It’s Bike Week in Boston

Boston Bike Week kicks off a series of events designed to encourage riding in the city. Coordinated group commuting rides from all surrounding communities make it fun and easy to test out a bike commute, or to re-invigorate your commuting experience.

Bike Week culminates in the first “Bike Friday” event of the season. Bike Fridays are coordinated rides that end at City Hall Plaza with a free breakfast and expo. They are a fun way to motivate yourself for the commute, meet other city cyclists, learn about local cycling companies, and get a free breakfast.

Find out more about Bike Week here: Boston Bikes.

Do you commute to Boston? What’s your best tip? Answer in the comments.

Photo credit: John “Pathfinder” Lester

Boston’s Hub On Wheels Event – A Day of Cycling in The City

Last Sunday I rode in my first “Hub On Wheels” ride in Boston. The event has been around since 2005 and is designed to promote cycling and good health, showcase the various neighborhoods of the city, and to raise money for charity. About 6,000 riders participated in this unique event this year.

Storrow Drive

Boston’s busy Storrow Drive is closed to traffic and open only to cyclists on the morning of the event. This presents a unique opportunity to ride on a big, wide road with a bunch of cyclists while taking in a unique view of the city. Riding down Storrow Drive on a bike allows you to take in the Charles River and Boston skyline views in much more detail. The ride goes out to the end and then doubles back on the other side.

Touring the city streets and parks

Once off the cycling “highway” the route (if you’re taking the 30 or 50 mile version) takes you through the city streets of Boston, and through the Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, and the Forest Hills Cemetery, before heading out to the coast. The ride comes back along the shoreline and ultimately via the Harborwalk and back into Downtown Boston.

Events on the Plaza

Once back from the ride, there are tons of things going on at City Hall Plaza. Bike stunt shows, beer and food tents, and professional racing. A great way to wrap up the ride.

For more information about the event, check out their website at

Gadgets: The Garmin 305

I’ve been using this little gizmo for years. It’s been extremely (in fact, surprisingly) accurate and very easy to use. One of my original motivations for purchasing it came from participating in indoor cycling classes where there was a lot of heart rate monitor interference. This one worked without a hitch.

Also, having lugged around a much larger older unit to help out with field research for the book, I knew the value GPS would have on the road. Having all that functionality in a much smaller unit is great. But I left some features unexplored until recently.

Mostly I’ve used the unit to review routes after going out on a club ride or outings with friends in unfamiliar areas. Earlier this year I experimented with programming routes. Once again, I found the experience surprisingly pleasant. It’s quite easy to plan routes on the computer and then follow them on the GPS while riding. The interface is rudimentary, but very effective. You’re essentially following a breadcrumb trail on this unit. No color maps or street names. But.. it works great! While it’d be nice to have all the bells and whistles of the latest GPS models, you may consider re-exploring your old unit if you have one. There may be some very cool features left unexplored.