Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ice Pond and Brick Pond

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A plane makes it's final approach to T F Green in Warwick passing over a freighter taking on fuel.

Today's ride takes us to the East Bay Bike Path.  Thirteen miles stretching from East Providence to Bristol R.I.    It's a ride that many take every day and one has to wonder how many know the history that this MUP passes.   After 15 years of riding this route, I saw for the first time the signs pointing out the historical places.  I don't know how long these have been sitting on the side of the trail waiting patiently for someone to read them.  There are times that even us bicyclists move too fast and don't get a chance to smell the roses as they say.  Today, one of the plaques got my attention.  Reading one of them slowed me down on my ride and I ended up reading all of the plaques I came upon.

EBBP built along the old railway.

One such places is Brickyard Pond.  Making bricks involved digging clay by hand using picks and shovels from holes 12-14 feet in diameter.  Usually about two feet below the surface, clay was struck.  The clay was carried by oxcart to sizing machines which formed the bricks, and then to the kilns or brick ovens.  It took two weeks to fill the huge kilns and three days of constant fire to cure the bricks.


Echo Pond is a pit that was exhausted of it's clay and in 1918 the Willis E Blount Ice Company was created to provide ice for the Blount Oyster Company in Warren R.I.  During the cold winters when the ice was 6 inches thick, workers used long saws to cut the frozen water into thick rectangular blocks.  Read the history of the ice company in the photo below.

I had also often past by and photographed a lighthouse but never bothered to investigate it's history.  Today I saw the plaque.

Pomham Rocks Lighthouse (also known as Pomham Rock and Pumham Rocks) is located on a large rock on the east side of the Providence River. The square, two-story, wood-framed keeper’s residence has a mansard roof with the tower and lantern rising from the center front of the house.
The tower may appear to be hexagonal due to the beveled corners on its upper part, but it is actually square. The window frames on the upper story have Victorian-influenced scrolling. The lantern room was reached by a wooden stepladder in the second-floor watch room. The small, separate stone building also found on the rock is the station’s oil house.

During the ride I saw a German/American club off the path.  I know that Brussia Dortmund was playing Real Madrid for the Champions Leagues semi final match and the game was in progress.  I poked my head in the "members and guests" only door to see if the game was on.  A friendly bunch of regulars were having their 3PM pick me ups and when I asked if they had the game on one said, the Yankee game?  They had no idea the a German team was playing the the biggest sporting event in Europe.   Across the path sat an Italian club and they had the game on two TV's.   Go figure.

Here are a few more photos from today's ride on the quiet East Bay Bike Path (EBBP) in Rhode Island.  

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Newport Bike With Bike Newport

 The three "F's".   Fall River, Fairhaven, and Newport.
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Click Here for all 32 photos

Fall River and Fairhaven rides joined some of the Bike Newport gang for a short ride around the city and the beaches of Middletown, R.I.   Fifteen miles followed by yet another secret place.  An out of the way coffee shop that sits in the middle of a shipyard and has seating on the pier no less.  There we took turns telling yarns about some of our experiences on bikes, in cars and a little bit of politics.  Not current mind you, but how some of us have dealt with one government agency or another.  

The sun was shining, the wind ebbed, and the hills seemed to flatten as we looped our peloton back toward downtown Newport and our secret little coffee shop.

 Riding to the rear of the shipyard.

Coffee and bagels on the pier.

 Private conversations.

Third Beach

Friday, April 26, 2013

Passing It Forward

Last week a fellow rider took a few of us to one of his favorite places to ride.  During that ride I came to realize that one of my favorites was very close by.   Today I took wifey, Sue, and David to the secret place I was shown and also my secret place.  We rode through two coastal towns in Rhode Island, Tiverton and Little Compton.

We began at the Old Stone Bridge on RT 77 in Tiverton.  For those local, take exit 5 off RT. 24 and bear left after the exit.   The Park is about a mile and a half south on RT. 77 on the right.

Last weeks ride was around 14 miles but by adding my favorite route, we added and additional 11 miles and were able to have lunch in a really cozy but good restaurant "The Commons Lunch".  I had a New England classic of chowder and three clam cakes. (fritters)

We did spend some time on busy Main Rd. where the speed is pretty fast, but it's also a bike friendly road where vehicles give bike riders plenty of room.   We did this by choice to avoid the hills on the return ride.  

It's a real gem of a ride and this biker highly recommends this route.  Try it. You'll love it.

Crossing the causeway to Fogland

 With full bellys, Sue and Dave are ready for the 10 mile return leg.
The route is HERE

All the photos are HERE

Riding Mattapoisett's Phase II Bike Path.

The Mattapoisett, Ma Rail Trail Phase 1B is still in limbo.  It wasn't funded in 2011 or 2012 but this year looks good with funding from the Massachusetts Transportation bill that is being worked on in Boston.   This second section will take the trail past the YMCA camp and Reservation Golf Course to the center of Mattapoisett.

I took the beater bike for a short mid afternoon ride to get some photos and a look at the 1B section of the trail.  When all my ducks are in order I will submit an article with photos to the national rail to trail group.   I wrote a review in 2004 and again in 2007 HERE and sadly there is not much to add since 07.  A short section of trail from the Fairhaven town line to Mattapoisett Neck Rd has been completed but things have stalled since then.

For now one has to ride a dirt section from Mattapoisett Neck Rd. to Reservation Golf Course, then a short ride on RT6 before getting on the quiet roads in the center of Mattapoisett. 

Reservation golf

The sixth hole at Ressy
A half mile ride on RT 6 will get you to the center of town.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Killingly Ride

As always, click any photo for big. Click again for bigger. 
Click Here for all photos of this ride. 

Distance 32
Max speed  41 MPH
Ave speed 13 MPH
Pedal Time 2:23

Is one of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen club rides.   Lots of rolling hills through northwestern  Rhode Island.  There was a good turnout of around 50-60 riders of all levels and there were three mileage options. 17-35-47.  I chose the 35 and also cut an additional few miles off at the last "bailout" road to avoid climbing to the highest point in the state of R.I.  It's not that high, but Ididn't feel like climbing any more.  Or riding any more for that matter.

A sampling of the riders before our 10AM departure.

I was a member of this club for six years and had never done a Sunday group ride.  Today I decided to ride with them and the experience was of such that I sent in my two year membership papers right after the ride.  It's a great group and they have some wonderful rides.  Everyone goes at their own pace and the mileage options with the accompanying map that shows a few bail out spots to shorten the ride if you wish, is a nice touch.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Fairhaven to Wareham MA.

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

CLICK HERE   to see all the photos

CLICK HERE for the route. 

It was close to 1:30 PM before setting out for the 17 mile trip to Wareham.  It's one of the regular training routes and can also be considered an "old standby" route.  When we can't decide where we want to go, someone inevitably says, "lets just ride to Wareham".

Early in the ride, I noticed a car stopped in the middle of the street making sure a turtle crossed the road safely.  Once across the woman in the car moved on with a satisfied smile.  I had the same feeling knowing the turtle was safely on her way to the pond that was around 50 yards away. 

Today was one of those days where I got into the zone riding wise.  My thoughts were all over the place but really about nothing.  Before I knew it I was on Main St. heading to the turn around spot at the boatyard.   There is where I ran into Mr. Swan.  He was sitting in his lark just kind of staring off into nowhere.  As I approached I said "good afternoon".  He responded in kind.
"Are you Irish"  I asked, because he had that Irish look about him.
"Scott and English" he replied.
That was enough to get us going.  We talked about bikes, motorcycles, the Navy and the boatyard we were standing near.   The conversation went on for around 15 minutes and for me, it was a great 15 minutes.  Mr. Swan had just turned 75 and had lots of stories in him.  I gladly listened to a few before moving on to get some photos of the old Nantucket Lightship.  She was once a very impressive floating lighthouse that in her later years was an elegant yacht available for charters, events and vacation rentals.  Check her out HERE, She is majestic.  Mr Swan told me that the ship was recently sold to an individual who was going to convert it into a floating home.   I'm sure it will be on HGTV or the Discovery Channel, soon after it's completed.  

I sneaked this shot of Mr. Swan while were were talking of motorcycles.  It seems we both owned a Honda 305 Super Hawk back in the day.

Nantucket Lightship, which has been sold to an individual who will convert it into a floating home.
 She was once a majestic vessel as seen HERE

Monday, April 15, 2013

Secret Places

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

When someone offers to lead a ride they often take you to their secret places.  Today was one of those days when Jim, our leader took us to an "off the beaten path" section of Tiverton R.I.   It was only a short 15 or 16 mile jaunt that was pretty spectacular.   I am going to do this route again very soon and will add an additional 15-20 miles because this route parallels one of my regular rides in R.I.

I'll let the pictures do the talking here.  That's 41,000 words I'm saving.   I know I don't need to explain but I will just in case.  {{{A picture is worth a thousand words. }}}

See the full set of 41  HERE  Click the slideshow button for best viewing.

Click Here for the map of the route. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Not Many Riding Today

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

The day started out pretty nasty with a cold blustery wind.  By late morning the sun began to peek through the clouds, the wind died down and it was actually a pretty decent riding day.  Things began to sour about an hour into our two hour ride and the blustery cold weather returned.  By the time I finished a 22 mile ride my toes were pretty cold.  There are usually lots and lots of other bikers on this country route but today we only saw one other.

We are patiently waiting for the weather to warm up so we can begin doing our longer rides on the road bikes.  Those 40 and 50 mile trips are calling us, but from a distance.  Won't be much longer. 

The town of Acushnet has no zoning bylaws and pretty much anything goes as far as properties go.

 There was lots of storm damage this winter.  Her are two uprooted trees along a country road.

This guy came up to us and smiled for the camera.   What a ham. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Afternoon Ride

Two of us decided to ride our commuter bikes on a short spin around the area.  It was cold, windy and I was a bit under the weather.   We did one of our usual loops but it was at a snail's pace as bike riding goes.  I didn't look but I would guess our average speed was around 9-10 MPH.

A small rural ice cream shop that is on this route just opened with new owners.  He has added soup and sandwiches which is what both of us had for lunch.  Soup and a sandwich.  We were raving about the place so much I forgot to get a photo.  Next time.
This rooster was very protective of the hen.

 A couple more hens.   Roosters have it pretty good don't they?

 Rural sight in Mattapoisett, MA.

Even on the beater bikes, we both passed this guy easily.

Monday, April 1, 2013

First Road Ride of the Season

 Cranberry Bog in Mattapoisett, MA.
As always.  Click any photo for big.  Click again for bigger.

 Distance 22 Miles
Ave Speed 13 MPH
Max speed  25 MPH

 I'm committed to the annual 30 days of biking this year beginning today.

Sixty degrees got the fire burning to get the road bike ready and take the first "roadie" ride of the season.  It was a 22 mile spin just to see how the legs would hold up after a long winter of utility riding.  No problem.  Even the strong wind was nothing more than ho hum.  Some days the wind gets to us, some days it doesn't.

Now that the weather has broken out of the winter doldrums, the towns are beginning to clean off the roads of the salt and sand making things much more conducive to biking.

I left the camera in the bag for most of the ride and just kind of got into the zone.  I broke out when a woman was walking a dog of the same breed as one of mine, a Welch Terrier.  They are pretty rare around here and when two owners meet up, it's instant conversation.

Welsh Terrier.