Day 69 Dover, NH to Rye, NH – 20 miles

It was a beautiful, sunny Fall day here. We were glad to get back on our bicycles. Today we made it official. We rode to Wallis Sands State Park in Rye, NH and put our front bicycle wheels in the Atlantic Ocean. We were joined by our friends Linda and Orrin Johnson. Kudos to Linda for wading into the chilly Atlantic waters to take our picture from the ocean side. We celebrated by having lunch in downtown Portsmouth after.

Thank you to everyone who followed our blog and to those who commented and supported us along the way. We rode a total of 3,440 miles across the country. It was an amazing adventure.

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Day 68 Langdon, NH to Dover, NH – 16 miles

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.

Categories: Daily rides | 6 Comments

Day 67 Manchester, VT to Langdon, NH – 53 miles

It was a chilly start this morning in the 50s but not a cloud in the sky. We rode into town and had a great breakfast at Up For Breakfast. It’s a small restaurant on the second floor with really good food. There were numerous write ups from magazines on the walls. Steve had blueberry buckwheat pancakes and Michele had Sourdough french toast stuffed with lingonberry cream cheese. We also bought a Morning Glory muffin and an Irish scone which ended up being lunch on the road. It warmed up into the low 60s by the time we headed out. Yesterday we had ridden 7.5 miles before our first hill; today it was 2.5 miles. And what a hill it was. The first hill out of Manchester up to Bromley ski area was 5.5 miles! We were rewarded with some down hill and then had to climb up over Magic Mountain. Phew! The best part was the gradual 10-mile down hill all the way into Chester, VT. Of course, then we had to climb out of Chester. Some clouds appeared in the afternoon along with a head wind which added to the challenge of the day. We arrived in Langdon at 4:30. Steve’s son Griffin lives at the top of an 8/10 of a mile dirt road. We pedaled as far up as we could until the road condition and steepness encouraged us to walk. Steve called up his daughter-in-law Jessi and asked if Charlie could ride his bike down to meet us. Charlie pedaled as fast as he could down the road to be our welcoming committee. Jessi, Maebel, Lila and dog Cosmo all greeted us at the end of the driveway. When Griffin came home it was weigh in time. Steve and Griffin had a bet over who would weigh less. Steve won for the first time ever. He’s lost 15 pounds. Jessi cooked us a nice dinner of Atlantic cod that Griffin had caught this summer. We slept in the new guest room that night. Maebel and Charlie asked if they could sleep in our room so they grabbed their sleeping bags. Cosmo joined us, too. It was so cute!

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Day 66 Clifton Park, NY to Manchester, VT – 58 miles

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.

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Day 65 Little Falls, NY to Clifton Park, NY – 73 miles

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.

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Day 64 Cicero, NY to Little Falls, NY – 76 miles

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!

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Day 63 Macedon, NY to Cicero, NY – 75 miles

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.

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Day 62 Brockport, NY to Macedon, NY – 43 miles

We had a great day today. The weather was lovely again. We started out on Route 31, but the traffic and shoulder were not so good today. We got onto the Erie Canalway bicycle trail in Spencerport. It was paved from there all the way through Rochester and Pittsford. It was a great way to get through the busy city of Rochester. The trail follows the canal with great views of the water and the locks. We stopped in Pittsford for a nice lunch on the deck overlooking the canal. After Pittsford the trail turns to hard packed gravel. It’s much slower going on the bike trail, but it was a beautiful ride. Our friends Gloria and John live in Macedon which is right on the Adventure Cycling bicycle route. They invited us to stay at their house overnight. We arrived about 4:30 and relaxed with drinks on their deck. Gloria cooked us a wonderful steak dinner. The ACA bicycle route map heads north after the next town. We’re heading southeast to visit Michele’s family near Albany. After dinner John got out the maps and helped us plot a bicycle-friendly route across the rest of NY.

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Day 60 Another vacation day in Niagara Falls, Ontario

We had another fun day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We went on a tour of Niagara wine country with Grape and Wine Tours. They picked us up at our hotel. We joined one other couple, newlyweds from London, Ontario who were fun. We had wine tastings at Hillebrand Winery and Peller Estates Winery. Then we went next door to The Riverbend Inn for a delightful lunch on the patio. While we were having lunch, the van driver returned to Niagara Falls to pick up another couple. The four of us sat in Adirondack chairs overlooking the vineyard with our drinks while we waited for him to return. It was so beautiful and relaxing. Then the six of us visited the Niagara College Wine Visitor and Education Centre for a tour and discussion of how wine is made and some wine tasting, of course. We also visited Konzelmann Estate Winery and a small family winery, Rancourt Winery, for more tastings before heading back to our hotels. Tonight we had dinner at Skylon Tower, a revolving restaurant 775 feet above the falls. We were able to watch Jay Cochrane tightrope walk from the Tower across to the 53rd floor of the Hilton and saw a gorgeous sunset right from our table while we ate.

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Day 61 Niagara Falls, Ontario to Brockport, NY – 66 miles

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.

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