Monday, May 28, 2012

Same O, without the group.

Our friends from last week materialized out of nowhere. 
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Click Here for the route map

Two of us decided to do the Somerset ride again without the group this time.   Three of us planned the ride but one called in sick.    We again drove to the parking lot in Somerset and began the 27 mile ride through six SouthCoast Massachusetts towns.

The suburban part of the ride is the shortest stretch and this time we didn't stop at any of the historic sights.  We were about to move into the rural section of the ride and noticed there was a parade forming.  We were about to ask the cop blocking one of the road if we could pass on a bike when out of the blue a bunch of the Saturday group materialized.   They were out on a short ride that brought them into Dighton where we met up.

We chatted a bit and I volunteered to organize a ride from Fairhaven, Ma to the Cape Cod Canal.  It's one of our group's favorites and it's just under 50 miles.   None of this Saturday group had road bikes, so we'll see if any show up for the 50 miler.  It's flat and easy, but it's still 50 miles.

The cop told us to ride fast and get in front of the parade or we would have to wait till it passed.  We did that easily but had to ride the gauntlet for a couple of miles until our turnoff.   The Dighton parade was very country-ish.  Lots of tractors and noisy sirens from the police and fire department vehicles.   Dave led the way and got everyone's attention while I trailed and took candid photos.

We rode a few miles into Berkley, Assonet and Freetown, before again entering the city of hills Fall River, MA.   The hills that used to really hammer us seem very tame this late into the season.  It's good training for our 400 mile Erie Canal bike trip in July.

This one started getting a little antsy  

Dighton Rock tourist attraction.   Yup,  a rock. 

Born 1783,  Died 1854

This was a hopping joint not that long ago.  The Assonet Inn.  Really good pizza. Don't know if it's still in business. 

Dave says this bridge is really cool.  I say it's cement and steel and not a big deal. He says it's an engineering marvel.  I say it looks like a simple bridge.  It could be a marvel of simplicity I suppose.

View from the top of the bridge looking at Fall River, MA

To end the ride, Dave got right hooked by a guy in a Toyota.   There was a right hand merge lane onto the bridge, Dave signaled that he was staying to the left but stayed in the right hand turn lane.  The car passed him and turned right cutting him off.   Dave let lose with both fingers.

Till next time.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Group Ride

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The South Coast Bikeway group held a 27 mile ride around the Somerset area today.  Nineteen rider began the trek which included stops and talk by a local historian Al Lima.  The ride was a mix of suburban, rural and city riding, a mix that made for a really neat ride.   The hills during the last 10 miles got lots of grunts and groans from some of the novice riders, but to others,  the hills were our friend.

The ride began in Somerset with a couple of stops to hear Al's lecture on 19th centure transportation including stage coach and rail.  Al also told of the boat building in the area where many a schooner was launched.

Dighton was the next destination and the beginning of the hills.   Some loved them, some hated them. There was no sound of music which is a tell tale sign of the amount of anti hill people.  More huffing and puffing than singing.

Dighton did offer a unique bridge that allows only one lane of traffic that must be shared by vehicles traveling in either direction.   Bikers and walkers have their own path naturally.   For ambiance and scenery, Dighton was the best part of the ride.  There was a country aroma in the air.  It one that anyone would recognize immediately if one had ever lived in this type of setting.

Entrance to Dighton Bridge

Bridge bike lane

Looking back to the bridge after crossing.


Wonderful country scenery in Dighton, MA.

The last leg brings the riders to the city of Fall River.  AKA the city of hills.  I won't interfere with the readers imagination picturing riding a bike in a place called the city of hills.  There are also many reminders of the city's heyday as a textile giant.

I love the smell of fresh pavement in the morning. 

Can you see the hill? 

Urban riding.

 Textile mills

The final frontier.  The bike path that takes us over the Taunton River back to Somerset, MA.

The final push over the bride and the conclusion of a really nice 27 mile bike ride.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sixty Miles and Seven Towns.

Brandon making sandwiches for the ride.

As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger. 

Click Here for the map

I was the ride leader today and decided to take my peeps to Taunton, MA.  It's where I worked for ten years and often commuted the full 32 miles home.   Mostly it was a 30 mile drive to the mall and ten mile ride through the city to the office.

The day a was mild and sunny bike riding day.   We took the back roads to the Galleria Mall in Taunton and that's where I lead the group on my ten mile bike route through the city.   We visited the old Reed and Barton Sterling Silver Flatware mill and the old Taunton State Hospital grounds.   Our original destination and reason for this route was to visit our favorite cycle place, Travis Bike shop .  All of us have purchased our road bikes there.  

We were out for around five and a half hours with just under four hours of pedaling.  The rest included lunch, coffee and ice cream breaks. 
Riding along side the Lake St. Lake in Acushnet, MA

Cranberry bog in Rochester, MA

Old Yankee Towns.  Taunton, above and Berkley, below. 

Reed and Barton Silver Smith plant in Taunton Ma. 

We visited a local Dunkin Donut shop and rode with hot coffee in hand to the Court House district for lunch. 

The return leg took us away from the city streets and secondary road to the rural back road which are much quieter and offer a completely different type of riding.  Lots of great views and sights, but also lots of hills.  We stopped at a local grass runway airport which has some really unique small planes.  
Kayaking the Taunton River

Brandon Showing off his tats. 

And of course,  the Dave