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Four days, three bike rides

You may have noticed me trucking around Lowell with two bikes strapped to the back of my car, parallel parking downtown, getting gas etc. (Yes, I am that nutcase.) Those bikes have travelled with me for days: to the grocery store, to the Y, and on various errands and family gatherings, including a trip to Haverhill Saturday night to see the fireworks. In the span of a very hot, four-day weekend, we managed to ride the Freeman Bike Trail on three separate occasions. I completely understand how Lt. Governor Murray ended up with heat exhaustion as we paused to watch Chelmsford’s parade Monday morning (Murray was there) before quickly walking our bikes across the street to continue on the trail. Those few minutes of watching the parade as they announced the dignitaries nearly did me in; the sun was so hot on Main Street. But the trail was cool and shaded with trees, and the breeze from biking made the path surprisingly enjoyable despite the steamy weather. As we headed back across Chelmsford Center at noon, two hours later, the parade was still going on and I noted an outdoor thermostat registered the temperature at 96 degrees! It certainly didn’t feel that hot on the path. As a lifelong biker who is afraid of cars, I am thrilled with plans to extend the Freeman Trail all the way to Framingham. In fact, I’d like to see it extend further into downtown Lowell and connect with paths along the river, so that urban biking gets a lift. An article in Today’s Globe notes that Boston will get $3 million in federal funds to expand its bike paths and create a bike-sharing program. (Wouldn’t that be great for Lowell too?) It’s been days since my last ride and even with the threat of rain, I’m loathe to take the bikes off my car in case we get another chance to go out on the trail…

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