Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fairhaven To Wareham, MA.

Seventeen miles of quiet country roads brought me to the Gateway to Cape Cod, Wareham. It's a quaint town located on the South Coast of Massachusetts that comes to life in the summertime. Everyone is outside, biking, walking, fishing and boating.

The ride to Wareham has some moderate rolling hills and a couple of tricky traffic areas to maneuver. Riding early afternoon on a weekday when the traffic is lighter is not a bad time. 

Just before arriving at the town line I came across a herring run.  In the fall the fish return upstream using man made runs.  These were done when roads or other obstacles interfered with the runs.  Ecology was alive and well in the early 20th century around here. 

I arrived in town sometime around 10 or 3 according to the Presbyterian church tower. The actual time was around 1:30, but I'm sure both those times on the church are correct twice every day. 

That loop near the church was a new route for me.  In the past I had avoided the Bike Route signs which detour us around the center of town and in stead stayed on Main St.   Today Wareham was my turn around point which made my decision to go with the signs.   I was pleased when I ended up down by the bay and the boat yard and pleasure boat docks.  

The lightship Nantucket was used by the coastguard mostly in the George"s Bank area of the Atlantic. A beacon of safety for the local fishermen and scallopers. The contraption used to lift boats out of the water was  invented by a local resident from Mattapoisett, MA.  It replace the old railroad style way of taking boats out of the water.  Then a wood cradle would slide into the water on rails, the boat would float onto the sunken cradle and a very heavy chain that was attached to the cradle would drag the boat ashore.  When the maintenance was complete the boat would slide back into the water and off she went.  The down side was that the shipyard could only work on one boat at at time.  Now the boat can be lifted and dropped onto a work area anywhere in the yard and many can be worked on simultaneously. 

Although the waterfront is filled with working class men, they don't live there.  It's prime property and the homes and condo's go for top dollar.  Also the insurance for hurricane, flood and wind is astronomical if you buy it.  Many of the waterfront property owners have no need to buy insurance.  Any damage they take care of themselves. Pocket change for some. 

The total ride was and easy 34 miles on a fantastic summer weekday.  Seventy degrees, sunny and a slight ocean breeze made this one of the better rides of the season. 

Herring run in Rochester, Ma. 

I arrived in Wareham sometime around 10 or was it 3? 

Light ship Nantucket

Little sailboats all in a row. How cute. 

This lift replaced the system of rail, chains and pulleys to get boats ashore for maintenance. 

Yachting and condos.  A perfect match

An old Duck Boat.  For moving troops over land and sea

Tiger Lilies maybe
 Upon arriving home I found a message on my  phone to fill in on a whale boat row.  Naturally I accepted and had quite a workout because of the wind and whitecaps in the harbor.  It was a hoot and some of the members are gearing up for the Whaleboat Races over the weekend.

Entering the harbor in 5 oar boat

Boston Fire boat in for repair

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Bikes at Yoga

It's difficult to take photos of young women in spandex warming up for yoga and not seem weird. Everyone will have to take my word for the following.

More and more participants are showing up for yoga in the park which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8AM.  Four of our group of 25 showed up with bikes.  Only one other guy today, where usually there are for or five of us.  I have to admit that yoga can be challenging and at times painful for us beginners.  I'm liking it though. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Storm Alert

Growing up on the Atlantic coast we never paid much attention to the weather flags that are prevalent along the waterfront. When the weather hit we simply adapted for a few hours. As we mature we pay more attention to it because there may be something at stake.  Like closing the windows or bringing in the hanging plants.  Yellow is "storm alert", and we are expecting a short burst when the cold front collides with the hot humid atmosphere were are experiencing.  The temperature hovered around 90F all day but as the flag shows there is a breeze coming off the ocean, which cools things down if your close to the water.  Good enough for a bike ride.

The usual route takes me over the Fairhaven Bridge spanning the harbor. On busy days the bridge opens every hour on the half hour to let boats pass on their way to the fishing areas.  I was stuck on the east side which coincidentally is where the "incident" took place.  That's happened a couple of months ago when Brandon lost control of his bike and crashed hard.  I was too close behind and ended up somersaulting over my handlebars. His bike had a lot of damage but both of us came out with only bruises.

Headed to sea

Site of the incident

Quohauging in Clarks Cove.  Co hog ing  (co is a long o sound)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lazy Saturday Bike Ride

I went to the Fairhaven Ma. homecoming fair that brings lots of expats back for the weekend. There are some arts and crafts, cheap flea market stuff and lots of food.  From the decent ethnic fare to the greasy fried stuff.  I never last long at this event and the only reason I go is because it's on the bike route.  I would rate it a 4 as fairs go. 

The bike was a short eight mile slow ride around town with no reason other than to go out for a slow ride.  A few photos follow

Snack Break at the cove

Local artist Arthur Moniz

Shaw's Cove, Fairhaven Ma. 

There were others on the MUP

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ride To The Sun. Newport R.I.

Ten Speed Spokes bike shop in Newport R.I. had it's 13th "Longest Day of the Year Ride".  Riding in Newport RI in the summer is, as you can imagine, a really scenic and fun bike ride.  There are lots of hammerheads in the ride who like to spring out of the gate and go hell bent for the full 40 miles.  The sponsor however put the kabosh on that for the first few miles at least.  Becauses of the high volumn of tourist, we have a police escourt in front and behind the group.  The pace car keeps the hammers in check till we get to First Beach where the police leave and separate packs form to do their own pace.

Thames Street

Steve and I began fifteen minutes before the start of the ride just to keep out of that pack, and it allows me to take photos on the fly without causing a major pile up of the 100 +/- riders.  We begin on Busy Thanmes St in the heart of Newports tourist district.  It's slow going and there are lots of people looking everywhere but the the road, pedestrians and drivers alike, which makes for some interesting maneuvering.


Ocean Drive

We turn onto Ocean Drive with the Newport Bridge in the background. This is where the house and property sizes increase as we get closer to the ocean. Steve and I are making good time and he is constantly questioning my choice of roads.  

The wind picks up dremactically as the ocean comes into view.  This is where we begin to hear the wail of the pace car sirene and we try to out run the posse.  The homes along the beach are nothing less than spectacular.  We both wondered out loud how many were simply summer or even summer weekend homes. 

It was pretty good sightseeing along this stretch of quiet road.  A few people made their way out to the rocks for some looking and fishing.

The Mansion District

The pace car was getting closer as we turned onto Bellview Ave.  This is where the mansions sit.

The possee caught us here and we pulled over to let them pass.  We did pretty good as the fox but were no match for the pacline.

The Beaches

One last turn finally brought us to the beaches.  First beach was crowded on this humid evening.  The severe weather watch had been cancelled and people began to arrive en masse, expecially the volleyball players.

A pretty big climb followed by a huge decent into second beach.  Just before the decent is Purgatory Chasm, overlooking second and first beaches.    The final outbound leg took us to the Abbey and the area that the homes still resemble those of the Puritans who settled this area in the 17th century.  It's quite a feeling to be riding though this area and wondering how things were back then.  It didn't look like to bad or difficult a live.

View of 2nd Beach from Purgatory Chasm
Down hill to Second Beach

Second Beach Surfers

The Abbey

Naturally we took the shortcut back to the bike shop. (we got lost), and arrived right about dusk. There was plenty of soda and pizza to go around and lots of talk of the ride.  I park quite a way from the start/finish point which lets me ride through Newport at night.  It's the highlight of the evening for me. Riding alone throught the historic side streets under a full moon.  Nice.

Pizza for all

Night Baseball

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yoga In The Park

Today was the first day of twice weekly "yoga in the park" sponsored by the local YMCA.  It had to be moved from a city park in New Bedford to Cushman Park in Fairhaven Ma. because of liability concerns the city had.  Fairhaven won on that front.

Around 20 people showed and there are a few that I really have to wonder about them returning on Thursday.  .  Some of the poses were difficult and some painful, which forced a few to stop here and there. Lets hope they give it more time and come back on Thursday.

The bike ride to the park passes the building pictured above.  It's a nursing home now, but originally it was the Tabatha Inn.   Built by Henry Huttleston Rogers the benefactor of the town of Fairhaven.  He had this constructed mainly for the use by Mark Twain. (Samuel Clemens) who often visited and would stay at Roger's home.  Inevitably, Twain would write and confess to inadvertently taking something of value back home.  Rogers was convinced Twain was a kleptomaniac and decided to built the in to keep Twain honest.  It's how the super rich solve problems.  Throw a lot of money at it till it's fixed.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dusted off the Marin

The Marin Belvedere somehow got designated my winter beater a few years back.  Probably because it had fenders.   It's a decent utility bike and I took it off it's storage hooks to head to the city and try and volunteer to an upcoming music festivle.  I want to help out but the organizers make it difficult by being hard to contact.  I gave it a shot and now I'll simply go and enjoy the festivities.  It's this thing.

While in the city I decided to head to the peninsula and my old stomping grounds.   Growing up with the ocean all around us was a hoot.  I can vividly remember feeling sorry for the kids who could not walk to the beach because they lived an astronomicaly three miles inland.  This ride was 16 miles along the waterfront.

Further back around the bend is the beach section.  The building at the top is a early 1900's
era fort that was designed by Robert E Lee to protect the harbor during the Spanish American Conflict.

Years ago, East Beach was always crowed with young families and teens hanging out.  It went through a decade or more pretty much deserted.  The crowds are back and it has taken on a boardwalk atmosphere.

Friendly Son's of St. Patrick memorial

Tall Ship Ernistna

There is no place with a more apropos name.

The Marina at Fairhaven, Ma.