Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Ride to Montauk Point, Camp Hero, and We Meet Some Pipers!

We went to Montauk for the weekend. Our hosts Elaine and Scott again put us up in grand style in their sleeping loft. Our Saturday ride to Montauk Point began with a short jaunt into town, and a delicious breakfast outside at the MTK Cafe, our usual haunt. Following that, we set out for Montauk Point, Today, we made a stop at Camp Hero, on the way to the Point. It was a rest stop for the Roughriders, and then became an artillery outpost during WWII.
Camp Hero has a great view of the Atlantic Ocean from high bluffs. It is very easily accessable by bike or car, and has various paths to the beach. The area is rough and rocky, and is not ideal for swimming, but has a rugged beauty all its own. I keep coming back here year after year, and it doesn't ever get old.
Upon our return to Montauk Town, we came upon a street performance by a Piper band from Amityville. I asked them if there was any special event that they were performing for, and the reply was that they were celebrating  Halfway to St. Patrick's Day! The piping was excellent, and capped off another great day on the very tip of the East End.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Day Before Hurricane Irene, We Take a Ride and a Paddle on the North Fork

It was the dy before Hurricane Irene was due to hit our area of the East Coast,and we had all of our preparations in place. What a great time to take a riding/paddling day on the North Fork of Long Island! Our ride began in Southold, and meandered on multiple scenic secondary roads. One great thing about this area is that almost any place that you go, a water view is close at hand.
The riding was spectacular, and a seafood lunch at Pepi's at the Port of Egypt Marina hit the spot. From there we went out to Orient Point State Park, Where Kayak rentals are readily available. The kayaking on Oyster Pond was delightful, and we spotted more than one Osprey in the nest and air. There were also many small beach areas available for totally uncrowded swimming.
When paddling, Helen is the boss, as she is an excellent kayaker. With this in mind, she always takes the Captain's position, and I help out when I can,
We followed our cycling/kayaking day with a dinner at the Chowder Pot Pub in Greenport. The seafood was excellent, and the view of Greenport harbor could not be beat. We were then all ready to spend a day being beat up by Irene.

I Test the Park Tool SS-15 Fixed Gear tool

It was bound to happen sooner or later. As I was riding Miss Pinarello on one of my training jaunts I heard the sound......PSSSSSSSST! My rear tire had flatted. This is usually not the best time in a cyclist's life, but today my flat had a silver lining: it was time to test my new Park Tools SS-15 fixed gear tool. I had been using a dumbell wrench to take off the 15mm track nuts on my 1984 fixed gear Pinarello, but it was not a good match. The wrench was too short to provide adequate leverage, and the  metal was too soft and was beginning to strip, so a new solution was needed. Even though it is bigger and heavier than my dumbell wrench, I decided to trust the folks at Park and give it a try.
The SS-15 is well finished and includes a 15mm pedal wrench,a bottle opener,a tire lever, and the 15mm hex wrench, the size of all track nuts. It fit in the side pocket of my Carradice Barley, and felt smooth to the hand.
In use, the wrench has a raised lip which grasps the track nut securely, and has enough length and heft that the loosening and tightening of the track nuts  a routine job.
All in all. I am pleased with my purchase. This wrench will be a permanent part of my seatpack kit. I now consider it an essential tool for the fixed gear cyclist, Thank you Park Tool for engineering and producing this terrific item.