Category: blogging

Upcoming Rides

Thursday, June 7      Bike the Night in Providence

RI Bike Coalition is partnering with PVDFest to host the most festive Bike the Night yet! We’ll be meeting at Burnside Park at 8 PM before departing on a 8 to 10 mile ride through Providence and ending for a party at the The Black Sheep Providence. Providence Art Culture Tourism will be providing some bike decorations, but support the fun by getting you and your bike PVDFest-ready!

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Saturday, June 9  Ride the East Bay

This ride is perfect for beginners.  Mett up at 8:30 A.M. The ride stars at 9:00 A.M. Meet up location………Route 103 to Warren.  At Dell’s Lemonade, take the first left into the parking lot.   For beginners it’s an 8 mile ride to Bristol and back.  After returning to Warren the more experienced riders can ride to Providence and back making it a 32 mile round trip ride.

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Sunday, June 10.  Elliot’s Ride.  9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. in Newport R.I. at Fort Adams.

It’s a free ride during an all day bicycle event for every age, every skill, everyone.  come out and ride along Newort’s scenic ocean coastline.  Whether it’s your first time, or your favorite ride, this is the day to celebrate the joy of bike riding together.  There is also a walking event if that’s your preference. You do need to register  HERE

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Monday, June 11. Monday Morning Highland Ride.  Weekly ride that meets at 7:45 A.M. Wheels down at 8 A.M at Bristol Community college on Elsbree Street.  Park by the tennis courts.  The is an 11-15 mile ride through the beautiful Highland section of Fall River.  About an hour to complete.  Some riders are apt to continue riding to get a few more miles under their belts.

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Wednesday, June 13.  Wednesday Night Road Ride.

*****NOTE****This is an upgrade for the more advanced riders. We will no longer have two meeting places and the rides will be on quiet country roads.

Meet at Staples in Fairhaven at 5:45 P.M. for a 6 P.M. wheels down start.  This week will be around 26 miles through the towns of Fairhaven, Mattapoisett and Rochester.  It’s mostly flat but there are a couple of inclines that may slow you down.  We will have a lead rider for those who want to hammer as well as a sag rider for those who want to smell the roses.

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Sunday June 17, 2018.  Westport Ride to Horseneck Beach.  Meet at 8:45 A.M. for a 9 A.M. start at the Westport Middle School- 380 County Rd. Westport, MA.

21 miles from the middle school to Horseneck Beach and of course, back. Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, cameras and anything else you may want or need.  Helmets are a good choice for this all road ride.  This is best suited for intermediate or better, riders.

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Thursday, June 21.  Longest Day of the Year Ride.  Sponsored by Ten Speed Spokes Bike Shop.

Click Here for directions.

Ten Speed Spoke’s Longest Day Ride is our yearly event held to celebrate the start of summer and all things cycling.  It features 4 different length arrowed courses.  Everything is free!  Shirts and helmets are required.

All skill levels and ages of cyclists are invited.  To join, please register here.

See the video of one of the past year’s ride  HERE

 

Time Travel

Mad Libs

Turn to your co-workers, kids, Facebook friends, family — anyone who’s accessible — and ask them to suggest an article, an adjective, and a noun. There’s your post title! Now write.

 


My daily bike ride this time of year is the same as the day before.  A one mile ride to the gym, then to the market for tonight’s meal ingredients, then to a coffee shop to read the NY Times over a good cup of Joe .   There is not much different to say or show that I haven’t posted at least a couple of times.  However, I have two dogs.

Continue reading “Time Travel”

The Daily Prompt and Riding A Bicycle In The Winter

The Daily Prompt is a writing training aid.  It suggests a subject to help what we call writers block.  I try to incorporate the “Prompt” with my bicycle writing into one post. Sometimes it works. Today’s prompt is titled Alma Mater

Alma Mater —You’ve been asked to speak at your high school alma mater — about the path of life. (Whoa.) Draft the speech.

My University soccer team was being inducted into the schools hall of fame.  A good number of the players traveled to the event.  The team was from 20 some odd years past, so there was a lot of catching up to do.  It was an annual event and there were a six or eight different inductees.  Individuals, our team, a coach for example.  It was the standard college ceremony.  We were the first to be inducted that night and lined up on the side of the stage at the bottom of the stairs.  As the short bio of our team was being read as an introduction, a team mate standing behind me said. “we took a vote and nominated you to give the speech”.  At that moment the MC announced, “Please give a warm welcome to the 1977 UMass soccer team”.


Winter Biking

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Those who ride in the winter can relate.  Those who don’t are missing out. Continue reading “The Daily Prompt and Riding A Bicycle In The Winter”

Just Me And The Dogs On The MUP.

Sudden Shifts Sudden shifts in weather can occur at the beach for sure.  But they can also happen riding a bike three days after a blizzard. Soft snow, icy footprints, crusty snow and pavement can make for some challenging bicycle riding.  But if you bike, you know it’s also fun.

Riding on snow
The footprints and bike tracks are all mine and my dogs.  The tire tracks are my neighbors quad.

MUP is an acronym for Multi Use Path.  The one I use is a Rail to Trail converted alternate route into town.  If the path is not clear, the only way to town is on US Rt. 6. A four lane highway with a posted speed of 40 MPH.  Most drivers exceed 50 and approach 60 MPH since the road was newly paved in the fall.

I decided to get studded tires for my bike this winter because the town doesn’t clear this path of snow, and no one on rt 6 clears their sidewalks. Those two things force bikes and pedestrians onto a state highway to get to the town center.

Today I rode the MUP to the gym and the coffee shop.  The terrain was a mix of ice, crusty snow, blacktop and 5″ deep soft snow.  I had to stop three times and walk when I hit the soft snow.  The one mile ride was a pretty good leg workout and warm up for my time in the gym.  After the workout I stopped in the Flower Girl Baking Company for a good cup of coffee and a really light and delicious slice of quiche.

Flower Girls Baking Co.
Flower Girls Baking Company in Fairhaven.  You gotta try the quiche.

On the return trip I avoided riding on the path and took my chances on RT 6.  It’s two lanes in each direction and I took 1/3 of the lane forcing cars to go around and not squeeze me into the embankment.  It worked out fine with every vehicle moving to the passing lane as they drove by me.  Today I got to ride a little ebony and a little ivory.

Below is the example of sudden shifts in the terrain while riding my bike. (Having fun).

Exactly The Same . Just Different

Can’t Stand Me

Play the music while your reading if you wish.

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My view riding to the gym.

I have a few bike blogging friends who have been riding in the snow for a couple of weeks. I  read their stories and shake my head thinking, I’m too old for that and really don’t feel like riding in snow.  I tell people that I might if it snowed, but didn’t really mean it. Well, it snowed last night. Continue reading “Exactly The Same . Just Different”

A Very Serene Bike Ride

It turned out to be a nice morning and there was a club bike ride scheduled to begin at 10 AM. That was too late for me and since this 25 mile East Bay Bike Path route in Rhode Island was a ride I had done dozens of times, I decide on an earlier start. (And finish). Continue reading “A Very Serene Bike Ride”

I Love My FedEx Driver

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There was a beautiful box on my front porch when I got home from delivering my peeps. (The bell ringers). My original plan was to go to the show and see one of the newly released movies.  When I saw the box, I didn’t even bother to see what was playing.

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It didn’t take long to reassemble the bike as Sol at Austin Bikes took good maintenance_howtoinflateatire_valves_lgcare packing and marking everything for me. The tires have schrader valves, so I had to order some new tubes and will pick up or order a rear rack tomorrow.  All my pumps have dual valve attachments so for now the bike is ready to roll.

 

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Out of the box.
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Getting acquainted with the family.

Going Secular

As I began my ride I passed by three ex churches, and decided to make the theme today. the closed churches locally. In the surrounding towns most of the churches, of all denominations, are rapidly closing their doors.  Some are in prime locations and are scheduled to be converted to secular uses.  Some are in impoverished areas and are wasting away.

There are very few church affiliated schools and other indoctrinating techniques left in many parts of the country.  The decline in church membership and religious affiliation has followed.   Around here, the churches that are left have very small memberships, who are for the most part, in their 70’s and 80’s.  The choice of nearly 5000 gods, makes everyone an atheist who doesn’t believe in the one true god that someone else believes. The younger generation has figured out that religion is not necessary to lead a good life and they realized that churches have become political and fundraising institutions, that more and more of the under 50 crowd want nothing to do with.

Years ago Sunday morning was an easy overtime day for the local police force who got extra duty directing traffic around the many churches in the area.  Now,  most of the churches have been relegated to gypsy status in small storefronts and run by some guy with a mail order minister title.

The best transition I have seen is outside of Washington DC in Brunswick, MD. called, Beans in the Belfry.

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Sitting alone and rotting away

 

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Abandoned but it may be converted into a restaurant

 

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Just sitting empty for 5 years

 

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Soon to be demolished and replaced by a convenience store.
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Abandoned church for sale.
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Church school scheduled for demoliton

 

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Once a church, now a private home

 

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Church being reconditioned into a homeless shelter

 

June Hates Me

It was getting late for a bike ride.  After 1 PM and I wanted to do the 30 mile loop.  But I really didn’t feel like it.  Standing in my garage, dressed for a ride, staring at three bikes.  I felt like one of those couples on the HGTV show House Hunters.  I eliminated the touring bike by hanging it up for the winter.  That left the road bike and the commuter.  I finally grabbed the Felt road bike, put on the roadie shoes and off I went.

I met a regular young walker on the MUP stopped to say hello for a few seconds and began to ride away.  He began to walk faster then jog to keep pace.

“Are you trying to keep up with me” I asked.

“As long as I can” was his response.

“Good luck with that” I quipped  as I quickly accelerated to 19 MPH on this flat stretch of blacktop.

During the first part of the ride I couldn’t shake the desire to take one of the many bail out option on this route.  Eventually I slipped into the riding zone and before I knew it passed the point of no return. Meaning there were no more side roads to shorten the route.

Because of the late start, I rode past one of the local high schools at dismissal time.  I was also riding west into the low sun.  I couldn’t shake the feeling that there were lines of high school drivers texting while also being blinded by the low sun behind me.  I found a place to get off the narrow country road to let the traffic settle down.

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I sat in front of these two who were both born in the 1700’s as the high school traffic raced by.

The car traffic ended and the yellow buses began to make their way toward me from the school. I began riding thinking the school bus drivers would be a safe bet as they passed giving me plenty of room.  Think again big guy. The buses were traveling faster than the kids in cars and the 50 something male drivers had fire in their eyes as they passed. A couple very close I might add.  I again pulled off to the side to let the remaining buses go by.

From then on it was clear sailing to the country store.  It’s a stop I always make if for no other reason, because it’s there.  A woman inside asked if I was running when she saw my get up.  “Riding a bike” I said.  “Oh, that’s even colder”.   It was chilly, which is different from cold.  45 degrees chilly. I mentioned I only had 8 or 9 miles to go and then she asked how many I had done.  When I said around 20 her eyes bugged out.  I used to think 30 miles was a massive amount to ride a bike in one day.  Now, it’s a decent ride.

Near the end of the ride, I noticed a rider approaching.  As the rider got close I realized it was one of our group riders, whom I hadn’t seen in a while.  As we crossed paths I stopped and yelled “JUNE, howahyah”.  I got a soft hi John back as she rode toward the setting sun.  I think June hates me.

Just a couple of things to end this post.  The road that had collapsed because of the water passing under through the pipe way that was built of brick and stone sometime in the 40’s, is almost complete.  It looks like all that’s left is the blacktop.

Lastly.  If your ankle strap that keeps your pants from getting caught in you chain come off on a country road some day and you turn back to retrieve it.  Keep one thing in mind.  When you unclip you right shoe, make sure you lean to the right when the bike stops rolling.  Don’t lean left.   OK. Now turn up the volume and put on your dancing shoes.

Vivid Imagination

Brand Island causeway
Brand Island causeway

I did go for a ride today with the intention of supporting the coffeneuring challenge riders still at it.  Today’s ride took me to Mattapoisett, on the southern coast of Massachusetts. When I got to the end of Brandt Island road, I began thinking about what fun we had here one day a long time ago. The story is later on in this post.

I made my way back to Fairhaven to do my daily shopping for tonight’s meal.  Did I ever mention that I’m the cook.  Well I am, and always buy food for cooking the same day.  Especially the vegetables and breads. Speaking of cooking.  My favorite food show is on PBS and it’s called, “I’ll have what Phil is having.”  Watch one episode OnDemand and I’ll bet you too will put it one your favorites list.

During the ride I went off road with my pseudo off road bike.  I have a 700×25 tire on the front and a 700×33 on the rear.  You see, the bike is in transition to winter.  I got home about the same time as wifey who you may know from yesterday’s post, is an extreme animal lover. She had forgotten to stop by and feed the feral cats and asked me to go back and do that.  I was tired and almost drove the three mile round trip.  I did come to my senses however, and rode there.  They were waiting patiently and every now and then one would take a peek.

Transitioning to winter riding. I call her Caitlyn.
Transitioning to winter riding. I call her Caitlyn.
Feral cat taking a peek
Feral cat taking a peek

Brandt Island. The Story

Way way way back, around 1970  I learned about Brandt Island.  It was abandoned, had a mansion that had been destroyed in the hurricane of 1938.  The story was that none of the family members survived, nor were any of their bodies found.  A few of us had visited this place once before after hearing “the stories”.   One summer night, under the influence of some decent blunts, I’m sure, we decided to return to show one of our gang the place.  On the way, this very dark, cloudy, windy night, I told the stories to the kid who had a vivid imagination and was making his first visit to Brandt Island.

Years ago a teen couple walked out to the island and disappeared.  During the search of the island, the authorities sent a diver to look around.  He never surfaced.  More divers were sent into the bay and found nothing.

Police were stationed on the island overnight to guard the place.  When the detectives returned the next morning. One officer was missing and the second was found sitting up against a tree.  His hair had turned white as snow and he had gone completely insane doing nothing but stare into space wide eyed and mouth agape.

Over the years, it was said that people walking their dogs tried to lead them onto the island.  The dog’s would cower, cry, yelp and refuse to step off the causeway onto the island.

Back then the causeway had been destroyed by at least two hurricanes and was never rebuilt.  In order to get to the island, we had to make our way across the causeway over large rocks, and cement slabs that were once the road and now sat askew and at difficult climbing angles.

After hearing the stories on the drive to Brandt Island, the new kid did not want to leave the car and walk across the causeway.  The four of us said, “that’s fine. Stay here by yourself”.  We walked away and he figured that was worse so he began to make his way to the island well behind us. What he didn’t know that there were actually five of us making the trip with him.  The four in the cab of the car, and one in the trunk, dressed all in black and wearing a long trench coat.

The kid thought he saw someone on the causeway behind us and began to get excited. He told us we were being followed and we laughed it off and assured him there was nothing to worry about.  On the island, he saw the thing again and his excitement began turning to fear.  He got loud and kept telling us we were being followed.   That’s when we gathered in a circle and began a seance.  We started chanting in ancient tongue and he began to panic.  We tried to coerce him into joining the seance and he started yelling, “what’s wrong with you guys? Your all possessed”. We began chanting louder and calling the new kids name.  Miiiiiike,  Miiiiike.   Our monster had made his way to the high ground about 30 feet away from and above us.  He stood tall, opening his trench coat wide and began moaning.

The new kid was now in full panic and began running back to the car.  The monster started to run after him while we chanted louder and louder, Miiiiike, Miiiiike.   As he was running Mike tripped and fell forward, as he landed on his stomach, his feet were still running in the air above him.  He was wearing boat shoes with white bottoms.  When the monster saw this, he thought is was so funny and began laughing.  When Mike heard the laugh he recognized it immediately.  He jumped up, ran to the monster Ronnie, gave him a huge hug and said.  “F*** ,  Dam, am I glad to see you.”  The rest of us joined them and we all had a story to tell almost 50 years later.

Off road bike path
Off road bike path