Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another Change in Touring Plans

Originally I was going to do the Erie Canal west to east, then a week of some other riding in upstate NY or Canada.  The new plan has the Erie Canal off the radar.

I have a two week tour that begins with a drive to Albany NY.   My bike and I will travel Amtrak to Buffalo and after spending the night I will ride solo to Toronto. I'm thinking a day and a half will get me there.    I have a couple of people to meet in Buffalo.  One may put me up, but I'm really thinking I'll grab a hotel and maybe go out to dinner with him.  The other has also offered a place to stay but more importantly a route to Toronto that he claims is much better than the suggested marked bike routes.   I'll definitely give it a look.

In Toronto, I will meet up with a friend and we will ride together to Montreal. I will end the tour by traversing Bike Rt. 9 in upstate NY back to Albany, before the 5 1/2 drive home to Cape Cod.

Like most of my annual tours the route changes often, but this year at least I am staying in the same general area of Lake Ontario. I'm really giving Bike Rt. 9 a good going over on maps and journals.  There are some difficult climbs but if I remember correctly, there is a way around them.  If there is I'll find it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Boston Marathon Tune Up

The consensus among the top  runners is that New Bedford is the premier tuneup for the Boston Marathon. The timing, three weeks prior to Boston and the route make it so.

It's also a destination day for people from all over the Northeast.  Living just over the bridge makes it easy for me and wifey to get there and spend a nice Sunday Afternoon.

Eight year old crossing the finish line

 Busy Place

  No better way to end the afternoon

Friday, March 19, 2010

Commuting Stuff

This week has offered some really nice commuting days.   The morning have been tough though.   Today for example, the temperature was 42F when I left the house at 5:45 AM.  I begin the commute in the dark, but when daybreak arrives there is always a substantial drop in the temperature.  At the midway point of my commute my computer read 31F.  An eleven degree drop in less than an hour.

Recent flooding has prevented me from moving the commute back a couple of miles.  ( I live 40 miles from the office and have a few parking options that allow me to bike part of the way).  Next week looks much better for parking a little further away.

In the meantime, here are a few recent commute photos.

Taken on the fly. A Midnight Rider

Ole Blue waiting to go home.

The Touring Bug Is In The Air

Adventure Cycling linked it's members to this group of collegians, who are planning a cross country ride and raising money for Alzheimers. The Fijis which is a take on their fraternaty,  Phi Gamma Delta, obviously.   They are doing an awful lot of work in preparation for the tour which may seem like a lot, but in reality, it can't hurt.   Like all of us, the pre tour jitters come and go along with the occasional nightmares when the start date gets close.    I'm sure they will be amused at all the hubub once they get on the road.  

Speaking of tours.  Brandon and I are pretty set on doing the  Erie Canal again.  This time we will visit Niagra Falls and ride to Albany. (It was Utica last time).  The second half of the tour will be Adventure Cycling's Adirondak Park Loop.  Thats another 400 mile loop from Saratoga Springs, NY to Lake Placid. However if Brandon gets his passport we will ride from Montreal to Buffalo instead of the Adirondak Loop. I'm betting he doesn't get the passport.

Part of our training again this year will be the Five Boroughs ride in NYC. We will do some other rides to keep us in relative condition for an easy tour.   Nothing like the Figis though.  We are not going nearly as far.
Retirement is getting close as is summer.  Summer is bike touring time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Commuting Again

Finally got back into commuting to work. Actually I had planned to be retired by now but things are moving slowly with the company.  I'm waiting for an enhancement that until this quarter, has been offered every quarter for the past three years.   We have 24 surplus people, but also have a no layoff clause in our contract. 

The morning commutes are chilly but really not that bad.  It's in the mid 30's and I have the gear to handle that.  In the evenings I get to ride in 50+ temps.

The "Five Boroughs" ride is quickly approaching but the plans for the summer tour are on hold because of the retirement thing.  We have a couple of vacations booked and I need to hold on to my vacation time just in case the retirement falls through for the year.   I really would like to go as soon as possible but staying a few months more is no big deal either.  As long as we have our bikes right?

Friday, March 5, 2010

American Outlaws

Preparation for the World Cup  is starting to get frantic. Teams are looking for friendly opponents who play a similar style to their first round opponents.   Except the US of course.  We open with England and also play Algeria and Slovenia. It would be a huge upset for us to come away with even one point vs the Brits. Our chance of advancing is beating Algeria and Slovenia.   This is very possible and a good second round draw could get us deep into the tournament.

Two friendlies in May are within easy and cheap travel distances and I may take in one or both.  The Czech Republic is a short two hour drive to Hartford, Conneticut.  This could be nice revenge for the fans of the 3-0 drubbing we took in WC 2006 in Germany.   The second match is a few days later in Philly vs Hungary.  That is a cheap $40 bus ride each way or a $150 round trip flight.

There are purchasing options for tickets. Ticket Master is like a health car insurer with the exhorbitant fees. Another way to get them is through The American Outlaws. I am a member but don't want to sit behind the goal and sing for the whole match.  I like to stand, and don't think anyone will be sitting anywhere in the stadium in Philly. With the exception of the Outlaws section, things will be wild but at times quiet.  Rest period you know.

I also keep up with the football happenings on Fox Soccer. It probably takes up 90% of my TV watching. Besides the games. FFF, Fox Football Fone In, is my favorite show on the tube. I enjoy Wynalda's independence and his take on players and teams. It's great to watch the European footall this time of year especially the EPL. MLS ends in Oct. and there is really not much in the way of sports on tv besides soccer, unless you like American style football or basketball.

Only a short three months till opening match in South Africa.  I have Spain winning the whole thing.