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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 08-24-20, 10:55 AM
  #8976  
mr_bill
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In Arlington Center this morning:

You cawl that a leaf blowah? THIS is a leaf blowah:


Cutest bike detour sign ever:


-mr. bill
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Old 08-25-20, 01:40 PM
  #8977  
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Just a quick one for me this morning, down Comm Ave for my regularly scheduled COVID test and back. The inbound protected lane near around Babcock and St Paul Streets are some kind of dangerous; drivers just aren't bothering to look before banging the right. Felt my typical Packard's Corner rage on my route home, probably had to do with the Katsiroubas Bros delivery truck parked square in the lane outside of Star Market. Breathe it in, breathe it out, another day in Allston.
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Old 08-25-20, 02:59 PM
  #8978  
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Originally Posted by pbpbbq View Post
Just a quick one for me this morning, down Comm Ave for my regularly scheduled COVID test and back. The inbound protected lane near around Babcock and St Paul Streets are some kind of dangerous; drivers just aren't bothering to look before banging the right. Felt my typical Packard's Corner rage on my route home, probably had to do with the Katsiroubas Bros delivery truck parked square in the lane outside of Star Market. Breathe it in, breathe it out, another day in Allston.
Welcome! Allston riding conditions must be morphing daily, given all that's going on right now.

rod
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Old 08-25-20, 03:56 PM
  #8979  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out on Saturday afternoon for another iteration of the Rivers & Hills route, an East-facing mix of parkland next to water (Mystic River, Mystic Lakes, Aberjona River, Malden River) and hills of the sort one notices going up and going down, all part of the Fells Escarpment if I understood the geologist correctly. It's a good mix of leisurely cruising, strenuous cranking, and Wheeeeee! The ride begins and ends in East Arlington, and transits parts of Medford, Winchester, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. Lots of variations and extensions are possible.

Winchester: mystery bird perched on a snag in the Upper Mystic Lake, near the mouth of the Aberjona River. I don't think it's a cormorant, but I can't quite place it. (Note: My naturalist daughter has since suggested that this is a juvenile cormorant; makes sense to me.)


Mystic River, Riverbend Park, Medford: a couple paddle a canoe (no kayaks here!), framed in greenery.


Mystic River State Reservation, Medford: what do Medford and Lincoln have in common? This musical sculpture (Lincoln's is in the DeCordova sculpture park).


Mouth of the Malden River, as seen from the Wellington Greenway. The coign of vantage is in Medford, most of what's seen is either in Everett or Somerville. For most of it, certainly the casino and the generating plants, this is close enough.


Still looking across the Malden River, from the Wellington Greenway, at another trail that runs along the Everett bank. I think that may be accessible from the southern end of the Northern Strand Community Trail (a.k.a., Bike to the Sea), but have yet to see for myself. If so, it's part of Gateway Park, Everett.


The Park at Rivers Edge, Medford: this little park runs along the Medford bank of the Malden River, N of Route 16. There are some pretty views, including this nice stretch of wild river bank on the Everett-Malden bank, possibly Rivergreen Park, but maybe N of that.


Fellsway East, Melrose: an early section of the longest climb on the ride. A swift descent will follow, but no pictures of that.


Fellsmere Park, Fellsway East, Malden: the longest, fastest descent of the ride finishes next to water, with the lively jets d'eau in Fellsmere Pond providing a bit of whimsy.


Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Medford: I've made it a habit to pay my respects at the stupa here whenever I ride East. With luck, the flags waving in this animation will multiply the mantras of the the flags waving in the yard. Illusion, reality, mind: your call.


This ride has become one of my standard routes, my legs like it and my brain likes it.

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 08-25-20 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 08-25-20, 04:20 PM
  #8980  
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Monday morning, I took the Rawland Nordavinden out for a quick sprint around the Mystic Lakes, N on Mystic Valley Road, Medford, Arlington Street, Medford, and the Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford and Winchester; NW on Bacon Street, Winchester, SW on Everett Avenue, Winchester, and S on Cambridge Street, Winchester, Mystic Street, Arlington, and Mystic Valley Parkway, Arlington. A shady ride on a sunny day, quick and dandy, kinetic concision.


Well, there was one fly in the ointment, or, rather, a bumblebee in the jersey. At the Winchester-Arlington line, I managed to drop the chain with a careless shift. I repaired that, easy enough, and began pedaling again. After a few turns of the crank, I realized that there were two insects crawling under my jersey, that presumably stowed away while I was fiddling with the chain. I removed them without stopping to dismount, but one of them, a bumblebee, I think, stung me by way of complaint. While briefly vivid, this wasn't an unexpected bolt from the blue, and I was able to keep the rubber side down and proceed with the ride.

rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 08-25-20 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 08-26-20, 04:31 PM
  #8981  
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Monday afternoon, I was back on the Rawland again for a ride that covered 24 miles and 1200' of elevation gain, up and down three hills: Page Road/Grove Street, Hill Street/Paul Revere Road, and Mass. Ave. over the Stone Store hill. This route was inspired by @autonomy, who pointed out the Hill Street/Paul Revere Road missing link between the two bigger hills.

The way I rode it started with a spin out the Minuteman. The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders culture had evolved yet again, and had to be admired.


One of the reasons I was out again that day was that the weather oracle had shown the probability for thunderstorms that afternoon to have abruptly collapsed since the first time I had looked that morning. I didn't quite trust this, and so I adopted "Watch the skies!" as the motto for this ride. So far, so good.


I got off the Minuteman at Wiggins Avenue, Bedford. This street has personal significance for me, since I made my living there writing PDP-11 assembly language for what turned out to be a successful startup, back when PDP-11s existed. That was a whole bunch of fun, and taught me a lot.


One of the things it taught me was about the little footbridge across the Shawsheen River, hidden away between Preston Court and Bridge Street. This is worth knowing about, if you're on a bicycle in Bedford: it gives you options.


I crossed the footbridge, picked up Bridge Street and took that to Pine Street, crossed Great Road to Shawsheen Road, followed that to Page Road, and began the staged climb. A young thunderhead, which was practicing its grumble and dispensing a most welcome cooling drizzle, kept me company as I cranked my way up to the Bedford-Lexington line, a level spot almost to the top of thehill, I stopped to admire the hubcap collection at Susan Crocker's farm, which achieved a certain fame in years past with the road sign, "PLEASE DON'T SQUISH MY CHICKENS".


Crossing the town line put me on Grove Street, and I continued up a little further, then went barreling down the descent, hitting 34 mph on the mercifully smooth pavement. This carried me across I-95 (no ramp!), and gave me another opportunity to watch the skies, and the cloud that was still sprinkling me.


I picked up Burlington Street, took that to the rotary where I briefly got on Hancock Street, then turned right onto Revere Street, crossed the Minuteman, and began to climb again. Crossed Bedford Street and picked up the aptly-named Hill Street. Paused to photograph the Hill Street Significant Digit.


On past the Lexington Poor Farm, the street name changes to Paul Revere Road, and soon enough the pavement drops away into a bracing descent that returns all those gravity dues previously paid. This leads to an intersection with Mass. Ave, and the beginning of the last big hill of the ride, Mass. Ave. past the Stone Store.


That climbed without the benefit of cooling drizzle, the descent was thrilling, cooling, and over too soon. Then on through Lexington Center, past the Battle Green (one nation, under clouds) and on down Mass. Ave. to East Arlington and home.


On my arrival home, I was left to ponder whether this was a dragon, or a duck?


rod

Last edited by rholland1951; 08-27-20 at 10:14 AM. Reason: fix numerous late-night typos
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Old 08-26-20, 11:20 PM
  #8982  
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Tuesday morning I had another quick sprint around the Mystic Lakes, on the Surly this time. Any bumblebees in the area declined to crawl into my jersey.


rod
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Old 08-27-20, 08:54 AM
  #8983  
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Yesterday's debacle:
  • Headed west and north from home in Allston to pick up the Charles River bike path (Boston-side). As I crossed over the pike I felt a gear slip, then slip back, and then bottom out. Pulled up and saw that the nut had fallen off the lower jockey wheel bolt. No sign of it on the street so I started hoofing; hardware store on Harvard Ave had a replacement in stock so I bought it, installed, and set off again.
  • Charles River Bike Path was uncrowded. Two large grey-black helicopters swept in from the west, fairly low, to hover for a moment over northern Kendall Square, and then out to wherever.
  • Cut through MGH and the financial district with the goal of passing over to the Seaport. Only saw my life flash once (pickup decided he wanted to get out in front of me when taking a right into the Pike tunnel at Congress & Purchase streets).
  • Rode on through Seaport and over into Southie. Sumner to E. 1st and out to Castle Island. Why did I do this? Crowded as anything and can't ride your bike on the causeway. Went around anyway, stopping at Head Isl because there was something rattling in the headset. Great, front-to-back play. Great.
  • With all possible tenderness and agility, back trough Southie via E. 7th, W. Broadway, and the Traveler Street bridge. On into town via Washington, then through Back Bay via Charles, Beacon, and eventually Comm.
  • Comm all the way home.
At home, pulled apart headset and questioned my prior choice of bearing size and quantity. Velobased my cups best I could and decided not to change things. Smushed back into place and tightened up, the play is eliminated and I am done.
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Old 08-27-20, 10:19 AM
  #8984  
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Originally Posted by pbpbbq View Post
Yesterday's debacle:
  • Headed west and north from home in Allston to pick up the Charles River bike path (Boston-side). As I crossed over the pike I felt a gear slip, then slip back, and then bottom out. Pulled up and saw that the nut had fallen off the lower jockey wheel bolt. No sign of it on the street so I started hoofing; hardware store on Harvard Ave had a replacement in stock so I bought it, installed, and set off again.
  • Charles River Bike Path was uncrowded. Two large grey-black helicopters swept in from the west, fairly low, to hover for a moment over northern Kendall Square, and then out to wherever.
  • Cut through MGH and the financial district with the goal of passing over to the Seaport. Only saw my life flash once (pickup decided he wanted to get out in front of me when taking a right into the Pike tunnel at Congress & Purchase streets).
  • Rode on through Seaport and over into Southie. Sumner to E. 1st and out to Castle Island. Why did I do this? Crowded as anything and can't ride your bike on the causeway. Went around anyway, stopping at Head Isl because there was something rattling in the headset. Great, front-to-back play. Great.
  • With all possible tenderness and agility, back trough Southie via E. 7th, W. Broadway, and the Traveler Street bridge. On into town via Washington, then through Back Bay via Charles, Beacon, and eventually Comm.
  • Comm all the way home.
At home, pulled apart headset and questioned my prior choice of bearing size and quantity. Velobased my cups best I could and decided not to change things. Smushed back into place and tightened up, the play is eliminated and I am done.
Riding and wrenching are two dogs chasing each other's tails down the road.

rod
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Old 08-27-20, 10:27 AM
  #8985  
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Took the Rawland out Thursday morning after breakfast. As I was proceeding clockwise around the Battle Green, a single rumble of thunder served as a tip from one of the celestial bureaucrats of clouds and rain, perhaps an uncle or cousin of the previously described duck-dragon, that I shouldn't dawdle. I didn't, and my passage home down Mass. Ave. was marked only by a little drizzle.


rod
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Old 08-28-20, 12:29 PM
  #8986  
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Much, much better ride today:
  • Out to Newton Center via Beacon, goal was to test the new freewheel and it's nice, big, knees-and-hills-friendly cogs.
  • Up to Comm then east to Prince, roll down into West Newton and head west on Washington.
  • Left (northwest) on Crafts Street, which turns into Waltham Street and then into High Street.
  • Down Moody Street, which is blocked off from traffic but full of folks having lunch outside. Lunch would be nice right about now.
  • Charles River Greenway all the way back to Brighton, under the Pike at Brooks Street and then back home via Faneuil, Arlington, Spearhawk, etc.
18 miles and zero near-death experiences. Gotta love it.
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Old 08-28-20, 12:35 PM
  #8987  
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Oh hey I can post photos now. Behold, the Charles:

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Old 08-29-20, 06:30 AM
  #8988  
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Originally Posted by pbpbbq View Post
Oh hey I can post photos now. Behold, the Charles:

Hey, I recognize that! (Nice pic.)
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Old 08-29-20, 08:54 AM
  #8989  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on another iteration of the east-facing Rivers & Hills route on Friday afternoon, this one noteworthy for what went wrong: my phone's battery failed in a new and interesting way, and I had the rare pleasure of changing out the tube on the rear Rat Trap Pass tire when the old one developed a slow leak and I got tired of pumping it up every quarter mile. Seems this was due to something I ran over on one of the Mystic River Reservation paths; I heard rather than saw that happen, a loud CRACK! Whether that had anything to do with the millimeter-scale sharp I found embedded in the tread is, of course, unknowable.

The battery problem pretty much inhibited my photographic impulse, and the phone spent much of the ride turned off. Here's the only photo of the hilly section of the ride, part of the long descent from Bacon Street, Winchester, down Main Street to Winthrop Street, Medford, and Winthrop Square (which is a circle, naturally), and so down High Street to Medford Center. It's a good run if you don't mind the occasional steel plate.


Mystic River, Route 16 underpass, Medford: a pair of canoeists paddle upstream. Thanks to animation artifacts, it appears they could tow a water skier.


Farther downstream, the Mystic broadens to hold the sky in its apron.


Later, I turned on the phone for a brief minute to capture the prayer flags and stupa in the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies garden. The bike breathed with me.


rod
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Old 08-29-20, 09:23 AM
  #8990  
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all those gravity dues previously paid
big, knees-and-hills-friendly cogs.
Riding and wrenching are two dogs chasing each other's tails....
Hey, I recognize that!

I too recognize so many of these. Mixed in with the new and updated and just fresh eyes makes for nice touring these pages. For several years I've contemplated an old favorite 67 mile ride to Carlisle for dues, cogs and dogs reasons. I've been building up a string of stay close to home, clover leaf 37 mile rides this year, mostly pandemic friendly solo rides. Gravity, time and these posts moved the carrot a little closer to my nose and yesterday's cool weather coerced me into stuffing a banana, some raisins and courage into my jersey pockets and head out.

Courage leaked out and compromise leaked in so I rode a safer, able to bail out anytime version using the usual 37 miler but when I returned home pretended I was in in Carlisle (refilling my water bottle in Concord) and ate the banana and raisins in my driveway then rode a shortened version of the same loop for a metric century (and then some) ride. Longest ride in 6 years and fun to correlate where I was in miles to the Carilise route. Dover, Natick and Wellesley, over Sanderson Hill and the Observatory in Weston, Lincoln, Gropious House, water bottle friendly Concord Center, Fenn School, Fern's, Verrill's, Water Row, Wayland's Glezen Lane and Rice Road, Rivers School and back through Wellesley and Natick to Sherborn. I did stay tuned to actual traffic and arrived safe a sound. Nice ride(s).
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Old 08-29-20, 05:32 PM
  #8991  
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I canít say Iíve got good excuses for not posting other than the fact that 9 out of 10 would end up sounding the same. Last Saturday I drove to Mashpee to a free parking spot with my touring bike in back along with my small Ortlieb front rollers with clips adjusted to fit the back rack. I rode to the end of the Shining Sea path and followed it to the ferry terminal where I boarded ferry to Vineyard Haven where I rode around the island and eventually wrapped up the day at 62 miles. Mid afternoon I checked into my hotel in Oak Bluffs to recharge for day 2. Day 2 I rode 52 miles followed by a lobster roll, fried whole belly clams and beer by the water. I was living a Jimmy Buffet song / cyclist mash up. Sadly day 3 was the last and after catching the 0930 ferry I ended up back to my car with 31 more miles. A few hours later I was home and itching to keep the pedals spinning I rode my Seven 41 more miles. My birthday ride a day early.



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Old 08-29-20, 06:06 PM
  #8992  
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Rode my Allroads 50 miles in the pouring rain today. My wife got me the newest Varia radar taillight. I gotta say it adds situational awareness with a nice audio visual display.

Last edited by Ghazmh; 08-29-20 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 08-29-20, 10:11 PM
  #8993  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I canít say Iíve got good excuses for not posting other than the fact that 9 out of 10 would end up sounding the same. Last Saturday I drove to Mashpee to a free parking spot with my touring bike in back along with my small Ortlieb front rollers with clips adjusted to fit the back rack. I rode to the end of the Shining Sea path and followed it to the ferry terminal where I boarded ferry to Vineyard Haven where I rode around the island and eventually wrapped up the day at 62 miles. Mid afternoon I checked into my hotel in Oak Bluffs to recharge for day 2. Day 2 I rode 52 miles followed by a lobster roll, fried whole belly clams and beer by the water. I was living a Jimmy Buffet song / cyclist mash up. Sadly day 3 was the last and after catching the 0930 ferry I ended up back to my car with 31 more miles. A few hours later I was home and itching to keep the pedals spinning I rode my Seven 41 more miles. My birthday ride a day early.



That sounds absolutely wonderful! All this and clams, too!

rod
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Old 08-29-20, 10:20 PM
  #8994  
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Kept an eye on the weather radar Saturday, and got out in the afternoon as soon as the last of the rain had blown by Arlington. Took the Rawland up the Minuteman, and had the thing more or less to myself for the first 20 minutes or so, after which the population density increased rapidly. The air was like bathwater, warm and wet. Riders on bikes without fenders or mudflaps rode by with visible, but thin, rooster tails of road water. My old phone was back home, on life support, so no photos, no tracks, and no calls for help, if such were needed. I just concentrated on cranking, made good time, and rode home to discover that the phone was convalescing nicely.

rod
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Old 08-30-20, 07:38 PM
  #8995  
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Ghazmh, Happy Birthday. Nice riding.
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Old 08-30-20, 08:10 PM
  #8996  
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Rod, Sounds like old time, pre-smartphone riding. Glad you had a good ride on the Minuteman. I made good time in the cool weather on my SherbornDoverWestwoodDoverMedfieldDoverSherborn 37 mile loop de loop. The new pavement on Dover Rd. in Westwood is smooth.
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Old 08-30-20, 10:24 PM
  #8997  
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Rod, Sounds like old time, pre-smartphone riding. Glad you had a good ride on the Minuteman. I made good time in the cool weather on my SherbornDoverWestwoodDoverMedfieldDoverSherborn 37 mile loop de loop. The new pavement on Dover Rd. in Westwood is smooth.
sherbornpeddler, that ride sounds lovely. One of these days I'll sneak past the I-90 barricade and roll around your neighborhood.

rod
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Old 08-30-20, 10:47 PM
  #8998  
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Took the Surly out on the Minuteman before dinner on Sunday, and found myself on a very busy MUP indeed, the day, the hour, and the weather drawing all sorts of people to it. Nonetheless it was pleasant riding, and I found myself thinking about the changing demographics of that rail trail. As I was waiting at the Mass & Mystic intersection for the light to change, a group of perhaps 6 or 8 kids on bikes swarmed the not-particularly-busy intersection against the signals, and managed to get themselves across without incident. They headed up the trail, and I overtook and passed 4 of them in a few minutes.


I can't really quite tell how old these kids are, they're in that blur between middle school and high school, but what I do know is that ten years ago, the kids that age might have been on the Minuteman, but they wouldn't have been on bikes. The fact that they are strikes me as a good thing, for all that it injects a little anarchy into the traffic patterns.

One funny thing happened in connection with this group, and I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of it. Somebody had left an elliptical stationary exercise machine--not an ElliptiGO bike--by the side of the trail; it looked heavy, so that must have been someone's considered act. The kid in the red jersey saw the machine sitting there, zipped over to it, hopped off his bike and onto the elliptical and began to work out. Look for the gadget by the side of the Minuteman, in Arlington, near Pierce Field. It's the start of another story.

rod

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Old 08-31-20, 03:43 AM
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Ghazmh
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Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
Ghazmh, Happy Birthday. Nice riding.
Thank you!
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Old 08-31-20, 03:46 AM
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Sunday was an absolutely great day to ride. I rode through Weston, Wayland, Natick, Framingham, Sudbury, Concord, and Lincoln for 44 miles on my Seven Redsky. I rode by a covered bridge in Wayland. Wasn’t expecting to see one, it was a new road for me.

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