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Cycling for Boston

Posted by Elizabeth Comeau  April 23, 2013 10:56 AM

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This post is from my friend and colleague, Ed, who is a cyclist and videojournalist here at Boston.com/The Boston Globe. He's going to contribute to the Get Moving blog from time to time with updates from the cycling world.

Hello my friends and readers of Boston.com.

Tomorrow I plan to embark on a 525-mile bicycle ride to Washington, D.C.

I'm struggling to tell you all about this because so many things seem trivial compared to the events that transpired in my great city last week.

Some of you may know me as a producer and multimedia editor behind many of Boston.com's news updates, video reports, and countless Boston Marathon productions through the past fifteen years.

I'm also an avid cyclist and (very) amateur bike racer. A few weeks ago I approached 'Get moving' editor Elizabeth Comeau about sharing some of my training tips and updates from the ride.

We talked about tips for route planning, iPhone technology; even diet tips for some of the back-to-back marathon bike rides that comprise this journey.

Then the world changed.

After an FBI press conference last Wednesday, I found myself wandering past the firehouse on Boylston Street and interviewing people who had come to lay mementoes at the gate there. White-clad crime scene investigators slowly inspected the scene of the bombing beyond. I think I simply needed to talk to a fellow Bostonian. Bicycling seemed so far away.

Yet even as we tried to awake from our daze here, the world continued on. Cherry blossoms bloomed on the trees along the Charles River with such indifference this past week that it seemed, somehow, cruel. This lovely symbol of a spring we waited so long for this winter became a painful reminder of that beautiful day last Monday that went so horribly awry.

I thought seriously about not going on this bike ride. Then I thought of the people injured in the Boston Marathon bombings – many of them everyday athletes like me. No doubt some, perhaps most of them would trade places with me in a heartbeat.

So I am going on this bike ride.

Tomorrow I join a group of some very, very talented cyclists from the region on a ride from Boston to the nation's capital. It's called Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington, and the group aims to raise money and awareness of cycling safety issues and bike infrastructure needs for a the non-profit People for Bikes Foundation.

We depart Boston tomorrow from City Hall Plaza at 8:30 a.m. In an attempt to honor those killed or injured in the events of last week, the group will ride down part of the Boston Marathon course.

An event at the Harpoon Brewery takes place tonight at 8 p.m., and it is open to the public. It will begin with a moment of silence for the Marathon bombings.


I'm riding as an embedded journalist on this ride, and I look forward to relaying some great health and cycling tips. There are some phenomenal riders in this group, such as national cyclo-cross champions Tim Johnson and Jeremy Powers. The group employs some specific group riding tactics to maintain safety on open and urban roads and enhance the endurance of the group.

Learn more about the Ride on Washington and the routes and schedule here:
http://rideonwashington.org/route-and-schedule

As I pedal my way south, in my heart will be the many runners, marathon volunteers, and Bostonians who have endured too much.

I am reminded of my favorite cycling quote from author Graeme Fife.

"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, the steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going."

Staying fit is an important part of staying healthy. This blog will offer exercise tips from experts as well as share the personal journeys of Globe staff members committed to fitness. No matter your age or energy level, we invite you to join in and share your own story. How do you find time to work out? What are your daily challenges? Let us know and read along -- and together, we can all get moving.

CONTRIBUTORS

Elizabeth Comeau is a social media marketing manager at Boston.com. She will be blogging about her personal fitness journey and using a device called a FitBit to track her weekly goals and progress (see below). Follow her journey and share your own. Read more about Elizabeth and this blog.

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