Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sunday Saunter

Rode out to Mattapoisett beginning where the Phoenix Bike Path paved section ends and the undeveloped rail section has been worn by bike and foot traffic. Rode 17 miles of some easy spinning till the final 4 miles or so where I cranked out some uppper moderate speeds. Around 17mph or so.
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The ride continued for a half mile or so of singele track
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till I broke out onto Mattapoisette Neck Rd. It was ok but I decided to get to the center of the village.

The first thing to catch my eye was this old bike in front of a cute little bungalow.
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I took a ride to Neds Point Light
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On the return trip I cut back to Perle St. to get a photo of Todds former home. None of his roomies were out and about so I took the picture and moved on.

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The ride finished via the back country route of Acushnet Rd. to New Boston Rd. and back to Hamlet Homes.

I want to ride home from work tomorrow. It's a 30+ miler of mostly back country roads. However my rear wheel is acting up. the AM I will drop by Travers bike shop in Taunton and see if they can take care of me by 2:30. I'll give them props here if things work out.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The Middle Ten

The ride from home to work is around 31 miles. I do the last 10 quite a bit when I leave my car near the mall and commute the roads of Taunton. The first 10 is a pretty good ride through the country roads of Acushnet and Rochester. It's the middle ten that I was unsure.
Today I drove to the Galleria mall after work and biked from there to exit 8 off rt140. I took a little bit of a different route returning that eliminated a couple of good sized hills. The 60 miler I want to do should not be bad at all, and will take a lot less time than I thought.

This ride took me from Taunton through Lakeville to Freetown.

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Saw this neat little jalopy whose owner was looking at campers the size of buses.
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I almost stopped at a seafood hut near a lake in Freetown but thought better of it. After that I couln't shake the feeling of wanting to eat. I did stop at a little place near Apponequet High School for a hot dog and some iced tea.

There was a pretty country gift shop on the way that deserved a picture.

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The ride was not at all long enough but I needed to get home to take the dogs and wife for a walk. Alas back to the car and the end of a new and good ride route.
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Thursday, July 28, 2005

I really wanted to ride

I really wanted to ride to work this morning, but again I couldn't get my head off the pillow at 5AM. I was determined to ride after work but a very tough day and a 45 minute commute didn't do anything in the way of encouragement. By the time I got home I was thinking of not riding. While changing into my riding duds I began to perk up, and by the time I was on the bike everything was fine. I did a 26 miler and had a great time, stopping quite a few times to take pictures. I found that if I take them while riding they usually come out blurry. Sometimes I see a possibility and ride right by it. I keep thinking about it and eventually turn back and snap the shot. Naturally the one I was most excited about today came out lousy, twice. I'll get another try at it though.

One other thing I noticed is that if I set a theme for picture taking I can get better photos. More focused I presume.

Todays ride took me out the country roads of Acushnet and Rochester.

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One of the first places that caught my eye was the Friends Cemetary. Some of the guests were burried in the 1700's

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Many of the gravestones are so old they are unreadable. But they are still very cool and unique.

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I had the roads pretty much to my self this evening, as happens many times out here. While riding I often think of a couple of people I got to know who are doing bike touring. Their pictures and mine almost look like the same area even though they are half a continent away from each other.

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Notice how New England ish the homes are out here. Many are small bungalows, very quaint and most have lots of land. Some seem unkept but that can add to the flavor.

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Near the end of the ride I saw a weather front moving in. I don't know what it was bringing but a change was obvious.
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Monday, July 25, 2005

Saturday Ride

I really want to do the ride I have mapped out that takes me to Taunton where I work. The ride is 63 miles. I plan it being between 5 and 6 hours including stops for various reasons. Snack, picture taking, lunch or whatever.
I had myself ready to go this past Saturday but a couple of things took up too much morning time to allow me to complete the round trip. In two weeks I try again.

I did get a good 35 miler with all the aformentioned stops. After the usual Phoenix bike trail and over the bridge, I headed up Union St. to 7th. At night 7th and 8th streets are pickup routes for Jeff Gannon types. Riding by #33 I heard the unmistakable Jimmy voice from the back yard. We compared tatoos, his a ultra scan of his unborn son, mine a tatoo of a rock, made by a rock two weeks ago when I fell.

From there I followed my usual route up Allen St. to Dartmouth St. across the town line to Russells Mills Rd. A stop for a small cone of frozen pudding ice cream was in order. I got to take off my shoes which provied a well earned break for my little toosies. I had to gobble down the ice cream to keep it from melting on me. One of my worries was the dreaded frozen brain. But that very seldom happens with frozen pudding or butter pecan flavors. I think because they are creamier and not as cold as traditional plainer flavors.

The houses on the next section of the ride are really nice. They are not the over sized mc mansions a lot of people like to build lately. These are nice little bungalows with a good size piece of land. I think those big houses are really a waste of everything, especially money.
This house once belonged to Heddy Green, thought to be the richest person in the world in the 20's and 30's. She and her son lived here. I was redone into very high prices condos a few years ago and now there are 12 condos in the place that was built for 3 people.
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The son was Col. Green and his land was used by the coastal defense department (which no longer exists) for a radar installation. I have heard that it was the first in the country.
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Padanaram village was having a street fair and I figured they may have some street vendors. As I was crossing the bridge Image hosted by
I could smell the unmistakable aroma of linguica (Portugeese spicy sausage) being grilled. I got a great sandwich and three bottles of water. One to chug right then and two to fill my water bottles. Everything about the ride kept me thinking about a young man I have been following on the internet, who is riding his bike across the country. His name is Mike and his journal is
chickenlips999 Go over there and read this journal. It is really fun. The way this kid writes, combined with his pictures, makes you feel that you are on the trip with him. And be sure to click the guestbook and leave him a message. He enjoys meeting new people and responds to all of them.
Many of his pictures look like the ride I was doing especially this photo of Smith Neck Rd.
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I was going to head down to Fort Rodman, get some more miles in and more pictures, but I was running out of time. Wifey and I had a dinner date with our friends the Johnsons and I had head home. I do want to do a whole post about Fort Rodman and that area because it is so interesting. For now I will end this crossing the last bridge home, with a picture of the SS John Wannermaker.
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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Time to Try Touring

As fanatical as I am about biking I really haven't done much about it yet. The more I read people journals about cross country riding, the more I want to do it. However it's very unlikely before the summer of 2007. But, reading has given me some ideas. Practice touring.

I still have quite a bit of vacation time and weekends to do some great stuff riding. I may do a short two day tour staying within 90 minutes drive from home. Spend a few hours riding, stop somewhere, either camping, motel or B&B, and spend the late afternoon and evening exploring the area. Going out to dinner, a movie, go to a park or something. It may even be a ride to NH. maybe Keene. Could happen.

The most likely scenario however is to ride to Plymouth or Myles Standish State Park and camp out. A half day ride each way will keep me close to home (just in case) while giving me a good ride and some practice packing, pitching a tent and all the other camping amenities.

I'm just starting the planning now, and will do something within the next 2 or three weeks.

Wish me luck. I'm soon to be a charter member of the "". With pictures of course

Friday, July 08, 2005

Stuck on a Rock

Commuting home from work and before I get on the main roads, I ride through abandoned state hospital grounds.

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At the entrance there are boulders placed across the road to prevent vehicle access.
Yesterday I got caught between a couple of boulders. My bike stopped and I was leaning against one using the outside of my shin. Trying to unclip was difficult. Since I had all my weight on one leg againt the rock, I could not get any force in my left leg to unclip. I tried to pedal forward but could not get balanced.

I finall decided to push off the rock and try to unclip quickly. I had to do this using my hips and leg. When I pushed off my momentum kept me going left all the way to the ground.

All alone, in the middle of nowhere, with a large boulder heading for my face. Just as I hit, my clips disengaged and I was able to roll off the rock with no damage to the bike and only a few scrapes to me.

I whole ride was awful. I was exhaused from racquetball the night before and I rode hard on the commute to work in the morning. Heavy rain the next couple of days will force me into a much needed rest.

Sunday, well see if I am just tired, or my heart is giving out again.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

When it Rains. Make Lemonade

Close enough.

The weather has not been conducive to riding. Rain, wind and temperature keep most off the road. Meaning I am riding alone.

I have trying to see how my surrogate traveler "chickenlips999" is doing on his Trans Am ride. His web and the host "" has been down for over a week.

This morning I really had a difficult time getting motivated. Played an hour of good hard racquetball last night. Legs were sore and it took a while to loosen up enough to get a decent spin going. Mix that in with a face full of wind, and the average speed was down for the morning commute.

I can't shake the worry over my car. When I left it in the parking lot this morning, there was a young man in his early 20's sitting in his car having a coffee. I am hoping and chanced that he was waiting for someone and on his way to work. We'll know at 5:30 when I get back there.

Nothing worth capturing on film this morning and probably the same tonight. I am counting on a worst case of light rain for the trip out. Last time I took this chance I had to sit around the office for two hours while severe weather passed through the area.

Fat chance of riding tomorrow or Saturday, so the mileage for the week will be low. Maybe next week I'll get a couple of long distance rides. Till then.


Sunday, July 03, 2005

The best ever.

I think this mornings' commute was one of the best rides I have ever experienced. A cool start that warmed withing a mile or so. I parked 14 miles from the office and road the country route to town. Once in the city of Taunton, Ma. I meandered through the back roads stopping a couple of times to take pictures. The morning was absolutely beautifull, I had the roads to myself. I passed two early risers (7AM) out watering thier lawns. A few critters let me know they were around, the birds were singing, the rivers were meandering and I was smiling.
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Work today was very very slow. Actually there was nothing to do. Eight hours of watching the clock. Very soon though I'll be back on the bike for the return commute to the car.

Sue is in Boston with the girls for the POPS concert tonight. Me and the dogs will be home guarding. We got tranquilizers for the "hunting" dog because of all the neighborhood fireworks. Maybe I'll get the pups settled and break out the beater bike and go riding after dark. Perche?? (perhaps) We'll see.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Increasing the distance

I began bike commuting to work back in January or so of 05. My first couple of rides were from Taunton High School, which is around 6 miles. After only a couple of days I realized six miles was not enough and increased the ride to nine miles. A detour around the main roads adds a mile + for the morning rides, but I still do the nine on the return trip after work.
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The Reed and Barton Silver Plant, Taunton Ma.

Today I added another three on each end, by leaving my car an exit earlier off the highway. Home is almost 40 miles from work. A bike commute can be done, but it's not realistic. The additional three miles is on County Road, beginning at the Dunkin Donut shop in Freetown, taking travelers to the Galleria Mall in Taunton, Ma. I only saw one vehicle during that stretch which very much eased my anxiety about making that road a regular.

On a section of the ride, after crossing over the always backed up Rt. 24 headded to Boston, I was aware of a auto approaching behind me. The tell-tall engine sound made me aware the car was slowing to either pass or make a right turn. Sure enough the driver's intent was taking a right. Just at the moment "she" came along side of me. Fortunately I was also taking that turn, otherwise if I road straight, I would have been road kill. We took the turn together with me close enough to be a passenger in her car.

On the return ride after work, crossing the overpass near the mall, I encountered the "good" she. A woman wanting to make a right turn onto the highway slowed to let me continue on past the exit. Once past her entry point, I now had to watch for vehicles exiting the highway on my right. Being a three lane road, I took the middle, left the right lane for merging traffic and the left for vehicles going my way.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, I heard over my left shoulder. A car in the passing lane was upset I was taking a lane for myself and yelled for me to move over. I lost it and told him F you. We met again at the lights a bit down the road and gave each other a look. Did I mention I look like a cop wiht my attire and bike color? Probably not, but the look has more than likely discouraged at least a couple of confrontations. I almost apologized to the driver at the light for being like him, but that would have gotten me nowhere.

I need to excercise more control when I encounter these people. Not react at all to them. That way they have no idea if they won the encounter or not and would probably piss them off even more.

Working the holiday weekend, again. Looks good for a long 15 mile commute to the office on Sunday.