Crusty Bikes and Dirty Diapers.

With the end of the school year, and some new found freetime in my hands, Mrs. Surlyrider and myself took the opportunity to join some friends and their family in the postage stamp sized state of Rhode Island. We were to stay in Newport, RI which is a marvelous town. (I can say marvelous when describing things after spending sometime in New England)

I almost immediately learned that our quarters came equipped with some vintage Specialized Hardrocks and Bridgestone touring bikes, so along with both the bikes that we brought along, and the bikes at the home, we were going to certainly get some saddle time.

There were multiple things going on that kept us from or bikes, but they were all amazing events like hanging at the beach, walking on cliffs, Mac attack time and the general destressing that a New England day can provide.

All of these things still went on with the rest of the world while I wallowed in graduate school over the last three years, but there are trade offs right? All of my time spent in school really made this vacation and summer kick off that much sweeter. I love the water and this town is all about it without feeling like a Jeresy shore town. There is some real history to the place and the beaches are not lit by the neon of pizza and t-shirt shops. It is mostly how beautiful nature had intended it and I loved it all.

When we finally went out for a ride, it was a bit different than I am used to riding with Pete. Not only were our lovely wives going to join along, but so was the little guy. Pete generally takes some time to get his stuff together for a ride, but with Big Mac, things are totally different but totally worth it.

Mac's Mom riding along

We set off for America’s most patriotic city also known as Bristol, RI. The red white and blue lined streets and the pretty New England shops hugging the bay gave way to Colt Sate Park and the East Bay Path. This ten foot wide tree-lined path flows along the bay and back bay sections of Bristol all the way up to Providence. It is about 14 miles long and has a gentle grade the entire time. It was a perfect ride for mixed abilities and Mac’s first ride on dads new single speed.

Along the way we spotted some great, huge frogs at the nature preserve, spotted amazing monuments to opulence that some folks actually live in along these beautiful waters. We also got to see how the other side lives when we passed some of the locals fishing from the bridges the line the path. For those who are familiar with it, the trail is very similar to the Schuylkill river trail from Manunk to Valley Forge in Philadelphia just a bit closer to sea level.

There were signaled crossings and some stop sign only crossings along the trail that kind of broke up the riding a bit, but provided perfect time to gather our mixed ability group and also check in on the VIP that was strapped to the front of his dads bike.

It seems as though if you are looking for an old Fuji, Bridgestone, Specialized, Peugot, or any other bike that predates Milli Vinilli’s rise to fame and subsequent decline, the region between Bristol and Providence is the place to pluck such gems from their equally ancient helmet shod stewards. Life a blender full of baby hamsters, their chains chirped the miles away while the dry rotted gumwall tires did their best to hold the butyl rubber they were designed to stow inside safely until they were once again hung in the garage to age one more long New England Winter. It was sad to see such vintage rides die a slow death under the vacationers out for a Sunday spin while there were plenty of West Philly folks who could make a “sweet fixie” out of yet another “vintage” 27″ frame, but I was overjoyed in the fact that these blue bloods out for a ride at their vacation home were paying the taxes that provided the open space for our sojourn, so ride on Fuji, ride on.

Mac got a chance to review his sweet new seat from iBert. This seat sits on the front of the bike with the legs of the child hanging below the handle bars and the child in full view of the ride in front of them. With the look on Mac’s face for a good portion of the ride, I would say that this is a winner. The only issue that there seems to be besides getting a toddler to angle their feet to get in under the bars is that dad had to slide his seat back a bit to make a better fit for himself, but for most people that is a super easy way to work it out for the kid. They both seem happy with it, and I can’t wait to join Mac and Dad for another trip with it. Mom said we can not ride the trails at Wiss quite yet with it. Maybe we will get the little guy a full face helmet.

Some of the folks that were fishing the waters of the bay brought out their bicycle finery for their day of standing around with poles in their hands. This bike was stewardad by some pretty tough looking dudes even by Philly standards, but once I started to talk bikes with them, they were little blushing kids. It was a sweet ride and was bumping out some Biggie for all the fish to jump to. A car battery under the seat provided the watts and this chariot was really pumping loud.

With an ice cream stop in us for a refuling point and a relaxing quiver of miles behind us, we all finished the ride even some of us had smiles on our faces. If you get up to this region and want to either get some car free miles in, or are rolling with any of the demographics I wrote of in this post (small diapers-large diapers), I suggest this ride. If you want to see trees and stay out of the sun, head north towards Providence, RI. If water and a bit of sun and wind exposure are for you, head south and ride along the more exposed portion of the bay back towards Bristol, RI.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: