This weekend I took a longer-than-normal bike ride and ended up travelling from Somerville to Roxbury and back again, about 15 miles round trip. I had agreed to do some tutoring and knew cycling there would be faster than taking public transportation, so the trip was a practical one. After the tutoring, which included re-learning the rules for exponents (has it been 8 years since I used that word?), I did some meandering and picture-taking. It’s always fun to see a neighborhood on bicycle for the first time.
First things first: how was the cycling? Tremont Street and Columbus Ave, which were the most direct way for me to get where I was going, proved less than ideal on a bike. The traffic on these streets moves fast, there is no bike lane, and where cars were parked, there was nowhere for a bicycle other than directly in the lane of traffic. A lovely raised ridge running parallel to the curb next to the parked cars contributed some extra drama to the ride (what causes these? they’re scary). On the way back I chose to ride along the Southwest Corridor Park until I got to Ruggles Street, where I got back on the roads. After that it was smooth sailing apart from a less-than-fun trip over the BU Bridge, which has gotten even narrower with more construction. At least the “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” signs made me feel like someone was backing me up.
Along the way I saw a Victorian water tower that I thought was a minaret (apparently the Victorians had very different ideas about what a water tower should look like), and some interesting street decor outside a mysterious office, which was right up my alley.