Pulaki to Sodus Point 67 miles

6/07/19

Today we had breakfast in a local café.  A number of the local people were interested in our journey.  They, like numerous people thought we were a little crazy but respected our cause.

The food was very good and very plentiful so we had a lot of energy to start our day.  We didn’t have any major climbs today, but I did have a memorable stop, which is why I needed a clean Texas jersey.  Today we rode thru the city of “Texas, New York”

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The city??? May have had 100 people and the only stores were auto mechanics stores.  There weren’t any stop signs or light on the road that we used to riding through their town.  One other important bit of information, if we were to take the highway south out of Texas we would have ridden into Mexico.  One of the locals told us he takes that road about once a week to see how the wall is progressing.

Another point of interest on today’s route is that it is called the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

We had to get in early because Ed’s sister, Loraine, came to Sodus Point to have dinner with him.  She lives a little over an hour away.  She came all decked out in a yellow tee shirt which said “My brother rides a bike for MS.  She also had a large sign so we couldn’t miss her.

We are staying at Camp DeMolay which over looks Lake Ontario.

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Old Forge to Pulaski 80 miles

6/06/19

My bike was put on the disable list, so I borrowed Ron Pinkerton’s bike.  Ron hurt his knee a few days earlier so he gave me permission to ride his bike.  That was very generous.

Rion has been working with me to find a way to repair my bike.  When Rion checked with the local bike shop  in Fulton New York he found that none of them carried the Shimano 105 shifter lever so I talked to Eric and Urban Bicycle Gallery in Houston to see what he could do to  help. I told him I had already discussed the situation with Jon.  Between discussions with Eric, Rion and myself, Eric had the needed part removed from another Salsa bike he had in stock and took it to FedEx so the part could be shipped to a bike shop in Rochester for a next day  arrival.  What made this difficult is  Eric and his crew only had 30 minutes to get the part removed and to the Fedex office last night.  What a good team Urban Bicycle Gallery has and their  great commitment to customer service.  I am proud to have them as my bike shop!

Today we had a great breakfast today at Walt’s dinner.  Two of our riders choose two pancakes that each pancake covered the whole plate.  Each one of the pancakes were larger than the one I had a few days earlier.

The day started out dry and I had to get used to riding a new bike.  Ron has a nice bike but all bikes are a little different and I had to work with Ron to adjust even the seat so I could ride comfortably. Even at the first rest stop of the day, Ron and I spent time adjusting the seat.

We got to Pulaski by midafternoon.  We are staying at the St. James Episcopal Church.  The first thing we did was get out our wet tents and laid them out to dry.  I also had to hand wash my dirty Texas bike jersey because I will need it tomorrow.  The jersey was not dry before I went to bed so I put it on a hanger in the kitchen which was warmer so it could finish drying.

A big group of around 12 riders went out to eat dinner together.  It is great to get to know more about the people you are riding with.

I didn’t have any trouble getting to sleep.

Newcomb to Old Forge 64 miles

6/05/19

No breakfast in Newcomb just snacks from our day cubbies.  The closest place was supposed to be 18 miles down the road.  At 16 miles we came to an intersection at Blue Mountain Lake but we didn’t see any restaurants and since we were only 16 miles into our ride we kept riding and there wasn’t anything at mile 18 either so we kept riding.

We came to our 1st rest stop for the day and our support group had made us coffee and hot chocolate.  What a treat not only due to no breakfast but it was still cold and rainy we were able to get some snacks from our day cubby..  Ed and I continued to ride without real food until we stopped along a wide spot in the road and asked a lady where we could get some lunch.  She gave us direction to a small town about 1 mile off route along Raquette lake.  They had great food (maybe it was just that we were extremely hungry). This held us over until we got to Old Forge.

We set up camp knowing it was going to rain during the night.  The camp had great showers which helped us recover but there wasn’t a café in the camp site so we  had to walk 1 mile each way to find a restaurant that was open in the rain.  Along the way we came to the spillway for the Fulton Chain of Lakes

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We hit our tents as soon as we returned with the rain coming down.  During the night we heard someone yell “HELP” so 3 of us got out to check it out. I turned out one of our team had had a bad dream.  On second thought maybe we were all having a bad dream.  Sometime during the night the rain stopped so we were able to pack up our wet gear without rain.

Middlebury to Newcomb NY 65 miles

6/04/19

We started our day by going backwards 1 mile to McDonalds.  This is our first McDonalds of this ride.  We have a new person this ride but a former Alumni from the TransAM Charlie Shuttleworth joining us.

The day started out cold but we are getting used to it.  We had our 4th state crossing going into New York. This crossing was unique in that we crossed into the state via Ferry.  We also had somewhat of a group picture at this point

Our first rest stop was at Ticonderoga which is a very historical location in United State’s history.

This day became historic in another way for me.  Ed and I had an accident.  Ed went off the paved shoulder into the soft sand and when coming back on the paved shoulder I hit the back of Ed’s bike with the left gear/break mechanism on my bike.  It damaged the mechanism beyond repair and I had to ride the last 20 miles in my low front ring.  It wasn’t really too bad since most of the 20 miles were climbing miles.  Here are a couple of the pictures of the damage.

We spent the night at the St. Therese Church in Newcomb.  Father Peler provide us with a pizza dinner.  This was great and important since there was not a lot to choose from in Newcomb.

Middlebury VT.  First Rest Day

6/03/19 Middlebury VT.  First Rest Day

Rest Day! Not exactly but at least no bike riding.

We slept in a little and we went out to a bakery for breakfast around 8:00 a.m.  Quite a few of our team went there for breakfast and we stayed there at the little tables for about an hour.  We all had a couple of different items but Ed beat us all be buying a package of 6 or 7 of day old items for $4.00.

Our church is in the original part of the city and there were a number of small  stores and shops.  It had a very friendly feel.

After breakfast a lot of us went to do our laundry.  The laundry was about 1 to 2 miles from the church but since I have a touring bike I could hook my panniers to my bike filled with all my dirty close.  It made for an easy trip. Everyone has the laundry process down so it is not a big issue.

The day was cold and it rained off and on so we didn’t get to dry our tents from yesterday’s evening rain.

One of our riders is a geologist so he did a presentation on how the New England area formed.  He related how the formation affect our rides and why we had faced so many climbs.  He did say most of our hard climbs are behind us.  I hope this is true.

Here is a picture of one side of our of our sleeping area.  Of course this is my side of the room.  You can see we sleep with our bikes next to us.

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We had movie time this evening but even though the screen was close to my sleeping bag I went to sleep in the middle of it.  I needed my rest.

Thetford Center to Middlebury 74 miles

6/02/19

Today started out fast tract ride so Ed could make it to mass in  Bethel which was a 35 mile ride and mass began at 11 a.m.  When it comes to mass Ed has and whole different gear and speed.  We were flying down the road but in the uphill and downhills.  It turned out Ed found a Catholic church in South Strafford which was only about 5 miles away.  I was sure glad because I was really hurting.

It turned out to be a special turn of events for me also.  I stopped in a small store, the Coburn’s General Store, to get some cash from a ATM machine.  Then a gentleman that owned the General Store for 47 years came out and we started talking.  He asked about our ride and I told him in was a ride for MS.  After further discussion he asked if I would accept a donation since his son has MS.  Of course I said I would and I gave him one of my business cards that show my blog address.

I was greatly moved by his charity and the warmth by which he gave me the funds.  He also told me another story that showed his generosity which involved 3 other bikers.  One miserable raining day 3 young riders came to him and asked if they could spent the night in his laundry mat so they could get out of the weather.  He told them yes, but that his house was just across the street and they could stay with him and his wife.  Of course they took him up on his offer but he also provided them with dinner and breakfast the next morning.  America has the greatest people on earth, if you ask me.

After this break we were back on the road which was  a short flat area for a while, but we knew that could not last for long.  We started our first of two climbs.  Just when I was feeling the pain the grade increased to about 15% which really stressed me out.  I had to stop for a while and even walk a short distance so I could catch my breath.  Once over the summit I rode into our first rest stop at Royalton and I waited on Ed to catch up.

Our last climb was harder and longer than the first climb which was up to the top of  Middlebury gap.  This climb also made me stop, walk and climb again, but then the fun began and it was basically all downhill into Middlebury.

We have our first rest day here in Middlebury.  We are fortunate to be able to stay at the  St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  Dry and warm, it doesn’t get much better.