I relax by taking my bicycle apart and putting it back together again.
With temps in the mid 30's, everyone was up bright and early this morning. The US4MS staff surprised us with a bacon, egg and banana pancake breakfast. What a treat! I stood back and watched the activity thinking "This camping thing is not so bad after all."
Today's schedule called for climbing not one but two major passes on the Kancamagus Highway. First was "The Kank" at 2,855 feet. However, we started from around 650 feet so it was "only" a climb of 2,200. Our legs were burning as we reached the top but the amazing scenery on the way up definitely made it worth the work.
On the blazing ride down, speeds registered 38 mph. A friend who lives in NH had told me that we would gain enough speed on the way down to coast to the Rockies. Wish it were so but I believe he exaggerated just a little.
Lunch was out on the deck of a restaurant in the shadow of local ski area Loon Mountain. Then, we began to pedal up the second pass, a "mere" 1,300 foot climb. After already wearing out our legs, this one seemed even more difficult than the first. And our work was not finished.
A 72 mile day demands many additional climbs throughout approximately nine hours. Of course, it was interrupted with a stop here and there. The good news was that in climbing a total of 4,881 feet, we burned 4,700 calories. For dinner tonight, we can eat anything we wish.
Another pleasant surprise was that the ladies of the Thetford Community Center prepared an elaborate dinner for us. As we rode up, their children met us with ice-cold damp towels to cool and cleanse our hot and dusty hands and faces. Their kind hospitality will also extend to a healthy breakfast in the morning. They made us feel very, very special.
The forecaster promises much warmer temps tonight and tomorrow. Our mission, if we choose to accept it, will be to negotiate the steepest climb so far--Middlebury Gap. I can hardly wait!
Tip: As your effort becomes more difficult, increase the force of your breath rather than the frequency.