Location: Places >> North America >> United States >> Massachusetts >> Pioneer Valley/Western Massachusetts
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Short Overnight Bike-Trips
Posted April 16th, 2012 - 7:29 pm by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
This summer I will be working but I'm becoming restless and I have a 5 year streak of burning bridges in this weather. So I'm inviting my friends and also the CS community to join me on overnight 1-2 day bike trips happening weekly or bi-weekly throughout the summer. And also pool together resources to sew panniers, fix bicycles/teach maintenence, and build trailers from found material (I'm building one from bamboo and discarded bike wheels and have extra). Discovering small communities nestled in the hills, cooling off in knee high streams, the nights will be lit up with fires or the luminescence of a bazillion fireflys and of course the best blanket of all the night sky - and maybe the sweet tunes of a lute accompanied by voices and cricket chirping. And then waking up in unfamiliarity that always come with morning thinking to yourself 'oh yea I did that' followed by breakfast and the bike ride home with friends.

I'm a leisurely biker and don't do it for sport but also don't mind picking up the pace if that's the consensus. I'm also more than willing to help someone out if they experience any troubles, I know enough bike mechanics to get by and out of sticky/unexpected situations, and I can teach you the rough anatomy of a bicycle and maintenence prior.

Bike touring doesn't have to cost money except for the bike of course but even that you might be able to find for free.

If any of this sounds of interest to you, I'm more than happy for you to join me, you can reply to this thread or message me with any questions/concerns. I'm looking to start as soon as next month and up until the weather gets bad or I get this out of my system (I don't actually believe that will ever happen ;))

Hope to hear from you! If not, enjoy the nice nice oh so very nice weather.

Posted April 17th, 2012 - 10:03 am by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
Photos of the wonders of bike touring

two brothers tour the US

Posted April 23rd, 2012 - 7:05 pm from New York, United States
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Posted April 23rd, 2012 - 11:00 pm by from Santa Fe, United States (Permalink)
That sounds like so much fun! Definitely keep us updated about your plans! I live out in Boston but occasionally come out to Western MA to visit friends back at school and I'd definitely be game for escaping the city to go biking and playing in rivers.

Posted April 26th, 2012 - 1:54 am by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
Rad! I'm so glad you two replied. I'll be in touch and will update you what the plans are.

I know it's not exactly necessary to be carrying all that much stuff if we are just leaving for a night or two but I'm planning a night to sew some panniers. My last bike trip I did that, but gave them away. They were sewn from tarp lying around, with cardboard sandwiched between two pieces. Really excellent in keeping the structure and my stuff was never soaked. Unfortunately with the square design I would keep kicking them unless I adjusted them before setting off again. So I'm changing the design and also making them purdy. Anyways its nice to have a pair of panniers lying around for that day you do decide to go on a longer trip.

So if anyone is interested I got quite a bit of tarp and cardboard is always plentiful, and I have a sewing machine.

Victoria let me know the next time you are in the area, we can plan the first trip around then too :3 Alright talk to you later.

Posted April 30th, 2012 - 12:27 am by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
Update I'm planning on going up to Middlebury, VT the first trip. It's 136 miles, approximately 1 1/2 days. People are welcome to join me for all or part way.

Posted July 27th, 2012 - 5:28 am by from Northampton, United States (Permalink)
hey uh... I saved this thread back in May and have just been going through old stuff and found it again, but if you're still doing this, I'd love to join you/ am interested!

also, I would love to learn how to sew panniers.

Posted July 28th, 2012 - 6:16 pm by from Northampton, United States (Permalink)

I just moved to the area and am so happy that this thread got bumped up. I'd love to join in on these trips if they are still happening. Let me know!



Email: chris.speaks@gmail.com

Posted September 20th, 2012 - 6:20 pm by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
eeee I don't check cs often, sorry about that. I won't have time for another tour until next spring but I will try to keep in touch about that.

Posted January 3rd, 2013 - 3:41 pm by from Hadley, United States (Permalink)
Hey, I see this was last year, but if you're planning on continuing the tradition, I'd love to be in on it. I've got materials for making an ultralight backpack this winter, I'd love to see how you made your panniers.


Posted January 7th, 2013 - 1:14 pm by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
hi marvin that would great
I'm traveling at the moment
but return at the end of january
so I can do a weekend in february if you are still down to go
pannier construction is fairly easy
6 cardboard sides:
2 cut 1-1 1/2 ft they will form your front and back
3 cut 1/2 ft they will form your sides, top, and bottom

sandwich the cardboard pieces between tarp
sew along sides

sew the box form together
sew only one side of the top piece to the back of the pannier

sew the zipper along the top piece
and the rest of the pannier

This will form one pannier bag, I made another and connected them with another double folded tarp piece wide enough for my rack to fit between them.

not so elegant latched with suspension cords to the frame of my bike.

a new designs is in the works. I had troubles kicking the back of side of the pannier as I pedaled so I had to move it back, instead of a square front and back, I would cut a diagnol along the mid section of the side to the mid section of the base.

I would attach some grommets (? holes metal loops) along the back to attach a small suspension cord to latch to the rack.

I have trailer now that I'm refitting for my most awesome pup Beauregard Buns. He'll be most pleased to join us. I'll be in touch!


Posted January 7th, 2013 - 1:44 pm by from Hillsdale, United States (Permalink)
I'd love to get in on the touring too! I saw this thread last summer but I was always working :(

Posted January 8th, 2013 - 8:43 am by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
Awesome, yea I wasn't able to get anything together last summer due to work but I'll be able to tour once I'm back. I'll get in touch with the both of you then.

Posted March 6th, 2013 - 8:45 pm by from Sunderland, United States (Permalink)
helloa I'm planning on taken a bike trip during spring break , march 16th - 24th. Might be 9 days, might be shorter. If anyone is still interested. Probably just want to go in a small group so like 1-3 others, I wanna visit this place called dog town on cape ann, just north of boston, on the coast.

from the wiki:

Dogtown (also Dogtown Commons or Dogtown Common or Dogtown Village) is an abandoned inland settlement on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. Once known as the Common Settlement and populated by respectable citizens, the area later known as Dogtown is divided between the city of Gloucester and the town of Rockport. It is in an area not particularly suited to agriculture, due to poor and very rocky soil. Nevertheless it was settled, beginning in 1693, because its inland location afforded protection from pirates and from enemy natives. Another attraction was the fact that the area lay on what was originally the only direct land route between Sandy Bay (Rockport's original name) and Gloucester. The peak of population, from about 1750 to the turn of the nineteenth century, has been estimated at around one hundred families.
After new coastal roads were opened, and especially after the conclusion of the War of 1812 and its attendant risk of coastal bombardment, most farmers moved away from Dogtown. Their abandoned houses were for a few decades occupied by itinerants and vagabonds, giving the area its bad reputation. Many of the widows of sea-goers and soldiers who never returned kept dogs for protection and company. As these last inhabitants died their pets became feral, roaming the moors and howling, possibly giving rise to the nickname "Dogtown."
Some of the last occupants were suspected of practicing witchcraft, including Thomazine "Tammy" Younger, whom some knew as the "Queen of the Witches." Tammy lived on Fox Hill, by Alewife Brook, and would reputedly place a curse on teams of oxen carrying fish from the harbor as they crossed the bridge there, unless their driver paid her a "toll". A reputed witch often associated with Dogtown was Peg Wesson, but she lived in Gloucester. The last resident of Dogtown, a freedman named Cornelius "Black Neil" Finson, was found half-dead living in a cellar-hole in the winter, and was removed to the poorhouse in Gloucester in 1830; he died shortly afterward.

Most of the area of Dogtown is now a dense woodland, criss-crossed and bisected by trails and old roads. Dogtown Road off of Cherry Street in the western section (the Gloucester side) is lined with the remains of the cellar holes of the settlers, many of which are numbered in correspondence with names from John J. Babson's book of the history of Gloucester. Babson's grandson, Roger Babson, is known for, among other things, his commissioning of unemployed stonecutters to carve inspirational inscriptions on approximately three dozen boulders in Dogtown during the Great Depression. Babson also mapped and numbered the cellar holes left from the homes of Dogtown's former residents.
Most of the land is held in trust by Gloucester and Rockport and is therefore protected in perpetuity. The current state of Dogtown affords rich recreation opportunities to hikers and bikers, dog-walkers, nature lovers, cross-country skiers, geologists and historians. The area is peppered with house-sized boulders, including one named "The Whale's Jaw," which it formerly resembled before collapsing after a picnic campfire got out of control in 1989.