Tuesday Photo Challenge

This weeks challenge offer by Frank at Dutch Goes The Photo, is simply titled, “Surface”.

I had so much trouble deciding which photo to use picking one, changing my mind. Pick another, then another.  Eventually I decided to post more than one. All are from the New Bedford, Ma harbor.  Twice New Bedford was the richest city in the country and once the richest in the world.  It is has the honor of being the number 1 fishing port in America for many years.

Palmers Island Lighthouse and the Nantucket Lightship
Leaving the Port of New Bedford
Cargo ships are a usual sight in the New Bedford harbor


Night Ride To A Game

It’s tournament time for high school soccer.  It’s the only sport I played growing up and stopped at age 51.  I also spent 40 years coaching at different levels, so I guess you could call me “avid.”

There were three games last night and I had to choose.  My alma mata was playing, one of the schools I coached and a really good local team.  I chose the really good team to ride my bike to watch, Dartmouth High, and wasn’t disappointed.

At the half it was 3-0 and early in the second 40, Dartmouth got their fourth.  I was feeling the beginnings of rain coming on and decided to leave early for the 7 mile ride home.  I got a little wet but not bad.  Riding through the city I could see driver eyeing me and couldn’t help wondering if they were envious of me riding in the soft rain on a mild evening , or thinking, “oh that poor guy. He must have lost his drivers license.”

Night Ride to Dartmouth, Ma Soccer Game from John Sullivan on Vimeo.


It’s Biking Season

Two bicycle events are upon us.   30 Days of Biking, begins tomorrow April, 1. No fooling.

Find their spoke card, handouts and flyers at their Goodies page. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to join the community. And make the pledge to yourself and the world right here.

The second is Rails to Trails Opening Day on April 8th.  Pledge to hit the trails at one of over 100 events across the country for a chance to win a Fuji bike!

Take the Pledge and Enter our Sweepstakes

Last year, Opening Day grew to include more than 20,000 trail lovers of every variety—but we believe this year’s celebration can be even bigger! Help us make 2017’s Opening Day the largest and most fun ever by taking the pledge to get out on the trail! You’ll have an amazing time—and you’ll be entered to win a special giveaway! Terms and conditions apply.

Take the Pledge to Enter

Also, if you ever thought about a multi day bike tour, Rails to trails offers the ideal opportunity with the easy 6 day Sojourn. I have done three with them and can vouch that they are spectacular and very easy, moderate daily mileage rides.

Pennsylvania Sojourn

PA Sojourn

—The Rail-trail Adventure of a Lifetime—

Spend six unforgettable days exploring two awesome trails—the legendary Great Allegheny Passage and beautiful Montour Trail—on RTC’s 2017 Pennsylvania Sojourn. Ride with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy on this six-day summer bike excursion to experience Pennsylvania’s famous scenic wilderness, charming towns, beautiful tunnels, iconic sites and can’t-miss destinations. This fully supported rail-trail adventure vacation has great food, hot showers, flexible scheduling, fun evening activities, awesome optional trips—and the added benefit of supporting America’s trails!

Dates: June 18–23, 2017
Duration: Six days, five nights
Cost: Adult – $720; Child – $620
Tour Operator and Outfitter: Wilderness Voyageurs 



Photo Shoot by Bike

I went for a bike ride around town to take some photos that would allow me to work  on my new editing software.  It was a sultry January day on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts with an approaching winter storm on the horizon.  I got the photo shoot done in plenty of time and actually the rain didn’t begin till after the editing was done.

Click the Vimeo link at the bottom right for the best experience

2017 Fairhaven Photo Shoot by Bike from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

A Trip Into The Past. And Why I Coffeeneur

Daily sight during my commuting days.

As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger.
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Sunny, warm fall days cry out for a bike ride. Us retired bike riders have the time to pick a spot not so close to home to do a long ride. I decided to ride my old commuting route.


Not long after the turn of the century I decided to bike commute to the office.  It’s something that never dawned on me till someone on some bike blog mentioned, bi modal commuting.  The light bulb shone and I slapped my forehead thinking. “Cripes, I put the bike in the car to travel for Sunday club rides, there is no reason not to do the same for work”.

I did some research, this was before MapQuest and all that.  The internet big bang had not yet happened.  This was also the days of dial up.  You know now how much that sucked. Good thing for me because I was in the business of providing internet and phone service with one of the giants.  It still is one of the giants as a matter of fact, and they are doing just fine without me.  Just like they did before me.  Three spots to leave my car made it nice and east to commute by bike every day. If I was on time, a 10 mile commute.  Running a little late.  A 7 mile commute.  On really cold winter days? Just under 5 miles.

The Office
The Office

Over the course of those years of bike commuting, I watched kids waiting for the school bus in front of their homes, mature from, grade to middle to high school and eventually, move on. The City of Tauton Built a new high school and my daily rides turned  intimidating hills into meager inclines.  I would see the same people walking daily.  Over time we went from saying good morning to occasionally me stopping to chat.

Writing notes about today's ride
Writing notes about today’s ride

Because of my outfit and bike, I was often asked, “you a cop?”

I would answer, “do I look like a cop?”


I would leave it at that.

My route took me through the Taunton State Hospital.  The entrance was at the top of a small hill on a quiet side street.  As I approached the gate one day, I spotted a 20 something guy with long shaggy blond hair leaning over his bike’s left side with his chest on the saddle looking at his chain.  I approached and said

“You need any help?  I have tools”.

He looked at me with wild eyes, jumped to a standing position and ate his cigarette.

“I’m good”, he said and as  I rode on said to him, “Just having your morning tea I see. Enjoy”.

Another thing that became clear was that heavy traffic was my friend.  It slowed everyone down. A lot. Which brings me to another commuting story.  There is a rotary, (roundabout) in the center of town. As I was approaching a left turn to get me heading toward the rotary, a car easily a hundred feet back began laying on the horn. After the turn the car came along side and I asked if he was beeping at me.

“Get out of the fucking way” was the response I got from the young passenger.  I looked up at the bottle neck a block away at the rotary and said to him.

“I’m slowing you down? Really?  Why don’t you try to keep up”.

I stood on my pedals and cut loose, weaving my way in and out of the traffic merging from three directions.  I glanced back and saw the car trying their best to get to me. Once through the rotary it would be easy to catch me on the boulevards.  Because I had been commuting this town for years, it was my territory.  I turned into a very old narrow alley that is so obvious, that not many drivers ever notice it, to my car which was parked in my winter commute location, at the police station. Never saw them again. There were other adventures during my years of multi modal commuting, but those are for another day.

The back side of the tunnel taken from the police station parking lot.

I still ride almost every day, just like my commuting days.  In the past the search for coffee was for a Dunkin Donuts. Thanks to Chasing Mailboxes in DC,  Dunkin has been moved from the designated shop to the one I have to sometimes settle. I now look for independent cafes where I can get a good cappuccino built by a Barrista.  Those places have much better food to boot.

Coffeeneuring #7. The Last and Best Coffee Ride.

Cappuccino and cranberry turkey panini. L'Artisen Cafe and Bakery in Providence. RI
Cappuccino and cranberry turkey panini. L’Artisen Cafe and Bakery in Providence. RI

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

CLICK HERE for all the photos on Flickr.

  • Location:  Providence R.I.
  • L’Artisen Cafe and Bakery
  • 14 mile round trip ride encompasing East Providence, Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls. RI
  • Trees and poles to lock up you bike. But with outside seating in an upscale college area, it’s really not necessary.

I took the Randonee bike for this last coffeeneuring adventure. I have a Novara Randonnee bike but have never done a randonee. But I have been to Spain.  Today’s ride was the route connecting the East Bay Bike Path in East Providence to the Blackstone River Bikeway in Cumberland, R.I.  This is the ride I saved for the last coffeeneurs challenge and after a couple of false starts, everything fell into place today.

This route begins in East Providence at the Fort Hill parking area of the East Bay Bike Path. The normal ride is South toward Bristol R.I. which is close to Newport.  Today though, the ride takes us North to Providence. One of the highlights is crossing the Washington Bridge over the Seakonk River.

Washing Bridge bike path in Providence, RI
Washing Bridge bike path in Providence, RI

It continues through some really nice areas along the Seakonk River and into some very upscale neighborhoods including Blackstone Boulevard where years ago I rode the Tuesday night boulevard double paceline ride. It was a 30 mile open to everyone hammerfest with the Providence College and Brown University bike teams.  There were times when the paceline was 15-18 bikes long with 30+ riders.  In essence, one would pull the pack for a couple of minutes twice a night.  Being the oldest in the pack, whenever I got to the front, the ride would slow considerably. On many rides kids would tuck me into the middle of the paceline and let me be pulled along at 25-28 mph with very little effort on my part. Riding the tide, we called it. Or as they say, keep him away from the front.

The ride today also went through a couple of urban areas that get pretty busy with traffic.  Because I was fully depending on my Garmin Touring GPS for directions, (I uploaded the route), I got caught a few times on the right when I needed to go left.  Every time I looked over my shoulder to see the traffic behind me, I got a go ahead and take the lane from the driver.  Providence is a very progressive city of  college students and professors on bikes, making it very bike friendly.  I’m still learning this new Garmin of mine, and a couple of fopahs cut the distance of this ride from 26 to 14 miles.  I want to do this ride again, but as they say, there are lots of other territories to conquer.

Riding along the Seakonk River in Providence, RI
Riding along the Seakonk River in Providence, RI
Entering Pawtucket, RI
Entering Pawtucket, RI

I saved the coffeeneuring challenge for the return leg.  I didn’t know of any coffee shops in Providence, and this being the Brown University area, it was obvious to even the most casual observer, that there would be some really good ones.  L’Artisen Cafe is the reason my title says the best coffee ride.  This place was, as the kids say, “off the hook”.  The coffee was wonderful and the turkey cranberry panini was sooo good.  The sun was shining, the temperature was nearing 65 F and there was outside seating.

L'Artisen Cafe in Providence, RI
L’Artisen Cafe in Providence, RI
Cappuccino and Turkey cranberry panini
Cappuccino and Turkey cranberry panini