After living in Boston for more than two years without managing to ride a bike once I finally went for a ride this weekend. About two weeks ago I helped Andreas, one of my room mates, fix up one of the many bikes we found in our basement. Alas, when we got done fixing it up it was already dark outside, which is not the best time to give a new bike a try. The bike is a pretty old school road bike, and I’m not really used to the placement of the breaks on the overly curved handle bars or the placement of the shifters on the frame, below the top bar. I imagine I’ll get used to these things. I’m just glad that we found a bike that fits me lying around asking to be used, as I was not excited about the chances of finding something good on craig’s list.
I wanted to wait for a nice day when I could ride it in the light some to get used to things. I very much wanted to try it twice earlier in the week, but those were ruined by rain and by darkness. To make sure that didn’t happen again I started working on the bike first thing Sunday morning. Despite fixing it up I still had some work to do on it. First I had to attach the bike lock mount, and then I had to fix the tail light. The bike has a little wheel rim generator on it to power two lights. The wire for the tail light wasn’t connected to the generator, but it was pretty easy to take the connecting piece apart and twist the tail light’s wire in with the headlight. There is only one wire for each light, so the return path must be the bike frame itself. That seems pretty neat, if unnecessary. After doing all that and testing my helmet on the low ceiling in the basement I was off. I planned to do the fresh pond loop, and I didn’t want to spend much time on actual roads, but my downstairs neighbor, Karen, suggested I ride along Memorial Drive which is closed to cars on Sunday mornings for recreational use.