Today was a great day! Note: This was written on Saturday. Today, Monday, was tough. We got back on the road after our 2-day break (It was supposed to only be one day but then thunderstorms came…), biked a little over 50 miles, and landed in the cute little town of Boonville, at a campsite that is literally right next to a beautiful river. Wow!
When we left this morning the clouds were so dark that we put on the rainflies and our raincoats. It was fairly cold and we thought our elevation gain was going to be grueling. Turns out, we were wrong! It was really a beautiful ride through farm country with big puffy clouds and the occasional Amish buggy. There were far off views of foothills (possibly of the Adirondacks?) and thick forests covered hilltops all around us. (Though in typical fashion, we did get sunburned...again. Golly we gotta stop believing that we can outrun the sun.)
After we got to our beautiful camping spot, we rode into town a little bit to visit a grocery store and the local ice cream shop. It turns out, this little place, Mercer’s Dairy, was the creator of wine ice cream! The inside of their shop was covered with magazine and newspaper articles that included their product. Micah said it best when he said it felt like we stumbled into the Ivanhoes of New York. So that was cool!
Today I also have been thinking about some questions we have gotten asked, and I wanted to share some of them with you.
Q: When was your start date?
A: June 4.
Q: When will you return?
A: July 12
Q: How will you get back?
A: We will take a plane. We will take our bikes to a local bike shop and they will partially dissemble and ship our bikes back to our local bike shop. We may end up mailing our gear back if it will be cheaper than paying the airfare for checked baggage.
Q: What mileage do you try to do a day?
A: We have to average a little over 53 miles a day to stay on track. Mostly we have aimed between 60 and 70, though these couple of days we are hesitant to go that high due to the elevation gain. At the time of posting this, we did 81.7 miles through the mountains. Bike touring is full of inconsistencies.
Q: What does a daily schedule look like?
A: As hard as we’ve tried, it seems it always takes us 1.5 hours to get going in the morning. We normally want to leave no later than 8. We will bike between 15 and 20 miles and then take a break. We try to line up this break with a small town so we can get a Gatorade at a gas station. Then we try to get 20-30 more miles in before lunch. We want most of our miles down before lunch because the biking conditions are much nicer and our mental condition is much stronger. We’ll take a long lunch, maybe we’ll even put up the hammock and take a nap. After the heat of the day (3ish?) we’ll finish out our miles and head to our evening lodging.
Q: What do you eat?
A: Breakfast is a toss up, though it usually consists of a piece of fruit and some finds at the local gas station. For lunch we eat picnic style. We carry peanut butter and honey (and Micah will sometimes use jelly packets from hotels) and bread for sandwiches, fresh fruit (currently granny smith apples and cherries), pretzels, and chocolate pudding. For dinner we either eat out, grab something from the local grocer deli, or get an instant type meal we can cook at our campsite. Tonight we’re having hamburger helper, and we got some raw veggies to go with it.
Q: What’s been the hardest part so far?
A: M-Everything is always up in the wind. Lodging, food, riding conditions. Nothing is ever too certain. J-Dealing with the wind. I do not like the wind.
Q: What has been the best part?
A: Seeing old friends and family along the way, and making new friends too, as well as experiencing this challenge with Micah.
Q: What’s it been like doing this kind of adventure with your spouse? Do you feel like your relationship has changed?
A: I certainly don’t feel any different about Micah than I did when we started, but this trip has allowed him to show his love for me in new ways: asking strangers if I can use a bathroom in their house, making sure I’m safe on the road, and making sure I have a safe place to sleep.
It’s also given us new and different scenarios to solve problems together and resolve conflict. We’ve had to work on a lot of different communication skills to be used both in busy traffic and just sitting around the campsite.
I’ve also had to trust him more. When he says to turn, there’s not always time to question why we’re going where he says. I had to realize that most of the time, my “help” wasn’t actually helping. Micah has always realized quickly if there was a navigational error, and those have been far, far fewer than my suspicions. So at the end of the day, I’m trusting learning to stop doubting him, and let him lead me where he deems best.
Q: Is it fun?
A: I’m not sure fun is the right word. It’s been engaging, challenging, fulfilling, empowering, frustrating, and rewarding.
Q: Are you glad you did it?
Left: Evans Mills, NY, 8:30 am
Sleeping in: a campsite in Boonville, NY
Total mileage: 59 miles
High Speed: 36 mph
Avg. Speed: 10.2 mph
Overall weather conditions: warm
Elevation Gain: 1,530 ft
Total Trip mileage: 991.5 miles
Left: Boonville, NY, 7:00 am
Sleeping in: a campsite in Raquette Lake, NY, arrived 4:30 pm
Total mileage: 63 miles
High Speed: 33.1 mph
Avg. Speed: 9.4 mph
Overall weather conditions: pleasantly warm like fresh baked muffins
Elevation Gain: 2365 ft
Total Trip mileage: 1,054.5 miles
Left: Raquette Lake, NY, 6:00 am
Sleeping in: a hotel in Ticonderoga, NY, arrived 4:30 pm
Total mileage: 82 miles
High Speed: 38 mph
Avg. Speed: 10.2 mph
Overall weather conditions: cloudy/rainy
Elevation Gain: 3,242 ft
Elevation Loss: 4,763
Total Trip mileage: 1,136.5 miles