#acaNoTier North Woodstock, NH to Naples, ME, 76 Miles | Kancamagus Conquered!

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From Tom:

I am lying in my tent, holding my breath and typing since it is hot and I am sweating which just blends in nicely with the aroma of our thermarest and sleeping bags. Deb tried fanning us with the ACA map but it only circulates the stench further. #straywetdogstank

We got a great start with a big breakfast at our Inn since we knew we had our biggest climb up Kancamagus Gap first thing. We were surrounded with hikers who were in town for resupply at breakfast.

We headed out and started our climb up the mountain. About 5 miles up a cyclist on a light weight road bike came up beside me and says we are his heroes trying to do this climb with all that weight. He mentioned the last 5 miles are really steep especially the last mile. He left me with that wonderful news and took off up the mountain.

We kept climbing up and up stopping every so often to capture the wonderful views and take pics. Next thing we know there is the summit sign and we were at the top. #nottoobad.

We then enjoyed the wonderful descent down the other side for 10 miles. We stopped at the half way point and grabbed a lunch at Beas cafe. Deb enjoyed the triple decker chicken salad while I had the egg salad #maybethebestmealofthetrip

Deb notice a shortcut that might save us 10 miles once we enter Maine. Highway 302 would take us directly to our destination rather than going north through a couple more climbs. We stopped at the Maine state line visitor center and asked the guide about our idea of staying on 302. She didn’t seem to keen on our idea since shoulders are small or non existent and 302 is the busiest highway in Maine.

With that info we decided to follow our maps. 28 miles to go. We got about 14 miles in and knew we had two more short climbs. Deb and I were both out of water and were both looking for a place to stop as it was 90 degrees and the route was mostly exposed and without shade.

I got to the top of the first climb and out of the blue a man waved me down and told me just around the corner is a pipe coming out of the ground with ice cold spring fed clean water that everyone drinks around there #trailmagic.

After filling our bottles we were on our way to our destination of Four Seasons campground in Naples, ME. Tent set up, dinner eaten, shower taken, we are now all cuddled up praying for a slight breeze to cool us down so we can go to sleep #onlyfourdaysleft

#acaNoTier Ripton to East Thetford, 62 Miles | Well Hello Mr. Bear!

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From Tom:

We woke up in our comfy bed and Deb says, we are taking the day off and staying in bed all day long. Of course Tom jumps out of bed and starts packing up his things 😁. We can smell the bacon cooking downstairs and the coffee brewing and Deb decides maybe I will go ahead and get out of bed 👍.

Tom got everything carried downstairs and went out to the shed to check on the bikes and fill up the tires for our mountain climbs today.

Chris the owner of the Inn, got our tasty breakfast prepared: fresh fruit with yogurt, eggs, bacon, toast with fresh blueberry jam. Others staying at the Inn started ambling down and great conversations continued from last night. Chris was a teenager when Ben and Jerry used to deliver their Ice Cream in the 70s. He described them as long haired, pot smoking kids and nobody would ever eat their Ice Cream in cold Vermont 😁. Too bad his family didn’t invest in the company back then.

We knew our ride began with a very steep 5 mile climb so we were delaying our departure. Once we left, it was fun, everyone at the Inn was standing outside, looking through windows and waving as Deb and I jumped on our bikes and headed off.

We conquered the Middlebury Gap and had a great chat with Long Trail hikers at the top. The next several miles were 12% grade downhill, which can be a little bit scary on curvy roads. We knew we had another climb later in the day, but for the next 30 miles or so we enjoyed the slight downhill and Vermont countryside riding through small villages along the way. We grabbed a nice picnic lunch in a gazebo along the road with leftover pizza from couple of nights ago and Vermont cheese/peanut butter and crackers. 10 miles to go with another climb and we were ready to go to our destination of “Rest and Nest” campground.

We just started the climb and 100 yards ahead a Black Bear comes running out of the woods and ambles right over the guardrail in front of us. We immediately stop our ride and Deb reaches into her bag and hands me the bear spray. Thankfully no more bear sightings 😁.

We are now sitting at our campsite chillaxing and getting ready to cook up dinner.

Hard to believe a week from now we will be driving home 😁

#acaNoTier Raquette Lake to North Hudson, 62 Miles | Cycling The Adirondacks

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From Tom:

Today’s blog is going to be a bullet list of today’s memories.

  • Carrying the bikes down the stairs at 6am hoping the grocery was open early for coffee (no luck 😔)
  • Jumping on the bikes at 6:30am before anyone is stirring on highway 28 and we had the road to ourselves
  • Stopping at mile 15 at Blue Mountain grocery for coffee and breakfast sandwich
  • Visiting with Baxter and Steve for over an hour who also stopped for coffee. They just left Bar Harbor a week ago and are heading west to our start, Anacortes, WA. And we are a week away from finishing at Bar Harbor.

  • Watching Baxter’s drone videos from their first week. He is carrying a 10 lb case with him with his drone (he is only 20 and Debster is major tech envy of his skills)
  • Riding the next 30 miles along Highway 28 up and down and all around the pine tree lined Adirondacks
  • Stopping at “The Scoop” for ice cream and a strawberry shake
  • Enjoying our first big climbs since we left West Glacier
  • Enjoying all the Harley riders giving us the wave as they cruised by
  • Every other car that went by us with kayaks and bikes hanging on their cars
  • The number of lakes that we passed during our ride
  • The last 10 mile downhill reaching 39.5 mph and trying to outrace the turbo Carrara that passed me and gave me a thumbs up
  • Reaching our destination and pulling into a Jellystone campground/Park (this place is awesome with beautiful campground, spotless showers, store, restaurant, and laundry facility). Oh and yogi is walking around greeting all the guests 😁
  • Reaching the 3700 mile mark and starting our last week of riding tomorrow 😟

Ok the tent is set up and all dried out from the heavy dew and rain from a couple of days ago. The thermarests/sleeping bags are febreezed and aired out. Our snacks are eaten. Time to shower up and decide on dinner.

From Deb:

I LOVE the Adirondacks. Riding surrounded by dense timber, crystal clear lakes, with favorable winds and skies made for stellar riding. Could not have been better.

#acaNoTier Fair Haven to West Leyden, 82 Miles | Eat Local; Drink Local

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From Tom:

We fell asleep to a few thunderstorms and gentle showers last night coming down on the tent

We got up early and Tom packed things up while Deb cooked up another one of her gourmet breakfasts. We were once again greeted by our neighbors inviting us over for coffee, but we needed to head off to get our 2nd Breakfast and for Deb to get started on yesterday’s blog. Every so often it is good to stop into a fast food joint and get a large coffee and breakfast Sammie. BK was right on the route at mile 20. 😀. Debbie worked on the blog and I spent time looking for places to stay tonight.

We are trying to split two long days into three more manageable rides with the mountains coming up. I am typing this blog during our ride today.

We just finished about 10 miles on a NY bike route which consisted of a 2 ft shoulder and semis/dump trucks whizzing by at 60mph without even trying to slow down or get out of your way. I just got honked off the road by an oversized load semi hauling a huge piece of construction front loader. Folks this isn’t Canada anymore.

We got off the busy road and enjoyed the countryside of New York with flat riding and nice tailwind 😁 for about 10 miles. Then at 50 miles I saw a sign “6 miles to skiing slopes”. I knew what was coming. The next 10 miles was a solid climb to Redfield and our 1st possible destination.

We arrived at 3:30 and had a chat with the motel guy who was doing his best to convince us to stay at his place (since the place was deserted). We chose to continue for the next 20 miles to the next town in West Leyden population 239. The only place to stay is camp behind the local gas station/convenience store.

We scoped out the camping spot and headed down to the local pub “The Milk Plant”. The Meatloaf dinner was highly recommended and did not disappoint followed with the rhubarb pie a la mode 👍.

We enjoyed multiple conversations with the locals who saw our bikes and loved hearing our stories. Right now Deb and I are lying in the tent behind the gas station and looking forward to a good cup of coffee at 6am tomorrow 😁

#acaNoTier Port Burwell to Dunville, ON, 82 Miles | Cycling the Erie Connector

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It was a stunning ride today on the Erie Connector. First we travelled through an agricultural area rich with crops and apple and cherry orchards. The route provided views of Lake Erie with a smattering of small villages – enough to keep us well supplied with Gatorade and ice cream.

We road along the “Toast Coast” which is mostly made up of vineyards and tasting rooms and after a picnic lunch in Selkirk we were routed through an unforgettable coastline ride for the last 15 or so miles of the day. It was awesome!

No rain, some short steep climbs and a few headwinds made for a good day of cycling.

Today’s video song is Pearl Jam’s Wish List. I have just four wishes right now while laying in my tent.

  1. I wish I hadn’t seen that snake slithering through the grass behind our tent site. The tent is on lockdown for peace of mind. 🚫🐍
  1. I wish the RVers next door who locked themselves out of their RV at 7:30pm would ask their rescuer to dim his truck lights that are shining in our tent. 😬
  1. I wish the toddler who doesn’t appear to like camping would give the 4.5 hour tantrum a break since it’s almost 11 pm. On second thought maybe it will keep Mr. Snake away. 😂 Poor mom and dad though. I’ve been there, done that. Good for them for camping with their family. ❤️
  1. I wish Tom and I could do that ride one more time today because it was stellar.

#acaNoTier Marysville, MI to Clearville, Ontario, 82 Miles | Watching the River

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On Saturday we anticipated a difficult ride. The rain, the headwind, the ferry was out so there was a detour and then border crossings can always be a little slow.

But… all went pretty well. There was a lot of wind, yes, and then there was the rain. But it went pretty smoothly.

Following the St. Clair River for most of the morning on a cycleway provided fairly flat and easy cycling. But there was that headwind and rain later in the forecast.

Freighters moved up and down the St. Clair and it was kind of fun to try to stay ahead of them.

The ferry crossing at Algonac to Walpole Island was quick and costs a mere $4, total. Two bikes, two people, two dollars each.

We camped very near the Lake Erie shoreline. It was rough and windy near the shore but nice and calm near us. A family camping nearby invited us over to chat. After a quick visit it was early to bed with just two little critter visits at night.

The BEST news of the day though is we are going to be grandparents again – like on Sunday! Yay Missy and Jared!!

Stay tuned… cell service and Internet is a bit sketchy.

#acaNoTier Midland to Otter Lake, 65 Miles | Cycleways and Shortcuts

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As many of our friends, followers and family members know, we are all about cycleways (aka rail trails, bike paths, etc.) and shortcuts. Today we had both!

The Midland mishap where we were late getting in and were off course actually put us ahead a couple miles for today’s ride to Otter Lake.

The Bay City Loop was scenic and a nice change of pace from the route and then right outside Frankenmuth a man stopped us on the road asking a few questions about the ride and offered us an option to cut some miles while taking an even better route. Thanks Bill!

When we rolled into Frankenmuth we were a bit hangry, not with each other but the situation. We needed food, fast. We nearly settled for a cheese curd food truck but instead landed in a real restaurant where we had the BEST BIG salads. And then there was the German Chocolate Shop in the level below.

When we got to the campground, Sue asked us a few questions about where we were from and the bike trip and she said, “Today camping for cyclists is free. There is a shower, water, electric and I have a space for you near a tree so you will have plenty of shade.” Today I am calling her “Saint Sue.”

Tomorrow night will likely be our last night in Michigan and then we head to Canada for a few days.

Thanks so much for all the comments on FB, Twitter, the blog and the emails. We read every single one. 😊

Looks like we have headwinds and rain tomorrow and Saturday. It’s been a great few days of weather while it lasted.