Saturday, June 11, 2011

NTP Day 7

A final 36 miles on the NTP today, to the northern terminus, and our ride is over.

 Howard and Shirley

I thought a bit about our last day's ride to Portsmouth last year as today we cycled the last few miles to our vehicles. Everyone pretty much stuck close together as we enjoyed each others company for the last time. I know I will see Steve and Leo in a few weeks in Colorado. And I'm sure I will ride with Jeff again. But who knows if I will see and ride with Baltimore Mark, Ellen, Rod, Howard, Shirley, Alex, and Helen again.

Crossing the bridge at Birdsong Hollow

At the finish, we rode into the parking lot, loaded our bikes on our cars for the last time, and changed clothes. A quick good by was shared by everyone and then it was time to leave. Karen and I dropped Howard and Shirley off at a Hertz location in Franklin, and we drove back to Big Canoe, arriving home about 4:15PM. How quickly we went back into the daily routine of cycling and how quickly we go back to our regular routine at home.

Double arched Birdsong Hollow Bridge

There is another ABB reunion ride this year though. Beth and Sandy have organized a ride in Colorado, starting on June 30.  Karen and I will start for Boulder on June 27th and we look forward to seeing other ABB riders in a few weeks.

Mark, Jeff, and Joe

Thanks to everyone who joined us on the NTP. I hope you all had a good time. The ride seemed to come off as planned. There were no significant glitches, we had no injuries, no flat tires, and no major mechanical problems. That's about as good as one could hope for. Thanks also to Karen and to Aila Douglas for spending a whole week with us, driving the vehicles and setting up SAG stops for eleven hot, thirsty, sweaty cyclists. And thanks to Jeff Douglas for co organizing the ride, buying the supplies, figuring out the logistics, checking my work, and handling the role of mechanic. The ride could not have happened without Jeff, Aila, and Karen.

Final picture at the northern terminus of the NTP

Next, a few weeks of hill training are in order. Then it is on to Colorado for eight days of cycling, five mountain passes, three of them over 12,000 feet, and over 25,000 total feet of climbing.

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