Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 51: Brattleboro to Manchester, NH -- Yet another "best" day of riding!

Pictures are here
Miles: 87
Total Miles: 3916
Time: 5:45
Average: 15.1
Max 43
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:9
Climbing: About 6000' total climbing including 3/4 mile long hill that had 15% grade sections.
Weather: Sunny, warm, a bit muggy with temps in mid 80's. Another absolutely gorgeous day!

Penultimate night and day of the grand adventure! The end is clearly in sight. Almost literally from the top of Hogback mountain yesterday where the claim was one could see for 100 miles. We were about 170 miles from the Atlantic and now it's shrunk to less than 70.

The penultimate hotel stay was a bit unusual as I was in with Tom and Jim for the night. It was fitting. Jim was my first nights roomie out of SF and we rode a lot together since he returned in Indy. Tom rolled in about 9:00 from an afternoon in Brattleboro with some of the others and was a bit surprised to see me in the suite, but he was a great sport about it. Especially when he learned that he and Sean had dropped me and I had not had had chain problems as they assumed when they realized I was no longer behind them. Oh the simple pleasures of friendly competition.

And then today's second to the last day's ride. What an absolute delight that was with its many ride textures. A long 6% climb to the top of Pitcher Pountain. A 3/4 mile grind and grunt and sweat and sweet talk to the top of two very steep back to back climbs that featured 15% grades in spades. Fast downhills on very smooth tarmac and a fast down hill on a mile of dirt road through the woods. A long wind driven ride that followed the bends of that clear fast moving NH stream off our right side. Long shaded roads, open ridge tops and fast sections on the shoulder of gently undulating US highways. This ride had it all!

The first SAG featured the best peaches by far I've had all season. And these after I said to someone last evening that I'd just love fruit in season -- and Oh by the way, peaches are in season right now. And then the second SAG stop featured a full gourmet lunch provided by Judy's husband, Dan. He had a spread of chicken salad on Pita bread, past salad and fruit salad all laid out on the back of his pickup for us. All we had to do was dig in and eat. Judy, you got yourself a jewel!!

SAG 2 also featured some neat reunions. Bob's wife Susie and two kids, Kyle and Bethany had driven in from Boston in their rental to connect with him early. And then Chuck's 80 some year old uncle who had ridden cross country some 20 years ago joined him there on his bike and the two did some miles together. "Bullet Bob" as he was called, must have been the fastest in his crossing those years ago.

And when I rolled into Manchester, I looked for the gray Odyssey and sure enough -- it was parked in the lot and Marcia was waiting for me! We enjoyed our last route rap together followed by a slide show of photos Gerard had put together that captured the ride well. Then dinner, awards by staff and some comments from each of the riders that wanted to share.


  1. Congratulations on making it to the day before the last day of riding! It's been fun hearing the stories along the way.

  2. Congratulations! Hope the ride today is a great one!

  3. Waiting anxiously for an update on your last day! Want to see a picture of that front tire in the surf! And congratulations, Otata! What a big, wonderful day for you amd your clan. Big hugs!