We’ll meet again

The ride is over. I get on a plane today to go home. My original flight was too early and Cycle America said they couldn’t get me to the airport that early. I switched to a later flight that turned out to be nonstop. I spent twice as much, but money seemed like a bigger deal before the trip than it does now, after seeing others drop hundreds (thousands?) on bike repairs during the journey.

Music defined today’s ride, so here we go:

It was a beautiful morning as we rolled through the New Hampshire countryside and I was singing this.
Since we’re in England, we’ll stay there for nostalgia for places he’s never been.
The quintessential road song – heading out, hardships, going home, thinking about heading out again.
Going home…featuring one of my favorite guitarists, Jesse Ed Davis.

We started through idyllic New Hampshire countryside…quiet country lanes. We were warned by our router that the roads would change when we crossed the border into Massachusetts and he was right. The road surface deteriorated immediately. These were the worst roads since Michigan and were probably worse. Speed limits are unnecessary because the roads are so bad. The scenery helped to redeem them until we reached more heavily populated areas, when nothing redeemed them. Most of the last 20 miles were just a case of “get ‘er done”.

First view of the Atlantic Ocean.

We rode into Gloucester High School to await the arrival of the last rider – the birthday boy, Tony. Once he arrived we proceeded to the beach with a police escort, complete with lights and siren. I was met by a former co-worker (and later boss). After a shower and change of clothes we were on our own until our harbor cruise and margarita party.

The birthday boy (Tony from the Netherlands, age 79) arrives, shooting video as he rides in.
The ceremonial dipping of the front tire in the Atlantic Ocean. The melding of the Pacific and Atlantic was cancelled, as the wax seal failed and the water leaked out. I decided not to fake it.
Your blogger at the Atlantic Ocean, photo by Noreen Poirier. Another Madisonian (my neighbor, unbeknownst to me before this trip) in sleeveless jersey at left, mechanic in red shirt at right.
Bosnia, UK, South Africa

My water bottle cages bit the dust today. Casualties include: two water bottle cages, two chains, two tires, six (?) inner tubes, one front derailleur. I noticed today that my rear shift lever has delaminated. Not to mention me. Despite a bout of COVID-19 keeping me off the bike for a few days, I rode more than 4000 miles. That illness and recovery made this special in a different way. I had a flight home booked from Jackson, WY. I canceled that after crossing Teton Pass, probably the toughest climb of this trip.

When I get home, I have a routine physical scheduled as well as an appointment with a massage therapist. I will ride a century in a month (with a couple of nights of camping) and have a fall colors tour with the half-fast cycling club planned for October.