Water, water everywhere

Wheel full 70px I had hoped to do major miles today over a particularly flat area, including stopping at a bike shop and meeting up with a friend.

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Wheel full 70px But, as that ominous TV music goes… dah, dah, dah, DAAAH!

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Wheel full 70px It is an understatement to say that there is rain in the forecast today.

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Wheel full 70px This is on top of it pretty much pouring from 2:00 pm on yesterday.  The bike and I were soaked when I finally stopped for the night.  Everything except my shoes pretty much dried overnight, but it looks like I’ll be doing that all over again today.

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Wheel full 70px But nothing inside my panniers or handlebar bag is even damp, thanks to Ortlieb’s “Waterproof Classic” series.  The panniers, front and rear, are essentially heavy-duty dry bags on a frame that allows easy attachment to the correct kind of bicycle rack.  They do a lot towards helping me keep my spirits up on wet days.  I recommend them unconditionally for the kind of trip I’m making.

A Long, but Satisfying Day Yesterday

Wheel full 70px Well…

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Wheel full 70px Third state down, 11 more to go.

Wheel full 70px My ride yesterday was pretty much into the teeth of a 5-10 mile/8-15 km per hour wind out of the southeast.  The noise alone had me batting at my helmet.  But it was very satisfying to ride a little over 50 miles/80 km under those conditions.  Whatever is going on with my weight I am sure I am slowly trading pounds of fat for equivalent muscle mass.

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Wheel full 70px The sights weren’t too shabby either.  I rode past a lot of American Industrial Era infrastructure,

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nice beaches,

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and what the locals call “cottages.”

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A ‘down-east’ fixer-upper

Wheel full 70px Today it’s on to Salem, and tomorrow into the heart of downtown Boston, where I’ll catch the ferry out to the Cape.  So let it rain if it is going to- nothing is going to keep me from enjoying my ride.

The Granite State

Wheel full 70px And it’s

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Wheel full 70px I’ll only have until early afternoon to enjoy it, though, as I’ll be crossing another state border today.  I’ll keep you posted.

Wheel full 70px I had a 60 mile/95 kilometer day yesterday.  I’ll be needing to pull off a whole string of those once I’m south of New York City.  Oh well, nobody said that this would be easy.

Wheel full 70px Speaking of easy, it doesn’t look like the rest of the week is shaping up all that great either.

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Wheel full 70px I’ve had several folks along the way ask me what I do when it rains.  I tell them, “I get wet.” Well, what else can I say?

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…some rain must fall

Wheel full 70px It looks like my sunny day streak is about to end.

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Wheel full 70px But there’s a promise of better things to come as I approach Boston.

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Wheel full 70px I’ll be at the Center Street Bike Shop in Brunswick, Maine this morning, getting the Surly checked over and picking up a package from home that the shop is holding for me.  Then it’s on to at least the outskirts of Portland.  The last of Maine’s hills should be in my rear view mirror today.

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And it is Pouring

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Wheel full 70px That is water just coursing off my tent fly.  I have not felt the tiniest drop yet, so I am very impressed with my MSR Hubba Hubba tent.

Wheel full 70px I heard the first thunder from a ways off as I was getting things organized to pack.  I checked at the campground ranger station and, yes, severe storms were in the area and were expected to continue for the remainder of the afternoon.  I decided to stay over another night and resume my ride tomorrow morning.

Wheel full 70px So the rain is now coming down in sheets.  Thunder is booming.  Lightning is crackling.  And I’m warm and dry, and getting rested up a bit. Sounds like a win to me.

 

Day #2

Wheel full 70px Well, made it through the first day.  Wound up doing just a little over 20 miles/32 kilometers and spent the night at a Mom ‘n Pop motel in Baldwin, Florida at the end of the Jacksonville-Baldwin bike trail.

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Wheel full 70px The room was not much to speak of, but it was clean, had a bed and the air conditioner worked.

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Wheel full 70px Couldn’t ask for more.

Wheel full 70px As far as the bike goes, I had three issues yesterday.  The seat came a little loose, which I tightened this morning.

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Wheel full 70px I kept kicking the front fender when I mounted the bike and once managed to push it out of adjustment so that it rubbed the tire.

Wheel full 70px I fixed that on the road yesterday but am going to have to be conscious of avoiding that mistake in the future.  The third issue was not a bike problem.  Both RidewithGPS  and Strava crapped out on me.  RidewithGPS reported the entire ride, but the mileage was wrong and Strava just stopped along the way.  I was disappointed, but what can you do?

Wheel full 70px I didn’t take many pictures yesterday- I was too focused on what was going on with the bike.  I hope to do better today.

Wheel full 70px Yesterday was also a very short day at 20.2 miles/32 km.  Urban riding accounted for much of that, and I just felt tired.  I could have pressed on and made it to Mcclenny, about 10 miles/16 km down the road, but it is a busy two lane, dusk was approaching, and there was a big thunderstorm off to the south that didn’t look good (it ultimately never rained here, but there was a lot of thunder).

Wheel full 70px Today I plan to ride to Booker, FL, just a little over 40 miles away.  I have an earlier start and won’t have spent five hours sorting and packing panniers.

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Wheel full 70px Today’s weather is expected to be in the low 90s with intermittent rain this afternoon.  It rained for about half an hour yesterday while I was riding- like being in a warm shower.

Wheel full 70px Let’s go!