Friday, March 18, 2016

First Primaries of the Season

The weather this past weekend being perfect for the beginnings of the riding season I headed to Providence to pick up a National Park Pass (Senior Edition) which is a bargain at $10. MeAsWe (Crystal) had a  park pass but we misplaced it some place last year. I am thinking we lost it at Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan. So what does the pass give ya?? Entrance to all the National Parks in the country. Those out west really benefit from the National Park pass, since most of them have an entrance fee.

So I hit Roger William National Memorial in Providence and bought the pass. Nope did not pick up a Cancellation Stamp, since MeAsWe was not with me. I am gonna have to see if she wants another 8X11 Certificate from the IBA or is the 2 she has enough.

Right around the corner from Roger Williams is the Rhode Island State Capitol building and a perfect time to pick up my first spot for TeamStrange. While I took a pic of the Capitol with a both a blue and red flag, I am sure Rhode Island will go Blue. Seeing that RI has gone Blue except 2 times since JFK, it is a pretty safe bet they will go Blue in November.

From here I just started to wander the streets of Providence, since I was in no rush. Hit a Dunkin Donuts for Waymarking No picture necessary and pretty boring to boot. I find myself in the Smith Hill area of Providence. Grabbed this photo because of the graffiti which is really nothing, but I liked the photo and Named it Sun Shine Drops. Technically a piss poor photograph, but I have seen worse in art gallaries, so I am going with it.

At the 3 way intersection of Orms, Candace and Smith St is the Candace Street Playground renamed to the Joseph P Hassett Sr Memorial Park. So what you say. There were a bunch of teenagers playing basketball with this little girl who is no taller than 3 feet running around in the midst of 6 foot+ guys tossing around the ball. While I was taking pictures I noticed a guy riding a bike who stopped to look at the Spyder. I ended up having a 20 minute or so conversation with him about the Spyder. What struck me was he looked like a Sherpa from Nepal. I should have asked him permission to take a picture of him. Dang. Anyway got a pic of the little girl playing baskerball.

From there I headed down Orms Street getting lost and ended up on Okie Street. Here I grabbed this pic because I thought the Art Deco building was kind of neat. Yeah I pushed the second one a bit to make an artistic statement. (Did I ever mention I flunked out of Art School at Ohio University).

Going around the block from here I headed up Promenade St and found myself confronted with this huge complex. All of the signs around it indicated it was an old locomotive factory. Well it turns out this place was in fact the American Locomotive Company up until around 1907 and they did in fact build train locomotives here. Also made here was the luxury car, Berliet. Alco consolidated its manufacturing and sold the property to the US Rubber Company in 1919. They manufactured rubber tires and were one of the first to adopt the newly found substance invented by Dupont called neoprene. The US Rubber Company renamed itself Uniroyal in 1967. Remember the name Tiger Paws ??

Right across the street was a mural of the Rapture. I will return here to grab this again for the GLMC Americana Tour.

Last stop of the day was on RT 146 for a Welcome to Massachusetts sign for TeamStrange.

Not alot of miles, but a good start for the season.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Three Is a Magic Number

This past weekend was a glorious reason to begin the riding season. We have had a great winter, with little snow and pretty mild temps. There were days in both January and February one could ride in, however March seems to mark the beginning of riding season, at least for me. This was the weekend, taxes out of the way, refunds in, new helmets and intercom units, it was time to bring it all together.

There are 3 tours we are (or should I say I am and MeAsWe has to put up with the stops) participating in this season.

First Grand Tour is TeamStrange A Strange Election Grand Tour, which is riding to a state capitol, border or state welcome center, take a picture of your bike with the object in the picture and either a Red flag (Republican) or Blue flag (Democrat) or both (Independent) as your guess which way the state will vote in the general election in November. So of course I am taking Red pic and a Blue pic and will decide later. Whats a little difficult is what is going on the Republican side. If Trump doesn't get the Republican nomination because of a brokered convention, he could decide to run as an Independent, which really throws a curve ball into the Grand Tour. You only get credit for the state and earn points if you guess right on the election. This one started February 28th. CLICK HERE

The GLMC Americana Grand Tour is simpler. There are 2 categories of bonii, Specific and General. The General category has 4 items for each state, murals, county courthouses, racetracks and something important to you (this can be anything and does not have to be the same type of thing for each state). So if you visit 10 states, you can earn 40 points (4 items X 10 States). The specific category is just that, The Rally Bastard errr Master, has preplanned sites all over the US, generally 6 to 10 places per state you can grab as points. Up here in New England, there aren't as many per state because the states are smaller in area than the rest of the US. Pictured below is an example of a state specific location.  This one starts April 1 CLICK HERE

The National Park Tour involves visiting 50 national parks, memorials, monuments in 25 states within one year. More info CLICK HERE This one starts when you hit your first park, which we picked up last August when we went to Chicago to get the Spyder. Lots of planning and how I learned to use MapSource (GPS mapping program).

That's set's up where we are going this year. We will cover 30 states this season most of them we will hit between May 7th and May 21st. So let the games begin, actually with the next post the games have begun.

In May we will head out to capture the biggest finds of the season, putting 5500+ miles on our tires (all 3 of them). As a special treat, I will get to see some of my high school friends along the way, which I have not seen since 1969. All those icons are potential stops. The color lines are the current routes, but those are subject to change. I was waiting for the Specific bonii before I finalized the routes. The blue crosses in the white box marks those.