Bike to Work Day in Pawtucket

First some great news. Yes, yes, I’m updating the blog again, sure that’s great news, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this:

THE EAST BAY BIKE PATH IS NOW OPEN!

Yep, fantastic. A 2.5 mile section of the path had been closed since early November, effectively cutting off Bristol from Providence. Even worse than closing almost 1/4 of the path, East Providence refused to provide a detour for cyclists. They could have sectioned off part of Veterans Memorial Parkway, or at least put up signs, maybe some sharrows or something, but nope, they just closed it down. After all, the path is only used for recreation, right? Who would need to actually use if for commuting? (Aside from many people who live in the East Bay and work in Providence). Personally, the construction on the path kept me away from one of my favorite restaurants in Bristol.

Anyhow, it’s open now, so time to head down to the Beehive Cafe.

And it’s open just in time for or “bike month” orĀ  “bike to work week” or “bike to work day” (depending on how concentrated you want your once-a-year bike celebration to be) Different cities celebrate Bike To Work Day on different days, so a clever cyclist can hit a few of them if so desired. This morning, I headed out to Pawtucket’s BTWD festivities. I left a little late because there was a thunderstorm. I don’t mind riding in the rain, but I’ll avoid a horrible downpour if there’s no reason to ride in it. And riding 4 miles in a downpour to watch a mayor wearing sweatpants and a helmet in an attempt to look “green” just seems a little silly to me. So I’ll admit that I arrived 20 minutes after the announced time. I figured they too would have delayed things for the rain. This is what I found when I arrived in Pawtucket:

The Bucket

Good Times.

While we’re on the topic of Pawtucket and bike path closures, the on-street portion of the Blackstone Valley Bike Path has been detoured for months now as crews work to replace the I-95 bridge. Thankfully, we actually have signs for this detour. Like this one:

Nope, not those big orange “detour” signs, I’m talking about that little tiny brown sign up by the street lamp. Maybe if I pull up closer I can see it.

In case you can’t make that out, it says “Walk bikes on wooden walkway.” The sign is helpfully placed right at a point where one would have to heave one’s bike over a jersey barrier in order to comply with the sign. Or if your eyesight is particularly good, you may have seen the sign a few yards earlier. In that case, there’s no curb cut for you, so you can’t just roll up onto the sidewalk. Instead you have to stop and lift your bike onto the sidewalk. Not too bad unless there’s traffic behind you, but who’s complaining? (oh yeah, it’s me, that’s who’s complaining, that’s pretty much the point of this blog right?)

Enough of the complaining, I want to tell you about something that’s awesome. We had some heavy rain today, but I was able to keep my feet dry while riding thanks to my new full-coverage fenders. Check the rear one:

Pretty sweet, right? I’ve been thinking: this fender gives me a potential canvas for self-expression. Motorists get to have all sorts of bumperstickers, maybe I should get some letters to stick on my fender. But what message do I want to convey to the world? The obvious choice would be:

Or I could pay homage to one of my favorite bike blogs and confuse everyone at the same time:

It must be a pretty small percentage of people who know what “AYHSMB” stands for.

It seems like most people know what this symbol means:

In practice, it seems to mean “I can park wherever the hell I please.” Of course, I can already park (almost) wherever I want to (despite my constant grumbling about the indignity of it) so that might help. Do you think it could keep the buses from passing me too closely?

Perhaps I could send a pre-emptive message to any motorist fuming behind me because he is unable to get to the next red light quickly enough:

Yeah, that might be the best bet.

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3 responses to “Bike to Work Day in Pawtucket

  1. Rats, we could have used a 3rd rider at the event. It was moved across the street into the lobby of the building for the Visitors Center and did indeed start about 20 minutes late. There was plenty of pastry to fuel the ride back to Providence too!

    Which bridge is that? I thought I’d ridden the whole detour a couple of times, but never noticed that sign or wooden sidewalk.

    • It’s the Division Street bridge. This is the detour for the sharrow route that gets you from Blackstone Blvd. to the Blackstone Bike Path. I’m not sure of what the official name of that is.

  2. I wish I could find my own bumper sticker: “Please don’t hit me, I’m not totally sure of my insurance coverage!”

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