Monday, October 21, 2013


We finally had a second family bike ride this year.  The first was on Feast of the East day in East Arlington on what seems like a long ago summer day.  We had a few boys' rides with me taking the boys out for coffee or breakfast, usually on a day with my wife out of town leaving me with a captive audience.  But family rides are even more rare, particularly since the boys don't love cycling for the sake of cycling as I do.  Instead they are destination focused.  So it was a bit of a surprise when we all managed to agree that we should ride our bikes to the Head of the Charles Regatta to meet friends along to river to cheer a favorite team of theirs'.  I guess the idea of boats racing on the river appealed to them.

It all seemed to good to be true, especially after my wife went outside and announced that it was very cold and the weather forecast agreed, at least for the morning when we were getting started.  We bundled up more than we initially intended, packed up the bags with spare clothes (our youngest is abandoning diapers this week) and snacks, put on the child seats and headed out on a bike ride!  The ride is generally flat, which is helpful when carting around boys - my bike was as heavy as it would be for loaded touring.  We followed the bike path then Mass Ave right into Harvard Square.  We found our friends on the curve right before the Elliot Bridge, in the sun and, amazingly, out of the wind.  We enjoyed watching the big boats fly past - the double oared four person boats and eight person boats really move:

Our friend is a former coxwain and raced in the Head of the Charles in his college years.  He loved the spot for its view and comfort (he had his 10 year old twins with him and they enjoyed the heat of the sun as we did) but wished he could watch the near misses under the bridge, which he tells me is one of the cruxes of the race, where boats sometimes collide, or at least lose time as they maneuver safely through in a crowd.

We left after a quick lunch on the bikes (at least the boys were sitting down) and then headed to the Arlington Center for the Arts and their open studios.  We saw this watercolor print in various formats:

That water tower is the goal on hill training rides for many people.  There were other local artists, including Emily Garfield from Somerville, who paints pictures of imaginary maps, which I really enjoyed and would like to have in my house one day:

It is coffeeneuring season but with the four of us, including one potty trainer, it seemed impossible to stop for coffee, close as we were to good coffee shops, including Peet's in Harvard Square.  

My wife gained confidence with riding a bike with a big boy on board but routing is important.  Busy streets like Mass Ave can be easy on a Sunday morning but narrow streets like Rindge can be a challenge.  In retrospect, we should have stayed on Mass Ave to Tufts rather then trying to avoid the section of Mass Ave in Cambridge and East Arlington.  I like to avoid this area at commuting time but it was likely no worse than the riding through Porter Square, which wasn't all that busy at the time.

We laughed about getting into bike so late in the year but better late than never.  But next year might be better.  I was with my older boy in a bike shop after work today and he found a bike with training wheels and he hoped right on it and rode through the shop.  I wanted him to try out the Extracycle Edgerunner, but he was enjoying his ride too much to check it out beyond sitting in the seat.

My bike back, fresh from familyneuring with front panniers and child seat installed:

Miles for the month: 200, miles for the year: almost 2,700.

No comments:

Post a Comment