Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Starting to be the Season

Although it's been so warm, the weather is about to change as we enter December,  and I was determined to buy a wreath at the store, despite already having too much to fit in my bag.   No problem, I'll just loop it over the handlebars for the 8 blocks or so ride home!

Now if I can just find where I put Gilbert's Christmas lights....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Signage worth a second look

The NYDOT has sponsored an artist to develop some visually and intellectually arresting signage PSA's  in Haiku form, which are being posted at a number of intersections throughout the city.

On one hand the visual style is really interesting, and the haiku format is both concise and attention grabbing.  More information, like the fact that the campaign is being paid for by traffic fines here.

Perhaps I'm biased, but it seems like there's an undertow of blaming the victim- the "door prize" and the "cars crossing sidewalk" ones particularly.   If you're on the sidewalk, doesn't it seem like you should be able to stop and talk to friends without worrying about being hit by a car?    And the Car stops near bike lane one seems to imply that the cyclist by "entering the raffle" is to blame.

I also don't know how cyclists and drivers (at whom at least some of these are, or should be aimed) will see the signage if it's only posted at street crossings.  Hopefully they'll be part of a wider PSA campaign to reach all modes, not just people on sidewalks.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Something to be thankful about

Now that it's "official"  I want to introduce the newest member of my bike herd- the as yet unnamed lovely touring Shogun:

The Scientist and I have long had dreams of relaxed touring trips through western mass, or the south of France, but it didn't seem that I had the bike for it.   While I'd ridden Gilbert up to 70 miles in a day, with no ill effects, it didn't seem like the best way to cover serious ground.   I was not comfortable enough riding my old Trek "sports-touring" bike to be willing to embark on the project of  converting it into a stylish "touring" bike (something that I fear would be a bit of a hack job),  and was striking out on craiglist.

So I'm extremely excited to add the Shogun to my collection of bikes, and have been taking advantage of the mild November here to take some nice long rides.  So far, I've mostly been riding to, and then along the Minuteman, so that I could get acquainted without having to deal with much traffic.

Unfortunately on the first test ride, before I learned that I would get to keep it,  I wiped out- something I haven't done on a city bike ever.  This was not a promising introduction to riding a "road" bike!  I was perhaps pushing the speed a bit too much, and was going to pass a pedestrian, when I realized that I didn't have enough space from oncoming traffic to pass safely.  I hit the brakes, but was unfortunately on a patch of loose pine needles and leaves, and the rear tire slid sideways, and I pitched forward onto my head and shoulder.  I was very glad I was wearing a helmet, because I pretty much landed on my forehead.   Fortunately the only real injury, besides some bruises and scuffs to the leather bar tape, was the front derailleur got twisted around 20 degrees, which was fixable with 30 seconds and a multi-tool.  I got back on, and felt like I was still comfortable riding.   It didn't hurt that being on the path meant that I had another hour of mostly traffic-free riding to get over the shock.

In Lexington center.  I did put the seat up as I grew more comfortable,  although it's still something like 9" lower than the Scientist's seat.
 Although the bar end shifters are easier to use than the down tube ones on the Trek,  I'm not 100% there on the friction shifting.   It sounds stupid if you're used to it, but I keep forgetting which way is "up"  and downshifting when I mean to upshift or vice versa.   I've found though that I don't need to freak out- if I mess up the shifting, it doesn't do great things for my momentum, but I can generally fix it without too much trouble.

The 10 cm stem does stretch me out a bit further than at first I thought I would be comfortable with.  I talked to Velouria about the advantages and disadvantages of a longer stem,  and decided to leave it for now, as a shorter stem might make it feel more flighty, which is the last thing I want.  I think that for now, it's the right decision, as after only 3 or 4 rides, it's feeling much more comfortable, and more like the accommodations I make switching between Minerva and Gilbert, in that it takes a few minutes to get used to it, and then I'm OK.

Possibly because my legs are used to pushing around 40+ pounds of lugged-step-through-goodness, the bike both feels super light (although Velouria told me she thought it was a little pudgy- that's what you get from riding titanium bikes!)  and is super easy to pedal. It's most noticeable on hills, which I feel like I'm flying up- almost like I have a motor assist!  On the flats, I feel like the gearing is maybe a bit low, but interestingly, after a couple of rides that I've decided that that makes me feel more comfortable on the bike, not less.   It's kind of a reminder to relax a bit, not always push things.   And it's plenty fast, even if I'm not maxing out my effort.  I think that it will be perfect for putting a small load on the bike and riding all day.

I  found that even after a few rides, and despite my spill, I'm comfortable enough on this bike that in a fit of new-bike delirium,  I even rode it downtown after dark,  riding through Central square on Mass Ave even- something I'd never be comfortable doing on the Trek, because it's so unstable feeling.   I even rode it to work one day,  mostly because I needed to take the Scientist's car in for an oil change (yes, despite the fact that I rarely drive it,  I take charge of the care and feeding of our family car) and it occurred to me that I could take the front wheel off the Shogun using quick release, unlike my city bikes, and thus stow it in the back for the drive to the garage.    On the ride in from the garage, there were some guys from Boston Adventours doing a little tire pump and brake adjustment "mini-clinic"  at Charles Circle,  and they were all over it, admiring the VO crankset and the fenders.

I've been spending a lot of time admiring it too.  Until it finds a proper home, it's sitting in my dining room, and I have been known to spend many minutes just staring at the lovely color and perfectly suited appointments!  I will probably add a small VO rack at some point for touring, but the Carradice saddle bag has been surprisingly capacious.  I managed to stop at both Penzey's, and Trader Joe's on my last trip out the Minuteman, and on the first, there was space for a lock, a patch kit, a small pump, a small camera, and reading material for two.

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, I've not been able to take as many long rides as I'd like, due to sickness, Thanksgiving travel, and an unexpected slow flat (fortunately on the front).  I'm hoping to get a couple more long rides before the snow arrives, does anyone have suggestions for nice low-car rides of 20-30 miles or so in the Boston area?  

Thanks again to Velouria of Lovely Bicycle, and I hope to be able to reward her and her sponsors, Harris Cyclery, Velo Orange, and Cambridge Bicycle, and donors, Spindizzy,  Justine Valinotti, G.E., Neighbortease, Cedar and Somervillain with lots of stories of adventures we take together!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Saw this vintage cruiser bike locked to a pole in the rain.   Something about it made it seem like a very old bike, maybe even a vintage treasure.  I suspect that to it's current owner it's a BSO to get them around town until it rusts away.  Couldn't find much about them except the name has been around for a long time (1890's) although I'm not certain that it's all the same company.

Very full coverage fenders- cover at least 180 degrees of the wheel front and back.

Lovely double curved downtubes

Odd "stays" on either side of the headtube down to the front axle-  anyone have any idea what they're for? They have a graceful curve

The handlebars also have a nice sweep to them- although they need grips.  

I hope that it's not just going to be abandoned on a curb all winter, because it looks like a bike that deserves better.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boston Bike network Meeting report.

I went to the Boston Bike Network Plan presentation last week and have a bit of reportage, but more editorial comment.  Sorry for the long and wordy post- lots of information and an important topic if you ride in Boston.

There were between 50 and 60 people at the meeting- a lot of latecomers because of the weather and the early start time.  They had big maps of each neighborhood at each of 6 tables.  Toole design (the consultants)  gave a presentation about the process so far and the basic types of facilities they were planning on: sharrow, "priority sharrow (more frequent sharrows- mostly in a bus-bike only type configuration) reg bike lane, buffered bike lane, physically separated bike lane and "neighborway"  (what they're calling bike boulevards). Notably they had a specific category of "spot improvements" which I think is really critical.  There are lots of places in Boston where "you can't get there from here"  due to natural or man-made impediments.   Thus all traffic gets fed into the limited connection points, which tend to be daunting to cycle through (meatgrinder is a term that came up to describe Kenmore sq).   Providing alternatives, or strategic cycle improvements to these nodes can add a lot of value. 

There was a brief Q&A  which degenerated a bit into people making position statements.   There's a guy who has come to a couple of meetings with the same talking points,  one of which is criticizing Central sq as the #1 spot for cycle accidents and claiming that the "complete Streets" approach is to blame for that.  That statistic was refuted by Dave Watson (MassBike) and Pete Stidman (Boston Cyclist's Union) as being the result of a) much higher overall numbers of cyclists,  so the rate of accident isn't higher  and b)  the Cambridge PD being serious about tracking accidents,  while a lot of other towns don't actually track bike collisions separately from pedestrians, or don't really take bike collisions seriously unless there's a fatality.   

At this point, people were asked to break up into small groups around the tables and write comments on the maps, as well as on provided forms in which we were asked to identify our #1 and #2 priority for each neighborhood, with the idea that we'd speed date and cycle through each neighborhood.  I didn't get a chance to go through each map at length, although I had had a peek at them earlier.  Hopefully they will be online soon.  I had to leave before the summary/ comment period,  but I heard it got off topic and wasn't terribly productive.

There's too much there for me to really comment on the meat of the network. The overall count of proposed improvements is as follows:
27 miles of off street paths
28 miles of separated on street paths
73 miles of "neighborways" (bicycle boulevards)  This is great in as much as they're useful if they're truly made low- car streets with blockages to prevent through traffic, but they're less useful if they're just painting sharrows and putting up signs
101 miles of on street bike lanes.
89 miles of sharrows.
A small but significant point was that this "City of Boston" plan includes some percentage of non- city owned roads and parks (Mass DOT/ DCR).

The complete presentation is here

I think that the most valuable place for them to receive feedback from city "users"  is in the area of suggested "neighborways"  and in "spot improvements"  which could be as simple as a curb cut in a median, or a contraflow lane for a block,  or as complicated as bridges over obstacles like the Pike or the Muddy River.  I didn't see an address in the presentation to send comments to, but I'm sure they'd get where they're going if you sent them to Nicole Freedman with the subject "Boston Bike Network Suggestion"  nicole.freedman.bra_at_

My somewhat subjective responses are as follows:
It seems to me that the committee are either being tasked, or being pulled into two contradictory goals.  On one hand they are trying to set up a master plan with a backbone of high quality  (protected or buffered)  spines  which then connect to finer grained, less protected (although theoretically lower trafficked) facilities.  I feel that this is a good basic strategy,  and is a good way to really make the city better to travel though by bike.

On the other hand they are being tasked to identify low hanging fruit- especially sharrows and bike lanes which require minimal public process and few tradeoffs.  While I feel that developing this list is a worthy goal, especially in terms of folding as much of these upgrades as possible into the annual city maintenance cycle, and "pre-planning" connectivity to be folded into any major projects,  I worry that there will be (and maybe has been) a default to the easiest improvements instead of the best improvements in terms of real significance in how the network works. 

Maybe that was a theme of the night because Anne Lusk from Harvard did make a good point about the limits of public process,  in which the public good can be derailed by NIMBYism.  Also troubling was that Nicole mentioned that proposed cycle tracks on Commercial St around the North End were derailed by local opposition. Pete Stidman questioned the transparency of that process, saying that the meetings with opposition must not have been well publicized, because he had attended one meeting and it was both pretty sleepy, and pretty pro-bike, implying that if he (and other advocates) had thought that it was a contentious project, they would have marshaled more support for it.  It does seem that there needs to be better outreach and notification on these meetings.  Even this meeting, where they were really trying to get feedback from users was not (IMO)  well publicized, and was not on the Boston Bikes website (evidently it was somewhere else on the city website- don't know where).

Next steps, Toole Design, the consultant, will continue sifting through comments from stakeholders and from this meeting.  I don't know what the timeline is, but they're supposed to generate a final report and presumably some kind of map. How it actually gets incorporated into the city's mechanisms will be critical, obviously. Vineet, the head of BTD was there as well, which is a good sign of the city being on board.  However, they were vague about timeframe for this plan though,  starting with 5-10 years,  but then talking about 20-30 years for "some" things. 

Maybe it's just me, because my frame of experience is only the last 5 years, but it feels that we're on a cusp of bike mode share really exploding.  If they can point to significant increases, and the increased population can be mobilized to demand better facilities, that could obviously accelerate the timeframe.  It could definitely turn into positive snowball,  so I'm optimistic about the possibilities, although I'll reserve judgement on the process until I see it moving forward.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Too many bikes?

A week ago I was so sick all weekend that I stayed home on Monday.  But by then I had absolutely exhausted my reading material, so I got out of bed and walked the three blocks to the main library in search of new material (I ended up with The Veil of Gold which was a nice little fantasia on Russian mythology).

Outside the library the bike parking was absolutely packed (and there's a lot of bike parking!)  Every post and tree had 2 bikes locked to it too.   The library is right next to the Cambridge high school, and I asked the librarian, and she said it's like that most schooldays. She did mention that there's covered parking in the underground garage, which is also nice to know.   I counted 61 bikes.  Obviously the school needs to put in more parking!  (looks like some more may be coming, looking at some photos on Lovely Bicycle).

This is awesome!!!


Riding past the GSD Saturday, I did a double take, and had to pull over to study these wheels!
That's a LOT of spokes.  Yes, I counted them (feeling a bit foolish squatting on the sidewalk), and there are 70 pair, or 140 spokes per wheel!!!!

Kludgy typeface, but I think it says "Stronger"    While theoretically more spokes make a stronger wheel, I've got to believe that at some point the rim becomes weakened by all the holes, so  it must be done for looks.

The photo didn't come out, but the "bike shop sticker" was all in asian characters.  That and the rear wheel lock make me think that this is a foreign student's bike imported from home.

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Casey overpass information

Even if you're not directly impacted, you  should really check out the great article on the subject at the Boston Cyclist's Union "Union Rider"
I didn't realize that the facilities for bikes and pedestrians in the "bridge" option were going to be really bad, but that just increases my support of the "at grade" option.

For me the #1 reason to do an "at grade" solution, is that no one wants to hang out around the base of a highway bridge,  and by taking it away it gives the neighborhood a much better feel- makes it a place that people want to hang out, shop, sit, walk and live.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Impromptu Rain Cover

I got a chance to ride Minerva for the first time in the rain post Kool-Stops/ drum brake conversion, and it was great!  I was very conservative down the big hill on Cambridge street, but everything went well-  1,000% better than the first time I rode her in damp conditions.

It wasn't really raining hard, and I needed my bike for an early morning meeting, so I decided to ride despite the drizzle.  I don't mind carrying my leather bag in a light rain, but I was worried it would get a lot of splash up from the road.  Also not the end of the world, but I happened to have a plastic bag from a batch of paper towels that we'd just unwrapped at the office.  I was taking it home for recycling, and then I looked at it and thought- that's just about the same size as my bag....

So it's not pretty, but it kept the bag completely dry!

I hooked the top of the bag into the clips on my pannier hardware, and locked them down.

A slit in the back is how I slid the whole thing on.  Again, not terribly chic, but effective!

On an unrelated note, you know you live in a fairly well developed bike culture when on a rainy night with temps in the 40's, all the bike parking is full.  Had to stop at a pharmacy in Harvard Sq, and there was absolutely nowhere to park.

Critical meeting for Casey Overpass

Live in JP/ Rozzie/ points south?
You're probably aware that the existing Casey Overpass is an overbuilt-rustbucket-eyesore that's a whisker shy of falling down.   It's been rolled into the "Accelerated Bridge Program"  and the state is considering two options to replace it- one at grade and one with a new bridge.  Monday night is the meeting to determine which one will go forward into design.  There are a lot of people who drive through there who are amateur traffic engineers and think that a bridge is "obviously"  the only solution, but it's not necessarily the best for other road users or the neighborhood.

I'm not going to be able to make the meeting on Monday night, but I got this info in the email, and I'll send a letter supporting the on grade option.

Please attend the Casey Overpass meeting this coming Monday, November 21 from 6-8:30 at the Hinton State Laboratory at 305 South St. in JP! This is a critical meeting. Your input at this meeting, and our ability as LivableStreets to inspire other people to give their input could decide the fate of the project. 

What's happening? In the next few weeks, MassDOT (Mass. Dept. of Transportation) will decide to replace the crumbling Casey Overpass with either a new two-lane bridge or an at-grade network of streets.

Why attend this meeting? Building a new bridge is more expensive and creates a wall 20-feet high through our neighborhood that, according to MassDOT analyses, won’t help get commuters through Forest Hills any faster than with the superior at-grade option.

What are the options? Both options improve local traffic operations compared to existing conditions and handle all traffic projected through 2035. Both options maintain equal regional traffic operations. Only the at-grade option improves bus service and traffic along Washington Street.

What else needs to be addressed? Despite the enormous advantages of the at-grade option, the outcome is far from decided. We need every at-grade supporter to speak up in support of the at-grade solution. Thank MassDOT for listening and considering these key suggestions to make Boston a more connected, livable city.

Key points to make at the meeting: Show your support for the at-grade alternative to create more livable communities. Come to the public meeting on Nov. 21stand tell MassDOT that you prefer the at-grade solution for any or all of the reasons below. You can help reshape Forest Hills and impact greater Boston for generations to come. Ensure another bridge that cuts through Forest Hills is not built. 

What are the advantages of the at-grade solution?
• Maintains commute times through Forest Hills
• Visually and physically reconnects surrounding parks and neighborhoods by removing the overpass.
• Supports economic and neighborhood development by opening up street-front retail properties to shoppers.
• Creates a clear gateway to the Southwest Corridor
• Improves access to Forest Hills transit Station.
• Recreates Olmsted’s visionary parkway of tree-lined streets connecting the Arboretum with Franklin Park.
• Includes Washington Street improvements making it safer for walkers, cyclists as well as vehicles.

We encourage you to write a letter supporting the at-grade option to your local elected officials and John Romano, Municipal Affairs Liaison, MassDOT, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA 02116 or to

For more information about this project,  visit

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Boston Bike Master Plan Wednesday

Boston Bikes is having a meeting Wed night to present the new bike network plan for the next couple of years.  I got a sneak peak at it from a friend at Livable streets, and there are some awesome things in the works (can anyone say protected bike lane?)

Get all the details at  5:30 PM at the Boston Main Public Library, in the lower level of the McKim building (the historic side that faces Trinity Church, not the godforsaken Phillip Johnson addition)  in conference room "A"  Enter from the Dartmouth street side, and go down the stairs.

 If you haven't ever been in that side of the library, it's worth getting there a few minutes early and going UP the stairs first to check out the murals, the carved stone stair and the impressive coffered reading room.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do you, or Don't you? (updated)

I stopped at the grocery store on the way home to buy a treat for the Scientist,  and when I was riding off,  I saw a UPS truck at an intersection ahead of me, about to turn into my path.  I give all big trucks a wide berth, so I slowed down a bit, and saw the driver look right at me.  Feeling assured that she saw me, I proceeded, only to have her turn right out in front of me.  Fortunately I was acting with an abundance of caution, so I only had to brake slightly,  but when I caught up to her at the next block (she'd stopped to make a delivery) I rode up to her door, and asked "Did you see me before you pulled right out in front of me?"

She said "Yeah"

But immediately followed that with,  "but you're wearing dark clothes"
I said, "but I have a very bright light"
She said,  "you should have something flashing"
At this point, I just shook my head and rode away, pondering as I went.

This is a bit of a headscratcher.  "Yeah" she saw me and pulled out in front of me anyway?

Yeah, she saw me, despite my "dark" clothing?  and decided to punish me because I wasn't wearing neon lights?

Of course, neither flashing lights nor high vis clothing are required by law in any state I know of, and definitely not in MA, where you need a white light on the front and a red light on the back.   My lights are much brighter than many people's standard "blinkies"

For the record this is what I was wearing: white helmet (with planet bike superflash on the back) light grey sweater, black skirt with  grey tights (and red gloves).    Not exactly head to toe black.

More importantly Minerva was wearing  a Lumotec Cyco R 40 lux headlight mounted at handlebar height.
Lumotec IQ Fly N-Plus W/Standlight
(It's what all the well dressed DL-1's are wearing these days!)

Basically she either didn't look carefully enough to see me, or didn't process that I was there, because she wasn't thinking about bikes.   After I confronted her (in a pleasant and reasonable tone) she started to make any excuse she could to excuse her carelessness and put the blame on me.

I know that the golden rule or urban cycling is to assume no one sees you.  But I also think that we have to start creating consequences for drivers who don't pay attention, consequences that are serious enough that people pay attention to what they're looking at!  Complaining to commercial driver's employers is a start, but I feel strongly that we need dramatically stronger liability laws to protects bicycles and pedestrians.

Updated-  I filed a complaint online with UPS,  and they emailed me to say that they'd forwarded it to the dispatcher. I did get a call from the dispatcher this morning (sat), but couldn't get to the phone in time.  He left a message apologizing and saying that he would call back later, although he hasn't yet, and the number he has called from seems to be permanently busy.  I don't want them to punish the driver, but I do hope that they will remind her to be careful, and perhaps keep a complaint on her record in case she later hurts someone.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Visit to Newton

While Gilbert was at Harris for his pedal problems, I took a quick detour to visit Vee,  of the blog Suburban Bike Mama.  She made me some much needed coffee in her charming kitchen, while her cat flirted with me.   Then we headed out to let me try her new bikes.  I was especially interested in trying the electric assist Christiana trike that she got this fall.

The battery pack is nicely integrated with the rear rack, and you can barely see the motor-axle.

 The steering motion was very odd to me because you simultaneously have to push the handlebar out with the "outside" arm while leaning inward.  I suppose you could just turn one handed if you were more comfortable with it, but it was very counterintuitive on an initial test ride.

my arm extended as far as it would go, while I leaned the other way to keep from tipping
 The motor was pretty awesome though.  There's a very steep hill at the end of her road,  and it would be a challenge for an unloaded bike, let alone with a couple of kids or a big load of groceries.   The motor made it really quite manageable, and after the first "whoa" when I first kicked in the assist, it felt very natural and intuitive how to use it.

I also took a quick spin on her new bright orange Public.

 Maybe it was because we didn't bother to adjust the seat, but the geometry wasn't quite comfortable for me.  Partly I'm used to more backward sweep on the handlebars. I guess I would describe it  as if the center of gravity was too far forward. Not in the same "cruising" way that dutch bikes have, but in a twitchier sort of way.   I suppose that if I rode it regularly and adjusted it properly for me, it would start feeling natural.

The bike is perfectly accessorized with a bag made of woven juice boxes- very cool and the perfect amount of orange to coordinate without overwhelming.

One of the neat accessories that Public offers is a neat spring-loaded basket which will fit on either the front or the rear rack,  and which is quickly removable by pulling out the side stays, which are held against the rack tubing by the spring tension.

There were two "detents" for the different tube thicknesses at front and rear racks,  and I think the basket would be more secure on the rear rack with its larger tubing. I'm not generally a big fan of the look of wire baskets (it's the retrogrouch in me)  but the design of this one was very clever, and could not have easily been done in wicker or wood.

And with that,  Vee's kids and husband arrived home, and I had to go pick up Gilbert from his "pedalicure"  It was great to get a chance to catch up with her, and see her unique bikes!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

zigzag bike

One of those Missioni for Target bike, spotted in its natural habitat, Newbury St (the swanky shopping street in Boston).

I've got to say,  the zigzags are very appealing.  The white tires, and the tiny splash of orange on the headbadge are nice touches.

It still looks a bit like a BSO in zebra's clothing,  although it has some of the right elements (chainguard, skirt guards etc).  Better  BSO with those items than one without,  and the provenance, and the flashy nature of the pattern probably means that it gets ridden more than a less pedigreed bike, which is all to the good.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Everybody" Knows

American cyclists and progressive planners who visit the Netherlands are amazed and covetous of the separated paths and the cross section of society that uses them.   We tend to think that these paths are an outgrowth of the social-political system or are somehow engrained in the culture, and we could never achieve them here.

While admittedly the US has a different density and settlement pattern, there are a lot of places in the US that aren't physically that different than the Netherlands,  and their paths weren't always as fantastic as we see today.

This video, produced by the relatively new Dutch Cycling Embassy,  gives an excellent history of the social movement in the 1970's that transformed the bicycling landscape.  This video implies that the lynchpin of the movement was concern over child safety,  and I'm curious if that was indeed the main focus, or if there were other historic preservation/ density concerns.

There's definitely a virtuous cycle a brewing.  More facilies= more cyclists=demand for better facilities=attracting more cyclists, and at some point you end up with the political will to create a comprehensive cycle path network!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


A bunch of little stuff going on:

I've complained in the past about the Greenway not having bike lanes.   They're not completely in (and the old lines are not completely gone) but they're starting to put them in.   So far only on the water side (Atlantic Ave)  and I didn't explore to see how far they go.   Too much of the length is dashed,  and I'd really like to see a bike box at Seaport, because a lot of cars are turning right, and a lot of cars are gunning for the on-ramp to 93, and it would be great to have a head start through there.  Will try to get photos in the daylight.

Rode Minerva into work today.  I got replacement axle nuts for the 13/32 ones that were sent by mistake.  I put them on on Saturday, rode a couple of errands (including the paint store at which I picked up a gallon of paint)  and dodged some turkeys.  Bike rode great,  kool stop rear shoes are still awesome and grabby,  front drum brake is OK, still needs some adjustment.
This morning when I was hopping on Gilbert, I whacked the pie plate with my foot, and knocked it off somehow.  It didn't want to just snap back in,  so I wheeled G back into the shed, and hopped on Minerva. It's nice having a backup bike.  She looks so dignified in the corner of my office!

Unfortunately I neglected to grab a lock,  so when I got to WF to pick up breakfast, I took a chance and just brought Minerva in with me.  She's not much bigger than a cart,  they're pretty empty at that hour, and what the hey!   No one commented or even looked at me funny.

Got a new pair of old boots!   I had a pair of boots that I loved, but after two hard winters of almost daily wear they were coming apart at the soles.   I took them to my cobbler, and he said that it would be a lot of money and it wouldn't be a permanent solution to fix them.   Unlike 99% of the time when it seems that I discover I can't live without something only after it has been permanently discontinued, I found these online, ordered them Monday before work, and they arrived on Tuesday.  WOW.  They fit just like the old ones, and it's great to have them "back."  I'm looking forward to many miles ahead of them.  Oh, and I'm loving my dramatic print skirts I got from Boden.
Photo assisted by the small brown dog

Dueling meetings tomorrow night- I'm going to try to make at least one of them.
Brookline town hall, meeting about rebuilding the intersection of Rte 9 and the Emerald Necklace.  A notoriously poor connection for bikes and pedestrians,  They're rebuilding this area, and they need incentive to make the hard choices necessary to make it less of a highway and more of a neighborhood.  7pm,  Brookline City hall, info here.

Also a meeting about connecting the Fenway to the rest of the Emerald necklace at the Muddy River.  This is the kind of crazy rotary at the Landmark Center (the old Sears building).  The main project is to open the river, which is currently underground in a culvert, to the air.  There are some traffic changes though, and the Army Corps of Engineers, who is handling most of the project, isn't as progressive about non- motorized transportation as this busy urban district deserves.  Two meetings to handle shift change at the hospital.  Info here.

Finally, and I know this is a long, text heavy post.
New legislation just proposed by State Representative Will Brownsberger (Belmont/ Cambridge)  would mainly provide the same protections to bicyclists riding in a crosswalk as are provided to pedestrians (motorists must yield, $200 fine).   More importantly it hints at a protection for vulnerable users, that seems to declare that in any collision with a bicyclist, the driver may not use right of way as a defense in a civil suit.  Basically it's saying that cars always need to yield to bikes and peds no matte what.
I'm conflicted a bit about how it's stated in the law,  and suspect it's not going to make it through the process, but I firmly believe that stronger legal liability for drivers is a critical part of making cycling safer and more accepted here.  Velouria at Lovely Bicycle had an interesting post about cycling here vs in Vienna,  and a lot of it came down to the legal ramifications that drivers face if they hit a cyclist there make them much more polite and careful around cyclists.  We can build infrastructure all we like, but I think that the underlying liability issues, which I hope will come into focus as more people start to cycle, are critical to getting everyone who might enjoy biking to feel comfortable doing it.