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Old 06-17-11, 01:58 PM   #1051
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I admire the long and fast rides you and some of the other “top-tier” correspondents describe on this thread, and I humbly relate my rides, mostly to suggest the nice routes I find. I once kept up about 200 yards with godshammgod in a chance encounter. Nonetheless, given my busy life situation, I’m very happy with my cycling lifestyle. A thread I once read soon after subscribing to BF advised something like “My 15 mph is to me as your 24 mph is to you.”

Jim
I like to have a good balance between both. Yes, I do plenty of long and fast rides. But I also do plenty of slower paced rides where I enjoy the scenery and the company of my riding companion(s). I often ride with one of my coworkers who is training for the PMC. She also feels bad that she's ''slowing'' me down, but I always tell her that I love cruising at a relaxed pace. Of course it all comes back to what you said Jim...my 17mph cruising pace...is like her 20mph pace. It's important to keep all this riding in perspective.
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Old 06-17-11, 04:36 PM   #1052
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I like to have a good balance between both. Yes, I do plenty of long and fast rides. But I also do plenty of slower paced rides where I enjoy the scenery and the company of my riding companion(s). I often ride with one of my coworkers who is training for the PMC. She also feels bad that she's ''slowing'' me down, but I always tell her that I love cruising at a relaxed pace. Of course it all comes back to what you said Jim...my 17mph cruising pace...is like her 20mph pace. It's important to keep all this riding in perspective.
Thanks for the reply. I ride solo and almost exclusively as an early morning commute, so it takes a lot of my wherewithal just to get out on the road, much less push hard and do intervals, etc., and I lack the extra motivation from another rider. Besides yourself, the only other BF subscribers I have ridden with are mtalinm of this thread, and we were pretty evenly matched; and tsl, with whom I did a few miles on the BF Fifty Plus 3rd Annual Ride in the Finger Lakes Region. He was faster than me, but he tells the story of just a few years ago getting winded on a three mile ride.

Especially when doing a long ride, I need to travel at my own pace, to marshal my energy accordingly. I like to ride in pacelines when I get that rare opportunity, though I often get dropped on cornering, and realize it’s not worth burning out to catch up. The big payoff for me from investing the increased riding time for the extra mileage in the summer, even without the speedwork, is the notably increased level of fitness and well-being. Besides, IMO it's the best way to savor the nice weather for as long as possible.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:11 PM   #1053
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JFB, cmolway, and goshImgood, I too enjoying reading about your exploits. I've ridden with cmolway and I can say he's faster'n me. Or at least he was that day (and I'm sure still is ). For various reasons I've done very few non-commute miles so far this year.

But commuting or no, I prefer to run at my own pace. even when commuting I'm out for the fun of the ride. In line with what JFB said, I prefer to crank when I feel like it, slack off when I want to, spin up hills if necessary, and generally marshal my strength as seems appropriate. Even more to the point, the thought of a paceline gives me the willies, which is to say I'm sure I'll do something unexpected and cause an accident with someone riding far closer to me than I'm used to. I rode once last year with a buddy who used to race decades ago. It gave me the willies, and I knew this guy and he knew me. Ride close up with people I don't know, no way! But I'll socialize with other riders. Riding is a fun activity, after all.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:45 PM   #1054
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This event is the first downside to being a reverse commuter that I have encountered in my 25+ years of cyclecommuting; i.e. there are no such fests at my destination in the suburb of Norwood. But that still doesn't diminish the advantages of the relative lack of traffic on my side of the road, or the ability to ride the Commuter Rail with my bike. Maybe sometime I can join you and pretend that I just arrived.
don't worry Jim, you're not missing out on too much. The meetups - I refuse to call them "BIke Fridays" because that's free advertising for a certain Oregon manufacturer of folding bikes, whereas I ride a Xootr Swift - are really cool the first time when you see all the vendors and cyclists and pick up the schwag / free food. after that it's pretty much the same thing each time, though I have been known to show up for the free bike maintenance. I'll go next time if others are though, would be fun to meet up!
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Old 06-17-11, 05:54 PM   #1055
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JFB, cmolway, and goshImgood...
Good nickname, but I did enjoy his gracious reply to my post.

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...But commuting or no, I prefer to run at my own pace. even when commuting I'm out for the fun of the ride. In line with what JFB said, I prefer to crank when I feel like it, slack off when I want to, spin up hills if necessary, and generally marshal my strength as seems appropriate... But I'll socialize with other riders. Riding is a fun activity, after all.
Well said.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:38 PM   #1056
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Hi cmolway,

I enjoy reading about your extended rides but for some reason, I'm somewhat surprised that you commute too. If I may ask, what's your start, finish and routes? Do you commute all year round?
Thanks Jim.

My commute isn't too far. Melrose to Boston, between 9-11 miles depending on the route. The 11 mile route adds a decent climb up and over east fellsway. I try to commute year round--snow, ice and an icier glare from the wife keeps me off the worst of it. the commute isn't long enough for base miles so I try to use it for interval work and can usually manage a sub 30 minute commute without being a menace on the road (25 minutes is the current record). I pedal hard b/c there are days when it's the only time I get on the saddle. If I slack too much, I'll never be able to hang with the cat 3's at the Saturday morning hammerfest out of cycleloft.

My goal is to get at least 200 miles of riding in every week. On top of the 90 miles I do commuting, I try to get to a couple of group rides and do an early morning ride or two--probably in the range of 100-120 miles.

With the family out of town, I think I over-trained last week. I put on over 300 miles and "race-peaked" last Saturday. I was taking crazy-long pulls and floating up hills but it was too good to last. I have been digging myself out of a hole all week because of it. Did a total of 75 agonizingly slow miles on Thursday. Found myself puttering along at 17mph in a near-bonk state at one point, stopping every 5 miles or so. I don't even know what I did today. Purposefully kept my eyes of my cyclocomputer and focused on a smooth stroke instead. I hope I feel fresher in the am. Sucks to get dropped hard and early on the group ride.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:53 PM   #1057
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QUOTE=cmolway;12801343]Nice easy ride into Boston this morning with the promise of free breakfast boloco burritos, iggy's baked goods and coffee at the bike friday event held at government center at the end. Caffeinated and with a full belly and back pockets stuffed with swag, I headed off to work. Great way to start the day. Not looking forward to the ride home though.
[/QUOTE]

whoa, I hadn't heard about this event. work right there and would have liked a breakfast burrito. love me so boloco huevos chorizo burritos. was this a one time thing?
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Old 06-17-11, 08:07 PM   #1058
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whoa, I hadn't heard about this event. work right there and would have liked a breakfast burrito. love me so boloco huevos chorizo burritos. was this a one time thing?
Two more Friday events this summer. They do it every year. http://www.bikefridays.org/
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Old 06-18-11, 12:39 PM   #1059
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new commuter in Boston

Greetings,
I feel like a newbie that took one training wheel off. Im thrilled to be riding; going in circles, but riding. Hope springs eternal and I rode 23 slow miles last night until headlight batteries and calf muscles decided to take it easy.

Boston's Bike Fridays commuter celebrations are great. I wonder if they inspire more commuters or recognize and reward those already dedicated?

Is it time to declare Boston bike friendly? Does Boston have a biking identity?

Before you rush to opinion (I know to whom I forum) consider this:
The most exalted of Boston celebrities chose to bike to work today. He could have chosen limousine, helicopter or chariot. They blocked off roads, provided police escort and barricades to allow this fellow and his friends to be driven around the city. The Mayor or any other public official would have carried him piggyback. Instead Chara chose bicycling as the best way to commute to work.

Is bicycling part of Boston's identity? Yet?
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Old 06-18-11, 01:15 PM   #1060
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we're doing pretty well; Mass cracked the top 10 this year http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/b...e/rankings.php and I'd say Boston is the main reason why. they're even putting bike lanes on Mass Ave, something I thought I'd never see.

I'd say the main remaining obstacle is the driving habits of Massholes. not sure how to solve for that...

link to original page on Chara: http://boston.com/sports/hockey/brui...e_photos?pg=22
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Old 06-18-11, 04:10 PM   #1061
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whatup boston riders!
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Old 06-18-11, 06:39 PM   #1062
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Greetings,
I feel like a newbie that took one training wheel off. Im thrilled to be riding; going in circles, but riding.
SBP! You are with us! You've been AWOL for a long time. Hope you're doing okay. And welcome to commuting, if you really are starting. Welcome back.
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Old 06-19-11, 05:20 AM   #1063
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Thanks Jim.

My commute isn't too far...If I slack too much, I'll never be able to hang with the cat 3's at the Saturday morning hammerfest out of cycleloft.

My goal is to get at least 200 miles of riding in every week. On top of the 90 miles I do commuting, I try to get to a couple of group rides and do an early morning ride or two--probably in the range of 100-120 miles...
Thanks for the reply. My own personal 10 week century training schedule on week number 7 called for a 71 mile ride on Saturday. At about 5:30 AM there were some vague predictions of rain but the Doppler looked clear, so I took the road bike. I went from Kenmore Square to Norwood to work for few hours, by way of Salem.

The first few miles through Everett are gritty urban; Revere Beach Parkway is nice in the early morning; Rte 129 and Atlantic Ave are particularly nice through Swampscott and Marblehead, and a prime destination is Marblehead Neck up to the lighthouse. When I arrived I even turned off my radio to listen to the quiet and had a snack overlooking the beautiful ocean coast and all the sail boats in the harbor. They even have a public restroom there. I then went to Salem and got lost for a few miles but found my way to Peabody and my pleasant inland route from the North Shore back to Boston.

Usually I do a wide loop to Norwood through exurbia, but yesterday I came back through town, and traffic was pretty crowded on Route 60 through Malden and Medford. I had my second snack in Medford and a the pedestrian came up and we chatted about my Bridgestone RB-1. I bought it back in the 1980’s (at Cycleloft) mainly because it fit and I've since learned it's considered somewhat of a classic. That pedestrian was quite knowledgeable, and he even knew the Japanese name for it. He had bought an RB-2 back then, because he couldn't afford a RB-1. I then it made my way to Norwood via Cambridge, Allston, Brookline, West Roxbury, and Dedham. The day turned out to be perfect weather, and I did 71.25 miles.

For me, I consider 70 miles and greater a long distance ride, with two immediate benefits. First is the feeling of what I call “profound fatigue,” only achieved through that much effort. When I arrive at work I'm glad to just sit down and get to it. Secondly, I rise the next morning particularly early and refreshed. I'm a lark anyways, but this morning I was out of bed at 3:30 AM; going to sleep at about 10:30 PM the night before (after an evening of ballroom dancing).

BTW, nice to see SBP after an absence, our Fearless Leader and OP of this thread. I have on occasion cited “Metro Boston; Good ride today?” as a virtual subforum for us Metro Boston riders, and one of the most congenial threads on BF. And I have cited SBP himself for his excellent and gracious writing style.
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Old 06-19-11, 07:11 AM   #1064
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Did the Harpoon B2B yesterday. Suffice to say it was an...interesting day. I must warn you this is a LOOONG post.

It began at 5:00am in my friend's driveway. My other friend's brand new Cervelo was placed precariously in front of friend number 1's car. Let's say just say this ended with a cracked chainstay on the brand new bike. At that point we thought our day was done...

But thankfully when we arrived at Harpoon my friend with the disabled bike was able to get a yellow Mavic neutral service bike (basically a CAAD 9). It wasn't perfect, but it was a bike and we were ready to ride.

The first 10 miles were pretty smooth, but the wheels fell off from there. Somewhere in Somerville my two friends dropped off the back with a mechanical. I was in the front of the group so I didn't notice until about 15 minutes later. At that point I figured my best course was to cruise with the pack to the first rest stop. We were a big group (about 20 riders) and covered the first 50 miles at about 19mph. It was fast and fun. At the first rest stop I decided I would wait for my friends. I hung around for about 20 minutes, until the final fastest group came through. The SAG driver said he had not seen my friends (more on this later...) and I decided I should roll out on my own.

At that point my 25 miles solo began with a winding 5 mile climb through Willow Brook State Forest. I actually felt really, really good through this stretch. I caught up with 3 other stragglers and hoped to ride together. But they dropped off on one of the rollers. At mile 70 I was very happy to see a gas station filled with about 6 or 7 other riders. Perfect. A small group to cruise with over the big climb of the day. Ah, but another wrench was preparing to be thrown...

At that point I called one of my missing friends. Turns out he was six miles away. They had gone 11 miles off course, which would explain why the sweep van never saw them. I decided I'll wait 20 minutes for them and we can ride in together. 20 minutes passes, then 30. Finally the sweep van pulls up. Driver leans his head and out says, ''You Noah? I've got two strays for you.'' The van had picked them up. And because I waited behind we had to be driven to the next rest stop to complete the ride (There was a 1:15 cut off to be at the final rest stop).

So we got to the final stop, had some water, joked about our misfortune and rolled out to complete the last 50 miles. Those miles were hard, but fun. First we baked on several short climbs then we got a refreshing rain storm on a 40mph descent, then we baked in more sun while drinking Beer at Harpoon.

In the end I only go to do about 122 of the 148 miles. It's a shame, because I felt pretty strong all day, especially on the climbs. But in the end, a lot of things were out of my control.

It's a hard ride, but not impossible. And the climbing really isn't that bad. You just need to be ready for some mile long hills bunched into the last 25 miles.

I might try this again next year...We'll see.
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Old 06-19-11, 09:47 AM   #1065
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Saturday Ride Harpoon B2B

godshammgod, sorry about all the bad luck, but glad you had fun anyway! Here is my version of the ride (I'll try to make it shorter than the freaking ride was).

So I got down to the Harpoon brewery in the seaport at about 5:15am. Everything was well organized, and I got my jersey, bike/jersey/bag number, and had some nice snacks they had provided. I got in the corral (they only let 25 riders go per 5 minutes, to keep it from being a total drain on city traffic) and had to wait quite a while to get let out. We left around 6:25.

The first 5 miles through the city was, of course, slow and stop-light filled. Once we got past Central Square we took off. We had about 18 guys in a very large paceline moving at about 22mph. It was faster than I planned on riding, but with such a large group, the effort was easy, so I kept with it.

About 20 miles in, over half the group suddenly pulled off to take a break a 99 restaurant. The rest of us kept going, but now it was a small group, and I had to work a lot harder. I burned some matches... we did average about 21mph coming into the first official rest stop at mile 47.

I knew I shouldn't stay with these fast guys coming out of the first rest stop (as we had a century to go, and my legs already felt it), but I didn't see any obvious people to buddy up to. So I took off on my own, thinking I would meet some other people on the road.

The next section was the climb godshammgod mentioned... very gradual, beautiful 10 miles gaining a bit over 1000ft. I did this on my own, with a couple fast people blowing by me.

I got a bit dispirited working into the wind by myself, and around mile 70 I met two nice guys (Dave and Ira) who were pushing it on the flats, but totally sitting in on the hills, trying to save up for the big climb at mile 90. I loved their style, so I road with them to the base of Leviathan, the big climb.

At the bottom of the Leviathan, I promptly pulled an Andy Shleck and dropped my chain. I was back moving inside a minute (faster than him, I think), but was on my own. So i unzipped my jersey, and did my best impression of a mountain goat (in slow motion). 1000 ft up, and 4 miles later, I was over the top. Again, I tried to ride within myself, and not kill the legs, as there was over 50mi left to go.

After a nice stop at the rest stop, I took off for the last 50. At this point my legs were fried, and it was hot. Garmin said upper 80s. And the next 25+ miles were totally open to the sun, no shade to be found. I was slamming drinks, doing everything I could, but it was a sufferfest. It was hard to find people of appropriate speed to work with... I was blowing buy some people that were burnt out, and also being passed rapidly by groups of racers who were barely sweating. I eventually caught onto a couple who was speaking spanish and their friend, and let them tow me a few miles to the last rest stop at 125.

Here I had the best ice cold Coke I've ever had (so pro), and took off soft-pedaling for victory. I finally found a big group moving my pace, and the last 25 miles weren't bad, aside from my aching feet.

Total time on the bike was about 8.5 hours, plus almost an hour at the multiple rest areas. 148 miles, and roughly 6000ft of vertical. Averaged just over 17mph.

And Harpoon really did an awesome job organizing. Super-run finish line, and rest stops. They even had tons of ice cold coconut water, which I love.

And the big prize:
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Old 06-19-11, 10:22 AM   #1066
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I'd agree that finding good groups after the 97 mile rest stop was tough. Part of it was that my friends and I were a bit fresher after our little 20 minute break (or ride...). Any of the larger groups were moving very, very slowly.

And fully unzipped jersey is the way to go-- and oh so pro. My only pro moment of the day was my pulling my two friends up one of the little mile-ish rollers, jersey unzipped, flying by people at a simply blistering 13mph...We were all hurting then.

Best part of the day was bombing down a 40mph descent in a rain storm. Very refreshing.
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Old 06-19-11, 04:08 PM   #1067
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You guys are having too much fun. Biking and Harpoon? Good combination! Leviathan, in case it isn't obvious or learned at the end of the ride, is also the name of an IPA (IIRC) made by Harpoon. Good stiff stuff.

I got to ride today! Sharon and I took our tandem out for its first road miles this morning. Did about 10 miles around Concord and Bedford. The bike is the '82 Peugeot TH8 that I re-built over the winter. Here's a pic taken shortly after its completion.

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Old 06-21-11, 03:35 PM   #1068
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Got a nice ride in this afternoon, the classic CRW Sat. AM fitness ride (slightly modified due to bridge construction). 28 miles in totally perfect weather.
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Old 06-22-11, 06:33 AM   #1069
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out the door at 5:30am for a 35 mile ride before work. Caught up to a few cyclists this time (they always seem to be going the other way) but their pace was far below mine. A quick hello and I was off by myself again. Finished my normal loop with a 21mph average which is a little faster than normal. Must have rained at some point because I ended up riding on soaked roads for about 5 miles. By the time I got to work, my shoes and kit were water-logged. Wouldn't have traded it for a car ride into the city though.
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Old 06-22-11, 07:13 AM   #1070
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out the door at 5:30am .... By the time I got to work, my shoes and kit were water-logged. Wouldn't have traded it for a car ride into the city though.
I too got out the door early, a bit before 6AM to catch the 6:45 train. (Didn't have to leave so early but I was awake. ) As an experiment it was completely successful, which is to say I learned everything there was to know therefore it will not be repeated (unless necessary). However today I wanted to be at the office early so I can leave early if this afternoon's weather looks threatening earlier than predicted. This train was more crowded, I guess partly because of the hour and partly because it goes all the way to Providence instead of stopping at Attleboro. Traffic was more frenetic; I wonder if the weather was a factor. Under the gray sky I rode the Attleboro-to-Blackstone River section with my lights on, generator quietly humming.

Yeah, it was drippy this morning. Lightly misting when I left the house, overcast and cool but humid on the bike ride portion. I was more or less soaked when I got to the office. I think I picked up water along the way.

On the other hand, this was day 1 of the commuter UO8 undergoing a lightening program: a lighter bottle cage and a beautiful featherweight alloy French-dimension handlebar courtesy of BF member ColonelJLloyd. With the new bar in place I could finally install the computer I picked up a few weeks ago. An alloy crank is on the way.

I know, it's all fluff in the long run. But it's French fluff! And old. That's worth a few style points.
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Old 06-22-11, 08:24 AM   #1071
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I rode 27 miles this morning from Kenmore Square to Norwood via Dorchester, Milton, Quincy, Braintree, Randolph, Canton and Westwood, from about 5:30 to 7:30 AM. I felt just about two drops in Quincy and thought about cutting the ride short. West Street in Braintree was a particularly nice segment.

I had thought about mentioning this yesterday on my 20 mile ride through Needham and Westwood. In about a 2 mile distance on Chestnut St to Westfield and Summer Sts, from about 6:15 to 6:30 AM, I saw about 25 cyclists, almost all in full kits, in small groups, and in two closely spaced pacelines of about 10 and 6 riders. Almost all were going in the opposite direction, probably towards Dover. It was quite a testimony to the popularity of that area for cycling.
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Old 06-22-11, 05:04 PM   #1072
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that ride home today in the rain was rough. I figured it would only be a drizzle, so I left my ShowerPass jacket and my bright lights at home. dumb, dumb, dumb... I'll be ready tmw
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Old 06-22-11, 05:33 PM   #1073
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that ride home today in the rain was rough.
Sho'nuf was, wunn'it?

The radar map loop made it look like the rain would subside in northern RI, and it was actually pretty dry all day. So I left the office about 4:15 to catch the 5:29 train in Attleboro. About 2 miles in it started spitting and a mile later it started raining, kept raining all the way to A'boro, at which point it almost stopped. I did the whole trip with my lights on, the generator singing. In a restroom in A'boro I changed out of my wet pants and into the dry clothes I'd worn at the office, so the rest of the trip home wasn't too bad.

People were nuts on the road today. Don't know if it was the weather or the fact that I was an hour or more earlier than I'm used to. More nervous energy or something. Gotta' rush, gotta' get home to, umm, I fergit, but I gotta' do something.

Be safe, everybody.
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Old 06-22-11, 06:36 PM   #1074
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that ride home today in the rain was rough. I figured it would only be a drizzle, so I left my ShowerPass jacket and my bright lights at home. dumb, dumb, dumb... I'll be ready tmw
no shower pass (or in my case e-vent) jacket for me. I don't mind getting soaked as long as the temps are above 65F. At those temps, long sleeves just tend to make me overheat. Also, after 100', you are not getting any wetter. Left work at 3pm so I didn't have to worry about visibility.
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Old 06-22-11, 07:16 PM   #1075
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People were nuts on the road today. Don't know if it was the weather or the fact that I was an hour or more earlier than I'm used to. More nervous energy or something. Gotta' rush, gotta' get home to, umm, I fergit, but I gotta' do something.
true. I haven't heard so much honking in weeks.

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no shower pass (or in my case e-vent) jacket for me. I don't mind getting soaked as long as the temps are above 65F. At those temps, long sleeves just tend to make me overheat. Also, after 100', you are not getting any wetter. Left work at 3pm so I didn't have to worry about visibility.
hmm, interesting. I was in a paper-thin windbreaker which wasn't much better than not wearing anything. worst part for me is that rain gets on my glasses and obscures visibility. neither cat crap nor rain-x does the trick. makes me think about getting contacts again...
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