Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thank You

Over the past four days the turn out in the memory of my Mother was great. Mom was always one for fun with friends and family and would have loved to have been with us. She had a wonderful group of friends that were bonded by love and this weekend the love shined in all the faces of the people that attended.
She now rests in a very beautiful spot next to my Dad in Dover Center at the gateway to the woodlands we grew up with.
Thank You everybody who came out in her honor, Thank You for all the kind words, the heart felt hugs, hand shakes and support. Its times like this that make friendships stronger and cherished.

My Mom will be remembered and Missed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Gift that Kept on Giving

Over the course of our lifes we are given gifts. We except them happily. Some are gifts that if the gift giver knows us well, are perfect and cherished, simply for the thought, the love and the understanding.
Some gifts are just to get by and to not go without going through the motion of the gift giving process. The holidays are a classic example of how you might ether give a gift or receive a gift that you could really honestly, do without.
Some are simple little things like sweets or cards that are used to celebrate an anniversary or event like a wedding, anniversary or graduation. Once there gone, the gift is forgotten, but not the appreciation of the love and understanding for ones good work or passage into a new stage of life.

Out of all the gifts I have received over my life the one that stands out above all is something that my Parents, and mostly my Mother gave me and our family when I was 10 years old.
That gift was the gift of this town I'm writing from, Dover.

Lost in the shuffle of six children and happy for it, Dover and the beautiful surrounding woodlands became my safe haven for nurturing a wonderful life. I can still remember the smell of the woods as a child first experiencing being alone on what was soon to become familiar trails in a wonderland of wood. It was so different from where we had moved from in Natick on Robin Hood Road near the shore of Lake Cochituate. My new gift had things called 'Peaks" or what my Dad would refer to as "The Mountain"
From Noanet Peak, you can see Boston. At that time one could only see the old John Hancock building and shortly after, the Prudential building. Over time, much more.
Dover and "Peabodys Woods", was our 650 acres of woods in our back yard. We spent hours exploring, swimming, camping, fishing and as any red blooded American boy knows, there's nothing like heaven on earth to raise a little hell.
The smell of smokey boys from the pine fire that kept us warm on those cold winter days in Peabody's Woods, was my Fathers success. I could tell by him never, once, having to ask,"What did you do today?" and just getting the once over glance when we all sat down at the dinner table and said the blessing.
Dover and the surrounding woodland has everything one would ever want. The perfect place for a childhood as well as adulthood We even had our very own Penny Candy store! Surrounded by the Charles River and dotted with about 50 ponds and streams, Dover has has everything you would also ever need.
I was surprised to find out about two years ago, while playing with a mapping software, that our town border is just under 3 miles from Boston. Ask anyone who lives in Dover and I'm sure they will say its far more, It has to be. Right? Its Dover!
Getting into Boston is a little different because the way you need to travel by the roads and bridges crossing the Charles, but for the most part only a half hour into the states capatal.
The older I got, the more I appreciated my gift of Dover. I have met people that told me they were as fortunate to have something of the same, I was sure they did not. Unless of course they were from Dover.

I will always cherish my most wonderful gift. I will always appreciate the special places and beautiful spots discovered as a child with friends and now as time goes on. I will always hold near and dear to my heart the gift that my parents gave our family by moving to Dover. Mostly my Mom's Idea.

Last night at 10pm my Mom passed away. Her last year was hard. She is Im sure, in a better place now and will remain here in Dover next to my Dad.

Thank you Mom for my most Precious and wonderful gift.
The Gift that kept on Giving.



The Union Iron Works



Something Green grows in Dover all year long. Click on the image to make it larger.




Our all time favorite swimming spot. Peabody's Pond.


The view of Boston from the top of the Peak, Click on this to enlarge the view.


The Rock Bench at the top of Noanet Peak



The Cedar at the top of Noanet Peak.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Things Are About to Get Interesting

For more then a couple of reasons, today was like no other for me. I wont go into everything but two that will certainly effect this blog are about the photos.

Something I have been thinking about for a very long time is a trick that I did today for the first time. It started by flying a kite and when the kite was in the air, tie on on a 'Gopro" camera and send it up taking photos. With a little adjusting of the image, this is what I got:


Springdale Ave.


Southfield Drive off of Springddale. Great Blue Hill in the background.



The corner of Springdale Ave and Farm St.



The top of Pegan Hill and Main St.


Boston can be seen in the middle of this shot. Small, but its there.
Remember to click on the photos if you want to see them larger.

Bear Notch Road by Bicycle

Every summer, Hundreds of cyclists test their skills in the White Mountain National Forest by doing what most refer to as the "Kank."

The Kank, or what is known formally as the Kancamagus Highway is one of the most scenic and mountainous paved roads in New England. Closed to through traffic over the winter, when open can give you a ride you not soon forget. Doing the ride by Recumbent will have you talking about it for weeks.

Once a year, my good friend and long time cycling buddy, Bob Barton, runs an informal event called "The Bob Ride." Not to be confused with the trailer, The Bob Ride heads out of Woodstock off route 3 by bicycle and travels East to the head of Bear Notch Rd.

At the intersection of the Kancamagus Highway and Bear Notch Road you are at 1,260 feet above sea level. After your left turn you descend for just a bit and them climb to the height of 1,620 feet.
Bear notch road is not for the timid. There are many spots on the road where rocks poke up through the black top and places where your bicycle will come up of the ground while descending. Twisty and turny, There is about 13 high speed corners that have you not exactly sure whats going to happen next. Places that you feel safe enough to not touch your brake levers, has you increasing in speed as if you have a jet engine attached to your butt.
The last part of the ride, you drop an amazing 1,000 feet to Route 302 and Barlet Center.
I have experienced speeds up to 54 Miles Per Hour on this road. Under Seat Steering makes things interesting, to say the least. This is a road that will show you what you can do, or not do with any bicycle.
Bear Notch Road is one of those roads I will never forget and when I return will again, Have the time of my life!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Warm,Wet,Windy and Wild!

Ok, It sounds like a truck is passing the house right now. Its coming from the south. It January 25th and its 54 degrees here on the deck in Dover and the bird feeders are sideways.
I went out for a ride this morning. It was nice, but Im happy to be home.

Check out the poll to the right----------->

You only get to pick one. Im not sure if after you have voted if you can change your mind, but the results will effect this blog.,, Maybe.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haven Street, Sunday Morning.

Take a ride down Haven Street in Dover. According to Harvard University, The field on the left was farm land to the Native Americans for growing corn,squash and beans as far back as 3000 years ago! The homes of the first settlers in the area are also on this wonderful country road. The Chickering Farm, established in 1690, is on the left with the big white barn. Truly one of my favorite!


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Learning to Deal

I'm sure there are as many stories about the adventure of first learning to ride a bike as there are bikes and riders. Learning to ride a bicycle is and always will be a strange and scary thing. Learning to balance on only 2 wheels and ride among speeding cars isn't natural, but then again, now a days, what is?

I will never forget the time and place I first learned to ride and who was there. I don't remember what I was wearing, but I do remember the bike. I will never forget the feeling that I had successfully accomplished what I really wanted to do, the feeling freedom and no longer being a child. A right of passage.

I have a funny job. Selling Recumbents at Belmont Wheelworks sometimes has me playing the roll of Dad out at the playground. I have a simple 3 step learning process that for the most part gives customers the confidence that they will survive riding and owning a Recumbent. I feel that most of my customers have told themselves before they arrive at the store that they fit the job of a recumbent pilot, or else they wouldn't be there trying.

As with my first successful ride in back of Kinny Shoes on Worcester Road in Natick,Mass that Sunday afternoon back in the Summer of 1957, I will never forget the first time I tried to ride a Recumbent here in Dover in the Spring of 1989. I kept falling over. I caught myself each time, but could not deal with the new balance. I figured that all I needed to do was pedal the damn thing and steer straight and everything would be fine. Wrong!
Designer and builder, Bill Darby, had just dropped off my new bicycle and stood there watching and laughing. He assured me that I would figure it out and just take my time. He took off and I stood there looking at the strange beast, trusting Bill that in fact, someday I would tame this metal horse and someday we would ride together as one.
Launching off into traffic was something. It took me about a week to get up the nerve to ride it downtown and another week to ride it to work.
Bringing my new Recumbent through the door at International Bicycle Center in Allston, Mass, got me as about as much respect as if I had put wheels on my picnic table and pedaled it from Dover. I think for the most part, people were embarrassed for me, riding such a thing. Over time, friends tried my new ride, but it was clearly not for them.

There were two times that I will never forget about reaching the point of really feeling comfortable riding in the Recumbent position. The first was a time while I was riding back from Dover Center. I had this feeling of total bliss and wasn't really sure exactly what it was besides that I had figured out how to not die while riding a bicycle again. It took me about a week to realize it was that for the first time, I could ride and see the tops of the trees and the sky. I was noticing street signs and detail in buildings that I had never seen before on roads I had ridden on thousands of times.
The second time was the first time I took my bike into the woods. The look from the hikers was one of real shock. I was smiling all the way because of the view and told one fellow that I figured out how I could put my arm chair on my bicycle. He as not amused.
As time went on, I moved on to faster and lighter Recumbents. With each design there is a learning curve and practice to get good. This for the most part makes riding fun for me. The more you do it, the better you get.
My first Under Seat Steering Recumbent,(aka: USS) was the hardest to get comfortable. Simply put, not having handle bars in front of you was really strange. I found climbing big hills not bad, but trusting the bike while descending at
30+ mph, scary as you know what. I would get to the top of a hill and stop. I would then look down the hill and then let go of the brakes, really not knowing exactly what was going to happen. I never crashed, but did call the manufacture and ask, "People really ride these things?" He assured me that if I kept riding, that someday I would be comfortable.
After that there were two things that made me feel right on the bike. The first was a day when I left my SPD shoes at work and only had my racing shoes at home. Having the slippery shoe under foot made it super hard for me to feel comfortable at starts. When I went back to the proper shoe for the bike, I had a new feeling of confidence that I had never felt before.
The second was a ride back from Worcester,Mass on a sunny summer day. The tree cover and the sun shining through the leaves hid a frost heave. At speed I hit the bump and launched the bike into the air, both wheels off the ground at least 8". It felt like a foot. In the air, I remember feeling like I was done. I imagined myself crashing big time. Both wheels landed at the exact same time softly, smoothly and in a straight line. I started laughing and could not stop. I thought for sure I was going to have to be taken to the hospital.

Practice makes Perfect and with a little time and patents, I learned. I think the thing that kept me going was the total "Heads Up" style of riding a bicycle and the spectacular view recumbents give while riding in this wonderful part of the world.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hey,,Lets stop at Mike's for a Lobster Tail.

This one is for Jody K

Good Idea for a Great Cause

Good friend and Great photographer William Greiner has offered on ebay A guided tour of his home town,New Orleans for a day of photography. To aid victims of the Haitian earthquake,the proceeds will go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

William has lived in New Orleans most of his life. I can speak first hand that William knows the city and surrounding area very well and is a wonderful tour guide. He will escort you to places you would never find on your own or with any other tour group. A trip of a lifetime and something you will never forget!
Check this out:


http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330397807287#ht_500wt_1182


Also check out his Blog. His Photographs are Fantastic!

http://www.fotoarttoo.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hanover Street, The Movie

Run these videos at the same time. Same ride, differnt camera angles.


Nice Days Ahead


Looks like were in for pleasent weather for the next 4 days. Sunny and in the mid thirty's! Perfect for a Winter ride.
Colder days Im sure are not over and in our past, but we are one day closer then we were yesterday to the 4th of July! YES!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One of Boston's Best

Yesterday we had the fortunate experience of dining at one of Boston's oldest and finest restaurants.

Locke-Ober Cafe' is a true joy. Old world Boston. Your treated like royalty the moment you walk through the door.
The restaurant remains as it has for years. Ceiling to floor hand carved mahogany panels and Tiffany style stained glass windows. As you enter rhe restaurant you are faced with a Bronze sculpture called "Glori Victis" by French sculpture Marcus Jean Antonin Mercil, known as "Boston's most famous hat rack"
The most distinguishing caractureistic of the dining room is 7 large silver Tureens with a system of pulleys and wires to lift the lids. Its said the heavy silver lids can be lifted with one finger. They are no longer used.

Locke-Ober started as a small "cellar cafe" somewhere around 1870 by a fellow by the name of Louis Philippe Ober. After the "Great Fire" of 1872 the restaurant soon grew into a grander eating establishment at 4 Winter Place where it still is today.
Louis Ober sold the Restaurant 25 years later to "Wood and Pollard" a wholesaler of liquor.
Two years later the owner of a restaurant at 2 Winter Place, next door, Frank Locke bought Ober's Restaurant Parisian. He had run a successful restaurant called "Frank's Wine Room" serving Wine, Liquor and Lunch. The location for the most part was a men's restaurant and closed to women except between the hours of 9:00-11:00 am for viewing only.
His ownership of Ober's was short lived. He passed away in April of 1894.
Two months after Frank Locke's death the restaurant was again purchased by Wood and Pollard. The two restraunts were combined.
The restraunt was then sold to Emil Camis where he combined not only the two menu's, but also the names. Locke-Ober. With the help of J.B.Bailhe' Head chef for "Ober's Restaurant Parisien",they ran a successful restaurant for 40 years.
Since then Locke-Ober has been owned by many different folks, All keeping the old world charm that has you feeling you have gone back in time.

Lunch was wonderful. We started with their famous Lobster Bisque. Everyone was in heaven with the first spoonful. There wasn't much talking. Perfect.
We also went with our waiter Chris's recommendation of the Beef Stroganoff. We were suprized when we were asked how we wanted our beef cooked. The dish came with 3, 2"x 3" pieces of perfectly cooked super tender beef. Mushrooms, cream sauce and red noodles. Out Of This World!
Our wine of choice was a Beaujolas, Chateau des Jacques, Moulin-a-Vent. The cold wet and sloppy weather outside was soon forgotten. Red Wine and Beef on a cold wet New England day works miricles!
For desert we had their famous Baked Alaska. Barb, the Birthday girl had Indian Pudding with a dallop of whipped cream and a candle.

Afterwards, we were given a tour of the upstairs. The JFK room is nice and can be reserved for surprising little money for special occasions. We also got to see where George Bush Senior sat last week. It was not in the JFK room.
Our experience at Locke-Ober is one that will not soon be forgotten. We all went out side into the cold rain/snow much happier and wishing dinner had never ended.
I'm looking forward to our return.
Thank You Locke-Ober and Thank You Chris!







---------------------------Happy Birthday Barb!---------------------------

Monday, January 18, 2010

All Photos Shot While on a Bicycle Ride



















Remember to click on the photo to fill the screen.

Hanover Street, The Movie.


Coming to a Computer Monitor near you soon!

Sunny Sunday Morning

I went in town yesterday before work to ride around and take these photos and films.
I hope you enjoy the ride.









What a beautiful morning it was yesterday. A little break in the chilling New England weather.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Scott C's el Camino

Click on this one,Nuff said?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Larry K's el Camino

Larry K sent me this great photo yesterday when he saw the posting of the "El Camino" I think he might have been one of those students that spent the whole class looking out the window. (Like me)
Hey Larry? Where's the bike?

Beautiful Day Forecasted

Warmer weather for the weekend. Looks like its not going to be painful to go outdoors this morning. The weather man is saying a high of 46 degrees
Saturday morning is a great time of the week to ride here in Southern New England. The 'Mid Forty's" will seem like Spring. You can smell the air out doors right now and its still dark.
I hope you get a chance to get out today, find a nice spot and just enjoy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

One of My All Time Favorite Short Rides

Ride Down Pegan Hill

Shot this morning. Enjoy the ride!

3000 Hits!

YES!

Thank You!

Shots of Spain and the El Camino

A year ago this past September, my friend Barb and I finished a journey that took us 4 years to complete. The 950 year old trail known by many travelers by many names, heads south from France over the Pyrenees into Spain and West to Santiago De Compostela.
The levels of history are deep. The best definition I have heard is that the "El Camino" is like traveling through a continuous museum.
The End of the "Road to Santiago" ends in a huge stone city that is said to have the remains of St James and one of the most incredible places I have ever been. Here are some of the photos from our trip. I hope you enjoy my Photographs and remember to "click" on them to make them larger.

















Free wine on the trail for Pilgrims only.











We will come back to the "Compestella de Santigao" and stoyrs about our trip, another day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Cool Piece on a Cold Place

I loved reading this on "Pete's cycling tips" I hope you do too.

Copy and paste the address below to your browser.

http://mudhead.uottawa.ca/~pete/winter.txt

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A New Lens

I just received a new Gopro camera in the mail to help shoot the little videos. It has more of a "normal" lens and will have much less distortion. Check it out. Same shot taken at the same time:




The New Camera---->




<----The Old Camera





The New Gopro Hero 3.0 on the right and the Old Gopro 5.0 Wide on the left.
 
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