Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blackstone River Bike Trail

See all the photos HERE

This was a ride organized by the Newport Bike group.  Fall River and Fairhaven Ma were represented on this 20 mile ride along the Blackstone River that runs from Lincoln to Woonsocket R.I.

The Fall River and Fairhaven riders got our directions in a muddle and gathered at a different spot than directed. However it was easy enough to find the Newport group by simply riding the path to the next parking area.  This will some day be a 48 mile path from Providence R.I. to Worcester, Ma.  The estimated completion date could very well be beyond the life expectancy of some of our riders today. It's a long way off.

The Blackstone Bikeway also runs between the river of the same name and is flanked on the opposite side by the railroad.  There were times today that reminded me of riding the rail trail from Williamsport to Wellsboro, PA.,  where it was common to see people floating down the river on tubes that were attached to other tubes carrying beer and food.  Sort of like a floating picnic table.

Railroad on one side

Water on the other side.

Anyhow,  when we reached the turn around point, a couple of the riders were disappointed that the day was not offering a longer route.  The city of Woonsocket was within sight and the call of the Sirens was strong enough to get me to continue riding into the city.  Woonsocket was once a thriving textile city and there was still plenty of evidence of that era.  Mills, dams, the river and the unique housing that was available to the textile workers, made the extra miles off the path well worth the time and effort to see those things.

Riding in cities can be some of the best, and is usually the most interesting places to ride.  Woonsocket lived up to that standard as some of the photos will attest.  Once place in particular was a textile complex that had been converted into condos.  On the other side of the tracks, (naturally) is where the textile owners built the homes for the workers.  As long as you worked for the mill, you could rent a tenement.  Leaving the job, for whatever reason, also involved automatic eviction to make room for your replacement and his family.

This reminded me of parts of Russia I had seen on TV with the apartment complex in the distance. 

Woonsocket Dam. 

Textile row houses

If this has been on your list, or if it's on your list of places to ride after reading this, make plans to do it soon. I'ts a really nice flat ride and if you only do the bikeway, it's only 20 miles round trip.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Breakfast And The Beach.

An early morning urban Sunday ride brought me to #3 son's for coffee.  He got his own place last week and it's almost up to his standards of comfort.  There are still a few things piled up in a couple of rooms waiting to find their rightful place in his pad.  It's a really nice place and we both agree he scored a golden goal with this place.

On the ride home I noticed some obvious tourist walking around the area.  That usually means the cruise ship was in port.  It's a small one that makes 8 stops up the Northeastern coast.  Places like Newport R.I., New Bedford, Ma.  and Portland Me.  along with a few others.  Much of the scallop and fishing fleet was in port also because of the tropical storm that passed through the area last week.

The afternoon was set aside for wifey and we spent a good part of it at the beach.  Sunny, mid 80's with a breeze off the bay was all one could ask.  It got better when we were offered an iced vodka and lemonade cocktail by our friends whom we met there.

The bike riding to coffee and beach gave me 24 miles.  It adds up quickly and easily sometimes.

Brandon's 29th is Tuesday but David and I decided to take him out to dinner this Sunday evening.  The three of us ride and tour together so we used this as our private celebration.  Not only that but the restaurant has a Sunday special where a complimentary bottle of wine is given with every two entrees.   Naturally we took advantage of that.

Here are a few more photos of the day.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ride Into The Sunset

Click any photo for big. Click again for bigger. 

View All Photos HERE

This is an annual ride sponsored by Ten Speed Spokes bike shop in Newport R.I.   It takes us through the touristy Thames St, along the waterfront and Fort Adams where the popular Newport Jazz festival is held.  From there it"s onto Ocean Drive, a ten mile ride along the waterfront and the stiff ocean breeze first in your face, and ending with the wind at your back at it should be.   The road curves onto Belleview Avenue that is famous for the outrageous mansions built by the likes of the Vanderbilts to name one.

We ran into and old friend, Steve Prince who came with Jeff the postman and Bubba the brother in law.  We saw them off and on during the ride and joined them for libation and food post ride. Our group of three cut the ride short turning back at 2nd beach giving us around 17 miles of riding.  We all were quick out of the box and most times that I looked down at my speed-o-meter we were riding in excess of 20MPH.  That took it's toll on us but most of all there was free pizza and beer waiting for us back at the bike shop.

This was David's first, Brandon's second and my seventh ride with this group.  It's always the Thursday closest to the summer solstice and it's always a great time riding this event.

 Ocean Dr.  Newport R.I. 

David and Brandon riding along Ocean Dr. 

Belleville Ave. Newport R.I.

Purgatory Chasm


Are you happy? 

Are YOU happy? 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fairhaven Ma. To The Cape Cod Canal

As always, click any photo for big.  Click again for bigger. 
The Garmin route and map is HERE

This was a 46 mile loop on the back roads from East Fairhaven to the Cape Cod Canal at Buzzards Bay Ma.  The ride is flat and relatively car free.  The exceptions are downtown Wareham and Onset.  Keep your wits about you, use your urban riding skills, and you will be fine.

Three of us were supposed to be riding in Maine this weekend but the tropical storm that passed through the area forced us to cancel the two day ride.   It all worked out and we got a nice ride and saved a few bucks.

Way back in 2005, I followed Mike Riscica on his bike ride across the country.  During that trip, he made it a point to save any turtles he came across trying to cross a road.  Since then, whenever I see a turtle, I think WWMD  what would mike do, and I do the same.   It happened today but I didn't think of photographing the event till the little guy was into the brush.  I thought of dragging him back out just for the photo but realized that doing so would be senseless.

The State of Massachusetts is getting more and more bike friendly.   The transportation budget for the state has money earmarked for biking, and we are seeing more and more evidence of towns accepting bikes when they repave the roads.

In the town of Buzzards Bay, near the RR Bridge and Canal Parking lot, there is a great little Thai place.  It only has four of five tables which is probably the reason there is so much take out traffic.  Either way, the food is great and very inexpensive.  If you get to that area, make this a destination for lunch or dinner.

Onset, MA. village was bustling today.  The beaches had plenty of sun bathers but the water is not quite warm enough for swimming.   None the less, it looked to be a good day at the beach for many.

What would Mike do/ 

The car fee back roads of Mattapoisett, MA

Bike lane in Onset, MA

Onset MA business district

Beach at Onset, MA

Buzzards Bay Park and the RR bridge crossing the Cape Cod Canal

Great food at Buzzards Bay Park

Accommodations at Onset Ma. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tuesday Afternoon Ride

  A beautiful sunny day beckoned us to the beach at Ft. Phoenix in Fairhaven, MA.  Not many people but plenty of fishing, scallop boats and barges coming and going.  This is the fort that in 1778 helped defend that last American free port during the Revolution.  

Take aim.

The city of New Bedford is working on making the hurricane barrier a walking and biking path. 
The hurricane barrier opening in the middle of the harbor

City of New Bedford on the north side of the barrier

Sand barge leaving the harbor

Fairhaven wind turbine

 New Bedford harbor

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cumberland 50. Narragansett Bay Wheelmen Ride.

As always, click any photo for big.  Click again for bigger
Click  HERE for the GPS route map

Click HERE to see all the photos of this ride.

This ride is close to home, yet very scenic with some fine stretches of farmland. Short ride goes through Arnold Mills. The longer rides go by the Diamond Hill Reservoir, and the Big Apple orchard in Sheldonville. 50-miler heads north to Medway, returning thru Franklin and Wrentham.

It was hot with lots of rolling hills.  The heavy pollen blowing around in the air cause more than a few some breathing problems. There was lots of hacking going on.

The Wheelmen did lots of research and tweaking of the routes over the years.  They have put together some really quality rides that are well arrowed making it easy to stay on the route.  This one had four options 12/18/30 and 54 miles.   Three of us kind of teamed up during the ride and when we got to the split of the 54/30 option we decided on the 30 miles.

There was a group of club riders from Cambridge using this as a training ride for the MS150 next month.  There was also a couple of pelotons that were doing some impressive riding. Three of us are beginning to up our training in preparation for our annual tour.  This year we will be circumnavigating Lake Champlain counter clockwise. We will get some quality hill training next weekend when we travel to Maine for a couple of days of riding.
Cambridge group in training for the MS150

Back to this ride.  It was 30 miles of rolling hills in the countryside with very little traffic.  Lots of farms and other wide open spaces.   We did come across one little convenience store that did a really good business to day I'm sure.  Because of the heat many of the riders found it necessary to stop here for liquid and since we were there a twinkie or candy bar got added to the purchase.

Nice car free rural roads. 

The only convenience
store on the route.  It was an oasis for many this day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Is This The Fall River Group?

With an offensive attitude he says,  "do I look like someone from Fall River.  I'm from Prahhhvidince".

"Are you with the Fall River Group?"

"I'm from Joplin Missouri".   The guy from Prahhhvidince is in the green shirt.

"Are you the Fall River group"


"Are you the Fall River group?"

"Yes, part of it. "

 Things turn out that the Fall River bike people begin the East Bay Bike Path at the other end than the normal people do.    I probably should have started at that end but really?
Do I look like I'm from Fall River?

This guy is. Brian Pearson.  I sucked his back wheel for the last 5 miles of the path.  Thankfully he didn't know that was bad etiquette and didn't spit or nose booger me.   Thanks Brian.