Friday, February 29, 2008

New Bedford, Ma.

An informal consultation meeting was set for 2:45, and only six miles from home. The temperature was hovering at the 20 degree mark, the sun was shining and there was no wind. The bike? Why naturally, and a chance to get some different photos of the area.
The New Bedford/Fairhaven bridge has a set of stairs that allows pedestrians and bicyclist to enter the city safely without having to fight traffic. The photo above is taken from the top of the stairs and a rider has to portage the bike to the city streets.

The meeting was on the fringe area of downtown near St. Lukes Hospital It's a very scenic section of the city with large turn of the century homes originally built by the wealthy factory and whaling principals.

A blogging friend Grant in Prague wrote about the cemeteries in the Czech Republic and how they adorn the grave stones with photos of the buried. A little bit of extra time before the meeting allowed for some photos of the "Rural Cemetery" of New Bedford. The dates, some from the 18th, century give a revealing glimpse of the residence of the once great city.

Back into the city for the return leg

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Night Ride

Picked up the new bike at REI after work. We set out to ride around Fairhaven and ended up on the hurricane barrier in the middle of the harbor. Pictured above. We rode from the right side to the middle. It got cold but we managed. We took turns on the Ranondee and the consensus is that it's a good bike. We are both getting stoked for the NYC Five Boroughs ride and the Erie Canal tour.
The Kid

Checking in from the middle of the harbor.

The bikes at rest.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bike Exchange

The Novara Safari did not work out at all. Picked up the bike on Saturday and did a quick loop around the parking lot of REI. It felt odd, but figured to make a couple of adjustment at home the next day when the weather cleared.

After some discussion with the two wrences at RIE, on of whom was a touring rider, the Safari was returned and replaced by the Novara Randonee.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Snow Day

The roads were horrendous, everyone else was in the office and there were four vacation days left over from 07.

The day began with every intention of going to the office. After all, today is formal Friday. The day to wear a shirt, tie and maybe a sport jacket.
Most offices have dress down Friday, but dressing down is literally impossible in this place. A team jersey with the name of some 25 years old, steroid using multi millionaire, sweat pants, sneakers and a reversed ball cap is usually the uniform of the day. Formal Friday is the break from Jr. High school mentality, just for a day. A form of protest by the adults.

On the way to work (40 mile commute), the traffic on the opposite side of the highway was slooooow, and crowded. Vehicles skidding off the road were the cause. All young men, all pickup or over sized SUVs. You know, the one who can go really good in the snow. {{{{{Flash}}}}} Everything can go in the snow. A bicycle can go in the snow, a mini cooper can go in the snow. Try to stop in snow and the SUVs and pickups are like the battery bunny, they just keep on going. Till they hit something and flip. Not wanting to be the something that gets hit, made the decision to return home easy. (Along with getting paid for the day, of course).

Today is a snow day. Family time, shopping, and of course...
Time with the pups.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Full Moon Fiasco

FBC Fairhaven held it's third installment of the Full Moon Fiasco. Ironically, during the third full moon since the equinox . Two participants enjoyed the additional benefit of a full "snow moon" eclipse, and the demonstration of Americas' Star Wars system.

Photo from

And finally keeping with the space shot lunar eclipse theme there is this

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Waahm Waddas

For those outside of New England it's "Warm Waters".

With the bike all packed for the 30 mile drive to the commuter lot, the thermometer showed a temp of 23 degrees. As I drove away from the coast, the temperature began it's drop. By the time I got to Trucci's and pulled "Belvedere" out of the car, it was 14 degrees.

A bright, crisp morning made this Sunday commute pretty nice actually. The feeling was kind of like leaning on a cold pane of glass. The layers of clothing protected as advertised.

The ocean temperature is around 40 degrees, and radiates a few miles inland, keeping the air temperature more moderated. That explains why there is so little snow. When the inland areas get six, eight or even ten inches of snow, the SouthCoast part of the state usually gets rain.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Library Run

The Phoenix Path was deserted on this cold winter morning.

It was time to make a trip to the local library. Three books in the works all came to their conclusions within a few days of each other. One that was recommended by a friend, Carsten Hoefer , "Paris 1919".

"A wonderful book on the disastrous peace that followed the war is Paris 1919 by Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan. (Publisher: Random House) Paris 1919 is an eye-opener that shows how the roots of many current conflicts can be traced back to the various peace treaties and the war's aftermath - in the Balkans, Turkey, Palestine, but especially in regard to Iraq, which was cobbled together to provide an additional throne for the Arabs. Apart from being an accomplished historian, MacMillan is the greatgranddaughter of British prime minister Lloyd George, who lead the British delegation during the peace talks."
Carsten Hoefer

The second, by way of the C&O canal yahoo group, "The Canawlers",

Mr. Rada presents an interesting slice of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal boatman’s life set against the backdrop of the turbulence and uncertainty of the American Civil War. The use of the canal as a route on the Underground Railroad is also woven into the plot which reveals how hard work, a strong family and difficult times could come together along the canal.

Lastly, a historical look at the building of the Erie Canal Wedding of the Waters.

Upon completion, the Erie Canal stretched 363 miles across New York state from Albany to Buffalo, linking the great port city of New York to the interior of the United States. This work tells the story of the building of the canal and its impact on the economy. The author describes how the canal came to be through looking at the individuals who came with the plan, the politicians and businessmen involved with its implementation, and the engineers who saw it to fruition. He sets the narrative of the canal within the overall context of concurrent economic and political developments.

Fairhaven Ma. Town Hall

Millicent Library

Securing the transport

Every full moon, FCB Fairhaven plans the "Full Moon Fiasco" bike ride. Pub 99 is the meeting place and it's only a matter of time before the Fiasco is the "ride to ride" in the area.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Morning in Fairhaven, Ma

The LBS offered a customer appreciation day at the local skate rink. I suspected there would be lots of kids there, but underestimated it by dozens. It brought back very traumatic memories of the days I had to chaperone when my kids went there. After a very brief visit and a "howdoyoudo" to the LBS owner, I decided to take my camera and ride around town. Here are some of the things I saw.
Naskatucket Basin

Waterfront Home

Summer Shacks

Year round beach home

Unitarian Steeple

Egypt Lane melts into the bay

Teachers quarters. circa 1845

Very shortly after the ride the cold front move in. Gale force winds whipping off the ocean changed a 45 degree nice riding day into a gusty, cold, stay in the house afternoon.

A second front arrived at the midpoint of the evening walk with the dogs. A half mile trek to get home, had the three of us returning cold and covered in a crust of snow. Nice.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Touring Bike

With the touring season approaching, the thoughts of a sport touring bike began to simmer. After lots of research, Novara Randolee looked to be the best fit. Today was the day for a trip to REI in Cranston R.I. where there was a good selection of Randolees in stock. I was not impressed with the ride. Not disappointed, but it didn't strike me as being any different from the Marin I now own.

The Novara Safari sitting on the end caught my eye. Since I didn't know anything at all about disk brakes, I never paid much attention to bikes with them. The wrench at REI who had lots of experience with touring customers, answered all my questions and pretty much eased all my concerns. I decide to give the Safari a test ride and liked it a lot.

REI has a thirty day satisfaction policy, and with that, I decide to make the purchase. I have to say that dealing with REI was a very good experience. The two staff, sales and wrench, worked very well together, answered all my questions and didn't make any kind of pitch on a bike unless I asked.

I do three distinct types of riding. Road, commute and sport touring. I have a bike for each now and feel like I'm covered for any comeuppance. Like having all the right sport coats in the closet.

Now for the tent.