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.



Summer Tour


There is a major snow storm heading this way. There is no better time to start planning for a summer bike tour.   A week, for me, is the near perfect amount of time to pick a destination, get there, hop on the bike and ride for a few days.   I have been saying since, oh, 2008, that I was going to ride DC to Pittsburgh.   Last year I and a couple of friends narrowed our summer tour  almost daily until we finally decided to ride this route.  For sure, we all said, no turning back. We are definitely riding DC to Pittsburgh.  A thirteen hour overnight drive followed by a 6-8 hour train ride really put the squash on that.  I had the time but my two riding partners were limited to 9 days off from work. We did Lake Champlain which was no more than OK.

This year I again am focused on riding the C&O/GAP but unlike past tours, this one will be fully supported.  I’m getting the itch for touring just researching all my options but I’m also looking forward to a pretty good snow storm.

CLICK HERE to view our Lake Champlain tour this past summer.

There Are New Landmarks In Town.

The twin turbines have become the new landmarks in the town of Fairhaven, Ma. For years when someone returned to town for holidays or back from college there were a few old buildings and the smell of the ocean that brought back that felling of “I’m home”. Now it’s the sight of the turbines. There was opposition to them before and soon after they were built. Those against the turbines were making progress in trying to get them removed. Over time, the residents of town came to realize that these were nothing more than NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) activists and turned against them.

The last election saw their candidate trounced by a 5-1 margin in a turnout that had not been reached since the mid 1980’s.

With all the negatives this group that calls themselves Windwise have created, they have also reignited the civic duty of the town. Residents are now talking about elections that are over a year away and are itching to get into the voting booth to replace the two remaining Windwise officials and put this issue to rest.