On June 7th, I rode in the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon for the third time. I seem to participate every year, although it’s such a lovely event for a great cause that I need to commit to doing it annually. I was joined by children Kay, who rode in to co-pilot’s seat, and Peter, who pedaled his own bike for the ten-mile ride. The three of us were able to raise $615 which was part of the record $209,280 raised by a record 866 riders! Our donation page is still open to receive more contributions should you be so inclined
When we first arrived at the starting point near Stony Brook station, we saw lots of bikes with brooms sticking off the back. I thought maybe I’d missed out on a theme for the ride, but it turned out this was a fleet of bikes for a team called The Golden Sneetches. After checking-in and eating breakfast, we got on line to start the ride and found ourselves behind our nextdoor neighbors who were also festively attired. Note to self: wear a costume next time.
The Bikes Not Bombs staff introduced our ride, warning us that there were steep uphills early on as we headed away from Jamaica Plain, but we’d be rewarded with a nice long downhill after the rest area. The hills were tough for Peter who rides a single-gear Schwinn. He complained about having to go up so much and asked repeatedly when we’d get to the rest area, but persevered and kept on pedaling. Another wrench in the works was that near the halfway point of the ride, we ended up running into a charity 5K run! A person from that other event insisted that we bike down a side street meaning that myself and a number of Golden Sneetches had to navigate a new route on the fly.
At last we made it to the rest area in Brookline and refreshed by orange slices and Gatorade, were able to carry on with the rest of the ride. Not only was it mostly downhill, but Peter began to recognize the streets of Brookline as being close to home. We pedaled past Allandale Farm and the Arboretum and back into central Jamaica Plain to finish the ride. The kids received medals and we ate some lunch and played for a while before heading home for a much-needed. Well, the kids were still full of energy, so they played with Mom while I napped.
A refreshing orange slice.
Peter shows off his medal
Kay loves hula hooping (Thanks to Bikes Not Bombs for taking this photo and posting on Facebook)
This Sunday, June 7, I will be riding with my children, Kay & Peter, in the Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon! Peter will be riding his own bike and Kay will be the co-pilot on my bike. The Bike-A-Thon is always a fun event and it raise money for a terrific cause.
Based in Boston not far from where we live, Bikes Not Bombs serves two great purposes. First they collect and renovate bicycles to ship to developing communities in Central America, the Carribean and Africa. These bicycles help people meet crucial transportation needs with an easily maintained and environmentally friendly vehicle. Secondly, they help youth right here in Boston learn skills such as urban bike riding and bicycle repair that contributes to building their confidence and leadership skills. Please help us in our efforts by making a generous donation!
Donate now at our Bike-A-Thon page.
On Sunday June 26th, my son Peter & I rode in the fundraiser Bike-A-Thon for Bikes Not Bombs. We were able to raise $376 for this worthy cause (feel free to add to our donations). All-together 464 riders raised over $135,000 to support the work of Bikes Not Bombs!
My photos are online and some other great photographs from a professional photographer are also available.
The 15-mile riders prepare to set out.
- There were rides of 65-miles, 25-miles, and 15-miles in length. We rode the shortest of these, the longest I could expect Peter to stay still.
- Riders were sent off with a “trumpet” blast played through a modified set of handlebars.
- The PA system was powered by cyclists spinning on stationary bikes.
- There were an impressive number of children riding on their own bikes on the 15-mile ride.
- Some of the steepest hills were near the start of the ride challenging everyone especially the young children.
- The first place I’d never been before was the Stony Brook Reservation which featured a bike path through the woods that felt miles away from the city.
- The path rather gloriously zipped downhill, but wet pavement and downed leaves forced me to be cautious.
- Near our rest break there were well-uniformed adults playing baseball.
- We returned to urban Boston passing through the rusty but charming Hyde Park area. The neighborhood was very quiet on a Sunday morning.
- When I finally returned to parts of the city I’d been to before on Walk Hill Avenue, I didn’t recognize it at first.
- Another new discovery is a corrections facility right behind Forest Hills Cemetery. I live on the opposite side of the cemetery and never knew it was there.
- In Franklin Park we saw men playing cricket in the field by the zoo. We were not able to find a toilet or port-a-potty that was open (several were chained shut) for when Peter really needed to pee.
- At the finish of the ride we were awarded medals made of old bike parts! Mine was a chainring, Peter’s a brake lever.
- The Green Roots Festival was a great follow-up to the ride (and very JP).
- Free food for the riders, which was delicious – hummus, beans, salad. Yum, yum, yum!
- Musical entertainment include some great drummers. Peter enjoyed that a band of bucket drummers had left their instruments out for children to play with.
- Children of all ages enjoyed zipping down the hillside on potato sacks down a large strip of cardboard. Peter spent most of the afternoon doing this. There were no real rules other than that you had to get off the slide so as not to be in the way of the next slider.
- Other activities we admired but didn’t participate in included yoga, face painting and massages.
Tired but happy we went home to cool off in the wading pool. I had a great time and would love to do this ride again next year. Come join me!