Monday, October 20, 2014

Morning Bike Ride with the Brompton

One of the best things about a Brompton is being able to add a little adventure to your typical morning bike ride.

For instance, I've always loved the fact that I live in a port city.  So why not include a boat trip to my Saturday ride?

My morning began by riding my Brompton to my local T stop, folding it up, and taking the subway to JFK Station.

I would have liked to have ridden the train it all the way downtown, but the T was doing track work and shuttle-busing from JFK Station onwards.  But no worries!  I could have brought my Brompton on the bus, but instead I simply unfolded it and rode on the bike lanes through South Boston...

...the rest of the way to the seaport district.

...the Nantucket lightship looked beautiful across the water in the East Boston docks.

Making my way on a path opposite Rowes Wharf...

... over the pedestrian-only old Northern Avenue bridge...

... and along the bike lanes of Atlantic Avenue ...

... I arrived at Long Wharf, ready to take took a short ferry ride to Charlestown.

Charlestown is a historic Boston neighborhood on a peninsula in the northern end of Boston Harbor.  It's always been a bit isolated for cyclists, cut off from the rest of the city by railroad tracks, highways, and creaky old bridges.  It's a whole different place now though, with the construction of the beautiful Paul Revere Park and bike lanes that link Charlestown to Cambridge and downtown Boston.  

But the best way to get there is still by boat.  So the T runs a small ferry that's popular with residents and tourists alike, chugging back-and-forth between Long Wharf and the Charlestown Navy Yard every 10 minutes.

The Brompton and I easily climbed aboard, paid the $3.25 fare at the little snack bar, and ascended the steps... take a seat on the upper deck.

You can see the colorful "Codzilla" thrill ride boat on the left.  The wharf was busy with sightseeing ships coming into port... well as the Provincetown high-speed ferry heading out to sea.  Across the water, the control tower of Logan Airport keeps watch over its own harbor-of-the-skies.

This being the first Charlestown ferry of the morning, there were only a few other people on board as we steamed away from our moorings...

...and out into the harbor.

We passed by a group of people making their way cross-harbor on the water taxi...

...and we sailed alongside great views of the Old North Church:

We waved to the people on this beautiful sailboat...

...and passed the Boston Coast Guard station...

...while the U.S.S. Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown grew closer and closer.

Finally we docked in a quiet wharf in Charlestown's historic old Navy Shipyard.

The yard is now the home to the U.S.S. Constitution, the WWII-era destroyer U.S.S. Cassin Young, and a museum. The USS Constitution is oldest still-commissioned warship in the world, and it just headed out on its tugboat-driven annual spin around the harbor the day before my ride.

Walking my bike alongside the buildings of the Navy yard, you can see a spire of the Zakim Bunker Hill cable-stayed bridge rise in the distance:

From there I continued my morning ride along the new bike lanes in Charlestown.

Before long, it was time to turn back and catch the next ferry homewards.  Here you can see it on the right, coming into the dock. 

While waiting for the ferry to arrive, a woman standing nearby approached me and said, "Excuse me, but I have to ask you about your bicycle.  We watched you ride right up here and then fold it into a little package. That's amazing!  We're just tourists, so we've never seen anything like that before."  I thanked her, answered her questions about the bike, and at her request, let her take a picture.  The Brompton sure gets a lot of attention.  But I'm not a shy person when it comes to talking about bicycles, so I'm enjoying it!

Back on the ferry, the Brompton's Cobalt Blue looked pretty stunning on the sunny top deck:

We once again passed by the Old North Church, this time with a great view of the Zakim Bridge towers in the distance.  It sure is fun being a tourist in your own city for a morning!

Coming into Long Wharf, a large crowd was waiting to board various boats, eager to enjoy the unseasonably warm New England fall day.  Whale watches, ferries, and harbor cruises all leave from historic Long Wharf these days.

Disembarking the ferry, the Brompton and I said goodbye to "Rita"...

...and then rode back to JFK station to take the T home.

And so ended my Brompton-style morning bike ride!

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