For the last couple of weeks I have been preparing to move into a new apartment. This has been on my radar for a while, and along with traveling to see family and an earlier apartment move I’ve made little time this summer to take to the roads in the area surrounding Boston. I haven’t even worked off my “winter baggage”.
It was with pent-up anticipation that last Saturday I finally took the time to select a route, clean up my hybrid, oil the chain, and strike out to ride. The destination: my favorite-so-far loop around Nagog Pond.
I haven’t been logging my activities much lately, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been much to write about. Here’s an account of my doings for this summer so far.
There was the Bikes Not Bombs ride in June, delayed to its rain date. I struggled a bit on this 65+ miler, not having trained enough and starting too aggressively, but I rallied and pulled off a clean finish.
I have been making trips out to Concord on my fixed gear bike, usually stopping by the overlook at Hanscom on the return trip. I spotted some wild turkeys on the Minuteman one of the times I went out.
More recently I attended the unveiling of the new bike sharing program in Boston, the Hubway. I got a little sunburned on the inaugural ride where I joined other volunteers in populating the stations with the first fleet of bikes, and later that day used the system to get from my office in Allston to Government Center where I had left my bike, managing the trip in roughly half an hour, obeying traffic rules (it was slow going as the bikes aren’t built for speed).
I am currently on vacation visiting my folks in northern NY, and my sister is here as well on break from her job teaching English in South Korea. No bike means no rides, and that’s a shame because the area has a lot to offer for scenery.
Back in late August of 2009 I rode out for lunch when I saw the Street View car canvassing by my office. They seemed to be somewhat lost and waved me by when they stopped at the stop sign and didn’t continue on, otherwise I would have followed it for a while just to see where it was going.
Has anyone else found themselves captured by one of these cars while pedaling around on their ride?
This year’s Bikes not Bombs Bike-a-thon ride was back in June 20th. I rode it, took a few pictures, and then neglected to write anything up about it until now.
On that Sunday some 3-400+ fundraising bicycle enthusiasts met in Jamaica Plain to support the Bikes not Bombs organization for their annual Bike-a-thon ride and Grassroots Festival.
This was a postponed event, with the original date two weeks prior called off due to a heavy rain prediction. Very many of us thoroughly enjoy this event and were eager to arrive, get registered, get our numbers, call sheets route details, and start on our way for a 15, 25, or 62+ mile ride in surrounding areas.
The day started out pretty hot, I could tell my Camelbak was only going to supply me for most of the ride. As the day went on the mercury hovered around 90 – and I am not a fan of the heat when I’m out for a long ride.
Here we are at the start of the ride. I rode the 62-mile route which had two service stops. I rode really well and kept pace with the lead group for the first ten or so miles, then lost them when I helped someone replace a flat innertube. From then on I rode pretty much solo, and struggled more and more as the heat kept bearing down on me.
As usual (for me) I got a bit lost when approaching the last couple of miles when entering JP. From what I gather there was at least one marker that was supposed to help direct me which had been ‘removed’ by ‘someone’. I ended up tacking on another several miles and probably another hour with futzing with maps on my phone before I got reoriented and travelling in the right direction. I pulled in to the finish with just enough time to eat and chat with folks before I had to head out to a bike repair class in Cambridge (which I made it to, barely on time).
I didn’t take any more pictures and really wish I had, but there are plenty that can be found on flickr or the Bikes not Bombs website. Though, if I had taken more photos I might not have had enough power left on my phone to bail me out at the end…
It was a long, and at times straining ride, and I can’t wait until it happens again next year!
I say, it has been a rather long time since I’ve written. Truly the winter gave me little to work with, and once settled into the habit of laziness it is difficult to find one’s way back into the spirit of writing about things. But, often as this goes, with a little bit of encouragement (100psi) combined at a time with an event worth relating to others: a recipe for a blog post is formed. All that needs to be done now is for the writing to happen.
Today, ladies and gents, was a Tweed Ride. Dapper lads and lasses dressed up in wools and linens, dropped to a low-speed crawl of a pace, and set about to smile and wave at all manner of folk still here in Cambridge and Boston for Memorial Day. The weather was warm and pleasant, and except for a smoky odor which permeated the area (apparently caused in part by forest fires in Quebec) it was a perfect day for a ride.
Today I went to the court house to answer the call of duty. Jury duty. The weather was nice and clear, with a slight breeze, the kind that feels good even as it makes you pedal a little harder to get where you’re going. It was the kind of weather that told nothing of the ominous events that would follow.
Color-coded differentiation between dedicated bike paths, easy-biking streets, and user-submitted preferred streets. Getting directions will plot a route that may avoid hills, and can offer alternative routes or click-drag modifications to the route. Minty!
Of course, I’m also proud that Boston took some initiative in the last two years to publish their own map, but c’mon this is Google Maps!