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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    Structures: Below are newly-converted pictures of various structures we've ridden by from past to present. First are some row houses in PA.

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    Below is an old mansion in Monson, MA, whose signage says it's a savings bank and restaurant. The addition is an abomination that spoils the original architecture. It looks like the kind of thing an undertaker would do to some old mansion.

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    Below is a tower in Worcester that a man built for his friend, George Bancroft, who, as Secretary of The Navy, established the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD.

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    Now heavily overgrown, below is the best picture I got of some old mill ruins.

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    Below is an interesting old house in Brookfield, MA, that has since been spruced up - a little.

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    More to follow at some future point. Now, I need to go riding.
  2. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Structures 2: Below are several more, newly-converted pictures of various structures we've ridden by from past to present. First is pic taken several days ago of what was once the Brookline, NH, RR station. Now a personal residence, we were happy to see it's still in relatively good repair.

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    Below is a close-up of a Millbury manse.

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    For something different, here's one of the Haystack structures from several years back.

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    I took a lot of photographs of this octagon house several years back and need to go back and see if they've fixed it up.

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    Below is the entire business district of New Braintree, MA.

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    Finally, riding past this barn triggered memories of riding through Europe. It was kind of a WTF moment.

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    More to follow as time permits.
  3. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Along The Mohawk - Part 1: That would be Route 2, known as the Mohawk Trail. Once well out of Boston, the road is both scenic and interesting if you've not ridden it. Below are some shots taken along the Mohawk trail over the last week or so. Like many roads in hilly places, this one tends to follow rivers when available. Below is a curve around Millers River.

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    As with such roads, there are places to stop and spend your money. Although somewhat photogenic, I can't recommend this place unless you've a hankering for antiques.

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    There are nice hills that pair nicely with sweepers.

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    The road goes down into a valley through which the Deerfield River flows.

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    There are remnants of the type of tourist traps you'd see back in the 50s, including one old motel and restaurant.

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    Below is one of two, remaining American Indian "trading posts" on the trail, which was/is currently closed.

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    Just west of Greenfield, there's an old tourist view tower still standing. It and the gift shop below have been closed for some time.

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    The Mohawk trail also hosts two, whitewater tubing and rafting firms, Crap Apple Whitewater and Zoar Outdoor Adventures. The former, which sits on the bank of the Deerfield River, is shown below.

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    More to follow.
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  4. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Dealing With Dealer In Virus Times: Consider this as a dealer behavior report. I went to the dealer this morning around 9:45 to get the inspection sticker. There were lots of bikes, lots of dealer people and no customers that I could see.

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    Door sign said the usual things: Mask required, no more than 10 in the store at one time and stay at least 6 ft. apart. Just inside the door was a friendly and attractive lady who asked how she could help. I told her I was here for an inspection. She promptly took my key and registration to the service bay next door (shown open in these two pics). Somebody immediately came out and wheeled the redhead in. Three other techs were working on someone's older GS that sounded like a wounded tractor.

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    Within a 5 or 10 minutes, the bike came back out, I paid the bill, put the paperwork in the tank bag and rode off. Without a doubt, this was the most efficient and organized inspection I have ever had at this place, probably due to some combination of virus procedures and the absence of any other customers. It gave me time to get some running and chores done, get home for an early lunch and then get out for an afternoon ride.

    Pics taken with iPhone.
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  5. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Return To Haystack Part 1: Haystack is the name given to MIT Lincoln Labs' astrophysics station in Westford MA. I had been out there some years back and wanted to go back and see what, if anything, has changed. It was a beautiful day for a ride yesterday, so I got my morning chores done (e.g., bike inspection), ate lunch and set off on back roads to Westford.

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    It was a niche 1.5 hour ride to the MIT station road (i.e., Millstone Rd.) which is located off Rt 40.

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    A little ways down the road and prior to the MIT gate is this rather large garage type structure with a very tall door (check the sized of the door for humans to enter). I have no idea what this is for, with the attached netting adding to the mystery. On the other side of the road is one of the oldest astro/astronomy clubs, where they will teach you telescope making. That said, the building may garage a big telescope.

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    A little farther on, you get your first glimpse of a radio telescope.

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    This would be the Westford Radio Telescope, which was built in 1961 as an x-band radar to test communications technologies. It currently acts as a test bed for NASA in geodetic VLBI operations (e.g. measuring tectonic plate movement, earth rotation and wobble , etc.) and other Lincoln Lab functions.

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    Once beyond the station's gate, shown above, things get really interesting (if you're a nerd : - ). The next thing you come to is the satellite tracking station, shown below. There seems to be some serious construction going on around this configuration.

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    On past the station above, I came to the place where stuff got more interesting and the good camera came out of the bag. This was black hole stuff.

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    Part 2 of 2 to follow.
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  6. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile Supporter

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    Did some gravel roads in southern VT yesterday. Finally got to this bridge:

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    And I made some new friends:

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  7. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing your pics! Love riding the area from the Green River covered bridge west into the Green Mtns. As you well know, that's pretty country with some happy gravel. Following the PDR from Greenfield, MA up into VT makes for a great day trip. It's on my dance card again this year.
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  8. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile Supporter

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    That’s exactly what I was doing. PDR from Greenfield to VT 121 and back. Great day!
    KMichael and popscycle like this.
  9. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Return To Haystack Part 2: Haystack is the name given to MIT Lincoln Labs' astrophysics station in Westford MA. I had been out there some years back and wanted to go back and see what, if anything, has changed. It was a beautiful day for a ride two days ago, so I got that morning's chores done (e.g., bike inspection, etc.), ate lunch and set off on back roads to Westford. Once past the first antenna and satellite tracking dish, I cam across this stuff.

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    What you are seeing here is the lab's incoherent scatter radar facility, consisting of two antennas. The taller steerable one is a 46 meter antenna and the fixed, ground antenna 57 meters.

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    The target(s) of an incoherent scatter radar are is electrons in the earth's ionosphere rather than a hard target like an airplane or space object. A radar beam scattering off electrons in the ionosphere plasma creates an incoherent scatter return, which allows measurement of various factors of the plasma. The idea is to find out what's going on in the ionosphere. I thought the view below of the steerable, 46 meter antenna made for an interesting picture.

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    I then had the sense to line up the three proximate antennae in a row, thinking it would also make for an interesting pic.

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    Some parts of the steerable dish in the forefront above may not need paint from an operational standpoint but it's getting a little tawdry looking when viewed from some angles, as below. Am thinking it would cost a fortune to paint it, ironworker pay being what it is.

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    Further on down the road is the Haystack 37 meter radio telescope with the radome inside a geodesic cover.

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    Originally built for space communications and tracking, it is now primarily used for astronomy.

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    The radome and cover have been upgraded several times and I found an internet picture of the dome taken when they were assembling the top cover at one point.

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    When I visited the site back in 2010, they were working on the cover, shown below.

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    Aside from being involved in the first picture of a black hole, a more strange involvement happened back in the 1960s when engineers and scientists were trying to advance satellite communications. Project "West Ford" was one such effort. The idea was to create radio relaying mirrors by circling the earth with millions of copper needles to serve as miniature dipole antennas. In one try, the needles failed to deploy. After a second try, better technology emerged and the needles eventually fell harmlessly back into the upper atmosphere, where they burned up.

    Bottom Line: A lot, including the type of work done, has changed but you can't see it.
    Shaggie, KMichael, klaviator and 7 others like this.
  10. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    A Big Nothing At The Yard: We swung by the Deerfield RR yard yesterday to see if there was anything new or interesting. The place was dead.

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    With no cars parked up by the operations trailer, I zoomed in on the NS/PAS units idling there to see if there was any signs of life.

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    Hanging around would be only slightly better than watching grass grow at a cemetery. The place was dead, confirming my expectations.
    KMichael, klaviator, zookster and 3 others like this.
  11. NxtGoRnd

    NxtGoRnd This Time Around, Wearing Out Tires Supporter

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    Rode over to Seale Alabama to a drive through museum a local fellows idea of making junk interesting and into (questionable) art. Saw this sticker on a building and thought about you, really enjoy this thread.
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    The Redhead's Spa Treatment & A Revelation: With the morning spent doing CNC tool path programming, this afternoon saw the GS come out of the cave for a cleaning. The last bath was from some standing water in the street. Being somewhat older and lazier than when I used to religiously keep it clean, the power washer came to the rescue of the rims. A soft brush with soap and water took care of the rest. It was near the end of this process that I got the revelation.

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    I moved the side cases to give them a good cleaning and noticed they were getting heavier each year. This is to say I was getting older and the cases were carrying ever more stuff. It was at this moment when I figured I could just carry the minimum essentials (i.e., a tire patch kit, multi-tool, MOA card, water, jacket liner and small spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide for the bugs) in the back bag for my day trips. and lose the cases, making the bike lighter. Multi-day cross-country jaunts are history but, should the need arise, the cases can be put back on to act as luggage.
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  13. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Along The Mohawk - Part 2: That would be Route 2, known as the Mohawk Trail. Once well out of Boston, the road is both scenic and interesting if you've not ridden it. Below are some shots taken along the Mohawk trail over the last week or so. Like many roads in hilly places, this one tends to follow rivers when available. Most of these shots were taken while running east out of the Hoosacs. The first below is a picture of Shaft Road, which leads to the western portal of the Hoosac Tunnel, as well as up and onto Rt 2.

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    The Trail (i.e., Rt 2) then leads up the Hoosac Range where, at one point, there is a sharp hairpin turn with a good view, shown below.

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    A little further up the road is a gift shop and viewing point where they have reconditioned old motel cabins, shown below, named the Wigwam. Popular back in the 30s and 40s, motel cabins like these are a rare sight. The shop was newly reconditioned and reopened but I didn't take a picture of that as it was surrounded by cars.

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    The viewing area by the (not shown) gift shop has been a popular stopping point for bikers/riders on the Trail. Below is a newly-converted pic taken some years ago of that lookout spot.

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    Once over the top of the Hoosac range, which is a southern extension of Vermont's Green Mountains, it's downhill.

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    From this point on down to the Deerfield River valley, the road is easy going and restful.

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    The road has a few twisties and more sweepers with nothing too sharp other than the guard rail.

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    Once down in the river valley, the road tends to flatten out more and run IFR (I Follow Rivers).

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    Having once been a popular, native American trade route; the now-paved_over Mohawk trail still has a few vestiges of its American Indian heritage to the motorist. One is this gift shop with its oft-photgaphed Indian statue.

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    The other is a once-popular stopping point called Indian Plaza. Formally known as the Indian Plaza Powwow Grounds, the site is a little run down but supposedly still hosts native American gatherings of the various tribes.

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    For those of you who don't get up this way, I hope this gives you some idea of the Mohawk Trail route across northern MA.
    Shaggie, KMichael, black 8 and 7 others like this.
  14. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I enjoy that kind of creative, roadside silly stuff. You don't find much of it around here, that I know of, so your find was greatly enjoyed. I went looking through the archives just after you posted to see if there was anything similar. I gave up looking today.
    NxtGoRnd likes this.
  15. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Amid The Flora and Fauna: I saw this pair of swans as I was riding around the reservoir yesterday so I stopped, got off and went across the road to get some pictures. Two of the better (I think) pics follow.

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    There is a pair here in this headwater section of the reservoir every year but they are not always where you can get a quick, drive-by pic of them. They were visible yesterday afternoon, although far enough off the bank that I had to go full (600 mm) zoom.

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    I haven't seen any with chicks this year, which is unusual. Perhaps it is due to the colder weather or increased predation.
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  16. guywithchickens

    guywithchickens Been here awhile Supporter

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    It's hard to tell until you get close, but swans are HUGE. I hear they're kind of mean, too.
    KMichael and popscycle like this.
  17. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    I've probably heard the same stories, including the ones where swans have been terrorizing rowers in England for years. Having been fishing in ponds with swans, they've never bothered me. By contrast, though, I have encountered some mean geese - some who came out of the fields and chased the motorcycle and one that did a kamikaze dive into my Miata, killing it and the windshield.

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    Damn geese! If they're not shitting all over your yard or chasing you, they're trying to take out your ride. I do entertain the possibility that swans might be just juiced up geese in fluffy white clothes. Caveat ascensores.
  18. ShOqUePoT

    ShOqUePoT GS Pot

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    Swans are also more stupid than I ever imagined any bird could be. I used to live on a pond and had to call the fire department one morning. The swans had fallen asleep in the water one January night and allowed themselves to become frozen in the developing ice. It was something watching the firefighters in their thin ice sled swing a fire axe around the feet of these freaked out swans.
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  19. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Structures 3: Below are several more, newly-converted pictures of various structures we've ridden by from past to present. The first of these below is an old inn, still in good repair, that dates back to 1900 when it was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the earlier version.

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    Below is an old mill where Kevin and I have both ridden our steeds under the structure in the middle.

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    Farther back from the buildings above is a well-preserved, mill tail race shown below.

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    Below is a pic of the old mill that Ken Kaplan turned into the New England Motorcycle Museum. The picture was taken before the museum opened.

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    Some time later, I was back by the mill when I met Kaplan, who invited me the redhead and I for a trek around the inside of the soon-to-be-museum mill. Below is Ken trying his hand at indoor adventure riding.

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    Below is another structure left over from the first half of the last century - coal tipple for steam locomotives. This is one of the very few left in New England and the only one I am aware of in MA. I would love to know of any others.

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    More to follow when I get all of today's chores done, which will probably be tomorrow at the earliest. It's bad for your health to rush getting chores done as you get older (i.e., the "Pa Kettle" school of chore management for the more seniors among you : - ). Riding is the antidote to those awful chores.
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  20. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    I live on the largest lake within a large city and the Canada Geese return every year. They are also common on our lawns and driveways where they drive my cat nuts at the window. They're almost always in pairs and seem to have no fear. I'll be walking to the market and there'll be two apparently talking on the sidewalk and they don't move. I have to step around them. There are other forms of wildlife in and around the lake but the geese are most prominent.
    KMichael and popscycle like this.