Bikes have changed me, my experience in Boston and my social existence here.
I started biking in Boston about four years ago. I moved to Allston when I first arrived and lived in a big house with 6 other people. Half our house was sold on cycle commuting, so I saw a lot of bike fixing and heard a lot of bike talk. I’ve always been kind of stubborn, and I needed to figure it out on my own so it would take another year before I would begin to see the light.
I moved out of that house in September and across the river into Cambridge. I signed up for a birthright trip shortly afterwards which would involve some cycling (mountain bikes!) but to prepare, I decided that it might be a good idea to make sure that I still could ride a bike.
The cheapest option (and the most work?) involved the Somerville Bike Auction, a police auction of bikes that were recovered or abandoned in the next town over. A friend met me there early in the morning where we scoped out bikes that would work for me. I got in a bidding war with another lady who happens to be short over a grey fuji mixte (one distinct memory is a guy who said something about how it was such a nice mixte – and i just said “yup” because i didn’t know what he was talking about.). It took a couple of weeks and $130 in addition to the $35 I paid for the bike to get it fixed up and rideable. That Wednesday night, the week of Thanksgiving, I rode home in light snow without lights (I think I had a helmet?). That first ride was a little timid and a little wobbly, but I had started reading about biking in the city, the beginnings of incessant reading about cycling style and urban bikes.
That bike wasn’t fast, it wasn’t pretty – but it did what I wanted it to do. I remembered just how fun it was to ride around, and I was hooked.