I arrived for the coffee and doughnuts with the Mayor this morning in our shared neighborhood of Hyde Park. It’s a bit early to pressure him for comments on the big pending battle for at-large Councilors, but we could talk bikes. That’s where he seemed willing to take it to Murphy.
For a long time, Menino was known as a bike/cyclist hater. His transformation has been complete to bike champion and cyclist himself. Lately, a couple of leg injuries have kept him off the road in what used to be his daily ride around HP’s Readville.
More recently though at the announcement of pending bike sharing (maybe starting as early as July) here, he greeted the supportive crowd at the City Hall plaza announcement as fellow cyclists. He rued his injuries/recovery period. He pledged to be on the first bike out of the chute when the program starts. He also committed the trio he called the three Italians, including U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano, who was there, and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, who was not.
(Menino appears in his cycling togs left and Capuano was at the announcement with Boston’s cycling czarina Nicole Freedman.)
When I asked the Mayor if he was back on the bike, he said he was, sort of. He’s riding his stationary version inside getting his legs in shape. He was walking steadily this morning when he arrived at the Iacono Playground a couple of blocks from his house.
I told him that Murphy and I lived two blocks apart on the other side of Hyde Park. The Council President has told me that if I could get the Mayor to cycle from home to City Hall, he’d ride with us. That led immediately to the allegation of legume fullness.
I had to laugh because that was on par with my mother’s swearing. If someone was an absolute jerk to her, she might express her frustration and anger by saying, “What a pill.” When she was at her limit with someone’s behavior, she’d spit out her worst — “For crying out loud in a bucket!”
Menino said he’d never seen Murphy on a bike and doubted that he really owned one. He added, “He’d have a heart attack.”
I’ll take that as a challenge to pass along to the Council President. We may yet get another trio, this one of aging men, biking downtown.