Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 49: Burlington to Revere Beach MA - Final Ride 2012

 It seems appropriate today to flip the order of some of the photos; I'll start with the daily detail and then the USA map which shows our entire coast to coast journey which was completed today.

The final 19 Miles..........
Life Ride 2012: 3,430 miles from Manhattan Beach CA to Revere Beach MA

This tour has been remarkable in that we have had only one partial day of riding in the rain. So, it was ironic that we rode to Revere Beach in a rather steady downpour. Sandwiched between a Crossroads van in the front, another CR van in the rear, and finally escorted by a Boston Police squad car (with lights flashing) in trail, the rider pack finally crested the last hill and got our first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean.

As we arrived, the rain kindly stopped so we had time to capture and savor the moment.

Team Life Ride 2012 at Revere Beach, MA

The Crossroads riders (Note - John F injured in NY and not shown)

Trusty bike, and trusty motor-of-bike celebrating the journey.

Helmet hair and all, it was a life time experience. Now can I sleep in????

Any finally it was time to stop and give thanks for this incredible journey, for our safety and the gift of life, and of experiencing this beautiful country in this unique way.

Mike, Tom and John (L-R) taking a moment to thank Him for the blessing of our safe journey.

Final tally for LR12:
3430 miles
223 Hrs, 44 Min Riding
15.3 MPH Ave speed
106, 911 feet of vertical climbing
Countless Blessings

Michele and I have been talking quite a bit on how to best describe what LR2012 was and what it really meant to us. Stay tuned to the blog and we'll try to write these summary thoughts down and post them. In the mean time, thank you so very much for your interest and support of LR12 and Birth Choice Health Clinics!

Now, final laundry is complete and its off to the CrossRoads XC12 final banquet.


Tom & Michele

Click here for details of today's ride:
Day 49: Burlington to Revere Beach MA - Final Ride 2012 by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 48 Brattleboro VT to Burlington MA

Well we have arrived in Burlington MA, just 18 miles from Revere Beach and our Atlantic Ocean goal!!
Today was a 92 mile ride with 4500' of climbing thru some beautiful NH and MA scenery. It was the usual staggered start with the early birds leaving at 0645 and the rabbits at about 0725, but today something was not the same. This was to be our last significant ride of the 2012 cross country tour.

As usual, Michele was there capturing our departure activities. It has been a great adventure to share with her and I'm sure glad she decided to a) entertain me doing this crazy ride in the first place and b) deciding that if you can't beat 'em then join 'em. It would have been a completely different, and emptier, journey without her.

Mike K and I started to ride together way back in Arizona. I think it was during the first long climb up towards Mingus Mountain pass that fate brought is together. I'd estimate that we have ridden closely together for about 3000 miles; on every day since, practically every mile, hill and turn since then. Michele and I made some great friends of Mike and his wonderful wife Diana and hope to stay in touch doing something that doesn't involve cycling.
Preparing to depart for the morning

Away they go to start their final long ride of the journey

Today, Mike and I crossed into NH and MA. We even stopped and the Ashuelot Covered Bridge just inside the NH state line. This bridge was built in 1864. There was a sign on the bridge indicating a $5 fine for using the bridge as speeds beyond walking so we just took the photo and moved on down the road.

Ashuelot Covered Bridge

At the SAG at mile 60, one of the riders casually said 'Wow, did you see all the poison ivy around the sign at the NH border?'. I'll tell you, even though we stayed on the road side of the barrier, I itched all the way to the hotel just thinking about that poison ivy. Wouldn't that be a great way to end the cross country ride?

Tom and Mike arriving in Burlington ... only 18 miles left to Boston!

I was so happy to see Tom arrive safely at the end of the final long ride!

Tomorrow, we have only a short 18 mile ride to arrive in Revere Beach, Boston and end the riding part of this 2012 journey. A bit of ceremony at the beach and a banquet tomorrow night.

Talk to you later.


Click here for details of today's ride.
Day 48 Brattleboro VT to Burlington MA by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 47: Albany NY to Brattleboro VT

Hello Life Ride followers.

Well, it would be hard to beat today's ride as far as a combination of beautiful scenery, weather and road terrain. The ride was 79 miles with some nice sustained climbs totally 5500 feet, which I really prefer to the 'rollers' of MO, and some rewarding long high speed descents. This day was very much like the training rides I'm used to in SoCal in the Anaheim Hills, Santiago Canyon, Corona areas. I really enjoyed the ride.

The only small off-sides today were that there was a bit of traffic on the narrow roads in the small towns and today I got my first, undeniable, must-fix-on-the-road flat. I was two miles from the hotel in Brattleboro when I hit some debris and heard the hiss-hiss-hiss sound of the rear tire deflating. Oh well, I must consider myself extremely lucky after-all; Nick my friend from the UK, holds the tour record for 'punctures' at 19!!!. Previously, I've only had two soft tires in the evening that were small leaks that needed a quick tube change before the next morning.

Anyway, as I said the road scenery was beautiful. Departing Albany, we crossed the Hudson River and then we were forced to walk thru a construction project for about 1/4 mile but it gave us a chance to talk to the many construction workers. They just couldn't believe that we had come all the way from LA.

Hudson flowing to NY City

Mike and Chuck showing perfect detour style.

I'll let the following photos speak for themselves. Imaging just cruising along on a country road, in the relative silence of a bicycle and being in the middle of this. Fantastic!!

Cruising down the country road.....

What's not to like with the Green Hills, blue sky and white clouds of VT

Our 13th State on the Life Ride 2012 tour.

Our climbing today consisted of ups and downs but there were two sustained climbs as I mentioned above. Here is the reward of the second summit; Hogback Mountain. Fantastic view of the VT countryside.

Believe it or not, tomorrow is the LAST of our real rides for the cross country tour. This 90 miles (and 5000 feet of climbing) will take us into and then out of New Hampshire, into Massachusetts and within 18 miles of Boston. Michele and I are both a little stunned that our great adventure is almost over.

Well, off to dinner and some rest.

Talk to you in tomorrow's posting.

Click here to see details of today's ride: Note - don't worry about the heart rate at the beginning. Apparently it was not making good contact.
Day 47: Albany NY to Brattleboro VT by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 46: Little Falls to Albany NY

A very quick post tonight since it is late and we have a tough ride tomorrow with lots of climbing.

Today we had an easy, wind at our back, 71 mile ride to Albany NY. We thought we were going to get rained on but alas again the weather gods were friendly so we only got a few sprinkels.
Here are a couple of pics of the ride:

All dressed for a ride in the rain.

Amish families traveling along the public road.

Beautiful Mohawk Valley and River

Mike and I are convinced that this sign actually means 'Men at Work MAKING potholes' .....

More Mohawk River: Runs from Syracuse to Albany.

Tom and Michele in the NY countryside

Click here for details of today's ride:
Day 46: Little Falls to Albany NY by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 45: Syracuse to Little Falls NY

Hello again,
Well today's ride had its ups and downs but all in all was very nice. It apparently rained a little last night; the streets were wet in the morning but dried by the time we started. The forecast was for 30-50% chance of rain so I headed out to this sky with my rain jacket crammed into my rear jersey pockets.

Leaving the hotel to a smaller road

The departure sky at Syracuse NY this morning.

We have come to notice that when out on the road the shoulders by and large are not too bad but as we arrive in towns the condition of the roads take a significant downturn. We have selected NY as the state with the worst roads thus far in these little towns. Here is a photo of a section of Syracuse as we departed. The streets are full of cracks, potholes, uneven metal drain grates and other dangers to skinny little bike tires.

The pothole and crack filled streets of Syracuse. Not Good!!

Here is an interesting little building we came across today. The water is very stagnant and filled with moss or some other icky green growth. One sign even described this lake as 'eco-friendly'.  Anyway, someone came up with the brilliant idea of building a three person, 29 square foot, chapel in the middle of this lake that was used for a wedding.    Only the minister, bride and groom could fit and the guests floated in surrounding boats.  Go figure.

Some people have said 'I do' here.....I say 'No Way'!!

One of our riders suffer a mishap today when he became tangled up with the bike he was trailing. Their speed was luckily very slow as they were approaching an intersection. Unfortunately, the trailing rider went down hard and could not continue the ride.  He was later diagnosed with a broken pelvis and elbow and was moved to Syracuse for treatment.   We will miss him on the rest of the tour and pray he has a speedy recovery.  Cycling comes with risk and it only takes a moment of inattention and things can go wrong. Be careful out there.

As the skies darkened, we continued our ride to Little Falls hoping to get there before the rain. We got just a few sprinkles but nothing too serious. Thankfully, it actually rained ahead of us and then stopped before we arrived leaving us only wet streets to contend with.

We dodged the rain bullet....only wet streets remained after the storm.
Many of these little towns were formed in the 18th century and have historical plaques posted at the entry points. Not sure the name of this bridge or the river it spans but it caught my attention as particularly pretty.

Approaching Little Falls NY


Some pretty flower boxes in town on our way to lunch

Tomorrow is another short ride: 71 miles to Albany NY and then into Vermont the next day. The weather is calling for more 30-40% chance of showers for the next three days so we are not out of the woods yet. Guess I'll pack my rain jacket again tomorrow.

Take Care


Click here to see details of today's ride:
Day 45: Syracuse to Little Falls NY by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 44: Canandaigua to Syracuse NY

Another beautiful weather day in upstate NY. No rain, temps in the 70's and light winds. Today our ride was only 69 miles and the tour leaders selected an 0815 departure for all riders, both early birds and rabbits. You could kind of sense that everyone was in a slow mental state; we were just going to roll along and enjoy the beautiful scenery with no rush to complete.

A mix of early birds and rabbits started together and enjoying the NY roads

Our route took us east on SR20E and along the north shore of Seneca Lake. We stopped to take these photos and enjoy the city park that was there. There was a nice cool breeze blowing and the sailboats were starting to find their way onto the water for a day of fun. A gorgeous place!

Seneca Lake

One thing that I noticed today was that along this route there were quite a number of mom & pop used car lots. I don't know why they seemed to be concentrated here in particular but it seemed that there was a pretty strong local market for used cars.

Our route also took us into the Erie Canal Park near Camillus NY. The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that travels about 363 miles from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.

Did you know???...
  • It took 8 years to build the Erie Canal? The original Erie Canal was constructed between 1817 and 1825.
  • The Erie Canal is 363 miles long?
  • The Erie Canal spans from Albany to Buffalo?
  • There are 83 locks to solve the difference in elevation from near seal level on the Hudson River to 565 feet at Lake Erie?
  • More than 300 bridges crossed the canal along its route?
  • Mules and horses pulled the canal boats at 4 mph?
  • Costs to transport goods across the state on the canal vs by road were reduced by 80% to 90%?
  • Toll receipts paid back the $7.5 million construction cost within ten years?
  • The canal was enlarged due to increased traffic demands with construction occurring from 1836 to 1862?
  • Tolls were abolished in 1882 because of increasing competition from railroads?

Women's Rights Museum in Seneca, NY

Location of first Women's Rights Convention in1848

Its now 5:25 and route rap starts in 20 minutes. I finished the laundry so I've got riding clothes for a couple more days now. Michele is out getting in a walk but looking out the window I see that it is raining a little. I hope she doesn't get too wet :).

Tomorrow is 80 somewhat flat miles to Little Falls NY; I'm afraid to check the weather forecast.

Tour stats so far:
3090 miles
201 hours riding
15.3 MPH average speed
close to 90,000 feet of climbing

Talk to you tomorrow.

Click here for details of today's ride:
Day 44: Canandaigua to Syracuse NY by xctom2012 at Garmin Connect - Details