Out on the Trail with the new Tandem–E. Bay Bike Path, E. Providence, RI

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Alongside Narragansett Bay with our bike! Cooling vest on, cooling scarf, too, ready to ride!

We have been in conversation, and then getting geared up with a bike builder, Jay Borden, of Roulez Cycles, in Lynn, MA for over a year to help us obtain an adaptive tandem bike that was easier to transport, and easier to handle than the adaptive tandem bike we have had for a number of years. It has been a challenge, and a real collaborative effort to be sure the frame worked for what I need in an adaptive tandem.

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Taking a break along the trail to get pictures and enjoy all the birds

Additional challenges mounted as we worked to added the e-assist to the bike, essential for us to have since between all the gear we need to carry to keep me safe in warm weather, plus the weight of the bike, and ourselves, everything adds up to nearly 400 pounds–easy when rolling on a flat trail, not so easy at all on steep inclines. My husband figured out the e-assist part, after a number of maddening programming issues, and on a warm July morning, he said, “let’s go!”

Yes, the day promised to be near 90 degrees. We headed to the coast, to the East Bay Bike Path, for that reason, knowing it would be cooler along the ocean. But we also packed my cooling vest, made by Veskimo products, that I wear in warm weather, an essential adaptive piece of equipment that makes the difference in keeping me safe, since I am unable to sweat to help me cool off.

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Joining the three pieces together at the trail. For most trips, we plan to keep two sections together, making it quicker and easier to make all the connections.

This new bike comes apart into three pieces, joined together by ingenious S&S couplers. Piecing the bike together at the bike trail is still a work in progress, and we are working out those details, but it all worked, extra ice and bike tools were packed up, and we headed out along Narragansett Bay, starting in E. Providence.

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Great blue heron takes advantage of the boardwalk at the Boyden Heights trail, E. Providence

Low tide meant we saw lots of birds along the way, hunting in the shallows of the ponds at the edge of the bay. We stopped for only a few pictures, but did capture a great blue heron taking advantage of the boardwalk that can be accessed either from the bike trail or from the Boyden Heights conservation area.

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Lots of peddlers stop at the Dari-Bee in Riverside for ice cream, enjoyed at tables and benches in the shade,alongside the trail

The heat provided a perfect excuse to stop at the Dari-Bee in Riverside for cups of cool ice cream. This ice cream stop is directly along the trail, which makes it perfect for peddlers of all sizes to stop and cool off in the shade next to the trail.

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A perfect day to be out on the trail, if you don’t mind 90 degree heat. In fact, the trail was relatively uncrowded. Turns out lots of folks hit the beaches, making this the perfect time for us to test out the new bike.

We are still working out the kinks for how to best situate handlebars and seats, so this was a short (ten mile) trip, but it certainly won’t be the last. It has been a lot of work to make this bike do just what we needed, but that’s part of the territory when adapting anything. For now, we are on a roll…

Marjorie

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Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed three guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,”  “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts,”  and edited “Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! Marjorie is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

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