Before the runners, come the bikers.
In the dead of night, hours before the Boston Marathon road race started, a group of locals experienced the historic route differently — via bicycle.
The ride has become a tradition since Boston University student Greg Hum launched it in 2009. It starts in Southborough and follows the Boston Marathon route from the western suburbs into the city hours before thousands line up to run the race, and offers cyclists two options of route length.
“The streets are quiet, and riding bikes at night is quite magical,’’ Hum said. ”It’s also an awesome experience if you’re riding your bike down the course. You get to use your imagination, like the audience and being in the marathon.’’
He previously described the ride, which takes two to three hours for most bikers to complete, as tranquil, yet invigorating. “In the city, there’s heavy traffic all the time, and you’re always navigating your way around cars,’’ Hum said. “But once you get to the suburbs, especially at night, there’s very little traffic. It’s very quiet and peaceful for most of the ride.
I got a really late start and five miles from home I realized that I didn’t bring any bike lights. I was tempted to just say eff it and go home. I did yell the F bomb a lot as I raced home, packed the lights and beat feet it to Boston. I had a 50 mile drive and it was 8:11. Packing our bikes on the truck took place from 8:30 to 9:30. I made it with a few minutes to spare. Every year I get stressed out about riding at midnight. No rhyme or reason to it. It just happens. Every year once I’m in Boston, I’m really glad I came.