First Time Cyclist Stories | 511 Contra Costa

First Time Cyclist Stories


As we prepare for Bike to Work Day 2011, 511CC invites you to share your memorable biking to work stories. Post them in the comments.
I learned how to ride a bicycle in a quiet suburb when I was 9, but I never rode in traffic until I moved to Boston. Learning to ride in Boston traffic is like learning to add at MIT.
Kenmore Square is actually a five-road intersection, but because Commonwealth is divided, it acts like a seven-road intersection. There’s a train station, a lot of BU students, and usually a lot of baseball fans (Fenway Park is a few blocks away). When I was there, the intersection had been under construction for about as long as the Red Sox had gone without winning a World Series. It was a mess.
But I had to get to work, and the summers have beautiful weather, so I found myself biking through this monster of an intersection twice a day for a few months.
One time, I pulled up my bike to a red light alongside a characiture of a Harvard professor. He wore a tweed jacket with elbow patches. His bicycle looked like something out of the 1940s – it matched him perfectly. Clearly aware that I was staring, he asked me a question in a very professorly tone –
“Do you know the shortest perceivable length of time?”
No clue.
“The length of time between a green light and a Boston driver hitting their horn.”
Sure enough, the light changed and at least three drivers blared their horns. We were off.
Now, the construction at Kenmore Square is finished and it looks quite nice. Not only do they have bicycle lanes, but they even have left turn bike lanes.
Post your own story in the comments!

0 thoughts on “First Time Cyclist Stories

  1. I remember it well. It was 1968, I ran out to see the presents that Santa had brought. There it was. My purple and white Huffy bike, with a purple metalflake banana seat! I ran to it in my flanel PJ's and slippers, pulled off the bow and outside I went. It was Christmas morning in Ohio, and a nice freeze had occurred over night. I rode that Huffy bike through the front yard, crunching the frozen grass with every turn of the wheel. I came off of the grass to the corner of the sidewalk and street, riding with the cold wind blowing through my PJ's, and completely wiped out on the icy sidewalk! I fell on my backside and got my first scratch on my brand new Huffy. I was crying so hard, my tears turned to ice. My parents and sisters came running out to see what had happened. They picked me up, picked up my brand new Huffy bike and we all went inside! I think I rode the bike in the basement the rest of that day. I'll never forget that moment!

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