Friday, August 29, 2008

Blogvertising again

Westbound at Woburn Street in Lexington

Today: 13 miles. This year: 1074 miles.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Continuing Construction at Woburn Street

Fossil rails of the Middlesex & Boston Street Railway

Incoming drain pipes

Today: 16.5 miles. This year: 1061 miles.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Middlesex & Boston Street Railway

I found a discussion of the Middlesex & Boston Street Railway on and asked if the Lexington-Woburn line ran along Woburn Street. One of the participants provided the perfect confirmation shown below. Not only did the line run that way, there was a stop at the Boston & Maine crossing, now the bikeway crossing, exactly where I saw the rails dug up earlier this week.

Yesterday: 13 miles. This year: 1014.8 miles.

Update: The trench on Woburn Street is filled and partially patched. Large-diameter concrete drain sections are still standing along the street, so you can be sure more excavation is coming.

Today: 6.2 miles. This year: 1021 miles.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Old Tracks on Woburn Street

The continuing excavation of Woburn Street in Lexington reveals some old tracks running along the street there. These could have been a siding, spur, or branch of the railroad that later became the Minuteman Bikeway, but their orientation along the street makes me think of streetcars. I've written to the Lexington Historical Society to ask if they know something about this.

Update: The Middlesex and Boston Street Railway had a Lexington - Woburn line. Did it run on Woburn Street in Lexington? I don't know yet. Further update: Yes, it did.

Excavated tracks on Woburn Street

Yesterday: 16.5 miles. This year: 1001.8 miles.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ab Fab

Today's weather is perfect: sunny, dry, and 50°F at 8:00 this morning; still only 70°F at midafternoon. You'd never know it's August.

The bad news is that Woburn Street in Lexington is being excavated again, right through the trail crossing. You can go out to Mass. Ave. and rejoin the trail at Fletcher Avenue.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 985.3 miles.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Skating Technique

Near Arlington's Great Meadow this morning, I passed a woman who doesn't use her arms at all for balance but keeps them both behind her back. And not just loosely behind her back, but with each hand grasping the other elbow. It's a pose I'll never adopt first because it would dislocate my shoulders, second because I'd break my nose on the pavement, and third because I passed her effortlessly -- it doesn't lead to a quick pace.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 947.8 miles.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Skating Technique Makeover, Day One

Swaying my arms from side to side is a better style than I imagined. The expected result is that I go a little faster with the same effort or faster still with more effort. The corollary is that it'll take some conditioning to see the full advantage of this: my knees, hips, and thighs aren't instantly up to the increased load. The unexpected part is that this motion is easier on my arms and shoulders than what I'd been doing. Swinging my arms forward and back meant straining to resist the side-to-side motion. I should have changed over long since.

Today: 16.5 miles. This year: 934.8

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Skating Technique

I learned to skate by skating and by reading the rec.skate FAQ. You can imagine that my technique is not what it might be. Today I saw an oncoming speed skater vigorously swinging his arms from side to side, a great contrast to the casual fore-and-aft style I use or the more serious hand-behind-the-back. I tried the new motion and found that swinging my arms side to side counters the swaying of my body and lets me push off harder. Maybe I'll keep it up.

Today: 16.5 miles. This year: 918.3 miles.