Thursday, May 29, 2008

All That Glitters

We made some time after work to put a few more biking miles in, on the Norwottuck Rail Trail.



Some short detours had to be made today though.









The Norwottuck is due for a total reconstruction in a year or so. For now, in the interest of safety, it's getting some temporary work done to it. They're going to smooth out the worst of the cracks, bumps and bulges that have developed over the trail's long existence. Some sections are closed off, as they cut out the worst areas and refill with fresh asphalt.





The tree roots that have created the criss-crossing bulges in the pavement all along the trail have gone beyond nuisance, to downright dangerousness, as some inattentive people have tripped over them and gotten hurt. They don't do bicycle frames, tires, and buttocks any favors, either. It's definitely time for a refit. Unfortunately though, the recycled glass that was originally mixed in with the pavement won't be part of the new reconstruction. It gave the trail a unique character; a beautiful sight as you'd coast along, with the trail giving off thousands of little sparkles of reflected light ahead of you...

But there have been reports of people getting flat tires, especially the past couple of years, as the trail's deterioration has accelerated. You can stop pretty much anywhere on the trail, and quickly collect a handful of the bits of recycled glass that have gotten loose from the pavement.



"Razor Sharp Shards Of Glass"...? Maybe. All I can say is that it's never caused a problem for me. Perhaps the lighter racing/road bikes with thinner tires are the victims of the 'road diamonds'. Hmm, maybe if they put the glass in big tumblers, and rounded out the edges better, before mixing with the pavement...? Alright, I'll let it go. No glass...



I guess all good things must pass...Speaking of good things passing, a couple scenes from trail side:







Crossing the railroad bridge...



...we encountered this potential problem. Sorry, nowhere to detour here...



The very tired looking fellow pivoted at the last second to let us by. We rode on into Northampton, arriving there just as the sun was beginning to set.





We parked the bikes, picked up coffees, and did a little walking around. Things were still pretty busy. At the Calvin Theater, a lot of people were lining up, almost around the block, to see Ray Lamontagne.



Maybe, someday they'll be lining up to see these guys:



3 comments:

Mary E.Carey said...

Just catching up with the riot of fantastic posts from Rhode Island to the Berkshires. A classic Norwottuck Rail Trail post. I've spent tons of time on the trail and never noticed the pieces of glass that have gotten loose. Great street performers snippet. I wonder if those kids were from Northampton High School.

mcblm921 said...

I was on the trail earlier in the day, riding from the Warren Wright Rd. entrance. I was shocked at how rough the trail was as I got closer to Amherst. There have always been bumps near Amherst College, but nothing like that.

I've heard about the glass causing flat tires, too, but I never took that too seriously, until I read the article. It pays to have knobby tires, I guess. lol

Tony said...

I never thought twice about the glass either, but now it seems everyone's got 20/20 hind sight...

What a surpisingly powerful voice on that kid, huh? I should have gone against my usual short video policy and recorded them a little longer.