Month: March 2017

It’s Biking Season

Two bicycle events are upon us.   30 Days of Biking, begins tomorrow April, 1. No fooling.

Find their spoke card, handouts and flyers at their Goodies page. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to join the community. And make the pledge to yourself and the world right here.

The second is Rails to Trails Opening Day on April 8th.  Pledge to hit the trails at one of over 100 events across the country for a chance to win a Fuji bike!

Take the Pledge and Enter our Sweepstakes


Last year, Opening Day grew to include more than 20,000 trail lovers of every variety—but we believe this year’s celebration can be even bigger! Help us make 2017’s Opening Day the largest and most fun ever by taking the pledge to get out on the trail! You’ll have an amazing time—and you’ll be entered to win a special giveaway! Terms and conditions apply.

Take the Pledge to Enter

Also, if you ever thought about a multi day bike tour, Rails to trails offers the ideal opportunity with the easy 6 day Sojourn. I have done three with them and can vouch that they are spectacular and very easy, moderate daily mileage rides.

Pennsylvania Sojourn

PA Sojourn

—The Rail-trail Adventure of a Lifetime—

Spend six unforgettable days exploring two awesome trails—the legendary Great Allegheny Passage and beautiful Montour Trail—on RTC’s 2017 Pennsylvania Sojourn. Ride with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on this six-day summer bike excursion to experience Pennsylvania’s famous scenic wilderness, charming towns, beautiful tunnels, iconic sites and can’t-miss destinations. This fully supported rail-trail adventure vacation has great food, hot showers, flexible scheduling, fun evening activities, awesome optional trips—and the added benefit of supporting America’s trails!

Dates: June 18–23, 2017
Duration: Six days, five nights
Cost: Adult – $720; Child – $620
Tour Operator and Outfitter: Wilderness Voyageurs 

BOOK NOW

 

Your RV Is Ready.

I took my RV to the Ford shop because of a recall notice. My camper sits on a Ford Transit chassis.  I also asked for a price for an oil change and installing a trailer hitch on the front end so I could transport my bikes.  My rack is the same that public buses use.   It was such a nice day so I decided to ride around town while waiting for the call that the camper was ready.

When I retrieved the Transit, the dealer gave me a good price for the oil change, but his answer for the front hitch gave me pause.  He said, “Ford does not make the hitch I wanted but he could get one from Camping World and install it for 3-4 hundred dollars.   My pause was the he was going to get it from the place I bought the RV and my power of deduction says that I could save a bit of money by going to the source of the hitch.  However………….   Camping world prices are premium.  I’m going to get a quote from them but I’m not sure they will be less expensive.  It sounds crazy, but in the world of RV’s, things are different.  (not to mention, expensive).   We’ll see.  As for the recall.   All the parts passed the tests and no defect was found.  Naturally, the dealer replaced them.

I did have a decent ride in the city, with the sun shining, and the temps hovering around 50ish.

West Beach Barrier Pat
West Beach Elevated Path in the distance
West Beach Bike Path
New West Beach Bike Trail
Busy Fairhaven MUP
Busy Fairhaven, MA MUP

RV Recall Ride

98-IMG_0782My new RV doesn’t have a name yet.  Wifey wants to call it the Tiny House.  I have started calling it Tranny.  (The RV sits on a Ford Transit chassis).  We shall see which name sticks.

The Ford dealership in the city is around 8 miles from my home.  That short distance made it an easy choice to bring a bike along and ride home.  The recall specs to the dealer say it’s a seven hour minimum job payment and the service guys said, with a wink, wink,  to count on a couple more hours tacked on to the minimum.   “I’ll call you tomorrow” he said.  So “Tranny”  was admitted and will stay overnight for tests.

Sunday Yoga

The day began just a little bit cool.  I decided to ride the 7 miles to yoga at the local Boys/Girls club.  I just happened to look up and saw the wall above my bike stating that this was the third oldest club in the country.  I have been going here for two years for yoga, putting my bike in the same spot and it took this long to look up.

 

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Another long unnoticed item on a regular route is this closed gas station.  So many have tried to make a go of this but the location is crap.  It’s on the edge of a bridge spanning the river that opens every hour.  People have always hesitated to stop here for gas out of fear of getting stuck when the bridge opens.  The prices say clearly how long this place has been closed.

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The ride was intended to be longer,  but the weather turned sour with dropping temperatures, wind and drizzle limited me to 16 miles.   I did make one more stop at a recently closed motel that was a haven for transients, pimps and people with drug problems.

South Coast Bikeway Summit

Last night was the annual South Coast Bikeway Summit in New Bedford, MA.  I was asked to lead a ride for those who wanted to bike to the “bike summit”.  This is my third year volunteering to do this ride.  No one has ever shown up to ride with me.  I got a few e-mails asking about the route and times.  It was a beautiful late afternoon to ride.  38F, no wind and sunny at the 4:30 PM start.  The temperature promised to hold and the wind had no intent on picking up before the 7:30 PM return ride.  With all that, I wondered, “will anyone show besides Geoff?”  No one did. Geoff was there, but we did not see each other before I rode off.  He did call me and we were able to hook up about a mile down the road.

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It was a really nice ride that took us over the new elevated walk/bike way built on top of the hurricane barrier at West Beach.  The return night ride took us over the walk/bike way on East Beach. (Fort Rodman is at the point of the New Bedford peninsula that in my soccer pre season training days was a very pretty four mile loop along Buzzard’s Bay and Clark’s Cove).

CLICK HERE for the Summit meeting video.

2017 SouthCoast Bikeway Summit Bike Ride from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

30 Days of Biking

I enjoy the occasional bike challenge.  I came across 30 Days of Biking last year and after a rough start really enjoyed being part of that community.  Basically, we agree to ride our bike every day during the month of April. There is no minimum mileage, so on that rainy (or snowy) day, a ride around the block counts.  If you remember, last April we had snow the first week.

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Riding the MUP in Fairhaven, MA
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Provincetown, MA

Two weeks later after riding the Boston Midnight Marathon bike event, I was riding in 85 degree sunshine in Austin, TX.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

LBJ Library, Austin TX2016 Midnight Martathon 003

I plan on doing the 30 day challenge and the Boston Midnight Marathon ride again this year.  Both events are approaching quickly.  The temps are in the 20’s around here now but I’m counting on spring weather arriving within a few days.  No matter what, I’ll be on my bike on April 1st, and that’s no joke.

Road Trip

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Spending the night at Cracker Barrel somewhere in Virginia

Sue and I recently completed our first RV road trip.  This was the 23 foot vehicle we bought in October on a whim.  We originally went out to buy a sectional couch for our living room and came home with an RV.  It could be the ultimate impulse buy.

Our adventure took us to visit family in the southern part of the US.  Atlanta, Georga, Ocala, Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach in Fla, and Cullowee, North Carolina.  We also stopped by to see friends in St Augustine, Fla for a day.  This highlight of course was getting to spend time with our grandchildren in Atlanta.  Second to that was being able to attend a surprise birthday party for Kate. Kate and Fabio lived with us for a few months while they were making seaworthy their tiny home, Tranquility, a 28 foot Columbia sailboat.  We fondly refer to them as the “Italians”.  We attended their wedding in the Italian Alps two years ago and that was an item on our bucket list that makes all the others pale in comparison.

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Photo session falls apart after a couple of minutes
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Kate and Fabio.  The Italians

We parked on the property of those we visited and either bunked in their home or in the RV.  Our two dogs determined weather we stayed in or out of the home.  Not everyone is a dog person.

While on the road we were able to stay in the back lots of Cracker Barrel restaurants.  That worked out much better than we had anticipated while planning this trip.

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Cracker Barrel camping in Pennsylvania

All of the photos are   HERE

2017 Winter RV Road Trip from John Sullivan on Vimeo.