When I first arrived in Boston, with no friends or knowledge of the city, my best friend directed me to Newbury Street. It's no New York, she cautioned, but it would at least be something to do/see.
She was right. On both points. The long stretch of Newbury Street made for good people watching and a lazy afternoon spent outside. It was distracting enough, but given the long stretch of storefronts, there wasn't much to discover. Side streets didn't lead to the kind of stores you only tell your closest girl friends about. They mostly just led to shittier streets.
It wasn't until I got on a bike and rode down Newbury for the first time that I realized exactly how distracting it is. Because when you're searching for a store [on the lower level of a building, nonetheless], it makes it that much difficult to dodge doors, avoid pedestrians, and impatient wealthy people who would rather run you over and settle the subsequent wrongful death suit than actually slow down. Given that other than strolls around the Public Garden or the Boston Common, I don't find hanging out or cycling in the city very exciting or entertaining, I actually try to avoid the city. Besides, it's flat. Just thinking about it makes me yawn.
But lest readers think that all I do is push the pedals indoors, I ventured outside yesterday. And taking the familiar yet still foreign path downtown and onto Newbury Street, I was slightly optimistic. Cities are supposed to be fun! Shopping is fun [even if it doesn't involve bicycles]! Boston can be fun!
I kept chanting that to myself as I passed unremarkable scenery, boring buildings, and didn't even get to experience the excitement of trying not to get run over. If it wasn't for the wind, it almost felt like my morning roller session where my legs are on autopilot after 15minutes and my mind is off in other universe.
Newbury delivered, however, in the form of double-parked cars, unpredictable drivers, and doors popping open left and right. But too used to the usual suspects, it still wasn't very exciting. Nearly asleep at the handlebars, I suppressed a yawn as I pedaled away from the city towards a place that, while more familiar than downtown Boston, was guaranteed to be a lot more interesting.
It involves bicycles, but you knew that already. But Superb is worth ogling at every opportunity; especially when they're carrying some delicious-looking Igleheart track frames. Emblazoned with both the Igleheart logo on the fork and the Superb logo on the frame, it's a good thing that the smallest size available - which comes in a beautiful purple that I'm pretty sure will complement my existing stable of single-speed ponies - is a 48 [and therefore too big for Asian Short Legs over here].
But it's not just the bicycles. Catching up with Wei Wei is always entertaining to say the least, and I even got to see the new shop clock, made by Tom himself [yes, that is a Campy chainring]. Apparently he plans to make another one to hang from his neck. I think that's a brilliant idea.
Boston can be boring and predictable. But it's the things like Superb that make me glad I started cycling in this city.
[Special edition Rapha Scarf Friday with the man who started it himself!]