The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in this world. Susan B. Anthony
After ten consecutive days on the road, we needed this day off to rest the various parts of our bodies, thoroughly wash our clothing and to prepare for the upcoming fourteen day stretch. Our group is staying at a fairly nice hostel but it is somewhat crowded with only four rooms to sleep twenty four riders and leaders. Again, I chose a comfortable Hampton Inn about 2 miles away.
Since dipping our wheels in the Atlantic waters of Bar Harbor, we have covered a considerable amount of territory. We have pedaled past stunning harbors and quaint lakeside villages, viewed a Shaker community and crossed the Appalachian Trail. We also have climbed the infamous, 2855 foot high Kancamagus Pass, among others, and lunched on an upper deck overlooking the Niagara Falls. We have surveyed the locks and establishments along the Erie Canal as well as countless miles of wooded Lake Erie shoreline.
It has been an exceptionally good ride so far. From bicycling in Florida, I am accustomed to showers, especially those which allow you to be completely dry by the end of the ride. Prior to the ride, friends had warned of strong headwinds when proceeding in the opposite direction rather than the traditional west to east route. However, and I am hesitant to state this, headwinds have not been a problem to date. Coming primarily from either north and south, they have been crosswinds which are a constant companion when riding along A1A in Melbourne Beach.
The greatest adjustment has been camping. Fortunately the van carries our gear but it still is not the same as if we had a car, which could carry a much larger array of equipment than will fit into our small cubicle. I have adjusted to it, however, and have accepted it as part of the adventure.
The best part, of course, is to be riding for such a great cause. Everyone who hears of our mission is very complimentary. Most are shocked to hear of the distances we are riding. There are other MS rides currently underway as well and I am absolutely certain that we will have a positive impact on this debilitating disease.
With one-fourth of the journey behind us, we realize that there will be many more challenges ahead. We simply must deal with them as we have with those in the past. And I am confident that we will do it!
Tip: Inspect your tires occasionally for sharp pebbles and other tiny debris that may be imbedded in your tread but not yet have penetrated the casing. You may be able to preclude a flat on your next ride.