Day 4 and 5 were a contrast and a culmination of a very tiring week. Day 4 featured very quick rest stops courtesy of Steve Preville, a momentous visit to the church where Alice lived, a crazy place we happened upon, vistas, heat and more heat. So much heat I could not write my blog. Day 5, was to be another heat experience but that was not to be the case. And then there is my “retraction.”
Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and issue a retraction. I accused Steve and Chris of being the culprits of our slow stops, well I cannot fully retract that as they were the cause, at least earlier in the week.
After being appropriately accused, the two of them rose to the occasion with Steve clocking each stop at 20 minutes and we were simply amazing. That was until today’s second SAG stop at the Quickway Twin Cone Ice Cream stand, which sits next to a diner (I did not pay attention to its name).
When you are riding 500 miles in seven days, or in the middle of a 70 mile day, and your teammate says, “I am going to get an egg & cheese sandwich at the diner, would you like anything?” How could you say anything but “Wait for me!”
The problem was that the Taylor Pork roll Egg & Cheese sandwich took about 15 minutes to arrive and we already were at 20 minutes from arrival when my dilemma began. You see, what I really wanted from Quickway was their Coffee Milkshake. I had my priorities in order as I finished off the egg & cheese, but this line took another 15 minutes. By the time we left I am guessing it was close to 50 minutes and I had created quite the problem. It actually was unacceptable.
So to Steve and Chris, thank you for keeping us on time this week. I apologize to both of you for my actions in delaying our departure from SAG 2 and you clearly are not the only ones responsible for slowing us down.
Alice’s Restaurant and the Church and the Bell Tower
For anyone who has been through one of my WOW Communication seminars, you will know that I use Alice’s Restaurant as an exercise in listening. I actually borrowed this from another consultant, Pat Quigley years ago and have made it a staple of my training.
The song, Alice’s Restaurant is a classic by Arlo Guthrie and the song’s lyrics are centered on Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Well, guess where we road through on Day 4! We rode over the railroad tracks and our SAG stop was at the Church where Alice lived. I took a bunch of pictures to include the church bell tower where Alice lived with Fasha the dog. Definitely a highlight of my trip!
The He-Man Woman Haters Club & Mr. Bear Skiing
The great part of riding on a cycle around this country is the crazy stuff you see. Day 4 was the He-Man Woman Hater’s Club, yes they have an official sign and building (see picture below). Other than the sign, we do not know much about this club but I am sure an interesting story accompanies it.
I thought I had seen everything but I was wrong. On Day 5 there was a Bear on Skis. I have to admit, I missed this one. Steve and I had separated and Steve came across the bear. Major bummer that I missed it but he looks like a happy bear!
House with a Helicopter
Take a close look at the house on the hill and to the right you will see a helicopter. Yes, this house in the middle of nowhere and is beautiful. I then asked Steve why anyone would build such a beautiful house in the middle of nowhere, then we saw the helicopter. I think I need to grow Cooper Pest a bit bigger so I can get one of those!
What a Nice Part of the Country
Our travels through the Catskills was simply amazing. Winding country roads, farmland, incredible vistas overlooking fields and mountains, steams, brooks and ponds. While the riding was intense, the scenery was a great distraction. I recommend this part of the country to anyone who enjoys that kind of stuff.
Weather – Heat followed by Unexpected Mist
Day 4 was a day of incredible heat and it wiped everyone. The morning was nice and all seemed well up until mile 59, the magnitude of Day 3 and the heat of Day 4 caught up to everyone between mile 42 and 75. It seemed to catch me at mile 65. The thermometer rose above 90 degrees with extreme humidity, everyone then started to fade at that point.
By the time we finished at the hotel everyone was spent. Some recovery drink, four slices of pizza followed by a dinner of chicken parmesan helped replenish me and an early bedtime was necessary.
When we went to bed on Wednesday night we expected Day 5 to be hot and tough on the heels of us being beat into the ground on Wednesday. To our surprise, we woke up to manageable 70 degree temperatures and cloudy skies. We left at 7a (we tried to get out at 6:30a) and within 15 minutes it started to drizzle. This lasted almost until 10a but the drizzle and light rain helped us recover from Wednesday. Normally I do not like riding in this kind of stuff, however, today it was not only welcomed but a godsend.
Friday July 15 UGGHHHH
Friday will be the real test. We leave Matamoros, PA and ride 84 miles through the very steep terrain of Northwest, NJ, as we pass through Chester and work our way towards Bernardsville then finally wind up in Bridgewater, PA. Our goal is to leave by 6:30, so we are meeting at 6:15a, we will see.