Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summer Biking and Soccer

Everything is pretty much in place for the summer activities, especially biking.  This weekend is the in Five Boroughs Bike Tour   in NYC.  Registration was cut off at 30,000 participants, but we managed to get in by registering early.  The thing about this ride is that if you get caught in the family section near the back of the pack, your going to do a lot of walking. Every incline and every bridge poses a major hurdle for the thousands of novice bikers that participate in the event.  Since we are staying in Staten Island, getting to the front of the line requires some innovation.   If we find ourselves in that family section we ride over to 8th Ave and beat feet all the way to Central Park and get as far away from the novice riders as possible.    Doing that will allow us to finish the ride between noon and one pm intead of closer to four pm.

May 25 till July 9th is booked for the FIFA World Cup.   A few of us are traveling to New Haven Ct and Philly for the send off games of the USMNT.   My family will be gathering in Boulder the first couple of weeks in June to watch the opening round and we all feel good about the US advancing to the round of 16 at least. England will be difficult, but we should be able to handle Algeria and Slovenia.

Brandon and I will drive to Albany NY on or about July 11 and board the Amtrak with our bikes bound for Buffalo.   The following day we will embark on our two week bike tour.   Figuring on two day to ride to Toronto via Niagra Falls, we will meet up with Crys in Toronto for our Canada leg of the tour to Montreal.  Crys will train back to Toronto and Brandon and I will continue back to Albany via NY Bike Rt. 9.  We are looking at taking a one or two day detour to Lake Placid to check out the Olympic sites and maybe ride over a mountain or two.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

  We were near the end of a 35 mile training ride.  We wanted to do a long ride with some good hills and decided on the back roads to Fall River, Ma.   First we had to ride the city streets of New Bedford, which at times can be very unfriendly to bikes and peds.  We did ok this time but I did mention to Brandon that he was really being annoying by riding all over the road.  I had to swerve and/or brake a few times to avoid hitting him as he cut in front.  He got mad and intentionally cut in front again.

We were crossing the bridge over the Acushnet River and Brandon was riding without a care in the world.  The bridge had a cast iron railing that is not unlike a picket fence.  It has a 4" pipe on top of 2" iron pickets that are spaced a foot or so apart.  He was sliding his right hand along the top of the rail and leaned a little too much into the rail.  Overcompensating to the left and again to the right.   He looked like that bridge from the 1940 that was swaying and rolling like a wave.   His handlebars caught the pickets stopping his bike on a dime.   The back of the bike passed him and tried to throw him over the rail into the river.  Then the bike went down across the path.

I almost went for the brake but a quick decision told me to try to ride over his bike.  He said when he looked up, (being flat on his back), he saw me at the apex of a somersault going over my handlebars.  My front wheel  caught his dérailleur and stopped my bike throwing me over.  The next thing I remember was being flat on my back waiting for the pain.  It never came fortunately.  Both of us are bruised and sore, but neither of us are hurt.

When I got up, I noticed that there was a third rider approaching.  He stopped and just looked at us. Brandon said, "good thing you weren't closer or you would have been part of this".   He said "I just bought this bike at Yesteryear and paid a thousand dollars".   Then he rode off.    Ooooo Kay.  Whatever.

My bike is fine, Brandon's is a mess.   Both wheels are taco'd and his dérailleur is bent.  The fiver boroughs ride is in a week and a half and the scramble is on to get his biked fixed.

The first 32 miles were fun though.   We did get some hills and the 30 mph wind gusts gave us a workout.

There was one section was the road was pretty washed out.   We also came across some really old cemeteries and has to stop and check out the dates.  Lunch was at this little place called Hixville General Store.  Nice.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The FBC Fairhaven, Bike Group

The FBC Fairhaven blog is being reactiveated to broadcast road rides around the area.  The purpose is to have a resourse for local riders who want to join our small unorganized group for local rides.  Pre and post ride articles are the direction this site will persue. 

If your in the area and are looking for routes or ride partners, give us a shout.   We'll be glad to have you join us and just as happy to join you on a ride.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Full Training Mode

Lots of riding and other fitness stuff is going on. The fitness is the 100 pushup and 200 squat routines that are floating around the web. Orignally they seemed a little nutsy but then, what the heck. It can't hurt. Actually the added excercise feels good.

The tour is set finally. Buffalo to Toronto to Montreal to Albany. Two weeks give or take a day or so on either side. We will ride around Lake Ontario with our Canadian friend so that planning is out of our hands. We only need to get to Toronto for the start. The route from Montreal to Albany is still up in the air. We can take Bike route 9 along Lake Champlaign or move a little west and return on the Adirondak Park Loop, which is much more difficult.

If the training goes well and we feel we have enough oomph to cross the mountains fine. We'll do Adirondak. If not Bike rt 9 is our backup.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vermont Cheddar

We found this great little roadside stand  on rt 30 in VT. and had a wonderful Polish lunch.

Wifey got the itch to get away for a couple of days.   She did some reasearch and as usual found a very good deal.   With that we sent the dogs to their favorite kennel, put a couple of days worth of food and water out for the cat and drove to Manchester Vermont for a two day stay at the Equinox Resort and Spa.  We did some shopping and some browsing.  The shopping was at places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor to name a couple.  The browsing was at Brooks Brothers and Armani outlets.   I did see a really nice sport jacket in the 50% off rack at Armani that  I could have purchased is for $795.   The hook was.....no tax.    I didn't like the look so I passed.

The walk to the shopping area was around a mile and a half.  On the way back it started to drizzle and we were also returning via the back roads, just for something different.   On that walk I spotted a hawk and told wifey look over and up.  That's when she took a "diggah".    A diggah is different from a fall.   It has things about it that saying she fell just doesn't paint the whole picture.  I watcher her incorporate four falls into one.  Fret not, there was no injury, damage or pain. 

When she looked up, she stepped on the road edge where the tar meets dirt.  Usually a person stumbles, the knees buckle then they recover.  Wifey, in this case did not recover.  Her knee almost hit but she took to giant steps forward then fell on her hip.  Done deal?  Nope.   Next she pancaked onto her belly before finally putting her ear to the ground to see if she could hear buffalo.   The whole thing was a slow and gentile fall that was not unlike someone getting into bed.  After making sure she was fine, the laughing fit hit me.  It looked so slapstick that I couldn't help myself.   Then again the only thing funnier I saw was a very out of style guy in his late 20's walking down a street giving a car full of high school girls his best George Clooney look and turning just in time to smack the telephone pole full face.

Any how,  Manchester is a decent get away place.  Golf if you do that,  hiking, shopping, overpriced restaurants and pampering in the spa.   If you get a good price, it worth the trip.

We drove the back roads to this place so I could get a feel for biking in the area.  One of the tours I am interested in doing takes me up rt 100 in Vermont to the Canadian border and into Montreal.  Lots of rolling hills and a couple of mountains to cross, but the traffic has been absorbed by the interstate.  It is really good riding routes. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Working Easter

I have been giving up my scheduled work weekends in anticipation or retiring.  This weekend  snuck up on me and I  didn't realize I was working till Friday which was too late to ask someone to cover for me.   BTW both days are time and a half, so they are usually easy to give away. 

Saturday I decided to move my commute from the 6 mile to 11 mile ride.  I drive part way and have a few places to park that give me different mileage options. It was pretty easy and I planned on doing the same on Easter Sunday.  However when the alarm sounded I decided to roll over and sleep in and drive to work.  

The office is 40 miles inland from home and when I leftat 4PM the temperature read 80F. I was disappointed at not commuting today and decided that I would ride after work.   As I drove toward the coast I watched the temps drop and finally settle in at a comfortable 67.

 I decided to do the loop that I routed when I first got back into biking a few years ago.  It has a few mileage options and I ended up riding 21 miles this day.   My conditioning needs work I found, but that will improve quickly over the next few weeks.

It's only three weeks till the Five Boroughs Ride in NYC but I have no worries about being ready for that one.   It's the summer tour I need to do the extra training so I can cross the Adirondacks without calling 911. That's not till mid July. So plenty of time to prepare for that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

100 Year Storm

It is called the 100 year storm.   Eighteen inches of rain has fallen in less than a month completely overwhelming the many rivers and lakes of the area.   My commute, which has been on hold for a few days was an eye opener. I don't live in Taunton, Ma and subsequently didn't keep up with the news.  

I made it a point to bring my camera and the following are two days after the rains have stopped.   Taunton is a very old New England city and many of the buildings involved in this 100 year storm, were there for the last two or in some cases three.