Every Saturday morning, Dan has been waking up at 6:20 so that he can chug a coffee, ride to Lexington, and then blow-up what used to be considered a pleasant group ride to Harvard, MA and back.
I don’t really want to die and get dropped just because some guy has singlehandedly bumped the 17-18 mph fun ride into a 22 mph slaughterfest, so every Saturday morning, I sleep in until 7:30, make a leisurely breakfast, and then eventually go ride by myself (or occasionally with a friend) at a more civilized hour somewhere between 9:30 and 10. Because of this, our paths don’t really cross again until mid-afternoon which might involve Haymarket, or other errands, or just being lazy around the house.
However, we’ve been spending Lazy Sundays on bike dates exploring Boston and eating treats. Two weekends ago, we went to see the Dragon Boat Races in Cambridge and realized that unless you have an extreme love of dragon boats, or are affiliated with a local financial institution (they all seem to have teams), once you’ve stuffed yourself with food truck and vendor fare and seen a few of the performances/demonstration — you’re probably done. And we had full bellies; and still had most of the afternoon left.
We then got back on our bikes and just kept heading east along the Charles. We couldn’t remember the name of the cable-stayed bridge and just kept heading towards it. We stopped at Lechemere Canal Park and realized that there is what appears to be free boat parking there. If I had a boat and a bicycle that fit in my boat I would have limitless multi-modal Boston transportation options and never have to wait for the T.
Somehow, we ended up in Charlestown. Which lead us to the Bunker Hill Monument.
We got there about 15 minutes before it closed, and Dan told me it would be a quick trip to the top. Somehow I did not get the memo about the 294 steps. In case you were not raised within the decimal system and have never seen a staircase, 294 is a really large number for steps. A major reason that I ride a bicycle is because I am too lazy to walk.
When we finally got to the top, I wasn’t looking forward to leaving and having to go back down 800 steps (they multiplied like bunnies when I wasn’t looking). I pretended instead to take pictures through the scratched and smudged Plexiglas windows with my phone to buy some extra time.
It really provides a great view of the entire area, and it’s free. You should ask Google for views of the Boston Skyline from Bunker Hill for ideas. I would recommend going on a clear sunny day with really high air quality (so you see further, not to prevent exercise induced asthma, but that might be another benefit).
After the trip back down, we followed some roads we had spied from the top to get to a little park by the river, and that took us to a bike pathy/sidewalky thing. We followed the path and made our way to the Navy Yard, because we hadn’t seen enough boats yet.
There were a lot of tourist families who looked like they had been following a red line in the pavement for too long. They looked more exhausted than the poor schlubs who climbed to the top of Bunker Hill with us.
We headed home because it was dinnertime, and took the direct route, which meant crossing into East Somerville near Sullivan Station. This is basically a hellish area to navigate by bike (and honestly not that great by foot either). It was too late to stop at Patsy’s, so the trip home was unfortified.
This was my first real visit to Charlestown, and I liked it a lot. A few years ago, I was in the area for several months for grad school and lived a short walk from Sullivan Station. I never once went to Charlestown. I don’t know why, because it was right there! I’d blame it on Ben Affleck, but that film hadn’t been released yet, so I knew nothing of the seedy back-story. It probably has a lot more to do with the lousy navigability due to poor highway design between Somerville and everything to the north/east.