Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hub On Wheels 2008

I'm going to sleep well tonight. Early this morning, my Biker Gang, the Boston Ramblers joined four thousand other cyclists for this year's Hub On Wheels Ride. It was incredible. Storrow drive and the Riverway were closed off for us, and for once, we bikers ruled the mean streets.

Hub On Wheels benefits Technology Goes Home, which is a great cause, but regardless, the tour of Boston is well worth the modest registration fee. We started out early at City Hall Plaza, our ride starting not long after 8 am. The Ramblers rambled, logging just over 30 miles in a stretched-out 2 1/2 hours.

My big "technological" breakthrough for the ride was my handlebar camera-mount. I'm a little proud of it, even though it launched relatively untested. In 14 hours, I've been stopped, talked about, and questioned about its source. I'll post supporting materials shortly. My favorite incident was today along the Riverway, when a gentleman rolled up next to me and asked, "How are the photos?" I told him pretty good so far, it's a little untested, and this is its big premier. His next question: "Where did you buy it?"

"I built it," I said. He rode on...

Here are some pics from the ride, along with as much narration as I can provide. I'm rather pleased with the camera mount. I own what is not known as the nicest, most expensive, or technologically advanced camera. But it seemed to do a good job holding up through the 30+ miles of H.O.W.

Without further ado:

Not long after the beginning of the ride, about to join Storrow Drive:

Yeah! We own Storrow Drive! Reverse THIS!

We rode out to Cambridge, where the route turned around. The sun was in our eyes, the signs said Cars Only, but no cars were around, so we took some liberties:

We exited at the Fenway,

Made our way onto the Riverway,

I pulled over along the route for a costume change. I handle a ride like a Cher concert: Lots of flash and many, many outfit changes. I'm a showman, what can I say?

Here's a shot of the Ramblers at the first rest area, at the Arnold Arboretum, 14.4 miles in, still fresh-faced and optimistic:

From there we went through the Forest Hills Cemetery (one of my favorite places ever, but especially pleasant to bike through) and through Franklin Park. I had some technical difficulties with the camera system here, so few photos, except this one:

Later, after drifting through parts unknown to me of Roxbury, we ended up along Morrissey Boulevard, along the UMass, the JFK library and the beautiful water. Many of the Ramblers said they were now thinking of attending UMass, simply for the view.

I'm not positive, but I think that's a Mark DiSuervo sculpture to the left:

(*addendum: yes it is.)

Eventually we ended up along the water in downtown Boston, and I was forced to rethink my earlier stance that Boston has some of the most stale, boring architecture around.

Here is Chris, freshly arrived at the finish. Look at that grin! Accomplishment much?

The Ramblers: L-R, Chris, Andrea, Jed, Christine, Nancie, me.

(AKA: Nugget, Crash, La-Z J, Sweet Ass, Pokey, Captain Awesome.)

And, of course, no ride would be complete without a photo taken with Zebra Man:

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