It was another cold morning, with a very thick fog as well. After breakfast in the Showgrounds shelter, I headed off on bike with Richard. It was mostly downhill for the first dozen or so miles, along tight, twisty roads through pine forests and past mountain streams; it reminded me a little of our first couple of days in Washington state. After this stretch, the fog finally lifted, and we got to an option point. There was a climb up towards the Whiteface Mountain ski area. We were told that it would be a three-mile climb, but that it was a toll road that might be closed to cyclists if we didn’t get there early enough. At the top would be a weather station and scenic overlook. We didn’t see any toll booth, so we decided to proceed on up, after we took off some of our cool weather gear. It was not too harsh, as the grade on the climb was fairly gradual.
It turned out that it was three miles to get to the toll booth. Then it was an additional five miles of steeper climbing to get to the top. However, we did arrive too late, as the toll road was closed to cyclists now, so we didn’t have to make the decision whether or not to keep on climbing.
When we got to the toll booth, already there were Matt Olson, David Butler, and Scott Quakkezaar, from Michigan, a new rider for the week. We took the usual group photos, and were joined by Jim Ryan and Lynette later. We put on our sunscreen, and all turned and headed back downhill at the same time and re-grouped at the bottom. I felt a little skittish on the descent, and used my brakes a bit, and so never got much faster than 45 mph.
The rest of the router today had lots of short, steep climbs. I hit 45.2 mph on another descent; not my personal best, but it would end up being my maximum for the entire tour. We passed the Ausable Gorge on the way to the lunch stop in the town of Port Kent. Then, it was just a short few miles to the shore of Lake Champlain, where we boarded another car ferry that took us over into Burlington, Vermont.
David Rome was waiting to greet us as we got off of the ferry. He lives in Burlington, and was with us on the very first week of the tour. He asked how I was feeling, and said that it was good to see me riding again; I was happy that he remembered me.
I headed into downtown Burlington with Richard, Bruce, David Butler, and Karina, another new rider for the week. Bruce and Karina got coffee, while the rest of us went to Ben & Jerry’s. We also stopped in two of the local bike shops.
We had to take another rail-trail for about two miles to get to our home for the night, the North Beach Campground. After I got my tent set up and took my shower, I walked the trail back into town with a group of people. We had about a half hour to kill, so we walked around the pedestrian market area again, then headed to the Wyndham Hotel for our dinner. I considered going out in town with a group that was headed out straight from dinner, but the I remembered that I needed to get a new chain put on my bike, so I took the shuttle van back to camp. Jeremy was able to take care of my new chain pretty quickly.
The mosquitos in this area were the worst that we have experienced on the tour. So, we all got into the safety of our tents fairly early; I was asleep by 9:00pm.
Filed under: Coast to Coast 2004 |