Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ho Hum. Not Much To See Here

2013 to 2014 

This blog will be moving soon. You can visit the new site by CLICKING HERE

 I finished 2013 with 3048 miles. Yea for me. Annual mileage is not one of my goals but I do keep track at Bike Journals. I have been a member since 2005 and just about every ride I have done is recorded there. My odometer is always connected and records the miles of going to the beach, or market or whatever. Every once in a while I total those and record them as miscellaneous Single Speed or Marin (my beater bike), miles.

I originally took advantage of the free membership at bike journals, but it didn't take long to realized that I really like what the web master did for all of us, and that he deserved the $20 annual premium membership fee. The premium versions lets me record the weather conditions, ride type, weather it be road, tour, commute, etc. It also lets me record my weight every time I post which is the reason there is no screen shot of my journal here.
230! Alright. Now shut up.
There are a few other columns you could add to your journal but none of the others really interested me and too many clog up the journal space.

I also visit bike forums occasionally, but there seems to be a lot of fighting in the over 50 and the safety and advocacy sections. In conclusion: I will no doubt do a lot more riding with the local groups in Fall River and New Bedford, MA, as well as my favorite, the Newport R.I. group. I like the people at the Newport group but I go there predominately because the riding is so spectacular.

Summer Tour

This blog is moving soon.  In the meantime things will still be posted here as well as the new site. HERE


There is a major snow storm heading this way. There is no better time to start planning for a summer bike tour.   A week, for me, is the near perfect amount of time to pick a destination, get there, hop on the bike and ride for a few days.   I have been saying since, oh, 2008, that I was going to ride DC to Pittsburgh.   Last year I and a couple of friends narrowed our summer tour  almost daily until we finally decided to ride this route.  For sure, we all said, no turning back. We are definitely riding DC to Pittsburgh.  A thirteen hour overnight drive followed by a 6-8 hour train ride really put the squash on that.  I had the time but my two riding partners were limited to 9 days off from work. We did Lake Champlain which was no more than OK.

This year I again am focused on riding the C&O/GAP but unlike past tours, this one will be fully supported.  I'm getting the itch for touring just researching all my options but I'm also looking forward to a pretty good snow storm.

CLICK HERE to view our Lake Champlain tour this past summer.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Moving, Maybe.

I am trying out and thinking about moving my blog to Wordpress.  For now I'll be posting both places for my bike stuff.  I'm learning how to do things over there and spending a lot of time trying to figure it out.  So far I'm not liking it very much, but then again it's something new. 

CLICK HERE to see what's going on

Thursday, December 26, 2013

States Visited

Create your own states visited Map

Green=States lived in
Blue=States have been to often and regularly visit.
Orange= Been once or twice.
White=Never been or just passed through going somewhere else. 

Thanks to Tim for a link to this site.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Final Steps Converting to Winter Commuter

My winter tires arrived last night not quite in time for my last day of commuting. They will still surely get a lot of use getting me to the store, gym, Pub99 etc.  Like many bikers, we have no problem finding a destination and reason to ride our bikes.

I got a good deal  from Bike Tires Direct and I'm sure they will look good on the SS with the new fender(s) I also purchased.  The (s) is like this because the front one doesn't fit my bike.  Often I learn to look at what I'm ordering before I pay for it.  Often, but not this time.  My fault and I'll eat it for now.  I'm sure someone around here will be able to use it if you have a mountain bike with suspension.  If you want it, come by and pick it up.

Joy to all those things you celebrate  It's a wonderful time of the year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yesteryear Cycle Christmas Party.

Yester Year Cycle in New Bedford, MA
 As always, click any photo for big.  Click again for bigger.

Kim the owner of Yester Year cycle in New Bedford hosted his annual Christmas Party tonight.  Many of his customers as well as bike groups attended.  New Bedford Bike,  Wareham Bike, Voices for a Healthy South Coast and a midnight rider to name a few.

Biking in the area has come a long way since I bought my first road bike at Yester Year in 2004.  Back then the choices were very limited to a couple each of road bikes, hybrids and kids bikes.  Now his shop is loaded with the latest trends including single speed, fixies and fat bikes.

Kelly put on quite a feast with plenty of tapas, and great entrees.  Lots of people renewing friendships, making new friends and talking bikes and biking made this a truly bike friendly event.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Saturday Work Commute and Other Stuff

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

The typical question is "how do you ride in this cold?" Although the temp was 17 F this morning, cold was not the definitive word.  A couple of weeks ago I was in Hawaii and took a dip in the cold plunge pool.  That was cold.  Today wearing 4 layers, two pair of sock, a wool had, gloves and a face mask, I was chilled.

Work is a volunteer job bringing the bell ringers to their assignments.  Today with the approaching storm the morning traffic was horrendous.  Other things went wrong also that required me to backtrack to the office twice.  Instead of a 45-60 minute work day, today was three hours.  I got home wiped out and almost needed to take a nap. 
When Tony is not offloading cargo ships down the docks, he dons his gear and becomes a bell ringer.

Part of my gang having one last smoke before boarding the van

                                          People waiting to sign up for Christmas voucher

                                                                My transportation

Friday, December 13, 2013

Winterizing the SS

I got a nice single speed bike last year at LL Bean in Maine.    The bike originally priced for $550, they discounted it $100.  Another $120 in coupon and credit card discounts sealed the deal.  I decided today to use it for the rest of the year as my commuter and winter bike and ordered some fenders to help keep it and me clean.
Felt Stealth SS.

Front Fender

Rear fender

The kids think it's nerdy to have fenders.  I call it pimping my ride.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dressing For The Cold.

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

Hearing the weather reports last night had me looking forward to today's commute.  The clincher was a forecast of sunny and no wind.  Those of us who worked outside for many years know that it's easy to dress for cold and be comfortable and that wind changes everything.  There was one bad ice spot on the bridge sidewalk that forced me to walk 20 yards. Other than that the commute was fine.

I did get to the bridge just as it closed to land traffic.  I could have scampered through the barriers and had a good chance of not having to wait for the boats to pass through. Obviously by the following photos, I decided to wait.  I still did the scamper thing when the bridge was almost back in place and made it to my turn off, a half mile ahead,  well before the first car was allowed to pass over the bridge.
The Phoenix Rail Trail at 8AM

Lil Nell returning from diesel delivery.

 A closer look at Nell

Take note of the guy in the brown jacket smoking on the diesel barge

One last trip before Christmas

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Having to Make Do

Only a couple more days and we will be back to winter.   Yea.
The kids

Monday, December 2, 2013

Aloha From The Big Island

The 19 hours of travel face. 

We arrived in Kona Friday evening after 19 hours of travel from Boston.  Two plane changes, one in Minneapolis and one in LA added a few hours to the trip.   It took a day to recover from the lack of sleep but we are all good now.

I was thinking of renting a bike, and still may but we have lots to see and do and biking may get in the way, which is something I never thought I would ever say.  But, family first.

We are pretty much in the middle of the lava fields staying at the Wiakaloa Kings area. Today we took a side trip to the north and within a few short minutes the terrain began to change.  Lava, to prairie looking and finally to the lush green landscape that we all vision Hawaii to look like.  Number one son and spouse will arrive tomorrow after a few days of hiking and camping on the volcano and we will begin the birthday celebrations then.  Number 2 son and mom both celebrate the 5th and number one son on the 14th. They are making all the plans and ma and I have been relegated to the back seat of the car. We have come full circle.

The view from the room

Pouolu Valley at the north end of the island

 Wind farm at the lush north side of the island

Lava field where we are staying. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Newport R.I. Awarded The League of American Bicyclist Bronze Bike Friendly City Status

This is a big deal not only because Newport is a very bike friendly city but more so because the city is also the birthplace of The League of American Bicyclists which was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians.

The festivities began at city hall where the mayor, police, the state department of transportation, the Leagues of American Bicyclists and the bike kids of Newport all gave brief statements and presentations.  Most of those in attendance took a celebratory ride around downtown Newport. Bikes for those who did not bring one were provided by Newport Bicycle and the riders were invited to gather for a social at The Fifth Element where bar meets grill.

The award was the culmination of years of dedication and hard work by http://bikenewportri.org/ and their director Bari George.

Congratulation to the city of Newport R.I. the first Bike Friendly designated city in the State of Rhode Island and also completes the representation that now has all six New England states represented in the League of American Bicyclists designation. 

Newport Bronz Award from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Buon Viaggio

We had house guest for the past few months who bought a 29 ft. sailboat and spent the summer making it seaworthy.  Yesterday they left to begin their voyages to where ever the wind takes them.  Sue and I wish them all the best and also to let them know that they were the perfect house guests.  The animals like them too.
The beginning of the video is a little shaky and there are still a couple of parts that need to be edited shorter. I recently began doing video and am working on style and content. I only wish I had the forsight to begin documenting Kate and Fabio when they arrived and could have given them a much better and more professional documentary of Tranquility, which is the name of the boat.

Tranquility II from John Sullivan on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Blackstone River Bike Trail

As always, click any photo for big. 

Rhode Island has three decent length rail to trail conversions.  The East Bay Bike Path, Washington Secondary Bike Path and the Blackstone River Path which is the subject of today's post. The East Bay post is HERE.  The Washington Secondary is HERE, and for a little something different, riding the Cape Cod canal end to end on both sides crossing two bridges is HERE.

All three of the Rhode Island trails are a short drive from each other,  10-20 minutes. After all Rhody is the smallest state, but it's a great bike riding state.  The longest is 30 miles round trip and the shortest is around 19 miles.  All three are rail trails so they are flat.

Distance: 18.68 mi
Time: 1:51:04
Moving Time: 1:46:02
Elapsed Time: 1:51:04
Avg Speed: 10.1 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 10.6 mph
Max Speed: 19.4 mph

For parking info click HERE

The Garmin route is HERE

All the photos are on flickr  HERE

The fall is a great time for a solo ride on this trails.  It's often cool and crisp but the view never lets one down.  On this day there were not many people on the trail at the start of my ride.  Cumberland and Lincoln R.I. sections meander through more suburban sections.  The North Smithfield and Woonsocket sections are a little more small city urban and consequently there is more use of the trail with dog walkers, couples walking and runners.  A smidgen of bikes shared this day but in general the traffic was very light.

I like to stop and talk with people about the area I am riding.  My decision is based on the greeting I get in return to mine.   Today was a lot of looking away and "don't bother me" looks.  Two maintenance workers offered friendly greetings however,  that prompted me to stop and chat.  Mario and Fernando are contracted to keep the North Smithfield path ship shape.  They are Portuguese immigrants, and my knowledge of local and Portuguese national soccer teams gave me a good ice breaker to get things going.

 Fernando and Mario

As I approached the end of the trail two ladies were doing a training run and the speed they maintained led me to believe that they were very high class runners.  I couldn't help thinking Olympics because of the pace.  I continued on almost a mile to the end of the trail and when they approached their pace was still very strong.  To top things off, they were chatting away like they were sitting in a coffee shop.   When I ran, I would lose the ability to speak as a pace well below the one they were maintaining.  I have read studies that say the pace of the top athletes in all sports has doubled over the past eight years.  It's obvious when I watch soccer and hockey and I'm sure it's the same in all the other actions sports like tennis, basketball and Olympic events.

Runners zipping along the trail

Some rail to trail paths require a little imagination trying to visualize the era when the trains ran.  The Blackstone rail trail has maintained it's rail and looks like it's still in use or about to be used again.  Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts are in the middle of a big push to restore rail service to Boston from those towns.  One of the concerns locating bike trails next to rail service is safety.  Being too close has been a concern and a reason not to build bike trails adjacent to rails, but Blackstone seems to have solved that problem.  How?  By putting up a fence.  It's inexpensive and it works.

Fence separates rail from trail

Bike path crosses active rail

Highway looks like a Roman Aqueduct 

 A few more photos of this really nice 10 mile rail trail.