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.