Biking for Donuts

July 25th, 2008 by Harrumpher Leave a reply »

bpjolly.jpgPastries and swag are okay rewards for a little extra cycling. Boston had one Bike Friday today and will do it again August 22. Check the city cycling area for details, maps, skeds and such.

I confess twice:

  1. I was attracted by the promise of a police escort to the convoy of cyclist (a flash of a sports team parade into town, ha).
  1. A couple of us missed the connection at Forest Hills when the local convoy either bypassed us or came pretty early.

Sets came from West Roxbury, lower Dorchester, Newton and Lexington. They all left around 7 a.m. for Boston city hall plaza. It looked like maybe 150 or so eventually arrived.

bluelight.jpgIn fact, it was a police escort, but bike cops. My vision of lights and sirens were accurate and inaccurate. The BPD-issue mountain bikes do come equipped. A 6’4″ cop showed me the stealth equipment on the handle bars. There’s a pair of bright lights that can be set to flash. A double sunglasses style blue lens can flip over them to created the familiar, dreaded flashing blue lights in miniature form. There’s a button to activate a kind of tinny police siren.

That officer looked at my raised brows when he activated the siren and said, “Yeah, I usually just yell instead.”

Pix tricks: Click a thumbnail of the plaza or police for a little larger image. Use your back button to return.

plaza.jpgThe plaza had a series of tents. Wheelworks folk were tweaking bikes. They brought a stand, full set of tools and several mechanics. MassBike, the city and others had their cycle-related forms and flyers. WZLX was blaring boomer rock. Boston cycling czarina Nicole Friedman and some of her lackeys were walking about handing out free water bottles. Even Zipcar and some sporting goods folk were there with raffles and discounts.

However, the big draw was the coffee and pastry tables. There’s nothing like a short bike ride to justify huge empty calorie intake, eh?

Unfortunately, I can’t say what it was like to roll with the black bikes with lights and sirens. I was at Forest Hills by 7:12. The scheduled convoy time there was 7:20. A nice cyclist, Marco, arrived by 7:20 and we waited until 7:35, figuring between cyclists and cops, they were sure to be late.

In fact, they must have been early. I tore down to Roslindale Square, where the officer in the blue and white said that was the first he had heard of the event and no bikes had come by him.

I headed in on my own, had a nice time, and must wonder how it feels to ride the convoy. If you decide to do the next one, I suggest going to the start or arriving early at intermediate points. Rest assured though, there’ll be plenty of goodies to carry away or eat no matter how you do it.

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5 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    The link behind bluelight.jpg is broken.

    If you missed the group at Forest Hills, and the cop at Rozzie Sq was clueless, had they hopped on the train or something?

  2. Steve says:

    Never mind, link fixed.

  3. Harrumpher says:

    Thanks for the catch, Steve. That was a stupid WordPress trick. Every so often it munges a thumbnail and its referenced file. Is this the place to add that you get what you pay for?

  4. Rhea says:

    I saw them this morning in JP on my way to the dog park. Is the idea to get people comfortable with biking in traffic? To promote commuting by bike?

  5. Harrumpher says:

    Encouraging commuting is big part of it. These two Friday sessions are sort of a follow-up on the Bike Week activities.

    The city cycle czarina Nicole Friedman figures as they do in Cambridge that the more folk cycle during the business day, the more drivers see them and accommodate them, and in turn the more people will feel comfortable biking. We’re a far cry from Amsterdam, which removes main drag parking for pedestrian and cycle access, but getting people used to seeing bikes on our mean streets is a start.

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