Tag Archives: East Bay Bike Path

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.

Irene Aftermath

Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene – too much media hype? Discuss.

Well, as long as you don’t watch cable news or the weather channel for hours on end, then I think it is safe to say that Irene was a major storm that did a moderate amount of damage over a wide area and a great deal of damage to a few smaller areas, plus Vermont. I’d say we’re lucky it was weaker when it hit New York City. I direct hit from a cat 3-5 would be pretty bad there.

Anyhow, it hit us in Providence and knocked down quite a few trees and power lines. Evidently, half of the state lost power at some point – that’s about 1/2 million people. Luckily, I was not one of them. There were a few downed trees in my neighborhood, and a scattering of houses and businesses lost power. Also, some of the local rasta banana trees lost their delicious, gigantic fruit.

you may not want to eat that

(thanks to Sheryl for the picture)

There were many roads blocked around the state, including parts of the East Bay Bike Path. Fellow bike commuter (and CFPVD interview subject), Jim, took some pictures for me.

It looks like the storm surge may have even gone over the path at this point.

Jim told me that there were a few places where cyclists had to go off the path in order to get around a tree (or play limbo like in the picture below).

Evidently, much of the path has been cleared now. It’s nice to know that RIDOT (or one of the cities) took the time to clear the bike path soon after the storm. My cynical nature led me to believe that they would just clear out the trees on the roads and then get around to the bike path in a week or two.

At least I still have the sand and glass-covered bike lanes of Allens Ave to confirm my cynicism.