Posted by Lucillle View Post
I think you should live one day at a time. Enjoy today.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Ever contemplate your mortality on the road?”

Actually, in one of my most serious contemplations of mortality, the Road served as a relief:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My magic moment when I realized what makes cycling fun (important) to me was at a lunch with two doctors about 20 years ago. :

We got to talking about the vicissitudes of life, like sudden death, or trivial symptoms as harbingers of a serious disease. We eventually came around to that old chestnut to live life to the fullest everyday.

As we were leaving, the surgeon, a marathon runner, said, “Well, any day with a run in it is a good day for me.” I was already an avid cyclist and cycle commuter, and that clicked with me, any day with a ride in it is a good day for me.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-19-19 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 07-19-19, 05:50 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Enjoying a nice little back road.Now that’s enchanted.

Hi @bobwysiwyg,

Noting that you post from Ann Arbor, MI with the big block M, I have posted, I recall Ann Arbor as a great place to cycle, though admittedly I do not recall any specific “enchanted roads”; (?) maybe Barton Drive.

Besides cycling around town, favorite rides were round-trip along Huron River Drive to Dexter and back, and Whitmore Lake Road beyond North Territorial Road, and back.

My first weekend tour was out Pontiac Trail to visit relatives in Waterford Township, and back. I was a member of the then-fledgling Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, and we did some weekend overnight trips to local state parts such as Pinckney. I also did a few rides back to the East side of Detroit via Plymouth Road.

In 2011, I participated in a Fifty-Plus Annual Ride (gathering) on the One Helluva Ride from Chelsea. The day before, we did a ride on Huron River Drive. Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce.

I have met several Michigan grads here in Boston, and I liken Ann Arbor to a distillate of many of the finer points about Boston, and imbued with Midwestern sensibilities.

Speaking of backdrops to cycling, in Boston (as well as Ann Arbor),
Jim, I too enjoyed hearing about a bit of history. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY but when I was discharged from the service in late '68 I came to Ann Arbor. There are many "nice" roads around here among them Huron River Drive between N. Main in Ann Arbor and Dexter.

The roads you mentioned, Whitmore Lake, Pontiac Trail, Plymouth, all nice rides but, the Ann Arbor area has grown a great deal since '68. These roads now see a much higher volume of vehicular traffic, enough to make it prudent as to what day of the week and time of day to try to cycle on them and I would add, much of the land beside these roads has been densely developed on the outskirts of A2, that is less scenic.

Despite its growth over the years, there are still many miles of gravel roads just minutes away, one of best features of living here, but sadly, nothing like the enchanted view posted.

We live within a stone's throw of the Big House and oddly one of my favourite days for riding is right after kick-off on home game days. Traffic is next to nil because they're either at the stadium or glued to their TV's.
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Old 07-19-19, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
Jim, I too enjoyed hearing about a bit of history. I was born and raised on Long Island, NY but when I was discharged from the service in late '68 I came to Ann Arbor.

There are many "nice" roads around here among them Huron River Drive between N. Main in Ann Arbor and Dexter....
Thanks for that nice and informative reply. I too moved to Ann Arbor in 1968 to start school, and remained in the Metro Detroit area until 1977.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...We toured in Michigan and Ontario....

In 1977 we moved to Boston on our bikes, as a bicycling honeymoon from Los Angeles to Washington, DC and then took the train up to Boston....
We most recently visited 2007 to 2011, when my son went to school there; and I did the OHR out of Chelsea in 2015. After that ride @Road Fan, Mrs. RF and I went to Metzgers German Restaurant way out on Zeeb Road, formerly on Washington St in town, as I recall.
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
...We and Jim chose the 39 mile ride (39.8 on the Directions)...

After finishing, Jim and the Fans had lunch at Metzger's German Restaurant, located between Ann Arbor and Chelsea. Nice place!
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...The ride certainly did attract a lot of seemingly well-attired and equipped cyclists, but all were welcome and the ambience was totally midwestern-friendly.

Our route, and the weather combined for a virtually perfect ride. The roads were very lightly traveled, almost more sag wagons, than local traffic. The scenery was lushly rural, mostly well-shaded with lots of cornfields and farms...



Metzger's is a long standing Ann Arbor traditional and a quite authentic German restaurant. We continued to have a lively conversation, and got quite biographical about ourselves. We departed with a hopeful, Same time, next year.”

As we were leaving I spotted a table of two couples and thought one of the men and I had occasionally exchanged places en route. So I asked him if he was that one.

His companion replied, No, we are from Boston, but we are into bicycling." What are those chances, do you think, there in Michigan?

So I did do a little prostelytizing for Bike Forums, besides touting the joys of Michigan cycling.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-19-19 at 07:05 AM. Reason: added picture on cornfield
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Old 07-19-19, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Thanks for that nice and informative reply. I too moved to Ann Arbor in 1968 to start school, and remained in the Metro Detroit area until 1977.

We most recently visited 2007 to 2011, when my son went to school there; and I did the OHR out of Chelsea in 2015. After that ride @Road Fan and Mrs. RF went to Metzgers German Restaurant way out on Zeeb Road, formerly on Washington St in town, as I recall.
My wife and I are frequent diners at Metzger's even when they were downtown. As I recall, a project to build/repair the parking structure across the street drove them out of business.
The owners must have missed the business, chose to reopen out on Zeeb Rd. Has proven to be as popular as it was at the former location. I like it better actually as downtown parking is pretty much a pain these days.
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Old 07-19-19, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
My wife and I are frequent diners at Metzger's even when they were downtown. As I recall, a project to build/repair the parking structure across the street drove them out of business.

The owners must have missed the business, chose to reopen out on Zeeb Rd. Has proven to be as popular as it was at the former location. I like it better actually as downtown parking is pretty much a pain these days.
A few weeks prior to our OHR Ride and post ride lunch at Metzger’s, @Road Fan commented:
Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
I've been buried in work this year, sometimes in the USA and sometimes in Germany.

Not that I'm tuned up for a lengthy tour, but were any plans agreed on for an Annual 50+ ride this year?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Annual 50+ ride this year?

Hi Road Fan,

Thanks for bringing this up. Fifty-Plus Rides are always a highlight of my cycling year, and I have started training for something:…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…He and Mrs. were quite expert about the beer list.
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