TRIP 2015

Update #08 - May 06th
Chittenango, New York
1,987.17 miles (3,179.44 KM) - Year Total

Apr 27 : Kittery, ME to Dover, NH : 29.79 miles (47.66 km)
Trip Total: 1,627.44 miles (2,603.90 km)

I had a better night. I woke up several times during the night to go to the restroom. I got on the road around 7:20 am. It took a little while getting on ME 103 that took me to US 1. I was debating on whether to stay on ME 103 and see if it would take me near Dover, NH but I opted to head back South into Portsmouth, NH.

It was around a 2 mile (3 km) ride to the Portsmouth River Bridge. I stopped for some breakfast in Portsmouth. It was a bit of a confusing ride to NH 33 because I hit some road construction. Once on NH 33, it was a long ride to NH 108. Once on NH 108, I rode through a couple of road construction zones.

I got into Dover around noon. I had ridden 28 miles (45 km). If I would have tried to find a route in Maine, the ride would have just been 12 miles (19 km). After a brief lunch break, I went out to check a couple of churches. I didn't want to go much farther because the weather report said that it was going to rain in the afternoon.

I stopped at the Dover Baptist Church. The secretary was pretty friendly. The head pastor was on vacation. The assistant pastor was coming back from Africa with a child that they adopted. The furnace in the church didn't work. The secretary offered to get me a room at a nearby motel.

I'm going to be trying to push through Concord tomorrow. It should be much warmer tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to get out out my thermal underwear soon.

Apr 28 : Dover, NH to Hatfield Corners, NH : 52.63 miles (84.21 km)
Trip Total: 1,680.07 miles (2,688.11 km)

I had a better night at the motel. Even though I had a couple hour nap in the afternoon, I was able to fall asleep and stay asleep till around 5:00 am. There was a good breakfast. I sewed on half of the yellow handkerchief onto the mast to make a flag.
I left the motel around 8 am. It was a tricky ride to NH 9 because of road construction through town. Once on NH 9, the ride was kind of hilly until it got to West Nottingham when it joined with US 202. I was only able to make about 22 miles (35 km) by noon. I stopped at a grocery store in Northwood Center for a few things and also took a short lunch break there.

The rest of the ride to Concord went okay. I got into Concord around 4:00 pm. I basically rode through town without stopping. It was too late to check out any of the churches.

I rode on to Hopkington. I got into Hopkington around 5:30 pm. I stopped at the Episcopal Church. I found out that the interim rector didn't really live in the area. I went over to the Congregational Church next door. I found out through the bookkeeper that the pastor was actually in Florida for vacation.

I rode on towards Henniker. I was making good time but I noticed that my rear tire was going soft. It was too late to fix the tire and then try and ride the rest of the way to Henniker. There was this old road that went into the woods below the highway. I got down on the road and I went into the woods about a tenth of a mile. There wasn't much of flat land by the old road so I portaged everything up a short hill behind a short rock wall and found a clearing in the trees. I got my tent up and things inside first so I was able to put a new innertube into the back tire. I found out that I've got to get some new disc pads soon in back and also that one of the four arms of the spring is going bad. I better try and get some new brake pads in Keene before I try and attempt the Hogback Mountain between Brattleboro and Bennington, Vermont.

Apr 29 : Hatfield Corners, NH to Keene, NH : 46.36 miles (74.17 km)
Trip Total: 1,726.43 miles (2,762.49 km)

I had a pretty good night camping out. It didn't really get that cold so I pretty well slept through the night. I woke up a little after 6 am. Before striking the tent down, I checked out the rear tube that had gone bad. I found a small pinhole leak and I was able to patch it.

I was back on the road around 7:10 am. About 1.5 mile down the road, there was a Dunkin Donuts. I decided to have some breakfast there. Instead of a donut or a bagel, I opted to get something off there breakfast menu. I got this thing called a Wake-Up wrap, which was a mini tortilla and a small dolup of egg and cheese. It wasn't much for the price of almost $7. I got some hash browns and there weren't that much either. I should have had a couple of peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast.

The ride went okay. I took a short break in Hillsboro around 10:00 am. I stopped at a McDs for a second more filling breakfast. The ride along NH 9/ US 202 went okay until US 202 split off at near Hillsboro. I got about 21 miles (34 km) in by noon. Just passed the US 202 split, NH 9 became quite curvy and hilly. There were some climbs but I was able to get up them in my middle gear range. Whatever was wrong with my first gear worked itself out.

Around East Sullivan, I noticed that my front tire was a little spongy. I stopped to put some air into it. I accidently cut the valve stem. I put the new inner tube in but I wrapped some tape around the valve stem before I pumped the tire up. The ride between East Sullivan and Keene, the ride was a little tricky because it was mostly downhill in a narrow section near this river and the pavement was really rough. It was a little tricky because the shoulder became a narrow. About 6 miles (10 km) out of Keene there was a section of 7% grade for about a mile. I stopped to tighten up the front brake before going down the grade. Once passed that steep section, the road became more improved.

I got off NH 9 onto Washington Street to go into Keene. I had to go around this section of road construction. I got into the downtown area of Keene around 4 pm. It was warm enough that I was able to take my jacket off. I couldn't find anybody around the churches. Even though Keene was a college town, there weren't that many churches for the students. There was one big church that was for sale. I learned that this was the old Methodist church and the congregation was pretty well down to six people. I learned that the Lutheran church had moved away from the downtown area. I took a short break at a gas station. On the way out of town near the college, I happened to find the bike shop. I stopped to buy some new disc pads and also a 20 inch tube.

On the way out of Keene, I also stopped at a grocery store for a few things. I was thinking that I was going to have to find another place to camp out between Keene and the Vermont state line, but I spotted a church. The Monadnock Covenant Church. I was hoping that there might be a Wednesday night service. I spotted a house next to the church. It was the parsonage. Instead of letting me spend the night in the church, the pastor offered to let me stay in the parsonage with him and his wife. I got a good meal, a shower, and was able to get my clothes washed and dried.

I've been invited to a men's breakfast tomorrow morning. I'm looking at riding through Brattleboro tomorrow. Instead of stopping there for the day and make it a short day. I'm going to go maybe 19 more miles (30 km) and try to stop somewhere in or near the small town of Wilmington. This will make it just a short 21 mile ride into Bennington and close to the top of Hogback Mountain.

Apr 30 : Keene, NH to Medburyville, VT : 40.61 miles (64.98 km)
Trip Total: 1,767.04 miles (2,827.26 km)

I had an okay night. I got about 7 hours of sleep. I woke up around 5 am. I got everything back on Alice before 6 am because I was supposed to go out with Rev Ferguson to a Paneras for a men's breakfast. We left the church around 6:30 am. As we were driving by the church, Rev Ferguson noticed that there were a lot of cars in back. It was the men's group. The meeting at Paneras was supposed to happen next week. Rev Ferguson took me to a McDs for some breakfast. We rode back to the church. I had a good time sharing and getting into the discussion. I was asked to give the closing prayer. Afterwards, one of the guys gave me $40 in a GH. Rev Ferguson took me back to the garage. Before I left, Rev Ferguson slipped me a large GH.

I went back to the church to talk to a couple of the guys. I left the church around 8:30 am. I walked up this large hill right at the start of the ride. About halfway up the hill, there was this guy who was riding a bent trike down the hill at breakneck speed. The neatest thing was that the the guy had a tall mast on back of the bent that was lit up by a string of bright red neon led lights.

There was an up and down ride to the NH state line. From the state line, it was a couple of mile ride into Brattleboro. I stopped for lunch. I tried checking out a couple of the churches but I didn't find anybody in the offices. There was a lot of people coming out.

I decided to try and get over Hogback Mountain. First off, there was a long hill to climb up on the way to West Brattleboro. The road was pretty level on the way to Marlboro. A couple of miles out of Marlboro, I started to climb. For about 6 miles (10 km), I was able to pretty well ride up the grade but then it started to get steeper. From Marlboro, it was an up and down ride to the top of Hogback Mountain. I got to the top of Hogback Mountain around 6:30 pm.

I was going to try and stop at the Molly Stark State Park but there wasn't a way to get into the park and try and find a place to camp out. I decided to go ahead and try and get down to Wilmington. There was a good dowmhill run. I got into Wilmngton around 7:30 am. I stopped at a gas station for some pizza and something to drink. After eating, I checked out the churches. I didn't find anybody around or any contact numbers. I did find a phone number at the Baptist church. It was a phone number for a home but I only was able to leave a message. I stopped at the fire station but none of the firemen knew a local minister. I rode back to the Eastern edge of town to check out the Catholic church. I didn't find the priest at home. On the way back into the downtown area, I found a dollar. I stopped at the police station. The officer that I talked with told me about a spot of woods next to a lake about two miles out of town where I could camp out for the night.

I'm about 19 miles out of Bennington. I do have to get over Searsburg Mountain. From where I'm camping out, I'll have about a 6 mile climb up to the top of the mountain.

May 01 : Medburyville, VT to Hawthorne Hill, NY : 64.26 miles (102.82 km)
Trip Total: 1,831.30 miles (2,930.08 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't get that cold. The sun woke me up around 5:30 am. I was on the road around 6:45 am. For about three miles, the road was pretty level. For a couple of miles, the climb was pretty steep. I found out that it was an 8% grade. There were a couple of emergency ramps for runaway trucks. At the top, it was pretty level for a couple of miles. I stopped to take some pictures of snow. I stopped at a grocery store in Woodford for a break. Just pased Woodford, there was a three mile descent of 8% grade. I stopped to take pictures of the AT crossing the highway. The rest of the way into Bennington went okay.

I got into Bennington around 11 am. I didn't stay long in town. It was warm enough being on the West side of the Green/ Appalachian mountains that I was able to take my jacket off but I left my long sleeve jersey on. I stopped to get a few supplies at a Family Dollar. There was a short climb up to Old Bennington. From Bennington, there was a couple of mile ride to the NY state line. The highway became NY 7. The ride to the Hudson River went okay. There were a couple of long downhill coasts. I stopped for some lunch at a Subway in Hoosick.

I got into Brunswich Center around 4 pm. I was able to talk to the Methodist minister. He was an old guy and he wasn't that helpful. I rode on to Troy. It took a little bit of navigating to find the bridge on NY 2. There was a long clinb out of the Hudson River valley. I stopped at a gas station for a break. It was warm enough that I took off the long sleeve jersey.

The motels in Latham were too expensive for me. I stopped at this one church because I saw some activity. There were this group of Vietnamese Christians. Nobody knew how to contact the minister. About a mile passed that church, NY 7 became restricted access. I turned South on NY 146. About a block away right after dark, I came acrossthe Awake Church. There was this program going on in the church. The pastor was in the house next door. I got permission to camp out in some woods behind the house. It was the only hidden place on the church grounds.

May 02 : Hawthorne Hill, NY to Palatine Bridge, NY : 52.49 miles (83.98 km)
Trip Total: 1,883.79 miles (3,014.06 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It didn't get that cold. Before going to bed, I changed into some different underclothes and I finally took off my thermal underwear. I was able to get maybe 7 hours of sleep. I woke up around 5 am. It took about seven trips to portage everything out of the woods to the back of the house of the pastor. I got on the road around 6:30 am.

It was a ride of a couple of miles South to NY 5. I stopped at a McDs in Schenectady for some breakfast and to also charge up my laptop. The ride through the rest of Schenectady went okay and I had a good ride across the bridge over the Mohawk River to Scotia. I had a good ride along NY 5 to Rotterdam Junction and then I crossed over the Mohawk River to NY 5S. This was Bike Route 5. The ride went okay to Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, I got on the bike path. I thought that it would be an okay ride because it was paved but it was a rough ride because of all of the heaves from tree roots. When I got to Fort Hunter, I had enough of the trail. I got on local roads and I had a round-a-bout ride across the Mohawk River and got on NY 5. I stopped at a roadside rest for a break. I didn't see any road signs so I headed out but I found out that I was actually going East instead of West. I caught myself after I had gone down a hill so I had to turn around and go up the hill again.

I stayed on NY 5 to Fonda and then I crossed over the Mohawk River to NY 5S again at Fultonville. After a break at a McDs, I stopped at a motel but I couldn't raise anybody to come into the office. I waited almost 10 minutes. I stayed on NY 5S to Canojoharie. I rode passed a large field that was recently plowed up by teams of horses. There was an amish family in the field and the young kids were pouring buckets of water into some holes. The kids were really young.

I recrossed the Mohawk River again to Palatine Bridge. I remembered seeing a motel between Palatine Bridge and Nelliston. The owners were Greek Orthodox. They gave me a $15 discount on the room. The next motels were 15 miles away in Herkimer.

I'm probably going to go on to Little Falls and stop at a church there tomorrow morning. This will have me at 304 miles (486 km) for the week from Kittery, Maine.

May 03 : Palatine Bridge, NY to Little Falls, NY : 20.05 miles (32.08 km)
Trip Total: 1,903.84 miles (3,046.14 km)

I had hoped for a good night at the motel but it wasn't really. The room was okay but there were some problems. The room was supposed to have been recently repainted but there was a huge hole in the wall where somebody had slammed the doorknob into the wall. I had to go back to the office to ask for a light bulb. There was no light bulb in the bed nightstand light. There was supposed to be internet but I didn't get a signal. I was only 4 rooms from the office but I barely got two bars. Every once in a while, I got 3 bars but that didn't happen very often. I wasn't able to get anything done on the internet.

I woke up around 5 am. I got on the road around a little before 7 am. It was a little cool so I got on my yellow jacket. I state on NY 5 instead of crossing over the River to NY 5S. On the way to Little Falls, I was able to ride up all of the hills.

I got into downtown Little Falls around 9:50 am. I saw the most activity at the First Baptist Church. The service was supposed to start at 10 am but it started around 10:20 am. I was a little disappointed that there were not that many people who welcomed me. I sat there in my pew for maybe 10 minutes before somebody came by to shake my hand. Everybody else was pretty friendly towards the other people. There weren't any ushers or greeters. There was some good instrumental music. During the prayer time, the pastor just spoke and he didn't ask for any new prayer requests. There wasn't anytime for fellowship in the service. The sermon was okay but I noticed that I caught myself nodding off. This was kind of bad because I was sitting in the second pew. The pastor went on and on about six verses in Ephesians.

After the service, it took a while to talk to the pastor. He offered to get me a room at a motel a block away from the church . At the motel, I learned that the pastor had been at the church almost twenty years but he doesn't really get connected with the programs of the church. There was going to be a special service/dinner for the Awana Program for kids graduating out of the program but he didn't know how many kids were graduating or in the program over all.

There was a breakfast buffet in the motel restaurant and the pastor paid for it. There isn't going to be a free breakfast but there is a McDs next door across the street.

I'll be riding through Utica tomorrow.

May 04 : Little Falls, NY to Rome, NY : 42.67 miles (68.27 km)
Trip Total: 1,946.51 miles (3,111.42 km)

I had an okay night at the motel. I got on the road around 7:30 am. I had some breakfast off of the bike so I didn't stop at the McDs. I followed NY 5 through Utica and then followed the signs for Bike Route 5 and followed some of the Erie Canal. I rode through Orinskany and then headed to Rome.

I got into Rome around 3:30 pm. I rode around the downtown area to see if I could find somebody at the churches. I found the pastor still in at the First Presbyterian Church. He allowed me to stay in the youth room for the night.

May 05 : Rome, NY to Chittenango, NY : 40.64 miles (65.02 km)
Trip Total: 1,987.15 miles (3,179.44 km)

I had an okay night camping out in the youth room of the church. I spent the evening watching movies on my laptop. The sofa was comfy but the cushions kept sliding out under me. There was light coming into the room from the outside but I was able to get some sleep.

I woke up around 5 am. I didn't have much to pack up in the morning. I left the church around 6:30 am. The secretary was supposed to come in around 7 am so I didn't want to cause any problems. It wasn't that cold. I went down to check out the revolutionary war fort. I took a lot of pictures. From the fort, I went in search of the Canal path. It took a while finding the path. It was paved for about a couple of miles and then it disappeared. I rode down this dead end road thinking that there was going to be a path but there wasn't. A guy came by and told me that I was following the wrong path. I was on the barge canal. I had to backtrack into the downtown area and then head West to get over to the historic canal. Before riding to the canal along NY 49, I stopped at a BK for some breakfast.

Once I got on the Canal path, the pavement just lasted about a mile along the Erie Canal Village. The ride along NY 49 to Oneida went okay. I got on NY 5 South of Oneida around 10:45 am. I stopped for some lunch at a Wendys. After lunch, the rest of the ride to Chittenango went okay. I got into Chittenango around 1:40 pm. I got to my friend's house around 2 pm.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between May 11th and May 17th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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