Since my previous update from Maine, we’ve been heading south and west along the Adventure Cycling Association’s Atlantic route as we return to DC, to close the loop on our Eastern Tour route.
Cycling through southern Maine was beautiful but busy. The crossing of New Hampshire however was a nightmare – heavy traffic, terrible road conditions and difficult navigation, making this day, day 19 of our tour, the hardest and most frustrating. For me this was definitely the low point of the trip. I wrote in my diary “At least it wasn’t raining” which just about sums up the day. Still we managed 103 miles heading south and the campsite in the woods where we finished that night was one of the best. Keep pedaling, as the mantra goes, and things will get better.
Connecticut was the next State on our route. And boy was it hilly. Endless waves of steep, punchy climbs that we grimaced our way up and flew down with wide grins. Excellent scenery to match and little traffic made for some excellent cycling. This theme continued into New York State and New Jersey State, although both have been less hilly than CT.
Amongst all of this we challenged ourselves to have a big day on the bikes, to see how far we could go, so on day 21 of our tour we rode 132 miles. A tremendous day leaving us pretty exhausted that night at camp. We still chat about the encounter we had out west with the ultralight bike tourer who managed 160 miles so we’re still a little short, but this helped inspire us along.
These past three days have been amongst the best of the tour and indeed, amongst the best days cycling period.
Today we almost hit the 2,000 mile barrier on this tour (about 3 miles short) so that feels good. We may have a beer this evening to celebrate. It also means we have “only” around 300 miles to go back to DC and should be home by Sunday!