Wednesday, 7 July 2010

OMG - It Is So Hot !

When I was planning this tour, I chose to be in the northern states in the summer time so it wouldn’t be too cold. Did I mis-judge something? I ask because it has been hot enough to toast a frog on a roof! The previous day I had washed my bike and to escape the heat I decided to polish my bike early in the morning. I started this at about 10am and in the sun, the temperature was 104F. By the time I was finished, I felt like that frog. This photo is really out of focus, but as it is the hottest temperature I have ever cleaned my bike in, I wanted to include it....





















The ride today would take us from Boston to Provincetown, Massachusetts. We got out of the Boston traffic as quickly as we could and heading east, Paul and I hit the coast first at a place called Nantasket, near Hull Bay. By the time we got there, the lobsters were on the beach, guilty of sitting out in the sun for too long with their city-white skins.





















We didn’t stay at the beach long. Black T shirts and hot sun don’t mix, so we were soon on the road again. We passed this great looking house near Hull Town and had to turn around to take a photo. I love the way they have used the rocks as a huge feature – in fact part of the house sits on the rock....





















Next we went to see the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This is located in a residential area and we stopped our bikes to go take a look when the woman who lives in the house opposite took pity on what was obviously two heat-weary looking bikers and very kindly offered us some iced water – how kind was she! The monument is somewhat strange as it looks roman, but it was sculpted in Plymouth between 1859 and 1889, although I am not sure why it took so long. There is a large plinth at its base which depicts the Pilgrims and the principles upon which the Pilgrims founded their Commonwealth. The main inscription reads “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” Stirring stuff. It is worthwhile going to see....




























Just before we turned north onto Cape Cod, we saw these fantastic house built on stilts right on the beach. They look terrific in the hot summer weather, but they probably take a bettering in the winter. Very cool though....









































Soon we were heading north on the glacier formed peninsular of Cape Cod. This is a huge barrier protecting the Massachusetts coast from the ravages of the Atlantic Ocean. It is indeed a special place with its beautiful villages and its sand dunes to the north. I imagine that many people simply take the main Route 6 north through Cape Cod, but this does it a terrible injustice, for the smaller roads wind through villages, small harbour towns and some stunning scenery. As ever, I try to avoid the main roads and with my buddy Paul, we found some treasures. Here is the Barnstable County Courthouse which was built in 1831 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places....




























We were by now getting very hot as the temperature soared well into the nineties. We had heard about a place called the Beachcombers Bar, so out of a sense of trying to see all of the sights, we headed straight for it and it was packed....









































There are some pretty impressive looking sand dunes near the bar.....





















We then rode on to Provincetown, which everybody in these parts calls P Town. This sits at the very end of the Cape Cod peninsular and is well known for its gay residents and visitors. I liked P Town as it has no pretentions, it does attempt to hide from its gay lifestyle and indeed it shouts loudly about what it is and what it stands for. There are terrific shops and restaurants that cater for both residents and tourists alike. People watching is a great thing to do and you certainly see some, well let’s just call them “interesting” sights. A very lively place indeed and one that I would like to bring my wife Jackie to see. It would not I admit be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was fun all the same. We had dinner in a restaurant on the main street and had a drink afterwards in a gay karaoke bar – priceless!

Here are a few photos from P Town, which definitely goes down in my book as a cool place...












































































































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No, it cannot be THAT hot!!

Well, if day 13 was hot, the day 14 was a scorcher! The temperature gauge on my bike read 107F. That wasn’t in the shade so officially it wasn’t that hot, but as I wasn’t in the shade either, then I felt that hot! I kept drinking liquids to replace those I was sweating away! I hope it cools down soon as today wasn’t pleasant, especially when we got caught up in traffic.

Today was another long day, but I only did 167 miles. That doesn’t sound a lot, but it is when you consider I don’t generally ride on anything larger than a two lane road. This way, when riding, I can see a heck of a lot of things, but it can be very slow and it was today – frustratingly slow at times. Paul and I left the Provincetown Inn at around 10am and the 167miles wasn’t completed until 6pm – 8 hours of riding / stopping to see things makes for a long and tiring day, especially in this heat.

Paul and I started off this morning by looking at the coastline at P Town. There are great beaches here with clean sand that young kids would absolutely adore. Here are a few photos of the area. The monument is a 200 ish foot high monument to the Pilgrims. Quite how this is meant to represent the Pilgrims, I am not sure – it just looks very phallic to me, which I guess is just about what you would expect from P Town....










































































Dying of thirst, we then wanted to check out a bar / restaurant in a place called Wellfleet that has an interesting name – it simply calls itself the Bookstore and Restaurant. We walked in at 11am to be told they didn’t open until 1130 but using some English charm, we persuaded the very pretty waitress to give us some drinks. I never did work out what the relevance of calling it a bookstore was, as I didn’t see one book in the whole place....





















As we were leaving Wellfleet we saw this restaurant, which as you can see has a rather interesting piece of art(?) on its exterior....





















There sure is a lot of sand around here....





















Paul might want to elaborate on this story, but I will try to get it as accurate as I can. He and his wife Sarah went to a place called Chatham in Cape Cod a few winters ago and they stood outside the lighthouse there and posed for a photograph. Sometime later the two of them were looking through old photos and they found a photo of Paul and his family when they were standing outside the same lighthouse in almost an identical position 38 years previously! It seemed obvious to use that we needed to get a new picture of Paul standing in the same place, so here it is....





















Finally for today, some of my readers may remember that I have an AC Cobra. Not a real AC Cobra but a replica. Here it is....













That car was produced as a kit and then assembled (not be me) and the makers of the kit were a company called Factory Five Racing. They are based in Wareham in Massachusetts and it just so happened (no it didn’t, as I planned it that way!) that Paul and I were in the area where Factory Five are, so we called in to see them and we were given a guided tour of their facilities. This was fascinating stuff. A couple of photos from their welding shop....









































A very complicated looking jig for a chassis....





























This is why the jig needs to be complicated, Here is a finished chassis and just look at how complex it is, Remember, these chassis are made by hand....





















A few pictures from their fibreglass body shop....






























































The metal work department....









































Finally, to show the end results that somebody can achieve if you buy one of their kits, Factory Five have a small showroom of completed cars....





















Immediately following the tour at Factory Five, Paul and I went our separate ways. Paul had to return to London to get back to work, so he headed north to Boston in order to fly back to London and I carried on south, stooping in Newport, Rhode Island. It was a real pleasure having Paul to ride with me for the first part of the tour and it seemed strange to them ride away on my own. I would like to say thanks to Paul for being a great riding companion – we get on well, agree about most things and have similar tastes, so he is the ideal riding partner – cheers mate, see you back in London and good luck with that baby of yours and Sarah’s!

12 comments:

Axel said...

On your own now… do not loose any more keys!!
Thanks to Paul specially for his guest report and insights.
Great pictures again, for my taste the houses at the beach could have some more stilts added for peace of mind, or do they dismantle them in stormy weather season? Safe ride, looking forward to the next 1,000 miles picture, must be soon.

Geoff James said...

I think I've wet my pants looking at those Cobras :-)

Thanks for the guided tour!

iansolley said...

well you certainly picked the weather - its been scorching here too - must be global warming!
Your pre-palnning does impress me - all the right bars, sight and a tour of the Car place too - excellent stuff.

Chris Luhman said...

Good stuff Gary. Riding in anything near 100 is pretty awful.

BTW: It's mid 80s in MN :)

Paul said...

It was odd you turnring left and me turning right, all be it our Garmin GPSs seemed to want to do that on and off most of the trip so far! Indeed, you pretty much got the story right. I have sent you a couple of pics and as you can see nothing changed since 1972! Frustratingly i cant find the one of the family in it. Well, I am sat in Boston and definitely endured the hottest ride of my motorbike career yesterday. Cape Code a place I shall come back to via Boston of course. The last 2 weeks we have done so much and seen a fabulous part of the USA. It went so quickly but seems like ages ago we started the journey. Gary, I shall keep up with your blog and maybe just pick a moment and jump on a plan!! What a great time. Looking for that picture of Cape Cod, I found all the others of my trip from Pittsburgh to Mexico and back again during the summer of 1972. We had a big old Chevrolet, a tent and my parents, brother and sister and I did 13,000 miles in 10 weeks. You have some incredible scenery and sights to follow.

mq01 said...

the sandy beaches and P-Town seem gorgeous. i hope that it cools down for you soon!!

biker baby said...

It seems to be hot all over. We are having unusual heat for this time of year too.
If you have room for a small hard cooler on your passenger seat, it might be worth the investment. We always have one with us on trips. We also carry a thermos of cold water and headbands that have polymer crystals inside that swell when they get wet. (2 for ea of us) We keep one in the cooler and wear one. When it gets warm, we trade it for the cold one in the cooler. You can usually get them at sporting goods stores.

bobskoot said...

Gary:

Finally, our HOT weather is here. Not as hot as where you are but warm for us.

Cateringham Lotus 7 are hand made over on Vancouver Island and they make one car at a time.

It was great to have company for part of your journey. I am sure many along your route will join in and spot you for a meal or two. You left us dangling. What has happened to Paul's bike, just left in the airport parking lot ?

Those Stilt houses don't look very sturdy. I think they should have more stilts.

I echo the same thoughts as others. Don't lose your keys, nor break your glasses. You can start talking to yourself anytime now

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

Eve said...

I have a picture of my kids standing at that same lighthouse Gary. My brother's live on the Cape and when we visited many moons ago we stopped at P Town and jumped on a Whale watching boat. I was a wonderful trip.
Love the Cobra!!! Replica or not! I'm sure you know how it feels riding without a helmet in that thing. I can't think of any other names for helmets but I bet the friends I'm visiting here in northern NY would...however they are out in their barn milking cows as I type.
The heat is bad...sadly when I moved to Alabama I brought the snow with me and when I came up north to visit I brought the heat...so you can blame me for this one!
Bye Paul!!!!! Safe journeys!

rfsul said...

Damn! I just today found your site, (July 8th) I live here in Plymouth Ma. and am on vacation for 2 weeks. I could have ridden with you (Yamaha, Road Star) though some nice area roads only the locals can find. It's the old, "Missed it, by that much." I'm going the opposite direction from you now too. Going up the coast to Penobscot Bay, in Maine for our second week of vacation. Have a great tour! I must say I'm a bit envious. I'll follow the rest of your adventure as you Go West. Travel Well..!
-Sully

Gary France said...

Axel – Actually as of today, I met up with my wife in New York and she bought spare keys with her! Now that I look back at the pictures, I agree with you about more stilts. I posted the 2000mile picture last night....

Geoff- It was rather good. Engineering heaven!

Ian – All that planning paid off in the end! It was a lot oif work, but worth it in the long run.

Chris – Oh how I look forward to a cool 80 F....

Paul – Yep, it was very odd. I agree about Cape Cod, as I too was impressed with the place. We saw a huge amount and I was very grateful for your company – riding alone was strange after nearly 2 weeks, so if you do want to jump on a plane and come back for a week or two, you would be most welcome. See you in November!

mq01 – I was very surprised about just how nice P-Town and its surroundings are. I hope to get back there one day.

BB – Most be that global warming stuff! I already have a thermos which I fill at every chance I get with iced water. I will try to find the headbands, so thanks for the tip.

Bob – I didn’t know they made Caterhams in Canada. I hope to meet lots of people along the way. Paul rented his bike in Boston, so I think he must have returned it before going to the airport! I agree about more stilts – I don’t know how they have lasted for so long. I started talking to myself a long time ago!

Sully – That is a real shame we missed you as we were right there in Plymouth! Enjoy Penobscot Bay. We found Maine to be a terrific state with so much to see and do (and eat). I am pleased that you will follow the blog!

Gary France said...

Eve – I would love to go whale watching. Did you see the picture Chuck put on his “One a day, Mostly Seattle” blog recently? If not click on the link in my sidebar and check it out. Driving the Cobra fast is a little like riding a bike without a helmet, but you still feel much safer in the car.