Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Coffeeneuring 2018: To the Limits of Bike Share

My wife is spending the year in Cambridge, MA. I'm visiting for a week, and so there was a great opportunity for some easy wins for my "coffee shops I haven't been to before" theme. The only problem: I don't have a bike here. I do, however, have a membership to the Bluebikes bike share sytem. For my Sunday coffeeneuring excursion, I looked at the bike share system map and picked the station that was as away as possible:

It looked like the station at the terminus of the Red Line in Mattapan would qualify. Next I had to find a coffee shop in the vicinity. A quick search didn't look too promising, but after zooming out a bit I found a place called Flat Black Coffee. Unfortunately, it was 1.7 miles from the Bluebikes station. But there seemed to be a trail along the Neponset River connecting the two, and so I decided to make it a multimodal coffeeneuring experience.

Best road section: South Road on the outer perimeter of the Harvard Arboretum
My intermediate destination: Bluebikes station in Mattapan
Neponset River trail
Fall colors are still in their early stages

Dorchester-Milton Lower Mills Industrial District
Daily Brew at Flat Black -- I somehow wasn't in the mood for anything more fancy
Lots of beans waiting to be roasted at Flat Black

Neponset River trail near its estuary
Instead of walking back to Mattapan, I continued along the river and picked up a bike another 1.5 miles east. From there, I biked toward the ocean and then roughly headed north back home, with a bunch of intermediate stops: Flipping bikes several times; bathroom stop at Pope John Paul II park; guac burger at By Chloe; buy new tube for Nicole's Brommie at Broadway Bicycle School; beer at Lamplighter Brewing. At the end of the ride, I was pretty pooped. 30-ish miles on a bike share bike is hard work!

JFK Presidential Library

Crust Lightning Bolt sighting in front of Broadway Bicycle School. First time I've seen it in real-life, and man, is it nice!

Stats: 11 separate Bluebikes rentals, for a total of about 30 miles
Coffee: Flat Black daily brew
Weather: Excellent fall weather!