In Boston, biking is a whole different story. You need a lot more gear– a helmet, multiple flashing lights and, a rear-view mirror, and if you are smart, a glow in the dark bright orange jumper (OK, that might be taking it a bit too far). Drivers here just aren’t aware of bikers and I have heard one too many horror stories. Lucky for me, most of my work commute on the bike is on the quiet paths of the Esplanade, but those 4 or so blocks in traffic on Mass Ave are treacherous. Boston drivers are famous for their aggression and lack of care towards other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, small pets and bikers. Last year a car barely bumped me at a stop-light, and the driver had the nerve to yell at me.
The City of Boston even published this little public service announcement towards drivers:
City traffic can be slow and frustrating. Don’t take anger out on others. Threatening other road users with your voice or your vehicle is impolite and illegal. Bicyclists have the same right to the road as you do.
So why risk life and limb 20 minutes each morning and evening? As I mentioned before, the T just sucks the humanity out of you, and biking seems to do the reverse. Or maybe I have become addicted to the adrenaline rush of dodging maniac drivers.