Bicycling 4,174 Miles Across the United States

Archive for August 15, 2012

August 13th: North Creek, NY to Middlebury, VT

A view of the Vermont bike route with Mollie of Coral Gables, who joined us in Brockport, biking one of the many hills today. You can see the road that led Mollie here in the background.

August 13th Statistics:  North Creek, NY to Middlebury, VT

  • Today’s Biking Distance – 65.7 miles
  • Today’s Average Speed – 15.5 mph
  • Today’s Time In Saddle – 4.2 hours
  • Today Ascent – 3,598 feet
  • Total Trip Biking Days – 50
  • Total Trip Biking Distance – 3,820.5 miles
  • Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 76.4 miles
  • Total Trip Ascent – 100,295 feet

Today I reached a major milestone – I have climbed over 100,000 feet on my bike during the tour!  Amazingly, I also continue to evade a flat tire and more often than not – the forecasted rain as I did again today.

It was with fond memories I biked from Ticonderoga, NY to Middlebury, VT today.  About a year ago, Nancy and I persuaded six friends (Shelley & Eugene, Ted & Kristin, and Mike & Cheryl) to join us on a 6 day bike tour (the 1st bike tour for them) of the Lake Champaign region of Vermont.  The  last 20 miles of today’s ride including 1) the Kissing Bridge in Ticonderoga where Nancy and I were photographed kissing, 2) the Ticonderoga Ferry, 3) the beautiful ride to Shoreham), and 4) Middlebury, were part of last year’s tour which was great.  Even our hotel tonight, the historic Middlebury Inn, was the same hotel we stayed in last year.  The only things different were my riding ability (increased), the water flow (decreased) in the Otter Creek in Middlebury (a city we love to visit), and the location of dinner (this year we dined at the Two Brothers Tavern where the food was excellent, but the service was painfully slow).

View of Vermont as I begin the long downhill into Ticonderoga, NY.

Another view of Vermont from the downhill ride into Ticonderoga, NY.

The waterfalls (left) and “Kissing Bridge” (right) in Ticonderoga, which Nancy and I visited last year on our bike tour of Vermont’s lake region with our friends Shelley & Eugene, Ted & Kristin, and Mike & Cheryl.

My friend Jim who was summering nearby decided to ride with me for some miles into Vermont from the Ticonderoga Ferry. Pictured above is Jim and bike and his wife Nini as we wait for for the Ferry.

Pictured above with me on the Ticonderoga Ferry into Vermont are three bikers who joined us in Brockport, NY. Left to right next to me are Mollie from Coral Gables, FL, and Steve and Sharon from Los Gatos, CA.

Entering Vermont – only two states to go.

Mollie after a long climb from the Ticonderoga Ferry with the New York hills in the background.

Mollie after a long climb from the Ticonderoga Ferry with the New York hills in the background and a beautiful hilltop cemetery on both sides of road.

Steve after the long climb from the Ticonderoga Ferry with the New York hills in the background and a beautiful hilltop cemetery on both sides of the road.

A view of the Vermont as we bike towards MIddlebury, VT.

Pictured above is the Otter Creek Falls in Middlebury. Last year when Nancy I were in Middlebury (which we love) with our friends on a bike trip, Hurricane Irene had just passed. The Otter Creek waterflow last year dwarfs what you see in this photo.

August 12th: Old Forge to North Creek, NY

Pictured above are four of my closest friends from Philadelphia (left to right, Nini and Jim Wolitarsky, and Ted and Kristin Laws) who made a special trip to North Creek, NY to visit me on my tour. We shared a wonderful dinner in the Tavern at Copperfield.

August 12th Statistics:  Old Forge to North Creek, NY

  • Today’s Biking Distance – 65.3 miles
  • Today’s Average Speed – 11.4 mph
  • Today’s Time In Saddle – 5.7 hours
  • Today Ascent – 2,722 feet
  • Total Trip Biking Days – 49
  • Total Trip Biking Distance – 3,754.8 miles
  • Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 76.6 miles
  • Total Trip Ascent – 96,697 feet

Today had its highs and lows.  The high was certainly the visit by my close friends Jim and Nini Wolitarsky and Ted and Kristin Laws.  The biggest surprise of the day was biking a tough section of Route 28 with my eyes totally focused on the road and having a convertible (top down) pull up next to me with Ted and Kristin.  They had been cruising the road between Old Forge and North Creek looking for me (using my yellow handlebar bag to identify me which turned out to be meaningful as there were hundreds of cyclists on the same route biking the 78 mile Adirondack Ididaride being held today).  After finding a place to pull over we had a joyful reunion after two months.  We continued catching up and sharing stories over dinner with Jim (who is joining me for a bike tomorrow at the Ticonderoga Ferry) and Nini.

The low was the loss of my energy level early in the day.  I felt great for the beautiful first 11 miles of today’s ride from Old Forge to Inlet, NY on a country road.  Then it felt like someone had tied anchors to my feet (but no other symptoms) or that the excellent blueberry pancakes I had for breakfast (I am occasionally eating breakfast) went to my feet.  I was struggling to maintain my new performance levels for speed and cadence (yesterday I climb more elevation and rode more miles, but went much faster than today).  Making me feel even more depressed, dozens of riders were passing me from the Ididaride and our own group at speeds far below my recent performance.  Fortunately, the ride was short (only 65 miles) so I arrived at our lodge at about 2pm and spent the entire afternoon napping so I would be in better shape for dinner with Jim, Nini, Ted, and Kristin.  I felt surprisingly better after the nap and even more so after a great evening with my friends.

Now the rest of the story – When I was preparing my bike for the ride the next day, I found that the front wheel was very loose.  Now it appears that my problem today was mechanical, not physical.  My front wheel may have been rubbing the brake pads for the entire ride providing me an extra challenge.  Supporting this conclusion was the fact that on the ride the next day, my performance immediately returned to my new expectations and I was energized.

Steve & Nancy highly recommended Keyes Pancake House for breakfast, so Jim (pictured), Robert, Doug, and I left the hotel early so we could be at Keyes when they opened at 7 am. Thank you Steve & Nancy, the breakfast was delicious.

View of Fulton Lake on our ride today.

Another view of the Fulton Lake Chain near Inlet, NY

View of one of the many lakes we passed on our ride today.

View of one of the many river crossings on our bike route today.

View of our lodging in North Creek, NY, the Alpine Lodge.

View of my room at the Alpine Lodge showing the rustic theme of the furnishings – very nice.

I was not the only biker to have company for the evening. Doug was thrilled for the second time on the tour to be surprised by family members showing up unexpectedly at one of our overnight cities. Pictured above are two of Doug’s sisters and a brother-in-law who drove up from Albany to share the afternoon and evening with him.