Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Falling Behind

Some rain, some damp, some cold mornings, visiting relatives, an urgent project at work, and suddenly I've missed two weeks of skating. The ghost of 2006 went tearing past me somewhere in there and now he's 60 miles ahead. That's OK: I can look into the past and see that he gets lazy around the end of October. I know I'll catch him then.

Meanwhile the dry, brown leaves have been falling. The fall color is very subdued this year after such a dry summer. There are leaves and fir needles all along the trail now, completely covering it in some stretches of Lexington and Bedford. Watch out for the hidden sticks.

Near Hartwell Avenue

Yesterday: 14.5 miles. This year: 1433 miles.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bike Trails in the News

Sunday's Boston Globe had an article about the quirks of what vehicles are street-legal, trail-legal, or otherwise: Two-wheeled weirdness. For example, "You can drive a moped on the street, but not on a divided highway, and never faster than 25 miles per hour. You can drive a moped in an on-street bike lane, but you can't drive a moped on an off-road recreational path, such as the Minuteman Bikeway."

Monday's Globe has a prominent story about future trails: State eyes extensive bike trail expansion. A companion column provides A look at several rail trail projects underway across the state, from west to east. True to their headline, they list projects from Pittsfield in western Massachusetts to Yarmouth on Cape Cod and Nantucket off shore.

Today: Rain.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Meet and Greet

Sunday I saw Jeri Zeder's note in the Globe about seeing a deer on the trail. Monday I looked in vain for her e-mail address to let her know there was a photo of the deer here. Tuesday I sent her snail-mail instead. Wednesday she e-mailed me, thanked me for the note, and described herself as riding an unusual recumbent bicycle. Thursday it struck me that I wasn't likely to identify her by her bike: I rarely pass cyclists, while overtaking and oncoming cyclists go by too fast for me to say anything.

When I crossed Hancock Street, though, there was a woman on a blue recumbent talking to a passer-by. I wondered if it might be Jeri. I greeted her by name when she passed me a few minutes later and we stopped to chat for a few minutes. It was a wonderful coincidence, as I don't know that I've ever seen her before on the trail.

At the end of the trail that same day, a different cyclist remarked that I was running late. I was surprised: I don't think you can set a clock by my skating and didn't realize I was becoming a regular feature.

This year: 1418.5 miles.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Flying South for the Winter

No, I don't mean me. I looked up to check the lights at Hartwell Avenue this morning and saw above them a large flock of geese. There were fifty or sixty of them spread out in a wide, shallow V and flying a little west of due south.

The deer I saw on August 6th (well, probably the same one) got a few lines in the Boston Globe's Magazine section on Sunday:

In late August on the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford, an elderly woman taking her morning constitutional with the help of a walker had stopped to rest. She was looking at something just ahead. I squinted against sunshine, then jammed my bike's brakes: A doe was making her stately crossing of the bike path. The woman and I watched as a spotted fawn joined her and the two turned up the whites of their tails and bounded off into the woods. "Wonderful!" the woman exclaimed. Neither of us could wipe the silly grins off our faces. Wonderful, indeed. -- JERI ZEDER Lexington

Today: 13 miles. This year: 1392.5 miles