Monday, October 25, 2010

looking towards the Minuteman

In the same issue as their article on travel by bike train, the Boston Globe also ran a good piece about the Minuteman Bikeway by Shira Springer.  It definitely made me wish the Minuteman was a lot closer to here, or that the bike paths close to home were a lot more continuous and developed.  We have great access to the Muddy River bike path (it's pretty much right outside our ), but then you get dumped into the Fenway after a about a mile (which is useful, but not exactly relaxing).  Heading the other way up the Emerald Necklace, you can get to Jamaica Pond, but after that you get stuck again.  I wish there was a more continuous path that lead to the Charles and the shore, but I don't know if that'll ever happen.  The Minuteman offers an 11-mile path, which seems like a good way to spend a pleasant afternoon.  Without the car, I never ride my bike just for fun--bicycle is how I get from place to place, rather than just a way to get exercise or get outside. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bike Explorations: dreaming of Cape Ann

The Boston Globe ran a great article last month in the Explore New England section about a bike trip I'd like to take, one that seems both fun and affordable.  Stephen Heuser wrote about taking the bike car on the commuter rail up to Cape Ann and exploring Gloucester, Rockport (one of my favorite places), the North Shore.  I'd sure like to give this a try next year (it's just not going to happen this fall).  I definitely want to talk Tracy and the kids into trying the bike train--I just love the idea of it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

RelayRides. Possible alternative to Zipcar?

At a recent Boston green festival at Government Center, I came across a new company, RelayRides.  They're a carsharing company/service that works sort of like Zipcar--you reserve a car online, pay a certain hourly rate, and drive.  The big difference is that RelayRides doesn't own the cars--they're owned by your neighbors.  In fact, if you own a car, you can join up and start renting out your car.  They provide the insurance.

Their web site is pretty detailed.  On the surface, it seems like a good model.  It's a way to make a lot of cars available for sharing, people who own cars get compensated, and the company makes some money but doesn't
have to own a zillion cars.

I know there are tool sharing and other kinds of sharing sites out there, but this car site is the first I've seen in the Boston area.

Has anyone out there tried this yet?  Let us know.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Mad Man Without a Car (in a good way)

There's a fun article in Sunday's NY Times about Vincent Kartheiser, one of the stars of the hit show, Mad Men.  He lives in LA and doesn't own a car--he gets around by bus and subway.  Maybe someday it'll be cool after all.  I found this interesting: 

“They’ve done a study and they’ve found that people under 30 no longer view cars as status symbols or even positive things,” Mr. Kartheiser said. “They look at them as pollutants.”

Maybe I'm younger than I thought (at heart, anyway).