Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Damn minivans

I spent a lot of the long weekend doing some frustrating wrenching work on Gilbert,  tearing my fingernails to shreds and doing a lot of cursing under my breath.  The Scientist was watching football in the wrenching room (AKA our TV room) for at least some of this time, and there was a particularly annoying commercial that kept playing for some kind of minivan that showed a variety of improvised cargo carrying situations (with cars),  and mocking people who have to resort to strapping things on top of their cars as shaming the human race.

Good thing they didn't see me biking around recently.  Not sure what they would have made of the dishonor I was doing to humanity by not having an enormous vehicle that I would use to capacity four times a year.

I read a nice post on a blog I recently discovered, "Chafe City" about shopping for dining chairs, and the satisfaction of carrying them home by bike.  I find that most often the people who work in loading docks are totally cool about you carrying big/ bulky stuff home on your bike,  much less surprised than people who don't deal with cargo all the time.  Perhaps many of them have had more than their fair share of Macgyver moments, so they sympathize.   I got the Scientist a desk chair for Christmas (not in "mucus" color- sorry Chafed),  and the loading person not only helped me take the (24x 36x13) box out to my bike,  but happily helped hold it stable on the rack while I strapped it in place.  I think there's a bit of a dopamine hit to the brain to figuring something out, and making it work that you wouldn't get if you just shoved the box in the back of your minivan.

In unrelated news,  the jersey barriers (and the traffic barrels)  are all gone from the Longfellow,  so the bike lane is completely open again (for now), and no longer have to take the lane going uphill with speeding cars coming up behind you.   Cars still go too fast, but at least you have a lane of your own to go your own speed in.   I wouldn't have minded too much if they left the barrels in though for a buffered lane :)

Even more importantly for Boston biking culture,  the Mass Ave bike lanes are in,  complete with the promised removal of parking all along one side of the road!   They're just painted,  not thermoplastic,  but that might not be a bad idea for the short term- so they can get an idea of what works and what doesn't.   There seemed to be some confusion with the lane shifting at Mass Ave and Newbury,  and while the parking spots had been removed,  the meters were still in place, which was confusing people.   I'm glad the city squeaked through and got it done before the end of the year.   I'll be even more excited when they figure out how to make things work through Symphony and connect the lanes all the way through from the medical center to the river.  The city committing to parking removal is a huge step forward,  and I'm very excited that they've taken it.

Finally, "Oh Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!  Yehuda Moon is BACK!  Go sign up and give them their $12 and let the good times keep rolling.

1 comment:

  1. I am SO glad that the Longfellow Jersey Barriers are gone! My back brake fronze half shut right as I started my commute home and busting my butt upon that bridge in traffic would have been too much for me tonight!

    Can't wait to see the Mass Ave lanes - am VERY curious what they do at Hynes since NO ONE understands how those lanes work (1 left turn 2 straight but _SHIFTING_ to left lanes!!!!!)

    I have yet to take huge packages on my bike - but have done the following craziness: filled basked with lots of recycleble bags etc, fastened 'granny cart' full of same to back rack as 'trailer' to bring it all to Cambridge Recyling center :) - i got lots of great looks as i toodled along my ride :)