Annually, I volunteer to drive the Salvation Army Bell Ringers from the “fort”, to their assigned stores. I also get to commute to work on my bike. This year on my new Giant Electric assist I call the Raza. (Named after the renegade space ship on the SciFi TV show “Dark Matter”).
This morning it was 24 F when I left the house. However, the sun was shining and there was not even a wisp of wind. The ride wasn’t bad at all. I felt chilled, but not cold. Because I’m a regular on this route I know the bridge opening times and I knew I was going to get caught waiting for boat traffic. I resigned myself that I would be stopped for a few minutes while a fishing boat passed through the swing bridge I cross to get to the city, New Bedford, MA. New Bedford is and has been for decades the #1 fishing port in the country. There are hundreds of these 70-90 foot boats, which explains why many of my post are ocean themed.
There was also a “huge” freighter in port unloading dozens of semi truck trailers loaded with clementines. There was quite an assembly line on the pier as truck after truck worked their way to one of the three cranes unloading their freight.
23 F and sunny for this morning’s commute. Chilly but not cold.
We will ride toward Providence till we decide to turn around. Turn around point will probably be India Point Park unless we decide to turn around sooner (or later). That’s around 22 or 23 miles round trip.
There will also be an option of riding into Providence and the Brown University area and Thayer St. Last month it was a 50/50 split of those who continued into the city and those who returned to Dell’s.
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.
This is my third year participating in the Coffeeneuring Challenge. Basically it’s riding your bike to seven different coffee shops of the course of seven weeks. It’s not really a challenge per se, but a reason to ride a bike casually and also enjoy a cup of coffee.
Today was a nasty, windy, rainy day and I didn’t know if I would get number 7 done. Sustained winds of 25 MPH with gusts approaching 40 normally would make this ride difficult enough to skip. The rain let up mid afternoon but the wind continued to howl. However, evahhhh, I have The Raza. Raza is the name of the electric assist bike I bought in Boulder, CO during my travels this summer. On this ride, the aforementioned wind was not a factor. I could hear it, but not feel it. The Raza, (named after the space ship in the Dark Matter series on Netflix), has three settings. Eco, Normal and Boost. Boost is very much like hyper drive, it’s that fast. On this bike, I can get to 20 mph from a standstill in 6-8 pedal strokes. The assist mode also lets me cut through the wind like a hot knife through butter. But alas, there is a better use for the hyper drive.
There is one of those annoying older bikers in full kit who has to catch and pass anyone on the MUP. He never warns that he is passing and can be rude, never acknowledging a hello or howahhya or if someone is too slow getting out of the way he says something nasty. I’m looking forward to the day that we meet while I’m on the Raza so I can pass him in excess of 20 MPH, riding “no hands”, tipping my hat while saying “mawnin”.
Coffeeneuring suggested a theme for the rides. My theme is recording them on video. Soooo..
Coffee Challenge #5
Where: Pie in the Sky cafe in Wood’s Hole MA
What: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe coffee and a blueberry scone.
The Ride: 26 miles on the Shining Sea Bikeway from Falmouth to Wood’s Hole, MA.
We left early for the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth, MA. It’s a 10.5 mile flat rail to trail paved bike path. We did however stray to take in some sights off the trail. That gave us an extra 5 or 6 miles of riding this cool morning. There wasn’t much traffic on the trail I suppose because it’s the middle of November and many have put their bikes into hibernation.
I’m participating in a coffee challenge that’s for some magical reason gets me on my bike on a Saturday morning in 25 degree temperature. I needed to go to the market for a couple of items and decided to ride a mile further to a local coffee shop.
The Nook is a small shop in the center of Fairhaven, MA and a place I thought would not last. I like the place but, every time I have gone in the past, I have been the only customer. Today, it was standing room only. Unless of course if one was a hearty bike rider. There were two tables in front of the shop and a bar attached to the side of the building. The sun was shining, there was no wind, which all in all was not a bad day to sit outside with my coffee. As we bikers know, it’s all in the wardrobe.
It’s tournament time for high school soccer. It’s the only sport I played growing up and stopped at age 51. I also spent 40 years coaching at different levels, so I guess you could call me “avid.”
There were three games last night and I had to choose. My alma mata was playing, one of the schools I coached and a really good local team. I chose the really good team to ride my bike to watch, Dartmouth High, and wasn’t disappointed.
At the half it was 3-0 and early in the second 40, Dartmouth got their fourth. I was feeling the beginnings of rain coming on and decided to leave early for the 7 mile ride home. I got a little wet but not bad. Riding through the city I could see driver eyeing me and couldn’t help wondering if they were envious of me riding in the soft rain on a mild evening , or thinking, “oh that poor guy. He must have lost his drivers license.”
Details: It was a chilly blustery morning which made the coffee shop a nice reprieve, but that same weather cut the ride short. In half actually. But I did get some video.
The video shows some waterfront scenes and the end there is footage of hundreds of birds jockeying for space on the high lines. It was a riot watching how they interacted so politely moving over to make room for the new arrivals.
We met in Warren, RI with the intention of riding the East Bay Bike Path. It was also the last night for Waterfire, in Providence R.I. We made the decision to ride the 10 miles to the city and join in on the celebration.
It was 70 F and mostly cloudy at the 6 PM start of the ride. The weather got better as we progressed and the sky gradually cleared. We stopped on the India Park Bride in Providence and just kind of sat around. One of the riders decided to look up Waterfire on his phone and told us that the event was tomorrow night. Four of us decided to ride into the city regardless and three decided to ride back. Not wanting to ride at night in city traffic was their reason. If they only knew. The street were pretty much void of any traffic except for Thayer St. in the Brown University area. The traffic was heavy but also at a standstill, which made easy riding for the four of us. All the food trucks has long lines of coeds which made for interesting visuals, if you know what I mean. Kind of made me wish I was five years younger.
We did manage to get lost in the heart of the city. That’s not a bad thing on bikes. We rode around the financial and historic districts till we got our bearings and found our way to the ten mile ride back to Warren.
Once back on the bike path, one by one our lights failed. Four riders and only one with a light. But….the sky had cleared and the full moon lit our way. Kind of. There were a few dark spots and naturally there were bikers and walkers traveling toward us. On of the highlights was a group of eight or ten high school kids on bikes, (sans lights also) who saw us coming. As we approached they all began yelling, when we saw them, we began yelling. No words, just yelling. It was all in fun and it was obvious that both groups enjoyed the encounter. Also along the way we would pass someone who had pulled over when they saw our one light approaching. None of us saw any of them till we were along side and riding at a pretty good clip. The possibilities of an incident were pretty high.