“Hey guys, wouldn’t it be awesome if we rode bikes along the Boston Marathon route the night before? At midnight?” The things we do for fun…
The Midnight Ride began in 2009 with a simple Facebook event for Greg Hum and his friends, word spread, and about 50 people gathered at South Station to take the commuter rail out to the starting line. Many agreed to make it an annual tradition, and the following year 70 people showed up.
In 2017 the count was 2,870 cyclists on the marathon course! JF’s own Matt and Olivia Lord along with members of the JF Cycling Team and Team Trevor were among those riding the course under the stars. But in true EpicMan fashion, we decided that one way was not enough and rode the course both ways! A total of 54 miles starting in Boston at 9:20 pm, riding to Hopkinton and back to the Boston Marathon finish line.
Armed with lights, snacks, and glow sticks we joined the group assembled in Boston Common to start the Pre-Midnight Marathon Ride. This is obviously a smaller subset of the midnight ride, not everyone wants to ride 50+ miles in the dark. However, there were still over 200 cyclists, enough to take over Comm ave for at least a mile – it was a critical mass ride in the city! The ride spread out as we reached the first hills and a steady line of red flashing lights dotted the course. The Boston Marathon is known for its long downhill start, a quad killer to the over-zealous runner, this downhill becomes a pretty significant uphill when heading in the reverse direction. When we made it to the starting line we were met with floodlights, local police directing traffic and hundreds of cyclists ready to start their midnight ride.
The return journey on the marathon course (now moving in the correct direction) was a high speed, pot-hole dodging, other cyclist avoiding whirlwind. The grind up to the start line was immediately forgotten as we cruised down the hills (way more fun on a bike). Even the famed Heartbreak Hill was more molehill than mountain with a sweet tail wind and the earlier hassles of rain and wet pavement gone. Before we knew it we were turning onto Boylston St and the blue and yellow finish line. This fun and crazy event could not have taken place without many volunteers – huge thanks to the Boston Society of Shenanigans for all their hard work.
As many of you know, Jewett Farms has been involved in the crazy adventure surrounding the Boston Marathon, that is EpicMan for many years. As EpicMan has evolved we have watched Team Trevor create an epic weekend of cycling, running, and community involvement. Christie Salema, Team Trevor’s tireless leader, has created an event that brings together a community and pushes people to test their physical boundaries. It is truly epic. This years community marathon relay culminated in 415 miles run by over 25 runners.
Want to help out? Olivia’s next big adventure to benefit Cystic Fibrosis research is the 2017 New York City Marathon! You can support her run here. Want to join the craziness? JF Cycling is open to anyone who lives to ride – check out our facebook page and email Olivia for more info.
Also – check out Boston Magazine’s account of the Midnight Ride – What it’s like to speed from Hopkinton to Boylston Street the night before the Boston Marathon.