Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 4, Wednesday

Lots of things happened today. One of the best things is that I got to spend a few hours with a human being! Zak Robinson (my lovely wife Jackie’s cousin) rode with me for 20 miles this morning. It was pleasant and a little different. It seemed a little harder to focus on the task at hand, it was more fun talking to Zak than pedaling! Here’s a shot of what a real cyclist looks like, in front of a derelict pizza place in Pittstown, NY.

Dale Hobson asked me what songs (if any) coursed through my so-called brain as I drifted over the highways. Today I listened … in the morning my song was Bobby Rydell’s “Wild One”…. It just started and didn’t stop for a few hours… then in the afternoon it somehow switched to that 70’s song by King Harvest “Dancin’ in the Moonlight”… the melody from these songs seemed to fit my “cadence” perfectly.

Speaking of geeky bike stuff, someone wanted to know what kind of a bike I have… it’s a Fuji “Touring” model… completely stock except for “slick” tires instead of the knobby ones supplied, I bought it new just for this ride.

Anyway today I rode only 57 miles… but they were a hard 57 miles! Lots of ups and downs (I’m in the foothills of the Berkshires) … and mayb e by Day 4 I’m starting to “feel” it! In fact by about mile 40 I was really slowing down… I pulled over,rested, had yet another Carb Bomb, and rode slowly into North Adams Ma. (50 miles)

So as any irresponsible teenager would do, I decided to do something I knew I shouldn’t do… namely to attempt another 7 mile climb up to the highest planned point on my trip at 2,179 feet. (see elevation profile) This was TOUGH! I had to put the bike in the lowest of my 27 gears, and crept up the mountain at 5.0 mph! (I just barely passed a lady walking to her mailbox!) It took me almost 2 hours including lots of stops (for more Carb Bombs, etc) We’ll see if I can even walk tomorrow.

But at the top, what a treat awaited me! I had booked a motel room right at the summit, and as soon as I got to my room, it started raining cats AND dogs. When it stopped, the view was incredible… wispy clouds all down below me…. Wow!

Unfortunately, there are no restaurants at the summit, but the Italian restaurant in N. Adams will deliver orders greater than $25… you can just imagine the rest.

This place is located on route 2 which is also known as the Mohawk Trail. Its supposed to be on the site of an old Native American trail connecting New England with New York, and is one of the first scenic roads for automobiles in the US, developed in the early 20’s. The whole area is full of those hip-roofed cabins from that era… but it all looks a little sad, I don’t think the tourists flock here the way they used to.

Right next to the motel is the famous “Elk on the Trail” statue, put here in 1923 by the Elks Club as a memento to Elks Club members who died in the “Great” War. It looks like people still remember.


At June 25, 2009 1:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using Google!Maps, I viewed the approach to the summit and saw the long switchback and, in terrain view, saw the impressive rise. Route 2 is the only route to take over the ridge.

How do you choose your route? In some areas there is a network of county roads, but knowing how they connect is a problem without a very detailed map.

You are giving a bunch of old guys many vicarious thrills. My butt itches for the saddle again.

At June 25, 2009 2:52 PM , Anonymous Martha said...

So.... more carbo loading that night, I'm thinking. And I can't wait to hear about the big downhill.

At June 25, 2009 4:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should have had Zach take a picture of you! Keep eating those carbs. How much weight do you think you will lose?
Cousin Cheryl

At June 25, 2009 7:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second. I was just listening to the Radio Bob show yesterday afternoon here in South Glens Falls. Are there two Radio Bobs? Maybe there's a Radio Bob and a Bicycle Bob? Perhaps being on the eastern slope of the Adirondacks we're just getting last week's show. Or could it be that the Radio Bob Show was, as they used to say, electrically transcribed?
Larry Fox
South Glens Falls
PS- Watch out for potholes!


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