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 Miscellaneous May Moto Milling Around: Below is a picturesque old sawmill that is now an antiques shop. Located at coordinates 42.652679, -71.672488, this could make another good fall picture spot.

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    Below is a picture of the above mill as it looked in the 1800s

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    Just to the right of the mill (and off the picture) is an old rail line that was part of the old Fitchburg RR (later part of Boston & Maine). Below is a pic of that line as it crosses an old mill race just across the street. The line was formed in 1846 and last used in 1981.

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    I thought about posing the redhead on the tiny RR bridge but some of the wood was a little spongy and I was a little lazy. After some later research, I think I've located the old Townsend, MA station (at coordinates 42.665418, -71.705935), so as to get one of those "your bike by the RR station" pics, if you're so inclined.
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  2. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Great research finding the old picture of the mill. It's so cool when you can visually connect the past to the present.
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  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Sunday Go To Church: I like the architecture of old New England Churches. Below are three I passed earlier this month. The first of these is a typical smaller Congregation church that you typically find on the town common. The building to the left is the town Grange.

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    Below is a Unitarian church in the same general area.

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    The third, and perhaps most graceful, is this UCC/UMC church below that, unlike most, has only one front door. I kept the bike out of this one.

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    All three of these were in the Ashburnham, Ashby MA area. I haven't researched the dates.
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  4. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile Supporter

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    Finally made it to Bardwell's Bridge during a ride of the Trans-Mass Trail on Sunday. Very pretty spot on a beautiful day.

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  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the pics. I love that bridge and make it a point to ride across any time I am within 30 or so miles of Bardwell's Ferry Road. In a few weeks, the river should see an influx of tubers and kayakers, which could make for some interesting photos.
  6. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Tale Of The Tunnel Is Told: I had to swing by the Hoosac Tunnel the other day to see if anything more was happening. The last time I was there in April, the place was littered with crawler drills, big packages of concrete mix, end-loaders, etc. Among all the stuff was this makeshift shelter with bits of railroad stuff hanging from wires. Shown below, I wondered what that was all about - native Americans camping out, an alter for the ghosts of the tunnel, a place for railfans to watch what was going on, a shelter for workers, what?

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    Being more interested in getting out to ride than doing any research in April, I just assumed ignorance and didn't give it much additional thought. I knew there had been a cave-in and the tunnel was being spiffed up. Upon going back the other day, the area was devoid of all but one piece of equipment - an end-loader for scooping ballast rock.

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    That strange shelter with its hanging RR knick-knacks had either fallen or been taken down. Whoever put it there should either put it back up or clean it up. There really isn't much to watch as the economy has really soured train travel through the tunnel.

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    It was then I took time to think more critically (i.e., ask questions). I found the cave-in was way closer to the west portal, not this one, which suggests most of the repair activity would have been at that end. This, eastern, portal might have been just a secondary storage area. Kevin and I had ridden down through track side muck to the western end back in 2014.

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    The cave-in was just up the hill a short ways from the tunnel entrance above. After some minimal research, which I should have done earlier, I found the following drone footage of the cave-in. I really need to get a drone one of these days and let it, rather than me, do the walking.



    The aerial view shows most the equipment and big containers of concrete mix were at the other, western, end of the tunnel. Knowing that, I am now leaning to the idea that the rustic shelter was constructed by a bunch of beer-drinking local fans and foamers watching for the first train to come through the tunnel.
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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Just A Few Buildings: I often stop to take a picture when riding by old and/or interesting buildings. The first below is perhaps the smallest library I've ever seen.

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    Sometimes I get off the bike for a redhead pose and sometimes I just shoot from the bike, as was the case above. When I encountered the old Grange hall below, the redhead wanted to pose.

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    There was another shot standing on the Grange steps looking across the street to the town church and cemetery.

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    I stopped long enough to take a pic of this old mansie in Monson, Mass. Looking good now, It was right in the path of the tornado that came through the town in 2011.

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    All of these pics were taken on rides in the last two weeks.
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  8. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Shooting From The Road, Not Stopping: The stars were in alignment this morning for a 150 mile romp with only one stop (to pick up something the wife wanted). Weather was perfect with no wind, mid to high 70s temps, ittle humidity and afternoon heat loosened up the tar snakes. Unlike many, I like tar snakes (they put a little wiggle in your walk). Anyway, below are a few of the pictures taken while moving - all from the road(s).

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    There's always a great temptation to wick it up on the road below, but not busting the speed limit is a good idea as the local constabulary likes to hide in the trees along here more than other roads I ride.

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    I hope these give you a flavor of the day - another wonderful, no-Advil, riding day with only a touch of knee pain. The old knees may soon need highway pegs, even for the back roads.
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  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    No Waiting For Trains: Like many guys of my era, I like to watch trains go buy. As a youth, we used to sit by the tracks and watch Baldwin and ALCO engines on their run too and from Chicago. By the time EMD diesel electrics ruled the rails, we were more into bikes, scoots and cycles. and didn't wait around just to look at them rumble by. Nothing much as changed. Once in a while, I get lucky and just happen to be in the same little spot on the planet as a moving train. Such was the case the other week when I was passing through on town on the3 way to another. It doesn't hurt that I pass through towns that have some larger or smaller rail yard. Such was the case a week ago when I happened to catch a pair of GP 38s moving some cars up the line.

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    The train had been holding for permission to cross the diamond when I rolled by. By the time I got parked and off the bike, it was moving and I had to zoom the lens to get the pic above. With a little more zoom, I got the close-up below.

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    The train crept across, giving me time to walk past the old station up to the crossing and get another pic.

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    And then it was back to what you'd normally see in these economic times - nothing moving.

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    I think I read somewhere (Trains mag?) that freight orders were way down.
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  10. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    If only Michigan's road surfaces were so smooth. Hopefully someday ...
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  11. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Bike On The Bridge: Just a miscellaneous shot taken several days ago while sitting on redhead on a covered bridge.

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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    There Goes The Picnic Table: It was nearly a good-weather ritual. Go get a scrumptious sandwich to go with other things (e.g., chips, half-sours, etc.) at the deli. Pack it in the pannier and take off on a nice ride west. Sometime around noon or later, stop off at the Palmer station and eat lunch at one of their outdoor tables and watch any railroad activity that might happen by. Tables were available because the restaurant was closed due to the covid thing. Then, things suddenly changed.

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    Apparently someone most have told the owners that the covid thing was some kind of pandemic and all of a sudden, the picnic tables were off-limits. That would have been a bummer except for a chair behind the station where you can sit, look at the diamond, use your lap as a table, eat your sandwich and watch not much happening. I didn't take pictures of the chair. It looks just like the ones in the picture above. Kudos to whoever moved it back there. A railfan with more patience than I, no doubt. When the sandwich is gone, so am I (unless there's some rail activity, which is scarce).
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Not Scenic But Pretty In The Spring: You can't say our local dirt/gravel/sand roads are all that scenic. For the most part, about all you can see is trees.

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    Some, through, are well-maintained, hard pack sand and gravel, which makes for a relaxing ride.

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    Some of the more interesting are, unfortunately, gated. At my age, I respect these gates. I do know that the road below was once the main road into a town via a covered bridge, which is now gone.

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    The bridge washed away in 1938 never to be rebuilt and a new road was built into town.
    KMichael, klaviator, zookster and 7 others like this.
  14. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer Supporter

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    Pops,

    I'm so behind on your thread and I'll catch up this weekend. I thought I would share this bad news that happened today.

    Eric
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  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks, Eric. I really don't like train derailments but do like knowing when they happen.
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  16. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Where It's Christmas, Snow Has A Sense Of Humor: A drive-by pic of Yankee Candle's deserted flagship store.

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    Closure of this huge store (i.e., what you see is just a portion of this large, usually-smelly place), certainly cuts down on traffic through here.
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  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Really Old Place? Below is a ride-by shot of what appears to be a classic old colonial as it would look back in the day - dating from somewhere from the late 1600s to early 1700s.

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    This one's on the list of places to research, mainly because of the less-common, lean-to bump out on the left. I wonder if this was a shop entrance.
    KMichael, klaviator, zookster and 8 others like this.
  18. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Two Rail Trails: Although prohibited, the lure of riding your motorcycle down a rail trail persists. Below are two types of rail trails, those with old, unused rails and those without. The first of these is notable in that it no longer has rails, is devoid of signs telling you not to moto and I have ridden the redhead a ways down it.

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    The second one is interesting in that it still has rails and crosses a series of mill race canals. Rails are less fun, especially when you want to get out from in between them. I don't do rails any more.

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    There are some 90 listed rail trails covering over 450 miles in this state. You'd think we could use one or two of these.
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  19. B10Dave

    B10Dave Long timer

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    Hi. John. Looks like you had some good riding weather. 5 of us went for a ride yesterday to a town called Bayfield on the shore of Lake Huron. Cold and overcast with some drizzle. Sun came out 1/2 hour after I got home. Oh well, at least it was a ride. I started a new project today. A while ago I built a bike lift to make working on my bikes easier. Well, it is tied up with a longer term fix up of my XL250. Still need to service my bikes so today I started to build a platform to span two of the arms on my car hoist. This should make services easier and leave the lift for longer projects. I will post another pic when it is done and in use...Dave
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  20. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Appreciate it, Dave! We're all looking forward to seeing a pic or two of it working.