Countdown to Boston...Help!!

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by jsirabella, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Hey All,

    You may remember me by now but my first tour is coming up in a little more than a week (NY to Boston!!). Atleast I hope my first tour...before I went on a business trip to London than Tokyo I was working out hard in the gym and strained my legs pretty bad so the doc has been give me pills. I think I should be fine by next week.

    But now the bigger problem, I finally got my ACC maps and I thought they were going to give me details on all the roads in an state but instead they are just defined tours of exact roads to take. Based on my last posts here I was told to go to New Haven by train and than ride up the coast. My problem is the ride up the coast???

    Any ideas of the roads to take, I look at so many maps but do not have a clue. Do most of you guys just wing it?

    Please help...

    -John Sirabella

    Stange story, in Tokyo they have the strangest brands for bikes, like Chevrolet, Bridgestone, Volvo, it seems the manufactures for bikes also make cars...go and figure, while the uk has similar bikes to us but every so often a brand I never heard of.
     
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  2. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    OK I am starting to get better...I can go instead of through Jersey to Connecticut...I can go straight to the end of Long Island and catch the ferry at Orient Point that can take me to New London.

    I think I save some distance...Depending on season can go to Block Island and than Point Judith but even from New London...I can pretty much be done with Connecticut..

    How is route 1 for bikes?

    -john sirabella


     
  3. KnoxGardner

    KnoxGardner New Member

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    whatever happened on this trip? any pointers?
     
  4. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Hi Knox,

    Funny you should write I was going to post today. All in All it was an awesome trip with some great and not so great surprises but I loved every minute of it. First all the advice from you and Trekker was invaluable. You guys hit alot of things head on.

    I was very happy to go through Long Island and not most of CT. I first took the LIRR to Smithtown and than road straight out on 25A/25 to Orient Point. A beautiful ride with no hills just lovely views and easy riding. I got there so ahead of schedule that I made the 2pm Ferry and got to New London by 3pm. I was planning in my inital route to stay in New London for the night but I was far ahead of schedule so I said lets keep going and thats when trouble began.

    I had the state bike map of CT and it gave me direction of how to get across the New London Bridge. It was one big bridge crossing the river, well when I got of the ferry I asked where is water road and they kept pointing me just follow the road as soon as you get out, well lets say I eventually got on 95 somehow and had to turnaround in fear. I asked several people who had no idea how to find this bike route over the bridge than finally a father with two kids on a bike showed me. Talk about hidden!! Anyway I got on this little narrow bike path across the river and I made it.

    I had this whole big plan of routes to take but after seeing how hard it was to find stuff, I took everyone's advice and followed Route 1. It took me a little while to find Route 1 but I did and than was heading towards Mystic. This is where I hit two big hills at the end of the day on my entry in to Mystic. I made it to Mystic and still daylight and felt fine so kept going. As I got closer to RI, I kept seeing nothing around like Motels and stuff. Kept asking and finally after getting on and off Route 1 stoped in this Blue Star Motel before Sunset and found out I was in RI. I was feeling fine the first day, no pains but just hungry and always thirsty.

    I was saved by two things the ipod and the camelback. The camelback made a big difference in not stopping and there were some stretches that without the IPOD I would have went insane. Anyway got up the next morning at 5:30am thinking I could finish RI today but RI is really smaller than I tought. I asked a few people how far to Providence and they said about 20 miles. I was real surprised how close!! I also noticed at this point Route 1 became more like a highway with on and off ramps with small speed bumps so I do not think this route is really for the faint of heart. I stopped for breakfast outside of Providence and someone said you are about 3/4 or so way to Boston. I was like what???

    Well I went through Providence and up North Main Street which connected again to Route 1 in Mass. Mass is very different than RI with alot of rolling hills where you go up, straight, up, straight, up and than down, repeat, repeat. The only place I hit another really large hill was in Foxborough. I saw the place my Colts lost for many years and put a curse on it for next year when we win.:p

    After the breakfast I can tell I was moving better so plowed through Foxborough thinking I would sleep outside of Boston. Well I get to Deedham around 2pm and people are telling me about 15 miles to Boston. I was like 15 miles?? Outskirts right?? No middle of Boston. Well Route 1 ended in Deedham and found Washington Street which changed to Centre than South and than got lost and somehow found Huntington which took me right to my final destination and hotel by Hynes Convention Centre. I got there by a little after 5pm. I was amazed I did it in two days!!

    I saw I was averaging about 15 miles per hour and got in 10-12 hour days. I was really happy but got of disappointed because now I got here two days ahead of my schedule and had to pay extra and what to do??? I decided to bike around boston and was thinking a day trip to Salem but passed and saw some movies.

    My two big downers was that I did bring sunscreen which was fine but instead got a really, really bad wind burn on day two. Does anyone know how to fight this for the future? Got a big old welt on my butt also and I bought a great seat with a shock type seat post but still got a welt which still aches a little. I think I should have stopped in Foxwoods and maybe Salem now...

    My advice to anyone is that you do not have to be an athletic star just discipline yourself with pace and stamina. The key is just keep a nice steady pace and do not worry about the speed weekend warriors speeding by you...just keep going at a nice 10-15mph pace and you will be fine. Also discipline yourself to eat, drink and wakeup and go to bed at the right times!! It makes a difference, I was cold and tired at 5:30 the second day but kept on going.

    Last make it more fun than I did...I will make sure next time. It really is not a race. But I am telling you I feel the cred!! Everyone in my office thinks I am amzaing as I had a nextel phone with gps tracking so they saw where I was all the time as my wife. They were amazed as I have to admit was I, but I think all can do it with the right attitude and gear.

    BTW, the bike help up like a champ, no flats, no problems. Only my catweye went dead on day 2. I was burning like 4000-5000 calories a day as per my polar heart monitor. I was thirsty for two days constantly after the ride.

    Well thank you all and look forward to Baltimore come the Summer!!

    -John Sirabella



     
  5. KnoxGardner

    KnoxGardner New Member

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    Glad you got to Boston! Sounds like a fine trip and I am surprised as well that it only took two days...I would have never guessed that. I will keep that in mind as we are hoping to get down to Mystic next weekend on the bikes but were assuming a two day ride back (of course, we were sleeping in...)

    Two things on your wrap-up post:

    1. As a homosexual, I say this: MOISTURIZE! duh! I always carry some crazy over-priced, over-branded moisturizer with me. Mainly becuase in all other ways I am roughing it so I might as well have an indulgence and so I have crazy good shaving cream, moisturizer and sun-block. I am trying to make using camp bathrooms more fun and at least have one thing to look forward to if nothing else! You have to keep on the moisturizer to fight the windburn. Moisturize every morning and every night!

    2. I am thinking and saying this: Listening to an IPOD while biking is NOT SAFE. And besides not being safe, I gotta say one of the points of bike touring for me is decompressing from the hussle and bussle and noise of life. Embrace boredom, listen to wind and birds and stuff. Save your IPOD for camp or the hotel.

    Thanks for some of the route notes. Hope to make the reverse trip sometime early this summer. Good luck on Baltimore or wherever else your bike takes you. You got the cred.

    Knox Gardner
    www.bikenerd.blogspot.com
     
  6. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    Heheheh..... Lovely, ain't it??

    Come out to the Western hills and REALLY enjoy the rollercoasting ;-)
     
  7. coolworx

    coolworx New Member

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    This I disagree with, completely.

    If you are depending upon your ears (instead of an oft-checked mirror) to tell you whether that semi barreling up your ass is gonna run you off the road, you're putting your life in danger. By the time you clearly "hear" it, it's too late to adjust your line. I make sure I KNOW they are there LONG before I'd hear them without the tunes. And if they are too close, I move out further, so they either must slow, or get the F over.

    Just like in a car, you should be keeping your eyes on the front road , and then checking the mirror at least every 10 seconds or so.

    No Car EVER sneaks up on me, and I've got AC-DC blaring in my head.
     
  8. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Well there were times between Mystic and Providence when it was getting a little slow in terms of scenery but it was still just great taking in all in and being a born and raised NY kind of guy it felt like a different world.

    I hear the hills on the West Coast make the East Coast look pretty shabby. This year I am sticking to the East Coast with my next trip down to Baltimore coming up soon. Next year I want to do some trips in Nevada around that area or CA as I lived in Vegas for a while but never rode. I think it would be alot of fun. Maybe you can give me some advice on a good trail or 2.

    -John Sirabella


     
  9. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    I can understand where Knox is coming from, my wife drives me up a wall about it when I do it here in NYC and surrounding area but honestly I would have gone a little daffy without it on this trip. At 5:30am on Sunday, in RI, it is you and the road ... I mean you and the road.

    Not that NYC is special or anything but I have been riding in heavy traffic for so long you begin to get a sixth sense about it and during this trip you can not compare the traffic so I felt fairly safe. Only once a couple kids in a van eyed me over and started to move the van towards my bike and speed up while laughing. I just gave them my best NY look and stared them down. They pulled off quickly and did not see them again but I was scared for a minute or two.

    In the end I feel a compromise is in order as I told my wife, I play the IPOD at a volume where I can hear the music and pretty much the traffic at the same time. Honestly the most dangerous part to me are those speed/warning bumps on the side of the road which I really have no choice but to go over. Pain in the butt...literally.

    Thinking of bear mountain soon to see this 4 mile climb everyone keeps talking about...

    -John Sirabella


     
  10. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Personally Iron Maiden for me...:D



     
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