Month: May 2016

Tour Begins Friday

DSCN0777

I’m pretty much committed to a week long tour of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. I booked Friday and Saturday nights in a hostel on the Vineyard.  As usual, I’m driving myself nuts working on what to bring.  I know I want to travel very light. Although the photo shows camping equipment on my bike, I’m really considering indoor accommodations.  I really don’t like camping, and the campgrounds on the Cape are mostly a long way from town centers.   I’ll do it on tour with friends, but alone sitting on a bench waiting to get tired enough to hit the sack kind of sucks. .  The problem I’m finding now is that all the hostels on the Cape are booked next week and the motels, hotels and B&B’s are crazy expensive.  But, like most tourist places, there are Bates Motels that let guests sleep with whatever critters, bugs and creepy crawlies that can find their way into the room.

The thing is, I’m going to ride till mid afternoon regardless of the miles, find a place to stay, clean up, and transform from a traveler to a tourist. So….tomorrow I’m going to pack my panniers, go for a short ride and see how things feel.  I really intend on traveling very light and most of the weight will be electronic. I’m sure I will make a few adjustments between tomorrow and Friday.

Sunday Club Ride in Southeastern Massachusetts

Three of us drove to Swansea, MA to join the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen’s Swansea Bikeworks Ride.  The choices were 13-25 and 50 mile options on this very hilly course. Nicholas, our 16 year old new rider is getting very fast and strong.  I sent him to ride 50 mile with the Cat 1 and 2 riders to test his speed and endurance. Just join the paceline I instructed.  He was worried about getting dropped and lost.  “There will be another slower group of Cat 3 and 4 riders you can hook up with not far behind.  If all else fails, pay attention to the orange arrows on the road. They will guide you”.

Jason and I chose the 25 mile option.  I slowed a couple of times to shoot video footage and Jason stayed with the pack. When I got to the hospitality area at the end of the ride, Jay was no where to be found.  Jay is also new to club riding and didn’t realize he was in a mixed pack.  When the 25 mile riders turned away from the pack, Jay stayed with the 50 mile group.  He reasoning was that the 25 mile group seemed to have better kits and he thought those were the better riders. I had to backtrack on the route to find him and SAG him.  Nic finished the 50 miles in a little over three hours.  His dad met him at the finish and we all drove to the Bikeworks shop to get some upgraded equipment for Nic.  He got some clip-less racing pedals and shoes that will improve his riding considerably.  He was riding on flat pedals with sneakers until now.  No more of that.

Untitled from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

Thirty Five Miles In Dartmouth

Sat with Nick 001

It was built as a recovery ride in order not to scare people away.  No one believed me so only two of us showed for this ride of the back roads of Dartmouth, MA. We made a few stops to take in the sights, eat lunch and have ice cream.  It was a lot of new territory for my riding partner Nicolas and the general consensus is that it was a good route.

Tomorrow we will be riding with a couple of hundred friends when we join the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen on the Bikework’s Swansea Ride with 15-25 & 50 mile options. I have a feeling our group may split up for this one, some doing the 50 but most doing the 25. We’ll see. It’s a 10 AM Start.

 

About this Sunday’s Ride


NBW #160 BikeWorks Swansea
Click here to print

Why this ride is special


  • SCENIC NOTES – A nice quiet ride, designed by BikeWorks and modified by the NBW. The 25 mile ride continues over to Dighton. The 50 mile crosses the Taunton River into Assonet, Lakeville & Berkley.
  • The Taunton River
  • Freetown State Forest
  • Elm Street Climb
  • Village Park Mountain Bike Trails in Swansea MA

Towns & Villages we travel through


Swansea, Dighton, Berkley, Freetown, Assonet, Lakeville

Some of the landmarks we pass by or nearby too


  • Bristol County Agricultural High School
  • Freetown State Forest
  • Myricks Airport
  • Berkley Bridge
  • Village Park
  • The Ice Cream Barn

Start:

  • 10 AM Regular Start
  • Swansea, MA
  • The GPS address is 262 Swansea Mall Drive, Swansea, MA 02777

GPS Files – RideWithGps format (free to use)

 

 

Casual Recovery Ride? Yeah Right.

The plan was a 21 mile easy spin to recover from Tuesday night’s hammerfest. I made arrangements with the owner of Hungry Heroes Sub Shop for some riders to park and we would be back for the after ride dinner.   I led us out of the parking lot, looked back and was the only one riding . One of our riders got a flat a few dozen yards from the start.                                       .

Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 002
Geoff fixing his flat

As we rode on the MUP I began to quicken the pace from our 8 MPH.  Everyone was keeping up OK.  On this ride was the new kid.  Nick got his first road bike for Christmas and during the ride over the weekend that I was video taping, I noticed how he stayed with the fast riders. After telling my co-leader, Flat Tire Geoff, where we would meet up, I told the kid to go to after burners.  We quickly got our speed up, way up.  As we were riding I gave him instructions on pace line riding, how I would signal him to take over the lead.

We were clipping along at a pace of 18-21 MPH, I pulled left to let Nick take the lead and that’s when I noticed there were 4 of us in the paceline, and there was a second one chasing us.  Once Nick got the lead, the bastards dropped me.

Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 003

Fortunately,  I was the only one who knew the route we were riding and we had to regroup at strategic spots when there were choices of turns to make.

Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 005

After this stop we had a Strava segment coming up. Sixteen year old Nick who has been riding for less than two months, pulled the whole group of us up Vaughn Hill road at 22 MPH.  Near the top, I blew up and had to drop out of the contest and also noticed that the rest of the pace line had also blown up and dropped back.. It was just me and Nick.  I yelled had him to go for it, he didn’t understand what I was saying and also dropped his speed.  It’s too bad, because he was on pace to break into the top ten for this segment.

At the 1/2 way point Lloyds Market, we again regrouped and rode as a pack for quite a way stopping to visit the Clydesdale Ranch and another horse ranch.  The Clydesdales were put away for the night, but Baby, a few miles down the road was more than happy to spend time with anyone who stopped by.

Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 007

Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 008
One of the reasons we had to stop and regroup was Nick’s dad riding sweep.  Not by choice BTW. 

The last highlight of this route was riding past the World Headquarters of Titelist Golf, the Acushnet Company. We arrived at Hungry Heroes with calories to spare just in time to see the closed sign.

Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 009 Wed Night Ramble, Fairhaven 001

Training Day

Jason, my 27 year old neighbor, just got back into biking.  He bought a Cannondale road bike last week and can’t stop riding.  He goes for a daily ride with me for three or four hours, than goes out again in the evening.

It was time to take him on a hammerfest.  A 32 mile ride to Wareham from Faihaven, MA on the back roads was in order.  We did it in two hours ten minutes, which for him was a feat. For me it was a long struggle to get back into hammerhead riding. It felt really good.

The ride wasn’t without drama.  First, on the return leg,  Jason yelled that he dropped his water bottle a ways back.  I said “go get it”and he responded”, no big deal, I’ll get another one”.  I turned back to retrieve the bottle which was a few hundred feet back.  Here is when I explained to him that when your on your bike, we turn back a lot for a variety of reasons.  You have to adjust your attitude.  After all, if your in a hurry, you really don’t belong on a bicycle. He then noticed that he didn’t have his new Iphone 6.  “Where did you use it last”, I asked.  “At the farm on our way to Wareham”, he said.  I told him that’s where it is.  Sure enough. 5-DSCN0662

We need to get Jason to quit smoking.  He had quite a few on this ride and when the rains came and it was time to kick it into high gear for the last 10 miles, he lagged far behind. When he quits, he is going to be a monster rider. 2-DSCN0659I expected to ride at an 8-10 mile pace because of his smoking and his newness to road riding.  Without training, he kept a 15 MPH average pace for two hours which is very impressive. Look out Austin, TX driveway series.

During the ride I got a call from wifey saying we were invited to dinner.  The host are players in the local fishing industry so I knew dinner would be off the hook.  Scallops and lobster were the main dish and it was well worth the push home in the rain to make it on time.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, is a recovery day so to speak.  I’m leading the Wednesday night ramble which is a casual 21 mile ride through the back roads of Mattapoisett and Rochester MA. We will end at Hungry Heroes sub shop for a 6 PM start.  Everyone is welcome.  Ending the ride at a good foodie place is rule number 1 of the Wednesday night rides.  Before helmet, directions, mileage and routes are mentioned. People want to know, how is the food at the end of the ride.

Washington Secondary Bike Path In Rhode Island

I knew that the path was extended but didn’t know the distance.  Jason and I drove to Loews in Cranston, RI to ride the four connecting paths that form the Washington Secondary Bike Path.  Cranston, Warwick, Coventry and the Trestle path  R.I.  It took us 20 miles to the Connecticut border and the town of Sterling.

The trail is a rails to trails conversion that insures it is 20 miles of flat riding. At the head of the trail in Coventry is an old time General Store which had a great deli serving fresh meats and breads.  It also sold bait that guaranteed to catch a fish or die trying. If you needed a bale of hay or a pound of Maxwell house coffee, this is the place to go.

Washington Secondary 010
You can get anything you want…at Summit General Store. (In Coventry R.I. at the end of the Trestle Bike Path)

The path travels along the Pawtuxet River which is lined with old mills that used the river for power. Washington Secondary 014

We saw quite a few characters on this ride that all had great stories I’m sure. We did not make first contact on this day so there are no stories to report.  To qualify, I sometimes strike up a conversation, take photos and write articles for Rails to Trails “Trail Link”, like the one I wrote, HERE three years ago.  It may be time for and updated review unless someone has beat me to it.

Casual Ride Into The City

We heard about the pirate looking ship that arrived in the city this morning.  I was riding that way anyhow to go to Yoga and have lunch.  Jason rode from Fairhaven and we met Charlie at the docks where the El Galion was moored. It’s a Spanish replica built in 2004.

We did a lot of stop and go riding and lots of gabbing as we pedaled along easily on this sunny, warm Friday afternoon.  My camera didn’t come out very often so there is little footage on this that was supposed to be a practice video shoot preparing for Sunday’s fundraising ride.  The video below is untouched and unedited raw footage.  It’s an invite to join us on our casual ride around the Whaling City of New Bedford, MA.

Come ride with us from John Sullivan on Vimeo.