The Car and the Bicycle, Part 4 - Adventure Biking
I’d like to start by introducing a wonderful video and website I found that seems to represent the focus of what I’d like to discuss in this post. Meet BikeyFace.com.
BikeyFace looks to be a few years old. But there are a ton of great drawings, comic books, and links to interviews / articles on the site which focuses around a theme I might that could be referred to as “Adventure Biking.”
This could involve as mild a subject as people just doing their daily biking commute, something any urban cyclist knows can become an dramatic adventure. It could also range into the more extreme forms of adventure, bordering on crazy and/or illegal.
For bikers who do the daily commute in Boston, and elsewhere, I’ve laid out a fair amount of the background of what this experience entails in previous posts. Thousands of people ride their bikes to work everyday. A mild adventure biker might mosey on out to a rail trail to do some weekend biking. Then there are herds of semi-professional bikers you see with sleek looking outfits roaming about the back roads that wind through the far suburbs.
My brother has advanced the concept of adventure biking up a notch by taking summer trips during his time off as a teacher. He has made a habit of heading off to some regional destination that I might only think about driving if I felt up to it. He’ll text pictures along the way to prove to us he is passing the endurance test. A few years ago, he rode to New York City (from Boston). Then it was off Providence (took the train back). The next year, to Provincetown (ferry back). Then to Portland, Maine (train).
As there is no direct set of trails yet that connects Boston to these places, he has been creative in finding the back roads to safely get to where he is going. One of the most difficult taks involved in this is simply getting out of a place like Cambridge, and heading to a bike trail somewhere maybe 10-20 miles out that then leads you to more formal bike paths. You have to bike through a lot of urban grit, and angry traffic to get there. This is the urban adventurist.
Waze, the miraculous GPS owned by Google that has made my Uber life a breeze, is also a master at navigating the back roads (if you need a GPS to help you). I believe the Google Maps app also has a bike mode that it will show you the the bike route for a certain route you may wish to follow. Or, you can just do things the old fashioned way and plot the route out in your head using your knowledge of the area.
One step below the adventurists are the far more aggressive types. And by that I mean people who have a disregard to safety, danger and / or the law. These are of interest to we who drive cars because they are potential hazards to the safety of all.
I put together a collection of photos and videos I gathered off the net to show you these sorts.