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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 11-13-21, 06:01 PM
  #9551  
rholland1951
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
That looks nice! What’s the backstory? I have a pair of those tires in my supply drawer for my gravel bike.
It's a Rivendell Appaloosa that was offered as a complete, somewhat eccentric, build as a "Web Special". How eccentric? V brakes, Billie bars, a 1 x 10 drivetrain, and René Herse Fleecer Ridge tires that are, no doubt, wonderful, but that are too wide for the bike to accommodate fenders with them (the Appaloosa's tire width limit for fenders is 50mm, these are more like 53mm). The Appaloosa itself is a bit eccentric, with a very long wheelbase, and a tendency (which some have resisted) to conduce to builds that encourage an upright riding posture. I jumped on it, in part because I'm a touring bike junkie, in part because I would never have built up a bike with those particular features myself. The 1x10 drivetrain, for example, never would have done that. The bars... not what most of my bikes look like. And V brakes are anathema. So I figured I'd learn something.

Amusingly enough, I probably wouldn't have ordered this bike if I had gotten onto Battle Road Bikes' trail three weeks earlier than I did. Those guys are going to keep me in bicycle novelty for the foreseeable future, getting through the project backlog. But I'm glad I bit on the Appaloosa, I'm going to ride it in its eccentric dress for awhile, and have fun with that. If I get the urge to reconfigure it for conventional touring bike duties, I can go down that path easily enough.

One thing about the Fleecer Ridge tires: they are the 700c counterpart to the Humptulips Ridge Extralights currently mounted on the GT Karakoram, except... they're the Endurance variant, another thing that I wouldn't necessarily have done on my own.

rod

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Old 11-13-21, 06:26 PM
  #9552  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
It's a Rivendell Appaloosa that was offered as a complete, somewhat eccentric, build as a "Web Special". How eccentric? V brakes, Billie bars, a 1 x 10 drivetrain, and René Herse Fleecer Ridge tires that are, no doubt, wonderful, but that are too wide for the bike to accommodate fenders with them (the Appaloosa's tire width limit for fenders is 50mm, these are more like 53mm). The Appaloosa itself is a bit eccentric, with a very long wheelbase, and an tendency (which some have resisted) to conduce to builds that encourage an upright riding posture. I jumped on it, in part because I'm a touring bike junkie, in part because I would never have built up a bike with those particular features myself. The 1x10 drivetrain, for example, never would have done that. The bars... not what most of my bikes look like. And V brakes are anathema. So I figured I'd learn something.

Amusingly enough, I probably wouldn't have ordered this bike if I had gotten onto Battle Road Bikes' trail three weeks earlier than I did. Those guys are going to keep me in bicycle novelty for the foreseeable future, getting through the project backlog. But I'm glad I bit on the Appaloosa, I'm going to ride it in it's eccentric dress for awhile, and have fun with that. If I get the urge to reconfigure it for conventional touring bike duties, I can go down that path easily enough.

One thing about the Fleecer Ridge tires: they are the 700c counterpart to the Humptulips Ridge Extralights currently mounted on the GT Karakoram, except... they're the Endurance variant, another thing that I wouldn't necessarily have done on my own.

rod
Sounds unique, I have 42mm Rene Herse’s just waiting for my Donnelly MSO’s to wear out. I am glad to hear that Battle Road Bikes is working out well for you! I should drop in soon.
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Old 11-13-21, 06:58 PM
  #9553  
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all that rain is lingering in the wetlands
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Old 11-13-21, 10:00 PM
  #9554  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
all that rain is lingering in the wetlands
https://youtu.be/SO6XENRA21o
That's beautiful! Also an impressive demonstration riding partially submerged without tipping over or getting a wet foot. Where were you? I was guessing Assabet River NWR, but "guessing" is the keyword.

rod
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Old 11-13-21, 10:43 PM
  #9555  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Who doesn’t love New Bike Day? It’s like a birthday but without getting older. After months of lamenting the supply disruptions and overall lack of bike inventory I managed to find out through the grapevine that a certain shop in Portsmouth just got a delivery of Salsa Beargrease fat bikes in both SLX and Deore builds on Thursday. I bought the last medium SLX model yesterday.


New Bike Day, yeah! Tell me about those 45North tires. I know 45North mostly as a vendor of studded tires, but these look like different beasts.

rod
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Old 11-13-21, 11:21 PM
  #9556  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe with its newly-refurbished front derailleur out and rode East.


Conditions were perfect for much of the day. The weather was mild and sunny (this was known to be a limited-time offer), and I rode some of my favorite hills in Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. The good weather cheered everyone, perhaps even including those taking long naps at Bell Rock Cemetery, adjacent to the Northern Strand Community Trail.


This is the time of year when area DPW road crews are racing against the onset of winter weather, and road surfaces are apt to change rapidly. Medford Street, Malden, between Fellsway and Highland, is now smooth as new asphalt can be (this is more practical as a road surface than the oft-cited baby's bottom, which never struck me as a good idea). This is new, and welcome, and seemed to me to improve the flow of traffic for cars and bicycles alike. Main Street, Melrose, on the other hand, is all grooved pavement and raised structures from the athletic fields up the hill to Wyoming Ave. This should resolve itself into more smooth pavement shortly, hopefully with the protected bike lanes the city has been prototyping on the old, rough road surface.

The weather oracles were advertising an abrupt change in the late afternoon, and I turned the bike around and started cranking West when the sky darkened with clouds scudding briskly along. The sky seen at the start of the long descent South down Fellsway East looked bruised. Pedestrian shadows (perhaps on a ramble away from Bell Rock?) added to the fun.


I heartily concur with this road sign seen while crossing into Medford on Salem Street: no turn on Rod.


That settled, I raced back to East Arlington at a goodly gallop. I saw a small number of fat, solitary rain drops flash through my headlights as I galloped. Thunder and lightning commenced after I crossed the Mystic back into Arlington, and the first little thunder shower of several got itself organized as I was putting the Surly away. A good day to beat the weather, I thought.

rod

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Old 11-14-21, 07:07 AM
  #9557  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
That's beautiful! Also an impressive demonstration riding partially submerged without tipping over or getting a wet foot. Where were you? I was guessing Assabet River NWR, but "guessing" is the keyword
oh thank you. yes Assabet. I know the area, so I know the bottom is firm. never saw it that deep tho! went really slowly to keep the splashing to a minimum. glad there were no fatal obstructions. personally, I like the frame of the footbridge looking like it was floating, surrounded like an island. also any frames with fall colors reflected in the water. thank you for watching
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Old 11-14-21, 07:19 AM
  #9558  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Who doesn’t love New Bike Day? It’s like a birthday but without getting older. After months of lamenting the supply disruptions and overall lack of bike inventory I managed to find out through the grapevine that a certain shop in Portsmouth just got a delivery of Salsa Beargrease fat bikes in both SLX and Deore builds on Thursday. I bought the last medium SLX model yesterday.
oh man! congratulations! a whole new world! hope you like fat biking! :-)
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Old 11-14-21, 04:46 PM
  #9559  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
New Bike Day, yeah! Tell me about those 45North tires. I know 45North mostly as a vendor of studded tires, but these look like different beasts.

rod
Well, they are in fact just treaded and non studdable. Without experiencing them I’d bet they are a jack of all trades fat tire and we’ll see what they are masters of. I have the materials to convert to tubeless but think Ill probably wait to do that if/when I buy a set of studded tires.
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Old 11-14-21, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
oh man! congratulations! a whole new world! hope you like fat biking! :-)
Thanks! Ive been wanting a fattie for a while now. Since I’ve always enjoyed riding in the winter weather I am confident ill love this as much as I love my gravel bike and my rain bike and my road bike…….
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Old 11-14-21, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Thanks! Ive been wanting a fattie for a while now. Since I’ve always enjoyed riding in the winter weather I am confident ill love this as much as I love my gravel bike and my rain bike and my road bike…….
n+1, hurrah!

rod
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Old 11-15-21, 04:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Thanks! Ive been wanting a fattie for a while now. Since I’ve always enjoyed riding in the winter weather I am confident ill love this as much as I love my gravel bike and my rain bike and my road bike…….
hehe - look forward to future posts!
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Old 11-15-21, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post




-mr. bill
Any idea what the driver of this white car is doing? Is that a contraflow car lane?
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Old 11-15-21, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Any idea what the driver of this white car is doing? Is that a contraflow car lane?
Looks like Driving While Vague to me.

rod
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Old 11-15-21, 10:46 PM
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Blustery day, temperatures in the mid-40s with a stiff breeze that had ambitions to be more and most often came at an oblique angle that was neither headwind nor tailwind, inconvenient to all comers.


I rolled out on the Minuteman on the Rawland Nordavinden, whose lively frame, low trail, and supple Grand Bois Cypres Extra Legere tires come in handy when dancing with the wind.


While Arlington's Great Meadow itself lay sere and leafless, along the trail the remaining leaves were being tossed vigorously on their branches.


Yellow leaves that had already fallen had drifted around the ghost bike, hitchhikers catching a short ride on the time machine as it rides towards the future.


rod

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Old 11-16-21, 08:32 AM
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Oops! got to work & saw this

loaned my umbrella to Daughter for her rainy weekend in VT w/ her boyfriend. I guess she gave it back! 40 minute drive to work on suburban roads at 40mph then about 5 miles on the highway at 70+mph ... eek!
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Old 11-16-21, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
While Arlington's Great Meadow itself lay sere and leafless, along the trail the remaining leaves were being tossed vigorously on their branches.
impressive last hold-outs. wonder what species they are
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Old 11-16-21, 09:07 AM
  #9568  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Oops! got to work & saw this

loaned my umbrella to Daughter for her rainy weekend in VT w/ her boyfriend. I guess she gave it back! 40 minute drive to work on suburban roads at 40mph then about 5 miles on the highway at 70+mph ... eek!
Bike racks save the day once again!

rod
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Old 11-16-21, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
impressive last hold-outs. wonder what species they are
I have a "Just say 'maple' reflex that covers my ignorance in such cases. If I'm out that way today, I'll try to get a close look at some of the leaves.

rod
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Old 11-16-21, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
I have a "Just say 'maple' reflex that covers my ignorance in such cases. If I'm out that way today, I'll try to get a close look at some of the leaves.
& maybe the bark?
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Old 11-16-21, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
& maybe the bark?
Arf! Second term in the series. Off to gather data...

rod
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Old 11-16-21, 10:53 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out on another blustery day, this time with a frank headwind outbound on the Minuteman, and a hospitable tailwind inbound on Mass. Ave.


The weather was great for riding if you were dressed for it, and didn't begrudge the wind its due. There were relatively few people out riding, but those seemed invigorated; these three, for example.


I had given myself a task for each leg of the ride. Outbound, my task was to take photos of the yellow leaves and the bark on the trees noticed on yesterday's ride, with enough detail to permit identification.


A bit of googling to find comparison images strongly suggests that these are Norway Maples, a non-native species introduced in North America as a shade tree in the middle 18th Century, and regarded as an invasive species by the state of New York; the Town of Arlington isn't so keen on it either, and Norway Maples have been removed from public land on several occasions, and replaced by native trees. We have plenty on the Minuteman, though, and I doubt they're going anywhere any time soon.

The ride back on Mass. Ave. was jolly, and the big, supple Rat Trap Pass Extralights gave a creditable demonstration of pneumatic suspension on the occasional runs of rough pavement there. I did notice that the car exhaust was often smelling nasty, a sort of food/not-food smell that nagged at me to recognize it, and which finally resolved itself to really bad gin. I imagine it had to do with the temperature, and perhaps with some sort of additives in the fuel, ethanol or what you will. Pew!

My task for the inbound leg was to ride the new bike lane at the notorious intersection at Mass. & Appleton, in Arlington, and observe how it and the various other measures that have been installed there are working out in use.


Looks pretty good, from one small sample at a busy hour with a low sun. This isn't the long-term solution: that will require a more robust traffic signal. But it's got the drivers' attention, and seems a little more likely to help cyclists transit the intersection intact. One caution: there is a large bump in the bike lane on the inbound side, more or less right in the middle of the intersection; it doesn't look as big on the approach as it feels when you bump into it, so be prepared. It occasioned the Rat Trap Passes' best performance of the day.

rod

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Old 11-17-21, 04:53 AM
  #9573  
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[QUOTE=rholland1951;22310286]I had given myself a task for each leg of the ride. Outbound, my task was to take photos of the yellow leaves and the bark on the trees noticed on yesterday's ride, with enough detail to permit identification.A bit of googling to find comparison images strongly suggests that these are Norway Maples, a non-native species introduced in North America as a shade tree in the middle 18th Century, and regarded as an invasive species by the state of New York; the Town of Arlington isn't so keen on it either, and Norway Maples have been removed from public land on several occasions, and replaced by native trees. We have plenty on the Minuteman, though, and I doubt they're going anywhere any time soon.

My task for the inbound leg was to ride the new bike lane at the notorious intersection at Mass. & Appleton, in Arlington, and observe how it and the various other measures that have been installed there are working out in use.Looks pretty good, from one small sample at a busy hour with a low sun. This isn't the long-term solution: that will require a more robust traffic signal. But it's got the drivers' attention, and seems a little more likely to help cyclists transit the intersection intact. One caution: there is a large bump in the bike lane on the inbound side, more or less right in the middle of the intersection; it doesn't look as big on the approach as it feels when you bump into it, so be prepared. It occasioned the Rat Trap Pass's best performance of the day.
/QUOTE]well done! the mighty Maple! that's on the Canadian flag right?

that intersection does look tricky due to no 90 degree angles & that phone pole blocking views. even bright front strobe might not be enough to be seen from that incoming traffic on the right. w/ no lights & dark clothes, you'd be asking for trouble. here's wishing the new design keeps everyone safe
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Old 11-18-21, 07:34 AM
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Yes, almost certain that's a Norway Maple - grew up with one outside my window. Nice yellow color in Fall, but no Sugar Maple.
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Old 11-18-21, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
Any idea what the driver of this white car is doing? Is that a contraflow car lane?
lol, clearly they are being "extra safe"
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