“Bye! Bye!” came the chorus of well wishers from our driveway as we headed out this morning. We had made it out the door before we needed to, having eaten a breakfast of eggs, fruit salad, and cardamom coffee cake. We were planning to meet up with some biking friends in Readsboro at 9:30. Dad had allowed us one and a half hours to go the 23 miles to Readsboro.
Our first few miles were on dirt roads, and we weren’t making the 16 mph average we had expected. After about 12 miles, we had our first flat. My brand new tire had a sidewall rupture; a rock from the dirt road had cut into the tire. We replaced the tube and the tire (we brought a spare) and were on our way in 20 minutes.
We rolled into Readsboro at 11:00, one hour and a half later than we had planned. Our friends had left some time before. We got some food at the general store, and started up the road to Bennington.
“Pssssst…..” Flat number two! We had barely moved from the general store, so we turned around and headed back to the store. Two spares down, two to go. We chatted with some other cyclists as we reassembled my bike, and were on our way once more.
The hill we were now facing was the longest we will face this trip, heading up to Searsburg, VT. Fortunately, the hill was shaded on our side of the road, and the traffic was relatively light.
We made it up and down the hill with no troubles, and rode into Bennington to have lunch. At the sub shop, we fired up the laptop, and checked to see if there were any bike shops around Bennington that were open on Sundays, but to no avail.
Having seen the Bennington Monument on the hill, we decided to ride up to it, and check it out. It is quite a marvel. We rode along through eastern New York, admiring the beautiful countryside, before coming to Route 7. Up a hill that dragged on and on, and down the other side we went. We ditched Route 7, and took some back roads to Waterford where we took some photos crossing the Hudson.
We wandered around, trying to find the Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway,(part of the New York State Canal Trail), and gave up to have dinner in Waterford. Waddling out of the restaurant, we headed on our way, over to Peebles Island, and then over a bridge with open steel grating for a floor. We were both convinced we had gotten flats by the way our bikes were fishtailing around and acting squirrely. We did not flat, fortunately, and continued on, finding a place to camp off the road, and near the river. I typed for a while, got eaten alive, and decided around 8:45 to set up our tent for the night.
Avg Spd: 12
Mechanicals: 2 flats, one sidewall rupture