On the Wellesley Trails Again

The nail that ended my ride!

The nail that ended my ride!

Today I went for another bike ride on the Wellesley Trails, only this time it didn’t go so well.  I got through about 5.5 miles on the Aqueduct Trail, then to the Fuller Brook Trail.  They are doing a lot of work on that trail.  When I got to the Senior High/Hunnewell Field Area, I took a turn onto a closed trail.  Then I ran over the nail in the image to the right.

I didn’t realize it right away.  The trail is partially closed, but there’s no warning when you approach the closure.  I got to a gate, then turned around, just as a couple of runners came down the same path, so I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about the closure.

When I started riding again, I heard a clanking as my wheels turned.  I stopped and this was sticking out of my back tire.  I pulled it out but the tire was already flat .

So my ride became a walk back home, but fortunately it was only about 2 miles.  Here’s a gallery.

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Biking the Trails of Wellesley

I went on a long bike ride today, mostly on the Wellesley Trails.  The system is brilliant, containing more than 25 miles of trails that pass some beautiful historic homes, lovely lakes, and the Charles River.  Today I biked along the Aqueduct Trail which I’ve not done before, at least not for any substantial distance.  It runs along the Sudbury Aqueduct, a historic landmark, though I spent time on several of Wellesley’s trails.  Click here to see the map of my route.

Below are a few photos I took on my ride.

Bikes of Richmond

Bikes in the Fan of Richmond, Virginia during the Winter Break.

Bikes of Boston in Autumn 2013

A sampling of the bikes in the Boston Metro Area, taken October 17-20.

Unequal Clashes on the Roads: Bikes, Pedestrians and Motor Vehicles

The Overpass

The Overpass

I biked to the Green Line today from my home in MetroWest.  For most of the way to the Woodland stop I ride along Route 16 feeling relatively safe. Sometimes the vehicles come a little close for comfort and I worry I might get run off the road.  But I’m usually riding down the edge of the road, wearing a helmet, and not at risk of getting pushed into ongoing traffic, so I feel fairly safe.  But then I get to that giant clusterf–k of roads surrounding the 95/128 overpass.  In rapid succession you have Wales St., Quinobequin Road, the On and Off Ramps for the interstate, Neshobe Road, and finally Beacon Street.Every time I get there I feel like I take my life in my hands!

I obey the rules of traffic as much as possible when I commute by bike.  It seems like the safest way.   Today I tried to go straight through a green light while oncoming traffic was turning left.  I had the right of way, yet they started and just kept going.  If I wanted to get through, I would have had to insist.  I started forward and whistled as loud as a could.  An oncoming utility van with open windows slowed down, yelled at me, “You’re supposed to act like a car,” and then kept going.  It was a nerve-racking situation.  I was, in fact, behaving like a car, obeying the rules of traffic and I had the right of way.  I made it through safely, but I was flustered, and a bit breathless.

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Mea Culpa: I’m a Dirty Rotten Polluter!

My Mug Shot

My Mug Shot

I didn’t realize what evil I do when I put on that goofy bike helmet and ride down the road or trail, I swear.  According Seattle Bike Blog Washington Representative Ed Orcutt argues,

“You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car,” he said. However, he said he had not “done any analysis” of the difference in CO2 from a person on a bike compared to the engine of a car (others have).

Wow!  Just WOW!  Every once in a while a public figure says something that just leaves me speechless, and this is one of them.

 

Even if we never don’t register handguns, maybe we should at least start register these!

Shelved Bike

 

 

An Exciting Three Weeks So Far!

I could leave here tomorrow and this will already have been an extraordinary experience.  I’m not planning on it, mind you.  I’ve only been here three weeks and have barely gotten started on the project that is my main reason for being here, and I’m really just getting settled in.

Nonetheless, it’s been an exciting three weeks.  I’ve heard some amazing bluegrass music played live, nearly run over a black bear, spent some time riding along one the best bike trails on the East Coast, seen a stunning display of fall foliage, been visited on my front lawn by a family of deer in the wee hours of the morning,  learned that Pearl Buck was a much more fascinating person than I ever gave her credit for, met some really interesting people, and hopefully made a friend or two.  That’s just some of the highlights of these three weeks.

I’m no stranger to the countryside.  Between the Boy Scouts and family trips, we did a lot of camping when I was growing up.  Yet I’ve been astonished by the wildlife I’ve seen in just a few weeks, ranging from the wide variety of birds, to small mammals and arachnids.
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Car-Free Week! By Choice?

Image: Vincent Fung via StreetsBlog Network

It’s now the second day of Car-Free Week!  I used the car today for one appointment it is impossible to get to any other way.  I have another like that on Wednesday, but for the rest of the week, barring terrible weather, I can get everywhere on my bike or by mass transit.

Car-Free Week is an expansion of World Car-Free Day, celebrated on September 22, which began in in Europe in the 1990s. Now communities all around the world are offering incentives to encourage people to walk, bike, use public transportation or carpool this week.  You may just discover it’s easier and more pleasant than you thought.  Personally, I like getting  my exercise during my commute when I bike.  If I take mass transit, I can actually do a bit of reading or even some work.  Driving is, at best, an opportunity to think and maybe make a couple calls.  It’s also generally cheaper.

Here’s some links about Car-Free Week in general and here in Massachusetts. There may be specific activities in your city, so do a local search in your area, as well.
World Carefree Network
Massachusetts Car-Free Week – Commute car-free in MA and earn prizes at this site.
Car-Free Days blog
European Mobility Week
Strive Not to Drive

Lessons Learned on a Dusk Ride

South Natick

Here’s my ride from today. I was gone about 50 minutes by I took a nice long break just to sit and think in front of the dam in South Natick. I love that spot.

I took this ride on impulse around 6:30 as it was getting dark. Thanks to my contemplative rest, I was out long enough for dusk to start settling in. So I made a few mental notes:
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