My great 3,700 mile journey across America begins June 18, 2006 in Astoria, Oregon and ends August 7, 2006 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Visit often and read my journal updates! Above photo taken while on "Ride The Rockies Ride", June '05.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Dana and Jim are SO happy to have reached the beach!
I too was thrilled to finally touch the Atlantic Ocean. Willis Sands Beach, Rye, NH - next to Portsmouth, NH. It was a loooong ways to pedal from the Pacific Ocean back in Oregon!
At the beach many were greeted by friends and family. Here Sarah G (who lives in Salt Lake City, UT) was greeted by her best friend, her frisky, friendly doggie. She was so happy to see her pal once again.
Bill B is not wearing socks. Those are tan lines. After he went to the ocean he had taken off his sandy socks and put just his bike shoes back on. Posted by Picasa

Day 50 Going to Portsmouth, NH

This was the plaque on the cafe we stopped at in Exeter. Many of us stopped for coffee and snack at "Me and Ollie's" Cafe.
Abe Lincoln visited here too -- years ago. It was a taven back then!
These four riders joined the ABB ride in Niagara Falls, NY just to ride the final week with us. John, Joe (our most senior rider at 75 years old), Bill, and Peg (who I ride with back here in Ohio with one of the bike clubs I belong to).
One last group photo moments before we lined up behind a police escort that led us the last three miles to Rye Beach at the Altantic Ocean in Portsmouth, NH. Here we are looking fit and tan from 50 days of riding! (Click on photo to enlarge). Posted by Picasa

Day 50 Manchester, NH to Portsmouth, NH

Here is Chuck D. and I bright and early on the last morning, last ride. Our "gift" last night from the ABB staff was a box of Quick Oats. We were always one of the first to come down to the hotel lobby each morning and one of the first to load our luggage and most often the first ones out on the route. When this was presented to us last night Staff Tom told the group he thought we were quick because we had been eating those "Quick Oats" every day.
These four became the best of buddies over the weeks. They would start out early and yet would ALWAYS be the FINAL FOUR to get in every day. They would enjoy their day riding at a leisurely pace and stop many many times along the route every day. They were such a delight to all of us and had some of the funniest stories to tell at route rap and dinner every day. Here they are loading their luggage for the last time on to "Box", our luggage truck. L-R: Stu, Annie, Lois, Abe.
We were all dressed in our official America By Bicycle shirts this last morning -- ready to come to the ocean looking like a sea of red, white and blue. This is at the breakfast room at the hotel in Manchester, NH.
On the ride to Portsmouth we came through the old town of Exeter, NH. Many took a coffe and snack break at "Ollie and Me" cafe. The building (now a coffee and bakery cafe) was once a taven in the 1700's, and Abraham Lincoln visited it in November of 1779. Posted by Picasa

Day 49 and 50 Manchester, NH and Portsmouth, NH

This USA map was put up everyday on our bulletin board in the lobby of the motel. This black line shows how far we had biked up to Manchester, NH. The second to last day of cycling. It was so amazing to watch this line get longer as they days of riding advanced over these last 7 weeks. This map was signed by all of us, and then a drawing for it took place at our dinner there in Manchester, NH -- the night before our last ride in to the Atlantic at Portsmouth, NH.
The staff talking and joking with us at our evening of reflection in Manchester, NH. L-R: Michelle, Bill, Christine, Tom (at podium), Andy and Jim.
Everyone got a memento "prize" from the ABB staff. Our tandem riders, Daun and Bill got a chuckle when Daun was presented with a little fan to keep herself cool when riding as the Stoker behind Captain Bill on the tandem.
Nancy and Kirk had some problems with losing their sunglasses during these weeks on the road. They gave Kirk and Nancy some "cute" sunglasses as a gift from the ABB staff! Posted by Picasa


Hey everybody -- I"m home and I'll post a recap of the ride of the last day and also more photos. I'm so swamped having just arrived home and have only a few minutes to post this. Please check back later -- I'll post more!!


After the ride celebration on Monday evening. Chuck, Peg and I went downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire and ate on the waterfront at the Stockpot restaurant. A wonderful relaxing place, and great food. The downtown shops and sidewalks were just filled with people in the evening. What a fun a old city. Postmouth was established in 1623. It was nice to have Peg with us for this last week of riding. I think Chuck and I were still in a bit of a daze not fully realizing what an accomplishment we had just finished -- 50 days going across America on a bicycle.
A view of the water from the Stockpot Restaurant, Portsmouth, NH
Here is Peg crossing over from New Hampshire to the state line of Maine. Kittery, Maine is the city that is across the water from Portsmouth, NH.
Peg and I pause to say hello to Maine. The post next to me is the MAINE STATE LINE sign, which did not get into this photo. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Day 49 journal Brattleboro, VT to Manchester, NH

I biked 87.16 HILLY, HILLY, HILLY miles today. A glorious day to be out there on a bicycle. Weather was again the very best. Welcome to New Hampshire. One heck of a hilly terrain. If we weren’t going up we were going down. We biked just about 5,900 vertical feet, total climbing today. Joe English Rd is one of the thrills of the day. But two other longer climbs were just as steep – and longer. Going between 13% to 14% grade. At route rap last night Andy said today is known as the second hardest day of the trip (second to going over the Grand Teton Mountain Pass, in WY). And I remember in 2001 I thought I would about die before getting to this motel. But this time, it was fun, challenging and very do-able. What a difference four additional summers of bicycling had done for me. Along with a lighter bicycle, and good bike fit, I never hurt all day. I just kept a steady pace and climbed away, and pretty soon Manchester, NH and the Comfort Inn were right before me! Right after leaving Brattleboro this morning we passed the state line into our last state, New Hampshire. It was a chilly morning, reminding us of the mornings around Mount Hood, Oregon. It was 55 degrees when we started out at 6:50 AM. It is hard to express the feelings I have knowing tomorrow will be our last day together. I am both sad to see it ending, and thrilled at the thought of what lies ahead: Seeing the Atlantic Ocean. Oh what a dream come true. I’ll keep you posted. I’m going to get Peg to give me her camera disk and get some of today’s photos and post them here later.

Day 48 Troy, NY to Brattleboror, VT

At the top of Hogback Mountain. TEAM OHIO! Sara, Chuck, and Peg. Looking fresh and happy after all that climbing -- amazing.
Peg at one of the decorated mouse in the city of Bennington, VT. There were many of these mouse that were painted and decorated.
Chuck pauses to say goodbye to New York and welcome to Vermont.
This wood craved horse was on the grass at our first SAG stop (you can see the table in the background and some bikes). There was a sign on this horse that said, "Must sell: $10,000, or best offer" Nobody in our group seemed too excited or interested! Posted by Picasa

Day 48 journal Troy, NY to Brattleboro, VT

I biked 77.5 miles today. At route rap last night staff Jim (our mechanic) gave a nice overview of today’s ride. He lives in this area and Vermont is his home state. He had us all looking forward to this ride. And it was wonderful!! What fun it was to be back on the ups and downs. Our legs hadn’t had a work out like this since back in the Rapid City, South Dakota area. We left New York and entered Vermont. Amazing that we could cross a state in just a few hours. Helps that we are traveling across the narrowest part. The weather was absolutely PERFECT today. What a welcome relief from the heat, wind and humidity. The sun was shining and our spirits really were lifted all day. It was a day to savor. After the first SAG stop Chuck and I started out just ahead of Peg. After a little while I couldn’t see her behind us, and figured she had stopped to take a photo. Chuck and I stopped at the Vermont state line and took photos and waited a while for Peg, but figured she was taking some time to look at scenery. We started out slow and in a while were in the town of Bennington, VT. It was such a perfect day to linger and there and just feel and see the flavor of this town that has so much personality. We found a coffee shop and sat outside and watched the people walk by and our fellow cyclists stopping and cycling slowly through the narrow streets. It wasn’t long until Peg showed up and here she was way behind because she had a flat tire. Eberhardt stopped to help her change it. Later she found out it wasn’t because she ran over anything but that the valve stem on the tube was faulty and sprang a leak. Continuing we came to another wonderful little Vermont town (these places are all so old, from the early 1700’s!) called Wilmington. I remember eating the best piece of pie there. And sure enough I found the same cute café with outdoor seating. Recumbent Jim was already there and had tasted the raspberry pie. I took agreed it was darn tasty. Crust was too thick though, and so Jim begged to finish that off!

We had 10 miles of climbing today that was up to hogback mountain pass. What a great view of the distant hills we had when reaching the summit. Then it was a fantastic down hill ride all the way into Brattleboro, VT. We stopped in a bicycle shop to “check it out” and then on to the hotel. After I check in I saw Peg and asked her if she wanted to go back to get a little bite to eat – and so we ended up at a Friendly’s.

The excitement is building!! Only two days left to go. God is Good, and I have been greatly blessed. All thanks are to God for our safe and happy journey.

Day 47 journal Little Falls, NY to Troy, NY

I biked 83.12 miles today. It was another wonderful day out there on my bicycle. First though, I’ll update on the rider who fell yesterday. Kent ended up going to Utica hospital, and sure enough he has a broken shoulder bone. The same one as he broke a year ago. He came back to our motel and had made arrangements for a taxi to take him to the airport this morning. He had his arm in a sling and when he gets home will check in with his doctor and see what the next step is, could be surgery. He, as are all of us very saddened by this happening and we will miss him very much. He was a steady, and fast rider. He would pass me several times a day (he stopped a lot, then catch back up. He ate several meals along the way – bottomless appetite that guy had!). When he glided on by me he would always say, “Sara, there’s pie and ice cream up there, keep going!” I saw him about 5:30 this morning in the hotel lobby and he was waiting for the taxi driver. I wished him well and had a chance to say goodbye to him. He slept last night sitting up, and he said he slept good because the high-powered drug he was sent with from the hospital. It helped with the pain.

So this morning when I woke up and was hauling my bike and bags out to the front door at 5:30 AM it was RAINING! A pretty heavy downpour. But other were saying the weather channel showed it would be passing and we would have clearing and sunny skies in the direction we were headed. Breakfast was served in the banquet room at the hotel and luggage loaded at 7:15. Sure glad that rain did stop, just in time. But the roads were still pretty wet and the big trucks splattered us some, and of course the bicycles were getting very dirty. I must get out there in a few minutes and hose down the bike and polish it all up. It was cloudy for a few hours, but the scenery was so beautiful. Mountains off in the distance on either side of us and there was deep green foliage every where. Certainly not dry looking here in New York. We had a few climbs, but nothing much. Just waiting until the next three days!!! There will be a lot of climbing! At about mile 52 we entered on to a bike path that was paved and stayed on that for nearly thirty miles. It was paved the entire way, but some places had some back bumps and cracks in the blacktop pavement. I felt a little cheated out of seeing more of the state of New York by having to stay for way too many miles on a tree lined narrow bike path. I remember in 2001 we only had to be on the bike path for a few miles and we saw a lot more of the nice terrain and beauty of New York.

Note: It is Sunday, August 6 now. I did not finish this above posting 3 days ago when I should have. So now I can’t remember much more about that day. Stayed in Troy, New York. On to the next day’s report. . . . .

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