Sunday, October 4, 2015

Coffeeneuring #1 2015 or how much of this ride can I get off the road and still get there

Coffeeneuring season has started and I got out yesterday for #1 and could have done #2 today, but I was in too big a hurry.


Yesterday's plans evolved a lot.  We had planned on going to the Topsfield Fair, parking nearby and riding a mile on the Topsfield Linear Common to the fair.  We invited my sister-in-law and her daughters but the cool weather turned them off so they ended up coming over for a play date with the cousins.  I was given a hall pass so left before everyone came and headed over to Tamper, in Medford on Boston Ave.  I've stopped there for coffee and pastries on my way to work once but never sat down there.  I chose a route that looked like a big S, clearly not taking the most direct way.  But I managed to use the Minuteman Bike Path and the Alewife Greenway and spent most of the ride off road.
The Greenway north of Broadway.  The structure holding up this bridge/ramp down to the path looks pretty light to me.
Boston Ave in Medford is under construction, which isn't  a bad thing since this was pothole heaven before they ground down the asphalt.
Tamper is a nice place.  I was there around 3 PM and it wasn't empty but was quiet.  The cookies were tasty and the latte was worth the ride.  I enjoyed a few minutes of quiet before heading home to chaos.  While there were some bike themed ornaments (a tab was a chain ring - yes, they serve beer, Rapscallion, once one of my favorite beers, back when the bottled Blessing), there wasn't much in the way of bike infrastructure helping me out.  But that's true of the entire area around the Boston Ave/Winthrop intersection.  And in fairness to Tamper, there isn't space to fit a bike rack on the sidewalk, and Medford hasn't experimented with bike corrals, something you see in Somerville, at least in a couple of places.

A photo posted by NEBicyclist (@svillecyclist) on

I went out of my way on my return trip, prompting my wife to say, "Belmont isn't on the way back from Medford."  And it isn't but after heading back through Davis Square, I didn't take the Minuteman and instead took the Fitchburg Cutoff into Belmont.  From there I found my way to Snake Hill Road and eventually the Western Greenway.  I managed a wrong turn on a trail but found familiar sites and eventually made it back to Arlington and home.

Along the Fitchburg Cutoff. 

My wrong turn brought me here, at the edge of the cemetery.  I followed this trail out to a road I recognized and found my way back into my town.
All in all, it was a great coffeeneuring trip with great coffee and nice roads.  It was a 12 mile ride with 7 of those miles on bike paths or dirt trails.


I went out for an early ride on Sunday, getting out of the house shortly after 5 AM, about 1.5 hours before sunrise.  The goal was to get in a decent road ride and, if I was fast enough,  to stop at Ride Studio Cafe for a quick espresso.  That sort of meets the coffeeneuring criteria, although I like the concept of making a trip to a coffee shop the goal.

Riding that early means riding with lights.  I have ample lighting and used it to ensure my safety.  I did take the Minuteman out to Bedford.  Sometimes the trail seems less safe if I ride it in the evening but early morning, especially on a cool morning, it seems just empty. (And it was cool, 42 degrees in Bedford, according to

Looking towards sunrise, a bit too early.
Lighting my way.  This is on the west end of the bridge over 128.  The message and new pavement is from recent work.  It seems temporary - some of the new surfaces are quite bumpy.
Maple Street in Carlisle, looking south.  I still had my lights on but I could see well enough without lights, at least for walking.  I kept my lights on for safety.
I made it to Lexington not long after 8 AM but I promised my wife that I would be back by 8 so I didn't consider stopping at the studio.  I did enjoy a moka pot outside as I joined my wife in a landscape project, splitting up a number of hostas and other plants.

Mile for the ride: 43, miles for the year: 3,160.

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