Day One – Lots of Hills, But Still All Flat

“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.

At the bottom of our driveway

At the bottom of our driveway

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.

Our first flat tire.

Our first flat tire.

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.

Passing the windmills in Searsburg, VT.

Passing the windmills in Searsburg, VT.

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.


Miles: 90
Avg Spd: 12
Mechanicals: 2 flats, one sidewall rupture


4 Responses to “Day One – Lots of Hills, But Still All Flat”

  1. Tim Coleman Says:

    Hey Nate and Sam,

    Congratulations on getting on the road. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

    You probably know that no epic trip consists of everything going as planned. So far it seems that you have already placed yourselves in the epic category. Make sure you pack plenty of inner tubes and a few extra tires. They realy don’t weigh very much.

    Looking forward to more posts. Hope the bugs aren’t too bad.


  2. Tom McCrumm Says:

    Hey Sam & Nate:

    We arricved a half hour late in R’boro, but the lady at the store said you hadn’t been there yet. We got off 10 min.late and watched a train at the tunnel for 5 minutes. I think we got there right at 10am, waited a bit then rode east to see if you were coming. Once the road started really uphill we turned around and left for Searsburg. I don’t think you were far behind us, maybe 5-10 minutes. I talked to Marie yesterday AM to find out what happened, and as we expected, it was mechanical issues. The rest of our ride was good, perfect day, scenic route, but hot going back up over Florida Mtn. in the afternoon after having done 88 miles already.

    Weather looks perfect for you guys. – Tom

  3. bamfer23 Says:

    Two flats already?? That’s insane.
    Glad you’re off and running, though!

  4. Elisse Says:

    Hi. I don’t know you, but I will be a freshman at Northwestern this fall. I’m not much of a biker, but I think what you are doing is really cool. I hope you have a lot of fun and very few flat tires.

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