Thursday, July 26, 2012

I WAS ON JURY DUTY YESTERDAY

So I'm standing in my kitchen at 5:30 am yesterday (Wednesday), wondering how to get to work, feeling like I was roofy-fied the night before because of all this biking...
 Do I bike it or do I go wicked early at 7am to get a free parking space a mile away from the office? If I go early I work out in the gym because I have two hours to kill before the morning bell.
 Not wanting to do either one, thinking about banging in;  I look over at my pile of catch-all papers in the kitchen and  there is a "Second Summons for Jury Duty".
 I put that summons there months ago thinking the date was months and months away and I forgot about it.
So I read it and lo, there it is in black and white with yellow highlight "You are hereby summoned to serve as a Trial Juror on: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 8:30am.
Kismet, Serendipity, Coincidence,  Was it God or was it Odd?   Whatever.. I'll take it.  They have parking at the courthouse.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

FIGHT WITH A FATTY

Yesterday on my commute home some fat guy driving in the same direction as me yelled out at me from the comfort of his fat road-hogging SUV.
  I really didn't hear what he said, I  just heard "blah, blah, blah,  idiot".  
Taking my life in my hands, wondering if he had a gun on him and he would pull it out on me,  I pulled up next to him at the next red light and asked if he were talking to me.  
He started sputtering and yelling with his big fat mouth that bikes are suppose to stop at red lights. 
Now I know that,  and if it where a danger I would have stopped. 
But if he had ever been  on a bike he would know that its much easier to keep pedaling than it is to stop and then go. So when the coast is clear I keep going, always careful.  I'm the last person to want to get hurt.
The whole point of bike riding in traffic  is to try beat the traffic, not ride with it. 
He was a fat angry angry ugly dude. 
 I asked him why it bothered him so much what I did?  I wasn't near him or bothering him.  He didn't answer he just gassed it, I hope he wondered about why it did bother him so much.
Some people just don't like it when someone else gets away with something even if it is just a bike riding through a red light when there are no other cars around. It probably annoyed him that I got to go and he sat there at a red light. 
 Or maybe he has bigger issues at home.  Like, no one loves him.  He a fatso and an a-hole.

Monday, July 23, 2012

LIVING THE DREAM

I took the commuter boat and my bike today even though it looked like rain.
I realize that the "American Dream" of having a job and working everyday is for immigrants. 
The new American dream for 3,4 generation Americans is being rich enough so that you don't have to work or  being rich enough that you can have a car with a driver.  
Or just having a lot of money so you don't have to care about how much it costs to get to work.

One of these mornings I'm going to bike into work and  see how that goes.  I'll let you know. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

ENDORPHINES KICK IN

I'm starting to like my commute home even in the oppressive heat.
By mile 10 or 11  I  have some sort of an outer body experience and  I'm not aware of my legs  pedaling anymore;  until I stop get off the bike and then I can hardly walk.  Pretty cool.

My phone got soaked in the Wednesday's flash storm, now I am out a cell phone. Whats that $100 to replace?   I was due for an upgrade anyway.

I drove in to work today for several reasons: 
1. because I have to get a new phone and stop at AT&T on my way home and;
2. I bought donuts for the office and couldn't carry them on my bike, and
 3. I lost out on that $8 from taking the commuter boat home.

I had to drive around for a half an hour looking for a parking spot this morning.  I couldn't find one so I parked in the visitor's lot. 
 I have to scurry out before two hours are up and move my car otherwise I'll have to pay for all day parking.   

  One more gripe... Can i just say that I have discovered that women drivers are the ones most unaware of bicyclists. 
 Women who drive their SUV's are also on cell phones and they don't look in any direction except forward.  They just drive.  I could be a child on a bike but they don't seem to realize there are others on the roads. 
Have a happy and fit weekend. 

BLong







Thursday, July 19, 2012

GOOD BIKE SONG


LIGHTENING STRIKES SENDING 20 IDIOTS TO HOSPITAL

It rained during last nights commute home, so badly that I had to take the commuter boat home.
 It hasn't rained like that since Noah. It poured straight down.
 There was thunder and lightening and tornado warnings and electricity out in hundreds of places.
I debated whether to ride home in it or not.  But then I thought there was no way I could ride for an hour in that mess. I would get soaked.
So I found a nice clean green trash bag and made a shirt out of it and went down and waited with the rest of the Hingham commuters for the ferry.
 These knuckleheads were  waiting for the boat's arrival on the metal ramp that leads to the  metal wharf were the boat dock. That's crazy. What if a bolt of lightening hit it?
 I could see it in the news, "20 people had to be rushed to the hospital when lightening struck the dock they were standing on."
 The fog on the water created a white out. 
 It was like a Twilight Zone episode, when the fog finally lifts we'll be transplanted on the boat  into some child's bathtub.  
So anyway, bottom line.. I'm out 8 bucks because I had to take the ferry home.
 I can make up for that financial loss by not eating food.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ITS A FREAKIN SCORCHA!!

Yesterday was a scorcha, today is going to be a scorcha and I hope its not going to be one tomorrow.
In  6 minutes from the boat at Rowes Wharf  to the office, my riding clothes were drenched from sweat.  Nice.  At least when I was coasting on my bike between all the construction trucks down in the Seaport District,  the warm air felt good against the sweat on my skin.
I haven't mentioned how much money I've spent so far this week on commuting and that's what this is about. Monday I bought 4 one way tickets on the commuter boat for $8.00 ea = $32.00.  Then I had to buy gas for my car because I needed it last night and that was $25.
But last week I didn't have to buy gas at all.
So did I save any money?  I have absolutely no idea.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

WORLD CLASS CYCLING CITY? HA!! YA!! RIGHT!! SURE!!

 Here is part of my Morrissey Blvd section of my bike route home in the "bike friendly city" of Boston.  The Dorchester section; Near UMass - Boston.
I'm thinking "they" (whoever they are)  don't give a rat's ass about Dorchester.  Dirty Dot is always the last on the list.  Unless you have a State Rep who is OFD.
Summers ago when I took the Ashmont train everyday to work,   I remember standing on the platform in Park St in the hot sweltry heat of the subway, a nice new Braintree train would pull in and open its doors, a rush of air conditioned air would spill out and felt so good. I couldn't wait to get on my Ashmont train just to cool off.  Well when that   Ashmont train  pulled in there wouldn't be any air conditioning in the train at all.  And it was always packed with all kinds of people just trying to get somewhere else.


So why should the Dorchester  "bike paths" be any different? 

This is a bike path?   It must be I see other people's tire  tracks there.




 Cycling at a good clip, head down, hoping to get through the rough terrain, I didn't quite make it.  I figure next time  I'll try going even faster. 
 I don't want to get off  walk my bike.
  You can't see it in these photos but there is a purple latex glove laying among the weeds.  There must have been an accident around here and the EMT left his purple glove behind with the rest of the trash.



Here is where you have to cross the street to continue on the bike path.  Notice its the Morrissey Blvd  exit from the expressway with cars coming down about 60.  Try this with kids.


Once  i make it past the rough patch and the expressway challenge i can then get on a nice bumpy sidewalk.  I can always ride on the street and risk getting killed there by motorists who hate bike riders.
It took me an hour and a half last night to cycle home.
 I think maybe because the head winds where equal to about an 8% incline on a treadmill and that rough terrain spill ate up some of my time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

26 MILES EVERYDAY HOME

OMG its Monday already!  Holy Crap why did I start this?
 I felt like I was drugged this weekend.  i think it was from cycling 26 miles every day to home.
 I slept until 10:30 on Sunday and I felt like someone had slipped me a Mickie....Or a bad ice cube.
On this morning's ferry,   I sat on the deck of the commuter boat and i felt like i was going out for a whale watch instead of commuting to work.
The mornings are always the best.


Friday, July 13, 2012

FRIDAY YA!

Its finally Friday of my first week on Plan B.  I cycled home 26 miles every night this week except tuesday.
I spent $24. total on my commute this week. And I didn't have to  buy gas for my car.
Last night's ride home was filled with hot excitement.  It was about 90 degrees and busy.
On my Quincy leg of the journey, I had a small incident:
Every single block was a red light. Its a one lane busy street but everything was slow because of the red lights.  There was a truck with "Needle Brothers Landscaping" emblazoned on its side.   It was a huge oversize truck hauling an oversize trailer. Big and scary when your riding beside it.
  This Needle Brothers truck was on my left and it kept passing me and then stopping at a light, I would catch up and pass him, then he would catch up and pass me, I would pass him, he would pass me and so on for 5 blocks.
Every time he passed me and stopped at the light he would leave smaller and smaller space for me to cycle through.  He was squeezing me into the parked cars on my right and  I couldn't ride on the sidewalk because people in Quincy actually use sidewalks to walk on.
I know the truck driver saw me several blocks earlier because we made eye contact.
 I yelled "Hey, Needle Dink share the road."  Thank God his windows were rolled up.


See you Monday, have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


THE DAILY GRIND by B.Long

My daily job commute is 26 miles to the seaport District in Boston from the South Shore, Hingham.

I’ve been parking illegally in some other businesses’ lot for the last 8 months and I came out of work to find a note saying if I park there again I "will be towed."  
Bummer, they caught up to me.  It was a good run but now onto Plan B - How to get to work without paying for parking or paying as little as possible for my commute.

Today I have choices of ways to get to work. 
I could take the MBTA Ferry, MBTA Greenbush, MBTA bus and trains. 
Or I can take my car and take a chance on finding a parking space or just bite the bullet and pay for parking.  We’ll see. Starting tomorrow


THE DAILY GRIND by BLong

Day 1 on Plan B – I took my mountain bike and loaded it up with necessities
I brought my work clothes and shoes, my work ID, money and my license in case I get into a horrific accident and they will be able to identify me.  I didn’t bring any lunch from home because it would take up too much space in my bike pack, therefore the money for lunch.
Heading for the Ferry was just a 5 minute cycle to the MBTA Commuter boat in Hingham from my house.  $8.00 one way.  $16.00 Round trip.  That’s $80 a week.  OMG it went up also by $30.00.  But if I take the boat I can save money on gas and parking. 
So I decided to buy a round trip to check it out and see how it goes.
The Ferry was great, I felt like a jelly fish by the time we pulled into Rowe’s Wharf.  I was so relaxed I could have gone back to sleep. 
My cycle to the office was 5 minutes.  Then I had to change my clothes and get to my desk. I was 15 minutes late.
I decided to cycle home.  It took an hour to cycle 26 miles and no fear.


THE DAILY GRIND by BLong

Day 2 on Plan B – I need to have my car tonight after work.  I have to be in Hingham at 6pm and if I take the ferry and my bike I’m afraid I’ll be all stressed out about getting there. 
So I left my house early at 7 am and drove into Boston.  The traffic was bumper to bumper all the way in.  Why is everyone driving?  Maybe because the T hiked their fees and now it’s cheaper to drive and park in Boston than to take the public transport.
Plus the accident on 95 didn’t help the multitudes. 
I figured I get into work early, early, early and find a nice spot close to my building.  I found a spot 1 ½ miles from the building.  Not a bad walk on a nice day. But what about if it rains?
Tomorrow?  The Ferry again. 


THE DAILY GRIND by BLong

BMW – bus, metro, walk $6.00 one way. 

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THE DAILY GRIND by B.Long

  The commuter Boat was packed, standing room only. Did the MBTA cut the number of runs for the boat?  No. Then why so packed? 
 I stood for the 45 minutes it took to get from Hewitt's cove to Rowe's Wharf and gazed out the open door with the sea breeze and the smell of the dark murky green water, 
 sending me off into a hazy relaxed daydream.  
The views from the boat,  the homes in German Town, Quincy, the long rusty bridge to long island and the MWRA sewage treatment plant flooded me with memories.
  My friend Kat who grew up poor in German Town, an old boyfriend who would jump off the Long Island Bridge  into the water for fun and the memory of an old acqaintance who worked at the sewage plant.  Where are they now?
 This commute makes me feel like I'm living in Washington State or somewhere else and working at a new place.  

But today on my bike I almost got killed by some bastard!!! 

 I was waiting in a middle lane by the BCEC at a red light and this guy in a giant grey SUV gunned it when the light turned green.  He was in the "left only" lane,  but he kept on straight.  I didn't expect to feel the swoosh of his van so close to me and I swore at him. "I could have been killed."
Looking forward to the long ride home.  By the way, my legs are killing me.

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THE DAILY GRIND
Commuting by bike..
The Mayor says" the City of Boston is a world class biking city", - HA! Sure!  
If you rent those city bikes- and go from point A to point B and you don't mind drivers giving you the finger and trying to squeeze you off the road.  
  But try cycling in Dorchester.  Especially on Morrissey Blvd near U-Mass.  There's a bicycle lane that's about 2 feet long then it disappears into nothing. 
or how about when the "bike path" aka sidewalk breaks up into a crumbling old tar path mixed with sand and giant rocks.  You either have to go 40 mph and get through that patch with centrifugal force or use a mountain bike in the lowest gear. This spot is only for advanced riders.  
Don't cycle there unless you want to walk your bike or worse, get a nail in your tire.  


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