Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again....

Well, my bike finally made it back to NW Arkansas the other day. Wasn't thinking about the fact that the last time I rode it, I left it with sand and salt water all over it, so I wound up taking it home for a good cleaning the day I picked it up. Looks a bit different now that I have my good wheel set on and that luggage rack off. Felt like I was stripping it down until I decided to leave the little camera bag on and reinstall my iHome for some riding music. Guess I'll have to keep the "Family Truckster" nickname for it until I can bring myself to leave some of this gear at home. 

So I finally got out for a short ride Saturday with the group at the Bentonville square. Felt good to be riding again. The larger (and faster) part of the group took off for a longer ride while 6 of us headed out to Gravette, where we stopped at a drug store that still has an old lunch / soda counter for a break and a quick snack before heading back to Bentonville.

.....had to take a shot over my shoulder just to show all the ABB riders that yes...every once in a while, I am in front of other riders....that is, as long as they're not in a hurry.

Round trip we got in about 39 miles, but it really felt nice to be back on my bike. Hoping to keep things going as I've signed up for a few rides coming up over the next couple of months. Headed over to Pryor, OK in a couple of weeks for the DAM J.A.M. ride, down to Little Rock for the Big Dam Bridge ride a couple of weeks after that, and then the really important one on Oct 16....the NW Arkansas Tour de Cure.

There's still plenty of time to get your donations in for that last one, if you're planning to and haven't gotten around to it. Just don't wait too long or you might miss it.

Thanks for reading. I plan to keep this blog going, but may possibly change the name of it since the cross country ride is finished.....any suggestions? 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 50 - Manchester, NH to The Beach!!!!

Today was the day! It started out just  bit cloudy, but there was nothing that was going to put a damper on the ride today.

With only 50 or so miles to get to the beach, everybody took their time....even those guys whose wives kept telling them "it's not a race. Take your time." Here's a nice bakery about 9 or 10 miles from our staging point. This place was crawling with bikers all morning.

...a little late in the trip for advice we'd been following from day 1.

Some of the crew from the back of the line...Ian  and myself. It was great to have the perspective of someone, not from this country as we rode across the country. He kept many of us in stitches from day to day with his observations. 

The Beach !!!! Wow, this thing is heavy....maybe I need to get a bike like Dan's......probably need to get a new car would be cheaper.

Leo, the King of Flat Tires, with his inner tube crown. Todd and I had the distinction of being the only riders who made the entire trip across without a flat (Thanks Mal and Jeremy for the tip on those inner tubes). In case anyone was wondering about the people dropping out in previous blog entries (Joe and Katie), that was the exclusive "no flat" group they were dropping out of. We couldn't jinx it by mentioning that before the end of the ride.

Good friends to of my roommates, John, me, and Sandy.

Sorry it took so long for me to get this day 50 post up. It's been a whirlwind these last couple of days. I'm planning to keep this blog going through this year's Tour de Cure ride, but might not be posting every single day. I do have a few more pics from the trip I want to add in the coming days, so please check back.

Almost seemed to be of some interest among the riders as to how much weight I lost on the trip. I'm assuming it was either because of how big I was at the start, or the fact that I ate everything between Oregon and New Hampshire, and still kept going back for seconds.
Now that I'm back home, I'm able to use the scale I did for the initial weigh the official number is

18 lbs.

Now the tough part begins.......

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 49 - Brattleboro, VT to Manchester, NH (79 very hilly miles)

Wow! Day 49! We're almost there. It was a beautiful start to the day today. Here's my next to the last start of the day picture of my trip.

We had a little bicycle art around the fountain to start the day.

...and we entered our final state.

...puddle art....

One of the few times we've seen a cyclist in the water, that didn't get wet. Here's Derrika.

....and another one bites the dust. Katie dropped out today, so after a little research, it looks like Todd and I are the only remaining members of our group going into day 50. Let's hope we both make it to the beach. More on this tomorrow....

Just gotta love all the cool old buildings in these New England towns....

Well, tomorrow we head for the beach. It seems like we've been riding forever, but at the same time, like we just got started. It'll be curious to see what it feels like to get to the end of our journey. I have a feeling that it might take a few days, or even weeks, just for it to sink in, that we had in one place, 50 people who were all crazy enough to ride our bicycles across the entire country.

Check back'll be time to party.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 48 - Latham, NY to Brattleboro, VT (79 miles)

Another later start, so not a lot of color left in the sky, but here's my start of the day shot.

Today we left New York behind and entered Vermont.

Lots of nice ponds and streams along the way. Since we were climbing all day, I figured I'd use one with a big hill in it.

Not sure why, but this barn was built on top of the silos.

There are a lot of these cool old churches in these New England towns.

View from the top of Hogback Mountain. There was a nice overlook and gift shop up here with ice was a must stop place.

Coming in to Brattleboro, there was this cool old covered bridge. It looks like they are restoring it, and adding another bridge right next to it, to take the traffic off.

.....downtown Brattleboro. Seems like a pretty cool town.

Two more riding days left now. Tomorrow is supposed to be another tough climbing day. I hear there might be a little climbing on Monday as well, but it should be a little shorter. I'm sure the adrenaline boost of getting to the beach will help a good bit that day as well.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 47 - Little Falls, NY to Latham, NY (74 miles)

Good morning from Little Falls, NY. There wasn't a really good place to shoot the sunrise from without getting wires or polls in the picture, so I used this one from right in front of the hotel for my start of the day picture.

...was in kind of a scenic picture mood today.

Why is it that anytime they mention nice scenery it means there are hills? Here's one of my roommates, John, near the top of the climb out of the valley.

More scenery along the ride...

Looks like we're starting to get into more industrial areas.

Lock # 8 on the Erie Canal. Much bigger than the ones we saw the other day.

Down south you can tell a good diner by the number of pickups parked outside. Along a bike path, when you see a crowd like this, there's either good food or ice cream.

This place actually had both. Made for a great unofficial SAG stop.

With Joe now having to drop out, our group is getting pretty small. Not sure that Katie and I are the last two, but hopefully no one else will have to drop out before the beach. Sorry I can't say what we've accomplished just yet, but I don't want to jinx anything. Check back in Monday evening and maybe we'll know who all actually kept their memberships in our ever shrinking club.

....and one more nice scenic shot from the bike path to close out the day.

Today had to be one of the nicest days we've had out here as far as weather and roads. Nice wide shoulders and decent tail winds. There were a few small climbs to remind us what the next couple of days will be like though. Sounds like we'll have 5 to 6 thousand feet of climb for each of the next couple of days.

Thanks for reading.

Today's Garmin Stats ( Don't know what happened to yesterday's....Garmin malfunction)

Day 46 - Liverpool, NY to Little Falls, NY (78 miles)

Didn't have a good sunrise as there was a front moving in on us this morning. So I got a shot of everyone anxiously awaiting luggage load, and hoping to get out in front of the rain.

Had to add this....I've heard of wearing two pair of shorts to help when you have a saddle sore, but I'm not sure what having the outside pair inside out helps with.....

Well, the rain caught us pretty quickly....and stayed for a while.

Here's a somewhat waterlogged Beth coming down the road in the rain. I think we were pretty much all soaked completely through.

The excitement of the day was almost too much for some.....

The hotel in Little Falls had a nice wine and cheese reception for us. Being before dinner, it didn't taker long to wipe that out completely...

Remember, unless you're reaching for something specific, keep you hands and feet away from the serving could get injured otherwise....
Also, let other riders know what you're reaching for to avoid accidents with serving forks.

Biker portions......and that was only his first time through the line.

Well, That was day 46. Sorry for the delay. My blog for day 47 will be up shortly. Hope you're still enjoying the pics.
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 45 - Henrietta, NY to Liverpool, NY (93 miles)

Today's ride took us along the path by the Erie Canal for 20 miles or so. I was surprised out how scenic it was there. We were on the wrong side to get a shot of sunrise on the canal itself, but this lake on the other side of the path made for a nice reflection.

I saw this tugboat right near lock 33 and thought it was cool. The water was as smooth as glass first thing this morning.

Had some nice light while we were there. Here's a shot of Helen riding up the trail. We both kept stopping for pictures, so we were passing each other back and forth for a while.

We got to see a couple of sculling teams racing along the canal.

...and a little family of ducks. Actually there were a lot of ducks out there, but these were right on the path and looked cool.

Looking back down the canal at a long straight section. That's Kim about to pass me along the path.

And that's (Toronto) Mark passing by into the sunrise.

...and here's Sandy, Sarah, and Renny about to pass by when I stopped to take even more pictures.

We just happened to get to this lock right when they were getting ready to flood it so a boat could get through. Here, the gates are starting to close....

and after the water level's raised all the way up, the boat heads on its way to the next lock.

Couldn't leave this one out. These people had a big Snoopy on top of this shed to make it look like his doghouse in the Peanuts cartoons. Very cool lawn art.

And another different flag display today.....

Well, today's ride was our last ride over 90 miles. Tomorrow, we head to Little Falls, which I think is supposed to be a ride of about 78 miles or so. It's funny, but people are all excited about having a short day.....never would've considered that a short day before coming out here.

Only 5 riding days left. Check back tomorrow to see how it goes.

Thanks for reading.