Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Easing back in

I rode to work this morning, and it was a lovely day- just a few puffy white clouds and in the mid-50's.

I'm still easing back after my traffic meltdown of Monday, and decided to take the bike path along the Charles river so that there would be minimal traffic issues at least until I had to cross the river.

The ice was mostly gone at Harvard sq, but there was still an almost continuous sheet a little further down.
It was cracking and breaking in lovely geometric forms, and I had to stop myself from spending a lot of time taking pictures.

I was tempted to take the bike path home, but I'm a bit leery of biking it after dark.  I don't worry about my personal safety (other than traffic safety) at all biking in neighborhoods,  partly because in most Boston neighborhoods, there's always someone within help-screaming distance.   There's a long stretch of the bike path though that seems pretty deserted this time of year when there aren't many joggers.  Although because there aren't many joggers, a mugger might have to wait for a long time out in the cold before a potential victim arrived,  there are a fair number of marshy areas and bushes that seem like good places to hide.    Anyway,  I don't much care for riding at night in the winter from Longfellow to BU bridge.  I ended up cutting through cambridge to get back to the river (Trader Joe's run) and then I rode on the bike path from TJ to Harvard, where there are more pedestrians.  I was viscerally reminded of the dangers on riding on separated paths though, when I (fortunately) stopped to make sure I wasn't going to get right hooked if I rode into an intersection on a crosswalk.  Good thing I stopped because I would have been a hood ornament for the guy talking on his cell phone.  Different dangers,  and I think I'll take it- just have to be extra careful at the intersections.


  1. I get extra cautious exactly for that reason whenever I ride in a bike lane or on a path that is getting crossed by streets or driveways.

  2. this is the exact reason why (between Downtown and Harvard Sq) that I favor the South (or "Boston") side of the CRBP. After
    River St. there is no cross traffic at all... and even if it only avoided that BU bridge part it would be worth it ;)

    Glad to see you out today, was a beautiful day and certainly worth a ride!

  3. I have found the part of the path that goes through Brighton/Allston to be a little sketchy at times, especially when I am riding alone during certain parts of the day. A couple of times I encountered a group of rowdy young men there sitting on a bench in a secluded spot and smoking pot, and the bikepath passes those benches awfully closely. One time they made some comments as I rode by, and though nothing happened it made me think that they could have thrown something into my spokes, or even physically dragged me off my bike if they were so inclined. It's not that I automatically think this when I see men, but when they are high, rowdy, and in a group, things can happen. I think there is work to be done to increase the general safety of the trail.

  4. Astroluc- I find the boston side of the path to be even more abandoned at night than the Cambridge side, and worse, it's separated from the road for a long stretch, making it feel even more isolated.
    If I hadn't been too lazy to cross to the river side of Mem drive, I would have had fewer problems, but It wasn't a problem as long as I was being careful and extra cautious at intersections.

    Velouria (I can't help myself- the pixies song starts up in my head every time I see your new screen name) I agree with you- I don't want to be afraid of groups of men, but whether walking or biking, I'm much more afraid of a group of young men than any single guy lurking. I think that safety in numbers is the best solution, and knowing that, sometimes electing not to ride on a path if the numbers aren't there.
    The most common harrassing comment I get is the Wicked Witch of the West theme, and I mostly get it from working class guys. I have hit on a response, but haven't had a chance to use it yet- "why is it that gay guys are always so into the Wizard of Oz?" I know it's a stereotype to invoke Judy Garland, but they're the kind of guys who will feel insulted by the implications....

  5. Does the snow often come and go at this time of the year? Amazing!