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Sean's Blog

Forest in the City

The first weekend in June this year, I went on my first 50-mile ride of the year.  Much of the route was roads I’d ridden on before.  I rode from Holyoke east into Chicopee, then south through Ludlow and a bit of Springfield into Wilbraham.  I then went southwest to East Longmeadow, rode the Redstone Trail again, and then made my way due west into the town of Longmeadow.

I had not biked through Longmeadow this way before, but my objective was to head to a part of Springfield that I hadn’t previously visited.  Heading north into Springfield, I rode into Forest Park.  I’ve known about this large park in the city for years, but only finally got around to visiting.

I didn’t ride through all of the park – mostly the western section.  There I found a large pond:


The pond, as you might expect, attracts waterfowl:


Apparently that one goose prefers the company of ducks to that of its own species.  Birds, like humans, have different orientations, it would seem.

I passed by the old carriage house that is now used as an event space, and walked up a little hill to view the fancy mausoleum of the Barney family.


It’s fenced in, so the general public can’t climb all over it (or to keep people from defacing it, I suppose).

I exited the north side of the park and went to have a burrito for lunch.  I then, as a couple times in the past, rode up Springfield’s riverside bikeway, though that path currently has a discontinuity.  The portion of it that traveled on a bridge over railroad tracks is closed and under construction – part of the larger reconstruction being done on Interstate 91.  So I had to ride on downtown streets for a ways, then go back to the path.

After reaching the northern end of the bikeway, I headed through Chicopee and back to home.

Next: a weekend bike trip to another state.

Posted by seaking on 09-16-2017 at 11:09 pm
Posted in Biking, Wildlife with 0 Comments

Stanley, I Presume

Back in April, I went for a 26-mile bike ride, which is a typical length for the early to mid-Spring as I get back in cycling shape.  I rode to Westfield, Mass to check out Stanley Park, which I’d heard about but had never visited.

I entered the park on the South side, at a sort-of “back entrance”.  There was a small parking lot there, which featured the entrance to hiking trails in a wooded area.  The trail just looked like a little dirt road at first, but then became more of a traditional hiking trail further along (click on images to view larger).


The trail I hiked mostly followed the Little River, which flows along the southern part of the park.  There are a number of nice views of the water, such as this:

I did not see a lot of wildlife, but did catch sight of this snake, just after I heard it slither off the trail into the groundcover:

At one point, the trail I was on crossed a tributary stream, doing so on a floating bridge:

There was a sign dedicating that bridge:

I walked through the trails for about 90 minutes, before getting back to my bike.  I then ended up walking the bike through other parts of the park, such as past a duck pond:

which had a swan in it, as well as ducks.  There were also various kinds of geese around, including these white ones:

Near the pond are a couple of small, old structures, like this one with a water wheel:

As I moved past here toward the front of the park, I passed through a couple of the garden areas, including the Asian Garden (named for the structures erected more than the plant life).

Near those gardens, along the front side of the park, were a series of athletic fields and picnic areas.  For a park in a somewhat urban area, it was not only larger than I expected, but surprisingly diverse in the types of terrain and facilities.

Posted by seaking on 09-14-2017 at 09:09 pm
Posted in Biking, Hiking with 0 Comments

Another Year, Another Century

Once again, I’m participating in Will Bike 4 Food, the bicycle ride that raises money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and its mission of fighting hunger. My goal is to raise $1000 in donations, and I plan to match that amount just as I did last time.  If $1000 is donated by others to the Food Bank, I’ll donate another $1000 myself.

This year the event takes place on September 24, and, as before, I’ll be riding the 100-mile route.  That route is the same path as last year, so my hope is to finish in less time than last year.  Think I can do it in 9 hours flat?  Stay tuned to this space to find out.  I’ll post live from the ride at least a few times, and in the next couple of weeks I’ll recount the long rides I’ve done this summer that have helped me train.

Donations can be made online at this page, or you can contact me to donate offline.  Thanks for supporting an important cause!



Posted by seaking on 09-09-2017 at 10:09 pm
Posted in Biking with 0 Comments

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