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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 09-18-20, 06:25 PM
  #9026  
rholland1951
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East.


This ride was a mix of urban tactical riding in the flats of Medford and Malden, alternating with climbs and descents in various bits of the Fells Escarpment in Medford, Malden, Melrose, Stoneham, and Winchester, beginning and ending in East Arlington. Ran into road work several times, looks like they were digging up gas lines. Sometimes I made my own detours, sometimes a detour was provided.


​​​​​​Quite apart from the general fun of cranking through potholes and up hills, I ran across this food truck, which demanded to be photographed and made me smile. "Heavily Mexicated", indeed.


rod

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Old 09-19-20, 02:20 PM
  #9027  
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Ghost Bike of Pikachu, Darryl Willis.





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Old 09-20-20, 12:00 AM
  #9028  
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Having driven through Arlington Center and noted the swarms of bikes coming to and going from the Minuteman like so many ants, I tried out an 11-mile North-South route Saturday afternoon, taking Mystic Valley Parkway and Washington Street North as far as Forest Street, taking that East to Highland Ave., then enjoying the Highland Ave. rollers until Highland terminated at Main Street, continuing back on Grove Street South past the Slave Wall and onto High Street West, finally connecting with the river again, and home. Nice, compact ride with enough hills to demand some energy be spent, and enough variety to be diverting, without the Minuteman throngs.

Highland Ave., Winchester: plenty of hills to make me happy on a short ride. Whether you travel North-South or South-North, it gives you a stiff climb at the start and a whizzy descent at the end, with lots of rollers in between.


The Brooks Estate, Grove Street, Medford: a good place to explore, but not today.


An Ent on the Brooks Estate waves: howdy!


Shadows lengthen.


The Slave Wall, Grove Street, Medford: we don't do that anymore, but once upon a time we did. Long story, not over.


Crossing the Mystic, while the canoeists paddle: life is but a dream.


rod

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Old 09-21-20, 10:28 PM
  #9029  
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So, Sam, I said, sell me this bike. Oh, you'll like it, he said, it has fat tires and it comes apart in the middle. Comes apart, I said, isn't that dangerous? Oh no, he said, it never does that when you're riding, only when you need to pack it up and take it on an airplane. But you might not want to do that because those TSA kids love to play with bicycle parts. Ok, I said, I'm sold, now where should I ride it. Well, Sam said, I could sell you a bike path, you can set up a toll booth and make a bundle. Which is how I came to be riding along on the Minuteman this afternoon.


I hadn't noticed the Woodman in the little park on Bow Street, Lexington, in some time. He's had a hard time of it this year, not looking so well, but I guess he's not alone in that. His banjo is a mere skeleton of its former self, only plays notes in dog whistle frequencies, so if you hear howling in East Lexington, you'll know what that's about.


The Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders have put up a roadside shrine to Victoria and Albert. I think it's sweet.


The proscenium arch at Arlington's Great Meadow was showing a dress rehearsal of the Autumnal Equinox. I'm sure if I come back tomorrow everyone will have learned their lines.


Several times a week I ride past this little ravine where Mill Brook is sequestered for part of its run, often thinking I'll stop and take a picture. That happens only rarely, and this afternoon became the latest instance of my actually doing so.


Well, Sam was right, it's a nice bike and a nice path. Don't know about that toll booth, though.

rod

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Old 09-22-20, 09:20 PM
  #9030  
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I observed the Autumnal Equinox on the Rawland Nordavinden, with a ride at sunset along the East bank of the Mystic Lakes, enjoying the light and taking a few photographs with the new phone.












A peaceful evening, a gentle turn of the seasons.

rod
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Old 09-24-20, 09:53 PM
  #9031  
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Another harbinger of Autumn, a few of the maples along the Minuteman are reliably showy at this time of year.


Peepers Pond is showing the effects of the drought, extended mudflats along its banks.


When I wasn't taking photos, which was most of the time, I was cranking. Ipso facto, I ended up observing Minuteman passing behavior, mine and others, in all its rich variety. A one-word synopsis of these observations: "funky".

rod
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Old 09-25-20, 01:21 PM
  #9032  
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Originally Posted by rholland1951 View Post
When I wasn't taking photos, which was most of the time, I was cranking. Ipso facto, I ended up observing Minuteman passing behavior, mine and others, in all its rich variety. A one-word synopsis of these observations: "funky".

rod

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Old 09-25-20, 02:46 PM
  #9033  
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
That is a source of good cheer on a dodgy day. Thank you!

rod
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Old 09-25-20, 09:58 PM
  #9034  
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Friday afternoon, I hung a pannier on the rear rack of the Surly and rode to Watertown to deliver a book to my son Sam and a dream catcher to my granddaughter Ida.




We spent some pleasant time together, chatting. Ida is very alert and attentive, and I expect she'll have a lot to say when she gets around to it.

Note to self: wearing bicycle paraphernalia--helmet, mirror, mask, gloves--appears to be incompatible with positive outcomes when dandling an infant.


I paused on Oliver Street, Belmont, to admire this large doghouse for sale, perhaps convertble into a tiny house for a meditating hermit or a small child.


I like Oliver Street because it has signage that prohibits turning onto it from Brighton Street, "Except Bicycles". Enlightened.

rod

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Old 09-26-20, 09:58 PM
  #9035  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe and rode East.


Went hunting the usual familiar hills, found 'em where they're supposed to be, and enjoyed cranking up 'em and whizzing down 'em. In between hills, enjoyed a bit of urban riding in Medford and Malden, but mostly there were the hills. I noted once again that there's a section of Main Street, Malden, near Pine Banks Park, that has the Gravity Hill effect. It's subtle, but a lot of fun when you catch it.

rod

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Old 09-27-20, 11:37 AM
  #9036  
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Liking the Autmn scenery. I rode the CCRT out to Welfleet Center yesterday for 64 miles on my touring bike. I like leaving the Lycra at home sometimes, go slow and enjoy the CCRT but riding the 520 unloaded when I don’t have to gets old sometimes. It’s like driving an M927A2 5 Ton cargo truck, ya feel every bump, it’s slow to accelerate but it’ll haul a ton. Or 5 to be exact. I think I’ll ride something different next time unless I’m toting panniers, which yesterday I wasn’t. Today I rode 37 miles on my Allroads on my home field (Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Acton, Carlisle, etc).

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Old 09-27-20, 09:16 PM
  #9037  
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Had a Depot Park size hole in my schedule Sunday afternoon, so what could I do but ride out. Gentle weather, well-behaved people, pleasant ride.










rod
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Old 09-28-20, 10:31 PM
  #9038  
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Got caught short for time Monday afternoon, so I took a quick 6-mile ride along the Mystic Valley Parkway through Medford into Winchester, turning right onto Bacon Street and climbing the short, steep hill to the rotary that brought me to Main Street, then climbing the longer, gentler hill to the Medford Line and Winthrop Street, leaving that almost instantly to turn right onto Playstead Road and the long descent to the West Medford business district, with about 100' on High Street getting me across the tracks, and a left turn against traffic putting me on Harvard Ave., after which it was a straight shot home. This little ride got me warmed up, and that's about all, but it was pleasant enough, and considerably better than nothing.


rod

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Old 09-29-20, 12:55 PM
  #9039  
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Minuteman Closed Arlington - Spy Pond (Linwood Street) to Lake Street.
Mass Ave detour.





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Old 09-29-20, 11:58 PM
  #9040  
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Took the Surly Trucker DeLuxe out Tuesday afternoon for an 18-mile loop on paved roads circling the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a sort of Fells Convex Hull. I had ridden pretty much all of this at one time or another, in the context of longer rides (e.g., returning from the North Shore), but having a hilly course that didn't much repeat itself as a distance alternative to the Depot Park ride appealed to me. This route includes climbs and descents on High Street in Medford, Main Street in Malden and Melrose, Franklin Street in Melrose and Stoneham, Summer Street in Stoneham, Marble Street in Stoneham which crosses I-93 without ramps and becomes Forest Street in Winchester, Highland Ave. in Winchester, which gets the Hilly Prize for this route, Main Street, Winchester, and Bacon Street, also in Winchester. The Mystic Valley Parkway provides a little parkway cool-down riding, at the end.

There's a theme in Massachusetts bicycle route planning: large objects that get in the way. These can be military bases (Hanscom AFB, Fort Devens), major highways (I-93, Route 1), conservation land (Middlesex Fells), bodies of water (Spot Pond), etc. This ride provides graceful answers to several such questions.

Broadway, East Arlington: the construction crew has brought in another dragon to play pick-up sticks with I-beams, and a steel frame is growing to balance the Three Cinder Blocks.


Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies, Medford: as always, I stopped to pay my respects at the stupa.


Summer Street, Stoneham: a particularly compelling portion of a larger seasonal tableau.


Here's a panorama of the larger display. I hadn't noticed the zombie in the street when I was taking the photo. I'm going to pretend it's an image processing artifact, and decline to consider other alternatives. In any event, I seemed to have outrun it on the Surly.


Marble Street, Stoneham, crossing I-93 to Forest Street, Winchester: look Ma, no ramps!


I-93, in all its glory.


Upper Mystic Lake, Mystic Valley Parkway, Winchester: peeping through the foliage at the sailboats.


Mystic Valley Parkway, Winchester: we're back in the Land of the Familiar, the ride is almost done.


rod

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Old 09-30-20, 03:41 PM
  #9041  
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Loop de loop reporter here. Rt. 109 in Westwood is being repaved so when I swooped up (or south) on Summer St. (I hope it holds out and doesn't become Fall or Winter St.) on to Rt. 109 aka High St. I had to keep an eye out for roaming cows, I mean cars, that aren't sure what to do when there aren't "edge of road" lines painted on the roads. The price paid for asphalt corduroy was returned with glass smooth new pavement on Dover Rd. The rest of the ride was a pine needle and leaf test of narrow road behavior. The roads are narrow! Last night's wind and rain painted the roads with early Fall and car traffic showed how much pavement is really used and what is not really needed is coated with needles and leaves and acorns and maybe potholes or cracks or lions and tigers and bears oh my. The cars, trucks and I shared the shrunken roads just fine and I believe we all drove a little more cautiously, a little more alertly and got along just fine. A lot of what we bike is commute and recreation and reboot, utility, exercise and just get outdoors to 3 dimensional, sight, smell, hear and believe someday we will get along with cars. Politics and dealing with daily challenges get put into some perspective either with the simple mechanics of a bicycle and a human balancing and moving or huge cranes lifting I beams, Tibetan stupa flags, this is Lifting. Mr. Bill's respectful, very valuable recognition of ghost bike and Ghazmh's regional exuberance lift us. Today's ride was on wet roads that required a little more focus, a little more attention. The roads were a little more narrow and wet and gosh it was great to get out. Cheers to you all.
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Old 09-30-20, 09:14 PM
  #9042  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden out for a sunset ride on the Minuteman, it's that time of year again. The sky had become so clear that any colors were subtle, but the colors of the leaves lit by the low sun restored some of what was missing.




This ride reminded me of some of the reasons I have been so fond of night rides on the Minuteman, but also suggested why I sometimes have had second thoughts about that. We're in that awkward period when people are trying out their new headlights, beams aimed high and often flashing violently; as the ancient poet sang, things too fierce to mention.

rod
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Old 10-01-20, 09:07 PM
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Had another sunset ride on Thursday, on the Surly this time. The socially-distanced shoal waiting to cross Mystic Street for the Minuteman tipped me to ride out on Mass. Ave.


That was a good call. There were certainly cars to deal with but not in the numbers that were seen last year at this time. And the sun and clouds were doing tricks for my enjoyment.


I switched to the Minuteman for the return, picking it up on Woburn Street.


The clouds were presiding over a peaceful evening. The birds, bugs, and frogs were singing together in the Night Chorus, not so many as a month ago.


rod
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Old 10-02-20, 06:15 AM
  #9044  
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Traffic jam in Arlington Center.

Part of the Gibbs School Peleton is in front.



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Old 10-02-20, 11:02 PM
  #9045  
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Took the Rawland Nordavinden up the Minuteman as far as Lexington Center, before the rain started.

Encountered a philosophical sidetrack in Arlington Center.


It's been several generations since I've checked in with the Mile 4.0 Cairn Builders, and they have continued their cheerful evolution apace.


It was a cool, gray day, and this thinned the crowds, making it quite a pleasant ride.


This man is my role model for persistence. He takes the air daily, as far as I can tell.


rod
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Old 10-03-20, 05:39 AM
  #9046  
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Tuesday evening I gleefully set out in my Allroads with my L&M 2200 Lumen lamp with its frame mounted battery. I was immersed in the beauty of the autumn scenery and the fact that the falling leaves, occasionally damp, impart a scent that is unique to Autumn. Having been unable to safely take a particular left due to flowing traffic at the moment I decided to stay straight. I was on Rte 20 in Wayland bombing down hill towards Sudbury when I had a chance encounter with a roofing nail. I replaced the punctured rear tube before it was fully dark and continued along eventually wrapped it up at 25 miles. Having Just a patch kit I decided to head home. The following evening I completed my intended route for 35 miles. This particular flat motivated me to ditch my patch kits and instead carry 2 tubes.

Friday morning I rode another 32 more keeping to my old Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Carlisle loop. I seem to be less adventurous in the mornings and prefer familiarity.
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Old 10-03-20, 12:32 PM
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Today was a day to geek out in New England Autumn and everything good about it. I atop my resplendent Seven Redsky rode through Weston, Wayland, Natick, Framingham, Sudbury, Maynard, Acton, Littleton, Harvard, Concord, and Lincoln before arriving home with 70 miles on the ride odometer.
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Old 10-03-20, 10:09 PM
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Took the Surly and rode East.


I was hunting (familiar) hills in Medford, Malden, Melrose, and Stoneham. Only a few pictures of that, including this photo of the little run of gravity hill on Main Street in Malden, near Pine Banks Park. This makes me smile every time I ride it. I found one other gravity hill while riding a bike, running through the Shaker Village neighborhood in Harvard.


No optical illusions here, the start of the long, fast descent from Melrose into Malden on the Fellsway East. It's a real pleasure, a swift reward for all that uphill pedaling.


Way down at the bottom of the long hill, a couple of jets d'eau dance on the water in Fellsmere Park.


More hills and more riding got me back to East Arlington, where the iron workers have made substantial progress on the frame on the new construction.


rod
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Old 10-04-20, 05:29 PM
  #9049  
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How could ya not get out on a Sunday like today? Mrs Ghazmh has me committed to a trip to the home center this afternoon. So not wanting to be all tuckered out before an afternoon of fun yardwork I kept todays ride to 33 miles. Just enough to get out and enjoy the day on and off the bike.
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Old 10-05-20, 08:00 PM
  #9050  
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Gathered my wits late Monday afternoon and took the Rawland Nordavinden out on the Minuteman with the low sun setting everything aglow, temperature falling into the 50s.


rod
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