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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 05-24-20, 11:55 PM
  #8851  
rholland1951
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Took a late-afternoon ride on Sunday, 16 miles on an improvised route starting and ending in East Arlington, taking Mass. Ave., Marrett Road, and Spring Street outbound, then turning right onto Shade Street for a long, fast descent to Weston Street, then following Lincoln Street to Worthen Road, turning left for a short block and turning right on Mass. Ave., and riding that past the Battle Green and on down into Arlington and home.

Glare and shadows outbound on Mass. Ave., adding to the generally surreal atmosphere of masks, cell phones, and electric bikes. I found myself wondering whether today's script was by Phillip K. Dick or Stanislaw Lem; in any event, it didn't seem to be by George V. Higgins, much as I might prefer to read that one.


Marrett Road: a masked woman stares intently into a tree, while a bird calls.


Shade Street lived up to its name, green and leafy and consistently descending for its whole length.


Weston Street: the gate marks a fire road that terminates in the Shire Pharmaceuticals parking lot, according to a cyclist I met there. He said there's also a single track trail back up the hill to Spring Street, so it seems there is a bit of dirt fun to be had here.


Lincoln street, with a view of the Route 128 underpass (used on many another ride for access to the Cambridge Reservoir and Mill Street), along with the old farm house and barn that can be glimpsed in passing from the highway, reminders of a quieter past.


Lincoln Street: a straight-8 crankshaft has a retirement job delivering the mail.


Continuing on Lincoln Street provides a look at the gardens in the Idylwilde Conservation Area.


Battle Green: a cooling sea breeze causes boughs to sway, flags to flutter, and cyclists to pedal a little harder.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 05-25-20 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 05-25-20, 05:10 AM
  #8852  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
we stopped at the remains of that pencil factory yesterday!
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
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Old 05-25-20, 08:38 AM
  #8853  
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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.
Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
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.
Speaking of Holliston, again this thread has wandered into my (and @sherbornpeddler’s) little-reported sector of Metro Boston.

I have previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I did a 60 mile loop starting at 5:45 AM, from Norwood on Rte 109 to Millis, Franklin, on to Rte 140 to Milford, where I could not locate the Upper Charles River bike trail, but did pick it up along Rte 85 to Hopkinton.

I've only read sherbornpeddler post about it, but IMO it rivals the Minuteman, and is more rural, even as passing through Milford.


PS: This is my only picture of the Upper Charles Trail. Sorry it's so fuzzy (taken on a previous ride):

I often ride from Hopkinton to Norwood via Ash, Prentice to Holliston then via Sherborn, Dover and Westwood. Yesterday, I took Highland in Holliston to Winthrop directly back to Medway, a great route. Village Street from Medway through Millis to Medfield is also a very nice street to avoid Rte 109.

One of my previously-mentioned “enchanted” roads is Causeway Street [in Medfield] off of Forest which intersects Village St, and I usually do a drive-by past a colleague's house to say “Hi” if he’s outside…
Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Jim,
Nice riding, nice trip and very glad to get your perspectives on Upper Charles Trail and Causeway. Here are a couple of photos in the Holliston portion showing a packed dirt section with advertising and new this year stone dust section further north.





Advertising and stone dust are both signs the trail outside of Milford has arrived.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-25-20 at 10:42 AM. Reason: added PS
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Old 05-25-20, 02:43 PM
  #8854  
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52 more miles on familiar Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle, Acton, and Sudbury roads. Another good Sunday ride on a holiday Monday. I was a little sore from yesterday’s ride which followed Saturday’s very nice but hilly hammerfest to Harvard. I shaved a few side roads off Sundays route through Weston and added a few more roads in Sudbury and I rode up Strawberry Hill rd towards Carlisle Ctr for a quick stop at a Ferns and rode the opposite direction on Monument st than I did yesterday. I noticed the horses at Waters Edge farm had full head covers which I found quasi reminiscent of face masks in lieu of social distancing. Since the roads were wet and it was drizzling I ride my Honey Allroads with its PDW Full Metal Fenders which kept the bike and me clean. I’ll admit the photo opportunity was the only time I had the cloth diaper over my face.



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Old 05-25-20, 08:34 PM
  #8855  
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For many years, my standard 1-hour ride was 11 miles (which I called 10 miles) on the Minuteman, with the turn-around at Woburn Street, which I referred to as Lexington Center. This has been replaced by 14 miles on Mass. Ave, turning around by riding around the Battle Green; while I still think of this as "10 miles", this ride now takes a bit over an hour. So I'm thinking the old version was a large value of 10 miles, and the new version is a larger value of 10. Anyhow, did this ride before dinner.








Took the Rawland on this one, and found that the saddle was sinking a bit, so I stopped, tightened the set screw on the QR seatpost constrictor, and readjusted the saddle height. That seemed to do the trick.

rod

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Old 05-26-20, 05:12 AM
  #8856  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
For many years, my standard 1-hour ride was 11 miles (which I called 10 miles) on the Minuteman, with the turn-around at Woburn Street, which I referred to as Lexington Center. This has been replaced by 14 miles on Mass. Ave, turning around by riding around the Battle Green; while I still think of this as "10 miles", this ride now takes a bit over an hour.

So I'm thinking the old version was a large value of 10 miles, and the new version is a larger value 10. Anyhow, did this ride before dinner.

Took the Rawland on this one, and found that the saddle was sinking a bit, so I stopped, tightened the set screw on the QR seatpost constrictor, and readjusted the saddle height. That seemed to do the trick.

rod
Similarly, I had started a thread in 2015, "Describe Your Commute" as a listing of selected features of the Commute, with 109 replies:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Kenmore Square, Boston to Norwood over 30 years

Route: Reverse commute from downtown on four different routes of a minimal distance of 14 miles, each defined by a different hill; can expand to about 30 miles to train

Environment: In order of hill difficulty: Gritty urban, pleasant suburban, pleasant urban, ritzy suburban

Hills: One moderate hill on each route, then smaller hills; estimate only about 1-2 miles flat

Frequency: Variable over the decades; currently about 50% in winter; 75% nice weather (work is an obstacle)

Bike: Specialized S-WORKS CF Road Bike; Cannondale beater mountain bike (fenders and Marathon Winter studded tires

Bike name: NA

Cargo: Ortlieb panniers on the Cannondale; backpack on the S-WORKS

Helmet / Mirror: yes and yes (left and right Take-a-Look eyeglass mounted mirrors)

Destination:

Parking: inside about 100 feet from my desk, directly through a door from the outside

Cleanup: shower facilities; place to hang clothes, and a table fan available to dry; for most of the time I wear surgical scrubs

Amenities: coffee shop and cafeteria on site; almost all my personal service needs like barbershop, dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance of work, or a short hop on the bike; bike shop two blocks away

Alternative Transportation: train, car, bus, taxis, car rentals, Zipcar, place to stay comfortably overnight.

If anybody is interested to describe your commute, here's the template...
There have been changes since then, mainly in bikes and frequency. My usual four routes when measured on various cyclometers are actually slightly less, about 13.8 to 14.0 miles, but when recording them, I use "14 miles." I also have a segment measured as 3.0 miles on an auto odometer, to check the cyclometers, always spot on, within about 0.1 miles.

Otherwise I specifically measure distances on expanded routes since I follow a mileage-based 10-week Century Training Schedule.

I too carry a multi-tool, or a separate Allen wrench sized to mainly change my seat tilt, less frequently seat height.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-26-20 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 05-26-20, 10:21 AM
  #8857  
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Shade St. is awesome when there's no commuter traffic cutting through.

Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post

Weston Street: the gate marks a fire road that terminates in the Shire Pharmaceuticals parking lot, according to a cyclist I met there. He said there's also a single track trail back up the hill to Spring Street, so it seems there is a bit of dirt fun to be had here.


rod
More than just a bit, and you can continue past Spring St. That's part of Across Lexington, route H: https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#...42.432!-71.255. Hayden Woods and Dunback Meadow are my favorite.
Totally doable on 40mm tires. There are plenty of diverse tiremarks on these trails as well, showing everything from skinny 32ish mm to 3in MTB tires. The area you're talking about is on the lower left (pardon the weird crop, it's from my Strava account so trying to edit out my home base)
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Old 05-26-20, 11:31 AM
  #8858  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Shade St. is awesome when there's no commuter traffic cutting through.



More than just a bit, and you can continue past Spring St. That's part of Across Lexington, route H: https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#...42.432!-71.255. Hayden Woods and Dunback Meadow are my favorite.
Totally doable on 40mm tires. There are plenty of diverse tiremarks on these trails as well, showing everything from skinny 32ish mm to 3in MTB tires. The area you're talking about is on the lower left (pardon the weird crop, it's from my Strava account so trying to edit out my home base)
Ah, that's making the Rat Trap Pass tires on the Surly itch! Thank you!

rod
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Old 05-26-20, 09:01 PM
  #8859  
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Took the Surly around the Mystic Lakes this afternoon, 8 miles, a sort of miniature ride. It was pleasant, but over too soon.

On River Street, crossing the Mystic River on the Arlington/Medford line, I saw a squadron of kayaks.


Mystic River Road, West Medford: empty playgrounds, but lots of families out on the street.


Mystic River Road, West Medford: the Mystic River flows peaceably through parkland.


Medford: more bikes than cars on the Mystic Valley Parkway.


Everett Street, Winchester, links Bacon Street and Mystic Street, and is a natural route around the North end of the lakes. It's serene, well-heeled, and thoughtfully planted with mature trees and elegant gardens.


The Armenian Cultural Foundation, Arlington. Much to remember, and they help with that. At one point, memory came a little too close, and they took the sign down for a few years.


Mystic Street, Arlington: given that this was rush hour, the light traffic suggests that the re-opening process has some running room.


Mystic Valley Parkway, Arlington: rolling home across Mill Brook, by the Lower Mystic Lake and the Mystic River. I used to commute on this road on my old Raleigh in the 1980s.


rod

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Old 05-28-20, 02:22 PM
  #8860  
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Woke up early this morning, as I have been during this quarantine. While I did not feel a strong urge to get on the bike, the weather was really nice, and I had even less desire to spend yet another morning in the basement, answering emails. So getting the bike out was the ultimate decision, with no specific destination or route in mind. At first I thought I'd just do a few slow miles on the Battle Road trail, but then I decided to make it a loop via the Reformatory Branch. On the way there I decided to avoid the Minuteman bikeway completely and improvised a much longer 21.5mi loop via Grove St -> Narrow Gauge RT -> Reformatory Branch RT -> North Bridge -> Minuteman NP. Funny how getting out of the door can be so difficult, but once you're out there, nothing else matters and time just disappears.

Highlights were bombing down from Liberty St to Monument st via Old N Bridge path with a spectacular view of the North Bridge, and down the straightaway between Hartwell Tavern and Capt. William Smith house on the Battle Road Trail. Turns out it's a slight downhill and a whole lotta fun at 7am when there's no one around.


Also found this nice little good-surface singletrack connector from the Minuteman bikeway to the Reformatory Branch (alternative to Railroad Ave)


This is what it looks like:


The RBT is quite sandy at this point (as is Battle Road). There are many holes (chipmunks?) and in some places, dinner-plate-sized sinkholes, so exercise caution! The usually wet swampy area east of Great Meadows is wet but packed down (not muddy).
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Old 05-28-20, 05:25 PM
  #8861  
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Yesterday and today were pretty similar 31 mile rides. The difference being today I decided to take a left on Virginia rd to Old Bedford Rd to approach Concord Center instead of yesterday’s right turn then left on 62. Otherwise it was a nice route which is a pleasant replacement for my well used 30 mile route. Even if my bikes have laid lots of rubber on the different roads over the years. Lots of flybys yesterday but not as many today.
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Old 05-29-20, 09:28 PM
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden up to Lexington Center and back on Mass. Ave. in the late afternoon, joined by plenty of other cyclists and more cars than I've had the luxury of getting used to lately. Was somewhat hobbled by a sore right knee that's been bothering me the last few days, perhaps a consequence of the slipping seatpost problem experienced earlier in the week. I further tightened the set screw on the QR seatpost constrictor and reset the saddle height; this seemed to help on the bike, but I'm limping a bit off it now. Nice weather for a ride, if you don't mind a little humid warmth; worked for me, reminded me of my childhood.

East Arlington: I expect many share this sentiment.


Battle Green: this small monument strikes me as a sort of civic stupa, so of course I need to ride around it, clockwise.


East Lexington: a civic minded homeowner created an unintended negation through the careless juxtaposition of a campaign poster and a handrail.


Arlington, approaching the intersection of Appleton Street. Something had happened that required the presence of two police cars, a rescue truck, a fire truck, and an Armstrong ambulance. I don't know what it was, but I know what I hope it wasn't.


Returning through Arlington, I rode through three small demonstrations in solidarity with the situation in Minneapolis, in Brattle Square, Arlington Center, and East Arlington. The Brattle Square scene was the liveliest, garnering a lot of honks in solidarity from passing cars, and I saluted them appropriately as I rode past. Several of them returned the salute in kind. You never really know quite where a bike will take you.


rod
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Old 05-30-20, 08:55 PM
  #8863  
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Took the Surly for a spin around the Battle Green before the day disappeared. It's been many a year since the Lexington Green has been graced with livestock, but it's still suitable for a pastoral interlude, and people were taking their ease in the shade there.




Someone has dressed a half-dozen trees in the yard of the Jason Russell House in Arlington; the installation is called Arboreal Attire. I choose to regard them as travesties of tree spirits.


I rode through another round of solidarity demonstrations in Arlington on the way home, at Arlington Heights, Brattle Square, Arlington Center, Linwood Street. The kids waved signs, passing drivers honked. I rang my bell.


Back on my own street, I saw that one of the neighbors had the Eye of Providence in his attic.




rod
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Old 05-31-20, 07:57 AM
  #8864  
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Out yesterday doing the Chelmsford-Carlisle loop from the old Howard Stone Best Bikes Rides in Mass. book, 26 miles. Beautiful weather, some very nice downhills. Crossing the Bruce Freeman Trail, I was surprised to see very few people out on such a lovely day.



Church in Carlisle

Bruce Freeman Trail crossing at 27/225 intersection

COVID 19 trail rules

Old barn in Westford

Westford common
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Old 05-31-20, 10:05 AM
  #8865  
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Met a friend for a ride from Lincoln Sudbury High School parking lot south along Water Row and River Road to one of the Sudbury centers and back. Bicycling is an ideal way to time travel through Metro Boston.
Homage was paid at the site of the Haynes Garrison (1645), 1930 Tercentenary historical marker of the garrison and the stone post road marker pointing to Sudbury Center, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Lincoln, the site of a Training Field and nearby Sandy Hill government storehouse, on the Boston Post Road (aka Rt. 20) Tercentenary markers for the Hop Brook Mill which had been purchased by Henry Ford and another garrison house put to use during King Philip's War in 1676. I really do appreciate these thought provoking roadside markers. I wonder if by 2030 we might add the Native American perspective; maybe QR codes for other history and information.

Haynes Garrison on Water Row, Sudbury

Mass Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission put up more than 300 historical markers in 1930 to celebrate the 300th birthday of the colony.

Stone posts are still handy

One of the many training fields served to train loyal British colonists. This River Rd. site is near the Sandy Hill government storage house.

The Hop Brook Mill was built in 1659 to grind corn of the settlers but by 1930 was purchased by Henry Ford. Where is it now?

A portion of the Goodenow Garrison House on Boston Post Road was near this sign.
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Old 05-31-20, 02:17 PM
  #8866  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Met a friend for a ride from Lincoln Sudbury High School parking lot south along Water Row and River Road to one of the Sudbury centers and back. Bicycling is an ideal way to time travel through Metro Boston.
Homage was paid at the site of the Haynes Garrison (1645), 1930 Tercentenary historical marker of the garrison and the stone post road marker pointing to Sudbury Center, Hudson, Maynard, Concord and Lincoln, the site of a Training Field and nearby Sandy Hill government storehouse, on the Boston Post Road (aka Rt. 20) Tercentenary markers for the Hop Brook Mill which had been purchased by Henry Ford and another garrison house put to use during King Philip's War in 1676. I really do appreciate these thought provoking roadside markers. I wonder if by 2030 we might add the Native American perspective; maybe QR codes for other history and information.

Haynes Garrison on Water Row, Sudbury

Mass Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission put up more than 300 historical markers in 1930 to celebrate the 300th birthday of the colony.

Stone posts are still handy

One of the many training fields served to train loyal British colonists. This River Rd. site is near the Sandy Hill government storage house.

The Hop Brook Mill was built in 1659 to grind corn of the settlers but by 1930 was purchased by Henry Ford. Where is it now?

A portion of the Goodenow Garrison House on Boston Post Road was near this sign.

if your ride was was yesterday I most definitely would have crossed paths with you
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Old 05-31-20, 02:20 PM
  #8867  
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Yesterday I rode 45 miles on my Allroads through Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle, Acton, and Sudbury. The roads were wet so I didn’t want to get my Seven dirty. Today I rode 75 miles out to Harvard Fruitlands and back in a not so direct fashion.



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Old 05-31-20, 02:40 PM
  #8868  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Today I rode 75 miles out to Harvard Fruitlands and back in a not so direct fashion.
Anybody who can ride up to Fruitlands is okay in my book!

We took our canoe out to the Concord River today. Started at the 225 bridge, paddled down to Monument Rd and back. Strong headwind on the return. Lovely day though. Saw a water snake, several ospreys, many tree swallows, one muskrat, many kingbirds (not kingfisher, that's different), quite a few herons, and plenty of riffraff like grackles, sparrows, redwing blackbirds, turtles, jumping fish, a few bass boats, lots of humanoids too. Se did see quite a few bikes but not on the river.
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Old 05-31-20, 03:26 PM
  #8869  
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Brilliant riding!
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Old 05-31-20, 11:32 PM
  #8870  
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It'd been a while since I'd passed that way, so I took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East, a mixed-terrain ramble through Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, Revere, and Saugus.


Central Street, Medford: parking instrctions.


Malden: crossing the Malden River; the wind turbine is pumping sewage for the MWRA, the casino is pumping money for its shareholders, with a bit on the side for Everett.


Main Street, Malden: Dairy Delight, one of the rewards of Summer, tastefully installed on a very climbable hill.


Malden: Northern Strand Community Path.


Malden: Bike to the Sea, fenced in.


Revere, Northern Strand Community Path, US 1 underpass: the owls are not what they seem. It's nice having the informal public art back.


Revere, Northern Strand Community Path, Rumney Marsh: the tide was in.


Saugus, Northern Strand Community Path: the Saugus River estuary is as beautiful as ever, but the bridge across the river will be closed for a while for a favorable transmogrification.


Malden, Northern Strand Community Gardens: best irises of the day.


rod

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Old 06-01-20, 11:18 PM
  #8871  
rholland1951
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Took the Nordavinden to Lexington Center and back, out the Minuteman for the first time in what feels like a couple of weeks, and back on Mass. Ave. Traffic was light-to-moderate in both directions, and mask compliance was good, but not total, on both routes. I will admit to throat-whispering "No mask!" at the bare-faced on the Minuteman, aiming for a little subliminal propaganda. Don't know if it worked, but it kept me amused.






Still and all, it was nice to ride the Minuteman again.


Don't know whether someone in Arlington is trying their hand at didactic doggerel verse, or if we're receiving fraternal assistance from Lexington, but a new-to-me Burma Shave sign sequence, with a public health theme, turned up near the Mill Street crossing. This one hasn't worn out its welcome yet.








The ride home on Mass. Ave. was speedy, less congested than the Minuteman (and with nobody coughing on the center line) and carried me through several more small demonstrations in Arlington, plus a not-so-small one in Arlington Center, big enough so that the cops turned out to help direct traffic.


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 06-02-20 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 06-02-20, 01:06 PM
  #8872  
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Homer is multi-lingual. Who knew? (Under the Route 2 overpass near Alewife.)



-mr. bill
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Old 06-04-20, 06:50 AM
  #8873  
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After capping off a mega miles May with Sundays 74 mile ride I needed a few days off of the saddle. It was my highest mileage month in my life, 1047. My third 1000 month ever as well. The others were Sep 2019 and Sep 2017. So after 3 days of not riding I rode 32 miles this morning. Another great sunny summery morning Ride among many. Easily lost in the memory of so many other similar rides over the last few years yet so awesomely unique at the moment.

As mentioned before in the beginning of May I canceled my reservations for my Portsmouth trip which would have been tomorrow. Coincidentally enough I was there for work yesterday and while driving through the downtown area it looked as if it would have still been a good weekend to be there, oh well. Not one to let a vacation day be had without bicycling I think a sun filled day on the CCRT with my touring bike sans Lycra is in order for tomorrow!
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Old 06-04-20, 12:58 PM
  #8874  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Not one to let a vacation day be had without bicycling I think a sun filled day on the CCRT with my touring bike sans Lycra is in order for tomorrow!
That's some serious mileage!
As they say about any hobby, "a bad day doing ___ is still better then a good day in the office".
In other news, D2R2 is cancelled for this year, so I've got nothing cycling-related to look forward to this summer. Maybe I should really get off my butt and plan my own big rides.
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Old 06-04-20, 04:06 PM
  #8875  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
That's some serious mileage!
As they say about any hobby, "a bad day doing ___ is still better then a good day in the office".
In other news, D2R2 is cancelled for this year, so I've got nothing cycling-related to look forward to this summer. Maybe I should really get off my butt and plan my own big rides.
Franklin County is still there, of course...

rod
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