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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-06-20, 07:23 AM
  #9051  
mr_bill
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Trees at Spy Pond:


Tree at First Parish:


-mr. bill
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Old 10-07-20, 04:32 PM
  #9052  
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I've been wondering lately about the harvest at the Cranberry Bog in Carlisle/Chelmsford, tended to, I believe, by the farmers at Great Brook Farm State Park. This can be tricky to find timely information about online, so I decided take the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out Tuesday and see for myself. This led to a 38-mile ride through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, and Carlisle, a return to old haunts not recently revisited, with lots of woods and hilly enough to keep the legs and lungs amused. As is sometimes the case, I left a little late given my time constraints, and so rode a little faster and stopped for pictures less often that I might have done on a mid-summer's day with a late sunset and no other commitments. But sometimes, haste is its own reward.

Fitch Tavern, circa 1710, Bedford: in 1775, said to be a place for a Minuteman to drink an ale in good company. Now perhaps a B&B.


Maple Street, Carlisle: if you're the right species, this beaver lodge in a beaver pond counts as a luxury condominium.


Milne Cove Road, Carlisle: we're not the only ones with a gnarly election this year, and lawn signs about this one appeared in several spots in Bedford and Carlisle.


North Road, Carlisle: circa 1789, one of several time machines in the neighborhood. I love North Road.


Great Brook Farm State Park, Carlisle: due to the pandemic, our restrooms are closed, but you can have all the free hand sanitizer you like, and your choice of one of our excellent trees.


Curve Street, Carlisle: green and secluded, a lovely place to ride a bicycle.


Cranberry Bog, Carlisle: Got Dog? Love Bog? Left Poop? Please Scoop! In my opinion, the authors of the Minuteman Burma Shave series could learn from this.


Cranberry Bog, Carlisle: definitely not harvest time. Conversations with dog walkers left me thinking that perhaps the harvest had run two weeks earlier, or perhaps there wouldn't be one this year. Always possible that it will start next week, of course. No cranberries were seen by me, in any event.


Cranberry Bog Reservoir, Carlisle: there's definitely some water here. Enough to fill the Bog? I don't know.


Curve Street, Carlisle: This image is dedicated to jimmuller , who first called it to our attention.


rod

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Old 10-07-20, 05:08 PM
  #9053  
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At noon today, I fit a little ride into a constellation of schedule constraints both social and meteorological. In spite of more-than-typical interventions from Murphy, had a quick and pleasant time of it, and hit my window.

Rode past the Medford WWI Memorial: the sculpture is titled "The Supreme Sacrifice". It was installed in May, 1941, a few months before the US entry into WWII.


There was time to pause and take the photo.

rod
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Old 10-10-20, 11:02 PM
  #9054  
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Saturday, I rode East.


Lately, these rides have become about riding up and down the numerous hills in Medford, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester, all part of the Fells Escarpment. The first and last of the hills traversed today was High Street in Medford, which runs from West Medford to Medford Center. In addition to the grade (the basic fun), the wind (auxiliary fun), and the road surface (bears watching), along with the two-handed shifting, judicious braking, and posting on the pedals as needed, the traffic was kind of special. Outbound, because road work had made it very slow and thick. Here I spent enough time wedged behind a bus to get a good view of one of its considerately placed warning labels.


Inbound traffic moved freely, but I was tailgated by an Armstrong ambulance, which was a little too close to being pursued by the Angel of Death for comfort (thanks to Laurence Sterne for the use of this metaphor, which I first encountered reading "A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy" while riding in a convoy through Southern Iraq, where it was certainly apposite).

Had better luck on other hills, catching a series of green lights while climbing Main Street in Malden and while descending on Fellsway East. Ran out of time before I ran out of hills. It was a pleasant, energetic ride, with a Summer feel to the air, however transitory.

rod

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Old 10-11-20, 05:01 PM
  #9055  
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A state of mental exhaustion affected my planning and execution of a Sunday afternoon ride, so I ended up riding out to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman. Of course, on this lovely day I ran smack into a full-up Easter Parade. Fortunately, I was able to mentally adapt to that, and cruised along placidly, slowing down when necessary rather than passing camel-like through the notional eye of the needle that lies between the lanes, whispering "I dare you!" to impatient cyclists... None for me thanks, not today. The chilling sea breeze didn't help, especially on the return, when it presented as a headwind.


It was a pretty day, though. And by the end of this little ride, the exhaustion was somewhat mitigated, so I marked up my ballot and put it in the drop box at the Fox Library.


rod

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Old 10-12-20, 06:22 AM
  #9056  
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For anyone planning on heading out to the Minuteman National Park, beware that there are many, many large trees down mostly between Bloody Angle and Brooks Village. On the west side of the boardwalk, by Brooks Village, you can walk around most of them. If you're heading east, right after the boardwalk you'll have to climb some big ones, with branches still attached.







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Old 10-12-20, 11:06 AM
  #9057  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
For anyone planning on heading out to the Minuteman National Park, beware that there are many, many large trees down mostly between Bloody Angle and Brooks Village. On the west side of the boardwalk, by Brooks Village, you can walk around most of them. If you're heading east, right after the boardwalk you'll have to climb some big ones, with branches still attached.

...


Cyclocross is where you find it. Sometimes, cyclocross is where it finds you. ;-)

rod
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Old 10-14-20, 10:58 PM
  #9058  
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Took the Rawland out for a short ride around 1pm. When I got to Arlington Center, it appeared the Minuteman was being underutilized, so I decided to help out with that. Had a pleasant, very low energy ride, enough activity to promote the circulation of lymph and not much more than that. Was passed by just about everybody, and just rolled along like Old Man River, whom I'm considering to adopt as a role model. Nice day for a lazy ride.


The urban forest along the Minuteman right-of-way has taken a lot of storm damage lately, although nothing much compared to what autonomy reported from the other Minuteman (see above). I didn't bother with photos of most of that, but thought this tree trunk suspended like the Sword of Damocles was pretty and menacing enough to be worth pausing to take its picture.


rod

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Old 10-16-20, 07:11 AM
  #9059  
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The new chicane at Minuteman/Lake St:



-mr. bill
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Old 10-16-20, 11:49 AM
  #9060  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
The new chicane at Minuteman/Lake St:



-mr. bill
I hope them goat-ropers will take the hint and just slow down. We shall see...

​​​​​​​rod
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Old 10-17-20, 09:49 PM
  #9061  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East.


The day was chilly, but at least it was windy; I added a windblock layer that took care of any risk of chilling. A stiff breeze flew all flags, be they the prayer flags at the Kurukulla Center or Old Glory snapping taut on poles along Main Street in Malden. It occurred to me that the national flag may have as many prayers riding on it just now as the ones the Vajrayana Buddhists fly. This does not, I think, put Kappy's in an equivalence class with the stupa, although no doubt it has its devotees..


Kept an eye on the clock while bombing around the hills, and timed my return so that I wasn't stuck out in the dark. Crossed the Mystic River into East Arlington at sundown.


rod
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Old 10-18-20, 05:04 PM
  #9062  
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Had a gentle spin out the Minuteman on the Rawland Nordavinden in the final hour before sunset. Thoughts came and went, as did the trail users with all their varied attributes and behaviors. Some of the trees were in their autumnal glory.




The 15 mph ESE tailwind that I hadn't really noticed outbound asserted itself as a headwind inbound, and we had a nice chat. I was glad for the wind-blocking jacket I layered over the merino jersey.


The sunset colors, when they came, were subtle. I pedaled home in a calmer state of mind than when I had begun.


rod
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Old 10-20-20, 07:10 AM
  #9063  
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Tactical PSA along the Minuteman in Arlington Center.

Technically not allowed, but wicked charming:



-mr. bill
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Old 10-20-20, 10:20 AM
  #9064  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Tactical PSA along the Minuteman in Arlington Center.

Technically not allowed, but wicked charming:



-mr. bill
Noted, voted, quoted.

rod
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Old 10-21-20, 12:01 AM
  #9065  
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It occurred to me that the weather was benign and that I hadn't ridden out the Charles this year, so off I went on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe, riding through Harvard Square and across the river, then following the trails along the South bank out to Nonantum and the Charles River Greenway Bridge in an unhurried fashion, stopping from time to time to take photos, often of the fall foliage strutting its stuff. At that point, I checked my email (never do that), and realized I needed to be back in Arlington in an hour, so I switched to the North Bank and sprinted home on the fastest paved alternatives on offer. Made it on time, and had a nice sprint, but no photos of that half of the ride. Nineteen miles through Arlington, Cambridge, Allston, Brighton, Newton, Watertown, and Belmont, on a mix of asphalt and stone dust surfaces.

Allston, approaching the Northeastern University boathouse: a regular fire drill of shells, bikes, and scooters on the trail. The shells eventually found their way into the water, but they were airborne for several minutes, while the crews discussed I don't know what.


The boathouse itself just sat there looking dignified, and ignored these high jinks.


Shortly thereafter, I passed a drumming circle in the park, and got a rhythmic boost for my pedal stroke.


The bell tower of the Perkins School displays what must be the largest Braille text in town. Think of the hand that will read it.


The Weir. The character of the river starts to change.


Nonantum: the Fall Foliage Ride commences.




The Charles River Greenway Bridge: I didn't know it yet, but that was my true destination today.


The view from the bridge, upstream. Hard to get more autumnal than that.


Some of the leaves that have already fallen are drifting downstream. Perhaps a few will make it to the Harbor. I turned my bike around and raced them as far as Cambridge.


rod

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Old 10-22-20, 04:15 PM
  #9066  
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I had the time, and the weather was certainly cooperating, but of the several rides my imagination proposed, none seemed more suitable than a simple ride on the Rawland out to Depot Park and back. So that's what I did.


Trees that were clad in vivid colors a week ago are now bare, their fallen leaves cover the path, the forest floor, and more. This became the salient feature of this ride, and I thought back to a recent ride report from sherbornpeddler as I rode over the leafy way.


A raft of leaves covers the Shawsheen River as it runs under the bikeway bridge, but I reckon there's water under there somewhere, and those without special talents would be ill-advised to try walking on it.


At Depot Park, the Buddliner has its own leafy avenue.


Pleasant ride, but one question lingers: did I really see a young woman riding a road bike, wearing turquoise kit, with a ferret perched on her right shoulder? Might have been a cat... Quite the apparition, and I'm just as happy to think that was a few milliseconds of poorly-organized synaptic activity on my part...

rod

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Old 10-23-20, 02:21 PM
  #9067  
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I rode out to Concord this morning on the MM and the Reformatory Trail. Traffic was light and the weather great, maybe a bit warm for the season. I saw a new artwork installation on the MM in Lexington, between the new visitors center and Hancock St: 4 painted doors. They're part of the "Go Out Doors" program. Here is one:




I just googled "Go Out Doors" and I see this is part of a public art project that has a display on the Bruce Freeman: https://theumbrellaarts.org/arts-env...t/go-out-doors
Been sticking closer to home this season, so I have not been on the BFRT.

Great Meadows in Concord was very busy for a weekday, the parking lot almost full. Lots of birders.

I didn't take a picture, but on this ride two weeks ago I noticed a new info kiosk and bike rack at Lavender Lane in Bedford. Nothing post on the kiosk yet. I was surprised to see a new amenity there given the pending paving of the Reformatory trail in the next couple of years.

Tom
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Old 10-24-20, 10:36 PM
  #9068  
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Rode the Rawland Nordavinden East this afternoon.


Normally, I ride that route--a mix of urban flats, stiff climbs, and brisk descents in Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham--on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe, with its 55mm Rat Trap Pass tires that shrug off the occasional encounters with rough pavement. However, when I went to the garage I discovered the rear tire on the Surly was mostly flat. I'd last ridden that bike the previous Wednesday, and the tire had been fine when I put it away. I inflated the Surly's rear tire, then left it for the day and took the Nordavinden out in its place. Its 32mm Grand Bois Cypres Extra Legere tires did fine with the rough patches, and the bike climbed and descended beautifully, staying stable through the occasional pothole and wind gust. I had a good, energetic ride on the Rawland, and was not surprised to discover that the rear tire of the Surly was still inflated when I returned home. I'll keep one eye on it.

Noticed that Bell Rock Cemetery in Malden--Malden's Old Burying Ground--was dressing itself in Halloween colors, right on cue.


Once again I chose to return before nightfall, and climbed the last two hills on the ride, on High Street between Medford Center and West Medford, at sunset. It was a pretty evening.


rod

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Old 10-25-20, 08:00 PM
  #9069  
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Forgot all about the football game today, just as well as it turned out, and took the Surly out for a ride on the Minuteman to test out the rear tire. It had appeared to hold the air that I put into it yesterday; so I topped it up, crossed my fingers, and took off about 15 minutes before sunset. The sky was gray and temperatures fell into the 40s, and the Minuteman wasn't crowded. I cranked along and enjoyed the displays of turning leaves.






Of course, there were also a couple of seasonal spectral visitations.




By the time I turned around at Lexington Center, it was dark enough for the lights to be necessary, although some folks were doing without. The young blind woman, a Minuteman regular, had an excellent be-seen light showing. I rode home, inspected the rear tire, and came to the conclusion that it had been sound from start to finish. Seems to me this sort of thing has happened a couple of times before over the years. I guess I won't rush to swap out the tube and palpate the inner surface of the tire for embedded sharps.


rod

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Old 10-26-20, 05:21 PM
  #9070  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
... I rode home, inspected the rear tire, and came to the conclusion that it had been sound from start to finish. Seems to me this sort of thing has happened a couple of times before over the years. I guess I won't rush to swap out the tube and palpate the inner surface of the tire for embedded sharps.
So, this afternoon I went out to the garage to collect the Rawland Nordavinden for a ride. The Surly beckoned me (the way bicycles will), and said, "Hey pal. Have a look at my rear tire today. Flatter than a flounder. What do you think now?" "Well," I said, "that does look somewhat unsound, now that you mention it." "You think?" said the Surly, living up to its name. "I suppose," said I, "that the moral of this story is that a slow leak is still a leak. I'll swap a new tube in tomorrow, and see what can be seen about just how this happened." "I'd appreciate that," said the Surly. "But I'll appreciate it more after you've done it. Tomorrow, huh?" "Oh, don't worry," I said, "nobody is going to sit on you in the meantime." "They'd better not," said the Surly.


At that, I put a couple of pumpfuls of air into the Rawland's tires (still pleasingly intact), and rode off to the Minuteman for a little ride to Lexington Center and back. Not so crowded today, with a few squadrons of the AHS girls cross-country team out on maneuvers.


Arlington's Great Meadow appeared to have a little ground fog, but perhaps my mask was fogging my glasses.


A large pine had fallen from the margin of the Munroe Cemetery almost to the shoulder of the Minuteman. Must have made a grand racket.




The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders continue to evolve. Lately, tiny hats (or, perhaps, tiny heads) have emerged. Whether this is a parent-child pair, or a couple, they do seem to have a dog.


Speaking of evolution, the dot matrix sign in the fence of the house on Broadway in East Arlington that has been up since the beginning of the pandemic has morphed in a civic-minded way.


rod

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Old 10-29-20, 11:25 AM
  #9071  
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At Spy Pond Minuteman Bikeway. The tree house has gone.

A very good couple of years.




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Old 10-29-20, 03:07 PM
  #9072  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
At Spy Pond Minuteman Bikeway. The tree house has gone.

A very good couple of years.




-mr. bill
That'll be missed. It reminded me of Monkeyville.


rod

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Old 11-02-20, 05:14 PM
  #9073  
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This morning I rode my Allroads 23 miles out to Concord Ctr and back. It was delightfully cold but not freezing. The wet roads had me fearing black ice but I was conservative in the corners and kept the rubber side down the whole time. Upon arriving home my bike looked as if some hideous monster threw up chewed leaves all over it. Saturday’s wet ride was equally dirty. My Boone 7 and it’s Schwalbe Winter studded tires was covered in winters finest dried salt spray in October.

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Old 11-05-20, 10:04 PM
  #9074  
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Last week's snow caught me unprepared, so this week I took my venerable old GT Karakoram 26" rigid MTB, long and low with a triple triangle frame, out of storage and lubed the chain and derailleurs. Today I wiped off the excess oil, and took it out on a spin around the Mystic Lakes to make sure it was still a bicycle.


Good day for a ride.




It was, indeed, still a bicycle, so the next step will be to take off the old Compass 26"x1.75" tires (a.k.a., "Compassellas), and put on the studded Nokians. But perhaps first it will get a little riding in this configuration before the snow comes again.

After putting the GT in the garage, I took the flat rear tire off the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and swapped out the tube. I could, in fact, find no holes in it, and it appears to be holding air, so I'm suspecting that the thin-walled Schwalbe SV-14 is simply bleeding air through the rubber like an old fashioned balloon. Since I replaced that tube with an even thinner SV-14a, I expect more slow leaking, but pumping builds upper body strength, so what the hey. After pumping up the Rat Trap Pass/SV14a combination, I put it back on the bike and took it for a shakedown ride on the Minuteman as night was falling in the maddeningly premature way that it does at this season.






The tire held its air nicely, and the bike handled well as I chased my headlights to Lexington Center and back. I was still in shorts and a short-sleeved jersey, and it was still enough. Here's hoping this weather lasts until May. We'll see how long the rear tire takes to deflate this time.

rod

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Old 11-06-20, 05:30 PM
  #9075  
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Spent a good part of the day preparing the house for Winter, then took the Rawland Nordavinden for a sunset ride on the Minuteman to enjoy the fine Indian Summer evening.








rod
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