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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 07-29-18, 06:07 PM
  #7501  
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I've been by this place a few times. It looks like it must have been a store at one time. Anyway, it was a great day to ride. I logged 40 miles today which wasn't bad if you consider that I was debating whether to ride, or go back to bed.
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Old 07-29-18, 08:19 PM
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After a tough day yesterday we managed 30.23 miles on the tandem today.
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Old 07-29-18, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by E53 View Post

I've been by this place a few times. It looks like it must have been a store at one time.
The Sudbury Reconnaissance Report lists this as the Bowker Store: "This ca. 1910 general store and post office was run by Everett Bowker. Gas pumps were added in the 1920s or 1930s."

rod

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Old 07-30-18, 05:58 AM
  #7504  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
The Sudbury Reconnaisance Report lists this as the Bowker Store: "This ca. 1910 general store and post office was run by Everett Bowker. Gas pumps were added in the 1920s or 1930s."

rod
Thanks Rod,
At long last, I can attach a name to this place. What I'd really like to see now is a picture of the place while it was operating. I poked around, but so far found nothing.
There is a reference to a "Captain Bowker" who served during the Revolution. Here is a link to some more pictures of the building; https://www.flickr.com/photos/47858494@N03/17315812202
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Old 07-30-18, 08:04 AM
  #7505  
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Speaking of the Reconnaissance Reports...

A useful resource for planning new rides are the Mass. DCR Reconnaissance Reports on the historic and scenic assets of a number of towns. It's been 5 years since I last posted the link to them, so here it is again. They won't tell you what's new in a town, but they sure will tell you what's old. A good adjunct to your bicycle as time machine.

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Old 07-30-18, 01:24 PM
  #7506  
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Cool to catch up with what everyone's been up to. I've been gone gallivanting around France and Belgium but I managed to get a couple rides in, got some crappy cell phone pics. First, wife and I rented road bikes in Normandy (Bayeux) and rode the small country roads in hopes of reaching Omaha Beach. Instructions were "just stay on small roads and go in that direction" which kind of jibes well with my understanding of how European tourists find their way.


Livestock EVERYWHERE!

This is pretty much what every single small road looks like (trying to stay away from D-labeled roads)




These hay wheels are as ubiquitous as livestock


Skies turned gray and rainy just as we reached Omaha Beach, very fitting weather. All the WWII sites were very moving, especially Pt. Du Hoc which to this day contains craters, fortifications, and collapsed cliffs.


There were bikes and bike tourists everywhere as well. And campers too. Those are not fun to share the super-narrow roads with although for the most part everyone was courteous. This was my first time getting passed by a tractor.

Then onto Paris, where I got my first taste of an electric bike - and the horror that Paris' former bike-share model to the world has become. Driving in Paris was absolutely hair-raising and mind-numbing, and I've driven in Nice before and thought it was fine. Biking, on the other hand, was much less stressful. Not only is there great infrastructure, there seems to be a 'vulnerable user' priority where cars will actually yield to scooters and cyclists... good luck with that in the US.

The electric bike was kind of neat - you start pedaling and it just goes on its own. I couldn't say that I could go faster on this or that I got a lot of help at higher speeds. We weren't able to find another functioning e-bike after this so used regular bikes if we could find them - and they didn't seem like all that much extra work. For commuting and general errands I totally see the value of an eBike.

Soon, our plans for getting around on bikes were falling apart. The new company that acquired Velib stopped maintaining the bikes and stations, so we had lots of trouble finding stations with bikes or even if a station had 10 bikes, you couldn't check any of them out. I got a subscription for two bikes and eventually the system stopped letting me check out two at the same time... probably thinking one of them was checked out.
Then, this happened to my wife's bike shortly after leaving a station:

But I laughed at this too soon - on this same trip my bike locked itself randomly after a stop and wouldn't steer. So I had to drag it to the nearest station, but, thankfully, in the process it failed completely and the steering failed open - so I was able to make it to our hotel where the dock proceeded to grab onto the bike but not register it with the system such that I was no longer able to check out a bike. So frustrating.

Did not actually ride bikes in Brussels or Bruges, but did ogle at many. Over there most bikes are a means of transport; many are electric, most are step-through, and most are very unassuming - in contrast to bikes over here being for entertainment/exercise purposes first, utility second. In Bruges they were simply left outside - either cable-locked to another bike, or - like in Germany - locked through the rear wheel with a frame lock, same idea as the LimeBikes you see these days. Does not prevent theft by carrying them away but prevents people from riding them.



Now I'm back in town, riding through hordes of ominous-looking LimeBikes peeking out from the sides of the trail.
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Old 07-30-18, 01:58 PM
  #7507  
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A couple of shots of Comm Ave on Friday. While these two are eerily quiet, much of Comm Ave was *NOT* this quiet. Apparently, lots of people consider themselves "local residents."

Bridge parts are BIG:



Easier to see the COMMONWEALTH AVE PHASE 2A in progress without all the motor vehicles in the way:



-mr. bill
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Old 07-30-18, 04:37 PM
  #7508  
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Cool to catch up with what everyone's been up to. I've been gone gallivanting around France and Belgium but I managed to get a couple rides in...



Great report, sounds like a wonderful trip! Welcome back!

rod
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Old 07-30-18, 05:25 PM
  #7509  
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At the hour that should have been after lunch, if I had remembered to eat lunch, I rode the Rawland Nordavinden on a 32-mile, pavement-only variation of the North Bridge loop, through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, and Lincoln.


Peepers Pond: communing with the swan family.


Despite the beautiful weather, traffic on the Minuteman was relatively light. I attribute this to workday conditions during a period of more-or-less full employment.


The mighty Shawsheen River is low, slow, and muddy, and requests more rain, please.


Saw several skaters on the Bedford section of the Minuteman. Most trail skaters who have evolved beyond the OMG-please-don't-let-me-fall stage seem to be emulating speed skaters, some quite competently; those I cheer when they pass me. This one seems to be a figure skater, more fun to watch.


I came to realize that I really should have had lunch before setting out, so made up for that quite nicely with some of Bedford Farms' excellent peach ice cream, one of the nicest ways we know it's Summer.


Thus fortified, I stormed the rolling hills of River Road, Carlisle, and Monument Street, Concord. Took the traditional picture at the top of the hill. The Queen Anne's lace and black-eyed Susans in the middle ground are also nice ways to inform oneself that Summer is here.


On to the top of another hill: the intersection of Virginia Road and Old Bedford Road, Lincoln. There was briefly a ghost bike here, but the Town removed it so as not to alarm the motorists. Wonder if it would be possible to add ghost bikes as a feature on Google Maps (perhaps in Bicycle view)?


Stopped to assess the state of the Cambridge Reservoir. In contradistinction to the Shawsheen, it was nice and wet. A couple of guys were fishing, but I left them out of the photo, since someone might be grumpy about that. It did remind me of what WC Fields said about water, however.


Home via Marrett Road, Maple Street, and the Minuteman, getting me out of the way of serious rush hour traffic a few minutes before that got cranking. Lovely day for a ride.

rod
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Old 07-31-18, 03:12 AM
  #7510  
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Hi @rodholland1951,

On 7/27, you wrote,
Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Took the Trucker DeLuxe East again. Those 55mm Compass Rat Trap Pass Extralights soaked up a lot of rough pavement at speed on this ride.
You may find this post interesting, on the Advocacy & Safety Forum thread, “Why MUPS Fail”:
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I just rode on a MUP in Malden, MA I would consider a failure based on the one time I've ridden it. There was almost literally no one on it, it was beautifully paved, you could go as fast as you wanted on stretches of it, but it sat empty. Why?

Well, it appears to be an old rail line that essentially threads between fenced off parking lots. No one would likely want to walk it because there's nothing pleasant about it, and it just parallels streets with perfectly good sidewalks. On the other hand, I found it was a terrible ride for bicycles because of the way it crossed two main thoroughfares about 50 feet away from the intersection--these crossings were placed just about perfectly to get hit by a turning car who wouldn't be looking for a cyclist at that location. Having made those crossings because I didn't want to check a map to figure out the parallel streets, I can say with confidence I would never choose to do so again.

Now I could be wrong, maybe there are times when people are using this path a lot, but this was late morning Saturday, which is usually a pretty busy time on an urban MUP, and I may have seen two other riders in a few miles.

Failure of a MUP doesn't occur because too many people are using it, it occurs when nobody wants to use it. I rode on a fairly crowded Minuteman later that same day, and I was quite happy to slow down where the path goes through downtown Arlington and Lexington, and ride like a bat out of hell on other sections.

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Old 07-31-18, 09:44 AM
  #7511  
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That's well argued, but for the Malden path (Northern Strand Community Trail, a.k.a. Bike to the Sea) I've seen way too many counter-examples to take it seriously. Sounds like the person rode it once, and generalized a little ambitiously. There's a lot more to be said about that path, some of it having to do with different surfaces in different towns, some of it having to do with the political evolution of the city of Lynn, but from where I sit (frequent user, lots of observational samples), calling it a failure is a howling counterfactual.

rod
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Old 07-31-18, 10:13 AM
  #7512  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
...calling it a failure is a howling counterfactual.
Counterfactual. Would that be anything like alternative facts or fake facts?

I'm just trying to ekspand my vocabalary. and my speling.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:19 AM
  #7513  
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Counterfactual. Would that be anything like alternative facts or fake facts?

I'm just trying to ekspand my vocabalary. and my speling.
An assertion contrary to fact. Lots of rhetorical uses for those, but I'm guessing that in this case, it was simple error.

;-)

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Old 07-31-18, 10:30 AM
  #7514  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
That's well argued, but for the Malden path (Northern Strand Community Trail, a.k.a. Bike to the Sea) I've seen way too many counter-examples to take it seriously. Sounds like the person rode it once, and generalized a little ambitiously. There's a lot more to be said about that path, some of it having to do with different surfaces in different towns, some of it having to do with the political evolution of the city of Lynn, but from where I sit (frequent user, lots of observational samples), calling it a failure is a howling counterfactual.

rod

Quoted guy here, almost certainly guilty as charged--I rode it as part of a century RT from Nashua, so I'm really not familiar with the roads of the area or the path, and maybe I didn't emphasize my limited knowledge of the area enough in my OP. Just to give you some context, my thing was a reaction to someone who was claiming that MUPs fail because they become too crowded for practical bicycle use which, in my experience, is rarely if ever the case. I also rode on the PD White and the Minuteman that day, and both were the crowded, vibrant spots I love riding on even if I have to slow way down on some stretches. There's plenty of fast parts to more than compensate for a little slow riding time.

I saw your post about enjoying watching some of the skaters on the Bedford end of the Minuteman, It always cracks me up when people complain they can't open it up on the Minuteman, because that stretch is as fast as any level path I've ever ridden on.

I suspect I only saw the really boring section of the Northern Strand and opened my big yap a bit too wide. I didn't know about it until my GPS sent me on it. I will say that there are at least two of the worst crossings I've ever seen on a bike path in a very short stretch of that path--basically, the path across the streets was ideally placed to get the rider hit by a turning car. Something can probably be done with some green paint to clarify the situation there, but I was utterly baffled by it as a first time user, and the traffic wasn't even particularly bad.
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Old 07-31-18, 10:35 AM
  #7515  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
An assertion contrary to fact. Lots of rhetorical uses for those, but I'm guessing that in this case, it was simple error.

;-)

rod

Almost certainly! And perfectly happy to be counter-edumicated.
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Old 07-31-18, 02:08 PM
  #7516  
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I've been spinning my wheels as usual. The last 2 weeks I've been hanging my glasses from my jersey collar for a solid 1/2 hour before it's light enough to use them. Signs of things to come..... Today I was on 126 at Rte 2, a car on Rte 2 in the left lane blew a red light and kept on going, I was already crossing and braked before being obliterated. My arms were shaking, it was the most frightening close encounter I've had yet (while on a bike). I left that part out of the post ride debriefing with Mrs. Ghazmh. The rest of the ride was great as usual. I racked up another 32 miles and thoroughly enjoyed looping through Carlisle on into Acton and back to Concord. Enjoying the scenery that draws tour busses before work is a great way start the day. Today's ride put me over 4000 for the year so far.
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Old 07-31-18, 11:29 PM
  #7517  
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Took the LHT out this afternoon on a 44-mile loop out the Minuteman and 225, South to the end of the Bruce Freeman, then back on Pope Road, Strawberry Hill Road, etc., to the Reformatory Branch and the Minuteman, and home. Darkened the earth in Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Carlisle, Westford, Acton, and Concord. This was basically the ride I didn't think I had time for the day before, accomplished in the same time window by a little streamlining of the route, and by riding past any number of tempting photographs (still took too many).

Arlington: LimeBikes advance on Uncle Sam, details at 11.


Carlisle Center: yup, this is definitely New England.


Westford: after what I perceived as unusually heavy traffic and rough pavement on Route 225, the calm of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail ("BFRT" sounds vaguely scatological, but that's how they abbreviate it) was most welcome.


Acton: Queen Anne's lace dancing with the breeze.


Acton: the first of several lovely swamps to be seen on this ride. Growing up in South Georgia, I learned that "lovely swamp" is not an oxymoron.


Acton: I'd very much like to think that that burst of color is not a harbinger of Autumn. In any case, nice swamp.


Acton: flying over the traffic in high style; many cars look alike, make sure you take yours.


Concord: the Reformatory Branch was dry, meaning very little mud, but the occasional sand trap. Lots of folks out on it, including a woman on a Zagster bikeshare, first one I've seen taken off road.


Concord: another pretty swamp (purple loosestrife may be an invasive, but at least it's purple).


Concord: the yellow flowers blooming on the field along the margin of the Reformatory Branch stopped me in my tracks; this wasn't here the last time I rode that trail, it's come in remarkably quickly. Black-eyed Susans in the foreground, with something beautiful and yellow that I don't recognize making up the bulk of the floral mass. Wow!


The Reformatory Branch and the Minuteman kept me out of rush hour traffic, much appreciated after running with the bulls on Route 225 earlier in the day. Home and happy, cooked some chicken.

rod

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Old 08-01-18, 09:41 AM
  #7518  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
Today I was on 126 at Rte 2, a car on Rte 2 in the left lane blew a red light and kept on going, I was already crossing and braked before being obliterated. My arms were shaking, it was the most frightening close encounter I've had yet (while on a bike)
whoa!
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Old 08-01-18, 09:45 AM
  #7519  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
On to the top of another hill: the intersection of Virginia Road and Old Bedford Road, Lincoln. There was briefly a ghost bike here, but the Town removed it so as not to alarm the motorists. Wonder if it would be possible to add ghost bikes as a feature on Google Maps (perhaps in Bicycle view)?

don't want to alarm the motorists. heaven forbid we save a life! good grief. don't ppl realize the benefits of these? adding a google map marker where ppl have died in accidents (or shootings) would be great!
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Old 08-01-18, 09:47 AM
  #7520  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
skaters
I sometimes check my speedo when I slowly pass them cuz I'm curious. recently, when I told one young lady that she was doing great at 13.6 mph she raised her arms in triumph & shouted "YES!"
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Old 08-01-18, 04:32 PM
  #7521  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
whoa!
this morning I was extremely vigilant in not proceeding until I was sure cross traffic was STOPPED.
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Old 08-01-18, 09:07 PM
  #7522  
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Took the old GT Karakoram on a sweaty spin up to Lexington and back on the Minuteman, a ride before dinner just to stay loose. It was one of those dark and windy days when you just know it's raining somewhere, but not on you, yet.






rod
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Old 08-02-18, 07:09 AM
  #7523  
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post


this morning I was extremely vigilant in not proceeding until I was sure cross traffic was STOPPED.
yeah, good, I frequently cross Route 2 a little further West at the traffic light where Route 62 is. ... my strategy: wait for the green, wait for some cars to start, then I go. I guess if there are no cars crossing as well, we're on our own! (but 62 always seems to have cars waiting at the light) that spot where you crossed, is where lots of walkers w beach chairs, etc cross to walk to Walden Pond, I believe. but that's seasonal. & I think that road has less car traffic, correct? meaning, you might be crossing on your own, fairly regularly?
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Old 08-02-18, 07:34 AM
  #7524  
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
yeah, good, I frequently cross Route 2 a little further West at the traffic light where Route 62 is. ... my strategy: wait for the green, wait for some cars to start, then I go. I guess if there are no cars crossing as well, we're on our own! (but 62 always seems to have cars waiting at the light) that spot where you crossed, is where lots of walkers w beach chairs, etc cross to walk to Walden Pond, I believe. but that's seasonal. & I think that road has less car traffic, correct? meaning, you might be crossing on your own, fairly regularly?
yeah, I'd agree that the Rte 26 traffic can be less frequent, especially in the mornings. I am sometimes alone. I wasn't today. There was a lone car and a lone rider ahead of me. The light turned green before I got to it so I had the rare opportunity of crossing while already up to speed instead of getting going from a stop.

Im noticing the smell of dill again wafting over Baker Bridge road from the fields adjacent to it. I can't quite make out the plants however. All in all I rode 25 yesterday and today on my R3.
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Old 08-02-18, 10:54 AM
  #7525  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
Great report, sounds like a wonderful trip! Welcome back!

rod
Thanks!
I've been taking it easy, just kind of puttering along back & forth to work, 3 times this week already. Haven't been in the mood for longer rides - maybe because of being a bit tired of old roads, maybe because it's been awfully muggy (sweating at 7:30am at 10mph?). It's just a matter of time, though, I know it - one of these days I'll just carve out 3 or 4 hours early in the morning, point my bike west and go wonder without a specific route in mind.

Originally Posted by Ghazmh View Post
I've been spinning my wheels as usual. The last 2 weeks I've been hanging my glasses from my jersey collar for a solid 1/2 hour before it's light enough to use them. Signs of things to come..... Today I was on 126 at Rte 2, a car on Rte 2 in the left lane blew a red light and kept on going, I was already crossing and braked before being obliterated. My arms were shaking, it was the most frightening close encounter I've had yet (while on a bike). I left that part out of the post ride debriefing with Mrs. Ghazmh. The rest of the ride was great as usual. I racked up another 32 miles and thoroughly enjoyed looping through Carlisle on into Acton and back to Concord. Enjoying the scenery that draws tour busses before work is a great way start the day. Today's ride put me over 4000 for the year so far.
That sounds very scary. There's a particular signaled crossing of Fresh Pond Parkway in Cambridge near Dunkin Donuts and the gas station where you are guaranteed with at least 50% probability to see people run the light after the crossing light has turned on. I always make sure cars are stopped before I cross. In general, I've been noticing a lot more red light runners lately so I've been trying to stay away as far from cars as possible.
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