Apparently the size of the climbs and steep pitches of the Pocono Mountains went unnoticed while researching “best routes” for our final 150+ miles. A few other details also went unnoticed. Such as we are in “black bear country”, and the area is well known for timber rattlesnakes. And, the roads are narrow, apparently no budget for bike able shoulders and abundance of 90 degree blind turns. We had a decision to make.
We could ride the back woods bike trails along the Delaware River and take our chances with the black bear and rattlesnakes, or opt for the open roads with no shoulders. I am not fond of black bear, and equally not fond of rattlesnakes, but the super skinny switchbacks on the open roads left us with no choice. We would bike along the trails in the wilderness along the Delaware River. Continue reading Bike tested by the Poconos→
Getting internet has been a challenge for the last few days. Our final day of ocean side bicycle touring is in Newport Rhode Island. After revisiting our route and wondering how we could possibly navigate the busy narrow roadways through touristy downtown, we happened on a road called Ocean Way. Who can resist a road called Ocean Way?
Newport is home port for sailors (The Americas Cup), the Tennis Hall of Fame and some of the most amazing seafood. All of these attractions draws tourists and traffic. And here we are, trying to ride our bikes on one way roads that are foreign to us, with drivers that are not as bicycle friendly as our prior days of touring. Continue reading Seaside to mountains…→
Somewhere south of Portland Maine, our ride took on elements of bicycle friendly roadways (shoulders the size of entire lanes), off-road trails, and substantially less intense hills. This area embraces bicyclists, and this is obvious by the dramatic increase in bicycle traffic.
Today’s ride was to begin at 6AM, and at 6:05 we realized that we had overslept. Camping under huge spruce tree cover, plus very dense fog had our bio-clock confused. Despite the late wake-up, we managed to shovel down handfuls of food, place our gear on our bikes, pump up the tires and break-down everything else that needed to be done in a 15 minute window. By 6:20AM, we were on the road, traveling. The only worry in our world was getting beyond heavily traveled Route 1 before the rush of humanity had the same idea. We biked fast, together, with front lights and tail lights blinking like a Christmas tree. And then we veered off Route 1, to begin a ride that would soon morph into a biker’s dream. Continue reading Bike friendly roads and less hills→
There is very little access to internet – so we haven’t been in touch with what is going on in the world. And that might be a good thing. We discovered later (once internet re-appeared) that south of Maine the country is baking in heat. We are enjoying perfect bicycling weather conditions – temperatures in the 60’s, overcast skies, and just enough fog to keep a constant mist on your skin. Today’s ride has us working our way south along the Maine coastline south of Rockland.
Despite my yearning for miles that don’t include mega+ percent grade hills, we are still located in ‘hill country’. Here is how hill climbing on a 40+ pound 38 mil fat tire touring bicycle works –
You notice you are riding toward what appears to be a WALL
You tell yourself it is NOT a wall
You size up the ‘non-wall’ and convince yourself it’s not that bad
¾ of the way up the ‘non-wall’, you have used up all your lower gears and you wonder if it is time to un-clip your shoes from the bike to avoid the dreaded bike-topple and just walk the bike to the top
And just when your mind has you convinced that walking up “the wall” would not shame your ego, your heart takes over
the thought of letting that ‘non-wall hill’ turn you into a walker is too much to bear
So you leave a few remnants of your lungs on the road
And somehow dig deep for one more piece of grit to reach the summit