Sunday, December 31, 2006

First Boston outing on Thorny

Today, New Year's Eve, I took my Thorn Raven out on its first ride in Boston. I've already done some riding since the move in Vermont, but this is the first real chance I've had to hit the streets here. The original plan was to ride the whole of the Minute Man trail, but yesterday's snow has left many treacherous icy spots that are best avoided - especially while I have my Hi Road tires on.

The weather today was nice - sunny and mid-40s. On the way, I went to Quad Cycles in Arlington Heights, which I'd never been tremendously impressed with previously. But this time, the chappie who helped me was very friendly and, well, helpful! He even remarked at my Brooks saddle and pointed out my Speedhub to a colleague. He also asked about my Tubus rack and the mountain hardware for Gem's seat. Best of all, he adjusted my headset and filled the tires at no cost! This bepierced part-timer has almost completely redeemed the shop for me!

The ride was also very nice. I rode up Mass Ave and puttered around Lexington, Bedford, to Hanscom AFB before heading home. It would have been miserable on most other days, but, being a holiday and a Sunday, there was no traffic to speak of. I thought I'd recognize my old routes out, but no luck. I did buy a nice map from Quad, though, which should help with future rides.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Jingle Ride

Setting off!
Originally uploaded by ahconway.
It's been far too long since I've posted, I know... I haven't stopped riding, of course, but I just haven't had the time for much of anything with the move, new job, etc.

One recent bikey high-point was a wonderful holiday ride with Lauren and her cohorts from Ciclismo Classico. I've been wanting to see her, Mauro, and the family since we moved, and this was the first opportunity. Lauren publicized the ride on the Arlington Parents list and that's where we first spotted it.

So the Saturday before, we went up to Mahoney's and bought a nice wreath, a bow, and some evergreen cuttings and I went to town decorating the Christiania! For her part, Kim baked up a giant batch of cranberry muffins, which we doled out to our fellow riders.

It was a chilly but perfect day for a ride. We met in Arlington Center outside Starbucks. Kim and Elsie came down to say hello and see us off. The Christiania generated some buzz, but there were several couples dressed in complete costume on $5000 tandems, so our novelty appeal was somewhat limited (especially in light of the pair of grinches with full makeup!). There was also a nice fellow on a Quickbeam with a Shimano hub (same as on my trike).

The ride was very nice... we headed down the Minuteman Bike Path to Alewife, which was nothing new for us. But I didn't know that it continues all the way to Davis Square! That was a big revelation and a delightful ride that I've done several times since.

We eventually ended up in Harvard Square, where we stopped to do some singing before riding across the Charles and joining the bike path on the Boston side. That part of the ride wasn't as nice; while you do get the scenery of the river on one side, proximity to Storrow Drive really detracts. At one point, the path was so narrow, I wasn't sure I was going to fit! Fortunately, though, I arrived at that bit just after the oncoming handcycle had come and gone. Tree roots under the surface also bumpied it up quite a bit, and we even lost the wreath at one point (but we salvaged it, and it's on the front door now!)

We collected ourselves again at the Hatch Shell for a few photos before riding on to Downtown Crossing and Quincy Market for lunch.

Gemma fell asleep just after the photo stop and continued to sleep all the way through lunch (Kim and Elsie met us there), and back over the Longfellow Bridge! She woke up at Kendall Square, and we had a fine ride back home via Davis Square and the path once again.

We came back on our own, leaving the rest of the group (30+ people) to dine in leisure. When we were slogging up Park Ave in the home stretch, someone I'd spoken to on the ride pulled up along side (driving, bike on roof) to say hi.

Who knows - with Christmas approaching, this could be the last big ride for us this year, and even if so, it was certainly a fitting end to the season.