Monday, July 23, 2007

Over the Hills of New Hampshire Day 51

Today was our penultimate ride, and it was memorable. We left the hotel and soon crossed the Connecticut River, entering New Hamphshire--our final state. The forcast was for headwinds (which were not bad) and rain as the day progressed.

Continuing our eastward trek over the Green Mountains (actually, just really big hills--they are what is left of the Appalachian Mountains which were so very much higher before hundreds of thousands of years eroded them to their present size), we had over 6,000 feet of climb. This was our second highest climbing total, ranking behind the day up Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevadas. Of course, we also had about 6,000 feet of descending, which never lasts nearly as long as the climbing!

I think that if you put a ball on the road, onjust about any part of our ride today, the ball would roll forward or backward--there just weren't any "flat" areas. I probably shifted gears as much today as any day. There were no really long climbs (like yesterday's), but there were many steep climbs--among the steepest we've ridden.

The third photo was taken just before climbing the steep hill on Joe English road, about 72 miles into the ride. You can see the sense of humor of the artist (my money is on Mike Munk, of the AbB staff), who notes that the AB (for America by Bicycle) route goes to the left, and will leave your tongue dragging! Another clever sign I saw (up above) just before climbing a very steep part of a hill said, "O SHIFT!" (This photo was taken by Mike Monk on last year's ride).

Carol has joined us this evening for our final dinner together here in Manchester--a banquet! It's nice to see the riders greet her by name, with a smile. She had ridden on an AbB bike tour with me in the past (the Fall Foliage Tour--on our tandem bicycle). That ride averaged 45 miles a day, and Carol said that was "too much". She admires all who cycle across the country, but has no desire to ride that kind of mileage herself.

The map has been updated as you can see below. We're almost at Portsmouth, NH. Only a 50 plus mile ride tomorrow, and we'll dip our front wheels into the Atlantic Ocean. Hard to believe it!

1 comment:

Papercat said...

Hey Doc! Kudos to you and all in the group! Glad to see you have almost made it across in one piece! I know that your experience will live in your mind for the rest of your life, just wish I had the guts to do it myself!

J Owens