Friday, October 1, 2010

The belated post: Recapping the past few days

Captain's log. Stardate: Sept 28. Today’s weather: showers likely. Tomorrow’s weather: showers. The day after that: showers. Showers. Rain. Precipitation. Yes, we have experienced and will continue to experience all of these meteorological delights!

Yesterday was great, though. We screamed down the road for a bit more than 50 miles in 70 degree weather, and ended up in a nice cheap motel in Wiscasset, Maine. It was the first day that we rode free from the oppressive hills that defined the first few days of the ride. The terrain in the middle of Maine is still hilly, but it is tolerable with the trailers. And, every uphill has a downhill, which gives us great chances to approach terminal velocity (top speed: 37.8 mph)

But all of that is boring chatter. The real fun came when it was raining buckets a few days ago. We camped on Mount Desert Island for a few days, and set out to begin the Adventure Cycling map route. We planned to ride 60+ miles, but within 20 miles of the ride, I got a flat. These things happen. But, Murphy and his pesky law reared their ugly heads. I fixed the flat, hopped on my bike to test the tire, and……boom. Another flat. Rinse, wash, repeat. I changed the tire again, hopped on my bike to test the tire again, and…..boom. Again. I may or may not have lost my temper at that point. An hour and a half after the original flat tire, we were southbound once again.

EDUARDO’S BIKE EDUCATIONtm Lesson 1: Learn to properly fix a flat before doing any kind of riding. It will save time, money, and frustration.

Then, some 20 miles later, Vanessa got two flats after running over a bed of broken glass, nails, barbed wire, thumb tacks, and broken glass (it was all on fire, too). The rain had been coming down consistently for most of the day, and it was approaching dusk, so we pulled into a gas station for a chance to decompress and drink some warm coffee. We began changing the tires, and a couple of good Samaritans pulled up and asked us if we were “okay.” We replied that we were “okay,” explained that the day had been a bit rough. The good Samaritans turned out to be Nick and Amanda from Vermont and Connecticut, and both had ridden their bikes across the country last summer. They said that a number of people took them in when they rode across the country, and they wanted to bestow similar good karma upon Vanessa and myself.

We then packed Amanda’s Subaru Outback full of our bike stuff, and headed to their house, where we got a warm shower, cleaned our laundry, and killed aliens on a video game. Amanda and Nick had a number of cool animals at the house, one of which was a ferret that tried to get into my shoes. Crafty little things, those ferrets are. Unfortunately, we had just missed the baby goat, a pet they had for a while but who had to go back to its original owner a few weeks before we got there.

CLIFF’S NOTES VERSION: We had some awful luck and similarly awful weather. Then, our luck changed from bad to good. Thanks Amanda and Nick!

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