Saturday, September 17, 2011


Thursday September 29 at 6:00 PM. I don't know the organizers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why the Ryder Street bollards look that way

It's because Arlington's field mower drives right over them. I was taking off my skates in the Rec Center parking lot this morning when mower came past me and crossed the trail, driving directly over the bollards on both sides of the path. Even with the mower blades up, it breaks the bollards about a foot off the ground.

Ryder Street, Arlington

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Does this slang make me sound old?

Thursday morning I stumbled on the ramp from Hurd Field, couldn't make the turn, fell onto the trail, and picked up some Bermuda rash on shin and forearm. What surprised me was that some of my friends and co-workers had never heard the phrase "Bermuda rash" for the cuts and scrapes that come from hitting the pavement. I heard it from my parents in the '60s. Has it passed from use?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Never Before Seen

A man and a child came toward me on the trail this morning, the child on a bike and the man on something strange. A stand-up bike? A bike with running boards? Actually, an ElliptiGO outdoor elliptical bicycle. I'm sure it's exercise, no idea if it's any fun.

ElliptiGO on YouTube

I saw two dead chipmunks on the trail this morning. That's unusual because chipmunks taken by predators don't land on the trail and road-kill chipmunks are quickly scattered aside by the traffic. It's clear why they were there, though, as two other very lively chipmunks did their best to run under my skates.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 99.2 miles.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Some Slippery Spots

Moist, mashed, maple litter makes for some slippery spots, especially from Bedford Street to I-95. The adjoining forest in that stretch is a double threat, both providing the litter of flowers and seeds and keeping the sun from drying the shaded trail. I found the slipperiness most hazardous on the inbound (eastbound) side. That's not because there's more of it on one side or the other, but because inbound is uphill in that section and pushing harder means more exposure to slips.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 86.2 miles. It's been wet a lot, you know?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Epic Allergy Week Continues

If maple and oak aren't enough, now the cottonwood snow is falling.

Near Parker Meadow, Lexington

New wheels

Today: 13 miles. This year: 73.2 miles.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Epic Allergy Season

A runner coming towards me today had one hand on her jogging stroller, the other one holding a tissue to her nose. The next runner I passed going my way gave a little two-part throat-clearing cough with every breath. And these are the people who feel well enough to go out.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ideal commuter location

Many homes adjoin the trail. Some have private access with their own gates, paths, or stairs. Only one home faces the trail and has a private crossing: 1359R Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington, now for sale.

1359R Mass. Ave., Lexington

Today: 8.5 miles. This year: 37.2 miles.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trail Cleanup, Saturday April 30th

From the ABAC mailing list:

Mark your calendars - save the date!
Meet on the Bikeway - Don't be late!

Please join the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee in a spring cleanup of the Minuteman Bikeway in Arlington. The cleanup will take place on Saturday April 30 from 9:30am to 1:00pm. If it rains on Saturday, we will try Sunday at the same time.

We will first meet at the three locations listed below then fan out along the path; pick the location where you and your friends might like to work:

Arlington Heights, by the path by the Park Ave. Bridge.
Arlington Center, by the path at Water Street.
East Arlington, by the path at the Rt. 2 overpass near Thorndike Field.

Bring gloves if you have them. Trash bags will be provided.
For further information, contact Stephan Miller via email ( or by phone (781-641-2845).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Downhill downwind, uphill upwind.

Skating from Lexington Center to Mill Street in Arlington was a pleasure today, with the temperature in the 60s and the wind at my back. I stood and coasted like never before. Returning uphill and upwind? That was work.

The pavement was dryer today than yesterday, with snowbanks perishing rapidly in the heat. Most notable was the absence of yesterday's puddle crossing the Seasons Four driveway in Lexington.

Today: 8.7 miles. This year: 28.7 miles.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weather perfect. Trail OK.

The anemic remains of this winter's epic snowbanks still dribble their waning moisture onto the trail. Small sticks are the most common litter on the trail today. I kicked up a few as I skated and heard them bounce behind me, sounding like pencils on the pavement.

East Lexington

Near Hartwell Avenue

Today: 12 miles. This year: 20 miles.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Slightly off-trail

It's been a tough winter for street furniture.

Along Mass. Ave., Arlington Heights

Friday, February 11, 2011

Far from clear

I crossed the trail behind Trader Joe's in Arlington Heights a couple of days ago. The stairs from Trader Joe's are meticulously clean from edge to edge, unlike the landing below with its narrow lane between ice banks. The trail itself is fully covered in hard-packed snow and ice. This might be the worst location in Arlington not to plow because the shade of the high wall preserves ice on the trail there after everything else has melted. Continuing across the trail, the Hurd Field parking lot is a wilderness of snow, ice, water, and seemingly random obstacles. My guess is that parked cars hindered plowing and led to the lot's sorry state.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Trail Clearing in Lexington: A Day Later

Thursday's work to clear the trail brought it down almost to the pavement. You can cycle in these conditions, with snow tires, if you really want to. And it seems a few people do.

West from Bow Street, Lexington

Bicycle track near Bow Street

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trail Clearing in Lexington

They're working on it. Where they haven't arrived yet, there's plenty of snow.

Behind Mal's, east of Bow Street

Looking east from Fottler Avenue

Friday, January 7, 2011

Clear from Lexington Center to Bedford Depot Park

The trail was very nice today, just a little nippy around the fingers and ears. Fingers were warm after two miles, ears took longer. Conditions were generally clear from Lexington Center (milepost VI) out to Bedford Depot Park (milepost X), where the plowing ends with a frozen snowbank at the parking lot ramp.

Between Westview Street and Wiggins Avenue

At Bedford Depot Park

Tophet Swamp

Today: 8 miles. This year: 8 miles.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

1/1/11: All wet

Happy new year, everybody! I'm recycling last year's resolutions, hoping against medical interruption this time.

While the trail is plowed all through Lexington, the snowbanks on each side keep in the meltwater. The trail is all wet this weekend and sure to be icy after the temperature falls again on Monday.

Lexington Center approaching Meriam Street