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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 05-19-20, 05:09 PM
  #8826  
Ghazmh
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This morning I rode my Seven Redsky for 32 miles. I rode by the Cambridge reservoir and over to Trapello rd and through Lincoln Ctr up that steep hill of Bedford rd. I rode by and behind Hanscom over by the Ask This Old House studio and eventually to Concord Ctr and instead of going up Lowell rd and then back down Strawberry Hill rd I went up Strawberry Hill and it’s rolling climb and enjoyed racing towards Lowell rd and benefited from gravity and the slight decline helping me back towards Concord Ctr. Shortly afterwards I made it back to Waltham via Lincoln and Weston.
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Old 05-19-20, 10:55 PM
  #8827  
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@autonomy suggested Paul Revere Road, and when I looked at the map, I realized that it allowed climbing the Stone Store hill on Mass. Ave. from W to E, without the need to cross Route 128 (a.k.a., I-95) twice. Had to give it a try, so off I went on the Nordavinden, 17 miles across Arlington and Lexington. The route took me from East Arlington to Lexington Center on Mass. Ave., picking up Bedford Street and following that to Hill Street, then riding Hill Street along the margin of the Lexington Golf Club and the Poor Farm (perilously close to Over the Hill to the Poor House, that), crossing Cedar Street to continue on Paul Revere Road, where a final dive-bombing descent got me to Mass. Ave. again, and a hill to climb. Up, over, and down the other side was Worthen Road, and I followed that to Kendall Road, took Kendall to Marrett Road, and down the hill on that back to Mass. Ave. yet again, and down-hill back to East Arlington and home.

Outbound, took a short break at Tower Park, Lexington.


Bedford Street, the Battle Green: funny how you can pass by something hundreds of times, and never quite see it.


A left onto Hill Street, and a very agreeable series of rollers begins.


The Lexington Golf Club appears to be infested with golfers again. Let's hope that doesn't turn out to be self-limiting.


Monumental chainsaw stump sculpture. The little sign says "No Trespassing". Just to whom and for what is the finger being so handsomely displayed?


Poor Farm, a reminder of hard times for some. We're going to need a bigger farm.


Paul Revere Road delivers you to Mass. Ave. with a sharp descent, just in time for the big climb.


The Mass. Ave. overpass across Route 128 is within spitting distance, but we're going E, not W, and pay it no mind. Left turn, up, over, and down the hill!


Worthen Road to Kendall Road to Marrett Road...


Marrett Road to Mass. Ave., and the long, gentle descent back to East Arlington. It's the season (artificially extended) for Arlington Town Politics: let a hundred flowers bloom.


I really like this route! Thank you, @autonomy! I've got an idea for a variation, but that's for another day.

rod

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Old 05-20-20, 06:07 AM
  #8828  
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gosh, I'm learning so much about so many good routes & cycling areas. love this thread
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Old 05-20-20, 08:17 AM
  #8829  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
@autonomy suggested Paul Revere Road, and when I looked at the map, I realized that it allowed climbing the Stone Store hill on Mass. Ave. from W to E, without the need to cross Route 128 (a.k.a., I-95) twice. Had to give it a try, so off I went on the Nordavinden, 17 miles across Arlington and Lexington. The route took me from East Arlington to Lexington Center on Mass. Ave., picking up Bedford Street and following that to Hill Street, then riding Hill Street along the margin of the Lexington Golf Club and the Poor Farm (perilously close to Over the Hill to the Poor House, that), crossing Cedar Street to continue on Paul Revere Road, where a final dive-bombing descent got me to Mass. Ave. again, and a hill to climb. Up, over, and down the other side was Worthen Road, and I followed that to Kendall Road, took Kendall to Marrett Road, and down the hill on that back to Mass. Ave. yet again, and down-hill back to East Arlington and home.

rod
, glad I was able to be helpful! That's the thing, you can do something 100 times and on the 101st find out something new. We can poke around and slowly discover all these new routes ourselves, or we can learn them from someone who has already discovered them. That's why I think today's mapping tools are so fantastic: from simply following individual athletes, to the Strava heat map and fly-bys, there's a lot you can learn if you know where and what to look for. Which brings me to this morning's ride: a dirt loop through Lincoln and Concord on parts of the BCT, accessible via the Minuteman NP and made possible by this curious connector I spotted on the Heat Map:

So I went to check it out.


Lovely long shadows on the Minuteman


A somewhat rare occurrence


Those signs are waaay bigger than they seem


Why, yes, there IS a tunnel under RT2 here!


It brings you to the Hapgood Wright forest, which is quite lovely. "This is some nice riding over here," I thought - and as soon as that, the path turned into a rooty washboard. So the BCT goes.


A less rare occurrence around these parts.

17 miles overall, but I forget just how much slower and how much harder single/double track riding can get.

Bonus: an unexpected surprise from looking at the Strava fly-by, looks like I passed within a few miles of Ghazmh who went on a nice 34mi ride this am
Here's the full loop:
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Old 05-20-20, 01:15 PM
  #8830  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
, glad I was able to be helpful! That's the thing, you can do something 100 times and on the 101st find out something new. We can poke around and slowly discover all these new routes ourselves, or we can learn them from someone who has already discovered them. That's why I think today's mapping tools are so fantastic: from simply following individual athletes, to the Strava heat map and fly-bys, there's a lot you can learn if you know where and what to look for. Which brings me to this morning's ride: a dirt loop through Lincoln and Concord on parts of the BCT, accessible via the Minuteman NP and made possible by this curious connector I spotted on the Heat Map:

So I went to check it out.


Lovely long shadows on the Minuteman


A somewhat rare occurrence


Those signs are waaay bigger than they seem


Why, yes, there IS a tunnel under RT2 here!


It brings you to the Hapgood Wright forest, which is quite lovely. "This is some nice riding over here," I thought - and as soon as that, the path turned into a rooty washboard. So the BCT goes.


A less rare occurrence around these parts.

17 miles overall, but I forget just how much slower and how much harder single/double track riding can get.

Bonus: an unexpected surprise from looking at the Strava fly-by, looks like I passed within a few miles of Ghazmh who went on a nice 34mi ride this am
Here's the full loop:
yep, I was heading home at that point. I added a 2 miles on top of yesterday’s route by keeping on Pope rd instead of turning into Spencer Brook in Carlisle. Great route. I’m sure I’ve crossed paths with a few folks from here without realizing it. Occasionally I do realize it!
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Old 05-21-20, 08:00 AM
  #8831  
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Just got back into Bike Forums, and I just want to say what an incredible wealth of resources this is! Thanks for taking the time to share and I'm happy to be here again.

imgur .com/a/vrmmouX

I can't post links yet but the plain text is my new to me '89 Bianchi Axis that has been a blast to take between the street and some light trails along the Charles. Went out to Russo's and back (nothing exciting, but there are more dirt trails off the path than I'd think!) autonomy thanks for sharing some more dirt near here! I teach high school, so in a couple of months there will be lots of dirt finding time. Again, this thread is great thank you.
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Old 05-21-20, 08:36 PM
  #8832  
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Originally Posted by cmoran1357 View Post
Just got back into Bike Forums, and I just want to say what an incredible wealth of resources this is! Thanks for taking the time to share and I'm happy to be here again.

imgur .com/a/vrmmouX

I can't post links yet but the plain text is my new to me '89 Bianchi Axis that has been a blast to take between the street and some light trails along the Charles. Went out to Russo's and back (nothing exciting, but there are more dirt trails off the path than I'd think!) autonomy thanks for sharing some more dirt near here! I teach high school, so in a couple of months there will be lots of dirt finding time. Again, this thread is great thank you.
Welcome!

rod
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Old 05-21-20, 09:36 PM
  #8833  
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Rolled out on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe to ride a route that stitched together a number of known routes into 29 miles of climbing and descending through Arlington, Lexington, and Bedford, with a bit of the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail thrown in for a little variety. The route features the Minimum Mintuteman (Valley Road to Hartwell Ave., just enough to get across Route 128), the Page Road/Grove Street staged climb and swift descent, the Hill Street/Paul Revere Road roller coaster, and the big hill topped by the Stone Store on Mass. Ave. Lots of paved connective tissue between the hills, and a beautiful, sunny day, with temperatures in the 70s, that brought out quite a few other cyclists.

min(Minuteman), Lexington: a quick descent on Valley Road leads to a disceet ramp up to the Minuteman.


min(Minuteman), Lexington: light traffic, mostly masked. A barefaced couple cycling across the Route 128 overpass were scowling; perhaps they had been discussing Public Health with some of their fellow Americans.


min(Minuteman), Lexington: crossed Hartwell Ave., then turned left to follow that for a short block to MacGuire Street, then followed that to South Street. This kept me off the Bedford segment of the Minuteman.


Followed South Street to Depot Park, turned right onto Loomis and left onto the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail. This was very lightly traveled. There were familiar features, like the helical strakes at the Bedford VA hospital (I just love saying "helical strakes")...


... and things I hadn't noticed before, or perhaps had forgotten, like the water tank painted a shade of blue so close to today's sky that it seemed to shimmer...


... and then there was FAUCI!


I turned around at Fawn Lake and took a left turn off the NGRT at the Pine Hill Road crossing; Pine Hill Road became Page Road when I crossed Springs Road, and I followed that up the beloved (in a masochistic sort of way) staged climb to the Bedford-Lexington border. Paused briefly at the farm close to the peak that used to display a sign that said, "Please don't squish my chickens!", and more recently had a population of rescue Schipperkes who cheerily saluted all comers. A collection of loose hubcaps still graces the fence. The farmer is quite cool, but not in evidence today.


Page Road becomes Grove Street once you've crossed into Lexington, and I climbed the last dozen feet of elevation with Wright Farm, now conservation land, on my left. At the very peak, I frowned at Jefferson Drive, former woodland that lacked conservation status and is now, despite broad-based opposition for a couple of years, the ugly spawning ground of a naked mole-rat colony of Mickey Mansions. At that point, I went barreling down the hill for a long, steep, swift descent (my GPS burped then, and posted a high speed of 60 mph, which I don't believe for a minute, but it might have been half that).

From there I picked up a series of Lexington back streets, taking Revere Street across Bedford Street to connect with Hill Street. Hill Street starts with a gentle descent, but then changes to a reasonably long climb which powers the bike through a series of rollers that follow; this continues on Paul Revere, culminating in a short, steep descent that delivers you at speed to the intersection with Mass. Ave., and the second staged climb of the ride. This turns out not to be quite as fierce as the Page Road climb. and rewards you with a look at the Stone Store.


After an exhilarating descent, I opted for the Worthen-Kendall-Marrett route towards home, broad, well-paved streets with traffic that seems more moderate to me than that on Mass. Ave., at least this week, offering a certain number of unappreciated delights.


Marrett Road brought me to Mass. Ave. again, in East Lexington this time, and gave me the opportunity to photograph the Flying A gas pump that graces a local mechanic's premises. I think they repair cars and time machines. Made me smile.


rod

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Old 05-22-20, 03:27 PM
  #8834  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Why thank you sir! If I were as awesome as the rest of the regulars on this thread I’d have been far more detailed in describing the experience. Nevertheless I felt connected and engaged in the world around me by experiencing it from the side of the road.

That's a great feeling! Great observation.
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Old 05-22-20, 04:21 PM
  #8835  
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Rod, sometimes I run out of patience seeing zillions of pics of commonplace scenes but I am always astounded by your ability to photograph details I have never noticed!
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Old 05-22-20, 04:24 PM
  #8836  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Rod, sometimes I run out of patience seeing zillions of pics of commonplace scenes but I am always astounded by your ability to photograph details I have never noticed!
Thanks, Jim. I attribute the habit of adding photos to ride reports to your request, some years ago, that I photograph the Buddliner at night. ;-)

rod
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Old 05-23-20, 04:43 PM
  #8837  
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Early this morning at 0600 I headed out to Harvard for what added up to 63 awesome miles with fun rolling hills (at least the downhills were fun), pleasant New England scenery and bike dirtying drizzle. Later in the day I took my daughter to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail with her new bike followed by a snack stop at Ferns. We rode 9 miles at an 8 mph average. It was her longest ride ever.
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Old 05-23-20, 05:32 PM
  #8838  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Later in the day I took my daughter to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail with her new bike followed by a snack stop at Ferns. We rode 9 miles at an 8 mph average. It was her longest ride ever.
haha awesome
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Old 05-23-20, 06:28 PM
  #8839  
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Took the Rawland up to Lexington Center on Mass. Ave., a short ride to keep the moving parts moving, the ride there was time for. Figured out, somewhat belatedly, that the proper turnaround for this ride is to circle the Battle Green clockwise, like Buddhist pilgrims circumambulating a chorten. Contended with a stubborn headwind on the return, but made haste slowly.


rod

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Old 05-24-20, 06:53 AM
  #8840  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Rod, sometimes I run out of patience seeing zillions of pics of commonplace scenes but I am always astounded by your ability to photograph details I have never noticed!
Jim, You hit the nail on the head. There have been some great photos that really do catch something new and add insight.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:13 AM
  #8841  
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Speaking of new routes and insightful observations of old routes, I decided to ride my same old, same old loop de loop. For me the season is still young and I am (trying to be) cautious about ramping up miles to avoid a tweak or setback. I think the same old is reassuring and routine maybe more so this pandemic year. After this foundation layer is down mix in some other known routes or go right to some of these new discoveries. I've not been through the BCT tunnel and it has been a decade since stopping to watch the Hanscom air traffic. Exciting to look forward.

same old 36 mile loop de loop.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:28 AM
  #8842  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
familiar routes &
I like familar routes because I know where the shift points are, when to save the legs, when I can go for it a little & where the potholes or rough surfaces are. I was surprised to see route 109 in your map, I didn't realize it was within striking distance of Dover. used to date a girl in Norwood & I remeber 109 for some reason. does anyone think route 1 is it? or 1A? along the Fellsway is it? is good cycling? I remember driving it, taking the long way to see her
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Old 05-24-20, 09:02 AM
  #8843  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Speaking of new routes and insightful observations of old routes, I decided to ride my same old, same old loop de loop. For me the season is still young and I am (trying to be) cautious about ramping up miles to avoid a tweak or setback.

I think the same old is reassuring and routine maybe more so this pandemic year...
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I like familar routes because I know where the shift points are, when to save the legs, when I can go for it a little & where the potholes or rough surfaces are.

I was surprised to see route 109 in your map, I didn't realize it was within striking distance of Dover. used to date a girl in Norwood & I remeber 109 for some reason. does anyone think route 1 is it? or 1A? along the Fellsway is it? is good cycling?

I remember driving it, taking the long way to see her
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"Park & Pedal experiment, Middlesex County, MA"

This, like many route maps of regions I don’t know well as described in the Metro Boston thread appears confusing. During the years I was exploring my various commuting and training routes, mostly West and South of Boston I would invariably get lost, and often allow extra time to recover...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I grew up in Detroit, MI where the the streets are in a grid pattern, extend for long distances and are well-marked. Boston is entirely different.

Besides a crazy pattern of roads originating as cowpaths, roads changing names at seeming random points, and not marked anyways, there are also rotaries which mix up your sense of direction. So really one has to become visually acquainted with routes to follow them...

I really enjoy cycling in Boston and environs because it is such an interesting city. After many years here I have rambled and learned most of the region, but it's still interesting to get lost, discover some new road, and add that to my mental map.
Originally Posted by Lizzylou View Post
I look at getting lost as a way to learn new routes. You pay attention to the landmarks more when you don't know where you are, so you are more likely to remember the roads and such for the next time.
I commute via Rte 1A from Dedham to Norwood, and it's a nice route, and is pretty good down to Walpole but I have better routes south of Norwood.That whole area, to include Walpole, Norfolk, Westwood, Medfield, Millis, Sherborn. Dover, and Needham are my contiguous stomping grounds, and I know many excellent back roads, even during usual rush hours.

Rtes 1A (not Rte 1 for cycling) and 109 are the backbone roads of that area. Rte 109 is OK, with a good shoulder, but sometimes heavy fast traffic. I use it to get across the vicinity quickly, but more often ride short segments get to better roads.


Just to the east are also the pleasant suburbs of Canton, Sharon, Foxboro, and Easton. I have described these sectors in my informal Cycling Guide to Metro Boston:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...For some generalities, my favorite map is the AAA road map of metropolitan Boston [and other cities]. The size is large enough to plan century rides, yet the scale is small enough to find excellent cycling roads nicely defined by the road color and weight of the line.

I think of the [Metro] area in sectors radiating from downtown and surrounded by a circumferential belt about 10 to 15 miles from Downtown, known as Route 128 ("America's Technology Highway")....

Even though I've lived here for over 30 years, I always get lost on a new ride. Streets are laid out in a haphazard fashion; many streets, particularly the one you are riding on are not marked; they surreptiously change names; and in rotary intersections it's easy to lose your sense of direction. (I don't have a GPS.)

On a happier note, the Transportation Authority (MBTA) allows bikes on subways and commuter trains with certain restrictions and that's a nice way to get out of town without city riding. MBTA > Riding the T > Bikes on the T [these towns are well served by Commuter Rail out of South Station]...

I would describe the sectors as (mostly for road riding outside of Rte 128):...

Southwest: Needham, Wellesley, Dover, Medfield, Walpole, Westwood, etc: probably more popular than the western burbs; wealthy exurban to rural, moderately hilly country roads, horse farms, mansions.

South; Norwood, Canton, Randolph, etc: middle class suburbia; rideable but usually on the way to somewhere else (no offense) [See this ride report from July 2014]
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...So I did a ride through another little-reported sector of Metro Boston on this thread. I call it “Somewhere South of Boston.” In my Cyclist’s Guide to the Metroverse, I described:...

This is the sector to which I commute, and today’s ride was a worthy one. To stay within my defined perimeter I did an L-shaped ride from Norwood through Canton to Braintree; back to Canton; South to Easton, and back to Norwood through Foxboro and Walpole

Canton viaduct


Thayer Academy, Braintree

.
Histroric Ames Shovel Works, Easton


(? VFW) Post, Easton


Back side of Gillette Stadium, Foxboro

Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Jim,
Great Canton-Easton report and impressive ride. I learned a lot and my next ride through that area will be much better for it...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-24-20 at 03:40 PM. Reason: added photos and two quotes by sherbornpeddler, then quotes about getting lost
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Old 05-24-20, 09:10 AM
  #8844  
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oh yeah, Canton. dated a girl there too. her parents had a real nice house. her Dad was a retired commercial pilot & they had a house on the cape
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Old 05-24-20, 04:20 PM
  #8845  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
... I was surprised to see route 109 in your map, I didn't realize it was within striking distance of Dover. used to date a girl in Norwood & I remeber 109 for some reason. does anyone think route 1 is it? or 1A? along the Fellsway is it? is good cycling?

I remember driving it, taking the long way to see her
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
oh yeah, Canton. dated a girl there too. her parents had a real nice house. her Dad was a retired commercial pilot & they had a house on the cape
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
"Riding with a New Romantic Partner"

ah youth
, I remember torturing Wifey w/ long treks on skiis in Februray. she was a sport & passed the tests w/ flying colors. now I see my Daughter being tested by her fella with backpack camping & such. good luck.

if ever there was a time to to make life changing decisions, it is now. meaning, leave nothing unsaid. we never know when it will be the last we say. in the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take. as-in the old adage: it’s not the things you do in life that you regret, it’s the thing you don’t do. Maybe it was Mark Twain who said it first?

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

in my opinion, love is worth risking everything. I left NY for Boston, for love, but some 40 yrs later, she's gone & I remained, to meet my current Wife
Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
"Things you'll never do again (probably)"

making out w random women

I shud be cutting down on that anyway
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
In a somewhat similar vein, my wife and I are social ballroom dancers. To quote Ann Landers, "Dancing is a vertical sublimation of a horizontal inclination."

Our last dance function was March 14
but I hope we can resume in the future.
Two Golden Oldie songs come to mind:
Originally Posted by Beach Boys
"I Get Around"

Round round get around
I get around

Yeah

Get around round round I get around
From town to town
Get around round round I get around

I'm a real cool head
Get around round round I get around…

We always take my car cause it's never been beat
And we've never missed yet with the girls we meet...


Originally Posted by The Ad Libs
"Talk About the Boy from New York City"

Oo ah oo ah oo oo, Kitty
Tell us about the boy
From New York City

Oo ah oo ah come on, Kitty
Tell us about the boy
From New York City

He's kinda tall
He's really fine, yeah, yeah,
Someday I hope to make him mine,
All mine yeah, yeah

And he's neat and oh, so sweet,
And the way he looked at me just
Swept me off my feet
Yeah, yeah

Oo ee you oughta come and see
How he walks yeah yeah
And he talks...

He's really down and he's no
Clown yeah yeah
He has the finest penthouse
I've ever seen in town yeah, yeah
And he's cute in his mohair suit
And he keeps his pockets full of
Spending loot yeah, yeah

Ev'ry time he says he loves me
Chills run down my spine
Ev'ry time he wants to kiss me
He makes me feel so fine.
That's him...

Oo ah oo ah Kitty,
Tell us about the boy from New
York City...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-24-20 at 05:02 PM. Reason: added quote about ballroom dancing
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Old 05-24-20, 05:41 PM
  #8846  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Speaking of new routes and insightful observations of old routes, I decided to ride my same old, same old loop de loop. For me the season is still young and I am (trying to be) cautious about ramping up miles to avoid a tweak or setback. I think the same old is reassuring and routine maybe more so this pandemic year. After this foundation layer is down mix in some other known routes or go right to some of these new discoveries. I've not been through the BCT tunnel and it has been a decade since stopping to watch the Hanscom air traffic. Exciting to look forward.

same old 36 mile loop de loop.
I’ve been down that way a few times this year. I rode down through Millis and hooked a right onto 109 through Medway just to ride by the plaza where I used to race remote control cars back in the mid 90’s. IIRC I rode up a side road which brought be to Holliston. Nice riding.
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Old 05-24-20, 05:45 PM
  #8847  
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52 miles on familiar Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle, Acton, and Sudbury roads. Good Sunday ride. I was a little sore from yesterday’s very nice but hilly hammerfest to Harvard. I had the bandana keeping the pollen off my beard. I saw lots of other cyclists but not another familiar face from here or elsewhere.
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Old 05-24-20, 06:32 PM
  #8848  
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can you guys believe this thread has over a million views? I just noticed that

Daughter is home after a long time away. got out for 10.52 miles on the BFRT, Acton to Carlisle, I think, & stopped at the the Ebenezer Wood Pencil factory remains on the Nashoba Brook in Acton





surprisingly, it wasn't too crowded







& back in town, the headless cyclist graced us with guitar music!



& we finally got the palm plants out into the garden, after their winter hibernation in the house


Last edited by rumrunn6; 05-24-20 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 05-24-20, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Two Golden Oldie songs come to mind:
what? no Glory Days by Springsteen?
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Old 05-24-20, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
can you guys believe this thread has over a million views? I just noticed that

Daughter is home after a long time away. got out for 10.52 miles on the BFRT, Acton to Carlisle, I think, & stopped at the the Ebenezer Wood Pencil factory remains on the Nashoba Brook in Acton





surprisingly, it wasn't too crowded







& back in town, the headless cyclist graced us with guitar music!



& we finally got the palm plants out into the garden, after their winter hibernation in the house

we stopped at the remains of that pencil factory yesterday!
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