Monday, September 22, 2008

Hub on Wheels 2008

H.O.W 012
Originally uploaded by fonchik
A delightful ride yesterday! I rode with Team Ciclismo Classico. There were about a half dozen non-staff members of the team, all amiable as could be. One of the riders and I did the 50-mile loop, the others did the 30-miler.

The day was gorgeous - low 60s in the morning to low 80s in the afternoon. Perfect! Nice and sunny, too. The route was beautiful for the most part. The first bit seems to be a major selling point: riding car-free on Storrow Drive. For me, that wasn't that big a deal at all - I mean, I ride on the Esplanade right there most days anyway, and Storrow's views aren't even as nice as that.

More impressive were the parts of the route I don't normally experience, notably the bike path around the JFK Library, Arnold Arboretum, and Forest Hills Cemetary. The paths along the water really reminded me of the paths around London's Docklands - especially the haphazard way in which they pamper you one minute and dump you out into a brownfield warehouse disrict the next!

The ride was generally well organized and executed, particularly considering the number of people who turned up. It was very well marked, with arrows all along the route (not just at turns), and the route splits clearly indicated as well. The marshalls at each major turn were also very good.

The one notable problem was the food. The ride purports to be "fully supported" which, to me, means that you don't really need to bring anything along, including sustainance. Each stop had plenty of oranges and little food bars, but only the later stops had any bagels or bananas, which were just what I needed early on. The first rest stop had bags of dinner rolls, but nothing to put on them. If I hadn't brought my own snacks, I would have been in big trouble. A little energy drink would have been nice too, considering how hot it got to be.

My final niggly comment is about the promotion of the ride. It isn't ever really clear who's organizing it, and who the proceeds benefit. Sure, that info is there if you look hard, but it's confusing that the city promotes it so heavily and yet the least you can get away spending if you want to ride is $45. If it's really a charity ride pure & simple, it ought to be billed as one - not as an event designed to get people out biking in Boston.

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