Miles: 93.7 Today / Total 2350.04
Elevation Gain: 5518 ft. Today / 63,152 ft. Total
On days when we are riding over 90 miles, we awaken and leave an hour early to give us more daylight to ride. That was the case today. We had a 94+ mile route with over 5500 ft of climbing ahead of us, but when we awoke at 5:30 AM, it was 31 degrees outside. Holy Cow! No way can I ride in those kinds of temperatures! I’m from Arizona. An hour and a half later, it was 34 degrees, which is warmer, but still FREEZING Cold! The problem was that we didn’t have time to wait out the temperature, due to the distance ahead. I put on about 4 layers of clothes and hit the road.
I ran into Jade and John pretty early on and kept leap frogging them throughout the day. A mile before our first rest stop, John, Ed and I met up at a Mobile gas station for a breakfast sandwich and some hot cocoa for me—coffee for them.
Just after the real rest stop, the route turned onto the Harlem Valley rail trail. Then after 8 spectacularly smooth and level rail trail miles, it started looping around insane hilly, winding roads.
At the border of Connecticut, Ed, Jade and John all showed up within a minute or two of each other for photos.
Our lunch stop was by a pizza joint and an accordion shop. I wasn’t in the mood for pizza again and don’t have room to carry an accordion around, so I had to pass on those options and move down the road 0.3 miles to get a McDonalds fix and make some phone calls. A few minutes later, Jade and John showed up for burgers too. After lunch, we leapfrogged each other for a while, then met up at the last rest stop of the day.
After downing a scrumptious brownie from the bakery across the street, from the rest stop, it was time to make the final 28-mile push of the day. At the rate we had gone to this point, it was likely all of us would be pulled off the route before making it to our final destination, due to darkness rules, but I wasn’t going down without a fight. It was a race against time to get to the finish line before the van picked me up, so I rode like a banshee up about 6 miles of long steep hills, raced as hard as I could down the downhills and stopped for a few photos. The steep hills didn’t let up till the 20 mile point, when they turned to predominantly steep downhills, and I excel at going downhill. I easily made it to the church with enough time to stop at Popeyes for some chicken tenders, blackened ranch dressing and side dishes. After dogging myself out today, with both the miles and the climbing, I deserved them, right?
When I arrived the church, everyone else was already eating dinner. A couple of the parishioners, Jim and Vicki, had prepared a pasta dinner and salad, with beverages and cookies for dessert. I ate a little of each dish they brought, then pulled out the chicken tenders. After downing 4 of them, I had to tap out and save the side dishes for breakfast. Once again, it was too cold for a shower, so it was a second night of a sponge and baby wipe bath, then chores and bedtime. The End.