Traveling and Cringing

The Park

The Secondratecyclist has been on the move. Two weeks ago, I spent the entire week living at Mount Vernon as a resident student . . . a post on that later. This week, my wife and I took our first “empty nest” vacation to Bean Town! Being a cyclist, I had to visit as many bike shops as I could and did! My wife could only smile when one popped up in the area of Boston we happened to be visiting that particular day. She knows me and understands my addiction . . . er, passion.

“HOLY CRAP” cab ride

Boston is a cycling town, although I am still shaking my head. Bikes zipping everywhere . . . fixies, road, mountain, touring, rentals, and on and on. Here’s the interesting part: traffic is nuts! After arriving in Boston, my wife and I took a cab to our apartment and was in total shock (while cringing) to see how close we were to cyclists in the city as we buzzed by them at 50+mph, dodging in and out of traffic! It wasn’t long after that, while Tammy and I stood at another section of intersecting streets near Copley, I saw a group ride! Yes, a group ride. It was about six riders on road bikes, fully kitted out, having a nice go at a double pace line as they disappeared around a corner in fairly heavy traffic. Now, I consider myself a pretty decent bike handler . . . until two days later.

While waiting for a crossing light near the Frog Pond at Lafayette Mall, the traffic was heavy (lunch rush hour). Buses, cabs, people, and personal vehicles were everywhere . . . and then it happened. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black Cannondale fixie barreling down the street (on a fairly good decline) moving in and out of traffic with relative ease,  and I focused on the rider as he approached. Tapping my wife and pointing to the rider as he passed us at around 25 mph was when I noticed that, within his skill set, HE WAS ALSO DRINKING A LARGE DUNKIN’ DONUTS COFFEE! Then he was gone. I just stood there with my mouth hanging open for a second or two.

Another interesting part of the trip, through the lens of a cyclist, was a trip to Harvard University. Yes, it was beautiful. I think I gained a point or two in IQ just breathing the air; then I spotted an unusual feature placed among the towering buildings, ivy-covered walls, and large oak trees:

Public bike stands to work on your bike with attached tools and pump! Are you kidding me?! I was so excited to see such a wonder. The thought of keeping cyclists in mind when designing and selecting things for the needs of the public blew me out of the water. Bravo!

Our first “empty nester” was great! We watched Big Papi smash one out of the park on Wednesday night. We stood in awe of the Dutch masters and French impressionists at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. We meandered old Boston and visited the beautiful parks! The weather was perfect, and we only got turned around two or three times on the “T” subway. We’re already planning the next one. Picking up local bike shop jerseys is also a side hobby of mine. I picked up this one plus another t-shirt at two of the many great shops in Boston:

Back Bay Bicycles
Back Bay Bicycles
Superb Bikes on Beacon Street
Superb Bikes on Beacon Street



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