Monday, March 29, 2010

Closed for Repairs

Arlington is closing the Minuteman Bikeway for repairs this week from Hurd Field (Trader Joe's) to Ryder Street (Arlington Recreation Center). Seeing how it's pouring today, with more rain expected tomorrow, I doubt they'll finish on time and there might even be further damage.

Thanks to Jack Johnson of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee for the tip.

Update: Jack reports there's no repair work today. I bet that goes for tomorrow, too.

Update 2: The closure, repairs, and renewed rain are also noted on

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dig Safe

There are Dig Safe markings on the trail from Colonial Village down past Park Avenue, where the pavement collapse from each side might soon meet in the middle.

Near Park Avenue, Arlington

Near Seasons Four, Lexington

Today: 8.8 miles. This year: 76.1 miles.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Secret of Wii Juggling

OK, this is off-topic. But we all want to improve our balance and coordination, right?

As a casual real-world juggler, I've been frustrated with my slow progress in Wii Fit Plus 5-ball juggling. This morning I looked at my technique and saw that I was holding the controllers as I would for other activities: palms mostly toward each other, fingers near the buttons. That's not like juggling at all. I turned my palms up, rotated the controllers right-way-up, and got a perfect score.

Today: 13 miles. This year 67.3 miles

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Damage and Repairs

The smallest repairs are beginning along the trail: the new-cut gully above Frazer Road is already refilled. Where the trail was undermined, though, a slow-motion collapse continues.

Under Lowell Street


Google's bicycling directions have made Gmaps Pedometer obsolete, at least for my purposes. Google understands intersections with the Minuteman Bikeway, giving (needless) directions and exact distances along the trail. Here's today's skating route as an example.

Today: 8.8 miles. This year: 54.3 miles.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lexington and Bedford Conditions: Good!

From the superlative conditions, I'd say Lexington has already swept most of the trail east of Bedford Street. I didn't see any substantial damage from milepost V/VI (counting outbound/inbound, between Seasons Four and Maple Street) all the way to the Bedford end. The most obvious change was that milepost VII/IIII now stands in a stream where last week it stood on the bank.

Milepost VII/IIII, Revere Street in the distance.


Today: 10 miles. This year: 45.5 miles.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's a Mess

Near Frazer Road, Lowell Street bridge in the distance.


Debris piled up under the Lowell Street bridge.


Rushing water undercut the trail at Lowell Street.


Gravel filled the streambed under Park Avenue, forcing the stream out over the trail.


Under the Park Avenue bridge.


From the Park Avenue stairway.


The water was clear and sparkling.


This landscaping timber lay on the trail near Park Avenue like a carelessly dropped coffee cup.


The water cut a new channel along the collapsing edge of the trail.


Across from Colonial Village.


Near Arlington Coal and Lumber.


Hurd Field, looking toward Drake Road.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Special All-Flooding Edition

From the Lowell Street bridge toward Park Avenue

From the Lowell Street bridge looking east

From the Lowell Street bridge looking down on the east side

Mill Brook near Forest Street

Watermill Place near Frazer Road

Bikeway entrance at Frazer Road

Frazer Road opposite the bikeway entrance

An Arlington town truck enters the bikeway from Frazer Road

Trail Conditions: Cold Running Water

Westbound at Hurd Field, Arlington Heights

Hurd Field from Trader Joe's

The body of water in the background is an extension of the usually small and placid brook which flows from the Old Reservoir.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Near Lowell Street Place, Arlington HeightsPhoto by Carla Scotto

Update: More flood photos, showing points on the bikeway from Frazier Road up to Hurd Field. Click through the thumbnails for full-size views.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Today I'm just over half-way to this year's weight-loss goal, 19 days ahead of schedule. I've only done one-twelfth of the resolved skating, but I'm not worried. Improving weather should allow the remaining 371.5 miles easily before my June 24th deadline. The only untouched part of my resolutions is the easiest part, running 3.5 miles in less than 45 minutes. That's barely above a snappy walk and no problem at all at my goal weight.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google Maps Adds Bicycle Routes

Check "Bicycling" under the Google Maps More... menu to turn bike paths and lanes a startling fluorescent green.

Lexington's big blower was out clearing the path at mid-day today, doing a nice job with the winter debris. There's a clear contrast as you reach Bedford.

Today: 8 miles. This year: 35.5 miles.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seen Along the Trail

A footpath enters the trail across from Joyce Miller's Meadow and alongside the footpath stands a sign erased by the weather. To my eyes, it looks like the triplet of two signs along the trail in East Arlington.

Years back, there was a whole series of tepee frames along the trail in East Lexington, near the Great Meadow. Now one, at least, has reappeared.

Today: 8.7 miles. This year: 27.5 miles.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The End of the Ice

The last of the ice and snow is along the deepest shaded areas of the trail and off-trail on the vernal pools. What was under all that ice? Acorns, millions of acorns.

South of the trail, west of Route 128

Near Tophet Swamp

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trail Conditions: Wide Open

No full-width puddles, no ice-lined bottlenecks. Plenty of small debris.

East of Hartwell Avenue


Today: 8 miles. This year: 10.8 miles.