Month: August 2015

Europe

Tiny church in the Italian Alps. Non denominal
Tiny church in the Italian Alps

We are winding down our European vacation with a day at The Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Our trip began with the wedding of a young couple who spend a few months with us while they made seaworthy a derelict 29 foot sail boat they purchased. As destinations weddings tend to go, this was a week long affair in the Italian Alps.  What made this so wonderful is that it is not a destination for Americans and we were able to immerse ourselves into the Italian culture.

Some on the Italian side spoke a little English but the American’s Italian was even more limited. By the end of the week however, both sides, were able to communicate with a mix of spoken and sign languages just fine.

Cialvrina Village made everyone feel welcome and made the week truly special for the over 100 wedding guests.  We took over the whole hotel and the staff soon became not only our host but part of the wedding. For instance, on our last night at the bar, the bartenders were mingling onto the dance floor and partying like it was 1999 with us. Fortunately for us Yanks, the dress was casual because trying to out dress the Italians was futile.

A random photo of one of the Italian guests
A random photo of one of the Italian guests

We had a very busy time in Italy including a hike to the glacier in the Italian Alps. A bike tour of Milan, and a train ride from Milan to St Moritz  through the Swiss Alps

Our accommodations in the Alps
Our accommodations in the Alps

Sue and I are ending our trip in Iceland by driving the Golden Circle and visiting the Blue Lagoon.  I spent the last afternoon in Reykjavik taking random photos of people on bikes. It’s very hip to ride in work clothes using the streets that are only open to pedestrians and bikes.

Traveling

Italian alps
The Cialvrina Resort in the Italian Alps

Played a lot of tennis this week which put a damper on the bike miles.   There is some business to attend to in the Italian Alps next week, and some bike riding to do in Milan.  A few days in Reykjavik will round out the next couple of weeks.

Reykjavik_rooftops
“Reykjavik rooftops” by Bjørn Giesenbauer 

How times have changed for travelers.  The bulk of my items for this trip are technology stuff.  Camera’s, laptops, outlet adapters, power cords.  Speaking of which, what ever happened to ISO 9000 standards?  Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our power needed devises could us the same cords?

Rides, Rides, Rides Dress Like Your in Amsterdam

Amsterdam dress code
Thursday – August 13, 2015

Mike Klek’s Thursday evening bike ride. Mike Klek, a member of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen, will be leading a bike ride through the local area. It starts at Bristol Community College and then heads north into toward Freetown. Mike has marked the ride by placing “Green Arrows” on the road along the route. This is how the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen mark their rides and it is easy to follow. This ride is for experienced cyclist since it will be all on-road. Riders will have a choice between a 20 mile route and a 27 mile route. Here are the details:

Meet-up for the ride is 5:45pm, with a 6:00pm start. Riders are to park their vehicles at Bristol Community College, the northern parking lot that is at the corner of Elsbree Street and Valentine Street. Since this ride starts at 6:00pm riders need to make sure that their bike are equipped with headlights and flashing lights for visibility and to be seen. Helmets are mandatory for this ride. Make sure to have water and a snack.

__________________________________________________________________________________

This one looks to be a humdinger. 

On August 15th, join us for a celebration of the new bike path section in Coventry, RI, known as the Trestle Trail. It is a part of the Washington Secondary Trail, and was completed in 2014. In addition to celebrating the opening of the trail, we will honor the memory of Guy Lefebvre, longtime trail advocate from Coventry parks and recreation, without whom this trail segment would not have been possible.

Schedule for the event is as follows:

9:30 – Providence bike train departs from Providence City Hall
10:00 – Bike train departs from Washington Secondary @ Garfield Street in Cranston
10:40 – Bike train departs from Washington Secondary @ Sue Street
12:00 – Celebration at Washington Secondary @ Log Bridge Rd, Coventry (at the end of the trail, by Summit General Store) with words from the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition, state agencies, and Town of Coventry representatives.
12:45 – Enjoy lunch at the General Store
1:30 – Providence bike train departure

Weelmen Have a Really Good Ride This Sunday.

Sunday 08/16/15 – NBW #088 – Scramble Metric

  • 17, 33, 56 & 66
  • Seekonk Town Centre, Seekonk, MA (AKA Ann & Hope)

About this Sunday’s Ride


NBW #088 – Scramble Metric
Click here to print

Why this ride is special


  • It’s flat
  • It’s fast – between all the turns
  • Very close to Providence
  • You didn’t have to arrow it (it’s an arrower’s nightmare) and its a way to learn a lot about the nearby town

Towns & Villages we travel through


Seekonk – Rehoboth – Norton – Mansfield – Foxborough – Wrentham – Norfolk – Franklin – Sheldonville – Cumberland – North Alleborough – Attleborough – Rumford

Some of the landmarks we pass by


Wheaton College in Norton

Xfinity Center in Mansfield

F Gilbert Hills State Forest in Foxborough

The head waters of the Charles River in Norfolk

Start:

  • 9:00 AM Summer Start 
  • Seekonk Town Center (AKA Ann & Hope)
  • The GPS address is 140 Taunton Av, Seekonk, MA

GPS Files – RideWithGps format (free to use)

The Miles Add Up Very Fast. (3307 Miles On The Bike)

I do group rides once or twice a week.  They range from 25-40 miles and they are OK.  Every day, including those weekend rides, I am on my bike pretty much all day.  To the market, to the park, into the city, evening rides to the coffee shop.   It’s very seldom less than 25 miles a day and those miles add up very quickly.  Much quicker than I though.

Every once in  a while I take my speed-o-meter mileage off my “commuter bike” and add them to my log.  I don’t do this daily so my miles on one day may read a hundred miles or more.  This is an accumulation of many days.  I reset the gadget to zero, ride a few days and repeat.  On the club rides, I’ll use my Garmin, which automatically posts that ride’s miles.  Today I looked at the total and was shocked to see the number 3307.  Three thousand three hundred and seven miles.   That seems like a lot until I look at the miles on my car.   In June, I had the oil changed and the miles are prominently displayed on the little sticker on the wind shield.  A look at my odometer tells me that I have driven my car 183 miles since June 17th.   Ironically, almost all of those miles are riding to the start of a group bike ride.  Go figure.

Nice Day For A White Reception.

IMG_20150808_172253785
A panoramic of the White event

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

The evening was a fundraiser for the Fairhaven, MA  Historical Society. Our friend bought a table and each table provided it’s own pot luck dinner.  A beautiful evening for and outdoor dinner, at sunset, under the steeple of the Unitarian Church, where everyone was asked to wear white.   IMG_20150808_173038196

IMG_20150808_173100148

IMG_20150808_174505372_HDR
Mr and Mrs midnight rider
IMG_20150808_174833962
Hank, head coach of the Fairhaven Tennis Association.
IMG_20150808_175648088
The bar keepers
IMG_20150808_194024707_HDR
Sunset and the Unitarian Church of Fairhaven

IMG_20150808_194147307

IMG_20150808_194210081_HDR

IMG_20150808_194433670

You Like Historic Architecture? How About Scotch Bonnet Peppers?

Years ago I would find something funny or unusual on the web and conclude my weekday blog with Friday Funnies.  This YouTube definitely makes the cut as a Friday Funny.  These two at the end of this post are a riot.

For now though, from today’s bike ride, are some of the architecture of Old Fairhaven and the Whaling Historic National Park in New Bedford, MA.

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

Rogers School Fairhaven
Rogers School. Fairhaven, MA
Gift of Henry Huttleston Rogers.
Fairhaven Town Hall
Gift of Henry Huttleston Rogers
Millicent Library, Fairhaven, MA
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Historic Homes. New Bedford, Ma
Whaler Tavern, New Bedford, Ma
In the National Historic Park of New Bedford
Pitchman
Seaman's Bethel at Whaling National Park in New Bedford, MA
Seaman’s Bethel, Whaling National Park in New Bedford, MA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Afternoon Delight
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Tabatha Inn, Fairhaven.  Samuel Clemens was a regular visitor to this Inn
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Unitarian Church in Fairhaven, MA. A gift of Henry Huttleston Rogers
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA
Unitarian Church, Fairhaven, MA
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford Whaling Museum

Friday Funny

Living the Retired Life.

Blue Heron
Blue Heron

As always, click any photo for big. Click Again for bigger
I drove my car yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks.   I ride my bike pretty much every day with no destination planed.  It wasn’t that long ago I would plan a 30 mile loop, kit up and go out and be very conscious of my average speed, trying to keep it at 15 MPH or higher.  I’m very happy with 10 MPH now, but because of making so many stops for whatever reason, it’s impossible to measure that.

Today again was a ride into the city, (New Beddford, MA)  just because.  Time was at a premium because of a late start and an appointment, forcing me to cut the ride short by a couple of hours.  I did manage to keep my average speed down using the “taking pictures” method.  He are some of the things that got my attention.

Black Dog diver
Black Dog diver
Vincent the Black Dog diver
Vincent the Black Dog diver
Harbor Tours
Harbor Tours
Hazardous SUV
Hazardous SUV
Harbor Tours
Harbor Tours
Harbor Tours 2
Harbor Tours 2
Boat in New Bedford Harbor
Boat in New Bedford Harbor
Martha's Vineyard High Speed Ferry
Martha’s Vineyard High Speed Ferry
Bait
Bait
Seastreak
Seastreak
Lunch in the park
Lunch in the park

Tennis and Biking.

My daily ride brings me all around the town of Fairhaven, MA as well as other towns.  I noticed a lot of players on the courts at the middle school and as I rode up, it was obvious that these were very high class players.  Even from a distance the loud thwack of their shots.   Funny thing is that as I got closer, the players were shrinking.  I had come upon the regional qualifying tennis tournament and these were 13 and 14 year old players shooting off cannons.  I hung around for the last few matches on the four courts and have to say that these kids could really play.
     Fairhaven’s local player Trevor Schwarzmann had lost only one match all year. Today he was beat 8-1 and had a very quick elimination from the playoffs.
trevor Schwarzman
_________________________________________________________________________
Bike Fall River will be riding the Blackstone River Bike Path
Sunday, August 9, 2015 – Meet-up is at 8:45am the Start Time for the ride is 9:00am
Blackstone River Bike Trail
Blackstone River Bike Trail
The Blackstone River Bike is one of the most beautiful bike paths in the area. It follows along a rail line, the Blackstone River and an old canal system. There are several dams along the route. The path is relatively flat and is perfect for the beginner cyclist as well as the experienced cyclist. The total distance is 10 miles one way, 20 mile round trip for those who choose to ride the entire path.
Directions to the meet-up spot:  Take 195 West toward Providence, take I 95 North to Route 146. Once on route 146 take the exit for Route 123, bear right onto 123 (Breakneck Hill Rd) continue for 2.8 miles – the road becomes Great Road, Front Street and finally John Street (all on Route 123). Once you see the old sign for the Lonsdale Drive-in Theater take a left into the parking lot. Helmets are highly recommended – bring water and a snack. As with all rides, this is weather permitting.

Mattapoisett/Marion, MA Scenic Ride

Gang at Marion Wharf

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

CLICK HERE for the Flickr photo album
Nine of us gathered at Stop & Shop in Fairhaven, MA for our 30 mile ride to the coastal villages of Mattapoisett and Marion. Both are small towns with populations of under ten thousand. Both are tourist destinations for those who love Cape Cod but find “the Cape” much too hectic.  Falmouth is a fifteen minute boat ride from either town across Buzzards Bay. Mattapoinsett is where the well to do might summer and Marion is where the “very well to do” summer.  For example, when we pulled in to a Cumberland farms convenience store there was also  a group of five teens on bikes.  One sported a Portland Timbers shirt and I asked if he was a fan and had ever been to a game.  “Actually I live in Portland” was his response.  One of his friends lived in Minnesota and another was from the Chicago area.  All of them said they spend the summers in Marion sailing and playing soccer and lacrosse every day.

Back to the ride.  It was a short ride to the center of Mattapoisett and one section had us portaging our bikes of some nasty rocky sections of the soon to be bike path extension.  The extra work was well worth it when we came to the Mattapoisett River Bridge that was recently installed as part of the extension. The view was spectacular. 

Mattapoisett River

It was around 10 miles on the back roads to get to Marion Center.  The traffic was very light and those who were sharing the roads gave us plenty of clearance.

IMG_2637

The wharf in Marion was abuzz with Portland and Midwesterners preparing for their three hour cruises on Buzzards Bay.

IMG_2645

After visiting the Marion Art Center we set off on our 15 mile ride back to Fairhaven.  We threw in a quick lunch stop in Rochester, Ma  to top off this near perfect day of bike riding.

Rochester center