Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saturdays Ride to Work


It was hard to make it to work on time, The photos should explain:




























Don't forget to click!

Crazy For Riding

Every once in a while, in conversation, I have folks tell me that people, mostly their family, think their crazy for doing,, What Ever.

It use to be just riding in the rain, riding at night. Now that "everybody's doin it", Its things like on ice, in snow, listening to music while riding down the Charles on ice, or even just owning more then one bike. Riding a Recumbent comes close to the top of the list.

I have been called crazy for a number of reasons. Thinking outside the box intentionally to not connect myself with the norm, I have told friends, that if everybody rode bicycles, I would drive a car!

I had a guy come into the Bi-Ex in the late 70"s and ask if he could join me on one of my "Crazy Rides" he had been hearing about. Six years later, they were known as Mountain Bike Rides. Hmmmm,? Where's the Mountain?

The list of 'Crazy Bicycles" and where I have ridden them is Huge.

I think it started with one of my all time favorites. It was a 20" wheeled girls bike that Joe Fryer had cut an inch out of the top tube and welded it back together for a Super "Chopped and Channeled" front end. Fitted with a fork from a 26" wheeled bike, a Bendex 2 Speed hub and painted Battle Ship Grey, I had one of the coolest bikes Dover Center has ever seen. It was like no other, and it was mine.

One of my all time favorite places I rode was the "Skywalk" at the top of the Prudential Building one morning at sunrise. In the Spring of 1974, I was working for WBCN over night and took a break and did laps on my 1962 Raleigh Superbe 5 Speed alone above the city of Boston for about a half hour. Each lap, the sun was up just a little bit more. No one was there, I had the place to myself. It was beautiful and it too, was all mine.

There has been many beautiful spots and many wild machines.

I like to treat people as I would like to be treated myself. Its a good rule of thumb.

So now whenever I hear someone say, "People think I'm Crazy for riding my bicycle" I ask, "Do you suppose that the riding the bicycle part has anything to do with it?"

I always get a wide eyed smile.

video

Friday, February 26, 2010

Heavy Rain, Strong Wind and Lost Shots

It rained most of the night last night. The river is over flowing at some of the streets here. The ride in today will be interesting.

What a beautiful morning. The streets were washed clean and blown dry by the heavy rain and strong wind. The sky was ever changing. Sunny at times and for a moment on Route 16 in Wellesley there was a breif "snow shower" causing the dusting to blow down the street like a wave. Beautiful!

I spent the morning filming and photographing at the Mary Hunnewell Foot Bridge at the Cordingly Dam and Falls. I got what I thought was a lot of good shots, but when I arived at work and was weeding out the shots I would not be using, I erased it all. How? Im not sure. But the camera is getting old,(2 years) and has been beat during it lifetime.

I did however find another great spot to send up a kite and a camera in Newton Upper Falls. Its a ball field that is at 220 feet above sea leval.

More on that later,,,,

Im going back this morning to get more river shots at the dam at the "Lower Falls."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Views of Echo Bridge


Today








The Boston Water Works stone arch over the Charles River In Newton Upper Falls is really something to see. Spanning the River from Newton to Needham, Echo Bridge was at one time the second longest arch in America. According to my GPS readings this morning The bridge spans 490 feet and its ends are 81 feet off the surface of the river.
The construction of this incredible granite and brick arch began in 1875 and was finished in 1877.
Known as Echo Bridge because standing at the waters edge on the Newton side and broadcasting up into the large arch, you will clearly hear 9 distinctive echo returns.
Inside the arch is a 12 foot brick pipe that once brought water from the Wachusett Reservoir in Clinton,Ma.The aqueduct is no longer used.
It has been said that when this huge undertaking of construction was completed, it was already obsolete and plans for the Quban Reservoir began shortly after.
Well worth a bicycle trip and a short stopover,crossing on top of the arch gives you a spectacular view of "Hemlock Gorge" below and a clear feeling that they just dont build them like this anymore.

video

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cold Rain for Southern New England

A cold rain has been forecasted for all day today. It wont get cold enough to freeze they say, but it could turn over to snow with little accumulation.
Looks like its going to be a low mileage day. Not the type of day for sight seeing.
Good day to keep both the fire and the coffee going.

It rained all day, heavy at times. There still is snow in the yard and the surface where there isn't snow is super muddy. Good day to stay at home, out of the woods and off the roads.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Perfect Boston Winter

Daily temperature extreme highs for BOSTON.
Too bad its not all on the same year! (This One)
You know these were all happy days!

* indicates also in previous year(s)
December:
Date High Max
21, 62 1957
22, 62 1990
23, 67 1990
24, 61 1996
25, 65 1889 Christmas Day!
26, 61 1982
27, 61 1949
28, 63 1982
29, 73 1984
30, 63 1984
31, 65 1932

January:
Date High Max
1, 70 1876
2, 66 1890
3, 64 2000
4, 64 1950
5, 62 1993
6, 62 1913
7, 63 1930
8, 64 1930
9, 64 1937
10, 56 2000
11, 62 1975
12, 61 1975*
13, 63 1932
14, 69 1932
15, 66 1995
16, 64 1995
17, 59 1913
18, 63 1990
19, 61 1951*
20, 60 1951
21, 68 1906
22, 66 1916
23, 68 1906
24, 62 1999
25, 59 1916
26, 72 1950
27, 63 1974
28, 63 1916
29, 65 2002
30, 63 1914
31, 62 1913

Febuary:
Date High Max
1, 66 1989
2, 55 1988*
3, 59 1991
4, 64 1991
5, 65 1991
6, 57 1909
7, 56 1925*
8, 66 1933
9, 61 1990
10, 60 1990
11, 62 1981
12, 58 1999*
13, 66 1951
14, 59 1946*
15, 61 1939
16, 60 1910*
17, 61 1981
18, 66 1981
19, 65 1961
20, 68 1930
21, 63 1906
22, 66 1997
23, 65 1990
24, 70 1985
25, 65 1930
26, 68 1957
27, 64 1957
28, 63 1976
29, 64 1880

March
Date High Max
1, 63 1991
2, 65 1991
3, 61 1945
4, 70 1974
5, 72 1880
6, 70 1894
7, 69 1946
8, 67 1995
9, 72 2000
10, 71 1878
11, 67 1990
12, 69 1902
13, 73 1990*
14, 76 1946
15, 72 1990*
16, 71 2000*
17, 70 1990
18, 70 1999
19, 72 1903
20, 79 1945

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bridges of What County?


From here to there. Bridging the gap. From one side to the other.
Such an important part of our life's and what a great way to do it.
Talk about taking things for granted! How many times have we crossed these beautiful field stone works of art not even knowing that there has been a change in the road. Just as long as you don't hit an on coming car is all it seems to mater.
The bridge above is the site of one of the oldest crossings of the Charles River in South Natick, The first bridge was built by the "Praying Indians" before 1650.
I love the old bridges. A historical landmark. Its fun getting off the bike and taking a moment to see exactly what they look like from the water's view.
A couple times a week, I post a photo of a bridge. I'm sure most readers like seeing the picture, but one reader, Chris calls me and tells me exactly where the bridge is. His score is 100%. Nice that he knows!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Indian Village


I will never forget the feeling as a child cycling to South Natick for the first time. Fifty years ago things were quite different. The Old South Natick has remained with most of its buildings still standing today, but there was Indian Spirit that you could feel back then that was differnt then any other part of Natick.
Riding down Eliot Street with the view of Great Blue Hill on the Horizon and the Eliot Church at the bottom, gave me the feeling that I really was going some place special. Magical! It gave me the same feeling as did the family trips to the Mohawk Trail and Mount Greylock.
We lived on the other side of town and our "Bike Hike" was a simple 7 mile ride that would have us riding on, for the most part safe roads. Things have changed.
The water fall park made the perfect picnic spot. White Pine on one side and mowed grass on the other. A fantastic place for a young boy to explore on his own. There always seemed to be white foam floating around the falls and on a windy day, in the air.
The Pharmacy was a major part of the village. Back then drug stores had shelf's of large glass bottles of chemicals they "compounded" into concoctions to fix what ailed you. The Pharmacist always wore a pressed white coat. There was a soda fountain to the left as you walked in serving up things like fresh Lime Rickie's and Vanilla Cokes. There is nothing like an Ice cream Soda on a hot day. Fountain Drinks are now part of South Natick's past and kids today don't know what there missing. There was a Barber shop, and a Antique store that specialized in arrow heads and coins.
The stores were off limits for children. On your own, if you were not going to buy something, you simply were not welcomed.
Visiting The Indian Village had you feeling that you had arrived, not just passing through. I never questioned that we didn't see Indians. As far as I was concerned, if you ever wanted to see some, stay at home and turn on the TV.
Back then it seemed as if South Natick had a theme. It was as if all the shops were working together as one. Pride of "The Village" bonded them together.
Things changed when the Shopping Malls started popping up on Route 9.
Places like Natick Center and South Natick seemed to fall away from the interest of shoppers. Stores closed and only the well established ones remained.
You can go back now and imagine what it was like when things thrived. Customers felt special patronizing the local dealer. Discounted Items and shopping on line wasn't heard of. You happily paid full price with out any question because the Best deal of all was that when you returned to the store, it was still in business.
video

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Fish Win!

3 votes of Love, 2 of Hate. The Fish will stay for now.

3 voted that they cant see the Fish at all!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Waltham's, Charles River Museum of Industry

Another Great "Cold Weather Destination" is Waltham's Charles River Museum of Industry.
Located at 154 Moody Street, along the bank of the Charles River, the Charles River Museum of Industry is in the Boston Manufacturing Company's textile mill. Noted as America's first factory by the National Register of Historic Places,the good sized museum is home to a great collection of Waltham's industrial past.



Walking through the museum I'm completely taken by the care of the layout. Like walking through time, you are brought back to Walthams past when it was a World Class center of manufacturing of World Class Items. The attractive layout will interest mostly anybody. Perfect for a stop over to warm up or before or after dinner downtown Waltham.


The museum has one of the best collections of the "Waltham Watch" I have ever seen. Located in what I call the "Watch Loft", from above the main floor, you get a great view of all below.



The Waltham Watch Company produced the finest watch in the world as well as all the tools and parts to do so. Never before had there been such a factory and still to this day, most watch company's "job out" there work to finish there final product. Some small parts are made off site and then recieved for final assembly. For over 100 years of operation, Waltham Watch, or 'The American Watch Company" produced more then 40 million watches that most all remaining still work as well as new today. Waltham Watch was the first watch company to offer the stem to wind the watch as well as set the time.

The collection has many different watch works of all different sizes to view as well as the machinery that they made there at the factory to make them.

There is also a good collection of the Howard Clock as well as a 19th century watch watch makers bench.
The museum has a collection of the "Orient Bicycle" produced in Waltham as well as a "Metz" Automobile and Metz/Marsh Motorcycle.



The museum is only open 3 days a week, Thursday through Saturday from 10-5, but calling ahead, the kind folks will accommodate small groups at times that the museum is closed for special events.
Bicycle parking can be done inside after asking.

A trip to the Charles River Museum of Industry will show you that at one time, The United States and New England was a leader in quality products. Waltham is known for a long list of firsts in product design. You will be surprised to see how many Items we use in our everyday life that came out Waltham's Past.
Try to find a guide while there to lead you through their collection. It will certainly have you asking, what went wrong and where did all the New England manufacturing go?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When Technology Controls You.

All of our gizmo's and gadgets are supposed to help us. Were persuaded to purchase new designs to make our life easier everyday. When I look at a new high tec item I think to myself how much easier things will be with the new technology and how cool it will be to use it. Set it and Forget it!
Many a time heading out for a ride, I have turned around and gone back to get the item I was planning to take on the ride. My Garmin GPS is one of them. Of course I know where I'm going for the most part, but just having it along tracking my course and logging my miles. What I miss the most is the clock. Glancing down to see how much more time I have to ride, or how long its taking me, has become habit and something I have a hard time doing without, especially during the cold months when my wrist watch is buried under 3 layers of clothing.
It seems now that I never go out with anything less then 2 cameras. One for the stills for the Blog and one for the videos. I figure my shooting ratio for this Blog is about 10-1, so for every Photo you see posted, there as many as 9 you wont. As for the Videos, I shoot about 2-1.
Yesterday was really a beautiful day. When the sun came up over the trees around 8:30am here in Dover, it was a total 'Winter Wonderland" Evan the birds at the feeder were noticing. You could clearly tell by the way they were playing around in the snow and with each other.
The plan for the day was to finish the snow removal, straighten out the inside of the Barn Mess, and head out for a long ride.
I started by getting everything I needed in Down Town Dover with a quick ride to the store. I thought that after the long ride, heading straight home would be best.
I got back to the house from "DC" (Dover Center) and was ready to head out for the long ride/shoot by 9:30.
Packed and what I thought was ready, I headed South for the day. The streets were in great shape and the traffic light.
It was so beautiful out, hard to keep your eyes on the road,beautiful. Always looking for another shot.
I made it to the Charles River, AKA: "The Mighty Chuck" When I had to stop. You can see the photos from yesterdays post.
After walking around for about 30 minuets, I decided to go on to the next photo opp.
But only one more photo, . That's when I realized that my "SanDisc, Memory Stick Duo, 2.0 GB, Magic Gate, was left at home.You can see it there to the right. No bigger then a postage stamp, the missing thingy stopped me dead in my tracks. I looked down the street at all the missed opportunity's and the much needed miles on the bike.
At first I thought that I could delete the unwanted photos as I went along, but the internal memory of my camera would only allow 12 photo at the resolution and file size I like to shoot in.
I had no choice, I would head back to the house and get the little card an go on.
As I rode back, I thought it would be best to upload the photos I had already taken to this Blog for anyone waiting for the daily post. It would also be good to see if I would need to go back and re shoot anything.
I got back to the house and never left. I of course uploaded the work and thought that it would be really nice to stop for lunch.
I ended up baking bread yesterday and putzing around the house. I even took a nap in front of the fire while watching a movie.
My day was changed for the better by the missing Memory Card. The "Shop Cold" that's going around Wheelworks, I felt I had brought home with me is now gone. The extra rest traded for the extra miles worked quite well.
Sometimes its really nice to have the time and allow our new technology's to control our day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

OK, Ride Down The Hill,,,,

This one is for my friend Rich Fries. Click on this one!









Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More Snow!

Cold, Wet and Snowy. Oh Boy!

Hard to imagine that it will be over soon, 32 days, 2 hours, 59 miniutes, and 15 seconds till spring, but who's counting?

Good day for a fire and a book.

Here's Today's Photos:













Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

A Beautiful Day for a Beautiful Holiday. Nice to have this special day on a Sunday. Time to do the things you love to do with the people you love to do them with.
Take the time to do it right and you will never be sorry. Wish someone you havent talked to for a long while and let them know you are thinking of them.
Happy Valentines Day Everyone!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Do Something Special Today

Valentines Day comes once a year. I have spent the day in Paris and felt that there is no better place on Earth to be on the Holiday of love, But you know, Anywhere will do.
I run into people all the time the tell me that Valentines Day is nothing but a commercial drag and that its just for spending money. Fabricated by some marketing agency to make you show that you care by going out and buying something, and if you don't, Your just not a good, caring person.
After being told how evil Valentines day was by a women I use to know, I asked her what she thought of St Patricks Day. Oh, She Loved St Patrick's Day! She was Turkish.

I was once told that Valentines Day is dreaded by Restaurantures world wide because this is the day that Everyone is Special! Everyone! And of course,, its Their Special Day!

Growing up we really didn't have much money. I know, Living in Dover, Poor Child! But we didn't. (My Dad once told me, "Everybody in this town thinks there rich! Go down town in the morning and watch them all drive out!)
Mom loved the Holidays, All of them. She even hand made a mailbox cover for each 'Special Day" Usually out of scraps and things to show appreciation for the day. Maybe a little Corny, but Sweet. She use to send us to school dressed for the occation, A flower for the teacher or a Carnation pined to our lapel

Valentines Day Speciality's don't take much, It can be as simple as cutting a red piece of paper into a heart with a one liner printed on it. Given at the right moment can be all it takes.

In this day and age, money may be tight. Maybe its the best time to show that your not "Tight" with your love.
Do Something Special Tomorrow, Im sure you will like the results!



Paris, Valentines Day Evening. What Fun!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting Ready for the New Season

I'm getting ready for the new season. Funny though, it has me looking at maps rather then spending time on the trainer,trying to improve my power and speed.
As time goes by and the miles add up on the screen of my Garmin 605 it seems as though I'm thinking more about where my bike will take me in this great part of the world and what I might discover. Its always different.

My mind was blown the other day when my good friend Bob Barton pulled out a stone point he found sitting on the ground while camping out by bicycle in Weston. It was dated by comparison charts to be over 11,000 years old. That's eleven thousand. Of course you ask yourself how could it just be sitting there for all that time, But if you know Buddy Bob, He found it without digging.

Wow! It really has me thinking that if in fact there were people here 11,000 years ago, and for the most part surviving, How come it took such a short time to totally mess things up. 300 years of us being here? Maybe less?

Thinking about Bicycle sport has me thinking that why do so many people involve a car to enjoy a ride. Tell any customer that there new car rack will only make it easier to use their car and not there bicycle, and they will agree. Many a rider's sport is to get the ride done in as short of time as possible, Actually, the faster,the better. Constantly checking the average speed and trying to improve things by making there ride faster. Time trials are hot right now.

I like to think that the bike is a way to not use a car. A walking Machine of sorts. I love the constant arrival while pedaling. Traveling by car has you starting at a point, dealing with traffic and travel, and then arriving. I cant begin to write about all the things I have learned, seen and discovered along the way. Its always different. Evan just riding to do the simple daily chores. Always an adventure.

I'm a very lucky man. I have the choice to go by bike. Some of the readers of this blog don't. They would if they could, and honor those who do.
Of course at this time it may be imposable to go back to the days of hunter,gatherer. We need the car to survive the way the Natives needed their stone points, spears and arrows. There are places near to this house that if you try to pass without the use of a motor vehicle, you are truly taking a chance with your life. The heck with Deer Tic, Bumpers can do some serious damage!
Bicycle sport in some folks minds can not do without a car. You need a car, plane, and a shuttle or taxi to get to an event to prove to yourself and others that your really good. If we were all really good, I mean really good, it would still be safe to eat the fish in the Charles River. Right? Chew on that one for a while.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Almost 40 Degrees!

Its 37 Degrees outside here in Belmont right now!
Its so nice we missed the storm of 10". Snow is nice, but after a few storms, I'm happy to miss a few flakes.
36 more days until the first moment of Spring. Saturday March 20th at 1:34 PM will be just cause for celebration. The sound of Champagne corks popping will be heard around the world! I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Cold Weather Destination

Another Absolutely fantastic Cold Weather Destination is the Bacon Free Library. Located in South Natick Center over looking the Falls on the Charles River at 58 Eliot Street or Route 16, the Bacon Free Library is also the home of the Natick Historical Society and the "Museum of the Historical,Natural History"

First opened in 1880, The Bacon Free Library was funded from the estate of Oliver N. Bacon in memory of Mrs. Bacon, the first librarian. The first library was located in her home at 87 Eliot St. and then in a small brick building built in 1870 near the John Eliot Monument. The new library building was designed by Col. Robert G. Shaw. The cross and arrow iron fence represents peace and commemorates the early Christian Native Americans of South Natick.

Built on the site of an Indian burying ground, The Bacon Free Library has the Eliot Bible as part of the museum's collection. John Eliot, "Apostle to the Indians" came to South Natick in 1651 and started a village of "Praying Indians" along the River. The village was a self governed community for over 50 years and remains today to be a beautiful piece of history open to the public for free. Maps of the early settlement can be viewed and copy's purchased. There is also a good sized collection of stone points and arrow heads to see. Their library of books about Massachusetts history is extensive. A fair amount of books have been reprinted and are for sale.
The libray is open every day except Sunday and the museum on Tuesdays, Wednesday's and Saturday's.
The Bacon Free Library is the perfect cozy spot to warm up and get a good look out its picture windows of the village. The window to the North West frames the Eliot Church beautifully. Its like looking at a 3D painting.
Your visit to the village of South Natick will not be complete without a visit across the street to the Charles River Coffee House. Under a new management, Warm drinks to anybody's liking are served as well as a new lunch menu.
Visiting South Natick will most defenetly have you smiling. You will have a chance to learn something new and of course another chance to take the day off from the indoor trainer! How sweet is that?



















 
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