We’ll have to earn this

One more day!

Thursday night we had a little ceremony in the Fryeburg fairgrounds. Greg passed out plaques to all of the riders who will complete the coast-to-coast ride Saturday – 17 of us.

He said a few words about each of us, we each said a few words in turn (“I’d like to thank the Academy…”).

It was a chance to let this sink in for a few moments and reinforced for me what I said in here some time back – “We are a bunch of ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing.”

There has been talk that 2020 would be the last coast-to-coast trip for Cycle America. Greg backed off from that a bit, though that is the last trip he will commit to. 

Several people are already talking about doing this again next time, to share the last ride. Several have already done it more than once.

I made it clear that I do not plan to ride coast-to-coast in 2020, but I might meet them in Baraboo with a case of beer and ride to the ferry with them the next day.

Temperature Friday morning is 51 degrees. As Ken said, “We’ve been out here so long, the season’s changed.”

Friday was a meat grinder of a day. I feel like I’ve been chewed up and spit out.

We spent the day straddling the New Hampshire/Maine border. I wasn’t always sure which state I was in.

We lost about 350 feet elevation on the day on our way to sea level, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. It was a roller coaster day. We climbed about ten times that in order to lose elevation.

Road surfaces varied from great to where Graeme said, “In Australia if they let a road get this bad, they’d be stringing somebody up by the ankles.”

Roads varied from idyllic country roads to highways to suburban streets.

The weather forecast had been for southerly winds 2-4 mph. By noon it was at least five times that.

It was also a day of optical illusions. Several times my eyes said the road was level or tilting down, while my legs said it was going up. The legs were right. I felt weaker than I really was. Still, I was prompted to say (to quote Jens Voigt), “Shut up, legs!” as I fed them more electrolytes.

L-R: The road to the local brewpub Thursday; the sentry guarding a house, next to a “No Trespassing” sign; a lake we passed this morning.

Tonight’s forecast is for thundershowers. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for Gloucester all day tomorrow. Looks like we’ll get wet (not from dew or fog) one more time.