Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 3: High Rollers

We finally have a picture of all of us together; here we 
are high in Connecticut Alps with the Porters' lovely 
home as a backdrop. 
We split up again today, because Dustin and Beth had some early mechanical problems and were further hampered by Beth's lack of clipless pedals. Dustin, being the gentleman he is, volunteered to let her use one of his pedals while he used one of her platform pedals. So they both had a mismatched pair, and ultimately found the long climbs of the day, a steadily worsening rainstorm, and two previous rides worth of fatigue a little too much to bear. While Mandi, Ben, Erin and I made it the 40 miles to Manchester, Conn. before the rain really got going, Dustin and Beth found themselves huddled under the overhang at Tolland Intermediate School. Thankfully, Mandi's cousin Kim has a very hospitable, and obliging, husband who was able to rescue them from their refuge about 10 miles out from our destination. Amazingly, they are still in good spirits despite their equiment setbacks and I've been super impressed with Beth's resolve. (Sorry for the centered paragraph alignment here. This blog is conspiring against me.
              The rest of us were accompanied by Seth Porter, the son of our hosts last night and friend of the group on his light, light road bike whose speed had us drooling. He broke a spoke leaving his driveway and caught up with us a few miles later. However, we had no idea we were about to pound out four miles of steep climbs- 800 feet gained at one point- and spend the rest of the day on some serious hills, the longest of which was a mile and a half. Our choice of road, also, was not the wisest. We were intent on knocking down the mileage after our long day yesterday that ended with a couple big hills that had us a bit maxed out by the end. Unfortunately, the most direct way is not always the easiest, or most bike friendly. We spent the day on Connecticut route 44, which was well-shouldered in most places, but a 50mph highway for sizeable stretches. The saving grace of the day was the mild weather; for the third day we were followed by a light drizzle (until it became a mild deluge.) 
     Once we were all back together we were once again treated to a fine feast and a lot of hospitality courtesy of Mandi's cousin Kim and her husband Glen Ellis who took us in despite the fact that they already had their two children, a friend of their kids', three exchange students and two of their friends, and the six of us. That makes 16 for dinner!
      We're taking a mini day off tomorrow, only 15 miles to Windsor Locks where the ACA maps begin. We'll be sure to take the opportunity to get all our pictures up. 

3 comments:

  1. quite a motley crew, I hope you all have sweet fingerless glove/farmer tans already. Thankfully the heat broke, and hope you're having a better time of the equipment and hills. been enjoying following the journey vicariously/electronically. the pictures are fun and the stories are better. good to hear you're all having fun and keeping up your spirits. keep on truckin'.

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  2. Pictures are great....keep them coming. Looks like you are having fun...Keep up the good work....and just enjoy the ride!

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