We were ready to leave at 9 this morning. Steve put his bike outside and said it was already raining. We then spent another half hour putting the rain gear on the bikes and ourselves. We were anxious to get going so we headed out anyway. The weather only got worse. We had many steep hills in front of us today. The climb from Alstead to Marlow was pretty tough. The state had done their poor paving job skim coating the road which was pretty dangerous for bikes especially in wet conditions. Downhills were treacherous with wet brakes. It was slow going, and we arrived in Marlow hoping to stop at the store on the corner for a break from the weather only to find it was closed. It had taken us 2 1/2 hours to go 15 miles and there was nothing else around for miles. We were cold and wet and took refuge on the porch of the closed Christmas Tree Inn. We decided to raise the white flag in surrender and call our friend Orrie (the same good friend who drove us to the airport to start our ride two months ago) to come and rescue us. He had texted us this morning saying that he wanted to meet us and that he was available to haul us and our bikes home. We think he meant tomorrow in Rye, but we were ready to get out of the weather. There was no way we were going to make our destination of Concord before dark. We (okay Michele) decided we should continue on to climb over Pitcher Mountain hoping to meet Orrie on the other side in Stoddard. At least we would have accomplished both major climbs for the day. We left the relative dryness of the porch only to be met by wicked head winds. Our hands and feet were soaked. Michele had refused to put on another jacket because she didn’t want to be too hot and instead started shivering from the cold. It was just too much. We stopped and rode back to the porch of the inn. Steve says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” He was glad when Michele finally came to her senses. We put on more clothes including the hat and gloves we’ve been carrying around and sat on the porch for a couple of hours waiting for Orrie to arrive. He thankfully had the heat cranked for us when we got in the van. It was a relief. Michele’s friend Linda had planned to meet us in Concord to treat us to an early celebration dinner. We changed plans and instead met her at the Three Chimneys Inn for dinner tonight which was wonderful.
In the next couple of days we will ride our bicycles from Dover to Rye to put our front wheels in the Atlantic Ocean to officially complete our journey.
We found the hills today and that was even before we left New York. We spent a lot more time in the low gears, but we made it to Vermont. It was a beautiful ride into the hills. We kind of wished it was a little later in the season so we could see the foliage in full bloom…but then we’d be riding in even chillier temperatures. It’s going to be a cold one tomorrow. We arrived in beautiful Manchester at 5 pm and checked into the Casablanca Motel which are ten little cabins. We walked a mile into town for dinner at a Southwestern grill.
It was a chilly start this morning–low 60s and cloudy. It warmed up to the low 70s, and we did see some pretty blue sky in the afternoon. We continued to follow NY State Bicycle route 5 on Routes 5, 90 and 146. The terrain was pretty flat through Ontario and into New York. We’re starting to get our climbing legs back. The hills have started and are only going to get more intense as we travel into Vermont and NH the new few days There is certainly more traffic now. Route 146 was pretty scary. NY drivers don’t seem to give us much room. We rode into Clifton Park about 4:30 and stopped at an intersection to figure out where our hotel was. As we were standing on the sidewalk Michele’s Uncle Jim drove by. He was doing an early location check for the restaurant Michele had picked for us all to have dinner that night. He pulled in and we chatted for a bit. It was amazing! What are the chances of us being in the same place at the same time? We met Aunt Pat, Uncle Jim and Uncle Ray at Wheatfields for a great dinner and some laughs.
Not much news today. We continued following NY State bicycle Route 5 along Routes 31, 5 and 5S. It was a cloudy day. Showers are in the forecast, but we made it to Little Falls before it started. Tonight we’re staying at the Canal Side Inn. We had a nice dinner in the bar of their restaurant downstairs. The rains have started and it has cooled down a lot. The rains should end by morning, but it’s forecast to be a chilly start!
We continued along NY State Route 31 until Weedsport and then onto Route 5 which follows their bicycle Route 5. It was a pretty uneventful ride other than it being a long day. We left Gloria and John’s house at 10:30 and rode hard all day. Our goal was to make it to Syracuse. We’re staying north of the city in Cicero at a new Comfort Inn and arrived at 6:30 pm.
It was a perfect Fall day for riding–blue skies, white puffy clouds, temperatures in the 70’s. Our legs (and butts) were rested and ready to ride. It was great. We left Niagara Falls, Ontario and crossed the Rainbow Bridge over to Niagara Falls, NY. It was fun to see the look on the border agent’s face when he asked us where we were coming from and we told him Oregon. He was quite surprised. We decided to ride along Route 31 instead of the bike path. We heard that the bike path could have a gravel surface instead of pavement. The road had a good shoulder and wasn’t too busy. We got a late start this morning but were able to make pretty good time. We rode through farmlands (more corn and soybeans) and rural areas. We had a quick stop at Tim Horton’s in Lockport for lunch. This afternoon we saw quite a few orchards. We just had to stop and buy a couple more Macs which were delicious. Tonight we’re staying at the Econolodge in Brockport.
We’ve caught up on posting, but still need to add pictures to yesterday’s post so we’ll do that one tomorrow. We have some great pictures from the wine tour.