Summer Reading

zeke

I came across and article in Adventure cycling magazine about a 13 year old riding his bike cross country.  He is posting on crazyguyonabike.com and his writing style and vocabulary is a hoot.  Here is an example.

“Ferry didn’t arrive ’til 4 very tired updates later.” That is the verbatim post that I had no trouble posting last after half a day’s ride. It is all true except for ‘updates later’. There were going to be updates later, but this stupidly weak signal failed three times putting a cumulative hour and a half spent writing beautiful descriptions (you’ll have to take my word for it) down the drain. So here is a brief summary:

I rode through Eastern Virginia

The END

He also has two other journals on the site that are worth reading.

CLICK HERE for some good summer reading.

Bike Touring. A Life Changing Adventure Or A Fun Vacation

As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger

All of us who visit  touring sites either do, or want to do long distance touring. Since 2005 when I signed onto bikeforums and crazyguyonabike, I have envisioned myself doing some kind of cross country tour, be it east to west, or south to north. Last year I was within a week of riding the Southern Tier solo until things happened to force a postponement. I ended up riding the GAP/Martha’s Vineyard tour a few weeks ago as my annual bike tour.

I rode the GAP, Montour and Panhandle trails last year with a large group, and had a wonderful time. Being a social person who also enjoys time riding solo made the Rails to Trails sponsored sojourn, a good experience. I did some riding alone, some with new found friends and at the end of the day participated in the social events that were made available by the locals when we passed through or stayed overnight in their towns. This year two of us did the same ride on our own and the experience

Great Allegheny Passage

Great Allegheny Passage

Barroom in the basement.

Barroom in the basement.

was the polar opposite. Converted rail trails are often long stretches of nothing between major rail yards with a few small towns scattered between. Without an event with 300 bike riders coming to town, there is no reason for any business to remain open past 6 or 8 PM.

Riding 60+ miles a day on dirt with a slight incline can certainly test the patience and endurance of older guys like me. The reason for those miles was to get to a town, relax over a nice dinner and have a few cold ones while rehashing the day. There was also a time factor involved when riders have to get back to work.   In reality, we ended up walking to a Walmart one evening and settling into a bar room in a house basement the next night eating frozen pizza and potato chips.

On the flip side, towpaths like the Erie Canal have towns every couple of miles, catering to bike and boat tourist during the summer.  Again to finish the end to end bike ride, it’s 8 days on crushed limestone averaging 50 miles a day. The Erie Canal has the option of NY Bike Route 5 (Rt 31 for cars), which allows riders to make up time by riding on pavement. If your ride, you know how

Bike route 5 paralleling the Erie Canal towpath

Bike route 5 paralleling the Erie Canal towpath

refreshing it is to ride on pavement compared to crushed limestone, especially if it’s wet.  The Erie Canal offers a plethora of choices to stay or if one prefers, free camping at any lock station. The Erie Canal is a fun bike ride as opposed to the Great Allegheny Passage, which is more of an adventure.

Our Brockport home. Camping on the canal.

Our Brockport home. Camping on the canal.

There are lots of local day rides available on these converted trails, and I’ll continue to ride them, but the long, boring, dusty week long rides on rail trails have been eliminated from my touring list.

Bike touring for many is a life changing adventure.  For many it’s a fun vacation or it can be anywhere between the two.

Next years tour is narrowed down to three choices.  The Erie Canal, an 8 day tour.   Cape Cod and Martha’s Vinyard in 6 days.   Inn to Inn in Bar Harbor Maine in 6 days using Adventure Cycling’s Itinerary without the off days. 

Another Ride Into The Sunset

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As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger.

I’m not sure how many times I have done the Ten Speed Spoke Longest Day of the Year ride.  Seven, maybe eight times.  During our ride in 2009 one in our group got a call from her daughter that Michael Jackson had died.  Funny how we relate stuff like that to our bike rides.

On this day, 10 Speed Spokes had a pre-ride fruit table with apples, oranges and watermelon, along with assorted flavored water and sport drinks.   At the end were were offered those things in addition to all the pizza you could eat, juices, soda, water and two coupons for locally brewed beer.

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An estimated 200 riders came out on this overcast cool evening for the 18th annual ride.  There was a 45-35-25 and 15 mile option.  Knowing the city pretty well, I was able to avoid the major climb that takes the 15 and 25 miles riders to the finish line, by bailing out of the arrowed course early, giving me a 19 mile ride.  Being in the first dozen finishers also guaranteed us hot pizza and cold beer.

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Thames Street in Newport RI

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This guy was a hit with all the tourists.

It was quite a thrill riding the tourist lined streets of Newport, RI and we became an instant attraction for the camera and smart phone crowd.

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Everyone enjoyed the ride

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Ocean Drive

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Approaching Ocean Drive

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Ocean Drive in Newport, RI

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The Breakers.  Summer home of  William Vanderbilt.

The Breakers. Summer home of William Vanderbilt.

Marble  House.  Summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

Marble House. Summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

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Quaint, historic Newport side street

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Pizza and beer.

As the band was setting up, a man living across the street approached and asked to see the live music permit.  He knew full well they didn’t have on because it’s he who issues them.  The bike shop put up a bit of an argument to no avail and the band packed up and left before most of the riders returned.

Rides This Weekend

Thursday June 25th

Ten Speed Spokes Bike Shop longest day of the year ride.

This is one of my regular annual rides.  It’s a fun ride around Newport with lots of food and activities at the end.   It’s all free.

There is also convenient free parking at 437 Broadway.  I’ll be leaving that lot to ride to the ride registration and start at 5:15.

Saturday 06/27/15 – NBW Cafe Ride (weather permitting)

  • East Bay Bike Path – from Fort Hill to Bristol Bagel and back (27 miles)
  • Leaves Fort Hill Parking Lot at 9:00 AM
  • Contact John Nery for more details

Sunday 06/28/15 – NBW #032 – Providence Bicycle Ride

  • 10, 35 & 57 mile rides
  • Starts off Branch Av in Providence

Towns & Villages we travel through


Providence – North Providence – Smithfield – Glendale – Harrisville – Mapleville – Glocester – Foster – Scituate – North Scituate – Greenville – Johnston – Esmond

Some of the landmarks we pass by


West River – Wanskuck Park (Great Sledding) – Georgiaville Pond – Stillwater Reservoir – Wolf Hill – Clear River – Scituate Reservoir – Whipple Hill

Start:

  • 10:00 AM Regular Start
  • Providence, RI
  • The GPS address is 75 Branch Av, Providence, RI

GPS Files – RideWithGps format (free to use)

NBW #032 – Providence Bicycle Ride
Click here to print

Ride Into The Sunset. Thursday 5:30 PM in Newport, RI

This is one of the highlight rides of the summer.  Ride along the beaches, five mile drive, the mansions and chasms of Newport, RI.   The ride begins at 6 PM at the bike shop which is across the street from the baseball stadium.

Newport bike has a large parking lot less than a mile from the bike shop and it’s available free of charge for anyone with a bike.

Ten Speed Spokes Longest Day Ride is a yearly event held to celebrate the start of summer and all things cycling.  It features 4 different length arrowed courses.  Everything is free!  Shirts and helmets are required.

All skill levels and ages of cyclists are invited.

This year the Honky Tonk Knights are playing live tunes for your return to the shop.

The ride will be on June 25th and will start at 6pm.  Be sure to get here by 5:30pm at the latest to allow time for check in.  T-shirts will be limited to the first 150 people who check in on the day of the ride so get here early!

After the ride Five Speed Spokes bike shop provides, entertainment, soda, a beer, pizza and snacks.  All included in the free ride.

Lots Happening This Weekend

Yesterday I hit 1200 miles on the bike.  This could be a big year with still a couple of multi-day tours on the calender.

Fairhaven has two major events over the weekend.  Saturday is the Buzzards Bay Swim and Sunday is the Fathers Day Road Race.

 

Weekend Rides

Saturday 06/20/15 – NBW Cafe Ride (weather permitting)

  • East Bay Bike Path – from Fort Hill to Bristol Bagel and back (27 miles)
  • Leaves Fort Hill Parking Lot at 9:00 AM

Contact John Nery for more details

Bike Fall River will be conducting a History Bike ride through Fall River this Saturday.

Fall River Historian David Jennings will talk about several topics relating to the history of Fall River. The cyclists will ride to a number of sites in the city and Mr. Jennings will regale the group with a colorful account on several topics including the Marquis de Lafayette, The Battle of Fall River and the history of the Quequechan River. Mr. Jennings is the President of the Lafayette – Durfee House located on Cherry Street and has been giving history lectures for many years. Here are the details:

Fall River History Bike Ride

Saturday, June 20, 2015

8:45am meet at Bristol Community College Parking lot – north end of lot on Elsbree Street

Ride will start at 9:00am – Route will take the riders to the following areas:

Eastern Avenue (Lafayette Statue & Prince Henry Statue) down Pleasant Street to Britland Park (Quequechan River) to Bedford Street – South Main Street (Gromada Plaza) North Main Street – Cherry Street (Lafayette-Durfee House) – Ride back to our cars.

The ride will be all on-road and is perfect for beginners. Helmets will be required for this ride. Make sure to bring your questions about Fall River! Experienced Bike Fall River members will assist the non-experienced riders. Rules of the road will be covered prior to the start of the ride.

Sunday 06/21/15 – NBW #058 – Wachusett Mountain Ride

  • 18, 43 & 68 mile rides
  • Starts at URI
  • Towns & Villages we travel through


    South Kingston – Shannock Village – Charlestown – Carolina – Hopkinton – Ashaway – North Stonington – Westerly

    Some of the landmarks we pass by


    Carolina Management Area – Wood River – The condemned bridge (to cars) over the Pawcatuck River on Boombridge Road – Watch Hill – Taylor Swift – Misquamicut Beach – Weekapaug – Quonochtontaug Pond – Burlingame State Forest – Worden Pond

    Start:

    • 10:00 AM Regular Start
    • URI – South Kingston
    • The GPS address of West Independence Way, Kingston, R

People, Boats, Bikes and Horses

Bikes and horses and people

Bikes and horses and people

As always, click and photo for big. Click again for bigger
The ride in Tiverton, RI last night was a bust. No big deal for this retired guy. I’ll do a long ride tomorrow morning. Well, tomorrow morning arrived and I remembered I am playing tennis tonight. No big deal for this retired guy. I’ll do a long ride tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and I’ll be lucky to walk after a couple hours of tennis tonight. I did find a solution to those next day lactic acid filled burning legs. An ice bath after tennis.

Filling a tub with the coldest water possible out of the faucet, then sitting in it, is very difficult. Last year the best I could do was kneel in the tub. Last week however, I tried the frog in the boiling water system. The one that says if you drop a frog in very hot water it will jump out. But, if you put a frog in cool water and slowly bring it to a boil, the frog will allow itself to be cooked. I sit in an empty tub and turn the cold water on so it flows very slowly, gradually opening the faucet as I adjust to the shock. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. It’s amazing how fast the lactic acid recovery is by a simple ice bath. Or in my case, a cold bath. It’s common for pro athletes to do the ice bath after a game.

There was time to do a ride around town today. Fairhaven, MA is a waterfront town within sight of the western side of Cape Cod and on a clear day, Martha’s Vineyard. A camera is an essential bike component for any bike blogger worth their salt. Sometimes a photographer begins the day with a theme and there are other times, like today, that we simply pay attention to the world and stay ready for what ever happens. There was a lot going on today.

Lots of Boats

Couple on the beach at Fort Phoenix

Returning from deep sea fishing trip

Dog Walker at Fort Phoenix

Entering New Bedford, MA harbor

Basketball in the park

Gull standing guard

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Lobster Boat

Tug behind Palmer’s Island Light