my second venture into boston via bicycle almost didn't happen (my first time was back in november). sharing the road with cars and dodging slippery patches of snow and ice just seemed too dangerous and not worth the hassle. surely a subway ride would be much safer? but i was in the mood for adventure, even if it means leaving me injured on the side of the road. i squirted some fuel into my hand warmer, brought out the bike from the basement, adjusted the front brakes (i noticed they weren't as close to the rim as i'd like) and pumped some more air into the tire.

once i was on the bike i felt fine. maybe all the worrying was just replaced by my total focus on riding: my eyes were darting everywhere, from the road to avoid pot holes and ice, the parked cars to void the sudden door, and behind me to avoid being clipped by passing cars. i went down the beacon street way, a straight shot across the charles river over the longfellow bridge into boston.

first stop was haymarket. there was a crowd of mostly african immigrants at puritan beef. only 3 bags of chopped goat were left; i grabbed 2 ($5/2lbs.bag). what should've been a simple in-and-out took me more than 15 minutes. an asian man holding of bag of goat meat walked out of the store because he couldn't wait anymore. it's just the way they work there, it's very inefficient. first somebody prices the meat, then hands you a bill that you then give to the cashier who takes your money and returns a ticket that you give to the butcher, who then gives you your meat. an old lady with a bad cough tapped me on the shoulder and said, "i just want to let you know that i'm behind you in line." i told her maybe she should wait in line like everyone else because i didn't want to be responsible for saving a spot for her, but she had already walked away. while waiting, i got a chance to admire the collection of foreign bills from other countries taped to the wall: brazil, vietnam, haiti, china, ghana, india, bahrain, nigeria, uganda, dominican republic, honduras, venezuela, and guatemala (there were many more).

afterwards i did some produce browsing. variety is sort of limited during the winter, but i still managed to pick up some garlic, some hot peppers, a box of seedless grapes, and some mangos. i put everything into my large backpack.

from the north end i made my way to chinatown, via congress, devonshire, and otis. i didn't ride in the wrong direction of any open way streets, but i did ignore traffic lights when it suited me, just so i could get a head start before all the cars behind me would eventually pass me again. i parked by the chinatown gate. i went to the c-mart on knapp street to get some mustard greens for my mother and some buddha's hand citron candy. last stop was eldo's cake house to buy some pineapple cakes and mini custard pies for my grand uncle. i made sure the box of pastries stayed flat and secure with some bungee cords.

although going back the way i came would be much shorter, since i wasn't in any hurry i decided to return home via the charles river bike path along storrow drive. from chinatown i made it to the overpass bridge via kneeland, stuart, and charles street. i stopped briefly on beacon street (the boston one, not the somerville one near my hosue) to take a photo of cheers. i've been on a cheers kick lately, even since i discovered i get the hallmark channel and the fact that they rerun old episodes at night when i'm channel surfing from bed.

i made it all the way to my parents' cafe to drop off a few things. i caught my father smoking outside, even though he promised me he'd quit. the pastries were for my grand uncle, but when we opened up the box, it was just a mess due to all the jostling from my ride. the pineapple cakes were in edible shape, but the custards were shredded (only one was okay). i made some progress on the internet webcam front, finally managed to get into the admin page of the camera itself (the trick was to change the username and password so they're both not the same), but still can't get the port to forward. i helped my father install the replacement pedal that arrived for the trash can. i had some noodles for a late lunch before finally riding back home.

in total, i traveled approximately 12 miles today. i rinsed the salt off the bike before putting it away in the basement. the hand warmer stayed warm for about 5 hours.