Wednesday, October 21, 2015
This year is turning out to be a year of club closings--First TT's, Johnny D's is slated to close, the Beachcomber in Quincy, now Church in the Fenway....all places that I've spent time at in the past but cant say I've 'frequented' in recent years but institutions nonetheless that I always knew I could experience vicariously via the WMBR concert report on the Late Risers Club and through video and reports on social media. Bike shops are local institutions as well, always there for the community. One local institution I can say that I've been fairly loyal to for many years is Dave's Bike Infirmary, in Milton. They've been there for me when I couldn't find a rare schwinn tire or when I needed a cassette on the fly--they would order anything you would see in a catalog or online, and get it within a day or two, and their prices were always fair. Like many other 'regulars' , I would stop by on my way to work, or mid-ride, or just before they open, help them get the bikes outside and setup for the day, or, get there as they were closing to pickup that new chain I needed to complete my drivetrain overhaul…..But like the local clubs, most bike shops are independent businesses run by families with their fate at the mercy of the economy and always evolving demographics. Apparently the economy is changing, along with the rising use of the internet and with that, more people who might have occasionally ridden a bike getting lazier and to upcoming generations passing off riding bikes as an unnecessary or dangerous activity. Just as kids can easily listen to mp3’s and watch videos on their mobile devices while live music becomes a thing their parents reminisce about, they are brought up to take the easy, ‘safe’ way to school—in their parents cars. Online bike shops (and Big Internet Superstores )are also making it very difficult for an independent to make ends meet, even as more and more ‘avid’ bikers join our ranks every day. WE are a minority. But a minority that is forcing change in our communities, a minority who is constantly reaching out to the majority to improve riding experiences on our local trails and roads. Don’t be fooled about the ‘roads’ part—we are all in this together, and the agencies in charge of the commuter roads also influence change on the trails we ride. ‘Strength in Numbers’--like the Anthill movie synopsis ( of that name )says, “is a rally call to connect all mountain bikers, regardless of location or language or discipline. is a rally call to connect all mountain bikers, regardless of location or language or discipline”. Look it up. Watch it. Anyways, yes, we are all connected. And yes, as you may have guessed, we are losing a bike shop. Dave’s was there in Milton since 1974, when then Milton firefighter Dave Forsyth started it as a part time business. Dave’s was a huge supporter of the late Blue Hills Mountain Bike Day, and NEMBA and the mountainbike community in general. Always willing to help. Personal family reasons and Dave’s health contributed to their decision to close, along with declining business due to reasons mentioned earlier…but keep your eyes peeled when on Cape Cod, the family is moving to Onset with all their tools and experience.... There hadn’t been any closings of shops in the Southeast Kingdom in many years—lets just hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. And hope that trails we ride will remain plentiful and the streets safer to ride. But HOPE won’t make things change, YOU have to MAKE things change. ADVOCATE. Thank you to Dave and his family for 41 years of quality service to local bicyclists. Please support your local bike shop (AND local nightclub) Steve Cobble
11/7/15 9:00am to 12:00pm
We'll meet at 45 Mill St Foxboro, MA
. That's the parking lot across the street from the ranger station. The event starts at 9:00 AM. Please arrive by 8:45 to sign in. We will ride our bikes to the worksites.
Various projects for the day include: 1.) chainsaw work to remove large fallen oak tree in order to reopen old short section of trail ( has sweet berm), rake out and close the go around line. 2.) Reclose trail ( leading to Dan's trail), which has recently seen high usage, at both ends. 3.) Clean up / close down multiple braids and define actual line on the part of Dan's trail on the small climb ( pine needles area). This trail has been completely blown out due to MX usage and lazy mtbers
There will be a ride after the trail work's done.
Ceck for last minute updates on the SE MASS NEMBA Facebook Page
F. GILBERT HILLS STATE FOREST, FOXBORO, MA
Quincy Massachusetts 02169United States
Eaton’s Pond is a conservation area located in the town of Braintree right on the Quincy line.
At 60 acres 20 of which are the pond itself you might conclude that there are not a lot of trails here. And you’d be right. Including neighborhood trails that lead into and out of the conservation parcel there a bit over 5 miles of trails. But, the trails are awesome.
The town of Braintree had this small conservation parcel that was little used by town residents for recreation. The reason, it was a teenage party site, lots of people had dumped trash there and there was an encampment of homeless people living in the woods. In other words, most people wouldn’t go there.
In 2012 the town reached out to the SE MASS chapter of NEMBA asking them if this might be a good place to ride. Their thinking, get some recreationalists out on the trails and it might drive out the unwanted activities.
NEMBA decided that with a lot of work that, the existing trail network could be improved and enhanced, that some old trails could be re-opened and that the litter could be removed.
Over the next winter, you might remember “the winter that never happened”, SE MASS NEMBA worked hard. Building bridges, clearing trails, picking up litter and broken glass and the result? A really great small trail system.
While a few trails are easy even OK for baby strollers, a few are technical and quite challenging. Most of the trails though are pretty smooth with very few roots, rocks or logs. Exeptions being the trail along the pond to the dam and the trail above the old quarry. Those and a few steep hills are the most difficult parts of riding there.
Since 2013 many more small enhancements have been made and the results have been quite favorable to the town. Now many residents, including seniors are comfortable hiking and fishing there. The local neighborhood association does morning walks there and you'll see kids on BMX bikes there almost every day. Dog walkers abound on the trails.
The one problem with these trails is thorns. You'll find lots of them, especially on the lesser used trails. Locals have been known to head out with lawnmowers to clear them, but be wary.
While 5+ miles of trails may not seem like a lot, located right in the center of an urban area they are a gem.
The best place to park for non-locals is in Quincy, at 58 Bower Road across the street from the Adams Heights Men’s Club at the South end of the parking lot. Across the railroad tracks you’ll see Eaton Pond and the trails start about 100 feet down on your right.
Who’d have thought that less than a quarter mile from a Walmart and the biggest car dealership on the South Shore that there’d be such great riding?
Links to Relevant Resources
SE MASS NEMBA
Bare Cove / Great Esker
Hingham Massachusetts 02043United States
There are multiple parking areas - See the map
and Great Esker
Parks are unique in Massachusetts and New England. They are located on both sides of Weymouth Back River, a tidal river and are very scenic. You'll spend a lot of time enjoying wetlands, marshes and perhaps photographing many different varities of birds.
Most of the riding here is on old paved or gravel roads though there is some singlletrack.
In Bare Cove the trails are mostly flat making it a perfect place for an introductory ride for newer riders or kids on small wheeled bikes. Bare Cove was a military base during WWII and on most weekend days you can stop and visit the museum. You'll see lots of people walking dogs here as well as lots of families with kids in strollers. Although the rules state that all dogs must be leashed some may be running free.
Great Esker is hilly and more challenging as it contains the tallest esker in North America. The esker is a ridge of sand that was dropped by a glacier about 12,000 years ago. Picture in your mind a giant snake lying on a flat surface and you get an idea of what it's like. You'll be riding on the snake's "spine" high above the surrounding neighborhoods and river. I rarely see dogs or families here, maybe because the terrain requires a more physical investment.
Just north of the Route 3A highway bridge that connects the two parks are Stoddard's Neck and the Abigail Adams Park. Abigail Adams is a picnic area with parking and a few paved trails. While Stoddard's Neck is a fenced off peninsula much favored by dog walkers as it offers them the opportunity to let their dogs run free.
It's possible to make a giant circle by linkink Great Esker and Bare Cove with a short road ride through surrounding neighborhoods on the south. Bring a copy of the map with you in case you find it confusing.
When I ride here I'm normally looking for a mellow ride, much different from the nearby Wompatuck State Park
. I'll usually ride all four properties, just wandering around piling up some relaxed miles rather than technical challenges.
You'll enjoy Bare Cove and Great Esker Parks. Especially on a hot summer day when the ocean's breezes cool things off.
Links to Relevant Resources
Bear Cove park Committee
Cape Cod NEMBA will be riding the many trails of Otis
on Sunday June 14th starting at 9:00 AM.
We'll be parking at 188 Nathan Ellis Highway
, in North Falmouth across the street from the Falmouth Animal Hospital.
The plan is to divide up into groups and do some minor trail clearing and brushing back. While most the trails are in excellent shape some of our favorite Otis trails are growing in. We intend to fix that.
The TrailCare ride will be over around 11:30 and will include a lot more riding than clipping.
Bring a small folding saw, a hand held lopper, or both. We will have a few extras to loan out
Hope to see you there. Let's make Otis and even BETTER place to ride. :-)