Sunday, July 27, 2008
These things are unbelievably comfortable and very very cool. Much better than I ever expected and I will always have a pair when riding now. And yes I expect to endure some ribbing from some of my friends and others will say "It is about time". If you do long distance riding you owe it to yourself to try these.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Pick up my bike and off to home to get ready for the trek. Don my new riding pants and fill my new tank bang. Geez it’s big, I bought for the big 5000 coming up. We are all set, bike is running, GPS is acquiring satellites and I am raring to go. GPS says arriving destination. WOW that was a fast trip. Out of the driveway and onto the Mass Pike. First impression of the mesh riding pants is unbelievably favorable from a cooling aspect and they are unbelievably comfortable.
Thomas Cole was an early 1800 painter and founded the Hudson River School of Art. At the VC, I had my first stumble of the day. The person manning the ticket counter, a very pretty lady and my age too, didn’t know what I was talking about when I asked for the stamp. I showed her my book and she said she has never seen such a thing. As I was looking around there was a brochure with the sample of the sites stamp. She is very accommodating and starts going through the drawers looking for the stamp. Ahh an ink pad but it is black, another ink pad and this one is brown, we are getting hotter. Viola the stamp. Set the date, stamp the 2 books and the index card and realize the date is wrong. She immediately apologizes and wants to correct the problem. I say it is close enough. I had these visions of her riding off into the sunset on the back of my bike as we visited the rest of the parks that day. SLAP up the side of my head. I was here for about 30 minutes just gabbing away with her.
I am a little stylishly late for lunch with the Vanderbilt’s. Now this place is big, and the land around the estate is certainly large, but I can’t say I was in awe as I drove up. Now I am sure the architect of the place would be disappointed with that comment and the Vanderbilt’s would be out right pissed, so I will keep my thoughts to myself. There is a pay for tour, which I don’t take, but I do walk around the grounds.
Out of there I review my print out of the stamps for the day and I realize there are 2 stamps that I did not get at FDR’s, so I head back that way. At FDR’s I question the person in the book store and they said the stamps I am looking for don’t exist. I press a bit and show here my list, however she indicates she is not going to help me and it is closing time anyways.
The stamps for the day are done and I am headed for the Eveready Diner for a bite to eat. Since I was late at the Vanderbilt’s, they snubbed me and didn’t provide any food. A sign on the way to FDR’s grab my attention about a historic train station. Train stations are like drive ins so I head there. I pull into this side street expecting to find the train station here and find this place.
I am back at the Vanderbilt Mansion. I will say the road from the carriage house was far more impressive than the main road to the mansion.
Back of the grounds of the VM and turn at the sign for the historic train station again but go all the way to the river this time. Here is where the Vanderbilt’s got off in Hyde Park when they took the train.
At the Eveready I order chili and a meatloaf sandwich. The chili was very very good but the meatloaf sandwich was unbelievably good. Bill (not me) is sitting at the counter and during my meal we have a conversation like we have known each other for a lifetime. This is all part of the experience of riding and a very common occurrence.
With a full stomach I head for home. Now when you plan roads in MapSource you never know if the roads are going to be the right ones to travel on. Are they going to take you thru downtowns that are just stop and go, thru roads that are major shopping areas or are they going to be idyllic and serendipitous in nature. Well I hit the jack pot and if you are a rider, try these roads; you won’t be disappointed (http://tinyurl.com/6q9smv ). As I travel this path I come across many of those feared critters, the deer. At one spot along this great road, I spot a deer running on the other side of the guardrail next to the road, ducking under the branches, just looking for a good spot to make a quick left and take me down. They are so suicidal.
It’s dark out and estimated time of arrival home is 10pm. Now remember in the beginning of the day, I was in a riding funk and didn’t know if I really wanted to ride today. Think of what I would have missed if I had listened to my mood of the morning. At Ludlow, I pull into the rest area on the pike to be entertained by this event. Best seats in the house btw.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I have them since I don't have anymore to chase. Today (well really not writing this on Saturday)I visited the last of the 27 HD dealers for the Ride New England 2008 Tour in Essex Junction VT. A couple of my friends have completed this and the dealership was excited that they were the last ones to sign my card. Mine was anti-climatic in that sense, all they wanted to do is close. But heck after about 3,000 miles I am eligible to win a new HD come January.
The overall objective was to get stamps and signatures from 27 dealerships thru out New England. More can be found here CLICK THIS.
A slide show can be found here of my visits Click here to watch "Ride-New-England-Tour"
My tour card.
Where the dealers are located. Note the Caribou is the ball buster one.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Here are some of the things that I remember about my dad. Making that Pinewood Derby car in the basement, watching him rebuild the screens on the front porch and how he carved the curvatures into the wood frames to match the hand hewed beams in front of the house, the Ballantine Ale can sliding across the glass table and him telling me it was magic, the time he shut my fingers in the green Chrysler and told me to stop fooling around (he didn't know my fingers were jammed in the door), the money he lent me for my laptop for TDS Systems, the money he lent me that enabled us to keep our house during my unemployment days, him trying to teach me how to balance my checkbook before going off to college, the meticulous preparation of bacon, eggs and dollar size pancakes on Sunday, grilling flank steak on that square grill that had the criss cross grate (I have never seen a grill like that since), putting the round Scotch cooler in the back of the car to go to St Cloud Swim Club on Sunday for a cook out, Black and White Scotch, the glasses from Daytona with his signature in gold, driving to Daytona Finishing to work during the summer, helping me to get the TR3 started, showing me how good trichlorethelyn is as a degreasing agent, him punching me over my long hair in high school, getting me that Fender Jazz Bass, picking me up at Marsha's before I could drive every Friday and Saturday night, the 63 Bonneville, never throwing away the dried up felt tip pins in his pocket protector, the pocket protector, trying to teach me to use a slide rule, drawing train set ups on paper, the New Years Eve parties at Winding Way, the fastidious placing of the lights on the Christmas tree, the pink and white portable TV on the gold stand, getting me a drink of water and having to climb all those stairs and walk all the way down the hall to that room that seemed like it was in a different part of the house (how the heck did he hear me), Parliament cigarettes, carving the turkey at Thanksgiving, cutting rye bread by hand with a knife making precisely thin sliced slices, making ice creams sodas after driving to South Orange to get Gruinings ice cream, chocolate cream soda, making toasted peanut and butter sandwiches with cheese bread, turning and replicating the spindles for the banister in the house, sleeping in his chair (their were multiple chairs over the years), going to his reunion at Carnegie Tech, driving me to Carnegie Tech for the college interview (that was the only school I didn't get accepted into), suggesting that I should become a dentist (should of listened to him), asking me for a cigarette then taking the whole pack of Luckies from me telling me I shouldn't smoke, mowing the lawn the correct way, trimming the hedges (I never figured out how he did them so level, but that goes along with the slicing rye bread), watching the landing on the moon (he was particularly attentive to this because there was a part he designed and made on board), spending the money to fly me home on Thanksgiving so I could see Rita, the white shoes and white belt, flying the Dauntless Diver gas powered airplane that I earned selling stationary for the Junior Achievement Club, making the guy deliver the plane, raking leaves into the gully along the front of the house and burning them, the green hat he wore and the brown one too, the loans he made so I could get into my houses, but most of all I knew he was always there if I needed to talk, get some advice or needed help.
Love ya, Dad, oh Mom you got there too...Hi to you too.
Friday, July 4, 2008
I just like what this guy did, so I stopped and took a picture
Now in my past I participated in OSJ Treasure Hunt. Telescope domes where worth 700 points a piece. How could I not stop? 1400 points. Woo Hoo.
Adams is 2 stops and 2 stamps. One in downtown Quincy and the up the road a piece at the Old House. The Old House is pretty nice and has a great garden.
The slide show is 2:25 minutes
Click here to watch "Adams-National-Historic-Park"
Frederick Law Olmstead site was closed for restoration, however the gates were open and there was a car there, so of course I rode into the site. Ya know greasy mud is slippery. It was an almost Kodak moment. The person gave me a very brief explanation of Olmstead while he was looking for the stamp. Fred moved his business to Brookline in the late 1800’s. He was considered the father of American Landscape Architecture and Design. One of Fred’s works was Central Park.
Next stop was JFK’s boyhood home. Now I looked for the hidden passage ways and place to store the bootlegged liquor, but I just couldn’t find it. The kid behind the counter told me they never proved old Joe was involved in bootlegging. I told him they never have caught Whitey Bulger either.
So I hang a right at this driveway and I find myself in the back of Longfellow’s Historic Site and the VC is only 50 feet away. The place is crowded so I was in and out for the stamp.
Minute Man National Park has 3 stamp locations and each has their own stamp. Being the 4th of July, and being in MM Park, I felt this special connection as I INKED my books with step. Hey we still have Taxation without Representation. I wouldn’t exactly say Congress is representing the American public, but how can we complain, we keep sending them back to DC.
I have started collecting old railroad stations. Why you ask, because I can.
Not many miles but a lot neat places traveled to and seen.