Friday, December 30, 2011

December Saw Lots of Rides

The daily commute really allowed me to get lots of miles during December.  A couple of road rides was the icing on this cake culminating with a 30 mile ride today on the Rochester MA loop.

There is a group doing a New Years Day ride and I am going to join them.  They don't have a route yet, only a meeting place.  They are a university organization so they will have something ready by Sunday no doubt.


Lonely stream crossing

Mr Goodwrench lives here

Acushnet MA. summer farm stand

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Running Errands

I had a few errands to run around town and had all intentions using the car.  While walking the dogs I noticed quite a few people on bikes on the MUP.  Why not? I said and did all the errands by bike.  It was only around 4 or 5 miles total riding and the temps were in the high 20's.  It was cold but only felt cool. Winter riding this year has been pretty neat.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Popcicle Toes

I didn't realize till the end of the ride that I had no feeling in my toes.  As they say, "what you don't know...". Today was one of the standard 25 mile loops through the neighboring town.  In the two hour ride less than a dozen vehicles passed.   It felt like I was on tour somewhere in Upstate NY or out west again.  

I did take the steel touring bike on this ride and am always amazed at how smooth it rides.  It's a 2007 Novara Randonee and it's a really great touring bike if you ever take the plunge.

Climate change sale

It was windy last night

Acushnet MA. 

Rochester MA. 

Barn work in Mattapoisett, MA. 

Back yard art

It's been a while. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two More Bike Commuting Days

One of my peeps. 

The bike commute to the Salvation Army is coming to an end.  December 24 is the last day for the bell ringers and consequently the last day for the driver (me), who brings them to the markets.  Today was a great bike riding day with temps around 60F.   I'm kind of liking this climate change, and am hoping I'm long gone when the shit hits the fan.

Speaking of markets, I have learned not to buy any "fresh" items there.  When ever possible I get local produce, and can get fresh eggs from a place just off the MUP in Fairhaven.  MA.

 Eggs are just ahead behind the greenhouses.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time to Bundle Up

Today was the first really bundle up day of the season.  Crossing the harbor is the worst part.  It's always windy and cold.
There is also lots of construction on the latter part of my commute.  Or first part depending on weather I'm coming or going.  Which can get confusing at my age.

Carrying bike from bridge to lower road.

Construction makes things safer.  I ride inside the barrels. 

Last hill to climb

Fairhaven High School ( MA.) 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winter is Coming

Only four more days till the solstice and the beginning of winter and the holiday season.  It's also called Midwinter and Yule.
Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied from culture to culture, but most cultures have held a recognition of rebirth, involving holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations around that time

Today felt like winter with the temperature hovering around 27-28 F.   It wasn't bad riding to the market because there was no wind.  There were a couple of comments about riding in the cold.  Those people haven't seen the light yet.  

Where I meet my peeps.   I'm usually the only atheist in the building. 

Early morning in downtown New Bedford, MA. 

It's the last week of bell ringing for the Salvation Army.  I drive the ringers every morning to their assignments.  The running joke is that their religious boss has told them they are all fired on Christmas eve.

Food shopping on a cold December Sunday. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cold and Wind

I could hear the wind roaring as I awoke.  "Wow, this could be a tough ride to work".  There were a couple of spots that the gusts knocked me around, but just the though of riding and not driving the five miles to the office made the ride seem right.
Full on sustained wind in my face.  30MPH

Construction makes this usually treacherous crossing a piece of cake. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Work, No Miles

Early morning walkers. 
Click any photo for big

My annual miles have dropped off considerably since retiring.  The 20 mile daily commute really added up obviously.   Also preparing to get back into soccer coaching took up a good chunk of riding time.

It's just over 1500 miles this year which is around 600 miles under the average of the last few years.  We are planning a bike tour for the summer which will afford plenty of incentive to go out and ride to get the fitness level up to snuff.

Doing the 10 mile daily commute till the 23rd.  Then what?   Who knows.   Here are today's sights.

Freighter at Pier 2

Freighter bow looking from Pier 1

Oil barge making it's rounds

Scallop boat returning to port

Friday, December 9, 2011

City Riding

Today was the first day of rehab since I had a heart stent installed on Nov. 21.  It's a 6 mile ride to the hospital and the day screamed for a bike ride.  Needless to say the staff was a bit surprised.  I told them I ride every day and also walk 4 or 5 miles with the dogs.   After a 30 minute ride into the wind and mostly uphill, rehab sat me on some machine that resembles a recumbent bike that has handlebars that mimic rowing for 5 minutes.  My heart rate got to 85 and recovered to 58 in a little over a minute.  "See you next Wednesday".  I am scheduled for 36 visits at $15 each.   I flinched and we agreed that I would continue till I lose 10 lbs. Now that I have incentive, that should take about a week.

New Bedford was twice the richest city in America.  It was the whaling capital for a long time then transformed to textiles in the 1920's.   The 1% who ran things built some very spectacular homes.

On the return trip, I ran into a regular biker crossing the bridge with his buddy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Enough Wind to Stop A Bike

I got on Rt. 6 in Fairhaven only to find myself riding dead on into a sustained 45 MPH wind.  If I stopped peddling my forward momentum would cease immediately and the wheels would stop rolling.  I briefly though about turning around to get my car. Riding over the bridge and open water was a chore but the return trip was as easy as pie.

Winter is gradually setting in but the biking is still the best part of the day.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lost and Found

Cargo Ship from Panama arrived yesterday
 As always. Click any photo for big

A few months ago I lost my best glasses.  I gave it a few weeks to see if they would turn up then decided to replace them when BJ's had a 1/2 price sale.  Three weeks ago, I lost the BJ's glasses and ordered a new pair last Tuesday.  Friday I found the first pair in an old glass case in my catch all basket in the kitchen.   Today I was packing my rain gear for the ride to work and found the replacement pair I lost three weeks ago in a pocket.

In a matter of four days I went from two pair of glasses I don't like to five pair.  It's like the old days with telephones.  One in every room.  But I do get to see things more clearly on the daily commute.

Living along a working waterfront is pretty neat.  There is always something interesting going on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Calm Waters

You have heard the phrase, "the water was calm as glass".   This is what that looks like. 

It was unusually nice for a November commute this morning.  On the lighter side.  I wear a strap to keep my pant leg from getting tangled in the chain ring and this morning after crossing the bridge and portaging the stairs to the lower roadway, I notice the strap was missing.  It's a nice one I got at REI so I decided to back track.   The problem is that the bridge opens to allow boat traffic on the hour and it was getting close to that time.  If I'm on the wrong side, I will be late for work.

I road back looking for the strap at a good clip but had no success.  After carrying the bike back down the stairs for the second time I decided to pull up a sock over my pant cuff as a temporary fix.   Sure enough the strap didn't fall off and was still attached to my ankle, hidden from view under the cuff.  I got to work on time but as the first sentence mentions, it was an unusually warm day.  I was sweating profusely when I got to the office.  Then my shirt began to stink.   Then all the bell ringers piled into the van that I was driving to bring them to the shopping centers.  peeeeee  u.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bell Ringers

Today was the first chilly day of the season.  It was around 40F and windy on the way to drive the Salvation Army bell ringers.   Naturally I got caught in the middle of the harbor when the bridge opened.  Both ways as a matter of fact.

BTW Here is the reason for my not posting for a couple of months.

I ride to the city daily to deliver the Salvation Army bell ringers to their stores.  In this setting one gets to see a different side to these people.  They are mostly down and out,  but all are nice.

Salvation Army bell ringers

Derelict boat in New Bedford, Ma harbor.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's That Time Again.

Road construction is not good for bike tires. 

High School soccer is done for the year and now it's back to bike commuting.  This is the time of year that I volunteer to drive the Salvation Army bell ringers to their posts.   It gives me a reason to bike commute again, and a reason to update this blog.   There were a couple of commutes before the holiday but yesterday actually began the regular driving duties.   It was also my first flat in years.  Without losing a beat, that tire was back in service lickity split.  But,  but,  the nut that holds the skewer on the wheel fell off.  For the life of me I couldn't find it and consequently couldn't put the rear wheel back on.   Call the wife, get a ride to work.

I did manage to find the part when I returned after working and everything worked out.   I did get to ride again today.

 Part of the scallop and fishing fleet is in  port.

 Portuguese Whale Boats

Freighter off loading in the Port of New Bedford.