Author: capejohn

Fort Rodman/Fort Taber. New Bedford, MA.

There was a whaleboat race being held on the waterfront at Fort Rodman in New Bedford, Ma.  It’s roughly 7 miles from home to the fort and being a nice sunny Saturday morning,  I couldn’t come up with anything better even if I was looking. While there I got word that there was a WWII encampment and enactment in progress.  Inside Fort Taber three groups were encamped.  A German, and English and and American group of reenacters were all bivouacked.   There were not as many as usual because of all the other encampments around the area because of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

The battle took place on actual bunkers built during WWII at Fort Rodman which added a lot to the ambiance of war.  There were a few WWII veterans in attendance and I really don’t know if they like the battle scene very much. I overheard one comment that it brought back too many memories.  One of the odd sights was when a man in a German officers uniform approached a veteran, shook his hand and thanked him for his service.  That must have been creepy for the old timer I’ll bet.

After the battle reenactment I went back to the whaleboat racing area for lunch.  I was not part of the group but there were all these hot dogs just sitting around getting old so I stepped in to help clear the table and ate two of them.  (and two brownies, and a bag of chips. )  So much for yesterday’s smoothy idea from Bobby Flay.




Wareham, Ma. The Gateway To Cape Cod

If you ride you know biking can make us eat more.  I fall into that trap much too often.  Do a long 40 or 50 mile ride and come home and eat for a half hour.  Usually junk food.  I saw a commercial that other day with Bobby Flay. It showed him doing and early morning workout and upon returning home, made a smoothie and  said. “don’t spoil a good thing by eating bad food”.

Today after a 40 mile ride to the Gateway to Cape Cod town of Wareham, Ma.  I came home and made a smoothie that turned out to be the best I had ever made.  That was confirmed by the lovely one.

One 16 oz bottle of Nestles wild berry water

1/2 cup plain yogurt

Raspberries and strawberries that I bought fresh and keep frozen

Agave to taste. about a tablespoon.   Blend.  Yummy!

Two Weeks And Counting Down

Before I decided to ride a cross country solo tour I signed with the Rails to Trails group. This is my second tour with them.  Every time I plan on doing a summer tour, usually in the dead of winter, the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is on my wish list.  Last year my two riding partners had limited time to tour because they are both working. The logistics of the GAP and the C&O combination ride was cutting things too close for the working stiffs and we did Lake Champlain as plan B so to speak.

I did a tour with the Rails to Trails group in 2009, and because of the route, I left a day early and finished on my own.  Frankly, it bored me to no end.  Because there were no potential riding partners this summer I decide to do a solo cross country tour in October.  Things again conspired to force a postponement till the spring of 2015.  Fortunately I had the Rail to Trails ride in the bag. It’s a mixed group of 300 riders and is fully supported. There is no set daily departure time and riders travel at their own pace.  This allows people to ride with others or ride solo if they choose.

For accommodations, I am mixing tenting and B&B’s. I have ridden every day the past month and the equipment is all checked out and in good shape.  I am taking two days to travel to Cumberland, MD and plan to stop in York, PA to meet a couple of fellow bike bloggers. Summer is bike touring time. The first day of summer is June 21st and the tour begins on June 22nd. It’s all in the timing.

Working Out The Technology

Reading Chris Miller’s book about hiking the Appalachian Trail is a reminder that planning is a good thing. He had never hiked before, built a tent out of industrial plastic bags and bought new hiking boot the day he began his 1200 mile sojourn.  I’m very comfortable with all the things like that for my tour. Things turned for the worse very quickly.  I know my tent, how and what to pack to keep the bike from getting too heavy and stuff like that.  What I am working on is the technology.  It would have been very frustrating to try to work out the nuances of my gps and video equipment while working out all the other stuff during the first few days of a long bike tour.

Today’s ride takes us on the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen’s ride into Mattapoisett, Rochester, Wareham and Fairhaven. All on the south coast of Massachusetts.   When we pay attention to our surroundings we get to see and experience things that unless we were on a bike, we would miss.


Getting Fit For Touring

Spring is showing off.

Tennis anyone.  Played my first tennis match last night after nearly a year off.  It took a while go get my first return over the net.  Actually it was midway through the first set of doubles and we got smoked, 6-1.   The second set my partner and I both began to hit the ball and get in good positions.  We took that one 6-3.  Then my partner quit.  He didn’t want to overdo on his first day out.  None of the four of us broke a sweat in this game which was not much different than a game of fetch.  Fetch the long shots and fetch the ball from the net.  Things will get better playing twice a week.

On the bike side.  I entered a route into my new Garmin Touring GPS and it did all the right things by alerting me to turns ahead of time and showing the route, turns, time, speed, and elevation.  When it was time to post the ride into connect.garmin dot com, there was nothing saved.  I’ll have to work on that between the tennis matches.   The short 6 day tour in West Virginia and connecting to the Great Allegheny Passage near Pittsburgh is approaching quickly.  Bike fitness is improving daily and although I am training alone this year, it’s still easy to stay motivated.  This tour is sort of a shakedown for the long tour of the Southern Tier Bike Route that I plan to ride in October but may have to put off till next March.  I have a fundraising commitment in Boulder in the middle of October and also need to be home by Thanksgiving.  Those two things are what are making me think about moving the ride to March.

While researching the Southern Tier ride I found a great series of YouTube videos by a local rider and author Chris Miller who lives 30 miles or so down Rt 195 in Pawtucket R.I. He also wrote a book titled Hiking the Appalachian Trail that looks to be a hoot to read. I did order it today.  He rode this route on a cheap single speed bike he purchased at WalMart, and used paperboy baskets as panniers for part of the trip.  The baskets didn’t last too long and he did eventually buy a set of good panniers.  His videos grow on you the more you watch.  They are short 4-6 minutes each and he says tons about how his day is going.

Lake overflow gates in Mattapoisett, MA.

A Biking and Football Weekend.

Going Up
Hix Bridge Road climb.

Saturday was blustery, damp and chilly for the 10AM start to the Fairhaven Ma. Bike ride celebrating National Bike Month.  I did a bit of tweaking to the route because of a late start and ended up doing 37 miles.

Sunday morning was a beautiful 70 degree, calm, sunny day for the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen ride in Westport, Ma.  I chose the 25 mile option and started an hour before the official starting time in order to get home before noon.

Westport, Dartmouth

Drive Time
30 minutes from Providence
This ride is considered to be one of the club’s best, rolling down the Westport waterway to scenic Horseneck Beach.
Easy riding past rural farms. 50 mile extension by Gil Peel
I was able to get home in time to see City win the Premier League Title. I chose teams by their managers being on that side of the house for so many years.  It was also a big football day locally with the Revolution thumping the league leaders Seattle Sounders, that featured the ex-Rev and Fulham FC star Clint Dempsey by a score of 5-0.
Football - Fulham v Sunderland Barclays Premier League
Training is going well for my six day mini tour next month riding in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland