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Right -- I love biking. Why do I always forget that?
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jducoeur
I don't bicycle during the winter, for a variety of reasons: in particular, it's a tad less safe, and I just plain don't enjoy it much when the temp falls below 50. And by the time we get around to spring, there is a very strong, "It's too much haaaassle" response -- in particular, trying to remember how to reinflate those verdammt performance tires. (I never remember the eensy-weensy little screw to open the valve, and wind up struggling with it for ten minutes until I get the clue.)

But that first good bike ride of the season -- a day like today, when it is clear and crisp, warm enough to be pleasant but not yet hot, going for a short 7-mile loop exploring a bike path I've never tried before (the one along Alewife Brook), seeing the sights and the people -- more than worth it. I really need to remember that going for a ride is a *totally* appropriate way to get my daily exercise, and I'm allowed to do it simply because it's fun.

And yay for the state getting it right: they have finally committed the funding to complete the Community Path over the next five years. This will effectively run the Minuteman Path (which runs into the Somerville Community Path) all the way to Lechmere, so there will be a more or less continuous bike path from Boston out to the suburbs...
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I hope you post about particular nice rides. I don't get into Camberville with my bike enough (in part because it is a royal pain to figure out how to get between Orange and Red Lines), but I might make more of an effort for a friend-recommended, relatively gently ride.

Well, I'm enormously partial to the Community/Minuteman Path. As it happens, our house is a whopping three blocks from the current end of the path in Somerville, so my usual favorite ride is to simply get on that and Go -- through Davis Square, out past Alewife, etc. For a simple out-and-about exercise, I'll usually bike out to Arlington Center and back, which is solidly pleasant and a nice 4-5 miles each way. One of these days when I am back in shape and have a whole afternoon, I'm going to go all the way out to Lexington and back.

(Back in high school, I typically did about 15 miles a day, but that was country back roads. I can't easily open up quite that much around here, even if I was in good condition.)

Anyway, if you can cope with getting out to Davis, that's highly recommended. The path essentially goes through Davis Square Station -- it ends at one entrance, you have to walk to the other entrance, and then the path picks up again -- so you can simply take the path as far out as you like from that point. Much of it is straight, most of it is well-paved, and the pedestrian traffic *mostly* isn't too bad, especially as you get further out the Minuteman...

I've walked the Community Path, and used to ride the Minuteman from time to time when we lived in Watertown. Ten miles is a good ride for me. I suspect if I took a rest/snack break and walked around a bit, I could do another stretch like that. I once (and only once) did the Minuteman end-to-end-to-end. I was younger then. :-)

I miss being able to rack my bike onto my car. That opened up all kinds of places the T makes inconvenient. The hybrid Camry's tolerances are too tight for my trunk-mounted rack to latch onto, and I haven't cared enough to get a trailer hitch installed for hitch-mounted rack, since that would affect my gas mileage all the time, not just when I had a bike on. I think my best T-assisted access to Porter-Davis-Alewife is probably Orange Line into North Station, then commuter rail back out to Porter. I wonder how hard it would be to move a bike through Charles? I know that is walking distance from North Station.

Could you not put the bike in the trunk of a Camry if you remove the front wheel? If you have a front fender, it won't work, but might, otherwise. I would miss my trunk mount rack if I didn't have it available. There should be some way of getting a bike hauled on a car—that's what cars are there for! :)

North Station provides easy access to the Charles River bike paths (via Nashua Street). You can ride out to Waltham and back, much of it on either side of the river, and it's quite a nice ride (pavement is better on the Boston side than the Cambridge side, downriver from Arsenal bridge). If you did want to run your bike through Charles, it shouldn't be any problem. The station was redone in the last few years, and there are ascension rooms from street level to the platforms. You just have to be concerned about the rush hour times that the T doesn't want you to bring a bike into their carriages.

I have goofy handlebar extensions that make things interesting. I have short enough legs that I've thought of trying to find a way to move the front seats forward and get it into the back seat. The trunk isn't as big as a non-hybrid Camry trunk; the battery takes away space. Still might be worth a try. I've learned how to take the bike on the subway and (at least theoretically) commuter rail and bus, which opens up more possibilities than what I can reach on my own leg power.

One nice thing about the Minuteman out to Lexington is that it's mostly (mildly) uphill the whole way. Thus, when you turn around at Lexington, the ride home is mostly (mildly) downhill, making for a nice finish. Lexington is the top of the hill, alas, so if you proceed out to Bedford, you'll have to climb back to Lexington. Still, the whole path makes for a pleasant ride.

ooh, you are making me want to get out my bike and find the tire pump

I may be getting into it more as I realized that while I would have to walk the bike down the sidewalk for the part on Route 9 (because biking on Route 9 would be *stupid*), I could actually fairly easily bike to the new Wegman's, and with saddlebags this could be a viable form of grocery shopping.

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