Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Rat Rod Ride – 1971 Iverson Road Runner

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

1971 Iverson Road Runner

Over the weekend I picked up a complete, original 1971 Iverson Road Runner, a classic rat rod bike style that brought me right back to my childhood days on a banana seat Schwinn my dad repainted and named “The Streaker.”

This Maine barn find is the coolest thing. Stickers on the double-crown fork give it the look of a sprung front suspension. Ape hanger bars are each mounted in their own posts, affording maximum flexibility in positioning the bars. The chainguard is in great shape, and both fenders are solid, original, and nearly perfect.

Sure there’s rust all over the chromed bars, the rims, and even the chainring. And the foam in the seat is, well, nonexistent. But the seat has no tears in it and the tires held air when we got it home and pumped them up for a test ride.

Why did I get this thing? Over a couple weeks, I had been eyeballing it beside a barn during my commute. It looked like it was going to the trash, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Jess could tell that it pained me to see it out in the weather. When I saw the homeowner outside, I pulled over, made some inquiries, and loaded up the bike (and one more that isn’t nearly as cool).

I’m not sure what I want to do with the bike.  It’s an excellent resto candidate since it is, quite literally, complete. But I almost think it’s just more fun the way it is. For now, it’s just really cool to see my own kids taking a spin on the kind of bike I rode back in the day.

Oh, the Price? Free!

 

Jammin’ in Maine

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

This summer we finally made the move to Maine. After a year of weekly 500-mile commutes, we threw in the towel on selling the house, rented it out and made the move up to Maine. It’s a wonderful thing!

One of the first things our daughter Emma wanted to do was make jam with the berries growing all around the property. She and I collected about a half gallon of black raspberries one morning. The next morning we got up early and started cooking. Amazingly delicious stuff!

Then Will wanted to do the same thing with the wild Maine blueberries around the house. Those are harder to collect because they’re so small, but the jam he and I made is just as tasty

What a simple, yet pleasant experience. Walk around the yard with a bucket, pluck ripe fruit, boil it down and add sugar, seal it in jars, and spread on a good toast.

We’re about done on the blueberries since the season is almost over. But the raspberries look like they’ll be ripening for a couple more weeks. Perhaps another batch is in order. And we’ll need it since the kids insist that we mail a bunch out to family.

Ski Butternut

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
Ski Butternut

Butternut, January 2011

We took a couple days last week to ski Butternut in the Berkshires. Butternut is a nice little mountain, a little larger than Mohawk, our normal ski stop. We had two days of great weather, and since we went during the week we avoided most of the crowds.

I found myself wondering why we hadn’t driven the extra 30 minutes to hit Butternut before now. The terrain isn’t particularly challenging, and so the kids can ski the entire mountain without any difficulty. We’ll definitely drive up again this season. And with Will in 5th grade, he skis for free every time we go.

One highlight: There’s a cool little concrete snowman on one of the trails. But he was missing one of his stick arms. We stopped to help him out and Nate added the missing arm to make him complete.

Mt. Agamenticus

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I found another nice set of bike trails in the area.  Mt. Agamenticus is a cool mountain in York at the heart of “one of the largest remaining expanses of undeveloped forests in coastal New England” (http://www.agamenticus.org/index.html). On Sunday I rode the trails that head to the mountain peak. It’s only about 30 minutes away from my place, making it fairly easy to ride.

I rode Ring and Fisher on the way up, and Witch Hazel, Ring, Chestnut Oak, Porcupine, Rocky Road, and Ring on the way down.  I missed the turn to hit Chestnut Oak, ending up on a nice, technical ride down Goosefoot.  But Goosefoot dropped me at Cedar, a trail that ran off my trail map.  I had to climb that same technical hill back up to catch the Chestnut Oak trail. (Oops.)

Perhaps the coolest thing about this ride is the bonus view from the top of Mt. Agamenticus.  A lookout on the north end of the mountain offers views of the hills and valleys of Maine and New Hampshire, and I could see the Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the distance.  (A panoramic sketch of the mountain silhouette helped me locate those mountains, taking me back to the days when I used to hike those mountains all the time.) And from the southeast side of the peak I could see the Atlantic ocean. This will be a great place to ride as the leaves turn, and as they drop and the views just open up. This is a great place for hiking as well.  On the summit, at the ranger station, there’s a wonderful nature exhibit, with hawk wings, pelts, and plants that introduce visitors to the wildlife of the region. I’ll bring the family here soon!

It was such a nice ride that I headed back for more on Monday evening.  I met Rob, a local Ogunquit bike shop owner, at the trail head.  He offered to show me some of the trails I hadn’t yet explored.  We had a really nice, quiet evening ride as I explored the northeast end of this conservation area.  After running around Ring and out around Second Hill, we rode straight up the north side of Agamenticus on Sweet Fern.  We hit the summit just as the sun was setting over the mountains to the west.  Gorgeous! I don’t normally ride with a partner these days, unless I’m riding with my kids.  It was great to have someone to ride with and I’ll be sure to try to ride with Rob again.

Apparently, there’s another network of trails in a water district conservation area just across Mountain Road.  Rob and I agreed that it would be nice to explore that area some other time.

Masonic Hall, Week Two

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

I have a really cool space in Kennebunk, inside a historic Masonic Hall. With 15′ tin ceilings, massive windows, and an open layout, the space just breathes. After wrapping up my second week with the Masons, I’m starting to feel at home. It’s a very quiet area, though the construction on Main St. starts at about 6 AM. (Good thing I’m an early riser!) And the people in the area are so friendly and helpful.

Masonic Hall

Masonic Hall - Main St., Kennebunk

I met one of the individuals running the cafe downstairs (Jason), and took a brief bike ride around the Kennebunk neighborhoods to check out housing in the area. I was even able to unpack some research and do some writing. I’m feeling like this is going to be a great place to live, at least for now.

Yard Sale Lemonade Stand

Friday, August 27th, 2010

After waiting all summer to sell our house so we could hold a yard sale, we decided to have the sale even though the house hasn’t sold. Emma came up with the idea of a lemonade stand, and she added iced tea to the menu. She sat out front all day selling lemonade to people who came to the yard sale, to the mailman, and to passers by. I think she made almost $20 over about 6 hours. (That’s more than I made in 6 hours when I started flipping burgers at 16!)

At the end of the day, I pulled out my phone and shot some video of the kids pitching lemonade. Today I pulled the video off my phone, imported it into iMovie, added a filter to give it an old movie look, and put a piece of the video on my Youtube account.

[Video deleted at Emma's request - February 22, 2013]

You’ll notice that Emma isn’t offering more than unpaid internships at her stand! Too bad for her brothers.