How to describe today? If I had to pick one word, it would be "HOT". Temperatures climbed into the 90's and it was a hot and humid experience. And 97 miles of riding...
But beyond hot, it was also a great day.
Leaving Lovelace Manor. What a great place!
The early portion of our ride took us through relatively quiet streets.
and into Amish regions. Once again I was transported back in time.
At our first rest stop, I checked in with Tiernen to look at his rear wheel that had been giving him trouble. I noted that it was badly out of true and sure enough a spoke was broken.
Fortunately the nipple was still in place, so repair did not take too long. I did have to remove his cassette which basically made it a messy job. Note to self, pack more disposable gloves. The only issue the rest of us had with this repair, is that now that Tiernen was riding without his brakes rubbing, he kept wanting to race ahead. Some may be conspiring to do some more work on his bike...
Shortly after Tiernen's repair, I heard a snap on my front wheel. There it was, a snapped nipple. Number three for me on this wheel and this journey.
This is not an easy repair as you have to remove the tire, tube
and rim tape to repair. Fortunately the van was nearby and I was able to swap with my spare wheel. Rick, a material scientist, examined the snapped part and concluded based on grain size of the exposed alloy that the parts were likely overheated during manufacturing. Wait to my bike shop hears this! If they don't believe Rick's assessment I might just point out that Rick's signature is engraved on a heat shield on the the surface of Mars. This is a true statement, though I'm not sure it directly translates to spoke nipples...
More traffic as we rolled through cities...
We were not the only ones dealing with traffic
Roads were a mixed bag. At one point, Rick managed to bury his wheel in a deep rut. How he kept the rubber side down is beyond all of us, Rick included.
Lunch was at mile 50. Subway. And a hard to find one. I've never seen a Subway so hidden from view. But we made it there and ate well. No one complained.
Post lunch, David R. took a 'fail to unclip' fall that was brought about by a truck pulling out in front of him. Fortunately, he got through without even a scrape. Luck was on our side. Bottom line is that when you ride a new route every day, you just can't know what dangers lurk ahead. As much as I"m enjoying this adventure, I will be happy to get back to known territory.
The balance of our ride was on lightly traveled, bike friendly routes with a good mix of paved bike paths.
Enjoying another pace line on a bike path
Also, the film crew was back and it was fun seeing the drone flying and buzzing around us.
We stopped often to rehydrate. I was particularly worried about our Irish friends. For them, 70 degrees is getting toasty. And 93 degrees must have felt like an oven to them. Sean seemed to take great pleasure out of pouring cold water over our heads and back. His actions were well received.
The best news is we made it to New Hope safely and in good spirits. We were met by cheers from Rick's family and the B&B owners. This made my day.
As everyone was chatting away, I quickly went to work on my wheel and thanks to support from David and Tiernen, I was able to get my wheel back in shape in record time. This is a relief for me as on Sunday we will be using my spare wheel for new riders joining the pack.
Tomorrow's route has the most uncertainty. We expect to see many junk miles with bad roads and impatient drivers. If we hit this we plan to shuttle around them. The main goal is to stay safe.