For those out there now putting in miles, here's a ride to look forward to. For the past 25 years, there has been a bike ride from the finish line of the Boston Marathon to the start and back on "Marathon Monday". Last year, over 100 people, of all levels showed up for the ride. This years ride will be April 18th.
http://www.pr.com/press-release/221290 (last years press release)
I caught some wheels from a local team using it for a training ride and had a blast. Everyone has to be off the course before the wheelchair division starts so there is little time for lallygagging. That means the ride starts early--really early (6am). By the time we turned around at the start (after a quick photo and a snack) the barriers where up and the roads were mostly closed to traffic, with people already starting to line the route, cheering us as we road to the finish. The last stretch down Boylston St. turned into a bunch sprint which was fun. It is a great way to gain perspective on the Boston marathon without actually tying on a pair of running shoes.
On a positive note (for those who shudder at the thought of being ready at 5:45 for a 6am roll-out) you can have 52 miles under your belt before 9:30 in the morning, grab breakfast and have plenty of time left to snag a decent spot to watch the race from. I had the wife meet me at the finish with a pair of track pants and shoes but I rode with guys who simply stuffed a pair of flip-flops into their back pockets and headed off for an early pint (bars open early on marathon day) after the ride.
I'll being doing it again this year if any BF members who are into pace-line riding want to join me.