Sunday, September 25, 2011

Helpful folks. Lucy helped me find my way after making a wrong turn
Sometimes when I stop to smell the roses I get treated to a scene like this. This deer just posed for the picture
For all my church family at Crossroads, here is a picture of the First United Methodist Church of Litchfield CT.
A small waterfall outside Litchfield CT
Loved this placid lake with a small cabin in the background

Windsor Locks CT to Fishkill N.Y.
miles 95
weather-cloudy early then sunny.
Okay, the first thing I need to do is rip on the drivers here in New York. I know that many New York drivers are courteous and respectful to bicyclists but I didn't see many in this part of New York. Many times, with only a 12 inch shoulder or no shoulder at all, those morons would pass me with very little room to spare even as I stayed as far to the right as was safe . This even happened when there was no oncoming traffic. Okay, that's off my chest. New York you're better than that.
Today's ride was officially a 95 miler. My computer had me at 100. Maybe because I had to backtrack a few times. Nevertheless is was a long ride. The weather was absolutely perfect for a ride of this distance. No rain, cool temps and very little sun. While I have ridden many "centuries" none have had as many long climbs over the length of the ride. There were three big assents over 2 miles and one neary 4 miles. These climbs had a 6-9 percent grade for a total of 6,000 feet of climbing. For those unfamiliar with grade, the hill that goes from McCluggage Bridge to ICC is a 10. So multiply that by four and you get the idea. That may not seem like a lot but with the distance it turned out to be quite a challenge. Because I bike mostly flat land it takes me a little longer to climb than most but that's alright because I like to enjoy the scenery, take pictures and rest when needed. With sag stops, picture taking, talking to some locals and various other delaying tactics it took me nine hours to finish. Hey, what would I do if I arrived at my destination early? Watch TV? Sleep? I don't think so. So overall it was quite an enjoyable trek. Touring this part of Connecticut and New York the scenery was excellent. From the tranquil lakes, small towns, verdant forests, and mountain views,( even the motorists could not distract from this), it was a truly fun ride. I do have an admission which I hope doesn't destroy my image. While the climbs were somewhat brutal, for me anyway, the reward is the downhill side.
I normally do not apply brakes and let the mountain dictate speed. This also helps when coming to another climb. However, now here it is, I actually felt I was going to fast and yes......feathered my brakes to slow down. Wow, does that mean I'm getting smarten in my old age. There goes the image!! Tomorrow is a shorter ride but still contains many climbs so tune in.

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