Sunday, October 1, 2006

Bike Day in Boston

I woke up to skies threatening to rain and that bittersweet sadness that my 'race' planned for the day would be cancelled. Naturally I wanted to ride before it got wet and messy outdoors, so I went to downtown Boston to see the riders take off for their 10, 20, or 40 mile jaunts through the city. I had almost signed up for the event myself, but then decided to just photograph and ride along the part of the route that would be the most scenic: the Esplanade and Storrow Drive.

As I waved from a bridge, hundreds of passing cyclists waved back. I saw smiles and hear hooting calls of glee from the car-free 3-laned road below. It was a magnificent sight! And as the last riders passed, I knew that those rare moments of blissful, bike-friendly roads would come to an end.

I rode along the closed route for the last mile, savoring the peace and tranquility, calling out *and* being heard by the one other rider out enjoying the silence with me. "See you on this ride next year!" I said before getting off of the road, back on to the bike-path beside it, where bikes "belong" and then I heard it...whoosh...and then another whoosh. Cars were coming back on to the road that had been closed. The city was going back to it's normal, bike-oblivious, car-centric self. But it was ours, the cyclists, sharing it so well during that hour of the ride -- and it made me well up with tears to think that it'd be another year before Storrow Drive would hear only the sound of freewheel hubs again.

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