Old Friend, New Rider

My house painter Joe, called yesterday to see if I could help with his bike seat. He was a triathlete way back when, but his thriving business kept him off his bikes. He had a problem removing his seat post. It was frozen in place. To keep this short, we had to overload it with lubricant, blowtorch the frame holding the seat post to soften the material. We decided to let it sit overnight and get back to it after today’s ride.

Hiram joined us about halfway through the ride and offered to come by Joe’s place to help out. Hiram was a diesel mechanic at Northrup Grumman in Barstow CA. He says a good mechanic can figure out how to fix anything. He got the seat post free in about 30 minutes of hammering, oiling, and blowtorching the thing to oblivion.

We took Joe on his first ride in a few years. Now that he is retired and had taken one ride, he is hooked. AND…….. I got to use my new video camera.

Operation Pedal Melt: Ice Cream Social On Bicycles

The Ice Cream


The air was sultry as we met at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford, MA. The wind conspired with light rain to keep some of the “going” riders home.

Our commander, Civatron, was having problems with his crankset and chain. He couldn’t get them to match up and keep the chain connected. With help from engineering, the crew was able to get his ship worthy enough for impulse power. The fleet flanked Civatron for the duration of the ride, matching his speed.

The ships made their way to our first stop, Sugar Plum Sweets, for ice cream cups, cones and Mochi Creams.

A short ride to Pier 3 brought us to our second ice cream stop. Acushnet Creamery. We then attempted warp speed to get to our third stop, Dairy Made at the beginning of the peninsula of the city.

Our fourth planned stop had to be canceled because of the late hour. We did take a tour of a WWII gun battery that protected the coast from German U-boats.

And of course: The Video

Operation Pedal Melt

As usual, I will be leaving Staples in Fairhaven parking lot at 5:30 ish. and bike to Buttonwood Park. It’s around four miles.

Saturday, August 15 at 6 PM

Buttonwood Park Swan Pond

1 Oneida St. New Bedford, MA

Join the Starchasers on a flight to the nebula for an ice cream social under the stars! As always this event is free, open to the public, and cosmically inclusive. Bicycles, tricycles, roller skates, wheelchairs, scooters, skateboards, and all people-powered & assistive wheels are welcome!

The safety of our pilots and our community is always our top priority. We need your cooperation to help keep each other safe. Please, wear a mask, mind physical distancing, and follow all safety protocol. Thank you for doing your part to keep those around you healthy and safe!

Deleting Bikes

I began talking about selling off a couple of my bikes last year. After my Erie Canal bike tour in July of 2019, I decided that touring was no longer something I cared to do. I have done a few tours, both in groups, and with #3 son. Some are listed HERE.

I included the touring equipment in the offer.

Yesterday I listed the bike on Facebook Marketplace, I was about to close the page when I got a ding. Someone offered a price that was acceptable and today, we closed the deal.

Today, I listed my carbon fiber road bike. I am getting inquiries and am sure I got a couple of low ball test offers which I declined. I’m thinking these are not serious.

I have transformed from “slammed” handle bars, gradually raising them to a more upright position. Not that long ago, I rode the Blackstone Blvd. training rides with the Providence College bike team. Those were double paceline, head down 30 mile hammerfests, with twenty or so twenty something racers. Those rides were just around an hour in duration, give or take a couple of minutes. I have no desire to ever ride like that again.

One of my highlights on my road bike was a fifty mile ride with #3 son who is a pro racer in Austin. We were a group of four that day bopping along when Brandon decided to break away. I caught his wheel and was able to stay in his draft for a couple of miles. He later said that whenever he glanced back under his left armpit, he saw my front wheel. WTF was his reaction. When he had enough, he quickly moved left, I followed, he then moved right and as I drifted right, he moved left again. I lost his wheel, and within ten seconds, he was thirty yards ahead of me.

The two of us pulled over to regroup and shortly the third rider, David who was also in training, joined us. The fourth, Paul, was a friend who was out for what he thought was a casual ride. It was, until Brandon threw out the challenge. We waited for so long that Brandon decided to backtrack. When Paul finally joined up he was pissed. “I though you guy would already be fucking home. We mentioned that we don’t drop in our group. That’s why we waited for him. The final 17 or 18 miles we stayed with Paul. That was 2012. He hasn’t been on his bike since. For real. Now he tends his garden.

My stable will now be down to three bikes. One everyday bike. One winter beater and one electric assist that I use when I’m working an event, riding along with my cameras.

Finally, just to keep me riding. I am thinking about joining the air BnB as a bike tour guide in my area. I have been doing it for years leading local bike rides, giving historical commentary without compensation. I did a tour of Milan a couple of years ago and the guide suggested that option. I’m looking into it.

Full Moon Bike

Five of us showed for this monthly full moon ride in Rhode Island. I never took my video equipment out of the bag. How many times can I record the same route with the same people? Ans: I’ve passed that milestone.

A couple of sunset photos and a lousy shot of the moon. That’s all I got.

Full Sturgeon Moon, Bike Ride

It’s time for another Sunset/Moonlight ride.  This time the full moon falls on  Monday 8/3/20. 
The ride will be on the East Bay Bike Path on Friday 7/31/20. 

The Details:
Date: Friday 7/31/20. 
Location:  EBBP off Rt 103 near Del’s Lemonade.  Set your GPS to 65 Child St, Warren, RI 02885

Arrive: 6:45PM 
Departure: 7:00PM promptly 
Sunset: 8:03PM
Moonrise:  6:05PM
Name: Full Sturgeon Moon
Distance is flexible. 

Rain cancels the ride. 

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 miles round trip.

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. 


Hope to see you there. 

Time Travel

The New Bedford (MA) Starchasers is a quirky group that I saw a few years ago as they returned from one of their adventures. I knew that was a group I would enjoy riding along.
Last night was the Luna Libros themed ride. We were encouraged to dress like a librarian and light up our bikes. The leaders came up with a novel game where they would tape a word to the back of your helmet, or for those like me who don’t often don one, pin a word to the back of your shirt.

The quest was to get clues from fellow riders and try to come up with the word. If for some reason, they did not know the word, a definition was provided to help them with clue ideas. Below is what was pinned to my back. That’s all I’m going to say about this game.

Just as the ride was to begin, something happened. We all felt it but no one could explain the feeling. Everyone kind of looked at each other and some queried, “did you feel that?” Even my camera was affected.

Watch the video for the answer. Remember, this is the New Bedford Starchasers. They are science fiction based. Stuff happens.

2020 Luna Libros from John Sullivan on Vimeo.