Tag: bike forums

South Coast Bikeway Meeeting and The Cape Cod Canal. Both Sides, Both Bridges

Saturday September 19

Ride to the Award Ceremony in Dartmouth on Saturday. Meet at 99 in Fairhaven at 9 AM for the short ride across the river to the Dartmouth YMCA. (A little over 8 miles). It should be a nice day. Wear your colors and helmet if you want but neither is necessary for this short ride to the event.


Sunday September 20

Looking north from Sagamore Bridge.
Looking north from Sagamore Bridge.

Meet Sunday Sept. 20 at 8:15 for an 8:30 start at the Buzzard Bay Parking lot adjacent to the RR Bridge. 
Don’t miss this one.  It’s a favorite of mine and a very cool ride. Be sure to bring your camera. Bring your helmet if you want, but it’s not necessary for this easy paced, traffic free ride.

Directions:

Set your GPS to 61 Main St. Buzzards Bay.

We will cross both bridges and ride both sides of the canal, visiting Mashnee Island, the Sandwich Power Plant.  Scussett Beach and the railroad bridge like you have never seen it.  There are “secret” access points to both the Bourne and Sagamore bridges giving access to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  It’s safe and fun to cross these bridges.

Meet Saturday Sept. 12 at 8:15 for an 8:30 start.  This is a very easy 25 mile flat ride with a couple of stops for photos.

Click Here for everything you need to know about this ride.  Directions, photos, etc.

New Bedford, MA

I took a ride into the city across the river.  It’s one I do often and no matter how many times I do the same route, I find something different.  I stopped for ice cream at the business I owned back in the mid 80s.  Stopped and talked with the locked out United Steel Workers at their plant.  Rode the elevated bike way along Buzzards Bay, and looked around the originals Berkshire Hathaway complex that once employed twelve thousand textile workers. The complex is gradually being demolished saving as much of the valuable brick and lumber as possible, for resale.

As always,click any photo for big. Click again for bigger Hit back button to return to post

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The elevated bike and walkway
Railings have been installed and lights to follow
Railings have been installed and lights to follow

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Security guard at the locked out Steel Plant.
Security guard at the locked out Steel Plant.
Freighter at New Bedford's State Pier.
Freighter at New Bedford’s State Pier.
The back end of the freighter.
The back end of the freighter.
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Out door dining and music at the Skipper.
Music on the pier at the Skipper Motel
Music on the pier at the Skipper Motel

Bike Touring. A Life Changing Adventure Or A Fun Vacation

As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger

All of us who visit  touring sites either do, or want to do long distance touring. Since 2005 when I signed onto bikeforums and crazyguyonabike, I have envisioned myself doing some kind of cross country tour, be it east to west, or south to north. Last year I was within a week of riding the Southern Tier solo until things happened to force a postponement. I ended up riding the GAP/Martha’s Vineyard tour a few weeks ago as my annual bike tour.

I rode the GAP, Montour and Panhandle trails last year with a large group, and had a wonderful time. Being a social person who also enjoys time riding solo made the Rails to Trails sponsored sojourn, a good experience. I did some riding alone, some with new found friends and at the end of the day participated in the social events that were made available by the locals when we passed through or stayed overnight in their towns. This year two of us did the same ride on our own and the experience

Great Allegheny Passage
Great Allegheny Passage
Barroom in the basement.
Barroom in the basement.

was the polar opposite. Converted rail trails are often long stretches of nothing between major rail yards with a few small towns scattered between. Without an event with 300 bike riders coming to town, there is no reason for any business to remain open past 6 or 8 PM.

Riding 60+ miles a day on dirt with a slight incline can certainly test the patience and endurance of older guys like me. The reason for those miles was to get to a town, relax over a nice dinner and have a few cold ones while rehashing the day. There was also a time factor involved when riders have to get back to work.   In reality, we ended up walking to a Walmart one evening and settling into a bar room in a house basement the next night eating frozen pizza and potato chips.

On the flip side, towpaths like the Erie Canal have towns every couple of miles, catering to bike and boat tourist during the summer.  Again to finish the end to end bike ride, it’s 8 days on crushed limestone averaging 50 miles a day. The Erie Canal has the option of NY Bike Route 5 (Rt 31 for cars), which allows riders to make up time by riding on pavement. If your ride, you know how

Bike route 5 paralleling the Erie Canal towpath
Bike route 5 paralleling the Erie Canal towpath

refreshing it is to ride on pavement compared to crushed limestone, especially if it’s wet.  The Erie Canal offers a plethora of choices to stay or if one prefers, free camping at any lock station. The Erie Canal is a fun bike ride as opposed to the Great Allegheny Passage, which is more of an adventure.

Our Brockport home. Camping on the canal.
Our Brockport home. Camping on the canal.

There are lots of local day rides available on these converted trails, and I’ll continue to ride them, but the long, boring, dusty week long rides on rail trails have been eliminated from my touring list.

Bike touring for many is a life changing adventure.  For many it’s a fun vacation or it can be anywhere between the two.

Next years tour is narrowed down to three choices.  The Erie Canal, an 8 day tour.   Cape Cod and Martha’s Vinyard in 6 days.   Inn to Inn in Bar Harbor Maine in 6 days using Adventure Cycling’s Itinerary without the off days.