Sunday was an all night bike ride after you add travel and waiting into the mix. 3200 people joined into this unorganized ride which four years ago boasted having 500 riders. We got to ride through the starting area in Hopkinton but the police had cordoned off the finish at 1:30 because Mark Walburg was filming a movie about the bombing four years ago.
I finished the ride before 3 AM but it was close to 4 AM when I finally found my car. I normally had a good sense of direction but was so narcoleptic, I ended up on Washington St. at Downtown Crossing three times. I was chasing riders who I though were going back to the area where we loaded our bikes on trucks only to realize they were riding to their homes. Finally I came across two guys riding and asked if they were going to South Station. “No, that’s the other direction” one said. “Turn around, take a left on Washington and you will see signs direction bikers to the station.” I had passed that sign twice and never looked up to read it.
I was a zombie all day Monday and just kind of hung around the house so physically tired that my whole body was sore. I did get out to do a short ride to fulfill my 30 days of biking and was in bed by nine. Tuesday morning I was still feeling droopy until I forced myself into a walk with the dogs. That did the trick and the effects of the Midnight Marathon Ride had passed. I got in a few good miles doing errands and ended the day with a bike ride to Tuesday night yoga. I struggled at yoga because I hadn’t been to a class in two weeks and had done a lot of biking during that stretch while in Austin. I am looking forward to doing it all again next year.
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.
Today is opening day for rail trails, sponsored by the national group railstotrails.org. It was a cold, windy blustery day that hampered all but the hardiest of bike riders. I came across a family and a father/son duo who stopped to chat a bit and allowed me to use their images on the rails to trails page., where there is still time to pledge to ride and be entered to win a new bike.
My ride was a 12 mile slog through the windy coastal towns of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett MA. After spending a week in Austin, TX the change in the weather here was akin to a cold shower. Today was also day 16 of 30 days of biking.
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Around the block works, 100 miles does, too. The distance, destination and donut selections are up to you. Thank you for joining us!
Today is the last day in Austin and I will do my Day 15 of 30 days of riding. with a short ride to Mellow Johnny’s bike shop, to return the rental.
Last night was supposed to be a seven mile ride to the race venue. I go lost. Who would ever thing that could happen? I stumbled upon Jack who was also riding to the venue and as we rode we chatted about all the people in Austin who get hit by cars. I always thought this was a very bike friendly city but like any big city, drivers get stressed and are often in a hurry. Those two things can be dangerous when driving.
There was a beer tent on the grounds, I ordered a beer and asked how much. “Five dollars” and she stamped my hand. The five dollars was a single charge with unlimited refills. I got a ride home.
Brandon’s CAT 3 racing team had a breakaway going for a while but maintaining a an average speed of 28 MPH for 35 minutes kinde of limits how long a rider can stay in front. They ended up in the in the middle of the pack but the beer tent served up plenty of condolences and made them feel better. Made me feel good too.
Thirteen mile ride around Austin’s Harbor Walk.
It’s day 14 of my 30 days of biking commitment and it’s the first day the sun has shone. I put on some SPF 50 lotion before my 13 mile ride around the Austin Lake. The ride began at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop and concluded at the Food Truck Park. This is a sweet ride not only around the lake but it also takes the rider through a couple of eclectic neighborhoods. In the business district a came across a guy watching turtles sunning on rocks. Figuring he needed a little excitement in his day, I struck up a conversation. He is from Manchester, NH, fifty miles north of Boston. I told him that I lived fifty miles south of Boston. Back home we may as well live on another planet because of the distance from each other. In Austin, we considered ourselves neighbors. He works for Southwest air and was on a layover. Naturally the talk turned to air disasters and unruly passengers. Bike riding made it’s way into our conversation naturally.
Brandon won’t be able to ride his bike for quite a while but otherwise he can get around. I took a second ride today, a 13 mile loop around Town Lake. It’s a very groovy ride and naturally I got lost at the far end. Fortunately I happened across good Samaritans who got me back on track. I started riding after “playtime began”. (Playtime for working people is 5-10 PM), so there were lots of people on the trail.
Part of the trail is built on the water with flagstone surface that is easy riding. Most of the trail is packed something or other and the heavy rains last night made sections of it very slow going. It was a really fun ride and I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking because I’m being hounded to go out do dinner. On the cheap. Olive Garden.
We met a Cape Cod friend for lunch in Downtown Austin. Dan was going to rent a bike and ride with me but the severe thunder storm squashed that. Brandon and I went to retrieve his bike from the police evidence warehouse and there was no damage. He has no idea what happened but the general feeling is that he got bumped from the side and not really hit.
By 5 PM, the weather had cleared enough for me to get a ride in and fulfill my 30 days of biking commitment. Lady Bird Johnson lake has a dog park with a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan. The lake was alive with rowing tryouts and I hear that if you don’t make the team it’s called a “crew cut.” I kind of just road around aimlessly. Soccer games, runners, dog walkers and a huge animal rescue no kill shelter were my companions on this ride.
It was bike rush hour on my return ride back to Brandon’s place and I decided to follow the commuters who looked like they were taking an alternate, less busy route that looked like the right direction. It’s wasn’t but it also wasn’t that far off. I happened to come upon a great little food truck lot and naturally stopped for dinner. I intended to eat only half of my huge falafel wrap and bring the rest to Brandon, but it’s doesn’t take a genius to figure out how much of it I saved. If per chance you are not a genius the answer is none. Anyhow, it ended up being a pretty good day of riding a bike.
My 30 days of biking commitment is continuing in Austin TX. Austin is a very bike friendly city in spite of what happened to Brandon. His hit and run incident was close to midnight. He is recuperating nicely but still has his attitude.
We have been doing lots of shopping for food and cleaning supplies. Yesterday was spent mostly cleaning the kitchen and living room. We had to borrow a vacuum from his neighbor and I spent a lot of time cleaning the brushes of a quarter inch of hair wrapped around the spindle. Today was a deep cleaning of the bathroom. Brandon told me that he hasn’t been cleaning because he is moving out in six weeks. Really?
Today was a 15 mile spin around Austin city streets. I rode to the University of Texas and the LBJ library. Tomorrow I’ll be riding to the Austin City Limits venue and the Botanical Gardens. Because of the incident. Brandon tires easily and I take off around noon time while he relaxes. In the past we would do these rides together and that’s what we both miss doing this time around.