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Biking the Boston Marathon route at midnight

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by KillRamsey, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    For the past 7 years, a group of cyclists has organized a group of several hundred + who take the train out to near the starting line and begin biking the (now closed off) course at midnight. My wife did it two years ago while I stayed home with the kiddo, but this year we spent the night in the South End with friends who watched her, so 3 of us got to go. My wife and I did it on folding Brompton bikes, and our friend Chris (whose 41st birthday was at midnight!) took his old Raleigh single speed. The full route was about 32 miles, and we did the marathon course in 2:50, so over half an hour SLOWER than the fastest runners. Ponder that.

    Anyway, here's pics. I took only the XT-1 and 35 f1.4 slung across my back, with a spare battery in my pocket. I had the flash on but never used it once. LOVE that lens, dammit.

    Lining up to load our bikes onto the delivery trucks, since you can't bring them all on the train.
    17007860767_d12baec8f5_c. KBRX0351 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    I don't know him, but when I saw his socks, I knew I had to have a picture of him. he was game.
    17027755790_18ca0e03a5_c. The Right Socks by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Group shot via my shiny helmet, on board the train, about 11:30pm
    17214724251_60a76f3f0b_c. KBRX0394 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Fellow bikers going past us as we bought gum / used a bathroom. Turns out the bearded guy is the one who dug that 30-ft long snow tunnel a few months back when they dumped a mountain of it on the bike path.
    17214722671_4845f154e2_c. KBRX0442 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    My buddy putting on the speed downhill, entering Boston, around 2:50am
    16592839974_30e4d267c0_c. KBRX0467 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    Us at the finish line, 3:20am
    16595084013_413e077ee2_c. KBRX0493 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    The birthday boy.
    17029115849_713f715dc3_c. KBRX0501 by gordopuggy, on Flickr

    After that shot, we hopped back on the bikes (gingerly... we were all exhausted and sore), and headed back to his place to quietly have ice cream, brownies, and a very good beer.
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    you're a maniac
     
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  3. Well done :)
     
  4. donlaw

    donlaw SC All-Pro

    Sep 14, 2012
    Texas
    Don
    Super cool idea. Always thought a biking marathon made more sense than running.
    Nice story.
     
  5. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac SC Veteran

    201
    Jan 20, 2014
    Launceston & Sydney
    Nick Clark
    Great shots, and an absolutely killer idea!

    That is just insane.
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Looks like a cool ride Kyle - nice shots too. Love the socks!

    32 miles is beyond my tolerances on a Brompton, so good on you for that too. But you figure world class marathon runners are generally averaging between 12 and 13 mph (I think the world record is about 2 hours, 3 minutes, which is just a hair under 13mph) - that's not a fast bike ride but it's faster than most social rides with varying levels of riders on town bikes and stuff like Bromptons... Particularly in the middle of the night! I can't imagine running that fast though! 13mph is averaging almost a 4.6 minute mile for 26 miles! When I was training for football as a high school kid I never ran faster than a six minute mile. I doubt my fastest 100 yard dash would be 13mph these days. Also consider the best pro cyclist time trials are done at an average of about 33-34 mph - I need a pretty impressive descent to get up to those speeds! World class endurance athletes are not normal human beings!

    My asthma seems to have improved and I've been taking tentative steps to get back on the bike. I rode a new MUT last week that I had a hand in the planning and development of over about 20 year period and it FINALLY opened a few weeks ago. I rode it out and back last week and that was about 30 miles, but dead flat. And I felt good enough when I finished that yesterday I took my road bike out and did about 20-25 on the country roads outside of my town and worked in some hills too, which is inevitable around here. And I felt fine after that ride too - no coughing fits, no feeling of irritation in my lungs, none of the stuff I've been dealing with after ANY kind of strenuous activity for the past couple of year. So I'm psyched to be riding again, tentatively as I'm doing, but I'm optimistic that I'm gonna be able to keep going this season. I haven't done more than about 10 flat miles around town in around 2 1/2 years, so getting back out on a road bike and feeling the miles fly by and working a little bit on some moderate climbs.... Jeez, I sort of feel alive again! I didn't even realize how much I missed it until I got back on the bike... I'm sure I'm going really slow and I'm not looking for anything like past glories - no more century rides for me I don't think... But if I can just get back to being able to ride 25-35 miles in the terrain around where I live 2-3 times a week, I'm gonna be a happy happy guy! I seriously thought those days might be permanently over and even contemplated selling my road bikes a couple of times. I'm soooooo glad I didn't!

    -Ray
     
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  7. john m flores

    john m flores SC All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    Wow. Neat ride! Thanks for sharing!
     
  8. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Excellent news, Ray. There's a reason kids universally love learning to ride a bike... it's like flying close to the ground. As for 30 miles on a Brompton, I paid for it. We have two, and one's got a taller stem + flat bar, whereas the other has a shorter stem and a U-bar. The flat bar bike forces you to lean more forward, and that's the one I rode. As a result, my arms were locked straight the whole time, which killed my triceps and the tendons outside my elbows. And the other thing was craning my neck to see a little bit. Anything x 3 hours = ouch. I was daydreaming about having my regular bike, the heavy-but-comfy steel Trek porteur bike. Sucker is a battle cruiser on straight downhills, just steady as the day is long, and perfect ergos for me.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    It's funny - we talk about how well a camera fits our style of shooting and it's all legit. Hell, I'm as picky as anyone. But there's nothing worse than riding a bike that doesn't fit and nothing better than riding a bike that DOES fit! My road bikes are both built around custom frames that Tom Kellogg (he did all of the old Merlin designs and has his own Spectrum line of customs) designed for me and those things just disappear under me when I ride them.... Even in the lousy shape I'm in now. I'm gonna have to be in better shape to ride the racier of the two, because it's designed around a bit more aggressive position and riding style than I can handle, at least for now. But the other one that I am riding is also sooooo nice - more of a light touring geometry, a bit more forgiving handling, etc.

    -Ray
     
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  10. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Cool ride and pics! Like the F Y socks. :2thumbs:
     
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  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    And here I am so happy to walk? jog?? speed walk?? 4.5 miles and hour after a winter of doing nothing. Still, even that lowers your blood pressure, triglycerides, and has all sorts of other benefits.

    I admire your endurance. I don't feel old at 63, but I'm not up to a 32 miles bike ride -- on any bike! An easy 5 or 6 miles along the bosque is more my speed.

    I shot the beginning of the Marathon in Hopkinton many years ago, with an OM-1 and OM-2 around my neck. At least one of them had the OM Zuiko 75-150 f4 on it. A lens, despite the lack of respect it gets, that I still like. There's a reason beyond the price that it was one of Olympus' best sellers back in the day.
     
  12. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. SC All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    Congratulations on the easing of the asthma symptoms. I've got a very small amount of obstructive lung that really only bothers me when allergies kick in. But when that happens I'm glad I have the inhaler. Still, the days back in Boston when I was doing 5 miles in 35 or so minutes are long behind me. Even if my lungs would let me do it, my joints wouldn't!
     
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  13. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    IMHO, running is for when people are after you; biking is for fun. Just saying . . .

    Cheers, Jock
     
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  14. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Setting aside the composition and content of the images (which I like), they have a certain quality of color and crispness that I can't define but quite like.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  15. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Thanks Jock. I did some tweaking, but from what I recall it was Astia out of the camera, and then I brought up the colors I wanted to in post. I find that route easier than over-saturation SOOC and bringing it down.
     
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  16. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Oh, and that finish line shot of the three of us was white balanced WAY wrong SOOC. I forget but I think it was incredibly green. The lights fooled the XT1. So I had to selectively neuter that color channel to get it back into the realm of believability.