Sunday, July 11, 2010

New England Classic Day 2

Day 2 is in the books. 72.8 miles. It was a much better day today, although at the beginning of the ride, I thought it was going to be "more of the same."

The departure from University of New Hampshire was at 7:30, but it was not a "mass" start. As people were ready to roll, they set out for the days ride. I did not know that, so I hung around the start waiting for someone to gather the troops and say "GO"! So, once I found out that I could leave when I was ready.... I left. I set out alone, figuring that the faster groups would catch me, or I could latch onto a slower group that was ahead of me.

I was able to catch up with a couple of riders that were going a pace that I would be comfortable. One of the guys in that group was wearing bib # 1, so I asked what he had done to earn that number. Turns out that he was the top find-raiser for the ride. We turned on to a road that was too busy for us to ride side by side and chit chat, so I let him lead and absorb the blunt of the head wind. After a couple miles of that, I was feeling guilty so I took the lead, and within a mile (mile 9 of the day) I had a flat. Now I have ridden with the Severna Park Peloton for alomost a year now, and in that time I have had two (2) flats that entire time, and that was at the same time due to a very large pot hole. Now I have had 2 flats in two days. Fortunately, this one was on the front tire, which is just a tad bit easier to change. I am hoping that the puncture fairy goes and visits somebody else for the rest of the week.

With the tire changed, I was back on the road. Fortunately, the first rest stop was only a couple miles down the road, and becasue of the "leave when you are ready" policy, There was a better selection of groups to ride with. Unfortunatey, no one was ready to leave when I was, so I set out on my own again. In my mind I was figuring that I am destined to ride this ride alone.

I did catch up to a group of rider that were not with the ADA ride, but rather they were with a tour group that was riding from Boston to Montreal. For those who remeber, there used to be a ride called BMB, which was done by randonneurs that went from Boston to Montreal and back to Bostom. It was a 1200k event, and can still be ridden as a permanent. In any event, their rest stop was at the same place as our was so I rode with them for the final few miles before the stop.

The second rest stop was at Nubble Light in York Beach, ME. It is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the US, if not the world. I am sure you have all seen it in a photo at least once.
Because it was such a great spot for a rest stop, a lot of people were hanging out there, enjoying the lighthouse and ocean views. I enjoyed some snacks, refilled the bottles and I was able to join the group of riders that I had dinner with the night before. There were about 8 of us, and we had a pretty good pace line going with all of us taking a turn at the front. We passed the Bush homestead in Kennebunkport. The houses in that surrounding area are beautiful. The Bush house is still quite a tourist attraction, with quite a few cars parked along the side of the road, allowing the occupants to get out and take pictures.

I was able to hang with the same group of riders through rest stop 3 and to the end of the days ride. Riding with the Severna Park Peloton, I have become accustomed to riding in a paceline, with my front wheel inches from the rear wheel of the rider in front of me. On some level, you put your trust in the rider in front of you, that they weill not do anything drastic, like stop pedaling. This group was made up of people that are used to riding in a pace line like that, and I was able to reach that comfort level while riding behind them.

So, the fun begins tomorrow. I have not looked at the profile, but if my memory serves correctly, it is a gradual uphill from The University of New England, where we are staying tonight, to our destination tomorrow night, Attitash Ski resort. There is quite an climb up to the resort at the end of the day, and with 50 or 60 miles of gradual climbing in the legs, I will become a hill slug, and as slowly as I need to, get my fatt butt to the top.

The two day riders have all gone home now, so we are down to only about 40 riders. It is a group of only a few first timers, and some of the riders have been doing it for over 10 years now. They all say how bad the hills are, and how much they suffer up them, but if they are that bad, why do they keep coming back? There must be something that keeps their interest. I guess I will find out, won't I.

Time for bed... I will need the rest for what lies ahead. Thank all of you for your prayers and support during the ride. I am helping to make a difference for those that suffer with diabetes, and I am enjoying myself, but I am anxious to get home to be with all of you. Continue to think about me, especially as I "reach new heights" in the mountains of New Hampshire.

Garmin data below:

5 comments:

  1. GREAT picture! Good luck tomorrow. Remember the mantra: eat a little, drink a little, keep pedaling.

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  2. Great blog...great picture, thanks for that. Keep up the good work. Praying for strength for tomorrow. Love ya....

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  3. Good stuff! Just keep the wheels turning, and enough with the flat tire business!

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  4. I remember your name from previous Asbury members; I am so proud to know someone who has done this bike ride up North. Hope you do well the rest of the trip and pray you won't have any more flat tires. How many spares do you carry, just in case? It is amazing the strength endurance you have. Thanks for sharing your blog..enjoyed very much reading about your adventures. JulieC.

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