This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

People are nice in Boston.

   I was there to visit with some friends from the Bike Forums 50 + crowd.  Every year we put together a ride and people from around the country come to ride..  This year it ended up in Boston, but only 5 of us actually made it.  We made the best of the situation and had a great time.  I suffered an interminable 20 hour drive through the orange barrel jungles of Indiana and Ohio to get there and missed an evening of festivities.  That's Ok, I needed a drink and some rest.  On Saturday our host for the event, Jim, took me on a leisurely tour of Boston proper to help me get my bearings straight.  I was staying in Sommerville where I was able to find lodgings at an incredibly cheap rate, but more on that in a later post.  I was amazed at how bike friendly Boston had become.  It should make sense since Boston is THE college town, and students have begun to embrace cycling for urban transportation.   We got together at Jim's place on Commonwealth near Kenmore Square to make the trip through the countryside to West Acton.  Mass Bike had put together a charity ride and it was a real success.  We all agreed to ride the 30 mile loop to keep the group together
 and were in no hurry to break off the conversations and fun.  
Jim, Diane and Tom Kenton and myself  made the ride.
 The route wound through the neighborhood streets of Carlisle, Concord and Lexington, which were beautiful enough, but the highlight of this ride was the trip through the Minuteman Park.  Throughout the ride we had a chance to ride trails leading us past not only preserved historical cottages and road houses,

 but along the trail where the battles of the early revolution were waged by the citizen militia.  
The trails ranged from hardpacked gravel to some very sloppy sandy washouts.  

The Hunq had no problem with 40mm tires but the others were riding road bikes and had to be a little careful with the 25mm tires knifing into the soft spots.  The trail led us from one historical marker
 to another
some where the dates and times of individual incursions were recorded. 
We gained a real sense for the sequence of events involved in the conflict.
This all created some lively conversation and discussions and 
there were rules to ignore and places to explore.
At one point some re-enactors were providing a firearms demonstration.
Despite starting late and taking our dear sweet time, we made it back to grab the last of the BBQ provided for lunch and a couple beers donate by Sam Adams.  It was a great day, the weather was perfect and we had little trouble keeping the group together.  Tom and I have very similar climbing styles (we can't) and played the role of sweepers while Diane and Jim danced up the hills like they had never seen a french fry.  After the ride back to our respective rooms, and a couple hours of recuperation, we met at Jim's again.  He took us on a subway ride to the North End (Nahth Eind) for a look at the 
Saturday night revelry and a late night dinner.
I was again really impressed at the city.  Here, late Saturday night,
groups of families, couples and women all looked perfectly comfortable
exploring the streets of Boston and enjoying the selection of bars and restaurants.
The night ended too soon, the Kentons needed to leave in the morning, Jim had to spend time with his daughter and go into the office to get his work caught up and I was left with Sunday to myself.
I slept in, but around noon made a large loop around Sommerville and Cambridge on my way downtown.  Cambridge reminds you that  just a few centuries ago this was rural countryside, they paved over the cow paths and forgot about making sense of it when they became streets.  I was constantly scratching my helmet and wondering how I got on this street.  I did bring my small tablet with me, in case I got too disoriented I could rely on Google Maps to find myself.  Again I had beautiful weather, and took the scenic route through the parkways on the Charles after covering most of Cambridge.  I found a great network of Hubway cycles parked and used throughout the city.
Yep,  they are just "begriming" the crap out of everything, the evil monsters.  But at least they aren't blue.
I rode past the band shell in the park where the symphony was performing a free concert and went downtown to see if the city streets on Sunday were as lively as the night before.  They were.
The Chieftans were performing a free concert on one of the squares.  I hung out, had a $4 shot of lemonade  and enjoyed the music before searching out the South End.  The South End has become the Brooklyn of Massachusetts.  Fully gentrified with grown up hippies, it has developed it's own selection of trendy restaurants and shops selling handmade stuff and bottled unicorn farts.  I like it! Screw Portland, Boston is real! While coasting around, admiring the community garden set between rows of brownstone condo's, I realized that Cambridge is not the only place with paved cow paths and I had no idea where I was.  So I reached out to check with my tablet and found it gone!  Begrimed is a mild word for the feeling.  I shook my head at my own stupidity, while enamored with the casual ambiance walking around the Commons or the Chieftan concert, some bastard nipped it!  Resignation set in and, although it wouldn't end my world, there was about $700 tied up in that little Daytimer case.  It was my own fault and as I was walking my bike along a sidewalk to find a cafe I saw this.
Lock your bike in Boston?  Forgetaboutit!
While feeling no less violated, I wasn't as lonely.
After getting a bowl of soup and an iced tea, I was wondering how long I had before my accounts were cleaned out and I had to have my son wire me money to get home; then the phone rang.
A state police officer called to let me know my tablet and case had been turned in and they would have it at their office near the Science Museum whenever it was convenient for me to come by.
What!?  Let's try that again.
A state police officer called to let me know my tablet and case had been turned in and they would have it at their office near the Science Museum whenever it was convenient for me to come by.
Sorry about the bike buddy,
 but it goes to show that the vast majority of people make responsible moral decisions every day.
 How else would the world work?
Boston has nice people.

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