Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bicycling Storrow Drive

Someone was bicycling down Storrow Drive recently at 11:30 pm without wearing any bright or reflective gear.

I have to admit that I have ridden my bicycle down Storrow Drive westbound -- twice.

I did so during daylight (not 11:30 pm), always with bright clothing (not dark blue), wearing a helmet, bicycling with traffic (not against it), etc.

I did so legally, but received dirty looks and gestures from the State Police. I don't think they believed someone would ride along there on a bike. Yes, it is legal to ride a bicycle along Storrow Drive (MGL 85-11B):
Every person operating a bicycle upon a way, as defined in section one of chapter ninety, shall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bicycles have been posted...
Storrow Drive has no postings prohibiting bicycles, so they are therefore allowed.

Why would I do something so crazy as to ride on Storrow Drive?

I did it in the Esplanade section during massive daytime, weekend events, like something-or-other "Walk For [Against] Hunger." Otherwise I would've had to walk my bike through wall-to-wall people along the Esplanade, whacking people the whole way with my tires and handlebars. I hopped back onto the Paul Dudley White Bikepath somewhere near to the Harvard Bridge (i.e., Mass Ave). Storrow Drive traffic was so slow due to the events (especially with all the cars parked along the right-hand-side) that it wasn't dangerous at all.

Riding Soldiers Field Road west of the Eliot Bridge, and Memorial Drive (or Greenough Boulevard) all along the Charles are actually quite nice rides. Wide lanes, smooth surfaces, great for doing "time trial"-like training in the City. But don't try Nonantum Road eastbound... potholes the size of beavers line the right-hand lane. And I once saw a beaver along the side of the road there, where it approaches Brook Street, though he wasn't trying to build a dam in one of the potholes.

No comments: