Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home Again, Although That Turns Out To Have To Wait For Another Post

The bicycle tour continued in a blur of exhilaration and great scenery. That's a link to my photos, but I hope to have some pictures soon from people that actually know how to use cameras.   Most of the riders rode about 45 miles a day on average, but Rich and I often took little scenic diversions by missing the arrows painted on the road. The last day included a ride a across the Lake Champlain Causeway, the eighth wonder of the world according to the tour guide in  what is only slight hyperbole. In the middle of the causeway, a washed-out bridge has been replaced by a bike ferry. Absolutely amazing.  A strong wind was blowing, making it hard to control the bikes, although, it wasn't like wearing Skechers on a Segway, which might have turned out to be my new phrase indicating a complete lack of control, if I hadn't gone on to see Boston drivers.
Rich, my ride partner, has always had a strong sense of right and wrong. He once told me that laws were meant to be enforced. There were no gray areas. One week of driving in Boston completely destroyed his moral code. Based on his new driving style, and its complete disregard of traffic markings ("They're just paint,") he could be an assassin. To be fair, defensive drivers in Boston are called, okay, I can't tell you what they're called, but it's not very nice.  It seemed that some of the chaos couldn't just be random. There appeared to be cars deployed in the center of traffic circles ready fly out at right angles to the flow of traffic to exit the circle and then (Leah saw this) pass on the right, run red lights, and then make a U-turn and come back to base to prepare for another mission. I don't think I'd be so willing to trust my life to the reflexes of strangers. 
We were driving around Boston attending events related to Sarah's trendy 10/10/10 wedding.  First there was a rehearsal at the Franklin Park Zoo, where a collegiate track meet was being held. Parking was at a premium and I ended up dropping Karen off at the gate, and then going off to look for a place to leave the car. Karen was in a lot of pain, and furious with her sense of being abandoned. "I'm going to just stand there and rattle a cup, and tell people I need fifty dollars to get home," she hissed.  She didn't, though, and she was still there when I walked the mile back from where I eventually parked the car. At the wedding rehearsal I learned my total involvement in the wedding would be to say, "Her mother and I do," and then to sit down. I don't want to write my own review, but, when the time came in real life, I nailed it. The rehearsal was followed by an indescribably good meal at the Midwest Grill in Cambridge. Leah and I had to walk quite a ways from the rehearsal to the car, and then follow cryptic GPS prompts to the restaurant. Part of what must fuel Boston driver's rage is that there are approximately no street signs, and no intersections with just two streets,  so any instruction to, "Turn right onto Washington St," for example, is meaningless since there are multiple spokes coming out of the intersection, and nothing distinguishes them. They could only make it harder by making you drive through infinite mirror rooms. Sarah called after we'd been driving for awhile to ask where we were. "I don't know where the ---- I am," I replied reasonably. The meal was worth it, however. Endless meat on sticks.
More about the wedding tomorrow.

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