You know I’m desperate for digicam-appropriate weather when I resort to posting dreary snapshots taken through rain-soaked car windows. If you’re familiar with either town, you know I didn’t take this photo in Keene but in Boston. This is a snapped-in-traffic shot of an MBTA B-line trolley car headed toward my Alma Mater (well, one of them). In a previous life, I spent countless hours either reading or staring out the window from one of these trolley cars. So yesterday as I sat in a car on Comm Ave waiting for a light to change, it felt strangely ironic to be on the outside of a trolley car looking in. From the years I lived in the greater Boston area, I know its streets as a pedestrian/cyclist, not a gas guzzling motorist. When I lived in and around Boston, I took it as a point of pride that I didn’t drive, so yesterday it felt odd to be cocooned against the elements in my own vehicular pod.

What in the heck was I doing driving under the watchful “eye” of the famed Citgo sign in Boston’s Kenmore Square yesterday? I was on my way to meet Adrienne (aka Theology Girl), who has been diligently scavenging piles of usable stuff left behind by college students when they moved out of their residence hall. When Adrienne issued a cattle call to Anyone and Everyone interested in salvaging stuff, I’d mentioned that I’d love to adopt an abandoned bike if she found one. And as any student of theology surely knows, the Universe follows the policy of Ask and Ye Shall Receive. So when Adrienne let me know that, yes, they’d found a slightly beat-up bike in the post-move wreckage, I made arrangements to meet Adrienne, another “virtual stranger,” at her apartment (how trusting is she?) to pickup said bicycle. Adrienne, it turns out, is entirely charming and generous even though she looks a bit intimidating wielding a battle axe. (Yes, the axe is among the booty Adrienne has scavenged…and yes, she’s the first Non-Axe-Murdering Blogger I’ve met who has had the weapon in question on her person at our meet-up.)

After not owning a bike in years, I thought it was high time I returned to the cycling masses since Keene is the most bike-friendly place I’ve ever lived. Last Friday, the sun shone on Keene’s downtown celebration of Bike and Walk to Work Day, where non-driving commuters were treated to breakfast alfresco, free T-shirts and bumper stickers, and informative literature from government and nonprofit cycling organizations. Here in Keene, bikepaths crisscross town as well as the surrounding area. Thanks to now-defunct railroad that once ran through town, Keene has level bikepaths and an active network of cyclists who use them.

I walked to last week’s Walk and Bike to Work festivities. Although I didn’t until yesterday own a bike, I regularly walk to and from work, so I’ve earned my “One Less Car” T-shirt and “Share the Road” bumper sticker. Although I’m not yet joining the ranks of recumbent cyclists, three of whom oohed and ahhed over one another’s rigs last Friday before posing for a triumphant picture, I’m itching to pump my tires and try out my new-to-me wheels…when and if the rain stops. In the meantime, my car, bike, dog, and I are all staying home.

    Thanks again to Adrienne for hooking me up with the ultimate in Earthy-Crunchy transportation, a RECYCLED bike. Somehow, saving a previously-owned, slightly rusty set of wheels from the dumpster seems Just My Speed.