Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 5 (Thursday?... I’m starting to lose track)

Got a late start today (9:52 am today!)… I wasn’t feeling too chipper after yesterdays late climb, plus I knew I only had to cover 52 miles today, so… what’s the point? (always a big question)

Why, only 52 miles? Well, for a few reasons: 1) due to the changing habits of travelers, motels typically spring up only at major intersections and major population areas. Gone are the days when the family hopped in their 32,48 or 57 Chevy and motored out in the woods to camp and commune with nature. Imagine what the Mohawk trail must have been like in the early '20s. I’ll bet the average family in their model “T” didn’t go very much further a day that I do now on my bike! Now its just head to the Interstate and get somewhere as fast as possible. Where I was riding today, there are still remnants of that culture…. cabin colonies, old Bates-like Motels, rambling Inns… all closed. So my choices were to stay in Amherst (which is where I am now, riding 52 miles) or I could stay in West Brookfield (80 miles) but no-where in between! 2) Friday I’m heading to Worcester to stay with an old College Pal and that is 100 miles from where I was this morning… so a 50/50 split seemed appropriate and 3) I don’t think I could have done more than 52 miles today!

Anyway, it was all downhill for a while… I had to use my brakes so much, that there is now a thickish black powder all over the bike from my disintegrating brake pads! This was all on the Mohawk Trail which had a few things left from the old days…. A few nice parks and a few giftshops, like this one.

Here’s my favorite sign… I love downhills, and hate uphills, in case anyone asks you!

So, apparently it all comes down to proper nutrition, about which I know nothing! All I know is that I was pretty tired today, because I believe now that I wasn’t eating enough. My first clue was waking up at 3:45 am starving! (this called for another Power Bar)… then by the time I got to Greenfield, MA today, my mind seemed a little soggy, and I realized I really wasn’t having any fun. A quick trip for a Burger, fries and ice tea seemed to help immediately. So I kept eating…. A big bag of trail mix, three power bars, an apple, two bannas, two trips to Friendly’s for ice cream, and a 10oz steak with trimmings at the local brew pub. In fact I’m feeling hungry again… its 11 pm and I just finished eating at 8!

I felt so good this afternoon, that I decided to do my laundry…. I don’t have a lot of clothing, two t-shirts, two pairs of “biking” shorts, a pair of “un-mentionables,” three pairs of socks, and a pair of “regular” shorts. So I washed all that stuff, which left me with only my bathing suit and a wind-breaker. For some reason they looked oddly at me in the Laundromat.

Today’s songs were a repeat of yesterday’s “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” and a new one for this afternoon: “What a Shame” by the Stones. Weird!


At June 26, 2009 12:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So help me, Bob - I hope I never have to utter the words "I am only biking 52 miles today"!! Sounds like torture to me...but still so happy for you! Maybe next you should bike to LA to see the babies...?

At June 26, 2009 1:02 PM , Anonymous Joel said...

Had you gone all the way to West Brookfield you would have been close to North Brookfield, which is where Long View Farm recording studio is located. Your beloved Rolling Stones rehearsed for several concert tours there.

At June 26, 2009 9:11 PM , Blogger Paul said...

You look very relaxed at the laundromat. I notice you have the STI shifters. How do you like them? Some say the STI for a triple chainring on a touring bike is not that precise.

At June 27, 2009 9:12 AM , Anonymous andrew said...

Hey RB! Good job.
Virginia says grease is the answer to endurance, I say more CC's.
Maybe the extra calories per gram in fats gives you the boost, maybe just the great taste of the charred fat.
Me, I'm going out on a sympathy ride on my KLR 650 which has lots of CC's
Listening for the skip.
Casper WY


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