Saturday, December 10, 2016

It's like taking my bike back to its ancestral home.

That's what I thought as I dropped my Brompton off at the Harris Cyclery bike shop for its yearly tune-up.  Only thing ... it hadn't been one year, but two years since I picked up my cobalt blue Brompton from this same shop in the fall of 2014, fresh from its trans-Atlantic voyage from the Brompton factory in London.  I was only now bringing the bike back to the shop for routine check-ups and maintenance.

There are two reasons why I waited so long.  First, I keep my bike in good shape.  I lubricate the chain every month or so, I keep the tires at the full 100 psi, and I make minor adjustments when needed.  Second, the Brompton is a wonderfully well-built bicycle!

Taking the bike in for a yearly tune-up really is a good idea though, even if simply to reconnect with your local shop.  I dropped it off on a Thursday, and by Friday afternoon it was ready to pick up.  So on Saturday morning I took the 10:40 train from Boston's South Station...

...out to West Newton, and then walked about three minutes to the bike shop.

The shop is on the left side of the street in the above photo, with the blue and while awning.  I love the beautiful neo-gothic/tudor cathedral across the street.

I picked-up my bike, paid for the tune-up, and chatted with Elton, Harris Cyclery's resident Brompton expert, mainly about the updates Brompton has made to their 2017 models. 

I then decided to ride my bike back home in a particularly Brompton-specific style.  I'd ride as long as I wanted, and then fold up my bike and hop on the subway for the rest of the journey.  I brought my helmet with me, of course.

And so from Harris Cyclery I rode along the Charles River bike path all the way to Harvard Square in Cambridge, got on the T but decided it was more fun riding.  So I got off one stop later at Central Square and rode the bike lanes all the way through Cambridge and Boston to my home on the South Shore.

I didn't take many photos, and the ones I did take don't do the ride justice.  But here are some from a lovely bridge across the Charles River in Newton...

... one of a sign showing that the Charles River bike path is part of the ever-growing East Coast Greenway...

...and a photo of one of the many university-owned rowing houses along the river.