Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Done at Last!

We are back at Windsor Locks. Not a day too soon. We both feel very physically tired from riding such a heavy bike. Now to see if we can get it all back into the bags that brought it here and on to the plane.

Finally a wide, soft seat

We left the Hudson River Valley from Hudson, NY. Summer had finally arrived. Temps were in the 90's and the humidity was too. We had to find a way through the southern end of the Berkshires. We traveled east to a small town, near the MA border, Hillsdale, NY. We were sitting in the shade at the library eating some lunch when a local cyclist started talking to us. Our plan was to ride down a secondary highway, but he convinced us to take an alternate road. What a sweet route it was. We climbed up a moderate hill, where the views were fantastic and there was virtually no traffic, onto a 3 mile rail trail, from the state park, then onto another small road that was shady and quiet. All in all, 15 to 17 miles of quiet roads. It was blissful.

After that we returned to the Hwy, but it had good shoulder, so it was safe even if loud. Oh yes, I should mention that we hit our highest speed of this trip. We descended a long hill. There was a sign at the top warning drivers not to coast, but hey we could never pedal that fast. In a moment of low blood sugar thinking I did not apply the drag brake. I looked down at the speedo and whoa over 53 mph. When we checked the max speed that night it was 56.3. Again images of a front tire flat flash through my mind and I wonder what kind of carnage we would have left on the road. The opportunity arose one more time for a high speed descent the next day, but I wisely kept us to about 45 mph. I don't know if 10 mph makes that much difference on a bike, but it sure feels like it.
We camped that night in a really nice campground just outside of East Canaan, CT. The tent sites are normally $51 a night.(gasp!), but they love cyclists and we were charged a whopping $20. We were in a sunny site and it was hot, but summers in the NE are prone to thunder showers in the late afternoon. Within minutes it clouded over and was very muggy. We stowed everything in the tent and shortly after dark there was an announcement on the campground speakers that a severe thunder storm warning had been issued for the area. One of the seasonal campers that we had talked to a little earlier came over to our tent and told us they were leaving for home, but that we were welcome to seek shelter on their front porch if the weather got too violent. "Feel free to watch our TV," she said. We have actually sat out a thunderstorm before in our tent so we weren't too worried. Marty was actually praying for wind as he felt like he was melting in the heat of the tent. (We later determined that he was pretty dehydrated from the ride and was over heated. He really did not feel well and I was worried that he was getting sick. That would not be good as I am too short to captain the bike.) It rained, but the wind never blew and the storm never really developed. We sweated the night away in the tent.
We woke up to partly cloudy skies, heat, and humidity. Fortunately, we had a short ride into Windsor Locks, but we were not done climbing. Even though this day had less total altitude then the day before, the hills were steeper and even a bit longer. We would slog our way up one long hill, then descend a long hill pretty much all day. By now, we were very good at standing on the bike, so it was sit and grind a bit, stand a bit until we would reach the top. Cars were amazingly patient and gave us plenty of space. I never once felt threatened and it was a pretty busy road. It was however, very scenic so we stopped and got lots of pictures.

Can you spot the cell phone tower?

Here are some of the numbers We rode 1453 miles, climbed over 53,600 feet, and rode for 127.3 hours, but who's counting. We averaged 50.1 miles per day, 4.3 hours ride time per day, and 11.4 mph. Not too bad for a tandem bike that we are pretty sure weighs about 200 lbs without us on it.

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive! 1453 miles, climbed over 53,600 feet, and rode for 127.3 hours, 50.1 miles per day, 4.3 hours ride time per day, and 11.4 mph.

    and I thought running took endurance...

    Hope to see you soon



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