Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cutler Ride With Bill

We had another successful Cutler Park ride Wednesday night. The Old Coot himself, Bill Boles graced us with his presence. For the not so straight story, go over here.

IBC Wednesday Rides

The Newton Shop, 71 Needham St.
No lights required
No drop, plenty of time to talk about skills, ask questions, compare bikes,
all that good stuff.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NEMBA Fells Opening Day

Superfly's First trip to The Fells. The guy who lent me a pump, if you know him let me know. Karen and The Leg a the front of the group. Crossing over from the other side.

Saturday was NEMBA's Fells Opening Day Event. It just so happened that it was the nicest day thus far this year and tons of people showed up to ride on dirt. The Luna Chicks were there leading rides. JRA and IBC were there helping folks get their bikes ready to ride. The guys from Cycleloft were cooking up some Barbecue. Andrew from October Bikes was showing off his wares and IBC racer Greg Robidoux was working the massage table.

Making bikes work, giving away popcorn. That's what we do.

Repairs were done, tubes were pumped, and once it seemed the flow of customers had begun to subside, it was time to ride! That was really what this event was all about, getting out on the trails. Once out on the trails the repairs didn't end. A lot of people had pulled their bikes out for the first time this season. Derailleurs were getting thrown into spokes, stuff was breaking, it was mayhem.

Joe from I.F. and The Man himself, Philip Keyes of NEMBA

Everyone was out there, from beginners to Pros like Maureen Bruno-Roy, Rebecca Wellons, Greg Montello, and Alexis Wruble. Seeing the mass migrations of riders out to the trail-head was inspiring. Judging by the attendance at this event at last week's Hop Brook Dam race, it is going to be a good year for mountain biking.

Fast ride with the boys. First time the legs have seen daylight this season. Kevin catches a flat. Is that thing on?

At one point I had spun off from a group ride to get back to Flynn Rink with Greg The Leg and Kevin Sweeney. Kevin ended up ripping open his tubeless tire, it was far beyond sealing with Stan's. Unfortunately he didn't have a pump and I had only brought shop-size tools to fix other people's bikes, I was rolling with a tube and a cell phone, no flip tool, no pump. We were relatively close to the main drag where folks were crossing over into the main body of The Fells. I rolled down the way looking for a pump to borrow. I found it, the gentleman in the upper right hand corner of the photo at the top of this post lent me one. I returned the favor by never actually finding him and driving off with his pump at the end of the day. So if you know this guy, please drop me a line. I want to get his pump back to him with interest.

How does my hair look? Like Bjork's? Why thank you.

Big thanks to Philip, Tim, Terry, and all the other NEMBA people that work so hard so the rest of us can ride our knobelly tired bikes on dirt all over place. You guys, as they say, rock!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mass Bike Commuter Breakfast

Last Friday morning Mass Bike did one of their Commuter Breakfasts at the Cambridge side of The Mass Ave. Bridge. It was a gorgeous morning and folks were out pedaling like mad. A huge cross-section of cyclists were on parade. You had your racer/commuters, hipsters on Fixies, Messengers, Berkeley students on ten speeds, bikes of all shapes and sizes, it was great to see everyone just getting out there.

Shane brings the hype

David, James, and Shane of Massbike were there, dishing out Orange Wedges and Bagels and Cream Cheese, along with info on Massbike.

We told pedestrians passing by that we'd give them free breakfast if they came back with a bike. Watch the Cambridge Police reports for a rash of bicycle muggings. "Hey, give me that bike, I want my free bagel!" Whack!

James manning the bagel bag

So many of the cyclists we saw were smiling and happy, quite a contrast to the motorists sitting in traffic, watching us suspiciously. One solution to that problem...ride your bike to work!

A few of the riders said they'd already had breakfast as they rolled on by. That's the beauty of riding your bike, you get second breakfast. Those calories you are so pragmatically burning aren't going to replace themselves. Have that bagel. Heck, have two!

Dave Watson, Executive Director of Mass Bike walks the walk,
or rolls the roll, get my point

Seeing how many people are out there riding these days was pretty cool. Not sure what the statistics are but my impression is that there are more people doing it than when I first started riding around Boston in the early nineties. Who knows, maybe they were forced onto the bike by the high gas prices of last summer, only to realize how much more fun it is to ride than drive. Maybe they got hooked, maybe they couldn't put the bike down...couldn't kick the habit. Good thing it's an addiction that comes with little to no negative side effects. The positive side effects however, are too numerous to mention.

Thanks to The Mass Bike guys for putting this thing on. Watch for them at The Longfellow Bridge sometime soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cutler Park Opening Day Ride

The group assembles. Heading up Winchester St.. Colin and PVB. Leaving Nahanton Park.

Wednesday was the official opening day of the oft overlooked, yet conveniently located Cutler Park in Needham. This was also the first of International Bike's Wednesday Mountain Bike Rides. I won't call it a night ride because lights are not required. All you need is a bike, a helmet, and a hankerin' for some fun.

The ride was well-attended, eight folks showed up, which might not sound like a lot, but it's a good sized crew once you're out on the trail. We rode right out the door of the shop, cut through The Book Fair parking lot, hit the road for just a couple minutes, and we were in Nahanton Park, on the dirt. Nahanton is limited but boasts a couple pretty fun obstacles in the from of large log hops in quick succession. Great place to practice your log-hurdling technique...or brush up on your Cyclocross Transitons.

Nahanton actually serves as a short cut to Cutler Park, dumping you out right across from a trailhead which leads into Wells Ave. and to Millenium Park beyond.

Whipping through the trees. Beauty of Semi-Urban riding. Plank bridge. Balancing act.

The pace was steady with several re-grouping and socializing stops. We were out there for about an hour and a quarter, getting back to the shop as the sun was about to set.

Technical stop. Re-group. Chasing GTL at high-speed. Sun on its way down.

The island in Cutler has a finite section of awesomely twisty-fast singletrack, great for cornering practice.

We'll be doing these rides every Wednesday throughout the season unless otherwise noted. Check our ride calendar for more info.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

NEMBA Pre-Season Clean Up at The Fells

The Middlesex Fells officially opens in just a few days, so on this cool, blustery Saturday morning a bunch of folks got together for a little walk through and clean up of NEMBA's Mountain Bike Loop. Greater Boston NEMBA President, Tim Post was there to kick things off, then Terry Kennedy took up the helm from there.

We divided up into groups, driving to various points of the loop, which we would walk and inspect until we ran into another group coming the opposite way. Each crew was outfitted with Loppers, saws, and McCloud tools. The McCloud tool came in handy for smoothing out "Commando Water-bars" into more gradual water-shedding troughs with wider "lenses" at the end for more even water dispersal. NEMBA member Adam was an expert in the art of trail maintenance, showing the rest of us the way things are done properly.

IBC Racer Hannah Sarnow came out to represent as did
IBC Elite MTB Team Rider Kevin Sweeney. Thanks guys!

Due to the relatively dry end to winter, the trails weren't in bad shape at all. So after a couple hours of hiking around we met back at the Sheepsfold parking lot for a great (huge) lunch spread put together by Terry Kennedy.

Thanks to NEMBA for putting this event together. It seemed that just about all the hikers and walkers we met along the way were vocally appreciative of the trail work we were out there doing. Stuff like this can go a long way toward smoothing out relations between different groups sharing public lands.

IBC will be back down at The Fells for the opening day event on Saturday April 18th. We'll be doing some tech support, leading rides, and most importantly, giving away T.T. Buds Popcorn. Come by and say hi.