i was afraid i had to take the MBTA into boston to see the annual speedo santa run. out of principle, i try to avoid the T if i can, especially this weekend, when the red line is closed between kendall and broadway, while buses take passengers to the in between stops. but i knew since last night that the overnight-into-morning rain would stop by noon, just in time for me to bike into boston, my preferred transportation choice.
i ate two slices of microwave-warmed pound cake for breakfast. i thought about bringing my action camera but i couldn't figure out where to mount it on my bag without it looking awkward, so i decided not to bring it. on my camera i mounted the 18-200mm lens. with runners coming up so close, the 55-250mm telephoto wouldn't be able to capture all the action, this i know from experience.
despite the early rain, weather today wasn't too bad, overcast but warm, with temperature in the upper 50's. it was foggy too, and riding into copley square across the mass ave bridge, i couldn't see the tops of skyscrapers as they were hidden in the clouds. a farcry from past speedo santa runs, where it's been insanely cold. when i came down bolyston street, there was a crowd of speedo santas congregating outside one of the bars they use as the staging area. there were also a few news vans getting footage of the festivity.
after locking up my bike to a street sign, i waited at my usual copley square corner, the southeast section of the boylston-dartmouth intersection. because the sun was obscured today, i could've stood anywhere and not receive any glare, but i like standing at that particular corner because i can get the copley square station sign in the background.
i didn't have to wait long, less than 15 minutes, since i left the house a bit after 12:20pm. i overheard a tourist family looking for a bathroom and i told them the public library had what they were looking for. in hindsight i probably screwed them out of seeing the speedo santa run. an older couple asked me if i was there to take photos. they seemed local, but it was there first time seeing the run.
this year's group of runners seemed better than last year. last year was bitterly cold (temperature in the 20's). cold and sunny, two conditions that make for lousy photos. the cold probably caused a significant amount of people to bail on the run, and there seemed to be less turnout compared to this year. the sun made photo exposure difficult, images were either overexposed or under. because of today's overcast, i made sure to set the ISO to a high value (1600) to make for faster shutter speed. but even at that ISO value, the shutter speed was between 1/160 to 1/250, still a little slow to capture crystal clear action. the aperture was at f/8, and i wonder if i should've dialed it down to f/4, but if i had to do it again, i'd bump up the ISO even higher to 3200. there was one other photographer, an old guy with a hefty telephoto lens. i'd never seen him before, he seemed to be making a rookie mistake as it's very hard to all the action with just a telephoto lens.
a woman was the front runner this year, which i'd never seen before. she ran fast, like she was trying to set a course record on this 1-mile run, but i don't think they get anything for coming in first.
after the runners ran down boylston, i hurried over to newbury street to catch them on their way back.
the front runner was still out in front, with her perfect form. you could tell she probably runs a lot, that this was child's play to her, compared to some other runners i saw further back. there were no walkers this year, everyone who ran the course finished it running, but i did see a few cheaters who joined in from newbury street.
10 minutes after it all started, the 2019 speedo santa run quickly came to a close. i went back to my bike and returned home via newbury street, which turned out to be a congested nightmare. i made a detour and got onto beacon street to get to mass ave then over the bridge back into MIT and cambridge.
the fog got even thicker on my way back, that i was worried i didn't bring my lights. i got back home by 1:40pm. i gathered up my things and left. i was so hot from the ride back (my clothes was damp from sweat) that i packed up my shirt and jacket in my bag and rode in just a t-shirt. temperature was 55 degrees, low enough to feel cold, but i just needed to cool off.
i stopped by the cafe to pick up the eton radio and to gather a few ingredients my mother had asked for. my 2nd aunt told me she lost her diamond ring somewhere in the cafe because she took it off to chop some vegetables. my mother had asked me to check if her xioami phone was at the cafe. we didn't see it, so i turned on my computer to track her phone down, which turned out to be in belmont.
after testing the eton elite executive radio, my father and i decided to return it. it's a nice piece of equipment, but somewhat difficult to use, or we simply didn't have the time to learn everything. we tried receiving some shortwave stations but at most got some faint broadcast over the static. also, ever since my father experienced a wide spectrum bandwith display with waterfall plotting via websdr, he could never go back to simply blindly searching for radio broadcasts with the dial. we decided to invest our time in getting an SDR rig up and running, maybe buy an all-band receive-only antenna.
the ride home was nice because it was so warm, still 55 degrees. i was disoriented when i stepped outside since i already prepared myself to experience the cold shock. not only was it warm, it was also humid from all that rain and fog. also all the riding i've done recently, i've built up my endurance and now i race up hills effortlessly, my legs don't feel tired at all.