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Outdoor Medical and Fitness

Updated on December 6, 2014

Bike Ride to Providence

On a recent bike trip from Pawtucket, I was interested to try to limit the stress from traffic on a ride into Providence. At one point early on my way into town, I jutted out towards the middle of the roadway - hoping to alert the bus driver that I was on the road with him, and to combat the feeling of being pushed aside every time the bus came close, or needed to drop off passengers. There had to be a way.

Sometimes using the sidewalk is the best bet around this area of the Northeast, although, it takes some cooperation with the bus drivers to let you know when its best to stick to the sidewalks. On this particular trip, I did not come close to hitting any pedestrians, or vehicles, for that matter.

The street beckons, and anyone knows that it can be fun to dodge and weave along the cityscape who has done much riding on a bicycle. Just getting to a bikepath nearby can require a little extra maneuvering than one might prefer. The crisp air in early December was not too cold today, with some sun shining, it brought a comfortable temperature. I wore a thick shirt, windbreaker jacket, and a cap, with a good pair of gloves on this day.

Being attentive to the style of traffic in different spots, and riding mostly on the sidewalks in the less busily trafficked areas by pedestrians, but still busy on the roadway, can provide the safest travel;. My trip was mostly to visit the center of Providence. It is nicely lit at dusk, and this occasion was no different. The Woonasquatucket River hosts nice bridges over it, and so a blend of river, sky and buildings merge, almost too successfully.

There were some large construction blocks on the street in front of some of the shops near the rivers, perhaps diverting traffic for sidewalk repair. With an occasional need to select the sidewalk instead of the roadway inside the major city thoroughfares, riding can require extra caution at certain times.

On certain past occasions, I was not sure if it would be enjoyable, since deciding between a roadway where buses need to drop of passengers by the curb areas can be distracting. Sometimes, the bus lanes are clearly marked; other times, a bike path is indicated. Further research will be required.

My helmet was helpful on as many days as I can keep it, but this day I was only wearing a hat. As I returned from my little tour, I am thankful for having the daylight time left available to stop off and get a cup of coffee at McDonald's. Night riding was not in the cards, yet..

At another point in the ride, a man called out to me from his car: "Could you tell my son that Santa Claus is real?" I looked at his son in the back of the car, paused to think a second about how to answer, and responded: "Santa Claus is definitely real, especially around Christmastime."


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