23 September 2015

Day 4 – Ocean Park to Amesbury

There’s a reason to write these recaps on the day… as a few days pass, it’s hard to remember exactly how things went down. Well, here we are, two days out from the ride, which means four days out from this day, and I’m going to have to rack my brain to come up with the recap. Better get it done before it fades further into the memory black hole.

So, I had a rough night sleeping because one of my bunkmates was up and down all night, not to mention my ribs are still bothering me. Every time I want to turn over, I end up waking up because of the pain. But also the overly loud non-sleeper across the way. When it finally was time to get up – around 6am – it was tough. I made my way out of the top bunk and down to the land of the living, packed up my stuff and headed to breakfast. All morning long my plan was to try to just start off riding. There were 76 miles on the schedule for the day, and I just wanted to attempt as many as possible. We would be crossing into two new states today, finally leaving beautiful Maine behind. I wanted to ride across those state lines on my bike. I wanted to really push myself. But as I headed to breakfast and dropped off all my gear, I was confronted with the reality of just how sore I really was. The smart thing was to shuttle – so I said goodbye to my friends as they headed out of camp, and waited for the van to leave.

At about 8:45 we drove out of camp and followed along behind the riders. There were two other riders in the van with me – one that had a bad crash the day before and one that was having some knee trouble – as well as an awesome mechanic (Evan) and our super support drive Kai. We had some great MJ tunes to pump us up for the day and made our way to the first water stop at the Rachel Carson park. On the way, we made a pit stop at a great coffee house in Kennebunkport and I grabbed a coffee and some more ibuprofen to make it through the next few days. But once we got to the park, I was itching to get on my bike. I had some BioFreeze in my bag that I slathered on and shared with another rider before we hit the road. It was great to once again feel the breeze against my skin and be pedaling my way along the shores.

It was about 15 miles from the water stop to lunch at the Nubble Light and the views were absolutely stunning! I got to ride through Ogunquit with a woman who had grown up there, so she took the lead and told me all about the town when she was growing up there. It was so cool to get that perspective on the ride. We pulled over for a photo stop and I got a glimpse of an absolutely beautiful white sand beach. Then we were riding all along the shore and words just really can’t explain how amazing it was. I seriously was riding around corners and just saying “WOW!” We pulled into lunch and I was ready to just call it a day. Not because I was sore from being on the bike, but because our lunch spot was purely idyllic. On the rocky coast, with classic Cape Cod cottages along the shore… and the lighthouse just over the hill. I wanted to just stay there forever. But alas, there were more miles to ride, so I was back on the bike.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it very far. Still in Maine, only a few miles from the New Hampshire state line, I got a flat tire. I was about to attempt to fix it myself (the only other time I’ve had a flat, I had my dad change the tire), when I realized I didn’t have a spare tube (remember that time my dad changed my tire…). So I called in for help and the sag wagon was along shortly to scoop me up. Instead of trying to fix it on the spot, they picked me up – along with a few other riders already aboard – and ferried us up to the next water stop. After falling less than a mile after getting started, all inhibitions about having to be in the van instead of on the bike on the road go out the proverbial window.

In the last year, a former Climate Rider was killed when she was hit by a car while cycling. Such a tragedy, because she was such a young woman, but it brings home the message of the Pass Them Like You Love Them campaign. There was a memorial for Allison this day just into New Hampshire at a park. About 30 riders stopped for the memorial. Since I didn’t know Allison personally, I didn’t feel a need to stop, and neither did anyone else in the van. It was definitely a moving tribute to see all the riders gathered there. But it meant that we jumped ahead of them as we drove on to the water stop.

The stop was along the beach, and since I was letting the mechanics take care of changing my tire and we were well ahead of most of the riders, we had some time to just take it all in. I even walked down to the beach and put my toes in the water. It was WAY too cold to put much else in! Once the right tube was on the bike, I was ready to hit the road again. I had debated about skipping a few more miles in the day, but having been picked up again, I decided I was going to try to just ride all the way in to camp – as long as the tire held up. I pulled out and enjoyed the New Hampshire beaches before we turned west and headed in land. There was yet another brief stop at this neat farm just before we crossed into Massachusetts that I stopped out and picked up a few goodies. 

I of course had to stop for the obligatory “welcome to a new state” photo as I crossed into Mass… but then realized I couldn’t figure out how to flip the picture so you could actually read it. Oh well! It was just a few more miles to camp, and the weather was absolutely beautiful for these last few hilly miles. I finally pulled into camp and tucked my bike in for the night. I was ready for a hot shower but alas, there wasn’t a lot of time before dinner, so it was just a quick change and then down for food.

Dinner was good, but I scarfed down my food so I could get that shower. This is my favorite night of the ride because it means it’s time for Kip’s slide show. Kip is our resident paparazzi and his photos are always amazing. He includes photos of riders as well as scenery shots and some cool bike shots. I love seeing how he captures the ride from behind the lens. So I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss that.

Temps were starting to drop, so it was great to finally get to pull on some of my warm, post-ride clothing that I had packed. My ride buddy Michele and I hiked down to the gathering spot and listened to the speakers before it was time for the slide show. I remembered that I had signed up for a massage, but I didn’t want to miss the show, so I headed up early to cancel. But when I got there, Kip was still sitting in the dining hall scrambling to finish up the slide show, so I figured, I could use a massage. Just make sure to head out when Kip heads down. The timing worked out perfectly and I was able to really enjoy the show. I can’t wait until the disc arrives!

Afterwards, I was just too tired for much else, so it was time to hike back up to the cabin and tuck in for the night. And man was it important to tuck in… those temps were DIVING over night.

Stay tuned for the recap from the last day of the ride!

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