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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 04-27-21, 11:51 PM
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rholland1951
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Managed to set out Tuesday on the Surly Trucker DeLuxe with less time than I needed for the ride I had in mind, a lovely ramble through Concord, Lincoln, Wayland, Sudbury, Weston, etc. I more or less realized that at the time, but rode the first segments of that ride, anyway, waiting for inspiration to show me a quicker path. That approach took me out the Minuteman...


... on past Depot Park....


... out the Reformatory Branch...


... and on into Concord Center, where I got into conversation with someone whom I hadn't seen out and about since the pandemic started: the Concord Lamp & Shade Lamp Lady.


I explained the situation, and she didn't hesitate. "You will under no circumstances ride to Water Row," she said. "You'd miss dinner! You must ride to Ponyhenge, instead."


As she certainly isn't a Lamp Lady to be ignored, I took her advice, which involved following my original route out Walden Street, on past the margins of Walden Pond down Route 126, into Lincoln and then Wayland, as far as Waltham Street, where I turned East. I followed that past the Toaster House...


A few turns of the crank and Wayland had reverted to Lincoln, Waltham Street had become Old Sudbury Road, and I had reached my new destination: Ponyhenge!




After a mad whirl with the ponies, I conferred with the Pocket Devil as to the best dinner-preserving route back to East Arlington.


The Pocket Devil sent me across Lincoln to Trapelo Road, past the Peace Barn, which I was pleased to see was still standing. You never know with Peace Barns.


Continuing on Trapelo Road, I hurtled down one hill to the Cambridge Reservoir, cranked methodically up the next hill into Waltham, and so on across Route 128 to Spring Street, Lexington, where I raced a young woman who passed me on her bicycle, passing her in turn on Merritt Road and ultimately dropping her a bit past Dunback Meadow. All that haste got me to dinner in good time.

"Ponyhenge" is now a toponym that is searchable in Google Maps, with its own pin. Just ask the Lamp Lady.

rod

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Old 04-30-21, 08:20 PM
  #9227  
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Is it just me, or have we really been having an unusual number of windy days this year? Either way, today was yet another windy one. I took the Rawland Nordavinden out on the Minuteman for a ride up to Lexington Center, with a 20+ mph headwind on the outbound leg, a dandy tailwind on the return, and occasional gusty cross-winds that did whatever it was they wanted. First time in a while that I've found it necessary to downshift (repeatedly) to make progress against the wind. I found myself taking a series of pictures of the wind, in the customary manner.








A little girl on a bike appeared to be having more fun with the wind than anyone else on the Minuteman.


A windfall tree across the path created an impromptu cyclocross opportunity. I took the high road over the tree outbound, and the low road under the tree inbound.


All in all, a nice ride, a little more vigorous than the typical Minuteman quickie. And I appreciated those two big old gyroscopes helping me keep the rubber side down when the gusts got playful.

rod

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Old 05-01-21, 10:41 PM
  #9228  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East, for another afternoon of playing in traffic and surfing the hills fringing the Fells Reservation (sometimes simultaneously). Spring proceeds apace, and the folks at the Kurukulla Center were refreshing the stupa with a little gardening.


On Everett Street in East Arlington, I caught sight of a number of very small soccer players, drilling, in a scene reminiscent of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic".


The greenery is back on the banks of the Malden River, and the cormorants are fishing.


The greenery is back in the Bell Rock Cemetery, as well.


It was another windy day, as this food truck parked in a lot next to the Northern Strand demonstrated with its canopy. This occasionally made some hills seem a little steeper.


I have come to love riding hills, and seek them out, but I find them somewhat hard to photograph. Quite apart from the difficulty finding a good place to stand to take the photograph, without getting an SUV in your back pocket, and then resuming a climb after the photo's taken, in too many photos an upslope gets turned into a downslope, or vice versa, through some sort of psychovisual magic that I don't understand. But I keep trying at intervals, even though it's often more fun to just ride the hills.




Rode West again, heading home.


Speaking of masks, which we weren't, I wore a KN95 mask on today's ride as has become usual for me over the months of the pandemic. At some point that will change, perhaps, but at the moment it feels safer to ride that way... and it filters the tree pollen. So I noted the recent relaxation of outdoor mask wearing, but didn't act on it.


rod

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Old 05-02-21, 12:20 PM
  #9229  
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Wanting to continue expand the sense of exploration I headed back to Boscowan NH and rode the Northern Rail Trail to Lebanon NH yesterday. I fought a brutal cool and ever persistent head wind the entire 60 miles to Lebanon NH. I had hoped to cross over to White River Junction VT but after a few miles of trying fatigue and a want for warmth led me to ride to my hotel for the night. I closed the day out with 68 miles. Today was warmer, wind free and largely down hill. A hard deadline to be home had me hitting the road at 0600 for 60 miles back.






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Old 05-02-21, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Wanting to continue expand the sense of exploration I headed back to Boscowan NH and rode the Northern Rail Trail to Lebanon NH yesterday.
Mike, nice!

We took our tandem out early this morning with the expectation that it might be a tough day. The wind gusts made us decide to terminate the ride early. So we ended up with only 10.4 miles. Still, it was a good day.
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Old 05-02-21, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Wanting to continue expand the sense of exploration I headed back to Boscowan NH and rode the Northern Rail Trail to Lebanon NH yesterday. I fought a brutal cool and ever persistent head wind the entire 60 miles to Lebanon NH. I had hoped to cross over to White River Junction VT but after a few miles of trying fatigue and a want for warmth led me to ride to my hotel for the night. I closed the day out with 68 miles. Today was warmer, wind free and largely down hill. A hard deadline to be home had me hitting the road at 0600 for 60 miles back.






Wow! Adverse conditions aside, that's quite a ride!

rod
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Old 05-02-21, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Mike, nice!

We took our tandem out early this morning with the expectation that it might be a tough day. The wind gusts made us decide to terminate the ride early. So we ended up with only 10.4 miles. Still, it was a good day.
The wind has been asserting itself, for sure.

rod
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Old 05-02-21, 05:04 PM
  #9233  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Wow! Adverse conditions aside, that's quite a ride!

rod
Thanks Rod, It was a good experience all around. I’m thinking I’ll do this same ride again in the fall and again try to cross into Vermont for the first time (on the bike).
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Old 05-02-21, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Mike, nice!

We took our tandem out early this morning with the expectation that it might be a tough day. The wind gusts made us decide to terminate the ride early. So we ended up with only 10.4 miles. Still, it was a good day.
Thanks Jim, that wind was persistent.
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Old 05-03-21, 11:05 PM
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Got a ride in Monday afternoon, before dinner and before Arlington Town Meeting commenced another virtual session. Took the Rawland Nordavinden up to Lexington Center and back, cranking in an unusually single-minded way, enjoying the particular virtues of that bike and not stopping to take photographs, except when I was stopped for some other reason. For example, at the traffic signal at Mass. & Mystic...


After a quick passage on this little route, I reached the end of the line.


rod

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Old 05-07-21, 01:15 PM
  #9236  
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I took another day off work today and rode the Motobecane for 27.8 miles. The usual haunts.

The river is up, which isn't surprising after all the rain we've had lately.
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Old 05-07-21, 04:53 PM
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Knocked off the paperwork for a bit this afternoon, and took a ride on the old GT Karakoram with the new set of René Herse 26" x 2.3" Humtulips Ridge Extralight dual-purpose knobbies (HTRs for short, or HTR ELs for a little less short). As previously discussed these go faster than knobbies should on pavement, more quietly than they should due to a noise-cancellation hack, and possess the usual light-weight, supple casings that make some of us fond of Compass/René Herse tires. I'm still at the giggly stage with this configuration, enjoying the fact that this 30+ year old bike feels, well, new. The route was anything but new, out the Minuteman to Lexington Center and back, but was pleasant nonetheless.


Stopped at Peepers Pond.


The original idea was to commune with the swans, but I was distracted by a rare sighting of the Peepers Pond Cryptid, "Peepsie" to her friends. (Cue the theremin)


I regained my composure, and greeted the swan, as well, just to be polite.


rod
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Old 05-09-21, 05:15 PM
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Saturday afternoon, I took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and road East.


Somewhere in amongst the customary playing in traffic, cranking up hills, and whizzing down hills that this route entails, my logged miles since I started my current bicycling epoch (circa 2010) passed 24,901, the nominal circumference of Earth at the equator. It's just a number, but, like retirement age, it's one that I've been tracking my approach to out of the corner of my eye. So this led to some reflection, expressed here as animated gifs sampling some of those miles.












After what suddenly seemed like an exceptionally long journey, I rode West, and headed back to East Arlington.


Hmmm... what to do for the next 25,000 miles or so?

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Old 05-09-21, 05:47 PM
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I gleefully headed out at 0545 this morning on my Seven Redsky for 42 miles through Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle, Bedford and Acton. Not necessarily in that order. Spring mornings are my absolutely favorite time to ride! The birds, the flowers, the scents......
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Old 05-09-21, 10:41 PM
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I've been off the bike for quite some time but I'm trying to get back into things lately. Today I took the Trek for a dry run of my future cycling commute from Union Square-ish in Somerville to Downtown Boston. It was my first time crossing at the Longfellow since they installed the protected lanes a few years ago. They were nice, and thankfully nobody got stuck behind me lugging my heavy bike and too-heavy body up the hill onto the bridge. Looks like the commute will be about half an hour when the office opens up, which is pretty good.

I was feeling pretty good after that so I took the new/very nice protected bike lanes around the perimeter of Boston Common/Public garden and walked over the footbridge onto the Esplanade (beware, this footbridge closes next week and won't reopen until September). Then I took the Charles bike path up to Arsenal street, and doubled back on the north side of the river until I got to Harvard square and cut through Cambridge to get home. A relatively modest ~15 miles, but I'm feeling happy about that after so long out of the saddle.

Now if only I could resolve my apartment's nasty stairs situation...
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Old 05-10-21, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by DBrim View Post
Now if only I could resolve my apartment's nasty stairs situation...[/img]
Nice report. Looks like a good day!

There is a trick to negotiating stairs. Most people stand beside the bike, pick it up, and try to walk up or down stairs (remembering to pick up the bike so that you are on the outside of any turns you may have to go around). A better way is to pick up the bike by the front wheel and let the rear wheel stay on the ground. Then you roll the bike up or down the stairs as you hold it from above so that it doesn't tip sideways. You go up stairs backwards while facing the bike, pulling the bike up as the rear wheel thumps over each step. You go down forward, letting the bike roll down each step. It's easier than it sounds.

Maybe you knew this already and I'm just wasting finger cycles.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Nice report. Looks like a good day!

There is a trick to negotiating stairs. Most people stand beside the bike, pick it up, and try to walk up or down stairs (remembering to pick up the bike so that you are on the outside of any turns you may have to go around). A better way is to pick up the bike by the front wheel and let the rear wheel stay on the ground. Then you roll the bike up or down the stairs as you hold it from above so that it doesn't tip sideways. You go up stairs backwards while facing the bike, pulling the bike up as the rear wheel thumps over each step. You go down forward, letting the bike roll down each step. It's easier than it sounds.

Maybe you knew this already and I'm just wasting finger cycles.
I'll have to give that a shot. I've indeed been trying pick up on your side method. It sort of works on the way down, though I can't shoulder the bike because there's a low ceiling (I'm 6'2" and can bonk my head on it if I'm not careful) but at least my right side with front wheel down feels pretty natural. Going up is another story, because the bike needs to be on my left and I can't find a way to make that comfortable. Doesn't help that the bike is >35 pounds and externally cabled. There are two very tight u-turns on the way up.

The concern with your method is the carpet on the stairs, though I suppose that might be preferable to scuffing up the walls. With either method I think I just need practice (ride more! got it) but my landlord might not be thrilled with the early results of said practice. The apartment also has an external staircase where there's no paint or carpet to ruin but it's somehow even tighter. No room to carry the bike next to me on that one, but maybe your method would be good there.

The joys of living in a building built in the 1850s, I suppose.
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Old 05-11-21, 07:00 PM
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Took a break in the mid-afternoon, rolling the Rawland Nordavinden up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman on a fine, sunny, breezy day, temperatures in the 60s. Pretty much perfect Spring weather, unless you prefer the 70s.


I found myself behind two women, a cyclist giving a skater an old-school tow up the hill. I managed to snap three frames on the roll, and stitched them together into a little animation.


The Rawland has become my bike of choice for windy rides; its lively frame and low-trail geometry makes adapting to the crosswind gusts second nature. Good ride today, just like the man said.


rod

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Old 05-12-21, 10:50 PM
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The sole photograph of a quick sprint up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman this afternoon, in what the weather radar claimed was rain but in fact was no such thing, on the Rat Trap Pass shod Surly Trucker DeLuxe. Those big shoes make good time when you ask them nicely. Took the edge off Arlington Town Meeting.


rod
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Old 05-13-21, 07:13 AM
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Happy Spring everyone. It's nice to see those of us who took a winter break from cycling back on the road. This week I decided to take a break from my usual rides to the west and ride east (from Arlington) via the Alewife Linear Park and the Somerville Community Path, to check out the progress on the Green Line Extension (GLX). As many of you know, the Path eastern terminus is currently at Lowell St Somerville. As part of the GLX, the Path is going to be extended all the way to the Charles River. The photo below was taken at the current end point at Lowell St.




The foreground is the end of the pavement at the existing turnaround. The fresh concrete a few hundred feet back is presumably the extension of the Path. Hopefully by the end of the year they will meet up.
I am looking forward to being able to ride all the way to the Charles / Lechmere area on a dedicated path. My understanding is that there are also (eventually) improvements coming for getting from Alewife to the Charles via the Fresh Pond area. That would make a nice off-street urban loop.

On the way back I took a short side trip to Belmont on the Fitchburg Cutoff. I understand that someday the Belmont Community Path will connect that to the rest of the Mass Central Rail Trail, but who knows when that will be...
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Old 05-13-21, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post

The foreground is the end of the pavement at the existing turnaround. The fresh concrete a few hundred feet back is presumably the extension of the Path. Hopefully by the end of the year they will meet up.
I am looking forward to being able to ride all the way to the Charles / Lechmere area on a dedicated path. My understanding is that there are also (eventually) improvements coming for getting from Alewife to the Charles via the Fresh Pond area. That would make a nice off-street urban loop.

On the way back I took a short side trip to Belmont on the Fitchburg Cutoff. I understand that someday the Belmont Community Path will connect that to the rest of the Mass Central Rail Trail, but who knows when that will be...
Isn't the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway supposed to be done soon? Though I'm not sure if that gets all the way to the Charles River path. https://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Proj...egreenway.aspx
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Old 05-13-21, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bike_tom View Post
Happy Spring everyone. It's nice to see those of us who took a winter break from cycling back on the road. This week I decided to take a break from my usual rides to the west and ride east (from Arlington) via the Alewife Linear Park and the Somerville Community Path, to check out the progress on the Green Line Extension (GLX). As many of you know, the Path eastern terminus is currently at Lowell St Somerville. As part of the GLX, the Path is going to be extended all the way to the Charles River. The photo below was taken at the current end point at Lowell St.




The foreground is the end of the pavement at the existing turnaround. The fresh concrete a few hundred feet back is presumably the extension of the Path. Hopefully by the end of the year they will meet up.
I am looking forward to being able to ride all the way to the Charles / Lechmere area on a dedicated path. My understanding is that there are also (eventually) improvements coming for getting from Alewife to the Charles via the Fresh Pond area. That would make a nice off-street urban loop.

On the way back I took a short side trip to Belmont on the Fitchburg Cutoff. I understand that someday the Belmont Community Path will connect that to the rest of the Mass Central Rail Trail, but who knows when that will be...
I live fairly close to the future Gilman Square station and from the Walnut Street bridge I am not entirely clear on what they are currently doing with the path. It seems like there may be a ramp in progress to take bikes up to street level from the tracks (there is a ~10-15 foot wide flat section next to the tracks) but I'm not sure if that is going to be used for the bike path or if it's pedestrian access for the station. At any rate it looks further behind than the station platform, which is almost fully constructed. The Ball Square platform is almost done too. The station itself is supposed to open this fall so I suppose we will get answers sooner rather than later.
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Old 05-13-21, 11:01 PM
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Wedged in another quick late-afternoon ride up to Lexington Center and back on the Minuteman, this time on the 1987 GT Karakoram rigid mtb wearing Rene Herse 559-53 Humtulips Ridge dual-purpose knobbies (read, fast and quiet on pavement while you're riding on the road to get to the to the trailhead). It would be inaccurate to say I rode like the wind, but I did ride like a motivated septuagenarian pedaling a bike half his age that was fitted with this year's frisky tires. Beats walking.




In other bicycle phenomena today, I encountered a green Bluebike parked in the Linwood Street station at Spy Pond, Arlington. For a moment, I thought Limebikes were back.


rod
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Old 05-14-21, 09:11 AM
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No pictures but yesterday I completed my bike commute from this apartment in Somerville to my office in downtown Boston, despite living here for five years. It was also my first time in the office since pre-covid. It was not my first bike commute ever, I used to do it quite regularly a few years ago, but it was nice to get back to it.

The pedestrian bridge from the Public Garden (-ish) to the Esplanade doesn't close until this weekend, but I decided to take the route without it anyways as that will be the regular route soon. This involves riding down Cambridge Street, which is much more difficult than my inbound path which uses Charles Street and then cuts through Boston Common. According to my Garmin thing I hit 10 red lights in the mile and a half between the office and the Longfellow on my way out, which is pretty irritating. Didn't have too many issues with cars though, so at least there was that.
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Old 05-14-21, 12:14 PM
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jimmuller 
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Bikes: 73 Raleigh Carlton Gran Sport, 72 Peugeot UO-8, 82 Peugeot TH8, 87 Bianchi Brava, 76? Masi Grand Criterium, 87 Centurion Ironman Expert, 74 Motobecane Champion Team, 86 & 77 Gazelle champion mondial, 81? Grandis, 82? Tommasini, 83 Peugeot PF10

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Wow, green bikes where blue bikes ought to be, unknown work on bike paths, commuting through traffic anyway! Lots of stuff going on. I took today off work and went for a ride on the Masi. Had to swap out one tire which went soft. Otherwise it was a nice day. 28.55 miles.

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