I’ve been busy… it’s time for an update!
The past month has been intense. I’m definitely a grad student now; work is unrelenting, unforgiving, and exhilarating.
I’m also, delightfully, a bike commuter. I’ve biked about 300 miles since the beginning of October, with about 12 miles of commuting per day plus more on the weekends and warm afternoons. I bike in all weather. So far the coldest temperatures are in the low 40’s, and I bike in some pretty crazy rain. There’s a bus, but I won’t use it; I’ll be commuting all winter. I’ll post some advice columns soon, when I get a chance to take some pictures.
I’m working on a Bike Share project for Amherst. This, too, warrants a full post, but for now, I’m on the Bike Share Task Force with the sustainability coordinator for UMass Amherst, and I’m on the Bike Advisory Committee, and I’m working with all sorts of projects, from Bike Safety to Bike Infrastructure on campus and off.
I’m networking around the state, too. I was lucky enough to catch a presentation by Galen Mook of Landry’s Bicycles out in Boston. Galen is a bicycling advocate with an extensive repertoire of successful projects, and does more for cycling in Massachusetts than almost anyone else I’ve met. I’m really glad to have him as a resource while I try to get my own bike share program running.
And, I’m hiking!
Last weekend, we got a group together. From left to right, that’s Ryan, myself, Angelo, Sumedha, Brittany, and Asta; that’s about 1/4 of the Sustainability Science department at UMass. We got together for a Saturday Morning hike and found solitude on some of the less-traveled trails on Monadnock, namely the Smith Connector. Once again, I’ve climbed a mountain and was greeted with an exceptional view:
Okay, maybe not so exceptional. Still, I’m finding a great deal of satisfaction just appreciating hikes for what they are. I’m not dying for some kind of picture-perfect opportunity as retribution for the punishment of a long walk. The hike itself is the adventure; the cold, wet, windy summit is part of the great ride of the outdoors. I’m smitten, and I am content.
Here’s a couple more pics:
Ryan and I climbed till our (my) arms were sore. Monadnock is such a fun mountain. I’ll be back!
I finished my winter commuter, the reincarnation of Bikeasaurus Rex using components scavenged off of used parts bins, other bikes in my garage, Ebay, and craigslist. A full post with spec details on this insane, dangerous, and downright unique ride will be forthcoming. I will say this; you’ve never seen handlebars quite like the ones on this piece of fine art.
Bikeasaurus Rex yet lives.
I’ll try to get back to our regular schedule. I have like six gear reviews to write… Cheers, dear reader.