Monday, April 17, 2006

Trot, trot, to Boston

Trot, trot, to Boston;
Trot, trot, to Lynn;
Trot, trot, to Salem;
Home, home again.
Well, I wasn't precisely trotting, and I certainly didn't make it as far as Lynn or Salem. But I did make it to Boston proper on my bike today. (Charlestown, where I went on Friday, is technically part of Boston, but it doesn't really count since it's on this side of the Charles River.)

Today was going to be another study day. I had toyed with the idea of having some folks over for dinner, but the timing didn't work out. By 4:00 PM the sun was peeking out and I was sick of the inside of my apartment. So I lugged my bike down the stairwell and set out. My original plan was just to head in the direction of Harvard Square, since I figured that if I could get the hang of riding there I could take the subway from there to work. (Thereby getting a workout and a shorter subway ride.)

I made it to Harvard and sat on one of the quad-like areas for a bit. I was still feeling pretty chipper, so I decided to push onward. After getting lost in the windy little European-style streets between the university and the river, I finally found the Charles. Since the river has relatively flat bike paths on either side, I kept going.

Next thing I knew I was on Commonwealth Ave. near BU. From there it was only a short ride to Kenmore Square, where, to my surprise, there were still marathoners jogging the mile 25 marker! People were cheering like crazy, and the beer was clearly flowing. I pushed through the marathon crowds for a bit with the idea of possibly seeing either the finish line or a red-line T-stop where I could hop a subway home. When I got to Copley Square, the whole square was barricaded for finish-line VIPs, so I didn't actually see the marathon at that point. (Did see lots of exhausted runners heading away from it, though.)

At this point I found out (through a call to a friend) that a group of friends who had gotten up early to watch the marathon were still wandering the streets of Boston. We agreed to meet up at India Quality in Kenmore Square. So I headed back in the other direction. I was thrown off by the marathon barricades and ended up going past Northeastern, the MFA, and then up the Fenway and around Fenway Park. (This is actually about 3 blocks from Simmons, which proves that I could realistically bike there!)

Dinner was very good -- I had lamb kabob type thing. My lawyer friend explained to us that if we could build a hut and live on someone else's land for 20 years without anyone evicting us, we would own the land thanks to the doctrine of adverse posession. (Note to self: if housing prices keep going up, seriously consider this!)

After dinner, it was starting to drizzle, so my first thought was to find the nearest bike-friendly subway stop and head home that way. But I ended up missing Kendall, and was still going strong when I hit Central Square. Made it to Harvard, and from there it's not too far to Porter. Next thing I knew I had ridden all the way home! In the dark, in traffic, no less! (This is something that would have terrified me a few weeks ago.)

Hard to say for sure, but my guess is I rode at least 14-15 miles -- and I have the butt-bruises to prove it! (I think I may need to look at alternate saddles at some point.)

I'm really getting down with the whole bicycle transportation thing. Remains to be seen if I can keep it up when the weather gets hot, but for now it's definitely a good way to get around and get some serious exercise at the same time. (I've lost something like 5 pounds in the last week since I started riding regularly -- not surprising when, according to the computer, riding at 10-12 MPH with "light effort" burns something like 1,000 calories/hour!)

Now that I'm home, I've seriously got to work on the archives management paper I've been avoiding. Ugh.

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