Thursday, April 25, 2013

Count or be counted

Once again, the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization has asked the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee to survey Minuteman Commuter Bikeway use. ABAC will count trail users from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturday May 11th and Tuesday May 14th. Volunteer counters are needed for one or two hour commitments. To volunteer for counting in Arlington Center, contact Joey Glushko in the Dept. of Planning and Community Development (781-316-3093; or e-mail with your name, contact information, and the dates and time that you're available. To count in East Arlington near Thorndike Field, contact EALS (East Arlington Livable Streets) coordinator Chad Gibson at

Today: 12.0 miles. This year: 90.0 miles.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bikeway Cleanup April 27th

From the Arlington Town Notices mailing list: "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 27th from 9:30am to 1:00pm. The rain date is Sunday, April 28th. For more information please visit"

Today: 7.4 miles. This year: 78.0 miles.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Comparative Trail Conditions

Arlington has cut and patched the worst of the root cracks. Lexington hasn't.

Update: Arlington west of Mill Street is good, but not between Lake Street and Linwood.

Today 9.0 miles. This year: 33.0 miles.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Midnight Marathon

A friend asked me today if I'd join him for the Boston Midnight Marathon, an event previously unknown to me. Sponsored by the Boston Societies of Spontaneity, this lark involves hundreds of bicyclists and "about three skaters" (says my pal) taking the 11:00 PM train from South Station to Hopkinton the night before the official Boston Marathon, then propelling themselves back to Boston along the Marathon route.

I declined. I don't think I'm good for 26 miles this early in the season and I worry about street skating in the dark, which I've never done. My adventurous friend pooh-poohed the second concern because he's got a headlamp so bright "it makes the bicyclists call out 'Car behind!'" It's too late to overcome the first problem, though.

Today: 8.1 miles. This year: 24.0 miles.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rise and fall

Google Earth shows Milestone I of the Minuteman Bikeway about 8 feet above sea level and the Bedford end of trail around 116 feet. In between, it peaks at 225 feet near Hancock Street in Lexington. When it's downhill both ways from Lexington Center, which way should you go? If you don't want one leg of the trip too much harder than the other, check the wind.

I skated east from Lexington to Frazer Road (elevation 127 feet) today. Downhill with the west wind at my back was easy. The return trip, much harder.

For the first time this year, the trail is both clear and dry. Snowbanks are gone, with only small and scattered patches of snow off the trail.

Today: 6.6 miles. This year: 15.9 miles.