Today has been my first full day or riding.
I have ridden more, today, than I ever have before.
I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I could.
I left Kennebunkport at 8:15AM. It was cold, but I had four cups of coffee to keep me warm.
As I opened the front door of my mother’s house, a robin red-breast smacked headfirst into the door. I am going to try to pretend this wasn’t a sign.
I made it to the NH state line in Berwick by 900. Easy riding. Stopped at a little bakery. Had a $1 muffin and a $1 cup of coffee. I’m not in Portland anymore.
My shifters began to develop a bit of trouble. Only 3 rear gears are stable; the others will cause jumping. Did not substantively impact my riding. I decided to just stay with these three, and press on. I shall try to fix the problem tonight. Otherwise: Brattleboro Bike Shop, here I come.
Getting quite hungry by noon. Stopped by the side of the road under the shade of a great tree. Think it was a blueberry patch. Ate about twenty dried Turkish apricots. Bedu food. Then up and on.
Very hilly. Damn New England. Quite huffing and puffing. Stop for a 2-minute breather, then another. Keep riding.
Sun comes out. Jumps 10 degrees in minutes. Take off jersey. Take ten minutes to evaporate myself dry. Apply more sunscreen. Goes on dead white. Look like a clown who is molting. Eat a protein bar by a babbling brook.
One long grinding hill, can’t do it, get off and walk for maybe 5 minutes. Then I finish it. Then another and another. Can’t *wait* for the midwest. Jesus Christ.
Stop at a rest station on top of a mountain, overlooking a lake. Eat ~2# of fried chicken, because this looks far healthier for you than the pizza that is the only alternative. ($6). The owner (whose name, if the store is eponymous, is Chubby) tells me about how he was just given a bike light – like, a few minutes before – by a fellow who almost hit him the night before. I think Chubby might be a little slow. Then he pulls out his iPhone and tells me to hurry, it might rain around 4.
Press on to Concord. Road becomes a Near A City Road – Bed Bath and Beyonds, as far as the eye can see. Wide shoulders, at least. I like nice shoulders.
I have cashed my CamelBak, and stop for a $2 gigant-o-bottle of water. I ask the clerk how far to downtown Concord. She says, you’re in it. (A formula for social striation: do you call Downtown the place with the big marble statehouse, or the place with the Wal-Mart?)
Go to the Statehouse. Arrive just as the legislative day is ending. People in bad suits everywhere. Several accost me and talk to me about my bike. One nice fellow really engages me in conversation. I am basically brain-postmortem, I hope I wasn’t rude. I get his name, which I promptly stalk b/c internets. Yep, he’s a New Hampshire state legislator. Awesome. This trip is already awesome.
Bike 2 more miles to a hotel. They give me a great rate due to my having my helmet under my arm. King sized bed, free coffee and tea 24/7, complementary breakfast which I will utterly demolish. I’ve been here 90 minutes and I’ve already taken 2 showers. Feel like I have 2, maybe 37 more in me.
Tired. Trying to stay awake a little longer, so I don’t wake up at 4AM. A little headachy. Not unexpected. Drinking water, though pee suggests I am well hydrated. #postaboutpee
Eat another 20 or so apricots, some turkey jerky, some granola. Drink three little bottles of milk pilfered from the breakfast-area fridge. Tomorrow: lay waste to the complementary breakfast (whatever it is); go to EMS and buy more stuff sacks (big ones, to fill with small ones that I already have… just to make strapping them down that much easier). EMS opens at 9, I will be there waiting, should be on the road by 10.
Goal for tomorrow is to do about the same as I did today: 70.5 miles. But if I don’t make it: no pressure. I realize that the day after First Big Ride might be quite easy… or it might suuuuuuck.
Saturday night is the NECCA graduation show. Lots of my friends will be there. I’m gonna try to make it. That’d be ballersauce.
Then: 80 miles to Albany. This will likely be my Sunday goal. (Potentially impacted by the fact that Google Maps Mobile is conspicuously silent on the subject of elevation. I cannot *wait* to get to the plains states).
& now: to bed.