Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Years Day Ride

Goal Not Accomplished

I set a 2500 mile goal for 06. It looks like 2200 will have to do. It could have been done easily, but I decided against commuting to work in the dark. The weather has been very cooperative but I'm not comfortable with the Taunton evening traffic.

The Applichian Mountain Club ride for New Years Day looks like a wash. I had planned on working and gave the day away to go riding. The last time I rode with the club, I got three flats and had to call for a ride home.

I still may ride on the first. The weather will decide.

Hit and Runs, Totaled Cars and Luck
It was a strange week for the younger family members. Todd was hit while walking home in Atlanta, and left unconscious in the street. A broken nose was the worst damage, along with a few bumps and bruises.

A few days later, Brandon totaled his car when he hit a wood telephone pole. He was doing about 40 and fell asleep. He does not have a cell, and ended up walking the 1/2 mile home. The police had already been there looking for him.
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As usual, I resolve to lose weight and ride more in 07. Last years goal of losing two pounds is lost. To meet that goal, I need to lose 12 lbs by tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Foxy Lady Shooting

Sunday during my bike ride, I crossed the New Bedford/Fairhaven bridge. I though about taking a picture of the local night club. "Nah, It's such a trashy place", I thought. and decided against it. I did stop for a coffee for lunch at the waterfront, pictured here

The Donut Shop is visible toward the back of the photo, right next to the furthest white car here. Gunman opens fire at Foxy Lady; 3 dead
I was going to ride down there tonight because there is another big frieghter in town from London. I'll see if I can get near the place. Maybe a photo or two of the area, but I have a feeling those will be boring newspaper type photos. The ship will be more interesting, in a photography sense.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday Ride to Dartmouth

Temperatures were in the mid to high 40's. I recently put a new set of SPD pedals on the sport bike and also a new B17 Brooks Saddle. I had tried the B67 and hated it. Actually I had nothing good to say about Brooks. But there are so many riders, especially tour riders who speak so highly of Brooks saddles that I decided to research a little more.

The one thing I noticed on the touring pages in places like crazy guy on a bike web pages, was that almost everyone had a B17 model. Since Wallingford Bike offered free exchanges or returns, with no crazy rules, I decided to give the B17 a try. Riding on a B17 is unnoticeable. That, I think is a great thing to say about the product. I did have to make a couple of small adjustments for fit, but that's about it. The B67, on the other hand, was very painful to ride.

I didn't take out the camera till I got to an ex neighbors home, way out in the country. He was not around but the dogs sure were. They were relentless in their greeting and I had to us my bike as defense to keep them at bay. Jumping, licking, pawing, the whole nine yards. They are very friendly, which says a lot about their owners. Dogs are trained to be however they act usually. Glenn and Debbie are good parents. (for dogs, anyhow).

There were a couple of sights that got my attention. A little farm on the bay and the emptiness of Padanaram harbor in the winter. The harbor is usually filled with very expensive sail boats and mid sized yachts.

Riding through the city, (New Bedford), and the old Irish neighborhood of the textile past. St. James Church was one of the two large Irish parishes. This one was the blue collar parish and St. Lawrence was for the elite. The factory owners and politicians of the city.

In grammar school, I took the city bus to school. I was three miles or so away from St. Mary's, which was the elementary school of St. James parish. The bus did not take the direct route to downtown and instead weaved it's way in order to pass the major factory, school and theaters.

After two hours of riding, it was time for a quick bite. I brought along a sandwich and grabbed a
coffee to warm up a bit. Lunch at the marina, in 45 degree weather. Not as bad as it may sound.

Finally, just before the last turn, I ran into the neighborhood kids playing some American style football. They were having a good time, but when I stopped to watch a couple began trying too hard to impress. The game turned from fun to frustration for them. I snapped a couple of photos and left them so they could enjoy the game without the pressure of "the crowd".

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Walking the Dogs

Saturday was walk the dogs and work in the yard day. The puppies and I went off the beaten track and took a side path to the Nemasket Cemetery. In the old days, when I was a burial believer it's where I wanted to be. Wondering? My cadaver is going to science, with no conditions.
A little way into the woods we came across a nice little stream.

The Nemasket Cemetery was established in the mid 1800's as a burial area for the residents of East Fairhaven. It was cheaper than the main cemetery and was non-denominal.

We also visited the once very popular G Bourne Knowles garden and landscape property. They were "the" place to go for any landscape needs. Unfortunately, people would only go to them for advice, then go to the discount places like KMart to buy their plants, stonework, tools and stuff like that. The once teaming with life greenhouses now sit derelict and abandoned.

As a joke the workers installed this very high basketball net on the light post.

Back on the bike path we spoted ma and I lost all control over the dogs. Ma means cheese. Off they go.

Friday, December 8, 2006

New Seat and snow

Heavy snow squalls for the drive to work this morning. The drivers were pretty sensible today. That was refreshing. It would have been nice to bike commute.

I'm going to give the Brooks saddle another try. The B67 did not work out at all and I'm giving the B17 a try. It even looks better on the Giant. We will see on Sunday.

The 17 does not have the springs and is quite a bit narrower. The width of the 67 was a problem for me and I really hope that has been solved.

"Winter Solstace" is almost upon us, and daylight will increase in the evenings. That is what stops me from biking to work. The evening commute in darkness is too chancy. I figure late January there will be enough light to do that again. Morning darkness is not so much a problem with so little traffic. (Heavy traffic could be too distracting for the hurried evening drivers to notice a bike in the darkness).

Sunday looks good for riding with a camera. 60F and Sunny.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Biking on a Cool December Day

It's been a while since we had some cool weather. Today was sunny and in the low 40's. Still good for riding if your dressed. I found a new spot to capture the most photographed building in town. The first view is from a block away and the second is a closer view and another section of the building.
Across the street I noticed this grand old home with the widows walk. It's a telltale sign that it was originally owned by a whaling family. I was looking for some interesting photos in town (Fairhaven), and found this church being repaired. Many have been sold and are being converted for other purposes. I don't know if this will remain a worship place or not.
There was a craft festival in the National Historic Whaling Park where I was to meet wifey and her friend Donna. A cell call led me to the far south end of the city (where we grew up) and more crafts located in the old Berkshire Hathaway complex of Warren Buffet fame. On the way I detoured to ride around the waterfront. Here are a few of the sights.

An eclectic mix of people were browsing the shops, and there were lots of very expensive cars in the unkempt lot of the near derelict buildings. One old car got my attention with it's bumper sticker. (They are not all political)
I managed to get a candid shot of the girls leaving the shops. To return the favor, wifey had me pose for a candid one.While in my old "stomping grounds" I saw that there were a few things just as I remember them from many many years ago. Victory Park winter skating area for instance. When the ice was solid enough to safely skate, the park department would open the warming house, get a roaring fire going and people would come from all over the city to skate there. It was very much like a circus coming to town.
I also saw the the trees have survived. Many around the area succumbed to disease and the city forestry division does all it can to save these popular trees. They are nice....

Years ago when the textile industry ruled the city, hurricanes caused lots of damage to the factory complexes. They were all build on the river to allow them to dump waste. It's ironic that the river, whenever it had the chance, returned the destructive favor. However to protect the factories, the city, state and federal government paid to construct the hurricane barrier in the 1960's. The link shows some good photos also.

It was getting on towards late afternoon, the temperature was dropping as the wind gusts were exceeding 25 knots, sustained. (Waterfront jargon). It was time to begin the 6 mile ride home. I did get a different angle of a home in the center of Fairhaven that activated the "this would make a good picture" sentiment.