The next morning I went on a ride and found the Minuteman Bikeway impassable, with huge toppled trees in close succession blocking the entire path. As municipal workers in neon vests surveyed the area, confused bicycle commuters wandered around looking for alternative routes without having to ride on the high-traffic main road which the Bikeway parallels.
Riding under these conditions, I realised how spoiled I've gotten lately - forgetting how stressful cycling can be when drivers behave like this and there is no alternative route. I was getting honked at continuously for trying to take the lane. But as busses kept cutting me off and car doors swung open with abandon, taking the lane was the only safe option. Eventually a few of us formed a cluster: me, a woman in a yellow sundress on a cruiser, a teenager on a mountain bike, and an older man on a time trial bike. The cars went wild, but at least there was safety in numbers.
I suppose the take-away lesson here is to stay off the roads after natural disasters? Easy enough for someone doing a training ride, but what about those who commute that way? I don't think the city even announced anywhere that the Minuteway Bikeway was impassable, whereas they certainly would have announced it had a major road become unavailable to drivers. Maybe when there are more of us, things will be different. I hope so.