Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 49: Little Falls to Latham, NJ -- Mohawk River Ramble

Pictures are here.
Miles: 81
Total Miles: 3745
Time: 5:46
Average: 14.0
Max 33.5
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:9
Climbing: Nice and flat most of the day.
Weather: Fog in the morning then glorious sunshine and low 80's with little wind. Gorgeous!

Promise of a beautiful day from the weather report and sure enough, it was all it was made out to be. Low traffic all Saturday morning let us enjoy the many neat New York vistas over green valleys. Periodically we came upon a small town with shops and old factories along the river.

Early in the day we stopped at Fort Klock, a collection of 18th century structures with attractive gardens and vegetation scattered about. Then came Nelliston, Fonda and Amsterdam along the wide Mohawk River to our right. Occasionally we climbed a bit above it and got a clear view. A railroad traveled between the river adn the road so we regularly saw short passenger trains and long freight trains.

After 50 miles we passed over the the south side of the Mohawk and soon hit a bike path that we were on a good deal of the last 30 miles. Lunch was a burger and root beer float at Jumpin Jacks, a popular summer burger joint.

I spent the day riding with a variety of folks and did a lot of dawdeling. A picture here, a turn into town there and so it went. Had a good chance to talk with Jim early in the day about his family heritage. He was in a reflective mood as he was heading off route to Schenectady where his mother was born and raised and where she met his dad, a WWII veteran who had seen much action in Germany. Jim looked up the house where his mother was raised as well as the hospital he was born in. While there, he connected with the woman, now 81, who had helped deliver him. It was quite the day for him.
I stopped along the way in to pick up some super glue to drip into the many slashes my tires now have. I am hoping to make it in on these tires the last three days. We'll see. I also bought a new chain as mine is worn out. I am hoping to get more miles from both sprockets as a result.

This evening we had a spirited T-shirt swap which was great fun. I offered up a PwP T-shirt. There was a soccer jersey from England, a school T from Switzerland, a mountaineering Tshirt and a whole variety of biking related Tshirts like "I'm only wearing this because my biking jersey is in the wash". Steve from Florida, offered one that had the highest mountain in FL -- which of course is a joke since the highest elevations there are freeway overpasses. I ended up with the T-shirt I wanted, a mountain climbing related shirt Jim had offered.

Most everyone was feeling up beat after the day and the fun at the swap. In general the reality of this trek closing down is affecting different folks in different ways. The prospect of real life, looking for a job or returning to one that is less than desireable is less than appealing to some. The fact that friendships formed will not be refreshed is depressing to some. The sense of accomplishment is uplifting to some. The long time on the road living out of a suitcase and eating at buffets can't come to an end fast enough for a few.

Best news of the day for me is that Marcia will be joining me a day early in Manchester on Monday for our last dinner together celebration and a time where we each share with the group what this ride has meant to us. The next day is an easy ride to the ocean with the last 7 miles being all together with a celebratory police escort. Two days of climging left before then to get us throgh Vermont and New Hampshire.

1 comment:

  1. More beautiful pics---like the group shot with YOU in it with your riding buds--long day for both of us---and another for me tomorrow---I like our new plan--for me to come up on Monday--and maybe to stay at the farm on Tues night and get to Andrea and jerry's on Wed---think that will work ok for them. Then home on Thurs---would be good if we leave early---they are leaving Fri for 1st part of their trip to Fla. Looking forward to seeing everyone again---and to hear what different ones have to say about their trips. Will everyone be wearing their acquisitions from the t-shirt exchange???? Love you muchly, me