Everything Is Sold Out

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I couldn’t wait to hear from any of my usual riding partners on what to do this summer. I have done the NYC Five Borough ride many times and usually sign up on the opening day of registration because it fills up quickly. This year I waited almost a week before deciding to take the plunge. Two friends from town registered this past Monday and I was really surprised they got to to that. Yesterday I got an e-mail from PTNY and along with the instructions for ride packet pickup, they have closed the registration. 32,000 of us signed up.

My summer tour, which is also sold out is destined to be quite a hoot. I have wanted to ride the Great Allegheny Passage, a trail connecting Cumberland, MD. to Pittsburgh for a few years but the logistics always made me choose another place to ride. Most times my tours are unsupported with a friend or two. This year I am going fully supported on a week long tour that encompasses three states. The ride starts in Weirton, W.Va. at the western terminus of the Panhandle Trail, crossing the border into Pennsylvania and connecting to the Montour Trail. From the Montour Trail the ride will connect to perhaps the most famous rail-trail in the world – The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), for the journey southeast to Cumberland, Md. – See more at: http://wilderness-voyageurs.com/rails-to-trails-conservancy-greenway-sojourn-reservation-2014.html#sthash.6JtfNiBx.dpuf

Riding In The Gym

I have always resisted using the stationary bikes in the gym opting for the elliptical machine instead. While going through this months issue of Bicycle Magazine I read an article on winter training. It intrigued me and yesterday I did one of the four suggested routines. Well to put is succinctly and in a nice way, it was a bitch and I liked it. During the first set I was visualizing having a heart attack but that passed. The article recommend 2-4 sets and I did 3. It also recommends adding these routines to your weekend rides that are not happening in my neck of the woods with all this snow.

Eight 20 second sprints with a 10 second spin in between.
Do 2-4 sets with a 1-2 minutes easy spin between sets.

Today it’s snowing again, no surprise there.

On the down side, my riding partner and #3 replacement son loaded his dog and his belongings into his pickup truck and began his drive to his new home in Austin, Texas. I made a video of his hiking, biking and travel adventures for his mother.

Pardon My Faux Pax

My last post about a 20/20 style of video shooting offered a duplicate video from another ride. I deleted that post to repost here.
Thanks for reading and watching.

It’s called the 20/20 style of shooting video. Shoot a short video, take 20 steps and shoot another one. Do this 20 times. I substituted the 20 steps by riding my bike for a minute between videos. This one was done with a Cannon Power Shot 810 and a Nokia Luna 928 smart phone. Neither are really good for shooting video but neither is that bad.

Vivitar HD Mini Recorder

The Vivitar a cheaper version of the GoPro retailing for $99 when it’s not on sale. I hit it right at Kohl’s department store and got it for $40. On this ride I recorded with the camera on the handlebar using the enclosed mount. I will try the helmet mount soon but first I’ll have to dig around the garage to see if I can dig up the helmet I bought a few months ago. I took it out of the box to take a picture of it and haven’t seen it since. It will turn up I’m sure. The Vivitar also came with a sealed case for underwater or space filming. I may never do either but at least I have the protection for my camera if I do go back home to Mars or visit wifey’s family on Venus.

There were times when I though the thing was on and it was not. Consequently I don’t have footage of any of the good stuff I thought I was recording. I also learned that pointing the camera straight ahead was very blah. When it was taking shots to either side the footage was much more interesting. Practice, practice, practice.

This is an unedited video as a test of how things look on the web. It will be here a few days while I edit to the final cut. I added some music so anyone looking can at least enjoy bopping your head during the preview.

Off The Beaten Path

Warren R.I.

Time: 2:35:07
Moving Time: 1:59:49
Elapsed Time: 2:35:07
Avg Speed: 7.8 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 10.1 mph
Max Speed: 20.7 mph

The East Bay Bike Path (EBBP), in Rhode Island has plenty of winter beauty. Leaving the path and venturing into the quaint New England towns should be part of the day’s ride.

Today was a break in the winter weather that had the temperature hovering around the 50 degree mark. The wind was blowing pretty good, not bad, but good enough to make you work for your miles. There were very few riders all decked out in their tour de France best, riding hell bent for glory. This day it was the locals walking and riding leisurely. Quite a few who were obvious commuters with the tell of backpacks, paniers and no helmets. Very little traffic on the roads that crossed the MUP and there were times when it was just me and the low murmur of my tires rolling over the blacktop.

This is the main dining area for the local sea gulls. They drop the clams onto the bridge to crack them, then it's gull fine dining.
This is the main dining area for the local sea gulls. They drop the clams onto the bridge to crack them, then it’s gull fine dining.

Deciding early on that this would not be and end to end ride, the path dropped me off in the town of Warren R.I. My first stop was at the 2nd Story Theater company to get a schedule of plays. This is a very professional local theater group that has captured the interest of the community. The choices the director makes it what keeps people going back. Many of the productions are controversial, dark at times, and quite frankly, are sometimes right on the very edge. They definitely have eliminated all the prudes and holy rollers but they are also always the hottest tickets around.

This Warren R.I. thespian group is the hottest ticket around.  Mostly due to their edgy productions.
This Warren R.I. thespian group is the hottest ticket around. Mostly due to their edgy productions.

Across the main road is the waterfront district. The East Bay where the aroma of fresh seafood fills the air. Clam shacks, lobster huts, seafood cafes are abundant in the center of Warren. The city is also the winter home of a couple of island ferry operators, as well as the home of Blount Gourmet Foods.

Fresh Seafood Daily
Fresh Seafood Daily
The Maxwell House
The Maxwell House
Built in 1761
Built in 1761
Clam Shack or Warren R.I.
Clam Shack or Warren R.I.
Blount World Headquarters
Blount World Headquarters
Island Ferries spend the winter here.
Island Ferries spend the winter here.

By mid afternoon the sun was setting the the temperatures dropping signaling the time to ride the return to the head of the trail. Rail to Trail conversions are always a nice way to spend a few hours on a bike, but there are also lots of thing to see and do when the rider gets off the beaten path. Warren R.I. is one of those places.

Grocery Run on the Pheonix MUP, Fairhaven, Ma.

While walking the dogs I came across a few bike riders on the MUP. I had decided to go for a 20ish mile spin but during the walk I changed my mind. I did take a short ride to the grocery store to pick up a few things. On the return ride I glanced toward the wind turbines and what I saw made me turn back to take a couple of photos. I liked what I saw and wanted to share this sight that people in cars will never see.

The quiet marsh and the majestic turbines.
The quiet marsh and the majestic turbines.
Panniers filled with groceries during a winter shopping jaunt.
Panniers filled with groceries during a winter shopping jaunt.

Summer Bike Tour Is Booked

I did a bike tour with Rails to Trail a few years ago and didn’t think much of it. Read it HERE. The route was very blah and there was really nothing to see or do between the overnight stops.

This summer’s tour is on a trail that I have been wanting to ride for years but always changed my mind and rode somewhere else. I made the plunge and signed up with Rails to Trails for the mid June Sojourn. It’s three different trails in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The price was right and I booked a couple of B&B’s to break up the 6 days of camping that were offered.

Ho Hum! Not Much to See Here

2013 to 2014

I finished 2013 with 3048 miles. Yea for me. Annual mileage is not one of my goals but I do keep track at Bike Journals. I have been a member since 2005 and just about every ride I have done is recorded there. My odometer is always connected and records the miles of going to the beach, or market or whatever. Every once in a while I total those and record them as miscellaneous Single Speed or Marin (my beater bike), miles.

I originally took advantage of the free membership at bike journals, but it didn’t take long to realized that I really like what the web master did for all of us, and that he deserved the $20 annual premium membership fee. The premium versions lets me record the weather conditions, ride type, weather it be road, tour, commute, etc. It also lets me record my weight every time I post which is the reason there is no screen shot of my journal here.
230! Alright. Now shut up.
There are a few other columns you could add to your journal but none of the others really interested me and too many clog up the journal space. I also visit bike forums occasionally, but there seems to be a lot of fighting in the over 50 and the safety and advocacy sections.

In conclusion: I will no doubt do a lot more riding with the local groups in Fall River and New Bedford, MA, as well as my favorite, the Newport R.I. group. I like the people at the Newport group but I go there predominately because the riding is so spectacular.

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