Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brattleboro, VT to Burlington, MA

BOSTON!  Well, close enough; we're in Burlington, MA, and ride to Revere Beach tomorrow morning to complete our seven week journey across this big and beautiful country.  Partly cloudy skies and cool temperatures marked our departure from Vermont.  We hadn't gone far when we crossed the state line into New Hampshire.  From there we paralleled the river for many miles before beginning the major portion of our climbing for the day.  Grades of 12 and 13% were recorded on some long climbs; nothing this group can't handle after riding their bicycles from Los Angeles.  Eventually, we crossed over into Massachusetts.  We evenly divided our day between country roads and the suburbs.  Lots of traffic on some roads and essentially none on others.  Lots of turns kept everyone busy navigating their way into town.

6:20; 93 miles; 5,275' climb; 4,841 Calories.

The British are coming!  The British are coming!  Tony, Harry, Howard, Mike R, Howard, and Chris.

Jack at the state line.

Abandoned factory on the river.

$5 fine for crossing the bridge at more than a walk speed.

Llamas on the village green in Fitzwilliam.

Ho hum, another state line.  WAIT!  It's Massachusetts; we're almost there.

The last SAG stop.  Dan graciously offered to ride in together, but given traffic conditions, I felt we would be safer riding alone.  I should have taken him up on his suggestion as I wound up with a couple of "bonus" miles.

Isn't this redundant?

Someone has too much time on their hands.

The last chocolate milkshake!  No DQ, but a McDonalds just before the hotel.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Albany, NY to Brattleboro, VT

We crossed another state line - into Vermont.  Lots of climbing, one hill went on for 6.3 miles of up to 10% grade.  We climbed up to Hogback Mtn and then had a long, glorious descent into Brattleboro.

Great weather today - partly cloudy skies and cool temperatures in the mountains.  Lots of pictures to share.

5:18; 76 miles; 5,408' climb; 3,904 Cal.

Today's road.

Leaving Albany, riding into the sun.

Willie's 60 birthday today.  He's now officially an old dog.

Deborah, I can send the other horse back if you would prefer this one.

or maybe a moose?

Adirondack chairs are all the rage.

Vermont state line.  Bob, Beth, Jack, Willie (aka birthday boy), Dan, and Mike R.


It's all about Willie.

Robert Frost is buried in Bennington, VT. 

The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

 Hogback Mountain.  You can supposedly see 100 miles on a clear day like today.

I had lunch with Jack.  The other customers didn't seem to notice Nessie in the river. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Herkimer to Albany, NY

"I can see clearly now, the rain is gone..."

It rained during the night and streets were still wet when we left the hotel, but we had partly cloudy conditions, blue skies, and no rain today.  Our ride took us down the beautiful Mohawk Valley.  SR 5 parallels the railroad tracks beside the Mohawk River - lots of downhill and a little uphill to balance the ride.

Don, who I rode with on the East Coast ride in 2011, met me at the SAG stop and led me into Albany off route on the Mohawk bike trail to avoid traffic on the major streets.  Thanks, Don.

4:46; 80 miles; 2,231' climb; 3,996 Calories.

Waiting for departure: Mike R, Howard (CR staff), Willie, Barry, and Bob.

Today's ride.

Don and me at the SAG stop.

More of the beautiful Mohawk Valley

At one of the locks on the Mohawk beside the bike path Don took me on.

Looking back the other way at the river and the bike path.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Syracuse to Herkimer, NY

The streets were wet from last night's rain.  Light rain continued off and on as we rode to Herkimer, NY, from Syracuse.  I wore a rain jacket, and a shower cap over my helmet.  Air temperatures were in the seventies, so it was a warm rain.  All in all, it could have been much worse.  We've been really lucky and not had much precipitation during the past six and a half weeks of riding across the country.

Leaving Syracuse, we were treated to a short, steep hill, but after that, the road leveled off until after the SAG stop and we got gentle rollers into Herkimer.

We crossed the Erie Canal and I rode for a little on the tow path.  Of course, when the canal was in use, there were no trees along the tow path which was used by horses & mules to tow the barges up stream.

Herkimer is famous for doubly terminated quartz crystals called, "Herkimer diamonds."  The town is named after a Revolutionary War General.

4:36; 71 miles; 270' climb; 3,447 Calories.

Yes, I grabbed a chocolate shake and a cheese burger when I got to the hotel.

Wet road under cloudy skies.

The Erie Canal.

Here's the tow path.

I'm not too sure about the green water.

Everything looks green and wonderful until you realize the flags on the fire hydrants are so the firemen can find them under the snow.

Barge canal.

I'll bet you could rent this place for not much money.

Out in farm country, there are "honor boxes" where firewood, vegetables, eggs, and fruit are for sale by the road.  You drop the money in the box and take what you have bought.  In Los Angels, not only would they take the money and all the produce, but would steal the box, too.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Canandaigua to Syracuse, NY

Because of the short distance (70 miles), today's ride didn't start until an hour later than usual.  It was warm and partly cloudy when we left, becoming hotter and humid as we got closer to Syracuse.  As long as I kept moving, it wasn't too bad but I really noticed the heat when I stopped.  We had a 10-15 mph wind out of the south which often helped and at other times was from the side.  Roads were, for the most part, in good condition with wide shoulders.  The first third of the ride was fairly flat, the middle third was a "roller coaster," and the final ride into Syracuse was rolling.  Although we did a fair amount of climbing, it was fairly easy.

Highlights of the day were:  Waterloo (home of Memorial Day); Seneca Falls (home of women's rights); and the Erie Canal.  There was an ice cream store at the SAG stop, so this was a two-milkshake day!  :)

4:30; 70 miles; 2,685' climb; 3,472 Calories.

Happy Father's Day.

Today's ride.

The wind was out of the south and we were going ENE, but it wasn't a head wind!

Seneca Falls is the home of women's rights.

Seneca Falls.



Lots of dairy farms.

Water falls.

Big Mike at the SAG.

Copperhead snake - yes, it's poisonous.

The Erie Canal!  How cool is that?

Part of today's road through the forest.

For Deborah.