Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 48 – Latham, NY to Brattleboro, VT

Today: 79 miles, 5457 feet of climb
Cumulative to date: 3547 miles, 114340 feet of climb, 1 flat tire
Remaining: Approx. 148 miles, 8500 feet of climb

Eight states down. Two to go.
We entered Vermont today. It is our ninth and next to last state on the cross country ride. Actually, we rode across the bottom of the whole state and we’ll enter New Hampshire in the morning. We’re almost to the Atlantic Ocean now.

This is The Breakfast Club. The four that usually get to breakfast first. Joe, Dan, Tom, and Rick

I relived a lot of happy childhood memories today. When I was young, my Aunt Marie used to take me skiing at Mt. Snow at least once a year. She would pick me up on Long Island and we would take the Taconic Parkway north, eventually getting on Route 22 north. Next, a right turn on Route 7, which we would take to the Vermont line. Then it was Vermont Route 9 through Bennington to Wilmington where we would turn left on VT Route 100 to her ski house near West Dover. Today, we retraced that route on our bikes from NY’s Route 22 into Vermont to Wilmington. The scenery was just as pretty as I remember it over 40 years ago.

At mile 5 we crossed the Hudson River. SAG #1 was at mile 29 and Rod rode like the dickens
to get there early to see his family.And his family brought us some great cookies too.

The day started with a ride over the Hudson River through Troy. At 33 miles we entered Vermont on Route 9. Then we climbed to 2400 feet between Bennington and Wilmington, with another climb over Hogback Mountain before a long descent into Brattleboro. The terrain was very hilly with a lot of climbing. There were many small towns and shops along the way.

The Appalachian Trail where it crosses Vermont Route 9. Perhaps I'll be hiking through here some day.

The Appalachian Trail crossed Route 9 between Bennington and Wilmington, so I stopped there for a short hike down the trail. Completing my AT hike is the only other lifetime goal I have not finished, assuming I cycle to Wallace Sands Beach on Monday. As I walked a bit on the AT I was thinking that perhaps I’ll be back here some day, this time walking north through Vermont to get to New Hampshire, with Maine and Mount Katahdin still to reach. As of now I’ve hiked from Springer Mountain to where the AT crosses I-77 near Pearisburg, VA. Still 1500 miles to go on my AT hike if the knees hold up and Karen gives me permission to continue my hike in sections.

This scene is along Route 9 near Wilmington

Today I began with Dave, Toronto Mark, and Baltimore Mark. Jeff and Alex later joined us at SAG #1. In the middle part of the ride I rode easy on my own, exploring the AT and the town of Wilmington. I wish I had more time to cycle north on Route 100 to Mount Snow, but it was off route, and would have delayed me outside the support window. Later, I caught up to Jeff, Dave, and ABB’s Jeff, who had stopped for lunch. The four of us rode the rest of the way to the hotel, also picking up Toronto Mark in the outskirts of Brattleboro who himself had stopped for lunch.

Downtown Wilmington and signage along Route 9

The weather was cool and breezy and I was actually cold when we were over 2000 feet in elevation. It was another beautiful day. Bright sunshine, bird chirping, tree leaves blowing in the wind, with babbling brooks along the side of the highways. There were antique stores, produce stores, and stores selling fruit and maple syrup. This is definitely New England. It changed as soon as we crossed the state line.

Another scene along Route 9 as we ride today. This was just before Bennington.

Tomorrow and Monday will be hectic days. Tomorrow we have about 79 miles to ride with 4000+ feet of climbing, so it will be a long cycling day. And tomorrow night is the farewell banquet, which will probably last two or three hours. This will be the chance to thank the ABB staff and say goodbye to the other riders, since many of them will be leaving with their families immediately from the beach when the ride is over. And then Monday we will ride to a meeting point three miles from the Atlantic Ocean where we will group up and have a police escort to the beach. After our wheel dipping ceremony, we will need to go to the bike shop to have our bikes broken down and boxed for shipping home. And then we will go to the hotel in Portsmouth for dinner and to prepare for our flights home on Tuesday. I mention all of this now because I may not post any notes for Day 49 and Day 50 until I am back home in Georgia. So this may be my last post for a few days.

By the way, check out Todd's compilation of all our cross country riders here (click on "Meet the Cast"):

Today’s route:


  1. Hi Joe, I see on Main St. You have Brattleboro bike shop. Years ago You, Kathy,your Mom and I spent a week at Lake Bomoseen, VT. I will call you, when you get house. Dad

  2. Yes, we went in that bike shop today but didn't buy anything.