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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 04-15-22, 10:27 AM
  #9951  
rholland1951
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
cpl years ago, on a hot July 4th, Wifey & I went out for her 1st ride of the year. it was so hot she didn't want to wear a helmet & I sweat just standing still, so we went without for the 1st time since before we had kids (25+ yrs ago). naturally, that was the day she crashed into a bike path bollard & broke her wrist
Yikes! Beware of Murphy's Law!

rod
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Old 04-16-22, 04:59 PM
  #9952  
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Pumped up the tires on the Ebisu All Purpose Bicycle and rode East.


Dwelled on Medford Center a bit at the beginning of the ride. There was a Seasonal Apparition...


There was a larger-than-life chess set, ready to model foreign policy (with an old boneyard in the background, for a bit of perspective)...


And there was Ebisuya Japanese Market. The Ebisu seeks out its namesake from time to time, the Lucky Fisherman. A group of Japanese people entering the market looked twice, then pointed at the bike and said, "Hai, Ebisu!"


Went haring over the flats and hills of Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester; I was occasionally buffeted by a gusty wind, but encountered no rain. This route admits to lots of variation, and today I changed things up a bit on the return, crossing I-93 on the overpass between Marble Street, Stoneham, and Forest Street, Winchester. This has no ramps from the highway itself, making it especially useful to cyclists.


Forest Street connects to the aptly-named Highland Ave, Winchester. This street starts with a steep climb and ends with a steep descent; symmetry ensures that's true whether you start from Forest Street on the North end, or Main Street on the South. In between lies a pleasing series of rollers. The climb up from Forest Street ends at Winchester Hospital, convenient in the event of a coronary.


Flowering trees were in bloom along the whole length of the street.


Soon enough, I went barreling down the final hill to Main Street, Winchester.


I continued South on Main Street, which became Winthrop Street when I crossed into Medford. Turning onto Playstead Road, I paused for a moment to admire the WWI memorial at Oak Grove Cemetery. Titled "The Supreme Sacrifice", it was denounced by some as insufficiently warlike.


That done, I rode down Playstead Road to West Medford, crossed the tracks, then rode a few short blocks on Harvard Avenue to the Mystic River, crossed it, and rode home.

rod

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Old 04-17-22, 09:11 PM
  #9953  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
since my hard fall in February I was on the fence about riding the raised walkway (which isn't for bikes anyway) but as I rode past the clearing I saw it was empty & didn't hear any voices. if I ever came across a pedestrian I don't know what I would do. but it's my guilty pleasure, so I turned around

it was a nice test of the gopro8's image stabilization. during the winter, my ride over it was quite jittery, but not this day. I'll export a vid clip at some point I guess because it's so smooth now

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Old 04-17-22, 09:52 PM
  #9954  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Pretty impressive capability!

rod
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Old 04-18-22, 12:57 PM
  #9955  
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Rode the Fuji out to Bedford today. Beautiful weather.
The flowering trees at the Depot are not quite at peak yet:



Being that it is Patriots Day, there were ceremonies going on in Lexington Center:



Along the MM in East Lexington there were mile markers for the "Tough Ruck". A bit of googling when I got home showed it to be a marathon where the participants carry rucksacks on their backs, raising money for veterans causes. It was held on April 16th. As I was riding, I encountered several golf cart type vehicles patrolling the route. Not sure why those were out today if the race was two days ago. Maybe something else was going on.

Tom
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Old 04-18-22, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Pretty impressive capability!
the more I use it, the more I like it. I want to go back to many MTB trails, where, on some parts, no matter how I tried to my head still, the video was still very shaky & not worth sharing. but I still need to work out the kinks on the MTB from winter. also looking forward to taking more vids mounted on the bars, which was always a challenge, due to vibration

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Old 04-18-22, 01:11 PM
  #9957  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
Being that it is Patriots Day, there were ceremonies going on in Lexington Center:
one day last week, there were approx. 5 circles of young music students, practicing their fife playing. it was really loud, plus those are rather high pitched! I wonder if any of them participated during the past few days
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Old 04-18-22, 02:37 PM
  #9958  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
one day last week, there were approx. 5 circles of young music students, practicing their fife playing. it was really loud, plus those are rather high pitched! I wonder if any of them participated during the past few days
I would wager they did.
The picture I included was taken on my way home, about 11:30.
On the way out, about 10:30, I stopped briefly at the visitor's center and could hear the sound of marching band players warming up. Lexington's website shows there was a parade scheduled for the afternoon.
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Old 04-18-22, 06:19 PM
  #9959  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
Along the MM in East Lexington there were mile markers for the "Tough Ruck". A bit of googling when I got home showed it to be a marathon where the participants carry rucksacks on their backs, raising money for veterans causes. It was held on April 16th. As I was riding, I encountered several golf cart type vehicles patrolling the route. Not sure why those were out today if the race was two days ago. Maybe something else was going on.
saw 3 of them tonight around 4:45


the only other sign, of the day's festivities, was a couple walking w/ their son & the father was finishing the cotton candy ... hehe yum!

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Old 04-19-22, 06:29 PM
  #9960  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
saw 3 of them tonight around 4:45


...
Curious. Migratory golfers, perhaps? Deluxe e-bikes?

rod
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Old 04-20-22, 06:57 AM
  #9961  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Curious. Migratory golfers, perhaps? Deluxe e-bikes?
haha maybe they were there to transport dignitaries
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Old 04-20-22, 10:49 AM
  #9962  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
haha maybe they were there to transport dignitaries
Or pooped runners.

rod
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Old 04-20-22, 08:02 PM
  #9963  
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Took the OAC Rambler for a ride along the Mystic Lakes in the late afternoon, a quick spin to clear the cobwebs before a Precinct meeting.


One of the points of this particular route is to discover the scene, what people are doing on the lakes on a particular day, in particular weather. Today was sunny, breezy, in the 50s, and two young people were distance swimming, complete with colorful floats. I was a little surprised to see them, but some kids are both ambitious and resilient enough to attempt that on a cool day.


A plein air painter practiced a gentler pursuit in one of the parking lots on the Mystic Valley Parkway. Perhaps she'll paint the swimmers.


The afternoon's anthropological researches complete, I rode home.

rod

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Old 04-21-22, 12:02 PM
  #9964  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
two young people were distance swimming, complete with colorful floats. I was a little surprised to see them, but some kids are both ambitious and resilient enough to attempt that on a cool day.
impressive! even at my best, in my youth, I waited for the end of May!
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Old 04-21-22, 02:27 PM
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Took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler out for a dance with the wind, 20mph SSW, on the Minuteman this afternoon. Wind dancing with a low trail geometry bike is a bit different, very fluid, the millisecond domain always there if you need it, perhaps a little more obviously so than on a conventional bike.


So, if the wind makes the flag dance, does the wind's shadow make the flag's shadow dance?


rod
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Old 04-21-22, 02:47 PM
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This morning I did another "first time this year ride": Minuteman National Historical Park (MMNHP).

I started out by taking the MM to the Bedford Depot. Surprising quiet for a school vacation week. As is my habit lately, I used the Elm and Mongo Brook Paths to get to the Reformatory Branch Trail (RBT). Rode the RBT to the Concord end. The trail was pretty dry. Here's the end at Lowell Rd:



I doubled back to Great Meadows, then used Monsen Rd, Bedford St (Rt 62), and Old Bedford Rd to get to the western end of MMNHP at Merriam's Corner. (FYI, the restroom there was open). It was a pleasant ride through the park. I stopped to absorb some history at the Hartwell Tavern:



Again, very quiet. The jump from the eastern end of MMNHP to Lexington Center was accomplished via the bit of Battle Road alongside Old Mass Ave (a nice climb) and then across 128 on Mass Ave (with another nice climb.) Picked up the MM again at the Lexington Green (more history!) and made my way home.

It was 29 enjoyable miles. That's about 1 mile longer than the round trip via MM and RBT, with a somewhat higher ratio of dirt to pavement.

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Old 04-21-22, 03:54 PM
  #9967  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
This morning I did another "first time this year ride": Minuteman National Historical Park (MMNHP).

I started out by taking the MM to the Bedford Depot. Surprising quiet for a school vacation week. As is my habit lately, I used the Elm and Mongo Brook Paths to get to the Reformatory Branch Trail (RBT). Rode the RBT to the Concord end. The trail was pretty dry. Here's the end at Lowell Rd:



I doubled back to Great Meadows, then used Monsen Rd, Bedford St (Rt 62), and Old Bedford Rd to get to the western end of MMNHP at Merriam's Corner. (FYI, the restroom there was open). It was a pleasant ride through the park. I stopped to absorb some history at the Hartwell Tavern:



Again, very quiet. The jump from the eastern end of MMNHP to Lexington Center was accomplished via the bit of Battle Road alongside Old Mass Ave (a nice climb) and then across 128 on Mass Ave (with another nice climb.) Picked up the MM again at the Lexington Green (more history!) and made my way home.

It was 29 enjoyable miles. That's about 1 mile longer than the round trip via MM and RBT, with a somewhat higher ratio of dirt to pavement.
Nice route. You've mentioned Elm and Mongo Brooks previously. I'm used to thinking of Elm Brook as domething I cross on other routes. Am curious about where you're picking these up, and where they're taking you.

rod
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Old 04-21-22, 04:32 PM
  #9968  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Nice route. You've mentioned Elm and Mongo Brooks previously. I'm used to thinking of Elm Brook as domething I cross on other routes. Am curious about where you're picking these up, and where they're taking you.

rod
Hi. This map posted by Bedford shows the paths along the Elm and Mongo brooks: https://www.bedfordma.gov/DocumentCe.../Elm-Brook-PDF

Here is an annotated snippet from Google Maps that shows the route I normally take:



From the Depot, you ride just a couple hundred feet south on South Rd. There is a red fire hydrant just before the path into the woods. I actually found this by exploring from the other direction, that is coming from the Reformatory Branch Trail, where there is a significant intersection at the Mongo Brook.

I like this because it bypasses Railroad Ave. Also, you don't have to cross Railroad Ave twice (assuming you would ride on the right side of the road from the Depot to the RBT parking lot), just South Rd, which you would have to cross in any case.

Let me know if you need more info.

Tom

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Old 04-21-22, 06:30 PM
  #9969  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
Hi. This map posted by Bedford shows the paths along the Elm and Mongo brooks: https://www.bedfordma.gov/sites/g/fi..._-_2018-12.pdf

Here is an annotated snippet from Google Maps that shows the route I normally take:



From the Depot, you ride just a couple hundred feet south on South Rd. There is a red fire hydrant just before the path into the woods. I actually found this by exploring from the other direction, that is coming from the Reformatory Branch Trail, where there is a significant intersection at the Mongo Brook.

I like this because it bypasses Railroad Ave. Also, you don't have to cross Railroad Ave twice (assuming you would ride on the right side of the road from the Depot to the RBT parking lot), just South Rd, which you would have to cross in any case.

Let me know if you need more info.

Tom
Just what I was looking for, thanks!

rod
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Old 04-22-22, 08:09 PM
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Took the OAC Rambler out again on Friday afternoon, up the Minuteman on one of the rides-I-had-time-for, which are generally preferable to the more numerous rides-I-didn't-have-time-for. The wind was from the WNW, 16mph, a bit less frisky than yesterday's wind, with the familiar headwind-outbound/tailwind-inbound pattern. Quick sprint, felt good.


rod
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Old 04-23-22, 09:45 PM
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Saturday afternoon, I took the OAC Rambler and rode East.


It was a beautiful day to start, blue sky, bright sun, some wind that I paid very little mind, not knowing nor caring where it came from, where it was going, or how quickly it went there. The Rambler gobbled up the hills, was stable when I wanted stability and nimble when I needed to dance, all with a gratifying penchant for speed. The 38mm Soma C-Line tires kept me floating over such broken pavement as was there to be ridden on. I'm feeling very fond of this bike after short acquaintance; I look forward to getting it out beyond I-495 as the weather improves: it feels good for the distance, and the hills won't faze it. Haystack Observatory?

As the day went on, the sky shifted from empty blue to a display of cirrus clouds, ice crystals way up there, a sort of fragile beauty like a glass bell.


Towards the end of the ride, the sky was grey, full of low clouds promising rain. I'm pleased to say that they didn't deliver while I was riding under them.


rod

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Old 04-25-22, 12:00 PM
  #9972  
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This morning's outing was a strictly pavement ride on the MM out to Bedford. Not as windy as many recent days, but what there was of it was gusty. I thought I was riding into a gentle headwind outbound, only to find a much stronger headwind on the way back.

A few things of note along the way. Can you count how many dogs these walkers have between them:



I see six each. What amazed me was that when one of the dogs found something to investigate, as dogs often do, the others all waited patiently. No pulling, no barking, just biding the time.

The trees at the Depot are very close to peak now, maybe a few days to go:



On the way back I stopped to stretch at the Lexington Visitors Center, and noticed that the inspirational stones on the ledge outside the bathrooms have multiplied greatly:



All in all, a pleasant ride.

Tom
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Old 04-25-22, 10:52 PM
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I put the Surly Trucker DeLuxe, with its big old Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralights earning it the nickname "Monster Trucker", back into the rotation on Monday afternoon. I rolled it out to Depot Park, making good time on a cool day with an assertive E wind reminding all concerned about their proximity to the Atlantic. I hadn't ridden that bike since some unseasonable weather in February, so it was overdue. Of course riding it again charmed me pretty quickly; those big, supple Compass tires provide a brisk and distinctive ride that always makes me smile.


Nipped right along, and soon enough was at the turnaround. Pleasant to have the bogs at Depot Park working again.


Skunk cabbage was making a bold entrance in the muddy places, one of the less subtle indicators that Spring has sprung.


Stopped at Peepers Pond to watch a swan do some swan yoga. Frogs were singing in the ponds and pools, and a young woman rode along with a baguette peeping out of her backpack. The Minuteman was in the vernal groove.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders seem to have taken the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe as their text; in my brain, at least, that comes as a bank shot off "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Afterwards, I rode along calling, "Oh, Thisssbee!" Ah, the many uses of a liberal education!


rod

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Old 04-26-22, 04:04 AM
  #9974  
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hehe we all have our favorites. I'm seemingly always bombarded by lines from Hamlet
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Old 04-26-22, 05:07 PM
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"Hey, Sam, remember this bike?"
"What, that old thing? I thought you recycled it."
"Now, be nice, Sam, a lot of folks say that about you."
"No need to get personal about it. You're not so young yourself. Why don't you go for a ride and come back when you've got some carbon fiber."
"Carbon fiber? Would shredded wheat count?"
"Shredded wheat? I don't think that would make a good fork."
"You could eat it with a fork, I guess. See you later, Sam."
"Later. Look out for those electrical unicycles."


And off I rolled up the Minuteman on the LHT, the weather gray and drizzly, a headwind on the outbound leg. Not so many people out, and those seemed sunk into themselves. But perhaps I was projecting. Kept a good pace, and realized I had something to ask the Battle Road Bikes folks, so I visited them after the ride.

rod
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