Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Surest Sign of Spring

Signs of Spring
Although Friday surprised us with a fresh foot of snow, it was nonetheless a glorious weekend. The plows made their rounds, the sun shone in a clear blue sky, the temperatures rose, and the scarves were distinctly loosened. Navigating through the still snow-covered streets, I could feel something new and fresh in the air - unmistakable signs of Spring.

Signs of Spring
There was the wet snow, softening under the sun's warm rays.

Signs of Spring
There were the delicate buds, with their promise of new leaves in the weeks to come.

Signs of Spring
There were the fences in need of mending, having unburdened themselves of heavy snow banks.

Signs of Spring
There was a fresher, younger quality of the afternoon sun's glow.

Signs of Spring
There were the pothole lakes cheerfully reflecting cerulean skies.

Signs of Spring
There were the colourful chairs on the lawns of local college campuses.

Signs of Spring
There were the freshly liberated bike lanes.

New Science Center Bike Racks at Harvard
And perhaps the most noticeable change of all, were the dozens upon dozens of bikes. They emerged out of hibernation en masse, heralding the official start of Spring. 

Mercier Mixte
Some of the bikes I had seen in the neighbourhood before, but not since November. 

Mercier Mixte
Oh hello again, slate blue Mercier mixte. You look positively radiant!

Raleigh 3-Speed, Cambridge MA
Long time no see, copper Raleigh Lady Sports. Warming those old bones?

Signs of Spring
New handlebar tape this season, Bianchi Nuovo Racing?

Signs of Spring
Oh, but what's this here? You are new this year, aren't you, oh teal Dutch Gazelle with full chaincase?

Babboe Cargo Bike, Cambridge MA
And you, Babboe cargo trike? I haven't seen you around before. Have you moved to this neighbourhood over the winter? Welcome, welcome. 

Babboe Cargo Bike, Cambridge MA
A local university recently installed bicycle racks along the entire length of their rather expansive Science Center. After sitting largely empty since their installation, on Saturday the racks were suddenly 3/4th full - snow storm of the previous day notwithstanding. 

Soccer Ball Bicycle Bell
It was not a coordinated effort, but it surely felt like one. The neighbourhood bikes have had their say. And they've declared it the official start of Spring.

23 comments:

  1. everything pops up in spring. bikes included.

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  2. Dear Global Warming, thanks for the 11 month summer but this is ridiculous.

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  3. Are only students allowed to use those racks, or are they for the community?

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    1. As far as I know, they are for both students and the community. The space is a popular walking/cycling shortcut for local residents.

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    2. I must have been there just around when you shot these photos (Saturday late morning?)! I remember seeing the same bikes parked in the same locations!

      "local university", as if... :)

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  4. What? Nothing on World Naked Bike Ride? I was hoping for some tasteful pics.

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    1. Oh, I thought that was supposed to be in the summer. Here's one from Vienna 4 years ago (possibly NSFW).

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    2. Right, makes sense. I guess the one I saw pictures of happened in Australia, which also makes sense, climatologically speaking! Perhaps they should call it Southern Hemisphere Naked Bike Ride.

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  5. Thank you Velouria,

    For us, still clenched in winter's icy grasp on the Canadian prairies, your column brings smiles and a warm breeze of hope!

    ~ David
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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  6. Yes, it definitely felt like spring riding around this weekend. I felt like it was super warm, but then realized that it was only 41. Maybe it was just the strength of the sunlight.
    It's fun to see bikes you recognize around- like seeing old friends.

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  7. Another beautiful day today and hurray for more bikes on the streets of Boston! We all make the streets safer for each other.

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  8. Badda-bing Ba-babboe! Diggin' that cargo bike :P

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  9. Not often does a blog post read like a picture book! Thanks!

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  10. Yes, spring is on the way. On the way home for lunch today, I rode briefly with a woman who was on a fine looking Schwinn Suburban that I had never seen before. I complemented her on its spring-like purple hue and especially the beautiful pin-striped fenders. I was surprised when she said it was a rattle-can paint job, applied by her father, who has a background working in body shops and obviously has excellent paint application skills.
    Thanks for your tips on bike flattery. I'll be sure to use them next time I'm out and about and encounter neighborhood bikes.

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  11. Love this post. Funny, came home to read some of my favorite blogs and at least 3 talked about Spring.
    DummyDiva

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  12. I stalk your blog for pictures of your Brompton now. So far, it is my favorite bike ever.

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    1. I was just putting together a winter Brompton picture set : ) By the way, what colour did you get?

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    2. The Brompton seems like an unlikely choice for a winter bike, but it certainly looks like you have enjoyed it! Perhaps another test ride is in order.

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    3. The small size of the bike makes it easy to lift over snow banks, and the handling is well-suited for navigating twisty spaces created by snow and ice pile-ups and potholes. Also, if I don't want to leave it parked outdoors during a snowstorm, I can simply fold it and take it inside. The drivetrain and multitude of tiny crevices are a huge pain to clean, but still worth it.

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  13. Turkish green/white extremities, dynamo, 3-speed. It was in stock @ Clever Cycles. Not really the color I would have chosen, but not a deal-breaker. 3-speed seems to be adequate for my needs.

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  14. Velouria, love your Blog posts ... very entertaining :=). I too thought Spring was here only a few weeks ago, then the coldest March weather for 26 years appeared ... so unpredictable, even the plants got caught out.

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