536 miles since Memorial Day

A bicycle ride happens every weekday at 8:30 am. It isn’t always fun doing this – creaky knees and unslept calves stoke the devil in your mind: “Don’t bike today”. You find it within yourself to persevere. At first, out of shame; the ride is less than 4 miles each way (come on!). Then, to avoid going to the gym. Then, to feel the wind on your face. To relive a rustic weekend ride out of town. To escape the loneliness of living far from a loved one. To be on a bicycle again. Just to be.

——- 0 miles: June 30, 2010 ——-

400 miles: September 19, Waltham (Walden Pond Ride)

500 miles: October 15, Cambridge

600 miles: November 16, Cambridge

700 miles: February 18, Cambridge

800 miles: March 15, Cambridge (Paper Source)

900 miles: April 2, Cambridge (the day India won the Cup!)

—– 1000 miles: April 27, 2011, Cambridge —–

1500 miles: September 28, Cambridge

1700 miles: January 29, Boston (Emerald Necklace Ride)

1800 miles: February 26, Cambridge

—– 2000 miles: April 15, 2012 Cambridge —–

2800 miles: December 12, Somerville

—– 3000 miles: February 4, 2013, Cambridge —–

6 thoughts on “536 miles since Memorial Day”

  1. I started a bit later than you, after having given it a try a year or two ago, which attempt ended with my bike being stolen but only after the federal building next to my employer’s scanned the bike for explosives. It was clean, alas; no retributive strike upon the thief.

    That’s a nice Jamis. I’m using a beater from Craigslist, which is serviceable but maybe not quite a joy to ride. Also, if this picture is remotely indicative of your commute, I’m a little bit envious.

    Do you bother keeping track of the data? I use iMapMyRide on my iPhone and like it, though I admit I haven’t really done much with it except review each ride immediately after its completion. There’s a website, too, and you can track speed and elevation. A nice job for a free, ad-funded app. They purport to have social elements to the service, but I haven’t really used them.


  2. Stefanie, yes, indeed. The tiredness persists only for the first half mile or so, and once the body is warmed up, it is a breeze. One surprising thing about biking is how little changes in seat height and position translate to a big improvement in the comfort enjoyment one derives from riding. I’ve had this bike for more than two years, but the last year has been significantly more enjoyable.

    Daniel, it sucks to have a bike stolen. Some people I know purposely deface their gorgeous bikes so that they become unattractive to thieves! A beater is still great as long as it is sized well, especially older steel-framed bikes keep giving excellent service for decades. Mine is a low-end Jamis (Coda 2008 model), but my research showed that they do pack a lot of bike for the money – compared to the more popular companies like Trek and Specialized.

    Alas, that isn’t my daily commute. I crossed the Orchard House on my way to Walden Pond one weekend. Daily commute is much more mundane, stopping at traffic lights, weaving through Cambridge’s carefree pedestrians and trying to avoid been doored by cars parked on the right of the bike lane ;-).

    iMapMyRide is nice. I use the web version (MapMyRide.com) to look for longish weekend bike routes, but haven’t marked my own. I found out about the elevation maps the hard way (by neglecting them, and huffing and puffing my way up a really steep incline in Belmont). I’m really grateful to people who take the trouble to mark out their routes and provide comments, and I would like to return the favor.

    Happy riding to both of you!

  3. You gonna keep riding in the winter? Rode last Wednesday in just-above-freezing temps, wind, and driving rain, and spent the next few days with a sore throat. I haven’t invested in the expensive all-weather riding gear, built to keep cold and wet out but let wicked moisture escape, but I may need to.

    Of course, a Cincinnati winter is not a New England winter.

  4. Sorry to read about the sore throat, Daniel. Hope it went away without incapacitating you for too long. I’ve found that three or four layers from my old clothes are sufficient on most days in Cambridge. If you haven’t seen http://www.rivbike.com (Rivendell Bikes), I recommend it for the articles about biking clothes and gear. Grant Peterson is something of a maverick in the biking world, but his tips are practical and make a lot of sense to me. Their bikes and gear are expensive, though high quality, but I’ve mostly been visiting the site for the articles.

    I want to ride through the winter, but realistically, I might have one week left until it warms up again. I return from travels in mid-December and if the pattern of the last 3 years holds, we will get a whopper of a snowstorm sometime between Dec 10 and 20. That will force me to stop biking until the snow clears.

    I’ve had this thumb rule. If the min/max temperatures are 30/40 then I ride. If they are 20/30 then I check out the windchill before deciding. If they are 10/20 or if there is snow on the road, then I meekly take the subway 🙂 .

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