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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-05-22, 06:51 PM
  #10051  
rumrunn6
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always so good catching up w/ others & seeing their rides. my Dad is in hospital & rehab etc so seems like all my free time will be on the road to NY. keep riding & posting guys!
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Old 06-05-22, 06:59 PM
  #10052  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
always so good catching up w/ others & seeing their rides. my Dad is in hospital & rehab etc so seems like all my free time will be on the road to NY. keep riding & posting guys!
Yikes! Our thoughts go with you and your dad. Drive carefully down there.

rod
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Old 06-05-22, 07:04 PM
  #10053  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Yikes! Our thoughts go with you and your dad. Drive carefully down there.
THANK YOU Rod
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Old 06-05-22, 07:18 PM
  #10054  
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Took the Ebisu All Purpose Bicycle out for a spin on the Minuteman before dinner and before the Celtics game. I found myself noticing again that I built this bike with higher gear ratios than most of them. If I'm mindful of that, it can frequently be an advantage. If I forget about it, I can find myself pedaling a boat anchor.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders ask the rhetorical question: "Are you my Mother?" In any event, the rocks seemed unusually affectionate this afternoon..


rod

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Old 06-06-22, 03:25 PM
  #10055  
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Rode out to Depot Park this morning.

Arlington Great Meadows:



Very lush at Bedford:



The Bedford DPW was using a huge machine that occupied basically the enter path to mow the south shoulder. I wasn't able to get a decent picture, but trust me that it required riding on the opposite shoulder to get around it.

Tom
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Old 06-06-22, 03:55 PM
  #10056  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
Rode out to Depot Park this morning.
...

The Bedford DPW was using a huge machine that occupied basically the enter path to mow the south shoulder. I wasn't able to get a decent picture, but trust me that it required riding on the opposite shoulder to get around it.

Tom
Unleash the Kraken!

rod
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Old 06-09-22, 09:53 PM
  #10057  
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I've fallen behind a few days and a few rides. Let's see...

Monday afternoon, I took the Rambouillet out for a spin on the Minuteman, the quick ride up to Lexington Center and back.


Tuesday afternoon, I took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler out the Minuteman to Bedford, then out the Reformatory Branch to Concord, them home by back roads, one of which took me along the Cambridge Reservoir, in Lincoln, 28 miles in all. Getting a look at the Cambridge Reservoir was the point of the exercise. I had expected mudflats, given our recent drought, but while I know the mud is there, it was covered with enough water to allow me to stand down from Red Alert.


Wednesday, I was back on the Rambouillet again, another little ride up to Lexington Center and back, but FAST!


Thusday, it was back on the Rambouillet and off to Depot Park. Got a little wet along the way.


rod

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Old 06-10-22, 11:00 PM
  #10058  
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Friday afternoon, I took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler and rode East.


This is the weekly hills & traffic drill that I ride through the lumpier paved bits of Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham, with options on Saugus, Wakefield, Winchester, and Woburn. It's challenging enough to improve my riding skills and stamina with practice, and although I can stretch the miles out, the tendency to fold the route through the hills means I'm not necessarily all that far from East Arlington. No need to ride to Worcester County for hills practice. Riding in urban traffic improves a different set of skills, and there are plenty of opportunities for that, some in the flats (as shown here), some in the hills.


So, it's easy to think of this route as starting and ending with the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, and while I do stop there at least once on every instance of this ride, the presence and absence of photos substitutes an illusion for reality (the Buddhists would agree, I think).


^^^ Here's the Kurukulla Center as visited after I had already turned the bike towards home, but the real bookends of the route are Medford's High Street hills, rising in West Medford, climbing to and passing through the Winthrop Square rotary and then after a final short climb, rocketing down into Medford Center in a whizzy descent (in traffic). On the return, that descent turns into a strenuous climb (in traffic), followed by another tilt at the rotary. This afternoon, an MBTA bus chased me up High Street from Medford Center, its driver barking incomprehensible orders through its PA system; it may be that he shared the sentiments of the driver of a pickup truck encountered earlier on the ride, in Melrose: "You should ride your bike on the sidewalk." A little Buddhistic detachment went a long way in that situation. Eventually, the effective travel lane widened, and he took his bullhorn and rumbled away.

Regular practice keeps me ahead of things.

rod

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Old 06-11-22, 10:58 PM
  #10059  
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My son John and I rode out the Minuteman to Depot Park, and then back to the Lowell Street terminus of Somerville Community Path, 26 miles in all, with a promising peek at the Green Line Extension. I did this on my Ocean Air Cycles Rambler, he on his Surly Cross Check.


It was a beautiful June weekend day, and the Minuteman Easter Parade was in full career. People were generally amiable and operating for conditions.


Public Art: Caleb Neelon (a.k.a., Sonic) created the Bolted Sign Project in the early days of the Minuteman Bikeway. These three signs remain. Every once in awhile, somebody discovers them.


Public Art: the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders work persistently in an ancient (Neolithic?) genre; any given instance is gone in at most days, but new instances recur on the same time scale. I often wonder who these folks are; they're intentional, and good, and have worked anonymously for years. On Saturday, there was a pair of totemic ducks on display.


On the the Somerville Community Path, some newer Public Art was, ah, hanging.


There's reason to hope this fence won't be up much longer.


rod

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Old 06-12-22, 02:40 PM
  #10060  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
ha! that's great! I used to ride between cars in Manhattan & always wanted to ride the front car
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Old 06-13-22, 10:45 PM
  #10061  
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Rode the Rivendell Appaloosa up Mystic Valley Parkway, along the Eastern shore of the Mystic Lakes, with the usual errand of seeing what folks were making of the water on a sultry afternoon.


Some were boating, some were sunning themselves.


And some were fetching sticks.


I have been avoiding taking this bike on hills; I'm a little leery of its 1x10 drive train. However, I gave it a little hill-climbing exercise on the return, climbing Bacon Street, Winchester, to reach Grove Street, and then climbing a bit of a hill on Grove Street itself. Not so bad. Rode past the Brooks Estate and the Slave Wall, but no photos of those. I'll be trying more hills on this bike, to get a better idea of how its limits mesh with my own..

A wreck on the Route 60 rotary on the E side of the Mystic River. I had negotiated passage here at the beginning of the ride, without incident.


Got past that, and climbed one last little hill on Everett Street, and rode home, puzzling over this bike's eccentricities.


rod

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Old 06-14-22, 10:15 PM
  #10062  
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Good weather again! I took the Surly Long Haul Trucker up to Lexington on the Minuteman towards the end of the afternoon, the standard ride to keep the moving parts moving and enjoy whatever the day brings.


The sky is blue, the bike is, too. 13702 miles on this one. Makes me happy.


Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders: reports of cannibalism should not be simply dismissed out of hand.


Another beautiful day, another turn of the crank.


rod

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Old 06-16-22, 10:41 PM
  #10063  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out Thursday afternoon, rolling across the land beach buggy fashion thanks to a pair of 559-55 Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralight tires. I rode as far as North Bridge, Concord, via Route 225, Skelton Road, River Road, and Monument Street outbound, back via Reformatory Branch, with the Minuteman coming and going because, why not. 31 miles through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, and Concord, not creative, but familiar, pleasant, and what I had the time and psychic energy for. Here's the bike at the literal high point of the ride, overlooking the Hutchins Farm fields from Monument Street.


In other news, both the Concord and Shawsheen Rivers are low, and the big old Catalpa trees are in bloom.




Also, the First Sucking Mire and the Second Sucking Mire, notorious mudholes on the Reformatory Branch, are temporarily dry, and I saw a Baltimore Oriole (but no pictures of that).

rod

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Old 06-17-22, 07:00 PM
  #10064  
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Took the Ebisu All Purpose Bicycle out on the Minuteman before dinner. Was mindful of the drivetrain setup, selected the appropriate gear ratio, and cranked like the dickens. The Ebisu was pleased to go scooting off at a great rate, and I hung on for a good ride.


rod
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Old 06-18-22, 02:22 PM
  #10065  
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Been away on vacation so haven't ridden or posted in awhile. Got out for a ride today with my wife - her first of the season. I don't usually ride the Minuteman on the weekends this time of year, but we joined the throngs this morning for a roundtrip to Lexington Center. It wasn't too crazy, but I'm glad we got out and back before lunch.

We usually stop to enjoy the Lexington Common but we were surprised to see that they've removed all the benches for some reason. Oh well, there are some nice places to sit at the Visitor's Center. On the lawn on the Mass Ave side there was a charity sale sponsored by Chinese Americans of Lexington (CALex). It was pretty popular:



Later in the day we took a walk around East Arlington to enjoy some of the Porchfest bands. There was one at Menotomy Beer & Wine on Broadway. Since I got some bikes in this pic I think I can justify including it:



Tom
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Old 06-18-22, 09:38 PM
  #10066  
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Took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler out Saturday and rode East, dancing the bike up and down the hills and in and out of traffic through Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. Logged a 31 mph descent. That nimble, low-trail bike is growing on me.


Towards the end of the afternoon, a few drops of rain began to fall, two here, three there. The clouds showed admirable restraint, I thought.


rod

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Old 06-20-22, 04:11 PM
  #10067  
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Got out for a longish ride today: Arlington to Concord via MM and Reformatory Branch Rail Trail (RBRT).

There were a lot of people out there for a Monday! I guess it was the combination of school being out for the summer and the Juneteenth holiday.
This is the Bedford Depot at about 11am:



My turnaround point at Lowell Rd:



As we know, the RBRT is so named because the railroad used to go to the Reformatory in West Concord, now the state prison at the Concord Rotary. The bridges over the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers are long gone, preventing continuing the journey west of Lowell Rd. However, I was reading the Wiki page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_Rock) about Egg Rock, at the confluence of the two rivers. It implies there is a passable segment of the RBRT west of Egg Rock. I think I will look for that some time. It should be accessible via Keyes Rd, Main St, and Nashawtuc Road.

Tom
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Old 06-20-22, 06:56 PM
  #10068  
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Fled the World's Vexations, which were certainly vexing enough, out the Minuteman on the Rawland Nordavinden, a bicycle whose praises I have sung at length elsewhere.


Some people use their bikes to ride away and become funambulists.


Best In Show: Boston Terrier.


rod
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Old 06-21-22, 08:46 AM
  #10069  
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post

As we know, the RBRT is so named because the railroad used to go to the Reformatory in West Concord, now the state prison at the Concord Rotary. The bridges over the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers are long gone, preventing continuing the journey west of Lowell Rd. However, I was reading the Wiki page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_Rock) about Egg Rock, at the confluence of the two rivers. It implies there is a passable segment of the RBRT west of Egg Rock. I think I will look for that some time. It should be accessible via Keyes Rd, Main St, and Nashawtuc Road.

Tom
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...6399/-71.35789
I always wondered about those sections, they must be secluded and overgrown. Post some pics if you make it there.

I have been to this section and it pretty much terminates in the river
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...7206/-71.37665

If only there were bridges there, could be a nice connector to the Bruce Freeman.
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Old 06-21-22, 02:08 PM
  #10070  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...6399/-71.35789
I always wondered about those sections, they must be secluded and overgrown. Post some pics if you make it there.

I have been to this section and it pretty much terminates in the river
https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=1...7206/-71.37665

If only there were bridges there, could be a nice connector to the Bruce Freeman.
Thanks for the follow-up. I agree that it seems likely that trail section would be overgrown, without frequent traffic to keep it clear.

I found some info on this area on a Concord Land Trust website: https://www.concordland.org/land/nashawtuc-hill/

On that page there is a link to this map: https://concordland.org/wp-content/u...wtuc-final.pdf

If/when I get out that way I will report back with pictures for sure.

Tom
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Old 06-22-22, 10:46 AM
  #10071  
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My son John and I went for a Summer Solstice ramble along the Charles River, as far as the Moody Street Fish Ladder, 27 miles through Arlington, Somerville, Cambridge, Allston, Brighton, Newton, Watertown, and Belmont, on mixed-surface paths (stone dust, boardwalk, pavement) and paved roads, he on his Surly Cross Check, I on my Rivendell Rambouillet. I rode from Arlington to collect him in Somerville, and encountered a manhunt at Alewife, complete with numerous police cruisers, flashing lights, and helicopters.


I rode through the associated hue and cry without incident, continued to Somerville, and found John changing a flat.


We made our way to the Charles River, and crossed to the South bank, then headed upstream. There were dogs in canoes.


The Elliott Bridge underpass contained colorful environmental messages, with associated hashtag.
.

We had a beautiful ride along the Charles. It's hard not to, really.










At length, we made it to the Moody Street Fish Ladder. Saw no fish, but the ladder was ready for them, should they come calling.


After that, we high-tailed it home for dinner. As usual, the return was quicker than the outbound ride.

rod

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Old 06-22-22, 10:43 PM
  #10072  
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The sunny, breezy afternoon beckoned, and I took the Rivendell Appaloosa out for a quick spin on the Minuteman. This is the bike I picked up as a Rivendell "web special", a prototype build that made pretty much opposite choices from those I've made on most of the bikes I've built or specified: 1x10 drive train, V-brakes, swept-back Nitto Billie Bars demanding an upright riding posture, wonderful tires that are nevertheless a little too wide to accommodate fenders on this frame, trigger shifters... did I leave anything out? I bought it as an experiment, to see what all those contrarian-from-my-perspective choices would be like. I've become a little more comfortable with most of them, but find myself systematically acquiring the parts that will be required to have the bike transformed out of this improvised cruiser build and into an honest touring bike: a triple crank, a front derailleur... still to come, a Nitto Noodle handlebar, friction shifters, Paul cantilever brakes with some nice old levers... my comfort zone is definitely calling. Maybe swap in a Jandd expedition rear rack while I'm at it. There are still months left in the experiment, and maybe I'll have a blinding revelation on the road to Damascus, although from what I see in the newspaper, riding the road to Damascus really isn't such a good idea...


rod

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Old 06-24-22, 01:42 PM
  #10073  
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This morning's ride took me to Billerica via the MM, the Bedford Depot, and the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail. The NGRT surface was dry and quite good in general.

The sky was in the water at Fawn Lake:



Just north of the Great Road, there's a collection of "kindness rocks" reminiscent of, but distinct from, the stone and shell collection at the Lexington Visitor's Center:



The NGRT was quite peaceful, except for the heavy construction taking place at the Bedford VA's northernmost parking lost. Lots of noise and some trucks mostly blocking the trail in one spot. Had to squeeze to one side. Don't know what they're up to.

Saw lots of middle school (I think) kids milling about in both Lexington and Arlington Centers. Freedom must be just around the corner.

About 25 miles in all.

Tom
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Old 06-24-22, 10:55 PM
  #10074  
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Friday afternoon, it occurred to me that the Brooks C17 saddle on the Appaloosa was too far forward. I moved it as far back as practicable, and was delighted to see that my pedal strokes gained power, and my legs stopped hurting. It was one of those "sitting in the bike" moments.


After a quick test ride, I took off on the Minuteman for a ride to Depot Park. I made good time, but did notice that the 20-mile ride felt more like 50. I suspect the upright riding posture is to blame, and that this build of this bike isn't for distance; given the touring bike DNA in this one, that seems like a waste to me. In any event, the saddle adjustment was enough of an improvement so that I'll continue the experiment.


Drive a Volkswagen and you see all the other Volkswagens on the road. Riding the Appaloosa has me noticing the variety of non-drop-bar bicycles that people are riding, and suggests why some of them are ridden the way they are.


Best unphotographed image of the afternoon: a young man on a Tall Bike that bore the sign STUDENT DRIVER on its superstructure.

rod

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Old 06-25-22, 11:08 PM
  #10075  
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Took the Ocean Air Cycles Rambler out in the heat of the day Saturday and rode East.


This was the by-now standard excursion into the paved portions of the Fells Escarpment, conveniently located climbs and descents, with a certain amount of urban traffic swirl mixed in. The hills are good for legs and lungs, the traffic is good for the wits. Here's a photo of the first big hill of the ride, on High Street climbing out of West Medford. After a year of repaving, perhaps in conjunction with maintenance to buried gas lines, the City of Medford restriped this particular hill to provide climbing lanes, coming and going. This makes a difference where it's most needed.


This is the third different Ford Thunderbird that I've seen parked on the same block of Central Avenue, Medford. The default explanation is that the proprietor of one of the local businesses is a connoisseur of the T-bird, has collected several, and likes to drive them to work and park them there for all the world to see. No worse than littering the internet with pictures of bicycles...


West Medford: sometimes, one takes the photos one can take, in this case a picture of traffic in its least dynamic mode. Wheee! factor approaching zero.


Good day for a water bottle. Or two.

rod

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