Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Dover and Back

To Dover and Back via Sherborn

Today I rode north-northeast towards Dover via Millis and Sherborn. A lot of nice , quiet, shady roads. It was a really nice day for a ride and I saw a number of other riders out there of all sorts.

What are the odds?

What are the odds of coming up on another rider when out for a ride. Pretty slim since things have to work out just right at given speeds, timing, and general direction. Add to that, that when you do come up on another rider, that you actually know them. Add to that, they are a neighbor that lives only a few doors down the road. That is how I ran into Paul on West Street in Medfield. We chatted and I rode with him all the way home along the route he was doing. That is my my route map looks kind of meandering.

This is my neighbor, Paul, who lives just up the street.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Perfect Day for Commuting by Bike

The Ride Home

The ride home from work could not have had more perfect weather. Sunny, a bit breezy, the occasional cloud, and temperatures hovering right around 70°.

Bike Commuters

I saw a few bikers in the morning ride. I think I even saw one of then on their return trip in the evening. Maybe next time I'll try and get a picture.


This time, going throught Holliston, I altered my Monster-to-Home route so as to avoid riding on Rt 16. So instead of having to make a left at a totally insane intersection downtown, I crossed 16 further north. It still wasn't ideal, but it sucked much less.

Home to Monster

There and Back Today...

Yesterday I decided I would bike to work today. The only thing is, I decided this when I was already at work. So no clever pre-positioning of an extra set of work clothes (or vehicle). So I had to backpack my clothes in. I normally don't like to wear anything on my back when I bike as it prevents breath-ability. o last night I emptied my backpack and repacked it with clothes and absolute essentials. I also kept an eye on the forecasts for both the ride in and the ride back. This morning the forecast called for showers this afternoon. I don't believe them. Even if it does rain, at least I have the right clothing with me.

Headed out.

It was a nice ride in this morning with surprisingly very little traffic. I think I planned this route out pretty well as I did not come across any intersections this morning where I though my life was in jeopardy. It was actually very relaxing riding along averaging 15 mph and taking in the sights and smells of an early spring morning on the the way to work. You don't get that experience in a car on Route 495.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kids PMC Ride: Franklin, MA

Kids PMC Ride

This year I was on the fence about doing the PMC myself. It was a big commitment that I didn't think I was ready to take on this year. However, this will be the second year that my daughter, Catherine, will be doing the Kids PMC Ride here in Franklin, MA on June 1st.

Catherine @ Last Years Ride

It's a little short ride for children to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. Catherine is very excited about it. She feels like a "big kid" because last year she did the short little obstacle course which is now for "babies" in her almost first grade eyes. :-)

The money goes to fund children's cancer research. If you'd like to learn more check out the link:

If you would like to sponsor Catherine you can click on this link:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Milford Bike Path

Biking with Catherine

Catherine and our bikes.

After I had my ride I packed up the van and took the family to the Milford portion of the proposed Upper Charles River Trail. Catherine cranked along on her bike while I followed on my ancient 1990 Rockhopper. I packed a socket wrench in my bag in case she wanted to take off the training wheels. She was doing very well. We rode all the way out to 495. There I took the wrench and raised her training wheels.

If it's nice tomorrow, we may head somewhere and take off the training wheels altogether. I think she is ready :-)

Tower Hill Road Loop

Tower Hill

A window presented itself for a 2 hour ride today. I haven't hit Tower Hill Road yet this year and there was no sense it putting it off any longer. Tower Hill Road is a 300 foot climb over just under 2 miles. Once you get past the first 100" of evlevation change (in just under 1/3 of a mile) the climb isn't so bad.

West Wrentham Road

The reward for climbing up Tower Hill Road is the descent down West Wrentham Road. Fast but not too fast. It also flattens out nicely before you hit the traffic light at the bottom.

Overall it was a nice day for a ride.

Coming down West Wrentham Road in Cumberland, RI.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home to Monster


With my vehicle parked at work, I was committed to ride in. It was 46° in Franklin and the sky's looked like it was going to rain. The weather person on the news said rain was coming, but not for a while. Even then, it would be coming up from the south. Luckily, I was headed north. It soon became apparent that this mornings ride was not going to be as fast as last evenings ride. Oh well! It was colder and I didn't want to over stress myself on the way into work. I left real early, about 5:45 AM.

I took a slightly different route in so as to take advantage of a different combination of traffic signals on the way.

No More Excuses

Now that I have ridden both into work and back, I no longer have any excuses for not commuting by bike more often. I think I'll aim to do this at least a couple of times a week, pending the weather.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Monster to Home

Bike to Work Week

This is the first "Bike to Work Week" since I have been riding that I have had the opportunty to do so. My manager suggested that I drive in, bike home, then bike in the next morning. My bike commute is 25 miles and I don't want to commit myself to riding 50 miles round trip. So this seemed like a good suggestion.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I either had a stomach virus, or was recovering from one. so those days were out. So Thursday I drove in with the bike.

All day long I kept on running out of excuses NOT to ride home ;-)

Planning The Route

Ever since I started here at Monster in Maynard, MA I had been plotting out a bike route from my Home to Work. There were three major obstacles to contend with:

  • Crossing Route 20
  • Crossing Rt 9
  • Framingham in General

Thanks to various mapping tool like and Google Earth, I was able to plot a route that took strategic advantage of traffic lights at some of the more difficult crossings.

Rt 16 in Holliston

It turns out that the most difficult intersection I had to contend with was the intersection in downtown Holliston. I needed to make a left off of Rt 16 onto Central St. The only traffic control device that have for this really busy intersection right smack in the middle of town is a pathetic blinking yellow light. I'll avoid that in the future.

The Ride...

The weather was perfect. Slightly overcast and in the mid-60's. Route 27 coming out of Maynard was a fun rolling decent which helped my fly home.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Around Milford

Nice Weather

It was supposed to rain all day today according to reports earlier in the week. So in preperation I had mowed the lawn on Thursday (Twice! My springtime grass growth is insane!). So when the weather turned out to be nice on Saturday afternoon, I had time to ride.

I had mapped out a route "Around Milford". It is difficult to find routes north and west of Franklin. It was a good ride. A bit hilly and 100 ft. of it was unpaved (Lumber St going from Hopkinton to Milford).

I was amazed that I didn't see another single rider out there today with such nice weather in the afternoon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Phat Tuesday - Cramps!

Slower is Faster

This week I purposely hung back and let the faster riders go. I didn't want the temptation to try and stay up front or to try and close any gaps. It turns out to have been thr right choice. I averaged a bit faster than last time. It felt slower, but was actually faster. I think hanging with a group on the second half of the ride helped out a lot.


First the Right Calf...

Just after passing the reservoir on the second half of the ride, my right calf cramped up. I was with a group of riders and I didn't want to get dropped. So I unclipped and just used my left leg to pedal. It was a flat, rolling section so it wasn't so bad. Eventually my right calf de-cramped and I was good to go.

Then the left calf...

Right at the last half mile of the ride, I felt my left calf starting to cramp up. That meant no sprinting for the finish line. It was all I could do to pedal just enough to make it back without the left calf totally cramping up. I think it finally cramped up within rolling distance of the parking lot.

Next time, more electrolytes!