Month: July 2016

Riding With Bicycle Times Frank

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CLICK HERE to see all the photos

I have been reading Bicycle Times for a few years.  It’s one of the half dozen magazines to which I subscribe and I have to say I’m most impressed with the content of this one.  They also publish Dirt Rag for the off road bike riders.  Bicycle Times is more about bike riding than selling bikes if you know where I’m going with this.

I took a group of riders on a casual ride of my favorite places. During the ride, Nick from our bike club joined us.  There is a small cruise ship in town that allows passengers to bring their bikes.  We were joined by a couple from Pennsylvania who joined our group of six, Kate, Leighann and Jeff from Pittsburgh, Nick and I from Cape Cod and Fabio from Milan, Italy.  Two classic bikes, two fat bikes, a Scott SUB 40 and a Cannondale were our choices of rides.

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We visited Fort Phoenix a Revolutionary War era Fort protecting the last free port, New Bedford, Ma, from the British Invasion in 1778, when they landed 5000 troops and marched into the city burning everything as they progressed. We didn’t stay long because the historical site has been overrun by Pokeymon players for the past three weeks.

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Our second stop was over the bridge to New Bedford Bakery, where we stopped for a light breakfast of Portuguese linguica stuffed bread and cod fish, chicken and beef stuffed cakes.  However, no stop in the Whaling City would be complete without a visit to the Whaling Historic National Park and into the Whaling museum to be eaten by a sperm whale.

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Riding over the bridge into New Bedford.
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Best Portuguese bakery in the city.

Nick joined us at the bakers as we rode along the west side of the New Bedford pennisula along Clarks Cove. Newlyweds Kate and Fabio had a moment as we rode along the beach to the WWII era Fort Rodman and Nick got to try out Frank’s fat bike.   Inside Fort Rodman sits, Fort Taber that was engineered by Captain Robert E Lee and built by Henry Martyn Roberts better know for the writer of Robert’s Rules of Order.

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West Beach along Clarks Cove
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Nick on a fat bike

We rode along the east side of the penninsula along Buzzards Bay.  The city in the early 60’s had built a hurricane barrier of local granite.  Two years ago, New Bedford built a walking/biking path atop the barrier, which allows a commanding view of the bay. A short ride took us to the middle of the harbor on this bike way where we stopped for a visit to Palmer’s Island Lighthouse.

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Riding the elevated bikeway
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Palmer’s Island and light station

Fabio and Kate sailed their 28 foot sailboat from Brunswick, GA over the past couple of weeks and “Tranquility” is moored in the bay.  They took Frank and Leighann on an afternoon cruise while Nick and I continued home.  We will all meet in the evening for dinner put together by Fabio and Kate.

I had mentioned that when you ride with a local, you get to see the secret places.  Another perk of riding with a local around here is fresh caught seafood.   Tonight menu has freshly caught sea scallops, recently picked local mussels and our friend Larry who is a commercial diver, brought us a bag of quahogs he dug up a few hours ago.

 

CLICK HERE to see all the photos of this ride.

Riding With Bicycle Times

Kate and Fabio held their wedding reception in the Italian Alp last August. Some of those in attendance will be gathering in Fairhaven this week for a reunion of sorts.

Bicycle Times and Dirt Rag magazine’s Frank, is one of them. We are going to give him and his lady a tour of the area by bike. They are from Pittsburgh and are doing the grand tour of New England.   He wants to get the feel of coastal New England and he will be doing an Air B&B stay on a 28 ft. sailboat moored in the bay, on Sunday night.  Before that the Italian Chef, Fabio and his wife, Chef Kate will be cooking us all an Italian pasta dish using fresh scallops and littlenecks.  They recently arrived after sailing their 28 Columbia from Brunswick GA.

As an added bonus, my buddy Larry who is a commercial diver will be delivering quahogs that he will dig up in the morning.

If time permits we will take a ferry out to Martha’s Vineyard on Tuesday to ride to Chappaquiddick and cruise around Vineyard Haven, Tisbury and Edgartown.

Being a native of the area I get to take friend on a bike ride to the “Secret Places.”  That’s a title I give when a local takes friends off the tourist path to the places we don’t share publicly.

Plenty of photos and stories to come.

Night Riding with Amidnightrider.

 

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Backed up traffic waiting for the bridge to open

It was the usual Friday night ride to Music on Pier 3 in New Bedford, MA.   Agian, no one showed for the ride so I went alone.  I packed two beers, (beeyahs) for this warm evening ride to the event.  Beer is sold there in a plastic cup for 4 bucks a pop. My preference for a beer is in a frosted glass, a bottle, a can or a beer bong. A plastic cup is last on the list and one way to avoid it is to bring my own.

The waterfront was bustling including the local shuttle boat that takes people to the different waterfront restaurants and events.  $3 per person and it’s a very popular shuttle. The boat from Cuttyhunk arrived in time for the concert and one of the local Monks was wandering around taking in the sights and sounds.

I stopped at a coffee shop on the way home and by the time I left it was very dark.  Made more so by the cloud cover.  The MUP (multi use path) was very busy at 9 PM.  Bikes, walkers, skateboarder and a runner.  It was such a nice night to be out and many took advantage.

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The band was playing Sympathy for the Devil. Very ironic
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Waterfront shuttle.
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Cuttyhunk ferry
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Calm waters
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Part of the New Bedford fishing fleet

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Charlie Buckley, a local riding celebrity.

 

Early Morning Ride

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Because of the heat, it makes sense go get out early for a bike ride.  9:30 AM was not early enough here on the edge of Cape Cod. It was freak’n hot.  So hot that the ride had to cut off 10 miles from the planned route.  Actually it was the humidity and the fact that I had not recovered from Tennis on Tuesday night.

After riding today I flipped my stem to the factory setting.  I have retired from racing and there is no need for the racing posture on my carbon bike.  The stem is now set to AARP and I like it.  Actually the “slammed stem” was doing a job on my shoulders and elbows which was reeking havoc on my tennis game.

We have a 50+ mile ride in the works tomorrow, Friday, but it looks like it’s going to be a wash out.  Unless of course those who want to ride are willing to finish by 5 AM. I’m banking on no one wants to do that.

In past posts I mentioned Clydesdale horses on one of my routes.  I ran into the owner and the horses today and was told they are Belgians, which are much bigger than Clydesdale, who are taller, but in general a much smaller horse. They were in training for pulling competitions and they had their new pulling shoes on.

I also saw some sheep, a babbling brook and a comfort bike rider who was intent on not letting me catch up.  I eased up to let him win a stage. He will surely be wearing yellow tomorrow.

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Belgian horses
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New pulling shoes. 

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He will surely be wearing a yellow t-shirt tomorrow. 

Yoga and Pokeymon

As usual, only two of us showed for the ride to Yoga.  Five miles on a bike to Fort Taber joining in the group of around 50 or so like minded people.  I use like minded because this was a yoga class where the leader suggested we do some advanced poses, and there were universal groans of not only people trying to get into these positions but also those, like me, who would never every attempt them. For example.

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This is about the most extreme I can manage.  Maybe I’ll get to the above poses someday.  Nah.  It’s not going to happen. At my age, I don’t have enough time to get that strong and nimble.

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Then there was Pokeymon Go.  I told Nick, the 16 year old who rode with me to Yoga about the number of people at the Pokemon gathering at Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven, MA.  He questioned my numbers,  about 1000 every night, until we arrived. Needless to say he was mortified.

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Nick took a selfie saying he caught a Cannondale.

 

Cape Cod Canal in the Wind

Family was staying on Cape Cod for a week and they brought friends.  One couple was #2 sons in-laws from Minnesota.  They had talked about riding bikes and I offered to bring a couple so we could ride the Cape side of the canal.  It’s a little over seven miles end to end and the outbound ride we had the wind at our back.

We were making really good time when I spotted loaded bikes.  I yelled at my riding companions to hold up but they didn’t hear me. Naturally I stopped to chat with the bike tourists.  They both graduated high school in May and rode from Providence, RI to Montreal.  They were on the return ride heading to the outer cape to stay at the young man’s parents for a week. I wanted to stay a little longer to talk touring but when I looked down the canal, John and Connie were over the horizon.

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Recent high school grads returning from their bike ride to Montreal

John wanted to turn around at the Sagamore bridge because he was leery of the wind  for the return ride.  I convinced them to continue two more miles so they could tell their friend that they rode the Cape Cod Canal, end to end.

The wind was in our face as we rode back to the head of the canal.  John mentioned how tough it was riding into this wind.  I almost told him that I was going to write about this ride and probably not mention the 8-10 mph wind in our face.  Most seasoned riders would call it a moderate breeze.  Being a native of the area and a veteran of many years riding the canal, I knew what was in store.

The canal winds along it’s course with a few sweeping curves.  It’s not a straight line.  As we came to one of the bends we got the full fury.  Sustained winds in excess of 20 MPH hit us dead on.  The wind was such that if you stopped pedaling, the bike would come to a standstill.  I caught up to John and had to yell to be heard saying.  “Now this is a wind”. I thought I heard a fuck you, but the wind may have been deforming the sounds. It continued for a couple of miles till we entered another bend on the trail that was protected by trees.  On windy days the canal morphs into a giant wind tunnel.  Woe is he who dares to ride the canal in mid afternoon when the wind shifts out of the south.  As we did.

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John from Minnesota with the wind at his back.
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The Sagamore Bridge where John wanted to turn back.

 

 

 

Pokeymon

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The game lures players to historical sites and they show up in droves.  One such place is a Revolutionary War fort in Fairhaven, MA. Fort Phoenix.  It’s a great spot to view the full moon rising and tonight it doubled as a backdrop for Pokeymon.

I knew there would be lots of people there and had heard that they were a very friendly bunch.  Both things were true.  Lots of friendly people and only a handful over twenty five.  Most over that age were locals walking their dogs.  The streets were jammed, the lots were full but most of all the atmosphere was very friendly.

I have heard and read lots of negative stuff about this fad and I think I can say with confidence that those who are the loud complainers haven’t been to one of these gatherings.  It’s the kind of atmosphere that makes you smile.

 

Family Ride

#1 son and his wife are staying with us.  Our plans were a mishmash of bike, beach and movies.  I led the four of us on a casual bike ride.  The beach is not my cup of tea so the three of them happily went.  Tonight is movie night at the cinema.  A cartoon about what pet do when we leave the house.  It’s right up wifey’s alley.  She works in two rescue kennels locally so naturally has a soft spot for anything animal.

Not much to say about the ride other than it was hot and humid.

On a side note, no one remembered wifey and my anniversary.  The kids, the inlaws, the neighbors, wifey or me.  It came and went two days ago.