Tag Archives: bike to work day

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” or  “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.

hiatus

-yawn- -stretch- -hmmsgrrrghh-

Well, that was a refreshing break from blogging. Something we all need from time to time. Something we don’t need is a break from cycling. And as mentioned previously, I’m very happy that my break from cycling is over. I’ve been back on the bike for about two and a half weeks, and it feels great. I haven’t been on any long rides yet, just to and from work or the store. After just a couple days on the Raleigh, I switched back to my regular day-to-day bike, a 2005 Cannondale flat-bar roadbike (or “performance hybrid” if you prefer). The Raleigh is certainly a distinctive ride, but sometimes I just want to get to work or get home without lugging 40 pounds of steel around. I’ve had no issues with pain in my collarbone, so everything seems to be going fine. Instead, my ankle has been bothering me, so I’ve laid off the clipless pedals for a while. Instead, I’m rocking it like a retro-grouch with my Keens.

But enough about me, It’s bike month!

What’s that? Bike Month was May and I hardly blogged at all? Oh well…. I was all set to mark Bike To Work Week since it was the first full week that I was able to actually ride my bike. Of course, BTWW is not much of a challenge to me, so I decided to participate in BTWW on “expert” level: Bike To Work While Wearing a Tie Week:

I couldn’t quite complete the expert level. The temptations of “casual Friday” are to great for me, so I left the tie at home. Still, four days in a row while wearing tie, that’s good for something, right?

Besides, it was wicked cold:

The temperatures got a little better for the concentrated glory that is “Bike To Work Day” (The Friday of BTWW).  I missed BTWD last year because I was visiting family in Olathe KS, where I joined fellow blogger, commuterDude on his bicycle commute. (This limited-edition collabo resulted in my most epic post ever). Unfortunately, I missed the BTWD festivities this year because I had to be at work at 6:30 AM. I took a coffee break a little after 9:00 AM, and rolled up to the WWI memorial where all of the bike commuters were supposed to gather. Only two bike commuters remained, one holding a sack of mini-bagels. As the last commuter to join the fun, I got the bagels as my reward. GCPVD was there, and captured a few pictures including this one which I believe I have annotated just enough for it to qualify as “fair use.”

The orange arrow points to our mayor, Angel Tavares. He is usually driven around in a Hybrid SUV (which was purchased during his predecessor’s administration), so it’s nice to see him on a bike. I don’t know who the woman next to him is (indicated by the yellow arrow), but she is looking the most “cycle chic” out of the collection of commuters that day. I’ve used a green lightning bolt to indicate a set of Zipp carbon wheels on a carbon road racing bike. Perhaps not the best commuter bike choice, but hey, I guess some people drive to work in a Porsche, so why not ride a racing bike to work? Really, I’m just jealous of his coffee mug that fits in a water bottle cage – I’ve got to get myself one of those!

Something else I need to get (at the suggestion of reader, V.):

Now that’s a bike fit for a contraption captain!

I’ve heard that one of these has been spotted on the East Bay Bike Path. The first reader to provide pics gets…. um. I don’t really have any prizes. How about some of my expert-level gratitude?