Instagramapalooza/Boston Solo Omloop


So, this past Thursday's ride was one I've been thinking about doing for some time. Nearly all of the rides I've done have involved heading west and south of here or driving somewhere else altogether to ride. And I've never taken my bike into Boston.

A good deal of the people I follow on Twitter live in Boston, Somerville, Cambridge, etc. and I get to read about their adventures, exploits, near-misses and derring-do on a daily basis. Add to that reading about Geoff's long solo ride from Providence to Boston in January plus my frustration at multitudes of missed photo ops because I was in my car rushing through Boston from one place to another.

All that was swirling around in my head along with my desire to do a long ride that was more about enjoyment than fitness/training.

I made a few attempts to get a course into my Garmin, but neither MapMyRide nor BikeRouteToaster were up to the task. MMR gave me a decent plot but the exported gpx was refused by Garmin Training Center. BRT would not let me choose "bike" as the travel method and so would not plot any of the route on to the paths along the Charles River.

After the fourth failed attempt to export a route, I felt like I knew it pretty well anyways. The only doubtful part was getting across from Charlestown to Boston, but if I had to go back out via the Gilmore Bridge, that would be ok. The only other requirement I had for the route was to hit a few of the big climbs that I was aware of inside of Rte. 128: Park Ave. in Arlington, Summit in Brookline and Prospect Park in Waltham. Blue Hills would have to wait for another time.

Is it good? Darn tootin'!


Hill Repeats With John

Up and down some hills with John R yesterday. He was crushing them. They were crushing me. A few photos to follow...


Work for the "Funemployed"

Today was one of those days to really appreciate the free-lance life: weather predicted to be outstanding plus no pressing deadlines meant that I could accept an invitation for some late-morning MTB action and forget life's troubles for a while.

10:30 a.m. and the boys from Boston come rolling up to the parking lot at Russell Mill Town Forest in Chelmsford. NEMBA has been working with the Town of Chelmsford to improve the trails for mountain biking. This would be the first NEMBA maintained trail set that I've ever ridden.

Damn, that thing is CLEAN!
Dave, Joel (both Minuteman Road Club) and Abel (Hup) pile out of Dave's car and start gearing up for the ride. It was already at least 70ºF out, no wind and just a couple of clouds in the sky. Perfect for playing hookie...


Too Long, Too Hard, Too Soon

Yeah, it says "There are no achievements on this ride." but that doesn't include two: I put in 60 miles and made it home under my own power (barely). But I definitely bit off more than I could chew.

This was a two-part ride.

Part 1 - Rode out from home to the Atkinson Pool in Sudbury, thinking that I'd merely be riding through after the folks that were going to meet me there decided on a later start. Turns out, there WAS someone there waiting to ride.

Enter young Ace (his real name!) and his dad. Ace, all of 15 years old, introduced himself as a budding racer/triathlete and had been lurking the MRC boards for a year or so. He was on his dad's Marinoni (vintage mid '80's?). Seemed like the only modern amenities were the Speedplay pedals.

After introductions and enough conversation with me that his dad was assured I was not an axe murderer (or worse), we set out.


Punishment and Mercy

 Look at me, two rides in one week. I'm on a real tear now!

Song stuck in head: Ma & Pa, Fishbone

Chris P posted up about doing the traditional Minuteman Road Club Wednesday night ride. This ride usually starts at around 5:30 during the height of the season and runs from Stow into Action, Littleton, Harvard, Bolton and back into Stow. About 30 miles (plus getting to the ride start from home and back).

Even though Monday's ride proved to me that I had a long, long way to go just to be able to cling to the wheel of someone like Chris, I offered to lead a "B" group if anyone wanted to take an easier pace. Otherwise, I assumed if the usual crew showed up, I'd get smoked early on and just pedal the route on my own.

Chris pegged a 5pm start to account for the still-early sunset time. As usual, I was rushing around the house, filling water bottles, trying to swap at least one of the 3 left-hand gloves I could find for one righty, etc. Felt like I was going to be late.

Then I stepped outside. 


I'm Not Dead Yet!

But you'd never know it from the stats from my first ride in nearly 3 weeks. On as flat a route as you can get in Massachusets.

Now, I'll admit, I rode the first 30 minutes with a man who I'd put at about 70 years old. I bumped into  him in the parking lot where I start many of my rides.

Steve rode a 1973 Bridgestone 400. I wish I got a pic of that bike. He stayed in the small chainring and had what looked like a 30 tooth cog in the back which he never shifted from. This produced a top speed of about 10mph.

Steve, looking sharp in that striped wool jersey.

I think we'd gone about 2 miles when he stopped and started talking about going back. My intention was to put in 2, maybe 3 hours of riding so this was not an option for me.

As we exchanged pleasantries, a guy Minuteman Road club kit goes speeding by. Instinctively, I shout, "Go MRC!" and he gave a quick wave as he crossed the intersection.

Suddenly, I thought: hey, I KNOW that guy!