Salisbury Beach

Salisbury Beach
Thank You Katie, Mary, Caitlin and Brian

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

24 May 2011 Fast America Day 31

Liverpool, NY to Amsterdam, NY

Mileage:                     121.56 miles incl. 2 bonus miles
Riding Time:              7:09     Riding Speed 16.9 mph
Total Time:                 8:00
Climbing:                    3003 ft.
Flats:                           0

Today was a beautiful day. I started out with about 9-10 riders and the speed was slowly notched up, including a heart awakening 9% grade right after the start. I soon found myself with the first group of five riders but I decided to sit up and let them go at mile 10. That was  mistake because I immediately forgot about a turn and got two bonus miles before I got on track. The rest of the ride was strong, and I feel good and ready for the climbing tomorrow.

Jay, one of the staff, got Little Chris last night, but they did not get to the hotel until 4:00 AM. Chris has a cracked vertabra and the doctors would not give him permission to ride, or to drive for that matter. He has relatives nearby and they will help him get home. We understand that he is very upset about not being allowed to ride. We concluded that since we had already done 3,000 miles, and cost-to-coast can be done in 2,500, that he gets credit in everyone’s eyes for completing the trip.

Which brings up a point – is this trip a goal or a process? For me, it is a process, which will end in two days. Yesterday I found myself daydreaming while I was riding about arriving at the beach. Tears came, unbidden, to my eyes. I think that they are tears of joy for the accomplishment, but more fundamentally, tears of sadness that it will soon be over. We took an informal poll last night at dinner – no one said that they wanted to do it again, but when asked: “Would you like it to continue another week?” everyone said “Yes.”

The ride today was along the Mohawk River, essentially the eastern part of the Erie Canal. It featured a long climb out of the valley to get ready for tomorrow’s climbs. It was about 10-20 miles N of the route that I have taken many times in the past by car, so I got a slightly different perspective.

I had dinner with my cousin Karen, who just got back from 100 miles of hiking in England. It was good to see her; she went through some trying times last year and I am glad that I could see her under good circumstances for us both.

Tomorrow I see Mary, after an absence of 33 days (the longest we have been apart in over 40 years). I hope we recognize each other.

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