Friday, April 30, 2010

The Pole Cam

I have had a few people write me and as how I was getting the photos of over my sholder when I ride.
Known as the "Pole Cam", a simple little idea that came to me one day and in a second ,it was done. The "GoPro Hero" camera with its 170 degree lens works great. At the top of a bamboo pole, I can set the camera to take one photo every 5 seconds, or start it as a video and edit. I love the results.
Here are some shots of the ride to work Thursday, April 29th 2010.





Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back in the Day

Here are a few of the machines that we started out with back during the second wave of recumbent.
I found these photos while going through some files yesterday and thought you might enjoy to see how much things have changed in 15 years.
All for the good!



Two of Bill Darby's Machines




Early John Totman


and one you might have seen before. Far cry from a CA 2.0

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Recumbent Silly Smile

Most recumbent sales start by teaching the customer how to ride the bike. My first question to the customer is "Have you ever ridden one of these before?"
Most of the time the answer is no, so we head out together to a spot where we can safely do a roll down and let the customer feel the bicycle's different balance point.
Most of the time, the first try has the customer not being able to lift there feet off the ground for anything more that a second or two.
The second try has most riders in more control and more at ease.
"Light touch and look up", is usually shouted as the customer rolls away and not until a smooth descent is accomplished, do we head on to the next step,
We meet at a flat spot and discuss starting from a stop. There are a couple ways of doing this but the way I like to teach is one foot on the pedal and the other on the ground. "Like sitting on the floor with your back against the wall and your foot on your refrigerator. Your going to push the fridge across the floor and out the door.
The first couple of tries is difficult for most customer's. Either they don't push hard enough or they start to fall over and catch themselves and stop.
Its always different with each customer but usually after a few tries, they figure it out.
Three laps of the parking lot has them with the look in there eyes on the first lap like there really not in control.
The second has a look like, "I can do this!"
The third lap if there smiling the "Recumbent Silly Smile" you know the bike has been sold.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cookie

Cookie was a funny man. A friend to everyone who knew him. Kind, soft spoken, well read and a great wheel builder.
He, as everyone in the bicycle business, was never paid enough for his talents and knowledge, but stuck it out for the love of the sport. Customers would come to him as they would their doctor and not only talk about bicycle problems but their life's problems as well. He would listen.
As time went on and bicycle shops closed. Cookie found himself on the street, looking for a new job. The first choice to come to mind was where everyone seemed to migrate after the closing of the 50 year old establishment, but he thought of the hussel and bussel and chose a smaller shop down the street.
More of a studio of sorts, the smaller shop dealt with the more dignified customer that was willing to play the game and pay the price. Only after that, they would get full service.
Cookies first day played out as he expected. Greeting customers and making them smile with his words of wit he was famous for.
As the day came to a close and the brooms and beers came out, Cookie was asked to put up the security grates that guarded the store from inner city crime.
Not what he was expecting, Cookie considered the job for a younger staff member. He did the chore and then quit. Not just for the day, but for good.
The next day he was back on the street again looking. This time the first shop that had come to mind became more of a serious consideration and where he went to next. His fame landed him the job instantly and was put right to work.
Things went as expected, again, greeting customers and making them smile as at the last two shops and the past 20 years of his life.
Again as the day came to a close and the brooms and the beers made there arrival and swept out the last customers of the day, Cookie was again, asked to pull the grates.
Pissed, The job seemed to be following him. He knew it was for a younger staff member, but wrote it off as something that the new guy does and took on the task.
With keys and pole in hand, Cookie went to the end of the shop to start the job. With the first pull, Cookie ripped the whole grate box and frame off the wall.
The whole grate and box at the top of the frame where the roll of grate sat while up weighed over 700 lbs. Enough weight to crush a man.
Fortunately for Cookie, he ducked in time for the frame and the box to come down and hit the roof of a parked car on the street parallel to the shops window.
From inside the store, we thought Cookie had been killed, but when we ran out, he was crawling from under the grate that the parked car had saved him from.
White as a sheet, he was told to go get a beer, and we would take over.
With ladders and heavy duty zip ties we put the grate and frame back up and locked it for the night.
Although Cookie was unscaved, the car was badly hit. Both the front and back window were broken. The car's roof had a 3" deep dent that ran from the front to the back.
Cookie never volunteered or was asked to pull the grates again. The car had in fact saved his life.
To this day, the story remains as "One from the bike shop", and to this day, A story the owner of the car was never told.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Something Different About the Night

I have ridden home without incident hundreds of times. Simply get on the bike and go. There are times that when I head off, I sometimes feel as if I need to be extra cautious.
It has saved my life. The feeling that something will go wrong on my commute has come to me more then once and being prepared, has me watching for everything.
One such evening I was heading from Allston to Lexington to spend the night. I made it through Harvard Square and Arlington Center without any problem. After Arlington Height's, I noticed a car coming from the on coming left lane take a curve and head right for me.
I said to myself, "This is it." It was exactly what I was looking for. I feathered my breaks and with my front wheel no more then a foot from the side of the car in total control, had them pass in front of me and to my right. The car then went up onto the curb and smash into the bushes in front of a home.
I went to the drivers window and asked if they were OK. One look at the driver made me realize that he was in fact trying to hit me. In no shape to be driving and what appeared to be a stolen car, he looked at me as if to say, "Who do you think your talking to?" His cigarette was drooping from his lips and again I asked if he was OK? He shook head no, put the car in reverse and without looking screeched the tires back out into the street to get another chance, I think, at hitting me.
Cars stopped all around avoiding the driver and his car full of friends. They were all very high. It was clear.
I disappeared behind the bushes and watched. The driver took off closely in back of a driver that had honked his horn at him for backing out in front of him. The rest of the group were throwing rocks out their windows at the car. Not Good.
I spent the rest of the nights ride looking over my shoulder.
I never saw the group again. It made me think that somehow I saw this coming before the first pedal stroke of the evenings commute.
Once in a lifetime one would hope, But its times like this that has me thinking that its always best to ride with your head up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Last Sunday of April

Another glorious month is coming to a close here in Southern New England. We have had lots of opportunity for riding. Mild temperature's and dry roads have allowed us close to perfect conditions for enjoying our sport.
Isn't it amazing how things have popped in the last week! Views that were free from obstruction are now curtained with green, New Green, my favorite and the sign of a new beginning for a new season of comfortable outdoor living.
Cloud cover makes for good riding conditions, Sunny days are nice, but visibility is better without glare. Less exposure to harmful rays is also nice.
I hope you get out today, Even if its just for a moment and have the chance to notice the change in this place we call home.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My, Things Have Changed

I use to wake up on the bike. Dressing in the cycling clothing left on the floor from the night before. The first time I would check the time was while I was riding and not after at least 10 miles of making the bike go, would I start thinking about breakfast.
As changes in the land here in New England, I have changed too. Now when I wake,I find the coffee machine and make 4 double shots of Espresso, pour them in a Dimple Pint and wake up at the computer.
I love it. Just as I did waking up on those mornings 25 years ago. Telling story's and creating images. Expressing myself in fresh text, photos and video daily is truly a blast.
Sharing my adventures and stories with my readers has become my morning ride and what a ride it has been.
Again, the purpose of this blog is to get you outdoors and out of the house, Away to find that new special spot you can call your own. It doesn't take much to do it, only the understanding that what your going to experience is not what you expect. Life's little pleasures.
Thank You for reading my Blog. You are as important to this site as I am for writing it. I will continue for the simple reason that you are there. I really enjoy the comments about the stories and wish there were more.
Bosrug will continue as a window of Southern new England and beyond. The Recumbent is only a new tool to do it on and not the only reason for this site.
I was once asked to change the name of the blog so that others might enjoy it who are not into Recumbents.
Although change in this day and age seems constant, Enjoy for the moment, something that wont

Friday, April 23, 2010

Off Road Riding on a Recumbent?

Let's get this straight. There is off road riding, Dirt trail riding, Bad road riding and bad trail riding. Oh don't forget "Trail Blazing"
I don't remember an all day ride that didn't end up on some beautiful dirt road somewhere. Ask anyone who has ridden with me following my wheel. And if it gets too bad, We walk.
Getting out of traffic by dirt road can be one of the best things any cyclist can do to keep moving and take a break at the same time. Shortcuts to lesser traveled paved roads and avoiding busy intersections can be a added experience to any bicycling journey and make for a far more enjoyable and memorable adventure. That's why I do it.
Skinny tires and lightweight wheels may not be best suited for the job, but at the proper speed, one can negotiate any hazards that could be detrimental to the longevity of your equipment.
Not for all, off road riding could piss some riders off. As in the case of the story that my good friend Chris tells. He was leading a group of friends along a road in Dover one dry and beautiful afternoon. On a slight downhill corner, Pine Street in Dover use to turn to dirt at the Medfield line. (It doesn't anymore)
As Chris rode along he noticed no sound of the other cyclists he was guiding on his day tour. He turned around and went back to see the group all standing at the edge of the pavement as if at the edge of a pond off there pedals and straddling there bikes wondering where Chris might have gone.
The proper tool for the job, Recumbents may not be the best bike for a day in the woods, But with a little care and caution, Recumbent riding off road could just add that little extra to turn your ride into a more fun, safe and memorable experience.



Bad Road Riding and the one we avoided on Tuesday.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

video

Thats My Number

What Tires are Best for You

Bicycle tires come in all sizes as do wheels. Cross section of a tire plays a major part in how the bicycle will feel and perform.
Certain things need to be understood about how a bicycle wheel works and what exactly happens when you hit a bump.
First thing, looking at a wheel, first glance has one thinking the opposite of what actually happens. The forces of you on the bicycle actually have you hanging from the top of the wheel by the spokes rather than if the wheel was a solid disc. Rapid tension and detention occurs of each spoke as the wheel turns while you ride.
Second, when you hit a bump, the volume of the tire decreases, causing the air pressure to increase 360 degrees and transmit some shock down the spokes before it reaches the hub and axle and you feel it at the seat or handle bars. The taller the wheel, the better the shock absorption and the smoother the ride. Big wheels make pot holes seem smaller. A 2" wheel would get lost in a 3" hole, but a 50" wheel would hardly notice it in comparison.
After all of that and choosing the correct wheel for the job, you need to consider tire size.
Tire size is not only the diameter of the rim, but the cross section of the tire, A 26" wheel with a 1" cross section tire will need higher air pressure than the same wheel with a 2" tire. The height of the side wall will allow you to run lower air pressure simply because the distance from the road to the rim, and by doubling the side wall height of the tire you can actually adjust the feel and handling of the bike.
Not all tires fit all frames. The bicycle must have frame clearance to fit fatter tires. Imagine putting car tires on your bike, They would not spin, Going up in size could cause the tire to rub the frame while climbing even though the tire spins freely while not under load.
Bigger tires make for heavy wheels, The more rubber, the more weight. Lightening the wheel allows faster exceleration and de exceleration. Faster to start the bike and faster to stop. Imagine if your wheels were 100 pound Cement tires. How long would it take to get up to speed in relation to a pair of handmade 100 psi Clement Tires. (An actual misprint in a Univega catalog from the 70's)
Taller tires corner poorly because of the movement of the sidewall when you lean into corners. You will learn how they corner and adapt. The taller the sidewall and the lower the air pressure, the more the flex.
bigger heavier tires although the rule of thumb tells customers that the bicycle will be more comfortable, one needs to take into account that if the tire is too heavy and stiff, fast absorption of road shock will not be absorbed in to the "Machine" of the tire design because tie sidewall will not flex, Flex and the speed of return is important to keep the bicycle moving forward and not resist the bump and have it actually hold you back, The faster the tire absorbs the road shock, the faster the ride.
That being said, The perfect tire for the job may not be available. Certain wheels only have certain tires made to fit. There may be all sizes of 26" tire cross section's available, but in the case of 650c commonly found on Performance Recumbents, Only skinny tires are made.
Choosing the Bicycle for the riding you want to do and where you want to ride it is important. The Recumbent choice plays a major part in ether how fast you want to ride or how rough.
I ride my Recumbent off road and I'm using skinny tires.
A little technique and reduced speeds allow me to get off the road and away from traffic when the time is right.
Finding the bike that's best for you and the tire size to fit it is something an experienced recumbent rider can help you with. Someone who has ridden all types in all types of road conditions will be best.
Learning how to ride and where to ride will come to you over time. One can learn to deal with any style of bicycle nicely, but given the right tool for the job could make all the difference in the world.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday's Ride






The Right of the White is Right

Almost daily I hear stories about rude drivers and how cyclists are treated on the road. "Share the Road" means nothing to some drivers and Cyclists alike.
When ever I hear of some incident when a driver throws a fit over a bicycle rider. I start thinking.
Whats going on here. Who is in fact in the wrong?
Having ridden for years I have had my share of totally unexplained driver outrage, but for the most part wrote it off as stupid people doing stupid stuff. Put them behind the wheel of a car or on a bicycle trying to prove a point and watch out! Put the two together and,,, one can only imagine!
I have to think that there is no answer as to how to deal with someone who takes his rage onto the street and wants to take it out on a total stranger, but I have been lucky. Blame it on the high cost of living and the problems the poor driver has. His wife and kids, or just his bad attitude in general. Just please don't blame it on me.
For the most part, I stay to the right of the white line. Its a fun game I love to practice and at times ride the curb. Drivers give me extra room when they see me trying to stay out of the road and because of it, cycling is more fun.
I never choose to ride where there are cars or even roads with white lines, but on my daily commute and shopping, it's hard to avoid.
Of course staying to the right has you in the broken glass at times, but a flat is easier mended then a broken arm or face.
Be safe, be right and try to stay to the right. My rule for me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Marathon Monday

Today in Massachusetts is Patriot's Day. A celebration of the first shot of the American Revolution against the British on the Battle Green in Lexington Center.
Mean while, about 20 miles southwest, the town of Hopkinton hosts and annual event called the Boston Marathon.
Run by the Boston Athletic Association, this year will be its 114th running. The Boston Marathon is the worlds oldest annually run Marathon. Attracting over 20,000 runners each year, rain or shine.
"Patriot's Day" has taken Second stage to Marathon Monday as Boston's right of Spring. Thousands of spectators line the streets to watch men and women,(not allowed to officially compete until 1972) run the 26 miles 385 yards, 2 feet and 3 inch's to Boston.
As a cyclist I could never understand running. As far as I was concerned, everyone running was doing it as a personal challenge and that at one time told themselves that the couldn't do it. The beauty in the 'Run" was clear, but bicycles would offer a smoother, faster method of exercise and personal challenge. A tool for exploration.
Every year hundreds of cyclists show up in Hopkington to ride the route. The roads close to cars before the event starts and as of this date, Bicycles are at least not stopped before the Marathon begins. I have never wanted to ride on the sacred grounds of the event, but have for years gone to the start line and watch it begin.
Afterwards, I short-cut to Wellesley and watch the runners come through the center of town. I then go for a longer ride, followed by a great lunch at a place that has the finish on TV.
Hopkington also hosts a town green fair with tables and groups showing off there projects and charitable foundations for this and that.
Years ago after watching the start, I headed away from the crowds, East on the back roads toward Boston. I was about 3 miles out of town on a country road when a Man in work cloths came out into the street and stopped me to let me know that I had, in fact, Arrived.
I asked, "What?" He said, "Your here, your here!"
"Excuse me?" "Your here" he insisted.
"OK?, Where's here?"
The man asked if I had just come from the Hopkinton green and when I said yes, he again insisted that I was here and I did not have to go looking any further.
Wow, There was ether a story here or this guy was a nut, Turned out both, but not any more then me or you for you continuing to read this.
The man was Don Perham. Don's job and love in life was old mills. Where I had arrived was an antique water powered mill that had been built by one of George Washington's aids. The aid had been given the surrounding land as payment for his work. It was the basis of the town and played a major role in establishing Hopkinton. There were the ruins of a saw mill foundation, and blacksmith shop.
People were being sent down from the Hopkington Green that day to get a tour of the site and learn about the project Don was leading. That's where I was.
After getting the whole story, He stopped talking and looked at me as if I was to say something, like well, how much money would you like Don? Instead, I asked. "Your looking for money aren't you?"
"Yes" he said. I laughed and said, "Funny, your asking the wrong person, But I will work for you one day a week as long as you buy me lunch."
He liked that a lot, smiled and we shook hands.
Wednesdays were my day with Don. I would arrive at the mill and we would begin our day.
Over the next year and a half we spent many hours together, like going back in time, cutting stone, moving large timbers for the frame of the mill and telling stories. Lunch was always special. Don had no money so we would go to places like Peach Orchards and pick and eat. He knew the land quite well and his stories how history wasn't as written were fascinating. He could back up everything with fact and prove things wrong in a second.
We traveled by way of his car to mills he had restored and looked at how things were done. His wooden gears were a marvel. Machine by wood. Just wonderful.
In conversation, I told Don how I shoot movies and would love to do a film about his projects. He said it would be great for fund raising and we should do it.
Over the next 6 months we did a Super 8 film about Wooden Water Powered Mills and there importance in Southern New England. The film was used for showing at fund raisers around town.
It wasn't long before the money ran out and the project in Hopkinton ended.
I learned a lot from Don. A journey back in time and seeing the way things were. How you can do quite well working with what you have. Selecting wood form trees and buying it before the tree was cut. Moving huge rocks under water with ease rather struggling with trying to do the same above. Making due with what you have and not what you want and cant afford. Don taught me you really don't need to have, but you really need to know. A lesson I found one day on a bicycle ride with my head up.
I think about Don often. A special person from a special time. The Old Mill remains in the fashion it did that day he walked out of the woods, but I have changed.
That day I had arrived.



The Mill in Hopkinton,Ma.
4-20-2010.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Solo Ride

Most of your riding will be done alone. Most of your rides will be in places you already know and have ridden to before.
Its nice to find new spots, but the old dependable places to ride are for the most part chosen for the knowledge of the road surface, traffic and the time it will take to do the journey. Safe spots are learned over time and the dangerous ones avoided unless absolutely necessary.
I love to go out and find new roads on my own. Getting other people lost when there time is limited is not fun. The predictable areas are best for group rides evan though new spots are fun to find as a group. Your lucky if you can find a friend that's willing to take chances and go the places you choose to go. Trust is a big part of riding partners and when the weather gets bad, it sometimes best to just ride by yourself. Non fendered bikes can cover a riding buddy with street dirt. Nicer weather for group rides always seems to work out best.
Learning new roads, doing your "Homework" by yourself and sharing them with others at the proper moment can make the old standby ride, a new adventure.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Its Getting Green

It's getting green here in New England. Everything is popping!
Look out the window and then look 30 minutes later. You will notice the difference. Its Great.
Snow flurries are forecasted for tonight here in Southern New England, but hardly enough to cause a dusting of any sort. Warmer weather is on the way and for the moment we will deal with the damp.
Its a good time to put the bike up and give it a good cleaning. A clean bike makes roadside repairs easier and less dirty when the job is done.
Check your on the road repair kit. I never travel without 2 tubes and a patch kit with a piece of nylon cloth to boot a tire slash. Look inside and maybe add something to make your flat tire repairs go a little smoother, Maybe something in a plastic bag to clean up with or possibly rubber gloves.
Taking the time to plan ahead is worth the time taken, always.

Friday, April 16, 2010

video

Swing Recumbents

The Weekday Ride

There's Nothing like Weekday Cycle touring in New England. I have heard it shouted as we ride along through the countryside and its true.

Not only do we have the roads to ourselves between the hours of Ten and Three, but the rest stops too. Of course there is an occasional truck or Mini Van with Mom and child, doing their job, but long stretches of back roads can be enjoyed with out fighting for space.
The other riders notice it too! You see it in there faces and there loud 'Hello!" shouted from the other side of the road. Something you just don't see on Week End rides with the mass of riders out. The cars are tired of passing bikes and the bikes are tired of dealing with cars. Sometimes it seems its all you do, avoid the cars and stay alive. Like bicycle commuting and like a big live video game, "Don't Get Crushed".
Arriving at lunch spots and not having to wait for a seat, let alone a seat you can see the bikes from is never a problem on weekdays.
As the weather warms and Outdoor Seating becomes available, it will always be available on week days.
If your lucky enough to have the time off you know what I'm writing about. And if you don't, Maybe its time to give it a try. You will like it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Cost of Doing Bicycle

What does it take to get into the sport of Bicycling? How much do you really need to spend to enjoy the Cycling Experience?
Bicycles in the late 1800's sold for as much as $300.00, Figure that a loaf of bread back then was selling for about 3 cents, $300,00 was more money than what the common man could afford. A sport for the upper class.
Mass production brought the cost down so as a chicken in every pot, there too was a bicycle in every garage.
In the States as time went on, Bicycles became more of a children's toy. There were a few that enjoined bicycle racing, but for the most part unless you were broke, you drove a car. I don't remember adults riding bicycles back in the 50's in my town.
Today, it is possable to spend as much as $10,000 for a Bicycle. Hand made Carbon Fiber frame and Carbon Fiber parts are now the rage and to be the lightest on your block, expect to spend a lot of money. Expect that actually riding the bike will cost you more. Carbon parts do wear out and will need to be replaced in short order. Nice days for nice bikes only and you know how many good days we have around here.
I have often thought that a Bicycle is a Freedom Machine. Take it where you want to go and ride it as fast as you can.
A $10,000 bicycle you just don't ride to the store. The thought of locking a bike like that and walking away just isn't right.
The justification of buying a expensive lightweight bicycle for getting fit, could be done on a well tuned heavy bicycle. As it turns out, weight is only a factor between the speeds of 0-12 MPH and after that a benefit. A nice 11 pound bike makes a great conversation piece, having people lift it and pass it around, but in real time on the road, is the expense really justified?
I enjoy a nice lightweight bicycle. The feeling of how "snappy" the bike feels and how much easier it is to climb hills.
For the most part, my most enjoyable bicycles and bicycle rides are the ones that cost me very little. The pure enjoyment of being out and riding. Not because the bike is nice, but the day is nice. My love for the less favored and how far you can take it has always been a love.
"You rode from where on that?" I have heard that more then once. Finding a bike in the trash, overhauling it and taking it out for a long ride gives me a thrill that surpasses any ride on a new off the shelf bicycle. The feeling that the bike found me and now its getting the chance it was designed for and will never be left to the trash again.
The more new bicycles that arrive, the more old bikes there will be. One day that $10,000 bicycle will be another old bicycle that in some cases will look silly. Very few of the New Styles in Bicycle design become Classic. One can expect to sell there old bikes for at most 1/3 of what they paid for it unless the bicycle has a story.
Its hard to figure the percentage of bicycles that get used but by judging by the ones I see, Not many. In most cases, the bearings need to be repacked with fresh grease, chain oiled and the tires inspected or just inflated.
Check in your basement, You just might have the perfect bike for this perfect Spring day!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ride Announcement, Wednesday, April 14th

Tomorrow, 5 main St Dover, 10:00 am. 30 mile roller. 16mph adv speed. Questions? Email me at the Address on the right.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Foreign Country, Nextdoor

Thirty four miles Southwest of Boston there is a city just over the border that has the feeling that you are in another country. Pronounced, Woon-Soc-ate, has views you will never see in any other town in Southern Massachusetts. Crossing the border you immediately notice the difference in the buildings, signs and the local "Color".
Located on the Blackstone River In the center of town is the largest water fall, Woonsocket before the English and the French was home of three Native American tribes, Nipmunks,Wampanoags and the Narragansetts.
Woonsocket is a factory town that seems as if it never recovered from the Great Depression, Textile mills fill the town. Something to see, Woonsocket has more to look at then most towns you will ever visit.
Great for Heads Up Riding!













Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Best Tool for the Job

Any job that requires a tool, deserves the best.
In a pinch, I have found myself using a wrench as a hammer and a hammer as a wrench. Knifes as screw drivers can be bad for both he tool and the hand, but at the right moment will work well and get the job done without having to go find the proper tool and take the extra time.
As time goes on it seems as if we need more speciality tools to do the simplest thing, I think it all started with Mr. Phillips and the invention of his cross point screwdriver now known as the "Phillips Head" He is good friends with Mr. Allen and new to town, Mr Torx. Bastards! Couldn't they jest leave well enough alone?
The job of walking got complicated with the invention of the bicycle. Needing to do something faster usually does. Just how to cycle became more complicated with the starting of the patent office. Who gets credit and paid for how we choose to do things is very complicated indeed!
Over the years with the invention of some new tools, frendships have ended and friends gone there own ways. Some I'm sure some of them never talked again.
The guy with the first chain saw I'm sure pissed off all his friends with their old style of wood cutting. The noise, the smoke, and the speed of how much wood you could cut up in one tenth the time. It drowned out the chop chop chop of the lonely axe for sure. You know they all smiled when the first chain saw operator's cut themselves. Served them right for being so,,,,,New, Or something like that.
Here in New England we are the first to invent something, but the last to except it. If it was really that good or needed, someone would have invented it already.
Just what was the first guy with the first cell phone trying to prove? Couldn't he wait to make or receive a call? What kind of person needs to have a phone all the time anyway? Everyone?
The "Art" of photography went away the day we changed from Photo-Chemical process to Digital, Didn't it? Nope!
Trying something new can always be an experience. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Having the knowledge of at least trying the new tool can be reassuring that your opinion was correct or prove you wrong.
One of my all time favorite Bicycle Moments was with a Senior Cyclist, Joseph Cote.
On the subject of Fixed Gear Bicycle Riding, he told me that when he was a winning bicycle racer back in the 30's, that when ever anybody showed up with "one of those derailleur bikes" They knew they were out of shape!
Funny how things change!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Get Lost!

For me,there is nothing like finding a new place. The feeling that its mine and that no one else was involved in leading me there is one of the best feelings in the world
For years I have loved the moment of really not knowing where I am when on a ride. Having somewhat of an Idea what direction is what is always good, but as long as I'm not lost in full on suburbia, or culdasak-ville, I'm fine.
Years ago, I was working for a Rock Band and traveling up and down the east coast, I was in charge of lighting that also included film as effects. During the day, I could ride to where ever my heart said go. Some of the spots were incredible and will remain in my mind forever. (Or as long as I keep wearing a helmet!)
After the show one night we packed the truck and headed North from Biglerville, Pa to Halifax Nova Scotia. I always tryed my hardest to stay awake sitting in the passenger seat of our boxed back truck, but always fell asleep. I woke to find the truck driving off the road at speed. I punched the driver and told him to wake up and pull over to sleep. At that point I was wide awake, Really wide awake!
I unloaded my bike and headed out for an early Sunday morning ride. We had been on the road since 3:00 am and now it was 6:00 am. 4 hours driving North should have put us somewhere in New York State. It was that moment that I realized that I had no idea, not only what town I was in, but also no idea, what state. Wow, Cool!
I rode for about 10 miles. It was beautiful. Twisty turney and Farms. The road was like a tape and the sides of the road, very clean. No trash, Beautifully painted and kept buildings.
I came back out to what I thought must have been the same highway at a different exit and to a Stucky's. There are no Stuckys where I'm from, so I know I wasn't near home.
As I pulled in to the parking lot, a VW Beetle with Mass plates entered from the other side,two fellows in Field Jackets hopped out and when I asked them if they knew what state this was, they said they did not know.
We all walked into the restaurant together. We were greeted by a young girl at the counter and when I asked where we all were, she thought it was a joke.
Turned out we were still in Pennsylvania. The driver of the truck had gotten lost and drove around for 2 hours trying to find his way.
The serendipitous moments of being lost on the bicycle can be presious. Sometimes.
Go get lost today! You just might find something that you may someday want to return to. And remember, Bring a camera!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lock Up Your Bicycle

Never lock up anything on the street and walk away from it, that You cant afford to loose or want to have to replace.
My list is long. My TV, my stove, my checkbook, my friends and family and my Bacchetta Corsa SS.
You take a chance loosing anything you leave unattended no matter where you are. It only takes one person to want what you have and they don't, to loose something that then, they will have, and you won't.
No matter what you choose for a "locking system", The frame and wheel can be quickly cut with a one dollar hack saw blade and the thief walk away with enough expensive components to build what ever they need to ride or sell. A simple set of handle bars can cost as much as $150.00 to replace now a days with the high cost of shifters, brake levers, bar and stem.
I always have a back up bicycle that if needed, I can use to go in to Boston or Cambridge and lock for an hour or two without the chance of loosing any of my good bikes. It makes the trip far more relaxing having the piece of mind that my good bikes are home safe.
I was asked by my friend Mike at Bacchetta, if I could take a few photos of when I need to run into a store, how I choose to lock up. Here is how I choose to do it.

First thing, I never have to go looking for a key to fit my many locks. The key is always with the lock and when in use, clipped to my helmet strap. I lave lost many keys, bicycle lock keys being number one. About 7 years ago I started tying the key to the lock and putting the remaining keys on nails in my shop. I haven't lost a key since. The strap to the key must be long enough to lock the lock while on the lock and not be difficult to use. The straps length is large enough to get around my wrist.


Second, I use locking skewers. If you choose to use these, its best to leave a little extra skewer past the locking cap rather then cutting them flush as I did. The center pin will make it easier to hold the hey in place while tightening or loosening the skewer.



The Bicycle now can be locked by the top tube or main frame easily.
Your bike is only as safe as the closest person that wants to steal your bicycle.
Remember if you ever loose your key, it is in fact a very good thing that the lock can be removed by someone close by. At Wheelworks we only charge $20.00 to remove a U shaped lock. Its not hard. Remember, The lock is only a deterrent. Period.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Peepers

The Peepers! Not many people have ever seen them, but every year at this time they start to do there peeping thing around dusk.
One of the first signs of spring, my daughter and I have tried to beat each other to the punch by reporting over the phone the first peep. Most years, I win, but for some reason, most likely the rain, This year, I lost.

Years ago, I remember a ride through the countryside with a friend on our Alex Moulton's. My friend, Peter Fuller. At that time he was the parts buyer at the Bicycle Exchange. Peter is known for his very dry since of humor. As the day went on and it began to get dark, we heard the first peep. We stopped and listened for a while as the sound grew louder. I mentioned to him how much I loved the peepers and how over the years it had become for me the first real true sign of Spring. I loved being told by the peeping noise that we weren't going back to Winter for a while. He agreed and said that he would miss them if they were not to return. I asked if he had ever seen one of the supposed thumb nail sized frogs. He looked at me with wide eye's and said, "No One Has!"

Click on the start button below for a short recording Frank Cunningham and I did Tuesday night, April 6th in the wetlands of Dover. The Police showed up and with there megaphone and spotlight and told us to come out of the woods. I came out and whispered, "Were recording the Peepers" Only in Dover would an Officer of the Law pat you on the shoulder and apologize with a little laugh, totally understanding the importance of our project.

"The Unseen" (Can't see the peeper's? Ether did we!)
video

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday, Nixon Road

Come along for a ride down one of Southern New England's Great Scenic Roads. See you at the bottom!

video

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday Roller, April 4th

Spectacular ride. Two riders 50 miles all told. 16.9 mph average speed, 4 cameras. Not too fast, not too slow. We met as scheduled
at 8:00 and started the ride shorty after. Traffic was low because of Easter morning family festivities. We followed the Boston Marathon route backwards to Downtown Framingham and then on to the center at route 9.
The back roads after that point are beautiful. My plan was to get to Babe Ruth's house and take a couple of photos to post on this Blog today for "Opening Day" at Fenway Park, and then stop at the Wayside Inn for some things. After we would do the high speed blast with the tail wind and the downhills into Waltham on Route 20. Much to my surprise, there was no traffic on 20. Very unusual for one of the most traveled roads in the state. For most of the ride back, it was closed to traffic because of the flooding. It was like riding on a huge bike trail!
Check out the photos, Its hard to recognize the road without the heavy traffic that we see most of the time.
All in all, A Great Ride!


The "Babe's" house in view.









Car Free, Route 20, April 4th, 2010, 78 degrees!





Dream Like!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rider Beware!

This weekends forecast is one of warm temperatures and clear sky's. Cyclist will be out in full force for the Easter Sunday ride.
As weather warms, cycling tights and leg warmers are put away for colder days and shorts will be the fashion of the street for the day.
Riding a Recumbent is different in many ways. The wind may see less of you in your aerodynamic riding position, But Mr. Sunshine now has full view.
Early spring sun is extra strong. Laying down as if a chaise lounge, exposes your legs more then if you were riding an up-right style bicycle.
No one looks forward to being sun burned. Sun screen from your short line to your knees this weekend will be important.
Take the time to cover up and you wont be sorry.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

video

April Fools!

There is a number of silly and dumb things that you have the license to do today on the Holiday of Fools.
Planting your crop today would be one of them here in New England. As a matter of fact, that's where the Holiday got its name.
Farmers that thought they could get a jump on the growing season were labeled as fools for the reason that here, it can freeze on any day over the next month.
Now that growing your own food has become second to shopping for it, the day has been turned over to the pranksters as a no bars held day for pulling the wool over the eye's of the folks you come in contact with over the day.

The list is huge, but when it all comes out, by taking the time for fooling someone, as it always seems to work out,the only fool is the fooler.

How about doing something really nice for someone today. It could surprise them more then any trick. They may think its a joke, Then who will be the fool?



Feeling Foolish? Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Fools'_Day
 
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