Goodbye Cruiserface, Hello Happyface: The (old) Long and (new) Short Of It All

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by popscycle, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    More Pics Of Waiting For The Fix: Some days ago, I rode the redhead out to Palmer to see if anything was moving. It wasn't. A CSX crew was repairing the diamond.

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    There were several NECR power units waiting to cross. While waiting, the brakeman was telling me that shipments/loads were up greatly this year and that they needed to get going.

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    After about an hour waiting, the NECR units were able to cross the diamond. The friendly brakeman, shown below in the left seat, was quite happy to get moving.

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    Although the diamond was repaired, all was not well. The mainline switch on the CSX track (to the right) was inoperable and trains, including the freight shown below, were backing up.

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    It was clear that this CSX freight and others wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon so we rode off to greener pastures.
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Industrial Strength Rooting Around: Short of hard-core UrbEx, rooting around an old warehouse is always interesting with more to see and new views to photograph.

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    A talented trials rider could have gotten his steed up on the dock for a pose. At my age, I am happy to just get there.
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Seen While Riding - Pumper Trucks On The Farm: Riding through farmland along the CT river, it is not unusual to see old fire, pumper trucks parked in yards or near barns. I recently had someone ask why farms had them. The answer is irrigation. Farms use the engines to pump water out of the river or wells for irrigation when needed.

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    Sometimes old used engines can be had cheap and can move a lot of water. This particular truck was parked along River Road. I like fire trucks.
  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Roads Recently Ridden: Below are views along some of my favorite roads, taken at various times over the last week.

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    Most of these roads see very little traffic, especially those that are single lane, gravel. The GS loves these, as it has the right weight, balance and suspension, if the road is not too technical. The old road sofa didn't like anything that wasn't paved and flat, as it rode like a bloated boat. Perhaps @KMichael will share his thoughts on that, as he had the displeasure of riding it home once or twice.

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    Apologies for the poor picture above. I didn't take time to let the camera properly focus as a car pulled up behind me wanting to pass - a first on this road. I put the camera away and pulled over. There are so few cars on other favorite roads that you can pull over, not worry about traffic at all, take pictures at your leisure and enjoy the view for bit while taking a pull on the HydraPak or bite on a snack bar.

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    My current favorites are the roads like the one below, where you can wick it up and/or leisurely lollygag along.

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    Having already seen the mountains in the west and the Alps in Europe, I am quite content to ride out my days on roads like this.
  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Village Lost Its Crown Jewels: I have ridden by the place a good many times over the last 40 years, thinking it was a lab of some kind. Located at coordinates 42.422818, -71.878042; the place used to have high wire fencing with gates around the property until recently.

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    Yesterday, I saw the rusty fence was gone and a different sign announced the place was open. Something was up and I had to stop.

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    The place is now an antiques and knick-knack shop - the kind of place that people who watched "Fixer-Upper" (e.g., most of the women I know) would appreciate. There is, however, one sign on the wall that tells what the place once was.

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    At one time, this place was one of six buildings that housed a collection of over 200 antique cars and a plethora of other items (e.g., bicycles, motorcycles, organs, nickelodeons, model trains, narrow-gauge steam engine, etc.). Aside from the usual names of old collectible cars (e.g. Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Cadillac, Maxwell, Pearce-Arrow, Studebaker, Delehaye, Auburn, Lincoln, Mercer, Stutz, etc.); there were some really rare cars including a 1904 Crestmobile rear-entrance, a 1900 Grout Steamer, an 1895 Buffum 4-cyl, a 1905 Holesman and more, including the "Bonnie and Clyde" car. Below is an inventory of the museum's automobiles, thanks to the good people at the Princeton Library/Historical Society.

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    For a complete list of all the museum's items see Museum Inventory Pamphlet.

    This museum was the work of one Albert Garganigo, who ran a Garage and Auto Wrecking Company in Shrewsbury, MA in the 1920s. He started collecting old cars, bought a farm in Princeton, MA , stored them in a barn on the farm and then built the current buildings from 1936 to 1938 when the collection grew too large for the farm. The museum closed in 1963 and all the cars were auctioned off in 1973. The town of Princeton had a set of jewels in the form of that auto museum, whose value would be many millions today, both in terms of its content and ability to draw visitors into the area. Not knowing any better, the town let the museum get away from them. Such is the tale of many of the towns and villages I have ridden though (e.g., Bellows Falls, VT getting rid of Steamtown because smoky steam engines cluttered up the river front). Towns, like people, are often too soon old and too late smart.
  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Not All Towns Are Brain Dead: It should be noted that there exist some towns that eventually see the potential in museums of historical interest. After a protracted battle with the town of Stowe, MA, the Collings Foundation finally got approval to build a planned tank museum on their property. Below is a picture of that building's progress as of this June.

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    Scheduled to open next month, the redhead and I are planning to be there. Many tanks to the town of Stowe.

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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Work To Ride, Ride To Work: It was a rare and happy event - riding the redhead to work this morning. First, I don't go into work all that often, just on days when the big cheese is on the road and I need to cover or when extra help is needed doing whatever needs doing. Then, when I do go in, there usually stuff to bring or take that won't fit on the bike. Today was different in that all I needed to carry was myself and the laptop.

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    There's something to be said for working and riding, especially riding into work, well into your old age. Work keeps you active and engaged and adds something to the ride. Now being a lesser (than big) cheese, I opened the office, swept the production room, aired out the warehouse, carried out the trash, welcomed people when they came in, helped get a unit back in production, sat in the big cheese's office, got some computer work done, ate a bunch of chicken wings for lunch, drank coffee, thanked people for their efforts, locked up when everyone left and greatly enjoyed the ride home. All in a good day's work and/or ride.
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  8. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    I'd like to have a job that allowed me to ride to work. I've only been able to do it on one project.
    I have a company truck and have to have it on site because of the tools in it, I don't hate the free truck/gas. I would just like to ride to work sometimes.
    popscycle likes this.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    If that free truck and gas also comes with free insurance, I'd say you're doing very well with, perhaps, the ability to squeeze some additional motorcycle funds out of the budget. The insurance savings alone, if you get any, should be pure moto-money, IMHO. :D

    Edit Note: I hear what you're saying though. I used to commute into Boston on the bike and loved it, even with all the traffic during the city's "Big Dig".
    B10Dave likes this.
  10. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    Yep, I've had a company supplied vehicle for years. It keeps me from wearing out my stuff.
    Insurance and maintenance provided.
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  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Train Fix: A sneaky pic - the long arm of the photog sticking out from the bushes shooting blindly gets one. It's not a great shot but perhaps decent with yard stuff in it.

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    It should be noted that we did not set foot in the yard proper, nor were we up this close (i.e., Thank you, zoom lens).
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Stay Out Of The Tall Grass: It's a good rule and one I follow. Tall grass, especially in old industrial areas, can harbor things you don't want to run into.

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    High on the list are things that can puncture tires, which isn't a big deal with tubeless if the tire wound is small. However, patching does cut into your riding time when you have to stop and do it (e.g., with my favorite - sticky rope). Next are those industrial remnants that you can't see (e.g., old junk) that can trip you up if you hit them wrong and go plunging off the bike into a bed of toxic stuff. There's also the chance that a critter might be lurking. We have lots of bears and coyotes out here, the latter getting to be quite a problem. If you absolutely, positively have to go exploring stuff in or around tall grass, walk in first to see what's there. It also might be a good idea to carry if such ventures become a regular practice. More on that in the future.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Losing The View? Railfans like to watch and photograph trains and some of the best views are from bridges over the tracks, such as the one below taken earlier this year.

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    As for this particular view, there's good, bad and uncertain news. The bad news was that the old bridge was falling apart. There were holes in the bridge where you could look down on the tracks; however, these didn't deter the intrepid rider/photogs among as as we rode onto the bridge for a pic or two. The good news is that work on the bridge has been progressing since it started last year. Just late last month they started flying the steel for the bridge deck.

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    Now, it is looking like they're ready to pour the deck concrete before winter sets in. Likely to finish sometime next year (bridge building in this neck of the country is slower than you-know-what), we can all feel more comfortable knowing there will be something solid over the tracks.

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    Among those who often gather on the bridge to watch and take pics, the question is, "Will there be a v1ew or will they erect tall fencing that blocks good camera shots?" The probability that safety nazi's will kill the view is high. If so, you can expect a small rise in the sale of extendable tripods and bluetooth remote-control cameras; perhaps even a drone or two.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Train Pic Du Jour: There are photos and then there are the fewer photos you like. This is one I like a lot. Having parked the bike and myself in the weeds on the periphery of the yard, I had to use the zoom a good bit so there's some lens compression.

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  15. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    OK, here's a few train pix.

    A couple from NE. They were hauling a lot of coal out of WY. Didn't take pix of all the trains.

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    Wind River Canyon, WY. Lots of tunnels through there.

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    Misc. WY trains.

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  16. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    Hill City, SD

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    Misc. NE trains.

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    And that was it for that trip. :D
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    While We're On A Train Bent: Got out of the office for to find some action on the mainline into Worcester. I totally screwed up pics of the Lake Shore Ltd coming out of Boston by thinking it was on SCN fast action when it was really on single-shot AUTO. We did, however, get a pic of the afternoon outbound (from Boston) MBTA that came through around the same time.

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    Note: Also thanks to @jeickerman for the GIS map! :deal
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  18. panzer

    panzer The Mountains Are Calling And I Must Go Supporter

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    A strange color scheme on that one...
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    It's a very strange commuter line that has been run by a lot of very strange people over the years. Way back in the 1950s, a group called the Kingston Trio had a strange hit song about it. Some strange guy never returned. The purchase of these engines, untested and problematic as they were, was very strange. :D
  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Anatomy Of Extreme Happyface: There are just some times that are so good you almost can't stand it. This was one of those. The weather was perfect, the bike had new fluids and rubber, I had just eaten a tasty lunch and then ridden some twisty back roads with a bit of gravel thrown in. Headed towards my favorite bridge, I encountered a bear just off the road to my left about 50 yards before the sharp turn onto the bridge. It was the first one I've seen this year. Being so close, I wasn't about to stop to take a picture so I gunned it past the bear and onto the bridge. The bear started to scramble up the hill as I rode past. With no traffic on the road, I stopped on the bridge to grab the camera and check on the bear's whereabouts. The bear was gone, so I took a pictures of the bridge and thought about how I look forward to the rattle of wooden bridge decking under the wheels. It's better than the song your tires make over steel grates on bridges. (Note: I an one of those riders who enjoys occasional tar snakes, steel grates and roadbeds grooved from resurface milling.)

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    Just over the bridge and up the hill to the left is a switchback that crosses the PA mainline. Had there been a train, as happened the last time through here, I'd have thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Back in July, I crossed the bridge and pulled up onto the switchback just a a NS freight from NY was coming through. Headed for the Deerfield yard, it had come through the Hoosac Tunnel.

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    Crossing over the track and heading farther up the hill to the right is Cosby's compound. His legal predicament meant the road wouldn't be cluttered with usual gaggle of handmaidens, hangers-on and paparazzi. Thus, the road ahead was pure serenity all the way to the Mohawk trail, which would zip me home in time for dinner.
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