Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brookline MA

Thats where I live now. Decided I needed change and more importantly decided I wanted to stop driving so much. I can't help but think 2 hrs a day in a car is not good on the old body and that the time would be better served on a bike (or running if that was possible) So thats what I do now. I ride to work and ride home with an add-on. Tom and I found a route to work that is pretty decent and runs about 15 miles. So either in the morning or afternoon I can add-on and get a nice double day. Hopefully it helps me get fit for the bike. The three days I've done it so far have left me feeling like I'm training hard. This morning I rode up the Blue Hill access road. I kept my backpack on and riding my old bike I still managed sub 5 minutes. I guess that is a benchmark although the record on the climb is about 3:45 or something like that. Brentacol will let me know but I want to attack it for real on my current bike and not at 8am and not with a backpack containing a change of clothes.

There are some good people left in the world. On Sunday night I went out planning to ride a steady 40 miles. The route took me out Beacon street, past BC and through Newton and Waban. After 8 miles Beacon connects to Washington (Boston Marathon RT) and a left takes you across 128 (95N) toward Wellesley. It was while crossing 128 that I hit something in the road and blew out my back tire. Not a puncture, I actually tore through my tire so a new tube was useless. A couple of quick calls to Tom and got me no answer so I started walking. After a mile I took off my bike shoes because that was getting silly and strolled in my socks. Just as I was loosing hope and planning on calling someone who would have to go WAY out of their way on a Sunday night to pick me up a mother named Sharon and her daughter invited me into their home, gave me water, and told me to wait while some veggies were thrown in the oven before they would drop me home. Awesome. In a fear monger time when its taboo to just invite someone into your home (there was no dad present) they had no issue. She rode a bike herself and they happened to live in a house once occupied by Ted Williams (a big deal if your a Boston Red Sox fan which I'm not) I plan on sending some Reebok shoes to say thank you.

So the best bit about living here, even better than riding to work, is that the Paradise Rock Club is across the street. I plan on attending so many gigs that my concert ticket book is going to need a partner very soon. Speaking of concerts, Thursday night sees me drive to Montreal for an intimate show with Spencer Krug. Excited doesn't even touch what I'm feeling. Francine's absence will be very noticeable since she would give anything to see Spencer solo in a small venue but  a loosely planned summer tour should appease her. The solo drive to Montreal will be good for clearing the head and catching up with the many phone calls I need to make.

So a good start to the week of cycling kicked off with some serious Mt. Bike thrashing by John Lawlor during my last 5 days in Ireland. There is talk of a race on Saturday and if its not a crit I'll jump in and hammer. Hammering is awesome. So is Spencer Krug. And I plan on thoroughly enjoying being in his company on Thursday night. Camilla from Sunset Rubdown will be joining him. Its all a bit too much to take really.

Peace and Love


  1. grr...google lost my comment. So here it goes again, probably in a slightly condensed form, which I'm sure no one will complain about. under 5 minutes on blue hill is indeed good. Depending on how close to 5 you're talking, it could be great. Sub 4:30 would be excellent. If you can go back and beat 3:45 with the good bike, then I'll drive you up to NH for Newton's revenge, and we can split the prize money.

    So, your post is good timing, because I actually just added a rudimentary time guessing function to brentacol today. It guesses your time on one hill based on a time on another. It really works best for comparing two hills that are fairly similar, but if you play around with the data, you can figure some interesting things out about hills that are quite different. (In this case Blue Hill and Ascutney)

    - If I put my best time of 5:31 in for Blue Hill, it predicts 30:28 on Ascutney. That's about 4 minutes faster than my actual time of 34:20, but that's to be expected, because you can obviously go harder over a shorter distance.

    - If I reverse the equation and put in my Ascutney time, brentacol predicts my blue hill time should be 6:12. That still seems like a not so horrible time (for me). Which is interesting to me because it probably correlates to the pace I would go up Blue Hill if I had to be able to sustain it for another 2.8 miles, give or take.

    - But now we can try to figure this out another way. Let's say you want to WIN Ascutney. in 2009, that would mean a time of 26:02. The predicted time up Blue Hill is only 4:46. Even if finishing "under 5" today meant 4:59, I think you should be able to do 4:46 with the good bike and without a bag. But that's a *sustainable* time, not a best time. If your best time were to come down to the 4:15 range, I think you'd have a good shot at winning it, and certainly top-10 should be feasible in any case.

  2. Keith,

    In case you haven't found it yet, there is great riding east/southeast from Brookline. Riding to and around Dover is fantastic, and my staple ride from downtown Boston.

    This map will give you a sense for the area:

    There is a decent 7.7 mile TT loop in Dover (see http://markdionne.com/tt.html)

    Finally, the Charles River Wheelmen, a Boston club, has marked a lot of routes out towards Dover with white spray paint inverted "T"s.

    Kevin Gallagher