Thursday, July 31, 2008

Almost Healthy

It was a tough few days having an intestinal problem. I'm still very tired but I just may give riding a try tonight. If we are not on strike, I'll be back to commuting on Sunday. If we do go out, the miles will add up quickly.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bike Tour is Complete

Brandon and I completed our bike ride across the state of New York mainly on the Erie Canal. We were forced onto Bike Route 5 which is NY Rt31, a wide shouldered bike friendly road a couple of times.

The ride was physically ok but at times mentally demanding. The weather and misjudged distances caught us in the middle of nowhere twice. Those times we had to make do by commando camping in spots we would not have chosen if it wasn't so late. Both times we pitched our tents after 10PM.

We rode though some torrential downpours simply because there was no way to get out of them. We got lucky when the best camp spots were taken by a large group of canoe people touring the canal. We were forced into low ground between two clusters of trees. The wind was so severe on the high ground that night, some of the canoe tents were blown away. We heard the wind, but felt nothing.

The people who approached us alway warmed our hearts. Everyone was so friendly and interested in our trip. A couple offered places to stay, one woman did Brandon's laundry while he went to the bike shop. Our tab was torn up by the proprietor of an Inn in Fairport NY. Even though were were from Red Sox nation. Neither of us care one iota about that game and were summarily busted once people in the bar started dropping names and we didn't know which team they were talking about.

A county sheriff gave us a break by letting us spend the night in an illegal spot. A woman in Brockport offered to let us spend the night in the welcome center even though we had the best camp spot of the whole trip claimed. In a law office yard no less. And also a wrench at a bike shop lubing Brandon's rusting chain and adjusting his rear brakes as a courtesy.

I had plans to meet a few people while on tour but between the timing, forgotten numbers and any other excuse I can come up with, I only managed to meet one.

It's all posted on the crazy guy journals HERE if you care to look. While your at it, there are lots of fantastic writers on that site that just may inspire you to do your own tour. I'm sure there are a few people posting there that are just like you, however that may be.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Erie Canal Tour is out of commission, or at least I can't get there from this computer.

A 6 hr drive got us to the Amtrak station in Utica N.Y. Boxing the bikes when smoothly bu repacking the panniers in the parking lot was tough with the humidity.

We boarded the train just as last call was being announced for dinner. We did manage our freebee food but paid the price later. We traveled in a tiny little sleeper car becase all the seats were sold out. There was just enough room for us and our bags.

A 12:30 arrival in Buffalo left us stranded in an industrial area where the owners of the cheap motel we had planned on spending the night, refused to answer the bell. Consequently we had to pay $140 for a night in the Days Inn at the airport. We finally got to our room around 2:30AM.

Day 1.

It's 10:30 and Brandon is still lollygaging. He is off to McDonalds for breakfast and after that we will take the shuttle back to the train station, retrieve and reassemble our bikes, and begin the 350 mile ride back to Utical via the Erie Canal.
We are looking into a side trip to Niagra Falls today then ride to Lockport this afternoon or this evening.

It's hot outside, but we are both very excited.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

On Tour

Brandon and I are touring the Erie Canal. I will be posting on Neil Grutton"s web site Crazy guy on a bike Search "John Sullivan"

Claudio Reyna has retired. It certainly was a treat watching him both and college the and the professional levels. His national team play was spotty, but he was still a great player. We'll miss him.

The Revs put two on the MLS all star first 11. Reise and Parkhurst. Well done to both.

See youse next week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Recovering Nicely

Have been off the bike for a week with a strained back. In the beginning it was like the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz movie. Walking (sort of) then the searing pain in the back and the legs go weak. It's all past now with only a little soreness remaining.

Will be ready for the tour of the Erie Canal beginning on the 18th.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


New Bedford Ma. Summerfest

July 4th Friday night Greater New Bedford Summerfest kicks off with concert on the Custom House stage beginning at 6:30 p.m. featuring Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, Lacy Kaplansky and Red Molly. The concert will be followed by the City's fireworks display. The Friday concert is a separate ticket $10 in advance, $15. at the gate.

On Saturday, July 5 and Sunday, July 6, between 11:00 AM and 9:00 PM the Greater New Bedford Summerfest expands to six stages in the National Park that range from the twelve hundred seat "Custom House Stage" to the intimacy of a fifty five seat "Meet the Performer" area. An array of well-known and emerging artists will be featured on these stages all weekend, including Richard Shindell, Chirs Smither and Ramblin Jack Elliot. Complete list of performers

Women in Docs and the Kennedys

I got a chance to meet the couple riding the tandem. They had ridden the 35 miles from Providence, R.I. to attend the festival. From Florida, the couple had done quite a lot of touring both tandem and single bikes.

Playing for tips

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New Commuter, maybe.

Tuesday, a coworker had been asking about my commute. She said, "maybe I'll ride it sometime next week".
"Why not tomorrow"? I said.

She met me at the park and ride at 6AM, roaring to go. A bike with two nearly flat tires, rusted cables and a slipping chain. Then she pulled the biggest backpack I had ever seen, out of her car.
"What the heck you have in there?"


"For how many?"

To be fair, it was her first work commute. Overpacking is common for most people and her packing a change of clothes, shoes to match the clothes, a book, and a side of beef, is understandable.

I let her set the pace and she lead us to work at around a 16mph spin. She did fine. One glitch was when she mentioned that her pack felt funny. Things seemed to be shifting. She stopped and as she began dismounting, the thing exploded throwing cloths half way into the road. Being the good riding partner, I immediately reached for my camera. Unfortunately, I was too quick on the trigger and the photos came out unrecognizably blurry.

The commute home was a treat, doing the same route in heavy traffic. She is off till Tuesday and we will see if she becomes a regular on the bike.