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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 01-14-11, 09:55 PM
  #801  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
OK, Who is riding? I've not been out on wheels or skis.
I commute, therefore I ride. Here's what happened Wednesday:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...I started out before 6:00 AM and road conditions in Kenmore Square were at the extreme limit for my Marathon Winters. Though the roads were ploughed with a hard-packed base, that was covered by loose wet, and rutted snow up to about 2 to 3 inches deep. The only way to ride was in a continuous line of my choice. However I was stymied by going toward the Longwood Medical Area, with fairly heavy traffic that I had to accommodate on narrowed roadways. My goggles accumulated a lot of snow requiring frequent but incomplete cleaning, and I saw a flash of lightning.

My alternative was to ride two miles to the commuter rail station. There was nil traffic going towards downtown and I could plow through pretty well and caught the train which was on time. I rode about a mile from the station to my destination in Norwood on wide, lightly traveled roads with conditions similar to those in Boston, and felt comfortable going at about 7 to 8 mph. I kept my feet out of the toeclips since skids, but not falls were frequent.

The drivers in Boston were pretty tolerant of me and the only shout-out I got was when passing a pick-up truck stopped at a light and I was told “Go Home.” I previously quoted a thread, “When does hardcore become stupid?”. Today, hardcore would have been to leave at 5:00 AM and ride 14 miles, my shortened ride was prudent, and to ride the distance with a late start would have been stupid.
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Old 01-14-11, 11:02 PM
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For Those About to Bike, We Salute You

I did a couple of miles around the neighborhood on Wednesday (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/63188711) but kept slipping with only one studded tire.

on Thursday I thought seriously about riding in, but I"m glad I didn't. the snow is plowed so high that the shoulders and bike lanes are completely spoken for and the only way to ride is to take the lane. I'm OK doing that for stretches but not for 13 miles.

I may try again on Monday, but we'll see...

Jim, it's a really good thing you didn't go all the way down 1A on Wednesday. I drove up that road Thursday morning and it was completely caked with ice and the white stuf
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Old 01-15-11, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
For Those About to Bike, We Salute You

I did a couple of miles around the neighborhood on Wednesday (http://connect.garmin.com/activity/63188711) but kept slipping with only one studded tire.

on Thursday I thought seriously about riding in, but I"m glad I didn't. the snow is plowed so high that the shoulders and bike lanes are completely spoken for and the only way to ride is to take the lane. I'm OK doing that for stretches but not for 13 miles.

I may try again on Monday, but we'll see...

Jim, it's a really good thing you didn't go all the way down 1A on Wednesday. I drove up that road Thursday morning and it was completely caked with ice and the white stuf
Hi mtalinm,

Thanks for the reply and I caught your paraphrase, as I presume you did mine. I posted about Westwood the next day;

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Today (Thursday) is Snow Day + 1 and the streets of Boston were remarkably clean; wet with no ice and only some shallow slush. Rte 1A in Westwood however, was totally covered with hardpacked snow...
On Friday, it was down to mainly slush.

My above two ride reports were in the context of decisions on studded tires. There are currently (at least) three such threads, one started by a Brookline rider. It' s amusing and a sign of the season change to see the Winter Cycling Forum "heat up," but people still post in the summer. In July 2009 a suscriber, who I learned lived in Attleboro, started a thread entitled, "How do you handle approaching snowplows?

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-15-11 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 01-15-11, 08:49 AM
  #804  
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Jim, how do you find the motorists when the roads have been narrowed by packed snow?

I tend to stay on the shoulders and in the bike lanes because I don't like blocking traffic, and I worry that some impatient driver will...well...
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Old 01-15-11, 09:33 AM
  #805  
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
Jim, how do you find the motorists when the roads have been narrowed by packed snow?
I would expect finding them to be easy.

(I'm a different Jim.)
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Old 01-17-11, 07:32 AM
  #806  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
OK, Who is riding? I've not been out on wheels or skis.
Still commuting to work every day. Fortunately, I had the week off after xmas. After the last storm, the rides have been slushy and bad, the bike lanes are not cleared and cars are parked in them. Haven't been out for a long weekend ride since Christmas morning. Santa brought me some nice winter gear.
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Old 01-17-11, 09:01 PM
  #807  
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
Jim, how do you find the motorists when the roads have been narrowed by packed snow?

I tend to stay on the shoulders and in the bike lanes because I don't like blocking traffic, and I worry that some impatient driver will...well...
My routes as a reverse commuter are fairly lightly traveled and the cars and I get along pretty well. I do ride Far Right as Possible (FRAP) to accomodate upcoming traffic, but I will take the lane especially under the current circumstances of snowbanks. A rearview mirror is essential IMO.

I rode home on Friday night on the VFW Parkway, which had a mostly cleared shoulder, but in some areas it was blocked and a couple of times I just pulled over into a side street and let the traffic pass. A couple of years ago while riding (in summer) on a busy commercial thoroughfare in a Detroit suburb, I realized that the traffic passed me in groups with each light change, and then I had a clear interval. I thought of the traffic passing as a "bolus," a medical term for a "large dose of a substance given by injection for the purpose of rapidly achieving the needed therapeutic concentration in the bloodstream." So I came upon the idea of bolus riding. When a large fleet of cars passed, I would take to the sidewalk and ride, and then re-enter the street after they passed. It's slower, but a lot less nerve-racking. So that's what I did Friday night on the VFW.
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Old 01-17-11, 09:40 PM
  #808  
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interesting, Jim. I don't use the term "bolus" but do exactly that when heading south on Washington St. in Roslindale on my way home. There are tons of cars parked to the right, and everyone's traveling fairly quickly, so it's treacherous unless you take to the sidewalks until the "bolus" as you call it passes. then I duck back out on the road and haul.

I also do FRAP even though my VC friends would say I should take the lane more often.

I bet it helps to be a reverse commuter!
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Old 01-18-11, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
interesting, Jim. I don't use the term "bolus" but do exactly that when heading south on Washington St. in Roslindale on my way home. There are tons of cars parked to the right, and everyone's traveling fairly quickly, so it's treacherous unless you take to the sidewalks until the "bolus" as you call it passes. then I duck back out on the road and haul.

I also do FRAP even though my VC friends would say I should take the lane more often.

I bet it helps to be a reverse commuter!
I lose a significant, but not entire advantage as a reverse commuter if I leave outbound after 6:00 AM, or anytime inbound, including after 7:00 PM. I do ride outbound in the morning on Washington St in Roslindale, but inbound only on an occasional Sunday morning.

I left this AM about 6:15 and I had to do some bolus riding southbound on Centre Street between Jamaica Pond and the VFW Parkway because of the increased traffic and near total obliteration of the shoulder by snowbanks. BTW another form of a "bolus" is a mouthful of food as it's swallowed down the esophagus.

PS to sherbornpeddler: Sorry to veer this thread from its usual Metrowest "roadie" orientation to urban winter commuting, but you asked "OK, Who is riding?"
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Old 01-18-11, 06:27 PM
  #810  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
PS to sherbornpeddler: Sorry to veer this thread from its usual Metrowest "roadie" orientation to urban winter commuting, but you asked "OK, Who is riding?"
Are you kidding me???
Where else can we learn about Centre Street and the esophagus? You kids are my heros and inspiration for winter miles and musings! Taking the lane, FRAP and bolus! Ride on!
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Old 01-18-11, 07:32 PM
  #811  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Where else can we learn about Centre Street and the esophagus? ... Taking the lane, FRAP and bolus! Ride on!
FRAP and bolus? Is that like swallowing a milkshake in any other part of the country?

I haven't had time to ride. My biking activities have been gathering parts to bring this bike back to life. Extra points to whoever identifies it first.



So many small details. So many decisions. Difficult ones too. If you guess what it is you'll know why it is so difficult.
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Old 01-20-11, 11:52 AM
  #812  
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Originally Posted by mtalinm View Post
For Those About to Bike, We Salute You

I am a fair weather rider and take my hat off to all you year-rounders. These days I am on snowshoes with toddler in tow (of course) and am getting ready to break out the xc skis to haul him around with. I will look for you guys and gals on the road when snow and ice disappear.

Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Extra points to whoever identifies it first.
WooooHoooo!!! Did you get this from fellow BF visitor? I am thrilled for you!
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Old 01-20-11, 12:03 PM
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I either need to get up earlier or sleep in later. Plowing through the snow with the rush-hour traffic is a real PITA.

And worse, the MUPs are not plowed. I almost fell today on the Southwest Corridor, even with a front studded tire.

Pair of Marathon Winters are on the way. When they arrive, I'll switch to using my folder full-time.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bikinggrrrl View Post
WooooHoooo!!! Did you get this from fellow BF visitor? I am thrilled for you!
Well, thank you! No, it is not a WooooHoooo. Might as well be though. It is French. An '82 or '83 Peugeot TH8. I have several small reasons to believe it is an '82. With the help of several good folks I am trying to maintain as much of its Frenchness as possible.

It came from BF member scottryder.
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Old 01-24-11, 02:06 PM
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"feels like" -4degrees F in Boston. but I'll see y'all out there.
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Old 02-07-11, 04:24 PM
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I've been commuting all winter (only around 7mi round trip), except for two days when I needed to get to work in the literal middle of a blizzard, so I snow shoed.

But for the first time this calender year I got out for a pleasure ride due to the 2 days of melt we've had... 24 miles. Was excellent! Didn't even need studded tires!
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Old 02-18-11, 08:41 AM
  #817  
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two days in a row of skinny-tire ride-able weather! Wore thermal bib-tights yesterday and it was a bit too warm in the afternoon. Now if only the "road glaciers" could recede a bit so the roads are a bit wider and drivers have better visibility around corners and side-streets.
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Old 02-18-11, 02:49 PM
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Ghah!
I went over every inch of my bike with a toothbrush to clean the winter's worth of gunk off, and now I realise... I don't want to take it onto those filthy roads again!
I think I'm going to be calling a lot on my faithful old clunker of a Peugeot for spring training and leaving my new bike tucked safely away until the roads get cleaner...
I didn't have a problem riding it all winter, but now everything is so grimey out there...
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Old 02-18-11, 05:11 PM
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This is why having a dedicated rain bike is a good idea.
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Old 02-19-11, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cmolway View Post
This is why having a dedicated rain bike is a good idea.
+1, one with nice wide fenders.

This week's the first week since October/November that I've rode without all my winter dress, and it was wonderful. I, for one, welcome the muddy season.
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Old 02-19-11, 08:55 AM
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but it rains all year, and I hate moving my equipment (AirZound, lights, bell, rear rack) from bike to bike all the time. and sometimes it rains without warning. so I just leave fenders on the bike I ride year round. only "seasonal" mod is studded tires December-March
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Old 02-19-11, 12:32 PM
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I have a rain bike. It has the various lights and race blade fenders installed year round. It also gets a beam rack w/ panniers for commuting duties. The "sweet bike" comes out on nice rain-free (or sand and salt free this time of year) days. I have a superflash on my helmet so I don't need to worry about swapping helmets. Both bikes have small saddle bags with a road-side repair kit.

They are both parked by the door so I can grab and go w/o effort.
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Old 02-20-11, 08:16 AM
  #823  
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I am also a fair weather commuter. I am in the trucking industry and a former big rig driver. With all the snow I will not ride my bicycle. Daylight savings is my official riding season. I am itching to get out and ride since the time is near.
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Old 02-20-11, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by cmolway View Post
This is why having a dedicated rain bike is a good idea.
Year round commuter, and occasional centurian (with training rides) from May to October here. I have a beater mountain bike with fenders, and studded tires from December to April. The pristine road bike only comes out on dry roads, which includes dried salt. I just switch the rear trunk bag and handlebar front flasher; I have a rear flasher on the trunk bag, and one in my back pack for the commutes. I'll put the second rear flasher on the trunk bag for a training ride without the backpack. I also have a helmet light for additional illumination when needed.

Every morning it become a ritual game for me. I check the Doppler and forecast on Weatherscan, Comcast channel 245, and decide which bike to ride. I win if I ride the beater bike in sloppy weather and road bike when dry; lose if I ride the beater bike on dry roads, or road bike when wet. The latter situation is the worse loss.

Tomorrow it sounds like about four inches of snow in the morning; easy win.
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Old 02-21-11, 09:54 AM
  #825  
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Gah! Two days of riding in SS jerseys and fingerless gloves was such a tease. Spent the weekend *****ing about the return of seasonal temps while on the trainer. Now I have to go outside and shovel.

On a positive note, I picked up a brand-new bike repair stand, wheel truing stand and a full box of park tools off CL for $130 yesterday. Guy is moving out of the country and had them priced to sell. Repair stand (feedback sports sport mechanic stand) was much, much nicer than I was expecting. Even the tools looked like they were never used (probably weren't). I had been borrowing a friends stuff from time to time but it was always a hassle.

Guess I'll spend my day off today wrenching instead of riding. Oh and shoveling.
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