Today is the first day of a projected 11-day ride, from my home in Bedford, MA, to my hometown of Williamsport, PA. It was a very good first day, covering 44 miles on a beautiful summer day.
In keeping with the spirit of the Olympics, currently ongoing, I have devised a scorekeeping system for each day. There is a maximum of five points in each of three categories: difficulty, execution, and interesting/fun.
I’m carrying 41 lb of luggage, not including water. That is about 10 lb less than I carried across the country two years ago. And so that, combined with the fact that I have been training, paid off today. I would give today a 4 out of 5 in the difficulty scale, which is to say it was not terribly difficult. There were some good climbs, and once or twice I even thought I might have to walk, but I never did, and I never bonked.
Execution was pretty good, which it ought to be, considering I’ve done this before. That said, I made two big mistakes: first I forgot to start my Strava and Ride with GPS apps at the beginning of the ride, in my driveway. I remembered about 5.2 miles in. That’s not a disaster, but it is an annoyance.
The second mistake concerned lunch. But first some back story.
It is no joke to say that I plan my rides, in fact my life, around where and when I’m going to eat my meals, especially breakfast. I sometimes eat breakfast at home, in which case it is cereal and toast, followed by diet Coke. (Unfortunately, I don’t drink coffee anymore.) More often, I go out, usually to Riverview or Minuteman Diner. Most of my rides are actually a ride to breakfast, and then a continuation on. So in that sense touring is not that different from my normal riding. So the question is, or was, this morning, what to do for breakfast?
This was made somewhat more complicated by the very lucky and welcome change in plans by my cousin Mary, who stopped by our house on route to Maine on Saturday night instead of Sunday night, as originally planned. This meant that I got to see her! However, it also meant that I was uninclined to go out to breakfast by myself. (Normally when I go out to breakfast, Jennifer is still asleep by the time I get home.) So I decided that bagels and lox would be a very fine pre-ride breakfast. Consequently, I pigged out, having two whole bagels with lox, one with cream cheese, and one with butter. We finished eating around 8:00am, and I started riding at 8:20.
(I’m getting to the point.)
Consequently, when I passed Dinky’s Blue Belle Diner at 12:30pm at Mile 25, just before Worcester, I was just not hungry. Oh, I did eat a Clif bar back at Mile 18 in Bolton.
That was my second mistake, not eating at Dinky’s. Because of that I ended up going almost all the way to my hotel south of Worcester, where I found a Friendly’s. I love Friendly’s.
Lunch was a turkey club melt, followed by this luscious sundae. Note that was a small. (Some might say that dessert was also a mistake, but it was yummy. I did forego dessert after dinner.) This led to a late dinner (baked haddock at 99s), which is leading to a later than desired bed time. Oh well.
So all in all, I would give myself a 4 out of 5 for execution.
And in the category of fun and interesting I would also give it a 4 out of 5. Riding through Worcester was really interesting, especially because I used to live there many years ago. Bike tours don’t normally go through the city streets of a dense urban area, but a good 10 miles today was just that. But it was no problem, and much of the ride was very scenic. But there was no blockbuster scenery, just a very pleasant summer day.
So let’s add it up:
- Difficulty: 4.0
- Execution: 4.0
- Fun: 4.0
- Total: 12 out of 15
All in all a good start to this tour!
On a different topic, you can follow along my ride in 3 different ways, aside from this blog:
1. I am using an app called Polarsteps. I would be very interested in feedback. The link is https://www.polarsteps.com/DanHurwitz/4159832-williamsport-2021
2. As always, you can see my rides on Strava at https://strava.app.link/3u1ZUGNFnib . Note that as mentioned above, this is missing the first 5.2 miles today.
3. You can also see my rides on Ride With GPS at https://ridewithgps.com/trips/72420871 , also missing the first 5.2 miles today.
Tomorrow is a big day, 56 miles, to Windsor Locks, CT. Weather looks good. Good night!