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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 06-23-20, 02:28 PM
  #8901  
Ghazmh
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Saturday morning I set out at 0545 on my Redsky dressed in my Sunday best for 55 steamy miles. I set my mental course finder on autopilot and was limited by my onboard water supply. I could have donned a sweat soaked mask to go into Ferns or somewhere else for water but I didn’t. Sunday I rode my Trek Boone 7 cross bike which is normally my winter bike for 51 mixed terrain miles. I left ground gravel in my wake all along the battle road trails as well as the reformatory trail. I wore the layer of sweat soaked dirt like a badge of honor. I think I could get into riding trails more.
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Old 06-24-20, 10:55 PM
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out Wednesday morning on a little 8-mile ride up the East side of the Mystic Lakes on the Mystic Valley Parkway, then back on the somewhat hillier terrain immediately to the East of that, taking Grove Street down to High Street, skirting the Brooks Estate in the process, and then crossing the Mystic River to get home again.

I rode into the beach area on the Upper Mystic Lake, and followed the trail to the site of the Old Middlesex Canal aqueduct, that took the Canal across the Aberjona River or Upper Mystic Lake, depending on how that was reckoned at the time.


The Grove Street section of the ride was pleasant, not least for these lawn flamingos who had been outfitted with face masks.


rod

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Old 06-25-20, 11:32 AM
  #8903  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out at 0900 for a quick trip up to Lexington Center and back. There was only one other cyclist at Mass. & Mystic, so I hopped on the Minuteman, which presented nearly ideal conditions: not empty, but sufficiently lightly utilized so that effective social distancing came naturally, and a fast pace for those who wanted one was not unduly hazardous. Mask compliance was very good, with only one bare-face sighted during the outbound leg, a cyclist who labored to pass me and thereby initiated a game of Drop The Pursuer, which I won handily. After all, who wants to ride in the wake of a huffing and puffing bare-face? The return was a little more crowded, with perhaps a dozen members of the bare-face tribe, never mind the more numerous chin- and neck-warmers that were only occasionally hoisted. But good time was made and a good time was had, and I parked the Norda and got on with the day.

In the interests of the punctual conclusion to a speedy ride, I followed a policy @buzzman once described: just take one photo to stand for all the rest.

Summertime!


rod
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Old 06-26-20, 09:19 PM
  #8904  
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Rolled out on the Surly around noon Friday, warm, sunny, with big old fluffy clouds drifting overhead. They were feeding a dragon on Broadway in East Arlington.


I rode East.


On the Northern Strand, a squadron of food trucks reminded me I hadn't eaten lunch.


Shortly thereafter, the Pocket Devil had some sort of nervous breakdown, a hard crash that rendered the screen black and unresponsive to all inputs. After that, I just rode, seeking out hills to ride up and whiz down, recording no tracks and taking no more pictures. It felt good, and the expected Smartphone Withdrawal Syndrome symptoms did not afflict me.

rod

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Old 06-27-20, 12:49 PM
  #8905  
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Smart geese!


-mr. bill
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Old 06-27-20, 10:37 PM
  #8906  
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I spent the afternoon with my grown daughter, celebrating her birthday with a ride through Wenham, Hamilton, and Ipswich. She led me a merry chase on her Cross Check, and I endeavored to keep up on the Trucker DeLuxe. We rolled cheery on our Surlys.




We passed through varied and beautiful country, some of it familiar, some seen for the first time (by me, anyway). We were occasionally treated to a cooling, friendly drizzle.












Happy Birthday, Daughter! Many happy returns!

rod

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Old 06-29-20, 05:49 PM
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Back to morning rides on Monday, taking the Rawland up to Lexington Center on the Minuteman, during an interval in which the storms paused. The clouds looked chancy from Arlington Center, but the weather radar had a story about their being blown from S to N, and this time it wasn't a practical joke.


Conditions on the Minuteman were close to ideal, no fallen trees, no crowds, good mask compliance. Pretty much the way one hopes it will be, and it sometimes is.


Had a pleasant little ride, and put the bike away about 15 minutes before the next shower started. There was more coffee to drink while the rain came down.

rod

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Old 06-30-20, 10:58 PM
  #8908  
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Set the alarm to roust me out of bed for a ride before breakfast Tuesday, but one look at the weather radar sent me back to bed again. The ride before breakfast ultimately became the ride before dinner, a Minuteman quickie up to Lexington Center, with everything green that should be and virtually everybody masked. Made good time, and took one picture.


We'll see what tomorrow's ride comes before.

rod
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Old 07-01-20, 08:54 PM
  #8909  
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Another morning ride, this one after breakfast, rather than before anything in particular. Took the Rawland up the Minuteman to Lexington Center again, interesting how quickly I've gotten back into that groove, but conditions there have become quite pleasant in the last few days, if you didn't mind a little drizzle.

Families with small children out riding were in the mix this morning. The competence of the little pedalers is sometimes impressive, and in any event there were no catastrophes.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have created a Paleolithic couple, god and goddess..


The day would become kind of busy, but this ride got it off to a good start.


rod

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Old 07-02-20, 02:13 PM
  #8910  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe on the latest morning ride on the Minuteman, starting about 0930. While the Minuteman appeared empty to start, it soon proved to be otherwise, but was still manageable and pleasant. Mask compliance was down somewhat, however. What are they thinking? ... or is that a presupposition error?

Eversource trucks were everywhere, in East Arlington and Arlington Center. Perhaps the Cthonians are tampering with the buried infrastructure again.


The barrier fence keeping baseballs and other projectiles out of the work yard on the South side of the Minuteman has grown handsome with lianas and other foliage, and caught my eye this morning.


It formed a pleasing backdrop for the comings and goings of the people on the trail.


rod
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Old 07-03-20, 09:11 AM
  #8911  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
I spent the afternoon with my grown daughter, celebrating her birthday with a ride through Wenham, Hamilton, and Ipswich. She led me a merry chase on her Cross Check, and I endeavored to keep up on the Trucker DeLuxe.

We rolled cheery on our Surlys.
Hi Rod,


It’s always a joy to ride with someone dear to you, as I have with my wife, for many years. I have previously replied to the occasional ride description that you do in a region remote from Minuteman and the northwest sector of Metro Boston, to one that I know well.

I have had many nice rides in the setting you rode above
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I haven't ridden up around Newburyport for a long time, but I think it might be nice.

However, I have enjoyed much summer cycling just south and east in the region bounded approximately by Topsfield and Danvers to the west, to Beverly along the coast (Rte 127) up through Manchester to Glooucester and Cape Ann, to picturesque Rockport, and back northwestward towards Essex, Ipswich, and inland to Hamilton and Wenham; those last towns known as wealthy horse country.

Quiet scenic roads can be found, not particularly hilly, with a fair number of cyclists.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Danvers and the adjacent town of Beverly are the gateway towns to great cycling on the North Shore. I seem always to get lost as I go through Danvers from Boston to the North Shore, but maybe if you start there, you’ll have better luck....

From Danvers I would suggest going to Beverly and getting on the oceanside Route 127 up to Rockport and circling around Cape Ann. Another nice route is leave Danvers on Rte 1A and make your way through Wenham, Hamilton to Essex and on to Gloucester and Cape Ann. Rather than oceanside riding, this is exurban, shady (as I recall) riding.

Of note in Essex is Woodman’s, where the fried clam was invented. Also in Essex is the Essex River tours, a serene boat excursion out to the Essex Bay and the Ocean. I had previously posted to this thread:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Inland towards Topsfield, Ipswich, Hamilton and Wenham are also nice.

Our family summered in Rockport for a few years and I enjoyed exploring that area, including rides to or from Boston, though south of Swampscott was always less pleasant, unless done on an early weekend morning.
A nice ride from Danvers might a loop out Rte 127 to and around Cape Ann, and back inland through Essex, Hamilton and Wenham, or vice versa. FWIW.

I’m glad to answer any questions; replying brings up very pleasant memories of previous rides
Even those with a memorable mishap.
Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Every time we take our tandem out I worry. I worry less so on a solo bike because it is more agile, but I still worry about some inattentive or drunk driver hitting me from behind in a most unlikely place.

Nevertheless we ride anyway. You can't run from life.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Well said and so true. I have had two other emergency room visits while cycling.

The first was up in the exurban Hamilton-Wenham area of the North Shore in the mid-morning on a weekday. I was able walk to nearby Gordon College, and call my wife for ride to Beverly Hospital, where I got some upper lip stitches,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
"sweat in eye... what to do"

Be careful. My worst crash [prior to 2012] was when I tried to wipe off some sweat in my eyes with the back of my glove I ran off the road and got some stinging abrasions and a cut on my upper lip requiring sutures.

I thought I might have to lose my moustache.
˅˅˅˅

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-03-20 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 07-03-20, 09:44 AM
  #8912  
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˄˄˄˄
Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
I spent the afternoon with my grown daughter, celebrating her birthday with a ride through Wenham, Hamilton, and Ipswich. She led me a merry chase on her Cross Check, and I endeavored to keep up on the Trucker DeLuxe.

We rolled cheery on our Surlys.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
It’s always a joy to ride with someone dear to you, as I have with my wife, for many years….
...as well as my son.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…My now-28 year old son was only perfunctorily interested in cycling, and was learning to drive at age 14. When he went to Ann Arbor (U of Michigan) for college in 2007 we bought him a used Schwinn road bike and he used it much while there, and for getting around Boston after he graduated….

I once took him [Mike] on a 25-mile charity ride as an adolescent, and it rained. He admitted it was a nice ride, even though it "sucked."

As a post adolescent, our only long (~20 mile) ride together was about five years ago. It was congenial, and he rode faster than me, though I complained he didn’t give me a chance to warm up, and he complained his derailleur wasn’t working right.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Actually for a few years he rode my wife’s circa 1972 French Mercier road bike that we had used on a cross-country bicycle honeymoon.

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Old 07-03-20, 11:33 AM
  #8913  
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Rode the Rawland clockwise around Battle Green this morning, the weather cool but not too cool, gray but not raining. The Mass. Ave. traffic was moderate, and a few other bikes were out. The Minuteman looked busy by comparison, so I just said No to that.


The Arlington Town Hall was forthrightly making a point.


As was the Revolutionary Monument on the Battle Green, erected circa 1799. I think of it as a secular stupa, and so ride around it clockwise.


In East Lexington, a householder is celebrating Independence Day with temporal depth, starting with the Bedford Flag, Vince Aut Morire. You can't see it without enlarging the image, but there's a Black Lives Matter poster displayed in one of the upper windows.


rod
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Old 07-03-20, 08:56 PM
  #8914  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Hi Rod,

It’s always a joy to ride with someone dear to you, as I have with my wife, for many years. I have previously replied to the occasional ride description that you do in a region remote from Minuteman and the northwest sector of Metro Boston, to one that I know well.

I have had many nice rides in the setting you rode above
Even those with a memorable mishap.˅˅˅˅
Jim,

It's a beautiful area to ride, for sure. Lots of ways through, more than one sort of ride to be had. I feel fortunate that my daughter settled up there, it provides occasion to head in that direction.

rod
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Old 07-04-20, 10:58 AM
  #8915  
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Took the Surly out on the morning of the 4th of July, up Mass. Ave. to Lexington.


Clockwise around the Battle Green.


Bicycles make the best time machines.


rod
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Old 07-06-20, 03:52 PM
  #8916  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out Sunday afternoon, revisiting the rivers and hills route through Arlington, Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham, balancing trails through parkland along the Mystic River and Malden River with energetic hill riding through town and through the Middlesex Fells. It's a varied ride, and merry one.

Medford: peeping through the trees at the Mystic River.


Medford, Mystic Valley Parkway underpass: Accept the madness.


Medford, Mystic River Reservation: this observation tower is the landmark that those whizzing by in cars on Route 16 can see, and stands for the whole system of linked parks... every so often, someone gets out of the car and finds their way to it.


The views, cool and breezy, are worth the trouble.


Who says Massachusetts doesn't have jungles? I could hear the plants breathe here.


Paddle-boarding on the Malden River. If we had manatees in Massachusetts, I think they'd live here.


The Route 16 underpass from the Wellington Greenway (really, the Wellington parking lot) to the Malden River Trail beckons.


The Fellsway East segment of this ride consists of two climbs and two descents, with the first climb being the longest, steepest, and slowest, and the second descent being the longest, steepest, and fastest. As the ancient poet sang, "Wheee!" Here's the crest of the first hill, in the Middlesex Fells.


At the bottom of the second hill, took the time to admire the jets d'eau at play in Malden's Fellsmere Park.


Paused for a meditative moment at the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, before rolling over the High Street hills, crossing the tracks and the Mystic one more time, and so on back to Arlington.


rod

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Old 07-07-20, 10:11 AM
  #8917  
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Morning ride on the Rawland, out Mass. Ave. to Lexington Center and clockwise around the Battle Green, with a sort of micro rush hour in progress, cars tailgating each other in groups of five or so, separated by long, empty, quiet intervals. Perhaps this is what REOPENING looks like.

I was reminded that in the 18th Century, church steeples were the tallest structures in the skyline, visible for miles, holding up the sky. It's still that way around the Battle Green.


rod
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Old 07-07-20, 09:20 PM
  #8918  
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After the guy finished cleaning the burners for the steam heat I hope not to need for at least the next five months, I had time for an afternoon ride, and realized that all I really wanted was an uncomplicated ride on the Minuteman out to Depot Park and back, so it was back on the Rawland and off to Bedford.








Nice ride. Featured a sighting of the rare Two-Headed Horse of Taylor Road.


rod
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Old 07-08-20, 03:08 PM
  #8919  
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Social distancing Minuteman mechanic while walking.

Talked someone through how to undrop their chain. They dropped on small/small (triple chainwheel).

Once they got the chain settled, told them to shift to middle chainring, avoid top and bottom sprockets, and asked where home was and where they bought the bike. (Lexington and Belmont Wheelworks.)

Sure they got home ok, hope they bring it in for a tuneup soon.

-mr. bill
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Old 07-08-20, 04:24 PM
  #8920  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Social distancing Minuteman mechanic while walking.

Talked someone through how to undrop their chain. They dropped on small/small (triple chainwheel).
Good on you! Though I wouldn't expected anything less.

I wonder what is going on in BF these days? I haven't been reading it much. Done no wrenching 'cuz I got nuthin' to do wrench-wise. Been riding Zwift in the living room and lifting a few weights for upper body work to stay in shape. Otherwise our only getting-out is to take our canoe out to the Sudbury R. People can't get but so close on the water.

Been to a few long-postponed doctor's appointments. The precautions they take are impressive. Driving through Brookline I noticed that all the walk light button on the stoplight poles had signs saying "Don't push the button", and everyone was wearing a mask. These things are helping us keep the Massachusetts rate down to fewer than 200 new cases a day. I wish everywhere was at 0 new cases.
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Old 07-08-20, 04:57 PM
  #8921  
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Took another clockwise turn around the Battle Green this morning. Today the color pink was salient.

First, in Lexington Center, Cake.


Then, in Arlington Center, waiting for the light at the Pleasant Street intersection, this skirt a young woman was wearing on her motorbike.


Cake. We could do worse. Likewise, pink.

rod
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Old 07-09-20, 10:17 AM
  #8922  
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Rode the Rawland clockwise around the Battle Green at nine of the clock, or thereabouts.

Arlington Center: Seen from a safe distance.


Arlington Heights: Something new comes slowly rolling.


rod

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Old 07-10-20, 06:43 PM
  #8923  
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Headed towards Lexington this afternoon under the skirts of Tropical Storm Fay, I was thinking I'd ride up the Minuteman until I saw a half-dozen bikes shoaling behind me while I waited for the light at the Mystic Street intersection That persuaded me to take Mass. Ave., and off I went when the light changed. I executed the customary clockwise circuit of the Battle Green, and observed that the boughs of trees surrounding the Revolutionary Monument were waving like prayer flags.


No sooner had I rounded the Green but a drizzle began. I took a left on Meriam Street, and picked up the Minuteman for the ride home. Good choice. The rain got progressively more intense, and was quite a respectable shower for a bit.




The showers eased, and ended at the Arlington line. I rode down the long hill, drying off. While waiting to cross Mystic Street from Winslow Street, a block N of Mass. Ave., I heard a godawful commotion coming from the Mass/Mystic intersection, including a crash, a scream, and what sounded to me like a series of amplified police orders. None of this sounded like anything I should ride towards, and so I rode home, wondering. I don't know what that was, but I hope it wasn't as bad as it sounded.

rod

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Old 07-12-20, 07:20 AM
  #8924  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe Saturday afternoon and rode East.


There were hills. And heat.


rod
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Old 07-12-20, 08:10 PM
  #8925  
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Took the Rawland out to Lexington Center on the Minuteman before dinner, making the most of the shade in the Summer heat.

Arlington: Queen Anne's Lace, Ice Cream, and XXX.


Lots of skaters today, generally competent.


Arlington's Great Meadow (in Lexington, of course): As green as the Emerald City, and at least as enchanting.


There was a little more than the usual amount of negligent operation on the Minuteman on this trip, mostly cyclists cutting things too close while silently passing. The worst was a grown man on a mountain bike who buzzed a very small child on a tiny bicycle, with about 6" to spare. The child held his line, and there was no catastrophe, but the sheer unnecessary folly of this maneuver was sickening. Stupid to the point of felony.

Other than that... a pleasant ride.

rod
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