Saturday is the start of Tour de France, as most of the world’s best cyclist queue at the starting line in Liège, Belgium. I covered this in my latest story in Wired.com:
Only Cambridge takes credit for the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path in the 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts. Watertown, Newton and Boston failed to take credit for the portions of the 17 mile bike path that loops around the Charles River Basin. It stretches on both sides of the river from the Museum of Science to Watertown Square.
As one of the many defects in the published list of 1,000 Great Places(.pdf), the place is identified as the “Dr. Paul W. White Bike Path” in Cambridge. I suppose “W.” and “Dudley” sound similar.
He was an international famous cardiologist. He was probably most famous for acting as President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s physician following his heart attack in 1955. He was one of the founders of the American Heart Association and became the organization’s president in 1941.
Dr. White was a staunch advocate of exercise, diet, and weight control in the prevention of heart disease. It’s no surprise that he was a bicycle enthusiast
“We must establish more bike path and trails throughout the country. I’d like to see everyone on a bike – not just once in a while, but regularly as a routine. The bicycle should become a superb resource for the whole family to enjoy the beauties of nature, whether in our national parks, along our seacoasts, or simply in our beautiful woods and fields the country over.” American Cycling, August 1968, 200,000 Miles of Bikeways!(.pdf)
In riding the path, I only found one small sign (pictured) that indicated it was the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bicycle Path. That was in the Boston section, at about where Exeter Street would intersect with the bike path.
He would be disappointed in the current condition of the bike path that carries his name. (Maybe that’s why there are so few signs.) The quality varies from nice wide cycling boulevards with center stripes to narrow stretches of broken asphalt with dangerous drops at the edges. In some places it is barely wide enough for one bicycle to pass another safely.
The road intersections are particularly poor. The intersections largely ignore the bike path, forcing you into some dangerous traffic interactions. I find (1) the Boston intersection with Western Avenue, (2) the Boston intersection with Arsenal Street, and (3) the intersections with North Beacon Street in Boston and Watertown to be dangerous. Not just for bikes. Pedestrians also dread these intersections.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation extended the path into the Auburndale section of Newton, weaving back and forth across the many road intersections and bridges that cross the Charles River.
Here is what I have so far on 1,000 Great Places in Massachusetts:
- Neponset River Greenway
- Old North Church
- Ames Nowell State Park
- Mary Baker Eddy Historic House
- Sullivan’s on Castle Island
- Castle Island
- Borderland State Park
- Ames Free Library
- The Children’s Museum of Easton
- Higgins Armory Museum
- Standing on Top of the Hub at the Prudential’s Skywalk
- Gravestone Peeping at Mount Auburn Cemetery
- Historic Franklin Town Common
- Wondering about Holliston’s Arch Bridge
- Central Square
- Harvard Square
- Looking at Lookout Farm
- Climbing the Maze at Boston Children’s Museum
- You Can’t Park Your Car in Harvard Yard
- Davis Mega Maze
- Wachusett Dam
- Bacon Free Library
- Bounding Down the Boardwalk at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary
- Rebecca Nurse Homestead
- Peabody Institute Library
- Glen Magna Estate
- Chomping on Corn at Connors Farm
- The Esplanade
- Strolling Through Boston’s Public Garden
- My Lunchtime Walk to Paul Revere’s House
- Driving Through D.W. Field Park
- The Ponkapoag Pond Trails
- Hiking up to the Blue Hills Observatory
- Blue Hills Trailside Museum
- Snacking on Dinner Rolls at the Parker House
- Hanover Street, in the North End
- Boston’s Athenaeum
- Boston Common
- Russells Mills
- Aquinnah Gay Head Cliffs
- Cuttyhunk Island
- Padanaram Village
- Wachusett Mountain and the Climb to the Clouds
- State House
- Longfellow Bridge (x2)
- Dr. Paul Dudley White Bicycle Path
- Wayside Inn’s Grist Mill
- U.S.S. Constitution, Charlestown Navy Yard, Constitution Museum, and the U.S.S. Cassin Young
- Cheers – Does Anyone Know Your Name?
- Old South Meeting House
- Discovery Museums in Acton
- Boston’s Old City Hall
- Freedom Trail
- Old State House Museum
- Ye Olde Union Oyster House
- Boston Massacre Site
- Haymarket – Continuing My Quest
- Faneuil Hall
- Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
- Battleship Cove
- More on the Son’s First Visit to the Red Sox
- The Amazing Nano Brothers Juggling Show at the Museum of Science
- A Visit to the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation
- Paddling in Hemlock Gorge
- Thomas the Tank Engine at Edaville Railroad
- Apple Picking at Honey Pot Hill
- Muddy Buddy Boston in Myles Standish Park
Today, the 97th edition of the Tour de France starts in Rotterdam, kicking off three weeks of bicycle racing. Twenty-one teams of nine riders each will have to endure 3,600 kilometers of racing and 25 mountain passes to reach the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
I spruced up my Top Ten Reasons That Geeks Should Love the Tour de France for GeekDad.
Here are some of my recent posts on GeekDad:
- Find an ER With findER for the iPhone
- Whales Tohor? Comes to Boston’s Museum of Science
- We’ve Got Worms in Our Basement: Composting With the Kids
- 100 Geeky Places to Take Your Kids This Summer (GeekDad Wayback Machine)
- Lego Bricks and Felt Tip Pen Become a Printer
This Sunday, May is the 3rd annual Rally & Friends and Family Ride for Bike Newton from 12 to 3.
At Newton City Hall there will be a bunch of events, demonstrations, live entertainment and ice cream. Then there will be a 3.5 mile ride for adults and kids.
Sign up for the ride (3.5 mi):
Unfortunately, I can’t make it this year.
The Wife and I are big fans of the Tour de France. Yes, we started watching it during the lance Armstrong years like many others in the U.S. (Well, at least many of those who started watching during the Lance years. The Tour lacks a big TV audience.)
We loved the Tour just as much during the years Lance was retired. Maybe even more so, because the competition was wide open. We really liked the competition, the images and stories wrapped around this incredible race. We also love the announcers: Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. The Tour coverage is better than the reruns and other dreck on television during July.
We are both excited for the Tour to start on Saturday for the 96th time. This year the Tour starts in Monaco for a prologue time trial. This year also marks the return of the team time trial stage.
To celebrate my thoughts, I put together another article on GeekDad: Top Ten Reasons That Geeks Should Love the Tour de France.
May is National Bike Month and here in Massachusetts we’re doing our part to celebrate this event with Bay State Bike Week, May 11th -17th, 2009.
In Newton, there is the second annual Bike Newton Rally and Ride on Sunday May 17 from 12:30 to 3:00. The ride will be a gentle 3.5 mile loop down Commonwealth Avenue., up Temple Street (past Pierce Elementary School) and back by Prince and a few side streets to Comm. Ave. The pace will be leisurely, and there will be a police escort & rolling street closings for added safety.
There are three key events in Boston:
- 250,000 Mile Pledge – Join Bay State residents as we try to collectively cycle more than 250,000 miles between May 11th-17th
- MassCommuter Challenge – A friendly competition amongst Massachusetts businesses and institutions. Support your workplace or institutional team by pledging to bike for all or part of your regular functional trips.
- Mayor Menino’s Bike Week Festival – Celebrate Bike Week with hundreds of cyclists and enjoy our FREE BREAKFAST, BIKE EXPO AND MUSIC on City Hall Plaza in Boston on Friday May 15th from 7 AM to 10 AM. Ride home with your gift bag and water bottle.