Last Friday was absolutely gorgeous, and I had the day off and tentative plans to ride the Minuteman Bikeway out to Lexington. I’ve taken my bike out to Bedford or Lexington a few times already this summer, and it’s a perfectly delightful, bucolic, peaceful ride. But this particular morning, I wasn’t jazzed. I couldn’t get myself motivated for it.
Thinking with my stomach (as I am wont to do), I idly consulted my list of “restaurants to try someday” to see where I might grab dinner that evening. There, I saw it: Belle Isle Seafood, in East Boston. They’ve received amazing reviews, and they have a crab roll on their menu.
Just like that, the plan began to take shape in my mind: I could ride my bike from Somerville to East Boston and get lunch at Belle Isle! Then maybe head up to Revere Beach afterward!
Sure, why not?
I had seeds of inspiration planted in me by the Wicked Local Bike Blog and my friend Seanna, who can bike to the beach from her house in Quincy. When I Google mapped it and saw it was less than 10 miles to both Belle isle AND Revere Beach, I practically flew out of the house without further consideration. “An adventure!” I called out as I ran around grabbing my things.
So, how did this spontaneous adventure turn out?
- I learned that riding my bike down Route 16 is perhaps the worst thing in the world to try to do. It is a mistake I will not soon repeat.
- I got to see a lot of the industrial underbelly of Everett, Chelsea and Boston. It sure as hell ain’t no Lexington, and it’s not the best for biking, but it’s good every once in a while to challenge yourself and see new things.
- In Chelsea, I accidentally stumbled across a stunning view of the Boston skyline and the Tobin Bridge.
- I also accidentally stumbled across the Condor Street Urban Wild in East Boston. It’s tiny, but significant; it’s a reclaimed brownfield along the Chelsea River.
- I ate a delicious crab roll at Belle Isle Seafood, but was disappointed to learn that my belief that there was an outdoor patio where I could relax, eat and watch the planes take off was mistaken. I did, however, get rattled by a jet flying about five feet over the restaurant. Pretty awesome.
- I rode my bike around part of the Belle Isle Reservation, Boston’s last remaining salt marsh.
- I discovered the Beachmont VFW in Revere, which has karaoke on Sunday nights!
- I made it to Revere Beach, and some sand sculptures were still on display from the festival a couple weeks ago.
- I consumed delicious chocolate soft serve at the Twist and Shake.
- I took my bike on the T for the first time ever, shockingly.
For a potentially foolhardy expedition, I think it turned out pretty well. Screw you, Lexington!