Right on, ride on

Ceci n'est pas une vélo

Community Solar System Ride: a bust! :-(

Posted by @teeheehee on September 3rd, 2008

Two weekends ago Sunday I attempted a ~60 mile ride: go to and take roughings of all of the Museum of Science’s Community Solar System planet kiosks (including Pluto the Plutoid.)

I should have known something was up when the MoS updated  their website and no longer offered for download the “passport,” nor made available the pages detailing the Community Solar System project at all.

But that didn’t deter me! I downloaded that passport file weeks ago, and I had worked diligently on finding somewhat feasible biking routes (more on that in a bit.) I forged ahead – the ride would not be thwarted just because the new website doesn’t have the Community Solar System project listed anymore!

Well, here is what I started with: Pluto, at the platform of the Riverside T Stop, Green D Line.

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No problem.  I only took a couple of wrong turns to get to Newton, and recovered within a quarter of a mile on each. When I got there one of the T operators thought I was trying to bring my bike onto the train or lock it up on the platform, neither of which was the case and she smiled when I told here I was just there to take a roughing of the Pluto kiosk.

I continued, emboldened now to take a 20+ mile leg. Next stop was at the end of the longest trek of the day: Neptune at the Square One Mall in Saugus.

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But wait, there was no Neptune! The kiosk wasn’t there! The mall information desk people didn’t even know what I was talking about!

Well, that stunk.

My next stop was to be Jupiter at South Station (the planet order was chosen for convenience of the overall ride.) Two things about this next stretch…


  1. US 99 is not a good biking road. It has a drawbridge which I got to see activated, but not worth the risk of riding that horribly trafficked road.
  2. I didn’t make it to South Station. I stopped at the Museum of Science to inquire about the missing planet.

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After talking with someone at the MoS info desk I found out the program has been abandoned, at least two kiosks are missing and the one at the Square One Mall has been gone for a couple to a few years.

Well, after roughly 40+ miles I ended, a bit dejected, but not completely taxed of energy. I knew also that at least one or two of the places where planets were (or should be) wouldn’t be open to the public on a Sunday, and the passport I was filling out would not be honored.

I still felt pretty good about the ride, I may do portions of it again (minus US 99) and actually remember to take pictures next time. There were some really great areas, and some areas with hill after hill.

2 Responses to “Community Solar System Ride: a bust! :-(”

  1. Boston Biker Says:

    this is pretty epic! Good job.

  2. teeheehee Says:

    I have a few more maps of much shorter distances to connect with all of the other planets, but I didn’t bother to ride that part. The full route would have included downtown Boston, JP, Cambridge, and then focus in on the area near the MoS.

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