My latest adventure down the west coast is now over. Posts are listed by date on the right. In a departure from previous years, I am not asking for donations. Instead, I will be making a sizable donation on behalf of my father-in-law, father, and all the wonderful people who have supported me over the years.

My rides will continue to make a difference in the lives of families fighting lung disease and to increase awareness about the importance of lung health. Follow along … Together; we are improving life, one breath at a time.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 48 -- August 7th -- Latham, NY to Brattleboro, VT

Miles Ridden: 77.6
Avg Speed: 14.9 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 123 bpm
Climbing: 5,089 ft
Calories Burned: 2,212 (so says my Garmin ... it's higher!)

My old stomping grounds ... New England ... 5,000+ feet of climbs ... Vermont ... 2 days to go

Today' route and map --

It is hard to imagine I hit the beach in two days.  I am so looking forwarding to seeing everyone and celebrating the completion of my dream.  Everyone who has supported me, read my BLOG, donated to the cause, or commented on my posts ... Thank you!  It has been a great ride and your help and support means the world to me.  After a fun night with RPI alumni, I was eager to make my way past Troy and up the hill to campus.  ABB found a back way from Latham to the Congress Bridge and in 5 short miles I was going over the Hudson River and through the Russel Sage tunnel (the school is on top of the tunnel) into Troy.  It was mighty dark in there, slippery, and full of pot holes.  Glad we all made it through OK.  I took a quick diversion over to the Sage campus, my fraternity house (the Castle) and the Troy Music Hall.

Congress St Bridge ... Crossing the Hudson into Troy

Russell Sage Campus ... Minuteman And All

Robison Common at Sage ... More Memories
One Last Sage Shot ... Hey I Spent A Lot Of Time There

The Castle!  My Home for Sophomore and Junior Years

I Always Loved The Troy Music Hall ... Best Acoustics
Then it was up Congress Street on the south side of campus and up the hill.  I had to swing over for a few pictures and memories.  Campus continues to impress.  Back on the route, I went by the Emma Willard School and the gorge (no time for a picture there).  The roads in Troy were similar to what I remembered ... not good..  It was neat to see everything and to tell the other riders about the area and what to expect on the day's ride.
Quick Shot of RPI Before Heading Out of Town ... Wish I Had More Time to Spend On Campus

Lots of Great Intramural Memories in the Old Gym

A Quick Left Into Emma Willard
Once past RPI, I continued the climbing up through Brunswick and Hoosick.  Just before leaving New York we had our first SAG stop.  Rod (NH) had been moving pretty quick today.  When I got to the SAG I figured out why.  His family was there and boy did they bring goodies.  Great cookies, muffins, and other assorted baked goods.  A few short miles later we were at the Vermont border.  The Geldings spread out some during the day, but we were all together at the SAG and border crossing.  I dropped my chain after the picture, but that was a quick 10 second fix.  A somewhat gentle climb led us to Bennington.  I had spent a fair amount time there during college.  A great New England and college town.  Dave and I went ahead of Joe, Jeff, Alex, and Jeff (ABB) who had stopped to explore the town a little (they would catch us on the climb).  I did snap a few of the proverbial Bennington shots including the famous (well, not so much) barn on top of the silo.

Getting Hilly As We Close In on Vermont

Rod's Family Outdid Themselves ... Hmm, Hmm Good

My 9th State ... I Know My Way Around Now

The Geldings and Our Filly (Alex)
Bennington Battle Monument

Would Not Be A Bennington Visit Without This

Classic New England Church as You Enter Bennington

This Tells Me The Climbs Were Coming

Grandma Moses Museum ... Her Work Hangs In Our Kitchen

Only A Few Moose Left in Town

Another Bennington Moose
After Bennington the real climb started.  It was steady at first, about 4-6%, but kicked up to 8% with several 10-12% spots.  A solid 1,800 feet over ten miles.  I found a good pace and kept my power output and heart rate in reasonable ranges.  I felt good and stood periodically.  It was great climb.  After a quick descent into Wilmington, we hit the second SAG.  Wilmington is another classic New England town.  A few of the Geldings stopped just before the SAG for hots dogs and Kielbasa.  I hit the SAG and downed a nice 32 ounce chocolate milk.  Good fuel for the final climb of the day up Hogback Mountain.  That climb was about 800 feet and not as steep or long as the first climb.  Joe and the two Jeff's pushed on past Dave and I.  Dave and I paused for some overlook shots.  You can see for 100 miles from the overlook.  It is beyond beautiful in the Fall.

Dave And Me On The Top Of Hogback Mountain

The View

Down A Few Pounds I Think
Dave said "See you at the bottom", knowing I would descend quickly down the back side.  It was a glorious and long descent (almost 15 miles) into Brattleboro.  The descent was not all downhill though.  There were several mini climbs mixed in to keep me pedaling hard.  I just missed hitting the magic 50 mph level ... my top speed was 49.7.  Maybe I will get there tomorrow with even more climbing.  Don't fret readers (i.e., Karen), I descend very well and am extremely careful ... I just love the power and speed that I can generate.  Prior to town, I stopped at the classic New England photo op, a covered bridge.  I stopped shortly after that and rode into town with Dave.

Creamery Covered Bridge In Brattleboro

Built in 1879 Over Whetstone Brook

Town Lattice Design ... 80 Feet Long and 19 Feet Wide
Once in town, Dave and I hit the bike shop.  I needed new cleats and he was in search of a new jersey.  We both found what we needed at Burrows Specialized Sports.  They even mounted my cleats.  I also picked up a few gels for the final few days on the road.  We grabbed a great lunch across the street then headed to the hotel.  The last mile to the hotel was along a very rough road, but we survived.  Dinner was at the 99 ... a nice piece of Salmon and the cutest little piece of key lime pie you have ever seen.

Downtown Brattleboro
At wrap we reviewed the cue sheet (another 80 miles) for tomorrow and learned the Sullivan Road hill (a 20% one mile climb) was now optional ... I will play that by ear in the morning.  Even without it, we will climb another 4,000 - 5,000 feet or so into New Hampshire and Manchester.  Tomorrow night is our last night together.  I have met some amazing and fun people.  We get to say our good byes at a closing banquet in Manchester.  I expect a few funny skits and some tears.

Good night moon ... good night Vermont ... good night climbs (another big day tomorrow) ... good night Leo's Legacy ... I am almost there

No comments:

Post a Comment