Day 5, Saturday, August 5, 2006

Troy, NY to Brattleboro, VT
(75 miles/13.4mph avg.) 5h 33m 45sec
( max. speed 40.5 mph)

Up at 5:30, organize and pack, 6:30 load luggage, 6:30 breakfast at hotel (see pics) - scrambled eggs, sausage, french toast, home fries, cold cereal, muffins, toast, yogurt, orange juice and coffee, 7:15 on the road. The morning was partly cloudy and cool - what a pleasant change. Local forcasts indicate this trend will continue for at least the next few days.

Getting out of Troy required some early tough climbing and it continued to be challenging for about 15 miles. The most difficult climb was up Searsburg Mountain climbing 1,800 feet in 10 miles at a 6 to 10% grade. There was no leveling off of the grade so there was no opportunity for our legs to recover their strength. The process required getting into a chain ring in front (usually the smallest) and a big gear in the back that gave you a comfortable cadence. That means you are pedaling your legs kinda fast but you aren't going very fast and you are expending the smallest amount of energy to do it. You go up the hill quite slow but you can do it without stopping and huffing and puffing too excessively. SAG 1 was at 23 miles in Hoosick, VT. and SAG 2 was at a Country Store and food cart in Wilmington, VT. We traveled on Rt. 7 in NY, which turned into Rt. 9 in VT. The second climb was up smaller Hogback Mt., climbing 600 feet in 4 miles to an elevation of 2,350 feet. There is a lot of pain going up but the downhills were great.

I almost forgot - I broke a spoke on my rear wheel around 18 miles out. I was pedaling about 16 mph and it snapped. Tom, one of our 2 mechanics, was driving one of the support trucks and loaned me his rear wheel so I could ride to the first SAG. He went on ahead to SAG 1 to meet Jim, our other mechanic and Andy. Together they found a replacement spoke and installed it, and replaced my rear tire with one of my spares. How about this ---- While at SAG 1, a wild horse attacked me!

I arrived at our hotel, Quality Inn and Suites at 3:00 but had to wait an hour for our room to be ready. I am back with my roommate Mike. They put us in separate rooms last night in Troy? ? ?

Here's some ride information - Other than the US, there are riders from 6 countries - Germany, France, England, Scotland, Australia and Canada. 53 riders started in Astoria, Oregon with 6 staff. 52 and 6 staff will finish in Portsmouth. Riders leave and come on at various rest days during the trip. There are 3 named groups; Final 4 - They (2 men and 2 women) ride at a variable slow pace and are the last 4 riders to get to the hotel each day. They stop a lot to do various miscellaneous things. Sometimes they don't arrive till 6 or 7 PM. The 3 amigos - 3 guys from Sacramento, CA who didn't know each other, started to ride as a group each day. The Wolf Pack - 3 guys who ride relatively fast and steady and are usually the first to get to hotel.

RAP tonight was at 5:30, 6:00 dinner at a local Chinese Buffet. Tomorrow will be an 86 mile ride to Manchester, NH. It has 5 very steep but relatively short climbs at 10 to 13% grade. It has been said that it is the second most difficult day of the whole trip.

Loading luggage

Hotel breakfast buffet

Hotel breakfast buffet

Hotel breakfast buffet

Attacked by a wild horse!

Tom and Andy reparing my bike

Tom and Andy reparing my bike

Welcome to Vermont

Sacred Heart & St. James Roman Catholic Church

Scenic river

Scenic river

Resting bikes at SAG 1

SAG 1 - hot dog

Hogback Mountain summit (2,350 ft elevation)

View from Hogback summit

Scenic view from Hogback descent

West River, Brattleboro, VT

Bridge that defines the beginning of the CT. River

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