Like many in Greater Boston, we stayed up much of the night listening to sirens and helicopters, and reading most of our live news coverage on twitter feeds. Confusion, gunfire, grenades, explosives, police stand-offs - in multiple towns simultaneously. These are locations that I ride and walk past all the time, where I work, where many of my friends live and work.

Today. Several Boston-area towns have been, as they put it, "suspended." Businesses are closed, and people have been either ordered or asked, depending on how you interpret it, to not leave their houses and not answer their doors. Much of the MBTA (public transport system) is shut down. Taxi service shut down. Streets largely empty except for police presence.

News are reporting highways jammed with commuters whose workday has been cancelled, trying to turn around and return to the outer suburbs.

Emails are circulating as to whether it is safe to get the heck out of here on bikes, go on a long ride, get away from it all. Some say yes, this is the very point of two wheeled freedom. Others say no, it would interfere with police orders and put cyclists in needless danger.

To local readers signed up for the New England Randonneurs Populaire tomorrow: Be aware that it may be cancelled. Stay tuned and check their website for updates. The Populaire has been rescheduled for next Saturday, April 27th.

We wait as the situation develops.

Update: As of 9:30pm, looks like the restrictions are lifted and the city is becoming functional again. I will leave the news reporting to the news agencies; we are just glad it's over without further casualties.