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.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 49 -- August 8th -- Brattleboro, VT to Manchester, NH

Miles Ridden: 81.7
Avg Speed: 15.2 mph
Avg Heart Rate: 125 bpm
Climbing: 5,197 ft
Calories Burned: 2,243 (so says my Garmin ... it's higher!)

New Hampshire ... another 5,000+ feet of climbing ... an optional 25% grade climb ... farewell banquet ... Atlantic ocean tomorrow

Today' route and map --

Today is dedicated to the amazing staff who helped get me across the country ... your guys rock.  Thank you for being there and all that you do!

Amazing ABB Staff ... Deb, Jeff, Barb, Jim, Karen and Mike
Just after 7:00 AM we left Brattleboro en route to Manchester, New Hampshire.  Within a mile we were crossing the Connecticut River into New Hampshire.  Our final state!  The ocean is just one day away now.  The Geldings rode loosely together for the first 20 miles.  Today's theme was climbing, and lots of it.  No big long climbs, but lots of ups and downs.  After a nice long descent at mile 10, the terrain flattened out as we went through Keane. 

Crossing the Connecticut River

My 10th and Last State
Entering Keane
It was pretty flat for the next five miles.  Most riders stayed on Route 9, but a few hearty souls (myself included) took an optional climb up Old Sullivan Road.  The climb was steep with grades exceeding 25%.  My poor Garmin computer had smoke coming out of it and registered 41% ... I would tip over backwards at that grade.  It was an exhilarating experience!  The Sullivan club included me, Jeff (CT), Joe (GA), Katie, Alex, Leo, Beth, Mark (NJ), Alison, and Jeff (ABB).

On The Top Of the 25%+ Old Sullivan Climb (me, Jeff, Alex, Joe, and Katie)

I Did It!

Two Rocking Fillys Made The Climb Too
After the climb we headed toward the first SAG at mile 35.  On the way, something occurred that had not happened in the previous 48 days ... Katie got a flat.  That leaves Gerard and Todd as the only riders that have not had one (jinx, jinx).  Katie met up with Gerard at the SAG and put on her best pout face.

Alas, Katie Joined The One Flat Club

Gerard Gloated ... Poor Katie
More ups and downs brought us through Antrium and Bennington, and then into Greenfield.  I dropped a little off the pace on a few of the climbs, but I always caught back up when the terrain headed down again.  Several of us stopped in Greenfield for lunch at a small grocery store.  I had a nice chicken Cesar salad (good boy Mark), but topped it off with a jelly roll (bad boy Mark).  Jeff and Alex had Hostess Snowballs for dessert ... the shelf life of those things is like 40 years and theirs was stale.  Must have been made in the 70's!  The last SAG was a few miles up the road in the quaint town of Francestown.

Francestown Meeting Hall ... Circa 1801

Fancestown Town Hall

Neat RR Bridge After the Second SAG
The last 16 miles included more ups and downs and another steep climb up Joe English Road.  15% and not as long as the Old Sullivan climb.  From there is was not too long before we hit Manchester.  We had our farewell banquet during dinner.  It was a fun night with great skits from Michael and Katie (as Mike and Karen, Nan (great ABB song), Ian (hysterical poem), Andrew (top 10 suggestions for SAG stops), and Gary (he actually found "Little Jimmie" and the Geldings lost scavenger hunt items).  Toronto Mark and Sandy acted as MCs and presented an ABBY award to each rider.  It was a fun way to honor and look back on 49 days.  As each person received their ABBY, they got the chance to share their thoughts on the ride.  Most thanked the awesome ABB crew and commented on the amazing people we rode with.  I won the "Media Exposure" award for all the press I received (self promotion is a wonderful thing) and thanked my roomie Dave, the Geldings, Alex, Beth, Ellen, and the ABB staff.  I also looked up and thanked my father-in-law Leo who inspired me to get healthy ... it was an emotional and heart-felt.

We Made It (Well Tomorrow We will)

Nan Leading Us In Her ABB Song

Ian Reciting Poetry ... LOL

Michael as Mike Munk ... I Did Some Research

Katie as Karen ... Take a left, right, left, right, right

Sara as Barb ... Today's Tip

"Little Jimmie" and Our Scavenger Hunt Items Are Found!

Andrew Recommends Some New and Improved SAG Items

Our MCs for the Evening ... The ABBYs

Ellen (Maine) Was a Big Inspiration For Me

Mr "Inside Outside" ... Todd

Leo Won the Dubious Most Flats Award

Margo Was Awarded the Route Map for Her Amazing Sticktooedness
One more day!  We have another 52 miles to Wallis Sands Beach in Rye.  Even though we head to the beach, the hills are still with us, but they are less frequent and less steep.  A police escort will have us at the ocean around 12:00 ... I can't wait to dip my wheels, hug my girls, and see my family and friends!  I am also really looking forward to seeing Michael and all my friends in the Maryland area when I get back.  The support and outreach I have reached is truly a blessing.  Leo would have been so proud ... I am just one day away from fulfilling a dream!

Good night moon ... good night Old Sullivan Road ... good night 50 days of memories and the most amazing experience and people I have known ... good night Atlantic Ocean (see you tomorrow)

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