Monday, July 17, 2006

Riding with Austin

My young neighbor expressed an interest in doing a long bike ride. "How about 20 miles right now", I asked? "OK" was his reply. We took the New Bedford waterfront route. Over the bridge and I showed him how to portage his bike down the stairs.

It was necessary in a few spots to do some "street" riding. Austin easily picked up the techinque of watching, listening and signaling when making lane changes and turns.

We made our way into Fort Rodman where we stopped to check out Battery Miliken (an old WWII large gun battery, that protected the harbor).

We moved on to Battery Edwards and found a tunnel underneath. It was too dark to explore completely, but was worth a look.

I'm not going in there

Further into the old base, we visited Fort Taber, a civil war era stone fort designed by Robert E Lee and built in 1862.

We were not able to get inside but there were spots chipped out of some of the windows, that allowed us to look in.

I wish I could go in there

Out of nowhere we heard rumbling. A truck? Nooooo. Thunder? Nooooo. Empty stomachs? Of course. We both knew it was time for lunch. Chicken and a frappe. (a frappe is a milk shake with ice cream for all you non NorEasterners). Black and white of course. Vanilla syrup with chocolate ice cream.

After lunch we began the trek home. A stop at Palmers Island where the tide was still too high to walk across. We could only sit and dream about visiting the light house on the island. We rode through the old Berkshire Hathaway complex to get to the hurricane barrier at Palmers Island.

I wish I could go over there.

Fairhaven from New Bedford side of barrier.

We were trying to get to this light house.

We took a tour of pier two where a big part of the fishing fleet docks.

Austin checking out the fleet.

We road to the top of the walkway over rt18 downtown and watched as the boats were loading up with ice.

This boat had just taken on a load of ice.

Before climbing the stairs at the bridge, we went into the belly under the bridge, and talked about the men that built it so many years ago. Most of the stuff was done by hand and we looked at the tens of thousands of rivets that were manually put on by the builders. Also the artwork done by those craftsmen.

Under the bridge

We were soon back in Fairhaven.

We ended the ride with some "sprint" riding through the back lots of the super markets and the activity center. Round in circles, jumping curbs and racing down the final stretch of the bike path home.

A great 19 mile first "real" ride for Austin, and I think he had fun.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Art, History, Architecture. A monthly festival in the Historic Seaport of New Bedford, Ma.

I was enlightened to the diversity of the city. A young artsy crowd mingled freely with the older "hippys".

Skateboarders where everywhere but sill out of everyone's way. Young musicians proudly showing their talent at "open mike"

There were many oportunities to listen to or participate in music. The "Drums of New Bedford", where anyone could sit in, regardless of experience.

Or a visitor could stroll into Wings Court to watch, listen and dance to very good local bands.

Bicycles are becomming more noticeable because of the younger college population created by UMass Art school downtown. Along with a plethora of art galleries and studios

There are some aspiring souls that try to combine things, like bikes and cameras to create art.

Architecture is a big part of the city and there are some really great masterpieces. You just have to slow down and look.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Colorado Mountains and Paths

Wifey and I spent the holiday weekend in Colorado visiting #1 son Keith. We took a late flight Thursday 29 June arriving around midnight. Keith met us at the airport and transported ma and pa to his new condo in Loveland. Since he was working on Friday, we took his car and drove to Cheyenne Wyoming to shop at Sierra Trading Post. Sue found some great deals and loaded up on shoes. Three pair, along with all the other stuff to weight down the plane on the return flight.

Saturday 30 June.

Keith and Sue did a long hike somewhere near Fort Collins. They dropped me downtown and I found a pub showing the World Cup match featuring France/Brasil. In the morning we had watched Italy defeat England on penaltys. Rooney got his deserved red card. Such a good player with so little class.

Sunday, 1 July.

No football today, which give us plenty of time to do some Colorado stuff. Sue took the car and went for a hike, while Keith and I rode our bikes to the bus station in Boulder. We packed our bikes and rode up 3000 feet to the small town of Nederland, to begin a bike ride in the mountains. We climbed an additional 1000' on the Peak to Peak Highway.

The Sunshine Canyon Rd., a dirt road that decended 4000' took us back to our accomodations in Boulder. We stopped for a light lunch in a very liberal town called Gold Hill. Pop 118. A young high school girl served us and explained the owners politics. I didn't think there could be someone more liberal than me. I guess we learn something new every day, if you ask.

Assembling bikes after bus ride.

IknowIcan IknowIcan

I had to stop quite a few times on the climb for a short rest and water breaks. The views, as expected were spectacular. For example.

Spotted this at the top of a mountain.

It seemed like we climed a lot more than our odeometer said. Every time I thought we creasted the peak, I got to look up again. Keith, my guide gave me the option of continuing another three miles of rolling hills or take a dirt road down to the house. I told him that he was in charge. Until we got to the dirt road that is. It was like a cow smelling the barn. Once there I opted to begin the decent.

Climbing on a bike with tires the size of my thigh made it difficult to exceed 5 or 6 mph. It was almost as difficult to keep the bike under 40 MPH on the decent. It's a good thing my bike had disk brakes because I would have burned up the usualy type.

Buckle up for the descent.

If you miss this turn, expect around eight minutes of air time

Keith looking below to the road where we began this ride

We stopped for lunch in the small town of Gold Hill.

Entering Gold Hill

The cool aid stand welcoming committee of Gold Hill Colorado

Lunch stop

The last climb of the day. I had to walk this one.

After a four thousand foot decent, we arrived at our mountain canyon home for the day. Coincidentally, only a few houses away from Tyler Hamilton.

Tuesday 4 July

Keith and I had the morning to bike ride before the Italy/Germany match. We decided on the Boulder bike routes and trails. This is more my type of riding. I have to say that if I did live in the mountains I probably would ride them once a week. Living in Boulder I would definitely be a year round, weather be dammed, bike commuter. Kind of like I am here. We rode the final couple of miles down the mountain into the city and began our holiday ride.

First things first. Riding to breakfast

Part of the ride was on roads.

Some was on paved paths

Room for everyone. Vehicles, peds and bikes.

Much of the ride was on hardpacked dirt trails.

The views were always great.

But as a famous Trans Am rider warned,
"Watch for bananas"

Going home

After the ride we had planned a gathering to watch Italy/Germany with a few of Keiths friends. As we were about to leave the canyon home, a couple of squatters moved in under the porch. I was told they had moved in a few weeks ago and they must have been away for the holidays.

We ended the trip at the Revs/Rapids match in Denver but did not see the whole thing because of the weather.

Revs ended up losing 3-2

The End