MAA – Day 31 – More Family Time

This post will be short – spending more time with family – and the internet connection is lousy. 🙂

Today started and ended in the rain. I got soaked this morning as I was climbing out of Albany. It did help keep it reasonably cool and it wasn’t too humid ’till late in the day. Tonight, I got in just before the thunder and lightning storm hit. Phew! Luckily it was a little shorter day (85 miles) because our campsite is my other sister’s driveway so we get to see more family.

The Bershires reminded me of times we spent in the Adirondacks as a kid. Makes sense since they’re both considered to be part of the Appalachian chain. There seem to be fewer lakes, though.

Since it’s a family kind of day, cheers to my younger bro who turned 50 today! Doesn’t seem possible!

Speaking of family, get this… my ride across the country story was reported by my hometown paper yesterday. Front page/above the fold! 🙂19619196_1735432899808127_219148172_o

So – one of my cousins (who I haven’t seen in about 45 years) read the article and connected with me through this blog! She’s a cousin on my dad’s side of the family, who, as it turns out, has a daughter who has MS. My dad had 9 brothers and sisters and they all had big families too, so it was hard to stay connected through the years. Now how cool is that! 🙂

Song of the day:

One more century and then a virtual stroll (35 miles) into Plymouth on Sunday!

Ride on!

 

MAA – Day 30 – The Canal Trail

Tough day! Good thing only 3 to go! Then I remembered seeing this on silos in several states along the way. I think I must have been getting a message.DSC01715

Today was a little shorter – only 85 miles but I had a mild headwind all day and seemed to do a lot of climbing. It was pretty, even though it wasn’t sure if it wanted to rain or not all day. I rode along the Mohawk River and Erie Canal mostly on a bike trail but about half of it was packed gravel and dirt so tough to keep speed up.

Towards the end, I was on a fun path! Albany has had a lot of rain recently, so portions of it were flooded. Walked around a few spots…

Made it to my sister’s house near Albany and she and her family had fun telling the SAG team lot’s of stories. And yes, they’re that much taller than me!

For a nice surprise, my high school buddy Tami came by! She only lives about a mile away from my sister. 🙂IMG_5451

While I was on the Canal Trail today, I must have seen a hundred cotton tail bunnies…DSC01746

so unfortunately, this song played over and over in my head all day – now it will in yours! You’re welcome! 🙂

Ride on!

 

MAA – Day 29 – Welcome Home!

They say you can’t go back home again once you’ve left. I beg to differ. I always love going home! Home is not just the place. It’s the people. It’s always good to re-connect with family and friends.

Today, I rode home to the Mohawk Valley. We are staying in Ilion which is right next to Herkimer where I am actually from. My Uncle Carl and many cousins live in Ilion and there is a great stop there at the Marina on the Mohawk River/Erie Canal. My sisters and several of my cousins were there to greet me as I rolled in. (Given their history, I sort of thought I’d get a 21 bun salute!) This is a short post because we had a big cook out at their house. I didn’t even take any pictures!

Sharon, a friend since Kindergarten stopped by to say “hi” too! Can you tell which ones we are?

The SAG team stopped on the way in to get one of my favorites! Half moon cookies are unique to the Utica area of New York and they are yummy!IMG_5405

It was a great day to ride and I just enjoyed it. Stopped for only a few pics along the way.

Song of the day:

About 3 1/2 days left to make it to Plymouth, MA and the Atlantic Ocean!

Ride on!

MAA – Day 28 – One Wedding, Several Graduations and a Funeral

Life rolls on when you’re out on the road. I suppose it’s what a travelling sales person must feel like – at least back when you couldn’t just hop on a plane to get where you needed to be. I’ve missed a wedding, several graduations and now we’ll be having a funeral. My Aunt Fran passed during the night. I would have seen her tomorrow, but alas, it was not in His plan. So today’s ride was for her. It was just what I remember of central New York too. Lot’s of rolling hills – steep rolling hills, beautiful farmland with crops other than just corn (sorry Nebraska!), cool looking barns and thunder storms rolling in and out all day.

Storms surrounded me all day but I didn’t actually get wet until I hit 70 miles. A quick deluge rolled through after that point about every half hour. It was cold too! It never got above 68 degrees today – it was the first time I wore my jacket all day since riding through the Sierras.

We took a small diversion at the end of the day to see Joseph Smith’s homestead in Palmyra, NY. We had stopped at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City and I had mentioned there is a huge pageant every year at Hill Cumorah. Since we were right here, Girl SAG was very curious and wanted to check it out. We met a very nice family from Utah who were on the tour with us. They were very helpful in answering questions the girl had and were very excited and curious about our adventure. 🙂

Pics of the day: (Click on any image to enlarge)

Song of the day: RIP Aunt Fran!

Ride on!

 

MAA – Day 27 – Full Moon Rising

Yesterday, I forgot to tell you that I got mooned! It was from some guy riding in the back of a pickup. I thought that I got sent back to 1980 for a minute and we were going to have to go streaking or something too! Not that I know what that is! So my song starting out the day was this!

 

I only had about 35 miles to ride through Pennsylvania before hitting NY, but it was going to be interesting! A big ol’ thunder storm was building and getting closer and closer all morning long. Just as I took my obligatory pics at the welcome sign, I looked across the road and a motorcyclist stopped because he was headed into the storm. Unfortunately, the wind came up and knocked his very heavy bike over. He asked if I could help him lift it up since it was so heavy. It turned out that he was from The Netherlands and is riding across America the other way!IMG_5337

Just as I started out again, the storm found us. Nancy happened to be running along the road and she yelled to me to come back to her house to hold up until the storm passed through. It was starting to thunder pretty good, so I followed her advice. Good humans are everywhere! She had the cutest little house right on the lake! We chatted away and I found out that she is a cyclist too, and she has a good friend with MS! It seems to touch everyone in some way!

The SAG team was monitoring my progress and the storm and caught up with me not too much later.IMG_5346

The storm blew through pretty quickly, and the rest of the day was a beautiful one along Lake Erie.

Other pics of the day:

Song of the day:

Ride on!

MAA – Day 26 – Comfort, But Not From Dogs

I never knew the area around Cleveland was so pretty. You don’t get a sense of it at all driving 70 miles/hr. on route 90. I drove it back and forth for years and never knew! I did seem to forget there were hills. Lot’s of them! I climbed up and down nearly 4000 feet again today.

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I’ll never complain about rumble strips again either! I rode this for 10 miles and I think my teeth are still chattering!

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I had great weather all morning, then the afternoon hit. Storms were threatening with increased winds and a few sprinkles. I never heard any thunder though.DSC01660

Once we got to the campground, we were lucky to meet up with my cousin Brian and his wife Sandy. They live in North East PA. We hadn’t seen each other for years! It was so great to catch up with them and have them meet the SAG team. They brought us a case of water, treated us to a wonderful dinner, and took us to see Presque Isle State Park where we had some yummy soft serve ice cream! It was so comforting to see family!IMG_5287

Pics of the day:

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Song of the day (thanks to an old friend, I’ve been listening to Fleetwood Mac):

Ride on!

MAA – Day 25 – What to Eat?

Day 25 was tough. This is the second day in a row I’ve slept through my alarm so I got sort of a late start. I blame it on the time change. We are now 3 hours ahead of California. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. I sort of slipped and fell in the shower last night and cracked my head good on the tile floor. I ended up with a nice bruise on my right hip and a golf ball sized bump on my head. There was no LOC or other concussion symptoms and I woke up this morning, so I lived to ride another day! Phew! Even the bump was gone.

It turned out to be an excellent riding day – especially after all the rain yesterday. It even started off somewhat chilly! It started in the high 60’s, stayed in the 70’s most of the day, and only got up to the low 80’s while being sunny and partly cloudy with very little wind. The road was mostly good too – didn’t get beat up too much. And we closed the day out in the best campsite yet – Streetsboro, Ohio KOA. Mr. SAG even made a campfire and the girl finally got to make s’mores. She now has had a full camping experience!

Since the scenery didn’t change much, I thought I’d let you know what I eat to keep going every day. This is for John H and the RD’s back at KP, and Joni R, my nutrition experts. Don’t laugh/judge! It’s working so far! 🙂

I usually have a good breakfast – starting with coffee! I had one day where I didn’t have my coffee and it was not good! I have eggs and sweet potato mash or scrambled eggs and sausage, or steel cut oatmeal with raisins and nuts. I’m not even above having a Jimmy Dean egg and sausage croissantwich. It’s quick and easy!

For lunch, I either catch up with the SAG team or have a sandwich on the road. My favorites are peanut butter and jelly, or a turkey, ham and cheese sub with lettuce and tomato.

I’m usually good for about 2 hours after breakfast and then I nibble something about every 20 to 30 minutes. I have a variety of snacks that I can choose from in my trunk pack. RX Bars are great. They are all natural and I have about 8 different flavors. I made my own trail mix (cashews, walnuts and raisins – simple). Then there are Cliff Bars from Team Aaron Comfort Dog. I have fresh fruit (I like cuties and bananas) and packets of almond butter. If I find I need an energy boost, I do have Cliff Bloks and Nuun Tablets available. Pave Bars are new from chef Chris Constantino. I picked up a few at his Campo Velo ride in Napa Valley. They are all natural too – with a date base. Remember, I just have a nibble of any of these.

Back at camp at the end of the day, Mr. SAG usually cooks. He’s a good cook too! (and a good father, dog owner, launderer, clothes washer, bike mechanic, fire starter, handy man, shopper, and all around cheer leader!) Our dinners have included tacos, spaghetti, chicken salad, steak and potatoes, pizza, and more! When I get in, I sometimes have a small chocolate milk (Thanks for the habit Penni!) for an occasional treat, I’ll have a scoop of ice cream, a s’more, or a Lucky Guy Brownie!

And of course there’s water. Lots and lots of water! When we were at 7-8000 feet of altitude and doing a lot of climbing, I was going through about 200 oz. or more per day. It’s now about half of that unless it’s really hot (then it’s close). There you have it!

Song of the day:

Ride on!