Another Great Blog On
April 11th, 2013

By no means definitively complete, just a list of bike stuff I know about and am interested in, now that Spring has sprung, and we are all riding with glee! ~PBBike Bar -triangle space use

Midnight Marathon Bike Ride
update 4/11/13 TRAIN SOLD OUT (700 were available)
(Shoot, I’ve been busy, I was going to buy mine tomorrow!
Looks like carpooling is the only option…or riding both ways to get back to your car!
I don’t have a car. Guess I finally found time to work on my taxes…)

Bikes Not Bombs April Newsletter

Bay State Bike Week
April 11th-19th
Bay State Bike Week is an annual celebration of human-powered, two-wheeled transportation. It is fitting that Massachusetts would be the only state in the nation with a truly statewide bike week, given our long history of biking. From Worcester’s bicycle racing champion Major Taylor to the world-famous Springfield Bicycle Club Tournament, the love of biking has deep roots in our state.

Bay State Bike Week has grown from a small crop of bike path coffee set-ups and organized rides to a cornucopia of film screenings, bike breakfasts, festivals and more. We certainly can’t plan all the events ourselves. To make this week work, we collaborate with local advocates, bike shop owners, and anyone else who likes seeing others go by bike.

Boston Cyclists Union’s Spring Kickoff Soul Party
The Union is growing! Every year we get a wee bit bigger and wee bit more mighty! On Thursday, April 25 we’ll be hosting our second annual Spring Kickoff party and this year it’s all about the soul of the bike movement. What brought you to where you are today? What got you so all-fired interested…
RSVP or buy your tickets here:

Ferris Wheels Bike Shop
Jamaica Plain’s Favorite Bike Shop Since 1982
Annual Spring Used Bike Blowout Sale Sat. & Sun – April 13-14, 2013
Check out some of the choicest used and pre-owned bikes on our floor:

J.P. Bikes Spring Roll
Sunday May 12th (Mother’s Day)
Meet: 10 a.m. roll: 11a.m.

Boston Bikes
Mayor Menino’s city-wide initiative to encourage citizens and visitors to use bicycles for fun, exercise, and transportation.

Hubway: Boston’s Bike share system

Low Cost Helmets across the City
In an effort to encourage cycling safety in Boston and make cycling a safe and affordable activity for all Boston residents, Mayor Menino is making low-cost helmets available to residents through the Boston Bikes program. There are three ways to purchase a low-cost helmet:

Bike Score Website Ranks Boston’s Bikeability Good But Not Great
Alex E. Weaver Jan 2nd at 10:30 am
Boston Bike Lanes, Rankings, Slideshow

…in related news…

Boston is the Nation’s Third Most Walkable City
Alex E. Weaver Apr 5th at 12:03 pm


June 10th, 2012

After so many days of rain, and my bike in the shop all week, I’ve since been making some short excursions around town, enjoying the weather and the scenery. But leave it to some irate bike-hating persons to throw a (figurative) wrench in my wheels…

Yesterday I got out to the beach after work and ended up riding for miles along the boardwalk, which was great. I even stopped for an ice cream sundae, which I ate while sitting on the sea wall enjoying the view.  The day before, I’d been riding all over the East side of JP, in between a few thunderstorms. Fortunately, I had packed my rain pants and jacket, which I hastily put on under a tree by the pond during the first downpour.   I could see the the second downpour coming, and it arrived just as I took cover at Forest Hills.  I put the bike in the cage and went on the T to work. By the time I came home, the rain had passed.

Today was no different. I rode a lot, starting with the J.P. Bikes Spring Roll…but it was hot, so I afterward, I continued on my way out to the beach, by T. Coming from Forest Hills, this entails switching trains at State, so usually I go along the platform to the far end, to get on the first car of the train. It was pretty crowded, but at least I got on. Sometimes I have to wait for the next train.

When some people got off, I managed to sit, my bike tucked in and blocking a few seats. but there were other empty seats open. When standing with a heavy bike on a moving train, the bike has on occasion, fallen on top of people. So I try to sit to have better control of it, as it rests on it’s kickstand and I clasp the brake lever.

Again, some people got off, and I switched over one seat so my legs were not cramped by the bike. There remained an empty seat next to me. Some guy in his 20’s glared at me and whined to his grandmother that “bikes take up a lot of room, I wanted to sit there!” indicating the empty seat beside me, which for some reason was now deemed uninhabitable due to my close proximity.  I told him he could still sit there, that he didn’t have to be resentful towards bikes, I told him we are only allowed in the ends of each car, and that the bike and I can fall and hurt people if I try to stand. Besides bikes have a right to be on the T. (I wonder, does he make the same complaint about fat people?).

Well, he got off at the stop I had planned to exit, so I decided to stay on the train, continuing on a few stops to the beach. Better to sun first and ride later when the breeze cooled things down.

When I arrived at the beach, I rode along the boardwalk again, but the air was chilly due to a strong southeast wind. I decided to ride to the South end of the beach, and soon found a place to relax in the sun for a few hours and dip in the ocean.

The wind picked up as expected, so I rode out from Revere Beach to Winthrop, and ate at Belle Island Seafood, my favorite hole-in-the wall with quality, fresh, reasonably-priced seafood. Nothing like a fried oyster roll and a cold drink on a hot day! Then I rode around Winthrop a bit through the Cottage Park neighborhoods before turning back.

Once back in JP, I made a brief stop at one of my favorite watering holes, but was soon on my way, eager to get home. I decided to take a detour through the Bourne district of JP as taking the side streets was usually more quiet and pleasant than being on Hyde Park Ave., even though I ride on the sidewalk there.

I started up Walk Hill at a slow pace due to the incline. There were lots of parked cars, but the street still had ample room for cars and bikes. About 2 blocks up, I heard a car beeping, but it was back a ways.  Then I heard a second car beeping.  Then the first car beeped at the second car again.   Soon I was aware of someone approaching from the rear who seemed afraid to pass, though there was plenty of room. Once past some parked cars, I slid over a bit to the right, so the car was able to pass me without fear.  Then the second car driver stomped on the gas, and the guy driving yelled at me loudly, ” GET OUT OF THE FUCKING WAY!”

Yep, he said it.   I yelled back something I won’t repeat, but of course he was gone in a flash, and I didn’t quite catch his license plate number.  I was furious!   I do not take kindly to feeling threatened.  So much for my leisurely ride home!  I then detoured and tried to catch up with him at the bottom of the long straightaway where it met American Legion Highway, but he was gone.  I guess I wanted to tell him that bikes have a legal right to the road.  But who wants to be dead right?  I had to wonder WTF was so important going on in Mattapan that he had to be so rude (and obviously ignorant of the law). It was then that I realized HE was the one beeping from far back, and the other driver ahead of him beeped back at him to get him to back off. I was so mad!

Once home, I noticed a house mate coming home on his bike, so I told him about this encounter, referring to the driver as ignorant. His response was “Yah, well, welcome to Boston!”.

Really? Do we Cyclists in Boston have to put up with such ignorant, dangerous attitudes towards us, just so idiots in cars can speed up to the next red light?  Really? Because that kind of attitude could become contagious. Rather than be dragged down to the lowest common denominator, how about if instead, we offer some official “driving near cyclists” mandatory education for the public. The prevailing attitude out there is downright frightening.  The recent death of a female cyclist may have been an accident, as the driver who sideswiped her didn’t see her. But that doesn’t make it OK.  After all, isn’t it everybody’s –>responsibility<– to SEE and NOTICE cyclists, and pass SAFELY?

Meanwhile, what I want to say to that driver is, “Now, don’t make me say something I won’t regret!”.

June 3rd, 2012

Removed bike rack and fold-out wire baskets attached to it. Fixed bike rack (ok, I used a thick layer of duct tape where the weld broke) and replaced, moved forward from it’s previous position. Re-attached fold-out wire baskets in a new position with braces in a new position. Hopefully that will hold for a while.  I always thought that both bike shops could have done a better job and moved the adjustable rods forward, so the weight was more centered, and wonder if the placement contributed to the support arm weld breaking.  But then, it only took them 15 minutes each, to add the rack and at the other shop, the wire baskets, whereas it took me 2-1/2 hours to remove, fix and replace them.

While doing this, I noticed the rear tire was flat. Again. Pretty sure I hit a sharp stone the other night. I think that’s about my 6th or 7th flat in a year. I do NOT fix my own flats, mainly because I can’t even get my quick-release tires off without hurting my hands. I need my hands in good condition for work, and I do not need to sprain my thumb or take such risks. Going to get flat-resistant, or Kevlar or puncture-proof tires!

So I started looking for information on flat-resistant tires on line and came across this discussion:

As well as some sage advice “watch out when you see shiny stuff ahead.” ( Avoid running over glass, haha).

Anyone have any experience with flat-resistant, puncture-proof or Kevlar tires? I do not have a car, so I use the bike to get around, do errands, pub-hop, go to my business in JP from Roslindale, or I take it on the T and ride from North Station to my job in Cambridge. I do ride on cement sidewalks on Hyde Park Ave, because I refuse to ride on that road with the way they race. I also ride on asphalt roads and bike paths, and sometimes on roads or paths that have some gravel. I think I hit a sharp stone this time, but in the past I got flats due to under-inflation and punctures. I do ride hard and fast, so if I do see something below that I want to avoid, I can’t always manage to do so. Oh, yeah, I have a Fuji Absolute 4.0 road hybrid.  The tires are Kenda 28-622 / 700-28c

November 20th, 2011


I took Pete Stidman’s suggestion to “Write a letter and make a bridge disappear” by using his template as a base to send a personalized letter to MassDOT (see my version below). You can do the same by visiting this page at Boston Cyclists Union. A personal appeal for an at-grade solution can carry more weight if we do it in numbers, expressing the daily reality cyclists face getting around town and our desire for long-term solutions that we have lived without due to the poor planing of the Casey Overpass.  Please take a few minutes and send a letter today!

You can also see this post on J.P. Bikes which has live links embedded in this post:

Then attend the Casey Overpass Public information meeting tomorrow night at the State Lab, and please speak up!  Invite all your cycling friends (power in numbers).    Boston Biker ( ) advises:  “Monday Nov 21 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Mass DOT and the Casey Overpass Working Group will present plans and asks for comment on the Casey Overpass reconstruction project at William A. Hinton State Laboratory 305 South Street, Jamaica Plain.”   Click here for more specific information from MassDOT.


November 20, 2011

Thomas F. Broderick, P.E., Acting Chief Engineer,
10 Park Plaza,
Boston, MA 02116,
ATTN: (Paul King, Project File No. 605511).

Dear Mr. Broderick,

I am resident of Jamaica Plain living on “the other side” of the Casey Overpass in the very last house on South Street, across from the very last Lab building before the sharp left curve in the road towards Roslindale. I also own a small business on Centre Street. I do not own a car, so having to travel under the overpass on most days of the week, on foot and by bike, as my main form of transportation is a harrowing experience. I am an unconventional woman who is not afraid of much in life, but I dread trying to get through this confusing and dangerous intersection. There is no room for bikes to safely ride in the road with rushing cars, so I cut through the small footpath in the park across from Forest Hills station to ride on the sidewalks, full of pebbles and debris, only to find myself trapped on the wrong side of the road without even a walk light to get across to the bike lane on South street heading towards the Monument. It is very dangerous to navigate, with speeding cars coming from every direction. When I return home, I also get on the sidewalk because the cars backed up at the light do not share the lane or leave enough room for a bike to pass by. I strongly encourage MassDOT to save millions of taxpayer dollars and create a livelier more livable neighborhood in Forest Hills by building an at-grade option in place of the crumbling and overbuilt Casey Overpass. I believe it will encourage economic development in the immediate neighborhood and create a new place to enjoy the outdoors and host community events at the end of the SW Corridor bike path.

I also lived in San Francisco during and after the Loma Prieta earthquake. After raised freeway connectors that divided neighborhoods and blocked the waterfront were removed rather than retro-fitted or replaced, the at-grade solutions brought new life to once-dark and dangerous districts, as neighborhoods thrived and a sense of community emerged. The waterfront was also transformed because an unpleasant cut-off wharf district where even cab drivers feared to go became a world-class waterfront destination for all with tourists, hikers, joggers, par-course users, roller-bladers and bikers sharing the wide multi-use waterfront path.  New restaurants and businesses had a resurgence of interest. The city became safer and more beautiful, businesses thrived and Real Estate values increased. Jamaica Plain is a friendly community that can only improve in a similar fashion with an at-grade solution.

I am aware that traffic engineers in your department have determined that both a bridge and the at-grade option will handle the predicted traffic flow of 2035 in roughly the same way. In light of this I see no reason to build a bridge. In future projects, I believe that the recently consolidated MassDOT would serve Massachusetts better to find ways to hold traffic flow around our fair city to the levels of 2011 or less instead of planning for traffic increases. This could be accomplished in many areas by developing public transportation, a safe connective bikeways network and pedestrian-friendly streets that encourage active transportation and healthier lifestyles.

My approval and support of the at-grade option is contingent on the timely completion of bike paths that will travel up both sides of Washington St. toward Roslindale from the project area, and ending at Ukraine Way where they will be designed to connect to and complement the bike lanes on that street. The construction of these bike paths should be considered as part of the replacement project and completed within the same time frame as that project. There are a huge number of cyclists who live and work in Jamaica Plain and the surrounding districts, and need safe travel routes to replace the dangerous mess one currently must navigate.

It is also contingent on there being no “slip lanes” at either Washington Street, Hyde Park Avenue or South Street. Slip lanes create dangerous situations for both pedestrians and cyclists due their wider radius turn that allows cars to travel through them at an increased speed. There is no need for speed in this area and in this community we value the safety of our residents over convenience for motor vehicles. With the construction of the new large Co-Op store and other small businesses to join them in the near future, the Forest Hills area is fast becoming a thriving business district, not merely an MBTA transit center located amidst several neighborhoods. It is imperative that traffic is slowed down and adequate long-term access solutions are created to accommodate the increasing numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists.

I also support converting Shea Circle into “Shea Square” by creating a normal intersection there. Traffic circles, particularly those handling more than one lane of traffic, have been proven to be particularly dangerous to bicyclists and pedestrians. I now avoid traveling to that area as I have had several close calls on my bike due to speeding cars and bumpy pavement.

I look forward to the rest of the design process, where I would hope the engineers would find a way to offer ways for bicycles to safely make left turns onto both Washington Streets (northbound and southbound) by using an innovation such as a 45-degree angle-cut median refuge, or a Two-Stage Turn Queue Box ( Bicyclists will likely make left turns at this location whatever is built, and thus offering one or both of these options will help keep them safe and legal. Both are described in NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Engineers) Urban Bikeway Design Guide and would likely be supported by the City of Boston’s Transportation Department and the Boston Bikes program.

A complementary project to the Casey Overpass that MassDOT could introduce in the near future would be to install physically protected bike lanes (cycletracks) along Morton Street, in order to connect the benefits of this project and the SW Corridor to Mattapan and Dorchester and vice versa. The current sharrows do nothing to protect the safety of cyclists because speeding cars disregard them. It is just a matter of time before a cyclist ends up under a car or bus here, as the unfortunate Eric Hunt did in another part of town.

Another aspect of the further design will be what to install in the open space created at the end of the SW Corridor. The bike path on the corridor has been named the Pierre Lallement Bike Path after the inventor of the pedal who spent the last years of his life on Fort Hill. It would be appropriate to include a small monument to his memory, and perhaps a bike maintenance station and area for cyclists to congregate. The SW Corridor is undoubtedly Boston’s busiest bike path and as a cyclist I am very enthusiastic about this project’s potential to expand and enhance it while removing a wall that separates two parts of our neighborhood. I would also like to see clear markings and advisory signage along the entire path so that walkers use the walking paths and allow bikes to travel safely on the bike paths, without fear of children or dogs jumping out in front of them.

Thank you for your work to improve our community, and for this opportunity to comment on MassDOT’s design process.  I have carefully considered the options presented in recent months, and have come to the conclusion that a bridge solution that does not accommodate the growing population of cyclists and pedestrians will only diminish the quality of life for residents of Jamaica Plain and the surrounding districts. Although I recently purchased my bike (that I love!) from Ferris Wheels, who offer great customer service,  I respectfully disagree with Jeffrey Ferris’ contention that a bridge solution is the best option to avoid traffic congestion in the area. Studies prove otherwise.

Ultimately it is the residents of Jamaica Plain that will have to live with the resulting choice.  I feel that the desires of our community should take precedence over the convenience of outsiders passing through, and I strongly urge you to pass an At-Grade Solution that ultimately will be for the good of all.


Phoenix Boulay
380 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130


September 15th, 2011

I do love my new Fuji Absolute 4.0 that I got from Ferris Wheels on the tax holiday!  Of course, I had to get a good lock and cable (for the quick-release wheels) this time.  I added a rack, then went to Bikes Not Bombs to add those great (ugly but practical) wire folding baskets.  They each easily hold a full grocery bag and/or miscellaneous items.  I also added new pedals and clips, and a water bottle holder.  I still had my old Cat-eye headlamp and tail lamp, but REI didn’t sell the clips, so I got them via the Cat-eye website, and bought a small brass bell at REI, to make my trip worthwhile.


This past week, in addition to my usual commuting, errands, etc, I was able to fulfill a long-held desire by taking my bike with me for a mini-vacation. I took my bike to the Cape for several days.  Without a car, this was a bit of a challenge, but by timing a Commuter Rail ride from Forest Hills Station to my bus at South Station,  it became slightly easier to leave town.

I had no problem on my trek to Kalmus Beach, my favorite hangout. However, drivers mid-Cape seem to be either overly cautious (crossing the double yellow dangerously far into the oncoming lane) or they act like you are fairly irrelevant, especially on long, straight stretches where they drive fast, as if on the highway, brushing by mere inches away from you.  I didn’t see any bike lanes in the Hyannis/Centerville/Craigville Beach areas.

Never-the-less, it was lovely to tour the various beaches in the area near my Dad’s, as well as to navigate around the largest lake on the Cape, Lake Wequaquet, with my sister, in Centerville.  This morning I toured a nearby 7-acre nursery to buy a fall potted Mum for Dad, which fit in my basket.  Overall, I had no problem with the mild elevation changes on my 21-speed, and I even rode up to the Hyannisport Club to enjoy the sweeping view from above the Golf Course.

On my return trip home today, my bus was late.  I missed the CR train I wanted to take, so I rode from South Station over to that great sidewalk elevator at the Chinatown stop, which gave me instant entry to the Orange line, just in time to beat the 4pm “Bikes on the T” access deadline.   I usually walk a lot when I visit, but this was the first time in recent years that I was able to expand my excursions from my usual jaunts by biking. I loved it!  I’d definitely do it again, with better planning, and a lighter load!


~Wandering Woman on Wheels

(…who wonders as she wanders…)  🙂


see also my JP Bikes blog for links embedded in this article.


June 30th, 2011

June 30th, 2011

Men’s Miyata  21-speed  (from the 70’s – given to me by a friend)

Deep Purple (looks black) “Miyata” writing in white

New black mat handlebars (from Ferris Wheels) with translucent/whitish thick hand grips

Black rear rack w/two wire fold-out grocery baskets attached,

–one is black, one has light blue spray paint.

Gray water bottle from the Royal Sonesta Hotel where I work.

headlamp and tail lamp clamps only (I took the lights off)

On top of the rack was a “Bikes Not Bombs” yellow bumper sticker, and a blue business card back from”Move Free Massage”


Bike was locked to bike post outside of the Gallway in J.P. Sat. night while I was eating a late dinner after working nearby. I had gone out several times to check to see if the heavy rain had let up, and to take off my detachable headlamp and tail light.  The third time I went out, around 10:30 or so, it was gone.  I suspect it was taken during heavy downpour when few people were on the street, around 10 or 10:15 pm.  The post was found to be loose after bike was missing, but had been solid prior to this.  The weak link was the lock, a U-shape Masterlock on a heavy, coated cable. I believe a strong person rattled the tightly cabled bike until the lock broke, or else they broke it with a hammer.  There was no evidence of a broken lock or cable to be found.


I tried several times to make a police report, but as of a month ago, they no longer do this type of report over the phone. Finally had time to make a report in person last night, it took about an hour at the BPD on Washington Street. I got a call today from a detective who gave me his contact in case I see the bike.


I never wrote down the serial number, though I meant to, but was always in a hurry to get out the door.   I do not have a car, so I commuted locally to my job in J.P. and also took the bike on the T to North Station to get to my other job in Cambridge. Now the nice weather is back after the rain and  I look at bikes riding by me at the bus stop, first with suspicion, and then with longing.


People, write down your serial no, this helps the police if they find it, and invest in a good lock. I got comfortable with the cable and felt safe in my community, but apparently bike theft is rampant in Boston! I will also be checking craigslist and posting a notice on stolen bike blog.



Phoenix Boulay, LMT


but if you see it you can call 911 and report it as  bike you suspect is stolen.

June 30th, 2011

Thanks for the Welcome to  I rode my bikes all the time while growing up in Marshfield,  a small beach town on the South Shore in Massachusetts.  In high school, I would even drag my 10-speed  across the sand dunes into the next town to meet my friends in Humarock! At low tide, I could also ride on the flat hard-packed sand.

After college, I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and stopped riding, as the hills were a bit too much. Besides,  I no longer had a bike. I became an avid walker and hiker.

In my late twenties, I rode my own motorcycle for a few years, until I blew up my engine. Then I went back to hiking the wild wilderness of Marin County.

I borrowed a bike to use for my first and only trip to Burning Man in 1996.  Riding across the desert under the stars at night was magical, and riding to get ice in the heat of the day was fun! But even though I lived in the county where Mountain Bikes were invented, I still never got into riding a bike regularly until I moved back to Massachusetts, without a my former truck, Jeep Grand Cherokee or cars I had relied on to get me out into nature, ironically.

When I returned from decades in California, I first lived in Jamaica Plain, and would borrow my sister’s spare bike to ride in the nearby arboretum and on the Corridor Park paths.  I lived in Roslindale for a few years up on a hill,  and a neighbor who was an avid rider eventually gave me his old Miyata, which he had made road-ready.  I had by then returned to J. P., but was leery of traffic, so I resisted riding at first.  This year I really got into riding a lot, for the sheer joy of tooling around the lovely neighborhoods here, and in the Arboretum, where I was thrilled to learn that I could ride up both Bussey Hill AND Peter’s Hill with my 21-speed!

I often rode across town to work, and took my bike on the T to ride from North Station to my other job in Cambridge.

Recently I had taken to late night excursions in the quiet streets and neighborhoods of J.P.    Biking had become for me not only transportation and a means to exercise, but an escape from the mundane world into a magical world, where I could fly along in the breeze, feeling free and unfettered.

So it is especially poignant that I have started this blog right after my beloved old bike was stolen. Without my bike, I realize just how much it meant to me. How much easier it was to get around, while living without a car.  Easy transit to work,  a strong workhorse to carry bundles and bags on my errand sprees, and more than anything, a means to let my soul fly free.

If  my bike does not show up,  I will have to replace it soon, because as I stand at bus stops and walk long paths, I look longingly at the bikes that joyously speed by me.  I don’t want to be left behind!  Having a bike to me represents the ultimate freedom!