Sometimes you want to be alone.

I have tons of friends in Boston, and yet, I didn’t really put out the word that I was coming. My parents were flying in, I was staying with my aunt and uncle, and sometimes you have to prioritize. I had an entire weekend, proximity to New England, and I didn’t bother to look for other rides, despite my awareness that the window was closing for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont. I’ve friended the Dartmouth Cycling Team, they’ll help me train in the spring, right?

So, utilizing public transit, I swung by Urban AdvenTours to pick up my sexy Italian rental bike and check in, and the great folks at Bike to the Beach offered to get my bike to the start line for me. Yay!


Another pre-dawn start:


The first part of the course was along an unlit bike path, and I worked my way to the front of the peleton, mostly because I feared the kind of crashes I’d seen at the start of the New York ride. At the first rest stop, there was a really long line for the porta-potty, and while I’ve learned not to skip an opportunity, it wasn’t that far to the next stop…

It was a perfect day to be out riding, supporting
Bike to the Beach and Autism Speaks


It’s just that there wasn’t another stop with facilities in the state of Massachusetts. At every stop, I’d ask, and be assured that there would be one at the next stop. Things weren’t desperate, but one volunteer remarked, “well, you’re only the second woman to ride through.” (Subtext: men will take a nature break anywhere.)

Suddenly, the urgency was related to one thing only: be the first woman across the finish line.

This smile? This is the stop where I caught up to her. No bathrooms yet, but who cares?


Finally, a bike shop and indoor plumbing!


What’s a ride without themed rest stops and doggie love?


So, yes, first woman across the finish line. Family to greet me! Massachusetts, done, Rhode Island, almost complete, and the promise of help to make it so.


If the zombies don’t get us first, that is…


The next day, my aunt drove me over to Little Compton, Rhode Island for me to mop up my missing Rhode Island miles. I wasn’t sure if I should flash gang signals or baby vamp fangs when I finished.

That night, we celebrated with lobster. Well, we celebrated. The lobsters weren’t so lucky, especially the one we picked for movie stardom…

Sometimes, you want to be alone. But not this weekend. I was so happy to be surrounded by family, and family who had travelled thousands of miles so we could all spend some time together.