The Invisible Route

There's a road that prohibits cars on a quarter of its distance. It's a work in progress, an attempt to span the distance from the Canadian border in Maine to Key West, Florida entirely off-road. Most people I tell about The East Coast Greenway have never heard of it. Perhaps the Greenway signs, much smaller … Continue reading The Invisible Route

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Escaping Boston

I'm typing this in Schwarma Express, a Highland Park restaurant. There's a Toshiba flatscreen here, tuned to CNN. Joe the interviewee is saying, "There's a lot that people don't know." The news anchor is trying to pull more details out of Joe. And that's really his name. Joe is bald, black, and wearing a pinstripe … Continue reading Escaping Boston

Riding the Same Road Again

When I see a road for the very first time, I feel a little thrill of discovery. My home street, the roads to work, to the store; these are boring. But what about roads that are only a little familiar? Places I've seen before... somewhere? I used to take the train to work, a ride … Continue reading Riding the Same Road Again

Alone

I like being alone, but I'm a little afraid of it, so I make sure I confront it every few months or so. I hop on a bike and ride for a few days. There's nobody in sight except for the few people I run into by accident at a campground or a stop sign. … Continue reading Alone

Traffic

Ask Ceil is on hiatus today, and will return next week. Riding a bicycle with traffic is generally much safer than riding against it. When I was of grade-school age, I was taught that the cars have to see you to avoid you, and I should ride like I was a vehicle. Sadly, that school … Continue reading Traffic

Winter Cycling Gloves

It's the middle of September. The evenings are getting cold. I had to wear a jacket today when I rode into town. (I admit, it was raining, but it was a little chilly.) Soon, you'll be cold when riding any time at all. Imagine with me, that it's October, or maybe November: You'll be riding … Continue reading Winter Cycling Gloves

Two Portraits

This is a bonus post, to share some good writing. Regular articles will continue tomorrow. When we went on vacation to Florida in 2008, I remember looking at the Overseas Highway that links the Keys together and thinking that it would be truly suicidal to cycle there. Jeff Armin apparently disagrees. He's currently crossing the … Continue reading Two Portraits

Why bikes from big box stores are dangerous

There’s a school of thought that goes like this: [I see bikes in Wal-Mart for $100] + [You paid what for your bike?] = [You got ripped off, chump.] Well, it’s not that simple. Stores that sell towels and televisions—and groceries, and guns—aren’t exactly experts in assembling the thing your child will be riding down … Continue reading Why bikes from big box stores are dangerous

Oh, what we find in the trash!

“Do you remember the cute grad student who lives across the hall from me? He’s moving out, and he’s throwing out a guitar and a bicycle.” When I hung up the phone, I put down my work and drove over to my friend’s apartment complex immediately. I soon had a barely used acoustic guitar and … Continue reading Oh, what we find in the trash!

Fire in Haverstraw, NY

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a house on fire, but it’s the first time I’ve been this close. This afternoon, when we came to the end of the trail in Haverstraw, I asked our friend, Glen—having ridden ahead, he was already waiting there for us—where was his brother? “I was wondering the same … Continue reading Fire in Haverstraw, NY