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Warning: this post may not be all that interesting.

Side note: Oiling my bike baskets worked almost too well. Now the basket I keep open while riding (I put my lock in it, don't have a bracket) tends to have the bottom jiggle up and catch on a higher rung. At least the other one doesn't spontaneously open. And all I did was dab canola oil around all the hinges with my fingers.


After getting my final Hep B shot yesterday, I decided to bike out to Belmont. The immediate challenge is that the bike path to Belmont has been closed for the past two years and is still closed -- apparently not because the area is too corrupt to renovate a bike lane but because it's an adjunct to an intense wetlands project next to it. But there's a detour marked on CambridgePark Drive. That's not too bad -- low traffic, though dusty due to yet more construction. Then I mis-read a sign and headed to the end of a parking lot (getting worryingly sprayed with something en route); heading back and seeing a runner emerge showed me where the actual entrance was, to a decent paved path paralleling the work. No shade, no traffic, sound of bullfrogs.

It ends at a random spot in Belmont, though. Another runner I asked said I had my choice of how to get run over, but the southern path wasn't too bad. The "bike lane" apparently indicated is possibly narrower than my bike and I stayed on the sidewalk, but it soon connects to a road between a lake and high school, nice enough. Then to Concord, with a real bike lane, in the door zone, and I thought of thoughtless teenagers opening doors to boot, but I wasn't going that fast.

Belmont Center looked to be a couple of blocks long. I stopped in a Bruegger's and was given free bagels, bought some milk, and observed signs of free-range parenting in the form of a couple of 7-10 year old girls on their own, who left on their own too. A pair of high school girls provided some entertainment when I overheard "They mostly speak French in Africa... there are places in Canada that only speak French."

But really, I ran out of center damn fast. Someone I know who lived there confirmed it's not very exciting; Belmont's for good schools and family-friendliness and being on the end of bus lines or in biking range of Harvard. Thus the title of the post; it's closer than Watertown or Waltham but has rather less of interest.

Except! When I moved on and tried the northern route back to the bike path, I found myself on wide flat roads with hardly any traffic. So a decent place to just cruise around on bike. I wondered if people go there to learn how to handle a car, the way I was taken to Daly City from San Francisco.

I really need a more comfortable seat or something.

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Damien Sullivan

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August 2019


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