Friday, March 23, 2012

Forty Eight Miles to the Cape Cod Canal

Second turbine in Fairhaven, MA. gets its blades.
As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger.  Hit back button to return to blog.

Forty eight miles was round trip or course.   It was a slog after yesterday's hammer fest where Brandon and I really pushed on our 32 mile ride. We were both complaining today that our legs were "toast".  The hills really took us to our limits.   Needless to say the ride was kind of slow.

Onset Beach  MA. 

Route 6 was the main route to Cape Cod till the extension of the interstate.  As they all do, this interstate eliminated all but local traffic on Rt. 6.   A couple of the old honky tonk places are still around. 

The railroad bridge spanning the canal is kind of different. It stays raised till a train approaches, which is only in the summer.  A tourist dinner train is all that's left of the rail service.  When the train approaches the bridge slowly lowers to around 10 feet above the fast moving waters of the canal.   The white truck parked near the bridge is the bridge tender.  He climbs the tower, walks across the raised bridge and climbs back down on the other side to get to work.  Nice. 

These condos were built in 2008 and fell victim to the housing collapse.  You can get one for around 300k now.  They sit about 50 feet from the canal.

What a look I got from this one when she noticed I took a photo.

Maintenance workers way up high. 

 Canal art


This may be the only Gingrich sign within a thousand miles.  

The ride was fun till I got home, pulled in the garage and reached into an empty bike back where my wallet was supposed to be.  The last time I saw it was in Buzzards Bay,  22 miles from home.  We back tracked but found nothing.  I'm in the process of doing all the things we need to do when we lose a wallet.  A real pain in the ass.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

At 80F We couldn't resist riding

I cancelled tennis, Brandon cancelled the gym workout.  It was 80F and screaming for a bike ride.  We did one of our regular routes, a 17 mile to the town of Wareham Ma.  

We packed a lunch of chicken sandwiches.   A story about that.  When I went to the market I asked for the chicken that tasted like chicken soup and ordered a pound and a half.  It was ten bucks a pound .  Now I know I should ask the price first.
Fishermen at Mary's Pond in Rochester, MA. 

Brandon has been going to the gym regularly and he is getting very annoying with all the posing. 

Lunch in Wareham, Ma. 

Solar Panel home. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Commuting Again

It was a beautiful day to return to work commuting.  A five and a half mile ride got me to school for the first day of lacrosse practice.   Naturally the kids came into camp completely out of shape. So much so that we had to cut back on the fitness training to avoid injuring the players.

Riding the two lane highway was not bad at all.  The rolling hill provide a decent work out as a bonus to riding to the job.   Riding home was a bit sketchy as I was riding into the sunset.  Luckily the sun was high enough not to be directly in the eyes of the drivers passing me.  An hour later might prevent me from riding that stretch of road because of the sun.  That's when drivers not only pull down the visor, but also drive with one hand while shading the sun with their other.  Like the Indian in the old western flicks.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Bedford Half Marathon

The winner of the female division #333

The Friendly Son's of St. Patrick took over the running of the New Bedford Half Marathon a few years ago and turned a close to failing endeavor into one of  the premier road races in the country. We rode to a few different spots of the 13.4 mile run to which also gave us a good spin of around 20 miles.

Tomorrow is the first day of high school lacrosse practice.  It's my first experience coaching lacrosse. JV's with lots of help from the varsity coaches.

There were some characters on the race route. 

The front of the pack

The main group

The back of the pack.

 There were lots of people out on such a nice day.  Many bikes got released from thier winter shelters it seems.   The didn't get ridden much,  but they were out.   It's a start. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wind and Yatzee

As always, click any photo for big

The first of two turbines is ready to go.  The second will be completed within a week I presume.  They will be tested and ready for the dedication on Earth Day next month.  

Crane in place to begin construction of Turbine #2 

The East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island was our destination today.  On the way we decided that we needed to cut the ride short to be able to do everything else that needed doing.  The state made that easy for us by closing 6 miles of the MUP. 

6 miles closed till sometime in April.  It will be well worth the inconvenience.

The path was very quiet today.  During the nice weather months it can get very busy.  It's not good for riding fast on a bike.  It was a little disheartening when I was riding at 18 MPH thinking I'm doing a nice clip when my partner said, "how can you ride this slow?"   Shortly after he had to stop to adjust his Ipod ear buds and set it to whatever, I decided to teach him a lesson and blasted off and set a pace of 22MPH. (the wind at my back).   I was smug thinking he will flame out trying to catch up because I got such a head start.  It lasted around three minutes when I got passed easily.  It wasn't just a regular pass, he blasted by me yelling,  "can you do 29?"   He only beat me because I was carrying two water bottles I'm sure.  Shortly afterward we had to stop to cross a busy road when I looked down at my speed-o-meter and couldn't help but yell out Yatzee! 

The MUP was quiet for the most part. We did run into pockets of people now and then, but we had plenty of opportunity to let loose and get a really good ride.   

My bike is on the left.  The one with the extra water bottle behind the seat.  Lucky for him I had that additional weight. 

YATZEE! (almost)

A couple of kids fishing and the path was all ours. 

Nice little bike shop on the MUP. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

70 Degrees. This Was A No Brainer.

I'm retired, Brandon is between jobs and Paul is retired.  It was 70 degrees, the sun was shining and the wind was so so.  So..... We rode.   It's one of our regular routes that has a few inclines and some windy spots.  Seventeen miles to Wareham, MA.    Brandon tries to hit 30 MPH on our rides,  I suggest a meeting place for him to wait for me, and Paul, because it was his first long ride in months did lots of coasting.   We got through it. Paul is home chewing Advil,  I'm getting ready for a hot bath, Brandon is on his way to the gym.  He is 27 and has a date with someone with the last name of Skyhawk tonight.  I'm thinking exotic dancer with that name, but he assures me it's really her family name.  Riiiiiiight.

Our recent retiree, Paul

Brandon and Paul

We began the ride on the local MUP and withing a half mile we heard this ruckus from the swampy area.  A few places on the ride we came across the same thing.  It was hundreds of tiny frogs making a racket that really got your attention.  It was one of those things that most people never know is happening unless your on a bike or walking.  Bikers know what I'm talking about. There is so much going on, especially in nature that go unnoticed when your traveling at 40, or 50 or 60 miles an hour in a vehicle.  It's probably why most bikers lean toward environmentalism.  We see it, experience it and appreciate it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wanna Ride?

Dave called and offered a ride beginning at noon. Brandon and I were walking the dog's and he asked, "does Dave know how windy it is right now". We both wondered if Dave would call and cancle because the wind made it chillier than the 50F on the thermo-meter. We prepared to go with or without Dave but he shoed up as promised. We won't doubt him again.

It was windy and we all felt the chill on the outbound leg. We stopped at Tabor Academy where I saw a couple of kids shooting soccer balls.  I commented on their technique to my riding pals and told them I had shown some indoor players the same technique at yesterday's game.   When one of the soccer balls came our way and a player came to fetch it, I saw it was of those at the game.  To see them working on their own was a pretty good feeling.  BTW,  both were banging "crackers" when they hit it properly.

We did a 25 mile loop through Rochester and Mattapoisett, Ma. often fighting some decent headwinds.  We stopped midway for a Dunkin Donut break that took the chill out for the return leg.  Coffee only BTW.

Age has it's differences.  Brandon at 27 was out in two shirts.  Dave wore enough for an arctic exploration. I was somewhere in the middle. More towards Dave's style.

Then there is Mr. Ward in his 90's who dressed more toward Brandon's style. Shirt and suspenders, with a belt also of course.

This hot rod brushed me while passing and this gives a hint at how close he passed Brandon.

When the tractor breaks, just leave it. 

Which came first, the tractor of the farmer? 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blade Signing

The town of Fairhaven had the blade signing today.  Close up the thing is very impressive.  Naturally keeping the green theme, we rode our bikes to the event.    Also the town plans to dedicate the two turbines on Earth Day.  What better way to celebrate the beginning of green energy in Fairhaven.    It's a proud day for the residents and also the neighboring towns who also are pining for wind power.

There  is a very strong pro wind energy sentiment in town and the residents came in in force to support the turbines.  

There were naysayers, but only a handful in town. 

He rode his bike

Spin baby, spin

I didn't just ride my bike