Everything is Frozen

No riding for the past few days because of the weather.  The highs have been in the single digit and low teens with a very dangerous wind chill. For example, this morning, it was -3 with a wind chill dropping the temperature for mammals and humans to -16.

Around noon, the winds dissipated, the sun shone brightly and the temperature topped off at 18 F, (-8 C).  It felt a little like spring after what we experienced over the past few days.   By Thursday the temperature is expected to top off at around 50 F (10 C).

During the winter months, we put food out for whatever critter or bird wants to eat.    Except for those of the same breed.  The blue jays fight with each other, the squirrels, and cardinals do the same.  Oddly enough they don’t fight with those outside their family.

December 2017 Biking

I rode as often as possible this month. The exception was a few days in Atlanta for Christmas with the family, and a few days under the weather with a cold.  I never ride without my camera because being on a bike or walking, we see things that people who drive everywhere seldom experience.  You all ride so you know what I’m talking about.

While working on today’s short ride, (it’s winter and it was snowing), I decided a video would tell a better story.   Enjoy.

2017 December Bike Montage from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

 

Winter Biking

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I am one of the lucky few who enjoys winter riding. The last couple of days the temperature has been in the single digits, warming up to 14 or 15 degrees.  I have layered up and gone  for a short ride both days. Less than 10 miles, and I stay pretty close to home.  The bike path is a few yards from my driveway which kind of makes the decision to ride easy.

The day begins by walking the dogs on the MUP. With the cold weather and usually no one else on the path, they get to go off leash and run to their little hearts content.  My wife insists they wear coats and neither dog is happy about that.

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Yesterday the temperature topped off at 13F or -10C and the wind was howling. I made my usual stop at the supermarket and a friend questioned my bike riding in this cold.  I asked him what he would think if I was on a mountain skiing at 13 degrees.  “That’s different’, he said.  ‘Skiing is a winter sport.”  Sometimes it’s better to stop talking, which I did.  I was thinking about riding to the gym after finishing this post and just checked the weather.  It’s 4 right now and I think I’ll have another coffee and maybe watch a movie before heading out.

Winter Blast

Capture

It began with a need to go to the market for a couple of things.  I stepped outside and noticed it didn’t seem that bad.  No wind, sunny.  Not much of a decision here.  I got the commuter bike out and rode the mile to the store.  I did stop on the way to check on the membership for the town rec center gym.  $53 senior price for 6 months.  Not bad at all.

I got a few comments from friends at the market about bike riding today.  My one word answer? “Layers”.  The only cold I felt was near the end of the ride, my toes.  They were cold, but not uncomfortably so.

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The ride took me part way down the peninsula on Sconticut Neck Road.  I stopped at a friends to say hello, but in reality it was to gloat about riding in this weather.  He invited me in for some warmth, but I declined and continued riding.  If the cows could stand it, well, so could I.

Winter Cows on West Island

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I got off the main road to ride the Phoenix MUP extension along the bay and the wind turbines.

 

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On the main bike path, there are a couple of memorial benches placed by loved ones in their favorite spots.  When I stopped, just to look around, I startled a really big blue heron.  By the time I got my camera ready, it was long gone.  A couple of ducks who were in the same hidden spot, chose their getaway perfectly and I missed that photo also. I simply leaned back with my elbows shoulder height on the top of the bench behind me taking in the view.  I looked across the marsh at a house I had seen hundreds of times during my 30 plus years on this trail.  Today I saw it again for the first time.

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Later in the evening, I realized that I had not purchased a lottery ticket my wife and I spoke about earlier in the day.  A friend told us that the state Megabucks had not had a jackpot winner since mid April.  Many years ago, we had a season ticket to that game and we remembered the combination we played unsuccessfully for 5 years.  One more dollar for tonight’s drawing has been wagered. Naturally I got to the store by bike to play our numbers, x-xx-xx-xx-32-35. The last two numbers were our ages back then.  We have both since doubled those numbers in age. We’ll see how the drawing goes this evening.

Friday Night Wolf Full Moon Ride

The full moon is in the 1st but we always ride the Friday night closest to the event.  This one is 100% bike path, except for the sections we get off the path. Downtown Wood’s Hole for example.

These rides are a hoot.  Try one, you’ll like it.

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There will be a Evening/Moonlight ride on the Shining Sea Bikeway on Friday 12/29/17.
Date: Friday 12/29/17.
Location:  Shining Sea Bikeway off Rt. 151 in Falmouth, MA.
Time:
  Arrive: 3:45PM
  Departure: 4:00PM promptly
Sunset: 4:20PM
Distance: around 20 miles.
Questions: email me.
Rain, snow or high winds cancels the ride.
We will ride (hopefully) to the end of the path and back with a possible stop in Woods Hole for coffee.
Bikes should have adequate lighting.
If you have a second headlight as a backup that might come in handy if the first one goes out.
Bring water, snacks, cameras and anything else you might want or need.
Helmets are highly recommended.
Take note that it is cooler after sunset and dress accordingly.

Stay tuned for the Blue Moon Ride on or near January 31st. It’s the second full moon of the month and it only happens once in a blue moon.

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Same O. Same O. Not Really

I ride the same route around the same time every day for my morning commute.  I cross the harbor over the New Bedford/Fairhaven MA bridge to get to work close to the same time every day.  The bridge has a set opening daily of on the hour between 6 and 9 AM.  I cross around 8. ish.

I can get there sooner, or lollygag to get to the bridge later and not have to wait.  However, I get some of my best photos while waiting.  I dismount the bike of the day and look around to see what catches my fancy.  Some photos are very good. Some not so much.  Finding something not waterfront related is a challenge on the commute. That being said, I go with the flow and photo what’s presented to me.

Something Different

If you don’t know Sturgill Simpson give this a try.  If you do know him, you to go full screen and full volume.