20 years ago, I could ride into the city and see 2-3 other cyclists along the way. Cars honked. Drivers swore at me. Half the time, easily, I called that behavior down on myself, but equally, there weren’t a lot of us out there on bikes. Boston didn’t have bike lanes. Car-on-bike accidents didn’t get reported in the paper. It was a different time.
Fast forward to the present. I’m sitting in my car at the main light in town center. The main bike path empties into this intersection and continues on into the city. It is, even land and marked, and organized to the inch, a nearly total shit show. I’m actually cool with that. This is an intersection to be avoided no matter what means of transport you choose. Neighbors ask me what the best way to get through there on a bike is, and I answer, “Never go there. Don’t do it. Not worth it. That’s how.”
All that is beside the point though. The point is that this intersection, this neat slice of data, is packed with cyclists. All the intersections are. The sea has changed.
In some ways, this is like when the wide world discovers your favorite local band. You both wonder what took them so long, and wish, in some selfish way, that you still had them all to yourself.
Except I don’t.
A larger data set, the yearly numbers on the total number of new cyclists is less encouraging. It could be true that living in Boston, a geographically small city, dense and congested, is just a really obvious place to get around by bike.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what does the commuter traffic look like where you are? Anecdotally, do there seem to be more commuters, or fewer? Are you one of them? And what percentage of the bikes you see underneath work-goers are electric, because that’s a thing now?