Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Commute

We moved, or are in the process of moving. I'm very pleased with my new commute. The distance is about the same, but the routes are much more interesting. There is a network of trails and walking paths in town that will make of the bulk of my ride. I haven't quite figured out what's what yet, but discovering is half the fun.

Also, I did the D2R2 on Saturday. Tons of fun, really hard. I'll post some pictures and things in a bit.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


A detour is sometimes a good thing. Sunday I set out on a familiar route to Concord. As luck would have it, there is still a detour at the bridge on Monument Street, so I cut through the park at the Old North Bridge to get back on track. This was a really fortunate turn of events, because riding on the little spot of dirt trail was fun and inspired me to continue on to the Battle Road trail farther down the road.

The Battle Road is a gentle six miles of dirt trail between Concord and Lexington, but it was pretty spectacular to have it to myself early in the morning. There are few informational posting near historic landmarks. Though the better part of it is the scenery it offers through shady wooded parts lined with stone walls, a few brief boardwalk bridges over marshy spots and some short twisty stretches.

Riding on some dirt trail for the first time in a long while also allowed me to see how the bike handles the terrain that I'll be riding this weekend in the D2R2 . Sure, the D2R2 is about 20 times as long with lots of hills, but this little opener gets me excited for the main event.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Old Friends

I almost forgot that I lost these. I was looking for an empty locker in the office warehouse today, a place to store more junk. My old Asics were waiting patiently for me in the bottom of a locker, presumable since late 2005. I trained for my first and only marathon in these. I bought a pair of Mizuno's right before the race and immediately lost track of these. They fit just like before, perfectly. The soles are completely dead, but they are formed to my feet from an uncountable number of miles. Reunited at last.

Enough already

Misty mornings and rainy evenings are fine for riding, but only to a point. I wouldn't even mind if we alternated rainy and sunny days. This recent spell of isolated thundershowers all day every day is just the pits.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bike on a wall

A favorite local pub keeps this shadowy old bike on the wall. It probably doesn't roll well anymore, but it's good background for eating.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pan Mass Challenge

Yesterday, we took part in the Pan Mass Challenge. For those who have been living under a rock or aren't from around here, the PMC an enormous bikathon to benefit cancer research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. It's a good event for a good cause. We were first timers and didn't entirely know what to expect, but it turned out to be a great day.

We chose to ride the one day route from Wellesley to Bourne. From the get-go, we met up with a few of Mrs. Wheelie's coworkers. I always enjoy riding with new people. We planned to stick together and move at a moderate pace to avoid the Lawrence Orbach's of the world and also avoid the slower tail-end of the crowd. This turned out to be a good choice for the event, but we did split up some. True to it's description, the route is a pleasant 84 miles that is basically flat. While one could speed right through it, the mood is festive and merits stopping to enjoy the scene at each rest area. Still I felt almost bad stopping every 15 or 20 miles, though it was really nice to have volunteers waiting to feed me and fill my water bottle with ice-cold Gatorade. To be honest, the riders have the easy part, the support volunteers do all of the work. Really. They serve great food, collect your bike at the end and ship it home, etc. Every time a tire flattens on the road, there is a van that rolls up and magic elves pop out and swarm the distressed bike, they instantly make it new again. If it weren't weird for the volunteers to turn the pedals too, I'm sure they would have. It makes for a pleasant day.

The PMC draws a big crowd, so it's interesting to see the different nations of the cycling world. Lot's of pro-looking roadies, bunches of garden-variety riders, and several of tandems! It appears that custom fabricator Seven is doing a good business, as is The Great Trek Bicycle-Making Company!!! What else could you expect. The fixed-gear crowd sent a delegation of one, yours truly. I was a little concerned about not meshing with the stop and start rhythm of freewheel bikes, but it wasn't an issue once the initial crowd spread out. Riding my usual 46x17 was great for a long mellow day in the saddle. If we participate next year, and there's a good chance we will, I think we'll add some helmet-top ornaments. Team Kermit zipped by a few times with green Kermit the frog totems. Several were bent in superman position - mine would have been swimming the backstroke. Entertaining and practical, especially when everyone is where the same crazy bike shirt.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ducking Geese

A bunch of geese waddling and ducking in the tall grass along the road. Looked like fun.