First Century AD
Lotta news in the cycling world.
First, it’s Boston’s Bike Week, which meant a brief ride from city hall to a press conference somewhere where the mayor gave a speech. This year, the ride ended on the Commonwealth Avenue mall, two blocks from my house, so that mayor Menino could unveil the new bike lanes on Comm Ave (more on those later). In addition to enduring the obligatory advertising and self-congratulations, I obtained a cowbell that I might use on the PMC, and the email address of a guy at Bikes Belong who might be able to get me their team kit, which I find quite attractive.
Those new bike lanes on Comm Ave showed up a few days ago, and I haven’t made up my mind whether I like them or not. Rather than being at the right of the roadway, where people have always traditionally biked, they are at the extreme left. For me, that’s a very uncomfortable place to be, and it presents traffic flow problems both when I turn from Mass Ave onto Comm, and where I turn right to leave Comm by my house. The biggest benefit of the lanes is that they give cyclists a dedicated lane in the underpass going beneath Mass Ave. I’ll be interested to see if the general public adopts these unexpected left-hand lanes or not.
But the biggest news for me is last Sunday’s CRW Spring Century ride. In addition to being my first 100-mile ride of the year, it was the first time I’d done this particular ride, which runs around northeastern Mass and southeastern New Hampshire. The weather was fabulous, and the route, which goes through Harold Parker State Forest and along and over the Merrimack River, was surprisingly very scenic.
Not that there weren’t any glitches. The route directed us with typical “CRW precision” over a three-mile stretch of stripped road. This was followed by a mile of closed road along the Merrimack that was partially washed out. And none of the rest stops had any bananas, which are a staple of endurance athletes.
I also used the opportunity to practice collecting and assembling video footage, which will come in handy for other major rides this season. Here’s my first attempt at a video ride report: (click through if the player reports an error)