Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Have I got a 3 Decker for you

Nope not sandwich, but places to live. Now that the Grand Tour season is over and riding will become somewhat lessened, I heat out in the MINI for another passion of mine. Still a treasure hunt, but one that has no official end. When I get done, it is done. Waymarking is the name of this game. Go find someplace for one of the 1080 categories, take some pictures, write something and post at Waymarking.com.


Today hitting Worcester for places on the National Register of Historic Places. Concentrating my efforts on the Vernon Hill area.

Vernon Hill

Part of the fun is researching why places are on the register. Some of the reasons could be the person (like George Washington), the architect (Frank Llyod Wright), style, or an event. For the most part Vernon Hill was primarily event driven from the standpoint of the development of the area and the folks moving into the area. Vernon Hill area is the east of downtown Worcester. The Irish began settling the area in the 1820's to build the Blackstone Canal. By the 1890's the area was attracting Lithuanians, Poles, Swedes, Russian Jews and French Canadians because of the wire steel mills located not to far away. When the electric railway systems ran on Millbury St, the area exploded with the 3 decker properties. Folks were able to live further away from work because of the easy transportation. Automobiles replaced the street cars in the 1930's and the Great Depression halted further development in the area. The mills began to shut down over the next 20 to 25 years until the last one closed in the 70's. So that's the story of Vernon Hill, at least my take.


I probably hit 40 to 50 places this past weekend, mostly 3 Deckers. I figured once you have seen one you have seen one too many. In many respects this is true, but as I drove thru the various sub neighborhoods one could see subtle changes to the make up and the design of the houses. Many of them have had the front porches and balconies removed and siding has been replaced with aluminum or vinyl, and satellite dishes mounted to the sides. What surprised me is how clean the areas were. The folks, and they are diverse, do take some kind of pride where they live.

On thing for sure, I wouldn't want to live here in the winter. This place is steep, not a lot of parking at the properties, so they have to park on the street. Snow plowing has gotta be a bitch and getting up some of these hills, the same.

Here's a few spattering of the Deckers and other places.

First Decker of the Day

Hunt, David, Three-Decker - Worcester MA

Upsala Street School - Built 1894

Upsala Street School - Worcester MA

View of Euclid Montrose Historic District

Euclid Avenue--Montrose Street Historic District - Worcester MA

Euclid Avenue--Montrose Street Historic District - Worcester MA

View Street Historic District

View Street Historic District - Worcester MA

View Street Historic District - Worcester MA

Perry Avenue Historic District

Perry Avenue Historic District - Worcester MA

Patrick McGuiness Three Decker - Built in 1908 - a wee bit different than all of the rest.

McGuinness, Patrick, Three-Decker - Worcester MA

Providence St Firehouse - Built in 1899

Providence Street Firehouse

Providence St Historic District

Providence Street Historic District - Worcester MA

Providence Street Historic District - Worcester MA

Woodford Street Historic District

Woodford Street Historic District - Worcester MA

Ward Street School - Built 1898

Ward Street School-Millbury Street - Worcester MA

Crompton Loom Works - its original portion dating to 1860, the complex is one of the oldest surviving industrial sites in the city. The facility was established by George Crompton, whose father William had invented the first power loom for weaving fancy fabrics

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What I expected most of the 3 Deckers to look like. These were far and few between. The McPartland Three Decker was built in 1888.

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Classic example - Vincent Kantratowicz, a wire worker owned this 3 decker. It was built in 1930

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Another nice one

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Look down Dorchester St

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See them all CLICK HERE


Monday, October 27, 2014

Lucky 7 - Double Down Tour Results

After traveling to 273 towns for a total of 290 points I finished 7th in the GLMC Double Down Tour. Somewhere I lost 4 points, but it did not effect my placing. Another week of traveling I suppose I could have moved a couple of notches. There is always next season.

Cudo's to the Edkins, who I believe I had met during the 2008 Minuteman 100



2014 GLMC Results



Monday, October 20, 2014

The Finishing Touches

Sunday and Monday I put the finishing touches on 2 Grand Tours. The first one was Team Strange's Anniversary Tour, involving spelling TEAM STRANGE AIRHEADS 30 with town enter signs or post offices using the first letter of the town. There was an alternate method spelling the phrase in the least mount of towns such as using TEAneck NJ for the first 3 letters of TEAM. I grabbed the last town for that method in IRA, VT and was getting ready to post my results, deciding to reread the rules. There would be only 1 winner with this method and all others that submitted this way would get zilch so I opted to fill in the missing letters.


Needed 2 E's and 1 A, Sunday grabbed Attleboro, East Greenwich and Exeter.


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For this one I had to ride down the sidewalk and park right in front of the door. One person said I looked I was all prepared for Ebola, because of my one piece riding suit. I smiled. Others just gave me this kinda of look that my bike did not belong where it was.

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Slideshow of all 20 towns and routes (route 30) CLICK HERE

The President Tour sounded easy in the beginning of the season. Grab towns and/or counties that are named for Presidents, earn 1 point. Get the birth places find evidence of such get 4 points, limited to 5. Big Bonus locations (10 Points), the closest location for me was Washington DC and the Washington Monument. 30 points for a picture of you, your bike and any living current or ex US President. For both of these tours, you had to score at least 25 points to finish.


Finishing this tour up I grabbed Lincoln RI on Sunday and headed into the Boston area for John F Kennedy's birthplace in Brookline and George H Bush in Milton.


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CLICK THIS for the places I grabbed for this tour. Less than 20 pictures.


Sent both in on Monday night. I don't have a clue how many folks are competing in these. The Double Down tour has at least 100 participants and results will be announced October 25th or so.


What do I get for these, entry into some prize pools, a pin, a T-Shirt and some great roads getting there.






Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Last Double Down

Well this could be the last time
This could be the last time
Maybe the last time
I don't know. Oh no. Oh no
Well, this could be the last time
Mike Jagger /Keith Richards ~ Rolling Stones ~ 1965

At least it is the last one for this year. This was right in my back yard and almost forgot to get it. Keep saying I can pick that village up any time.

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And so ends the Double Down Tour for me. Captured 290 points and visited 273 towns. 




The Double Down Tour is sponsored by the Glacier Lakes Motorcycle Club based out of South Dakota. I have been participating in them for the last 5 years. Lots of fun and you go places you wouldn't normally go to. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cape Disappointment - Run for Points.

Earlier in the week I had planned this ride and was amazed at the amount of tons that qualify for the Double Down Tour were on the Cape. Figured I throw in some post offices for the Team Strange Anniversay 30 Grand Tour made it an almost must go ride. Morning comes and there is a bit a chill in the house, so I put on a long sleeve wicking shirt, figuring my arms would be cold. Got the GPS's ready, put everything in the little cloth briefcase and walked out the door to the get the bike ready. BAM it's only 7am and the temperature is in the 70's, then the chilly crisp air one would expect in Fall. Damn the leaves are falling off the trees and it feels like August. Must be Gores fault.


Entries for the Double Down Tour need to be mailed on Monday, Sept 30th, making this the last hurrah for towns. On the road by 8am heading for Rehoboth, MA Post Office for the Anniversary tour and then Assonet, MA for both the pizza place and Post Office.

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Now I am not going make you read about all the places I gathered today because A> they are pretty boring B> The skies are blue blue blue and there are not clouds, making for some piss poor photos C> The Cape just ain't that interesting.

Here's Assonet Pizza and it is for lease. This doesn't surprise me. Assonet has a population of 4,000 or so. Looking at Google Maps there has to be 50+ pizza places in the area. If I take a quick math stab at this figure rent, electric and help runs 2500/month (that's on the cheap end) or 30K a year. Figure average pizza in 15 with 10 margin, to break even they gotta sell 3000 pizzas a year to break even. So with the 4000 folks in Assonet for all of the places to break even would be 3000 * 50 or 150,000 pizza or 37 pizzas a person a year or 1.5 pizzas a week for each person in Assonet. This in not families this each person from age 1 month to 100+years old. I just don't understand how pizza places stay open in so many numbers in a given area. I guess Assonet Pizza figured this out too, but their bank account was empty and then the light went off.

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The Post Office was right across the street.

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Passed thru Freetown, stopped in Mattapoisett.

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While we are not on the Cape, we are close, a local land mark in Mattapoisett. I pulled up on the side walk for this picture and still had to step into traffic for the picture. It was right by an intersection so I had the traffic light to regulate the flow of vehicles. Given that a lady still felt compelled to remind me I was standing on the road with her horn and a hand gesture. I returned it.

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If you pass thru Bourne you can't miss the Buzzards Bay Railroad Bridge. Can't you picture going to the movies to see Pirates of Buzzards Bay ?? Great name. Bridge was built in 1933 by the Public Works Administration. When it was built it was the longest vertical lift span in the world. Today it is the 2nd longest.

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Headed for Pocasset, MA for the Pocasset Nail Salon, picture purposely omitted. However did stop at Hoagie's Diner.

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What a great place to have a meal. Classic Mountain View Diner built in 1954. It was originally the Berlin Diner in New Jersey and then moved to Connecticut in 2001 and then relocated to Pocasset in 2004. Now the diner itself is pretty neat but I had 2 eggs flipped and broken with hash, home fries and sourdough toast. Hash was home made and so good I didn't put any ketchup on it. Cooked perfectly with just a hint of charring making it just a little crispy. The eggs were also perfect, with a slight browning on the edges. Waitresses were a pleasure.

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I really should have checked the focus on the plate, but I was too much in a hurray to dive in and eat.

Riding down 28 see a sign for Sippewissett. That's a hat trick town and figured I would follow the road to see if I could find a sign. BINGO

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Next stop is the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Established in 1930, it is the largest independent oceanographic research institution in the US.

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Passed thru Falmouth, on the green they were holding a car show. What made this different was Ferraris, Maserati's and other such exotics. Really wanted to stop but I had other places to go.

Fast forward to Hyannisport Club. Some wiki info. The Hyannisport Club is a private club with an 18 hole golf course, located at 2 Irving Avenue (at Scudder Avenue) in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. The club was founded in 1897 and the golf course was finalized in 1903. The course is an original Donald Ross design which plays 6,257 yards from the blue tee markers. While the course is short in terms of yardage, it is often called "the toughest 6200 yards in golf" because of the famous Hyannisport wind which usually blows directly off of Nantucket Sound. The club boasts some of the most scenic views on Cape Cod and is known for having water visible on every hole although coincidentally, there are no water hazards on the course. The course is located adjacent to the Kennedy Compound and the Kennedy family have long been members of the club.

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One of the scenic views

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Then the drudgery. Thru Hyannis, the Dennis's and Bass River. Wanted a picture of the store but it would have been to difficult to get the bike up on the sidewalk for the picture. Instead I grabbed this one and then road down the sidewalk right passed some folks having lunch on the tables outside a little café. I don't even think they noticed me.

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My turn around point was 20 miles away in Wellfleet. Once I hit the movie theater, I turned west on 6 and headed back to the traffic. Really there is some beautiful ocean views along the way and nice lighthouses, they just weren't in the cards today.

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On the way back off the Cape I hit Dennis again and did not remember if I got Dennis itself. Grabbed a pic of the Dennis Library and turned off on this side street because they GPS said I could turn around this way. The road got narrow, kind of choppy tarmac, just like it was going to turn to dirt and then this. I had a hard enough time turning the bike around and I wasn't going to see how deep the hole really was. I wasn't that far into this to not turn around. Wouldn't want to get the FJR dirty.

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Hit the Cummaquid Golf Club. I just love those Indians and their names. Great for tours like this.

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Picture of the Sagamore Bridge crossing Cape Cod Canal. You can't tell from the picture, but the sun is dropping fast.

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Off the Cape and riding on RT 6 was brutal because the sun was directly in your eyes. Glad I don't travel this road frequently. Can't imagine what it is like in the winter with the snow and ice working as reflectors.

Hit Middleborough High School. Decision time, head to Elmwood or head home. Elmwood is only 12 miles away, so really not that far.

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Elmwood satisfied both the Double Down with the florist shop and the Team Stange with the Post Office. Actually inched the bike forward for the PO shot.

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One more stop in Rayhnam for the Post Office and 35 miles to home. Almost skipped this but according to the GPS it was only an additional 2 miles, I think it was more.

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Pulled into home right around 8:30 or so to eat and then head for the airport in Boston to pick up my daughter Dani. MeAsWe told me their flight was changed and they were coming in tomorrow so I got to throw my legs up on the couch and watch the LMN Channel (Lunatics, Maniacs and Necrophiliacs) movie MeAsWe had on.


Click >>> Slideshow for previously filmed scenes not shown.





Trip was 321 miles, good for getting some points and a great breakfast, other than that it was Cape Disappointment.

T 2014 09 27