Monday, April 9, 2012

Nothing to see here

Sorry for the lack of posts lately- not much going on.  Riding my bike to work, to the library, to the grocery store, same old same old.

Ever since that glorious week when everything was bursting into bloom and we enjoyed record warm weather it's been cool and windy and often grey.  The one upside of the cool weather has been that the trees have clung tenaciously to their blossoms- much longer than they would have if the weather had stayed warm.   It's not precisely cold,  but it's cool enough that a jacket seems like a good idea when setting off,  only to be shed after the first mile or so.

Ran into Cris, a bike friend, riding home last Friday- there are so many bikers in my office neighborhood, it's a little surprising that I don't run into more of them more often.   We rode through Kendall and made a tentative date for me to pick up a bike wheel that I'd leant to a mutual friend and which had ended up at his house.  

Saturday got away from me.  I ended up actually driving to Home Depot, because I draw the line at carrying full size propane tanks on the bike. With a trailer, no problem, but on the rack, no thanks.

I made a loop up to Market Basket,  a local grocery store, which reminds me of Fiesta in Houston in its multi-ethnicity.  I would go to great lengths not to drive a car to this store on a weekend.   The parking lot is a crazy place, with cars circling and lined up double parking.   The bike parking is kind of lousy- wheelbenders too close to the wall.

 However Somerville did just install one staple rack in a convenient place on the adjacent side street.  For now, it feels like a secret, although I'm sure it will become a popular parking spot.

Heading back home I swung past Cris's house,  lucking out because he just happened to be returning from a ride to Groton (60 miles or so).  It made me feel like a slacker for riding my 3 miles to the store and back.  I picked up the wheel, strapping it on the rack, and headed to Trader Joe's.

The Scientist and I decided to grill,  but as he put on his down jacket to tend the burgers, he admitted that we might have been pushing the season a bit!

This evening I was followed down Cambridge Street by Dave, the director of Mass Bike, and one of his co-workers.  I could hear them remarking on my helmet, so I turned around to say hi.  I wasn't sure if they didn't filter because I didn't filter, or it they're also converts to that approach to biking. I'll just say that not filtering makes my ride slower, but much less stressful than trying to squeeze between parked cars and possibly moving/ turning cars.  

On the final stretch home, I was a little surprised to see a turkey, hanging out in the middle of the street.  The light was too low for good phone photographs,  but when I reprised the last part of my ride walking the dog, she was still hanging out there.  A woman was trying to feed her, and she said that the turkeys have been nesting in the tree outside her house.   Urban wildlife!

Anyway,  so it goes- not much to report, just the everyday bike comings and goings.  Hope everyone else is surviving early spring without too many complaints!


  1. Hurray for non-filtering! I too find it much less stressful - especially on Cambridge St outbound towards Cambridge in the afternoon rush hour. Takes me more time sure - but I get where I'm going.

    I do admit to some careful and slow filtering when that street is jammed up tight however....

    1. Yes, When I'm taking that route it's normally around 6:30 or so, and there's not much traffic. When I do ride home at 5:30 ish, and things are backed up all the way to government center, I will filter slowly and cautiously, with one hand on the brake and expecting the worst of all comers.

  2. I see Mr. Massbike from time to time on my way in (never on my way out) and he usually filters ... though at one red light, he also gave me a brief lecture on the illegality of lane splitting, for which I was sufficiently chastised. I was asking about it, so it wasn't like he was just upbraiding me for no reason.

    It was good to see you on Saturday! albeit briefly. I wouldn't worry too much about being a slacker. I have a 250 mile ride in 2.5 months that I'd like to train for. If not for that, I'd probably have spent Saturday with a warm beverage and a book.

  3. Absolutely loved the turkey sighting!

  4. Thanks for the extended loan! I've always ended up bungee cording a wheel to a backpack, next time I'll try using my rear rack - I get a bit nervous about having a "wide load" though. :) In good news, since I got that wheel replaced with a hand built one I've had zero broken spokes.
    A friend of mine works at Mt. Auburn Cemetery and they're having huge problems with the turkeys there getting aggressive because people are feeding them. :/

    1. It's funny, I've never broken a spoke (knock on wood), even back in the days of riding a machine built wheelset. Gilbert has hand built wheels, and they've been fine, although I do need to true them this spring I think. I built a wheel for Minerva, and it's never been true, and I just live with it. I had it "professionally" trued, and even they couldn't get it true.
      The nice thing about hub brakes is that it doesn't matter as much if the rim isn't true.

      I give the turkeys I see around Cambridge a wide berth, just in case. On one hand they're smaller than I am, and don't have dangerous teeth, but they're big enough that I wouldn't want one to attack me.