Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Last Day of May

What a beautiful last day of May! It was Perfect! Hot in the sun and cool in the shade. Bright sun made for a great BOSRUG adventure of the rolling hills in the upper Charles River Watershed. The smells in the air were of full late Spring splendor.
Rhododendrons have popped and could have not looked nicer.
Three riders and 37 miles, our stop for lunch was at the Eagle Brook Saloon in Norfolk,Ma. Top of the special list, Stuffies! Of course we needed to do our job and taste test our favorite light lunch beer snack.
Again, served on a Scallop shell, there wasn't much clam bits or clam taste. Filling and fun to eat, these Stuffies were not my favorite or "Special" although they were on the top of their daily Special list.

On the ride back home, we stopped at one of our favorite farms, Jane and Pauls for eggs and vegetables for the post ride Deep Dish Pizza.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ride Announcement, Sunday Morning, 5-29

Meet us in Waltham AT 8:30 AM, across the street from the Waltham Watch Factory on Crescent Street for a ride down the "River Walk" bicycle path to the Bunker Hill Monument and back.
This is a ride that Geoff and I did last year on this date and found the streets along the river closed off for the "Run to Remember" half marathon.
RSVP at 508-333-4056 if your running late or can not find the starting point in Waltham.
Hard rain will cancel the ride. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Add This One to Your List

There is a new museum at the Watch Factory in Waltham.
Known as the Waltham Watch Company, the building is now a combination of office space, living quarters and retail space soon to come.
At the main entrance, remembering that past, there is a very nicely done collection of tools, watches, clocks and photos from the buildings past. Displayed beautifully, the little display gives me the feeling of a time in Walthams past when things were done right.

This is a must see and is open for free to the public any time the building is open for business.

Employee Bicycle Parking

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ride Announcement, 5-25-11

Slow roller around our favorite hills and byways starting in Dover Center at the library parking lot on Dedham Street at 10:30am,Wednesday. Bring cash and a lock for lunch.
RSVP at 508-333-4056 Hope to see you there.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


The first thing that comes to a new recumbent customer's mind is if you can bee seen on the road. The fact of the matter is that you are seen more because of the oddity of the machine. Drivers sometimes cant take their eye off of you.
Because drivers for the most part are not really sure what their looking at, they pass at greater distances and give the rider more space.
That said, if the driver isn't looking at the road, they will not see anything. Riders talk about how bad it is now with texting and emails being read behind the wheel but quickly has been forgotten that drivers have always been pre-occupied while operating their car. Years ago without seat belts, kids could climb over seats and distract the driver that was sometimes smoking. It was a time when there were no bicycle paths or lanes. It has gotten better over time because drivers now know what its like to pass a bicycle.
As riders we know dangerous intersections. We know where to be along side trucks and how to "Be Seen."
I have always gone with the understanding that I should always ride as though invisible. Never expecting that I have been seen. Eye contact with drivers before crossing in front. Its only when I forget, thing can get bad.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

8:30am Watch Factory, Waltham, 5-22-11

We are going to meet tomorrow morning for a mixed group of riders for a ride to the North End for coffee and pastry at Mikes.
Ride starts at the parking lot across from the Watch Factory on Crescent St in Waltham. This will be a slow going, stick together ride.
The ride will follow the "River Walk" bicycle trail to the TD North Garden and if time will head over to Charlestown for a loop around the Bunker Hill Monument.
Up right bicycles invited. Pass the word. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Best Tool for the Job

Reprinted from 3-11-2010

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!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Choosing the Right Recumbent

Choosing the right recumbent can be difficult. It sometimes takes having to buy a couple of bikes over time to really get what you should have bought in the first place.
Many buyers shop with price in mind. They have a limit as to how much they want to spend and if they go over they will only have to answer to them self's after all is said and done. Spending mony to lighten the bike up is what I have done with cheap bikes and when I was finished, afterall the money I spent, I could have bought the bike of my dreams to began with.
I'm sure all readers have bought something at one time realizing that they should have bought "up" and in the long run could have actually saved them money. Cameras come to my mind.
Because designers are not always bicycle mechanics, its not always easy to get a recumbent that makes sense.
Small rear wheels for Recumbents are a bad idea. Good for folding bicycles but the whole road bicycle industry is based around the 26" wheel and if a smaller wheel is chosen for the job of powering the bicycle, it will not have a large enough gear ratio to keep up in traffic or keep up with bikes that have large wheels. Unless the chainset is equipped with a larger then commonly available sized large chain ring, the bicycle will be too low geared and too slow.
Suspension is a great idea for cars, motorcycles and off road bicycles, but the simple road bicycle design is forgoton when it comes to climbing hills. Shock pivot points wear out and are not always available in the future. Shocks fail and for most of the riding, reading the road, you can do just fine without.The weight of a bicycle, especialy recumbents is so important with our stop and go world here in New England. Heavier bicycles are fine for the flat, but dabbling at speeds from 0-8mph, you need a light bike and a light wheelset. Smaller wheels can be light as long as their under 1" cross section. Most small wheels actually weigh more then lightweight road wheels. Imagen having a wheel made of stone. How long would it take to bring it up to speed and how long would it take to stop it?
The proof is in the pudding. All of my Recumbent events have small wheeled recumbent riders with shocks dropping off the back of the ride. Slower bikes are harder to ride, and a heaver bike is harder to climb hills.
Customers need to buy any item from people who use them. In the case of bicycles, for the most part, all the sales people I have worked with over the past 30 years have been honest folk. They would never sell anything that they thought the customer would be unhappy with and have to return. Honesty is the best policy with both party's and when it comes to buying a Recumbent, ask yourself exactly what are you planning to do with the bike and let the experts help you decide.

No Sun in Sight

One look at the ten day weather forecast will show you that were in for a long stretch of cloudy and sometimes wet weather. One can only guess how green it will get and how little riding will be going on.
Only the diligent with ether places to go, miles to train, and the "need" to get out will be seen on the streets of Southern New England for what looks like a while.
Tips on how to deal have been covered in this blog time and time again. Embracing the rain and understanding that staying warm is the only thing important.
I remember me and my friend Chris passing a fellow in a kayak while pedaling under water, close to neck deep at Lake Waban in Wellesley. We were not trying to stay dry. That was the same day we took cover in a shed because of the thunder and lighting. Moments later, the shed got hit.
I don't remember the next day of riding, but I will always remember that one.
Rain always makes things different and thus, interesting. Stories to tell later in life and a remembrance of when we had a chance to really be alive.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ben!!!

posted by Danni

So, if the credit card receipt can be believed, a year ago today Scott finished building my bike and I took Bender (Ben) home for the first time. I find it hard to remember what life was like before I had my recumbent. I have had so many wonderful experiences and I've met so many wonderful people because of my bike, some in passing and some who I believe will be friends for life, that I don't even want to think of how things would be if I hadn't bought Ben. Scott definitely knew what he was doing when, much to Brad's horror, he said to me, "I'm putting in the order for your bike I need a $50 deposit." My response, "If I don't like the bike, do I get my money back?" "Of course," said Mr. Chamberlain. And that was that! I know Scott knew that I would like my bike when he ordered it, but I wonder if he had any idea just HOW MUCH I would end up LOVING my bike!!!!

On the first attempt to get my bike it wasn't ready. I ended up going to Brad's place where he trusted me to take apart his bike as I learned how to change a tire. (I'm sure that trust had everything to do with the beer he was drinking. I wouldn't have trusted me. I was pretty inept! ;-) The next day my daughter and I returned to see Scott who was just finishing putting my bike together. He took me for my test ride. I rode Ben for the first time while Scott joked and kidded with Alexa. I was hooked. I definitely had the 'recumbent silly smile' going on that day!!

Here are some highlights from the year with Ben:

- Wow!! This is so much fun and nothing hurts. How do you find the will power to stop riding?

- Hey, there are 15 minutes left of sunlight. I can make it to the grist mill and back.

- Yikes! It really is nasty doing the hills on a recumbent. Splat - onto the pavement!!! There goes the first mirror!!

- I'm SO READY for clipless pedals. Splat Again! Ooops! There goes the second mirror!

- My first morning group ride - breakfast in Waltham. The restaurant is closed!! Bummer!! But the muffins from the shop up the street are yummy!! (Note to self - bring an extra Cliff bar when riding with Brad just in case it is necessary ;-)

- CRASH!!! Hit by a car on my brand new bike. "Don't worry about me, I'm fine! IS MY BIKE O.K?!!!" Ben gets a ride home in the back of an ambulance. I have some VERY impressive, colorful bruises.

- First time at Scott's place. Scott makes fresh homemade bread and yummy chicken!! Brad sweats gallons in the extreme heat as he works hard at making Ben better than new after the accident. Ben is a tank!! Brad and Scott are my heroes!!!!

- My first ride near the coast - North Shore. Lunch at Woodman's - fried clams and beer. A very good day!

- A ride to the abbey where the nuns make and sell chocolate. A really cranky nun serves us. Scott gets a nail puncture, through not only his tire but his rim too, immediately after making a joke about the nun. Coincidence? I think not!!

- Graffiti at the trellis. EXTREMELY COOL!!!!! We barely make it back to the Wayside Inn because of the heat. A beer never tasted so good.

- The Fourth of July!! A wonderful ride! I meet Susie for the first time. She thinks I'm a bitch since I don't chat with her because I'm listening to music (exaggerating a wee bit ;-) She doesn't realize that without music I don't make it up the hills (not exaggerating at all!!) We stop to watch model airplanes. I see my first wild toucan!!! An extremely yummy BBQ! A killer game of croquet ensues where I completely kick Brad's ass - o.k. I'll admit it, I cheated ;-) An amazing night watching fireworks at the tower with Scott! My light dies on the way down the mountain. Where the heck am I? Better yet, where the hell is Scott and why did he leave me!!!!!!

- Bacchetta weekend!! Susie buys a recumbent. I guess she likes me after all. A really hot, long ride on Sunday! As usual, I wipe out on my bike. I need more touch up paint and yet another mirror. (Scott makes me buy backup mirrors for when I break the next one ;-)

- Bonfires, beer, and foosball at Scott's house. I'm REALLY not good at foosball, but I like it just the same. I'm a sucker for humiliation.

- An amazingly gorgeous ride in Ipswich. Sunny onshore - a HUGE thunderhead just offshore! Awe inspiring!!! (That is as long as it stays off shore and I don't get wet. It does!!!) A lovely picnic by the water!

- Teaching Susie how to ride her recumbent on the Nashua River rail trail. An interesting day ;-)

- NO!!!!! NOT the Rte 2 rotary!!! Scott's trying to kill us!!!! Luckily our friendship survived that one. After successfully getting through that ordeal, we'll be friends forever ;-)

- WAIT!!!! Do I REALLY fit into size 4 jeans?!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Ben?)

- Too wet to ride. Let's can tomatoes!!

- What? You want me to write the blog while you're in Spain? You've got to be kidding. Oh well, I guess so. If I have to!!!

- Susie and I go to the BikesNotBombs event and pedal a cider press. We decide we are hungry and go to a BYOB restaurant. We bring a very interesting bottle of wine!!! (Giggles ;-)

- Riding with the Sudbury uprights. WOW!!!!! Recumbents are FAST!!!!! Oh wait, not on the up-hills!!!

- Scott's beer around the world Christmas party. Great food!! Great people!!

- Lots of snow. Missing riding!

- More snow. Missing riding even more!!

- O.k. enough with the snow!!!!! I'm going through withdrawal. I need to ride NOW!!!!!!!

- I accidentally sign up for riding 100 miles in 30 days and it's still freezing out!!! Yikes. Oh well. I guess somebody is trying to tell me to get my sorry ass back on my bike and go riding!!!

- What is a stuffie, anyway? Oh . . . yummy!!!

- Did that hawk just get that dove? I hope not. I would cry!!!

- Hmmmm! I've never ridden in the rain before! I can't see a thing. (Note to self - next time bring something with which to wipe my glasses.) And my outerwear bike gear works perfectly! The outside of the gear is wet, but I am completely dry. I love good gear!!!!!

- I nudge Ben just as I am putting a coat in the closet near where he is kept. NOOOOOO, don't fall onto the tile floor. Damn!!!! Yet another mirror!!! (Text to Scott – I am out of spare mirrors . . . AGAIN!!)

- Ahhhh!!! The lilacs are in bloom. I can think of only one thing that smells better! Can there be a better time of the year to ride?

It has been an amazing year with Ben! Thank you, Brad, for agreeing to help me buy a bike and for introducing me to recumbents and Scott. Thank you, Scott, for being such a wonderful person and creating such an amazing social culture for recumbent riders. For all of you with whom I have already ridden, I've enjoyed it! For those of you who I have yet to ride with, I look forward to the pleasure of meeting you.

Happy Heads-up Riding!! Enjoy the season!!

And do slow down to smell the flowers (especially the lilacs) as you ride by - I don't care if atom bomb says it is dangerous ;-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rainy Day Riding

When ever I feel down about a day off when the weather is wet, I always consider the alternative, working on a wet day.
Business is slower with more time to "catch up" but being home without the need for busy work and doing things to "look" busy is always better. I have always felt that when its slow, its totally the fault of the employees.
It has nothing to do with lack of sun, its all our fault. Or so we are made to believe.
In the United Kingdom its wet a lot. When you look back at catalogs from the 30's, all the bikes came with "Mudguards". They invented the word. Fenders to us, its just the way it was and if they didn't come with fenders, the bicycle was for riding indoors on a track.
The comfort sport of Recumbent Cycling for the most part is fender or mudguard free. Rain free too!
Announce a Mountain Bike festival and it could be raining rocks and you would have a huge turnout. Rain doesn't stop mountain bikers and a stick in the eye is a badge of courage.
The threat of rain let alone a drop stops Recumbent riders in their tracks. Ohhhhh! It loooks liiikee RAIN!
Looking out the window from the house or a car is always worse than actually being in it. As long as you clean your bike after the ride things will be fine. Reduced speeds with the fear of slip has you seeing and enjoying your outdoor experience more. The enhanced smells with the wet trees and flowers makes for a sensual enjoyable adventure that makes coming home to a dry place all the nicer.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box and the Recumbent Cyclist

Recumbent riders are usually folks that think outside the box. Considering a different way of doing things always offers a wider more full style of living and with an open mind allows one to see things with a far greater prospective.
People as a whole follow a style that allows themselves to be the person they want to be. Many cyclists dress and play the roll of pro riders, wearing the "Kit" and riding as if it was their job. Although most will never race and if they do, will never experience the level of extreme discipline of pro racing, they like the look and act the part as if they do. Heavy stuff, but when opinions are spoken about practices of pro riders getting by in their extra tough job, their opinion never takes into account the lack of ones own personal experience.
Many riders would never ride a recumbent. Many have opinions about what is like to ride one. Evan a rear view mirror that could save their lives would never be found on most riders bicycles just because of the way they look.
Dress up is fun, we did it as kids. Some of my friends hurt themselfs jumping off of roofs with a bed sheet tied to their sholders because they thought that it was all it would take to fly, like Superman.
Flying is easy if you have a plane. Pro racing is not even with a $8000,00 bicycle, $600.00 worth of clothing and 60 miles of riding a day.
Playing the roll of a Recumbent cyclist isn't hard. All you need is a recumbent, spare time and an open mind. Thinking outside the box will have you in short order not only looking the part but actually being, a "Recumbent Cyclist."

Thinking Outside the Box, 5 Speed Jack's Bass Bike

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ride Anouncement. Wednesday May 11

Come join us for another Bosrug adventure around the rolling lanes and byways of the Metro West.
Ride starts a 10:00 am in Dover center at the library parking lot and will head out on some of our favorite roads around the Charles River and beyond.
Bring cash and a lock for a light lunch stop.
The ride will be about 30 miles and return back to the parking lot around 2:00.
Hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two Days on the Road

How exciting! Heading off for a two day Bosrug adventure for an overnight at the Wayside Inn in historic Sudbury Ma.!
The weather forecasted did not look good. Rain on and off and cloudy.
Packing for rain is always more gear and more of a consideration. As we packed, the sun came out and really did not look as if it was going to go back in.
The plan for the day was to stay on back roads for a s long as possible except for the crossing of Route 9 and the Mas pike. Boston has a band of highly traveled roads heading West out of Boston so to cross from the South to the North, a Cyclist needs to know the best crossing for the safest roads.
We headed out after rush hour and rode south on some of the prettiest roads in Southern New England. The Spring color was at its peak. Flowering trees with every glance and every corner. The Lilac's have popped and the Forsythia is just now starting to go by.
The plan was to stop at the John Stone Inn in Ashland for a light lunch and be to the Wayside by 6:00 to meet with Danni for a picnic that she was preparing.
The text on my cell phone said "Be Hungry!" so lunch would just be soup and a beer, outdoors, because the sun never went in. How perfect. Mid to high 70's with a light wind. the smell of the air was like Heaven!
We arrived at the Inn at exactly 3:00 (Check in time!) and dumped our gear and headed out again for a bottle of wine for the room. The only spot was down old RT 20, one of the busiest roads around.
We made is safely back to the Inn and asked for a safe place to keep the Recumbents for the evening. See the photo:
The Henry Ford bedroom

At 6:30 the text on the cell phone said, "Were Here!" We went down stares and found Danni and her lovely Daughter, Alexa with huge smiles. Too chilly now for an outside picnics, we went to the car and got the large cooler and 3 large bags of dinner for a indoor picnic in room #9.
Something I have done before with other friends and family, we love to bring our dinner and have our own space.
A school night for Alexa, we cleaned up the room and packed the cooler to return to the car.
Much to our suprize, as we passed the Ford Bedroom, the tables and bicycles had been pushed aside and there about 18 people dancing with a fife and drum. Colonial Dancing, we were pulled into the room and added to the group. We really had no choice in the matter. Danni went right to it as if she not only knew that it was going to happen but as if she belonged. Alexa and I just looked on until we too got pulled in.
Wonderful! The dancers did not care that I had no idea what I was doing.

You don't need a place far away for a overnight, You just need the Wayside Inn!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ride Anouncment, Wednesday 5-4-11

Meet us for a 30 mile roller around historic Sudbury on Wednesday May 5th starting at the Wayside Inn's old grist mill on Wayside Inn Road, just down the street from the Inn.
Ride starts at 11:00 and will stop at the Horseshoe Pub in Hudson for a light lunch.
Bring locks and cash for our stop.
Rain cancels the ride, but light drizzle will only make it better.
RSVP at 508-333-4056.
Hope to see you there.
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