Thursday, July 15, 2010

The last day of climbing

Well, today was the last day of climbing, and I must was tough. The first part of the ride was downhill, but from mile 50 or so, it was up hill.

The original fearless fivesome left Killington a little after 7:30 this morning. The downhills were amazing and the morning fog over the mountain lakes made for a very pretty ride. It was 24 miles to the first rest stop; at Sweet Ssurrender Bakery. I did not partake of any of the sweet's that they had to offer, but I did walk through, and the smell of the bakery was incredible. Instead, I filled my water bottles with wath water and gatorade (we had blue gatorade today) enjoyed some watermelon, Cheez-its and a box of raisins. I have found that junk food, as long a s it is salty, works pretty well for me on the long rides.

I left ahead of the Rolland train and positioned myself on the street ahead of them in hopes to snap a picture of the locomotive on the move. In the front is Rolland, of course, then Joe, followed by Mike, Steve (who is a rider that we picked up along the way, and Barb. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of riding in a paceline, I can't even begin to explain how much of a help it is. These guys are a fun group to ride with, and some of the conversations that we had in the pace line were really quite entertaining.

We pacelined ourselves to the Vermont Country store, where the downhills ended and the last bit of substantial climbing began. The difference between this day of climbing and Tuesday and Wednesdays climbing was that today there were no steep climbs, just some very very long long uphills. The grade was 3 - 4 % of an incline, but they seemed to go on forever. I found that the best way to handle it was to put the person in front of me's rear wheel about 4 inches from my front tire and stare directly at their tire. In doing this, I had to put a lot of trust in the person in front of me that they would not lead me over a pot hole or through loose gravel or any other road hazards. I only did this when Rolland, Joe or Barb were directly in front of me. We all managed those climbs and arrived at the 3rd rest stop, which happened to be at a local bike shop.

The first order of business was to go into the bike shop and get an update on the Tour de France. It appears that there was a little head butting going on on the sprint in. I have not heard what the ramifications of that were, but I did see it and I am sure there will be some punishment. After checking that out and using the facilities I went out and asked Eric if he would lube my chain, as it was getting a little squeeky. Eric is one of the mechanics that volunteers his time and talents to make sure that the riders bikes get the TLC that they need. He is an awesome guy who obviously has a passion for fixing problems on the bikes. After I climbed Crawford Notch on Tuesday I pulled into the rest stop and told him that my bike had a big problem. His got all excited waiting to diagnose a problem. He was disappointed when I told him that every time I went up a hill, it was hard to pedal. He laughed, but I could tell that he really loves solving mechanical problems on a bicycle. Anyway, we all rolled out of rest stop 3 with only about 10 miles to go to the end for the day. They were 10 very gard fought miles, but we all made it to the finish around 3:30 this afternoon. It is such a good feeling to finish up for the day, and tomorrow I will know what it feels like to finish up for the week.

I will do another post tomorrow sometime, but that is all that I will write tonight. We had dinner and then an awards "get together" and then some raffles off the gear truck. It is late, my roomate is already in bed and I don't want to keep the computer on any longer.

Tomorrow is about 75 miles, mostly down hill back to our cars in Woburn, MA. Dependong on how I feel, I will head to Maryland directly from there. Consequently, the Friday blog entry will be brief, but I plan on doing a complete summary entry over the weekend. Thanks for reading, and keep checking back.


  1. Another great day and memories of a lifetime made. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your ride and the friendships you have made this past week. Can't wait to see you back home. I love you! Beverly

  2. 75 miles mostly down hill! I've never done that, but it sounds like fun. Enjoy it. Looking forward to seeing you and Bev at the beach.

  3. Great job...only one more day !!!!!
    I guess you must feel like you have been gone from home for a month or so. Safe ride for tomorrow and looking forward to your last on the road blog. Loved it so much, and I love you more.

  4. Ah! The sweet downhill after the long climb -- enjoy your last day.

  5. Also, love the name of that bakery -- as a long-time carb addict, it speaks to me on so many levels ...