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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-21-21, 08:32 PM
  #9501  
rholland1951
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Rode the GT over to Watertown this afternoon to read to my granddaughter Ida and hang out with my son Sam and daughter-in-law Jess. Good visit. Rode back at sunset. Sprinted in traffic both ways. Good ride in the mild air.


Mr. Bones got the illumination he deserved this time, and returned some of it in the Belmont murk.


rod
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Old 10-22-21, 12:49 PM
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Its been several (like 5) years since I rode the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail (NGRT) from the Bedford Depot. For some reason, I had a negative recollection of what it was like. Today, I decided to give it another shot, and this time I thoroughly enjoyed it. It runs about 3 miles north from the Depot, and passes through a mostly wooded area, with the exception of the Bedford VA complex. The surface is similar to most of the Reformatory Trail - packed dirt with some gravel. Just north of the VA is the Fawn Lake recreational area, accessible via a short side path. It was particularly pretty on this fall day. Here is a picture of the lake:




Here is the view looking back up the side path toward NGRT:





When I got back to the Depot, I was in the mood for a little more woods riding, so I tooled around on paths in the Elm Brook Conservation area, just off the Reformatory Trail. Here is a view of the path adjacent to Elm Brook:




This path has become my favorite way to get back to the Depot from the Reformatory Trail, as it comes out on South Rd, allowing you to bypass Railroad Avenue.

After all that fun in the woods I took the Minuteman back to Arlington for a total 27 mile ride. Good stuff on a beautiful fall day.

Tom
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Old 10-22-21, 07:59 PM
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Friday evening, I took the GT out on the Minuteman just after sunset. For a few minutes, some of the clouds had a little residual tinting, then night fell.








That thunk was night falling.




The ghost bike has a spectral light now.


The giant skeleton overlooking the Maple Street ramp has gotten seriously infernally duded up for the season.


rod
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Old 10-23-21, 10:50 PM
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Took the GT out Saturday afternoon and rode East.


Aside from allowing me to pay my respects at the Kurukula Center's stupa, this ride features hills and traffic, jointly or severally in various proportions along the way. I continue to get an unreasonable amount of pleasure from both, and feel that the hill climbing I've done on this route over the last year has made me a stronger rider. It can be hard to photograph, however, since the best parts of hills and traffic keep my hands and eyes pretty busy; it would be a good ride for a helmet camera, perhaps. Here's a photo made at the end of a long descent down the Fellsway East, at the Fellsmere park in Malden.


After sunset, I paused near the crest of the aptly-named High Street to photograph yet another instance of the danse macabre that is to be seen on many lawns at this season.


Something that I didn't photograph, but wish I had: the newly completed Medford Public Library. The end of construction has effectively widened High Street, and made the westbound climb up to the rotary at Winthrop Square considerably safer, a real improvement. Which is a polite way to say that the block-long, lane-wide bump-out that prevailed during construction dangerously narrowed a busy street, and led to some hairy encounters, but those days are past now.

rod

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Old 10-24-21, 06:44 AM
  #9505  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
I continue to get an unreasonable amount of pleasure from both, and feel that the hill climbing I've done on this route over the last year has made me a stronger rider. It can be hard to photograph, however, since the best parts of hills and traffic keep my hands and eyes pretty busy; it would be a good ride for a helmet camera, perhaps. Here's a photo made at the end of a long descent down the Fellsway East, at the Fellsmere park in Malden.
that's cool. you're rock steady! a human tripod! not much daylight these days. met a couple yesterday on the MM during their break at the depot restrooms. she told me they were riding Lowell to Boston, then back again. he was on a hybrid, she was on something with front shocks. they appeared experienced, well equipped & dressed. tried to figure out their whole route but didn't in my head
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Old 10-24-21, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
that's cool. you're rock steady! a human tripod! not much daylight these days. met a couple yesterday on the MM during their break at the depot restrooms. she told me they were riding Lowell to Boston, then back again. he was on a hybrid, she was on something with front shocks. they appeared experienced, well equipped & dressed. tried to figure out their whole route but didn't in my head
Interesting ride. Between the Bruce Freeman, the Minuteman, and the trails along the Charles, the lion's share could be done on trails.

rod

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Old 10-26-21, 06:47 AM
  #9507  
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anybody out in this storm this morning? better get out there before the trees start coming down ... had my bike under a cover, but Sunday I put it in the basement
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Old 10-26-21, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Interesting ride. Between the Bruce Freeman, the Minuteman, and the trails along the Charles, the lion's share could be done on trails
yeah, I've ridden from my house to Lowell & my house to Boston, just not sure if I took my house out of the equation if I would take the same routes. I did a quick google navigation & I think the round trip would be well over 60 miles. I'd "road bike" it for sure
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Old 10-27-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
anybody out in this storm this morning? better get out there before the trees start coming down ... had my bike under a cover, but Sunday I put it in the basement
The Minuteman was a bit of a disaster zone this morning with a ton of small fallen branches. Arlington DPW was cleaning up near TJs. There's also a tree down across the Alewife brook bridge right as the path crosses into Cambridge but one can walk under it.

The other Minuteman (NP) is probably going to get washed out even more than it already is.
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Old 10-27-21, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
The Minuteman was a bit of a disaster zone this morning with a ton of small fallen branches. Arlington DPW was cleaning up near TJs. There's also a tree down across the Alewife brook bridge right as the path crosses into Cambridge but one can walk under it.The other Minuteman (NP) is probably going to get washed out even more than it already is.
yikes! thanks for sharing. & not sure what you mean by: "The other Minuteman (NP)" I did Bedford to Spy Pond Arlington last weekend & didn't see any wash outs
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Old 10-27-21, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yikes! thanks for sharing. & not sure what you mean by: "The other Minuteman (NP)" I did Bedford to Spy Pond Arlington last weekend & didn't see any wash outs
The Battle Road trail in Minuteman National Park, which I rode on Sunday. There are a couple places where the rangers have put out 'rough trail' signs due to ruts and washouts and the heavy rain from last two days probably made them worse and they'd be hard to see under all the fallen leaves.
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Old 10-27-21, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
The Battle Road trail in Minuteman National Park, which I rode on Sunday. There are a couple places where the rangers have put out 'rough trail' signs due to ruts and washouts and the heavy rain from last two days probably made them worse and they'd be hard to see under all the fallen leaves.
oh I can see that happening, that trail is just stone dust or similar. can be crowded w/ pedestrians on nice summer days. love the re-enactors & all that they do, including the musket loading & firing! & the canons! wonder how much longer they will be allowed to use real gun powder
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Old 10-28-21, 09:34 AM
  #9513  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
oh I can see that happening, that trail is just stone dust or similar. can be crowded w/ pedestrians on nice summer days. love the re-enactors & all that they do, including the musket loading & firing! & the canons! wonder how much longer they will be allowed to use real gun powder
Yeah, they're a huge attraction, especially during leaf season. I saw lots of Christmas card photo sessions happening near the North Bridge

BTW, both Arlington and Lexington cleared out ALL the debris from the path by the evening, even the fallen leaves! I was very impressed. Timely, my wife sent me this survey so I left them some nice feedback - anyone riding on the Minuteman Bikeway might also be interested in filling out the survey
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ArlingtonMinuteman
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Old 10-28-21, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Yeah, they're a huge attraction, especially during leaf season. I saw lots of Christmas card photo sessions happening near the North Bridge

BTW, both Arlington and Lexington cleared out ALL the debris from the path by the evening, even the fallen leaves! I was very impressed. Timely, my wife sent me this survey so I left them some nice feedback - anyone riding on the Minuteman Bikeway might also be interested in filling out the survey
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ArlingtonMinuteman
oh how nice, def. will! btw there's good fishing around the pilings for that bridge. big giant sunnies! all you gotta do is drop a fly in & BAM! caught 20+ w/ my kids one year. went back w/ my Mom the next weekend & a Ranger said no fishing from shore, just from a boat! Mom was very disappointed cuz her Dad was a big fisherman & she was excited to try fly fishing. never did get her back out there w/ a boat. she's only 91, maybe it's not too late?
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Old 10-30-21, 04:49 PM
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Took the GT and rode East on Thursday afternoon.


I was wearing layers for a breezy day in the mid-40s; I retired my summer shoes for something warmer and sturdier.


Encountered a crew doing tree work on the Northern Strand, and dodged some small debris on the margins of some roads in Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham, but conditions were generally pretty good, and the 55mm René Herse Humptulips Ridge Extralights rolled over whatever was strewn in their path without complaint.


Peeked at peak foliage colors from the peak of one of my favorite hills on this route as the light faded.


Caught a glimpse of sunset colors in Malden.


Gazed at the planet Venus with a green light on the Mystic Valley Parkway.


rod
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Old 10-30-21, 09:34 PM
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Friday, I got the Rawland Nordavinden back on the road for the first time since June. "Took you long enough," Sam said.


By way of a shake-down ride, I rolled up the Minuteman to Lexington Center and back. I was having the usual "I love this bike!" reaction after so much time away, and cruised along admiring the changing foliage on the quiet trail.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders seemed to be going through a miniatures phase.


Good to be back on this bike. It was a peaceful ride on a chilly afternoon.


rod

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Old 10-31-21, 06:00 PM
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Hopped on the GT on Sunday and rode East.


It being Halloween, I also paid my respects at Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden's old burying ground. Just after I took this photo, a gust of wind blew the bike over, a sure sign of spectral intervention according to several literary traditions.


Dodged around the usual traffic and hills itinerary, with some wet spots thrown in that needed to be managed on this currently fenderless bike. I acquired a bit of a dorsal stripe on my jersey in consequence, but generally enjoyed the ride. Caught a gaudy expanse of sky over Medford Center.


A puddle gathered the sunset clouds against the curb in West Medford. I rode home to treat the tricksters.


rod
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Old 11-01-21, 06:47 PM
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out on the Minuteman again, really a second shake-down ride. Given the season and the time of day, this was both a sunset ride and a Fall foliage ride, more or less by accident.


The low sun lit up the distant treeline across the expanse of Arlington's Great Meadow. As usual, the Minuteman was serene until it wasn't.


The true sunset colors followed after a few more minutes.


Mr. Bones kept watch over the Maple Street ramp. He's in no hurry to be packed up for the season, and has a PowerPoint presentation he'd like to show you, explaining why he should stay on the job permanently.


rod
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Old 11-02-21, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
retired my summer shoes for something warmer and sturdier
those look like some Dunham shoes, that I got my money's worth out of
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Old 11-02-21, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
those look like some Dunham shoes, that I got my money's worth out of
Close: New Balance 928v2. New Balance and Dunham are corporate siblings, and I have a pair of Dunham slip-ons built to essentially the same last, work for my big feeeet..

rod
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Old 11-02-21, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Close: New Balance 928v2. New Balance and Dunham are corporate siblings, and I have a pair of Dunham slip-ons built to essentially the same last
oh haha imagine that, who knew!
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Old 11-02-21, 10:52 PM
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Tuesday afternoon, I took the Rawland Nordavinden out for a ride on the Minuteman before dinner, leaving a few minutes before the ridiculously early sunset. This was one of those days with a grayscale sunset: none of those pastel clouds, just a steady descent into darkness.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders had stood up a singleton figure, which I found compelling, but then show me a few rocks and I'm happy for hours.


As the light faded, I monkeyed with the phone's Night Sight capability, probably the most exotic thing I ever have in my pocket.




There was Mr. Bones, still on the job.


The lanternfish were out in force, with a few Invisibles thrown in just to make things interesting. Voices were heard in the night, mostly little scraps of conversation as bikes passed other bikes. The Nordavinden rolled quietly through the darkness.


A woman skating on wheeled cross-country ski trainers (with poles) had the most distinctive visual signature as she lunged through the darkness, headlamp abob.


rod

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Old 11-03-21, 03:15 PM
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Skier needs a taillight!
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Old 11-04-21, 02:16 PM
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Today's ride took me to Fresh Pond to see if there was any change with the connection to the Watertown Cambridge Greenway. Modest changes since early September. At the northern entrance, by the Cambridge Water Dept, the pavement transition seemed better, but there's is still a "Path Closed" sign. Despite that, folks, including myself, were making use of the section that passes under Huron Ave. Further south, the chain link fence blocking the path at Belmont St is gone, but there were still enough "closed" signs that I decided not to venture further.

Backtracking to Fresh Pond, I decided to do a loop of the pond, which somehow I have never done before. Lots of dog walkers! I stopped at the appropriately name Little Fresh Pond Dog Beach, where there were in fact lots of little dogs. All very friendly. Here is a picture of Little Fresh Pond:




I wonder if those are the same swans I have seen in Yates Pond adjacent to Alewife.

After finishing the loop of the pond, I returned to Alewife, with an out-and-back on the Fitchburg Cutoff before heading home. It was a short ride, but it put me over 1000 miles for 2021. I know that is not a lot compared to some of my fellow posters on this thread, but it was my goal for the year. Hopefully there is at least another month of riding before the snow flies.

Last edited by bike_tom; 11-04-21 at 05:33 PM. Reason: remove duplicated word
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Old 11-04-21, 03:32 PM
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Were there other than little dogs at the beach? Or should it really be named the Little Fresh Pond Little-Dog Beach?
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