Almost like a final examination paper, today was the ultimate test of our determination. It poured down for probably the first 50-60 miles of todays ride. I mean the type of pouring rain that makes rivers run down the roads. My glasses had to be removed as they got so wet I couldn’t see a thing. The waterproof jacket did its best but eventually couldn’t keep out all of the water being thrown down at me.
The day started with the rain and yet spirits were high being the last real ride of the trip. After only 2.4 miles we came to the New Hampshire State line which as usual was a photo opportunity which we all took.
Another ten miles further down the road we came to a covered bridge and again the photo’s were taken. However by this time I think I was starting to think that stopping in the rain for pictures wasn’t a good idea. So I knuckled down and did the early climbing just accepting that the rain was going to be constant and I just had to gut this one out. After the SAG at 35 miles I rode along with John, Rod and Adam for a while. They stopped for Adams flat and I was left alone to ride on up the road. Somewhere around here I must have missed the Massachusetts State line which was not obvious as I expected and so it became the first State Line I missed on this trip.
The ride was difficult because the water on the roads hides the potholes and occasionally you hit one which almost knocks you off. Couple this with the not to wonderful road surfaces and increasingly less patient drivers and it made cycling not the most fun thing to do on a Thursday in June. However as always persistence and patience rewarded me and I rolled into the 2nd SAG feeling ok about the day and enjoying the fact that the rain had stopped by now. I met Deirdre and chatted while I waited for Dana to arrive with my spare shirt I had left with him. After a while I got the change of clothes and headed off again for the final 30 miles. Unfortunately the rain showed up again for a bit and by now the roads were puddled just adding to the fun.
Arriving at the hotel to a cheer from a few people waiting for all of us was a fun way to finish what had been a long hard day. The hills were not the steepest, the roads were not quite the worst yet add the rain and often a headwind, then it wasn’t easy that’s for sure. Meeting a whole group of my family also suddenly made today a much better day. Add a shower, a shave and finally a beer then it became a good day. Finally have a dinner with all of the riders, their families and eight of our family and it becomes a great day.
Rain forgotten, I can now start to accept the fact that I have ridden my bike across America. I need to reflect just a little to make sense of how I feel now about My Big Adventure. I will start to put my thoughts down tomorrow but for now after a long wet day that ended with only 17 miles to ride tomorrow I think it was a great adventure for me.