Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vermont Ben & Jerry's Run

Today I went out for a ride to test run the route of day 5 of the NYSOC Massive Drive.
I rode the portion from Troy, NY across part of Massachusetts, and Vermont ending at the Ben & Jerry's Factory.

Here is my purposed route for that ride. As I said earlier, I did not ride the Cobelskill to Troy portion since it's just highway riding.

View Massive Drive Day 5 in a larger map

I took Rt 7 out to Rt 2 through Grafton taking the Taconic Trail
over Petersburg Pass into Mass. I headed north and took RT 2, the Mohawk Trail, through Williamstown, North Adams, finally to Rt 8 heading to Vermont to catch Rt 100.

I took a variety of roads as you can see on the map. The other purpose of this ride was to just get some more riding in before my Minute Man attempt next weekend. I was hoping to spend about 10 hours on the bike but it ended up being 8ish.

I had a nice ride and it was a mixture of sun and clouds. It even down poured for a little while on I-89 and when I got to Waterbury VT, home of Ben & Jerry's it really started to poor. So I filled up my tank, put my jacket and pants liners in, then I headed to the factory.

I stopped just long enough to snap a picture and I turned and headed south for home. I was getting hungry and on RT 100 I came across an old train station that was converted into a Green Mountain Coffee cafe. I stopped and had a nice cup of coffee and a turkey wrap. I forgot the food shot though. The coffee was really good and warmed me up since it was pouring and windy.

After lunch I took RT 100 down to Rutland, to Rt 7 into Bennington and then stopped by Max BMW in try to pick up a new pair of rain gloves. The pair I have currently are worthless which I will have a review of them shortly. They didn't have the pair I wanted in my size but they ordered them for me.

Now in order to do the 1000 miles in 24 hours I will have to average 42 miles per hour. I averaged 45 miles per hour on mostly back roads and I stopped a lot in the beginning so I am satisfied with that. So at the pace it will take me about 22 hours. I would prefer to end at about 20 hours which most people tell me should be doable.

My total time

My total miles.

Overall I had a really nice ride today with lots of great scenery.

Memorial Day Weekend

On Memorial Day weekend I went to Boothbay Harbor, ME on the RT.

I took off after work on Thursday night at around 5. I took I-90 across MA, to I-495, and then I-95 up to Maine finally getting on RT 1.

I left work early and left on Thursday night so I could try and avoid traffic on Friday. It didn't work!

There was crazy traffic on I-495. The trip ended up taking me 6.5 hours as opposed to the 5.5 hours it should take.

On Friday we visited the Botanical Gardens.

The tulips were in full bloom which was cool.

They had Norwegian Weeping Furs

A cut glass orb

The view from the shore.

They had a lot of Lady Slipper Orchids there. I haven't seen one in the wild since I was a little kid.

On Saturday I rode down to Westbrook, ME to meet up with my friend Kevin who I know through the Saab circle. He has a 2008 Saab 9-3 SportCombi with the Parrot mki9200 bluetooth unit. So I wanted to see his install and hang out a little.

Kevins garage is huge. Its bigger than his house. I think he told me it was 32X40.

Kevin has a nice Triumph Spitfire

and a Saab Sonett

After talking shop a little we parked my RT into his garage since it was kind of raining on and off and went out for Mexican.

Kevin and Larry at the restaurant

After lunch I went back up to Boothbay. Sunday we just chilled out and relaxed. It started out a really rainy day but it got nicer later in the day.

On Monday I head took off around 9:30 to head back home. I took I-95 to I-495 but instead of taking 90 I took Rt 2 all the way across Mass. It was a fun trip home and the weather was great. I was a nice relaxing weekend.

Canal Ride

Catching up on some old blogging...

Back on April 11th I went for a ride along the Erie Canal out to Schoharie NY.
It was a chilly day which was understandable since it was still pretty early in the year. I cut across Waterford and Clifton Park to Galway and stopped at the old Methodist Church there to take a picture.

I took Rt 67 to start following the Clinton's Ditch from Amsterdam.

"The Mohawk River, a tributary of the Hudson, runs in a glacial meltwater channel across the Appalachians in New York state, separating them into the Catskills and Adirondacks. The Mohawk Valley was the only cut across the Appalachians north of Alabama, and led almost directly from the Hudson River on the east to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie on the west. From there, much of the interior and many settlements would be accessible on the lakes.
Profile of the original canal

The problem was that the land rises about 600 feet (180 m) from the Hudson to Lake Erie. Locks at the time could handle up to 12 feet (3.7 m), so at least 50 locks would be required along the 360 miles (580 km) canal. Such a canal would cost a fortune even today; in 1800 the expense was barely imaginable. President Jefferson called it "a little short of madness" and rejected it. Nevertheless, Hawley managed to interest New York Governor DeWitt Clinton. There was much opposition, and the project was scorned as "Clinton's Folly," or "Clinton's Ditch." But in 1817 Clinton got the legislature to appropriate $7 million for construction."

This is a movable dam near Amsterdam. They were made to be movable to prevent ice from the Schoharie Creek from damaging the dams and locks. So the dam can be raised and lowered if need be. There are nine such dams along the Erie Canal.

I continued along the canal, crossed the Mohawk River and into Schoharie. I decided to stop there for lunch. I came across the Village Restaurant.

Everything in there was very reasonably priced. I decided on one of the specials which was Chicken and Dumplings. The plate was huge! I only ate about half of it.

After my lunch I decided to walk around the "downtown" area.

They had this neat old stone building.

Apparently this place is smoker friendly...

They also have an apathocery

There was a nice woman running a hot dog cart

The woman running the hot dog cart told me about this old school which someone started rehabbing but never finished. Now it just sits there on the hill.

I've never seen a light in the middle of the street that looks like a mini lighthouse.

Last but certainly not least in Schoharie, they even have a real general store.

Note the furniture for sale along with seafood and London Broil.

They also have now milk apparently.

On my return route I took Rt 443 through Berne and Knox into Delmar. Rt 443 once in Berne becomes the Helderberg Trail.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Saddle Sore 1000 Attempt Quickly Approaching...

One week to go until I go for my first Saddle Sore attempt. I will doing it as part of the Minute Man 1000. A Saddle Sore 1000 is a 1000 mile ride in 24 hours. I think I am all set although a bit nervous. It being an organized event makes me a little less nervous. I am going out for a long ride tomorrow through Vermont as a warm up and I rode to Maine and back last weekend.

Tonight I will prepare some maps on my GPS for my trip through Vermont which is also a pre-run for a car/motorcycle trip that is coming up in late June with the NYSOC called the The North East Beer and Stuff Tour. I will also prepare some maps for the Minute Man next weekend. I will also practice my fueling/eating stops and combing both into one as much as possible. I am going to try and keep an average for the day that I would need to keep for the Minute Man 1K. I will need to average about 42 miles an hour. I will provide various updates through the week as to how my preparations are going. I may also make very short posts to the blog during my attempt at the four corners of the run just to update my progress and how I am feeling from my cell phone. I will not be able to post pictures, that will have to wait until I am finsihed.