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.