Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Back to commuting to work after quite a hiatus. Did very well during the cold winter months but the better weather offered more oportunities for road rides.
Sunday I made the commitment to rise early drive the 30 miles to the mall and bike the remaining 10 to the office. It was refreshing and gave me the "this is where I belong" epifany. Then it was time to ride back.

The weather station said, "If your out, take shelter". Sever thunderstorms, high wind, hail, heavy rain. Ouch. I almost made a dash for the car at 4PM. Fortunately good sense prevailed. Within 10 minutes the first of a series of storm cells hit. The rain and wind was so bad that 18 wheelers were forced to pull over for safety.

I was cozy and alone in the cafeteria, spending the next two hours watching the life of Carey Grant on PBS. Pretty good, but I doubt if I would have watched it anywhere else. I had to decide on a station but the other things on were, golf and indoor football. Grant won the mental debate easily.

Finally at 6PM, a full two hours after quitting time, with the weather still threatening but the roar of thunder now far to the northeast, I decided to make a break. The morning commute was meandering 46 minutes. The return trip took 32. Roughly a half mile from my destination as I was crossing paths with another biker an almost instantaneous clap of thunder and lightning bolt streaked right over our heads. We both looked up and yiked, "YIKES". My car was parked northeast of the office.

I made it safely to the car, immediately took out my cell phone, extended the antena, turning myself into a lighting rod, and called home.

Boy was that fun.

Now that such a high bar has been established, todays commute as most future ones will be, was very uneventfull and not worthy of any more text.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Catching up

I spent a week in North Carolina, the triangle area to be exact. In stead of renting an auto, this time I went with a trek 1200 bicycle. Ten miles or so from downtown Durham gave me good daily rides for lunch, and a good spin.
I managed to get in 4 good rides while there. The Durham Cycle Center provided not only a good bike at a reasonable price, but also great service. I highly recommend it.
After delayed flights, I finally got home Friday night and lollygagged around the house Saturday. Sunday's weather was threatening but I was determined to do something. Intending a light ten mile ride around the waterfront to take some pictures, I left home around 2PM. The riding and picture taking was more fun than I have had riding in a while. I was feeling so good that I ended up riding through downtown and the north end of New Bedford, before embarking on a 25 mile country ride.
A total of 36.7 miles for the day with a very slow, stop and go first 10 miles, followed by 26 hammering. I did stop to call home and also met Brandon near the end of the ride for a 15 minute chat.

Did some racquetball on Monday evening. Tuesday and today are rained out with accompanying high winds. After work tonight I am attending a friends sister's wake. She was a smoker, and he is also. I doubt if he is making the connection between smoking and the wake.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Photo op missed

Yesterday May 12, wifey wanted to go to the cemetery and gussy up her parents grave. I wanted to go for a bike ride. The compromise we made was obvious. I would ride to the cemetery. We met at Kmart where I lifted three large bags of mulch into the Vibe. I told her to give me 20 minutes for the 6 mile ride through the streets of New Bedford, Ma.

I got back onto the bike path for safety and had to cross the Fairhaven bridge. The bridge was open to allow boat traffic and the view looking toward Cuttyhunk Island was spectacular. I had considered bringing my camera but was only thinking of cemetery pictues. It did not occur to me there were other things to see enroute. Ironically, I have been wanting to shoot a few things on my "water front" riding route for some time.

Back to the journey. After crossing the bridge it is necessary to carry the bike down a flight of stairs to the underpass roadway, taking the rider to the route 18 bypass, to the south end of New Bedford that can be a very cagey area. I turned onto the city streets just a the Central American soccer players were arriving at their field. Being a former player and coach, I had the urge to stop and watch but duty called. I soon passed my old parish where the infamous father Porter, (one of the first exposed pedophile priests), spent some time. Continuing up Thompson St. to Dartmouth street and into the oldest cemetary in the area called the Rural Cemetery.

After getting the gravesite in shape, with the temperature dropping rapidly, it was time for the 7.5 mile commute home. This was a blast, riding like a kid again. I had most of the streets to myself. These were the streets of an old mill area where I spent my grammar school years. I knew the traffic, which were safe and which to be avoided. I Made great time till I got back onto the Phoenix trail, aka the Fairhaven Bike Path, where I slowed to a saunter to cool off.

A great ride that I will have to visit again. With more time, adding miles and having my camera.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tuesday on the Boulevard 4.11.05

Rode the Tuesday Boulevard ride in Providence R.I. Did a 20.4 mile jaunt averaging 16.5 mph. Two groups set out and both groups finished. Sort of. The B group did very well for 4 laps but climbing the initial hill the group broke up in a hurry. First "the professor", who was on his first ride of the season began to lag. I held back to try and "pull" him up the hill. He hit the wall and at the turn lagged even more. We agreed he was done for so I cut across the island park to meet up with the remainder of the group.

They caught me at the crest of the hill and off we went. We got our speed up to around 20 mph where I knew the turn into the wind was going to cause some problems. I was determined to keep up, but the hill got to me. Giving up the quest I let the group go and struggled to get to the top. Once there it was a downhill slow cadence mixed with quite a bit of coasting to end a good night of paceline riding.

The first week was 3 laps, followed by 4 laps two weeks later, and 6 last night. I'm doing ok. Now some good training over the next two weeks to be able to do the whole night with the A group.