Friday, August 10, 2018


I thought I would take another bike ride; get on the bike and ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic.  I thought it would be something cool to do.  After all, as much as I love riding my bike, it kind of seemed to make sense to me.  Now I know better, probably one of the more crazy things I have ever attempted.

Would I ever do anything like this again, this intense, most likely NOT.

Was it a rewarding experience, probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

The emotions I felt when I got to the beach Monday morning, were OVERWHELMING.  That is really the only way I could describe how I felt.

And while I have met some amazing individual during my lifetime, a few of the folks on this adventure were indescribable.

Satish:  Satish was with me every step of the way.  Starting with the first chats about this endeavor, to the dip in the Pacific to the dip into the Atlantic.  We were actually a group of five that said they were going; however, only Satish actually came through and went with me.

The guy just never gave up; something to say about his gumption.  We had some really hard days, I mean really hard, and he just kept grinding up those killer hills; Teton Pass, the Continental Divide, just to name a couple.  Thousands and thousands of feet, ugh, I shutter to think about it, I cannot believe I did it.

And what about the unbelievably long days, 119 (the longest) miles with strong head winds all day long; just not fun.  Lets not forget, it was about 10 or 11 years ago, I swore I would never do another century (a 100 mile bike ride).  For me, it is just not fun once I hit 75 or 80 miles.  And here I was doing seven centuries in seven weeks.  With a total of 12 days of over 90 miles.  And Satish just kept me going.

Truth be told, I missed a particularity hard part of one day, about 60 miles, but lot's of climbing due to a mechanical problem with my bike, but not Satish, he just kept going, he is a machine.  (I am already thinking on how to get out there to finish up the ride, I guess some would think that is a bit of an OCD, but, just saying).

Dave and Evin:  Dave is from Ann Arbor, Michigan and Evin is from Virginia Beach Virginia.  These guys worked together for Ford.  They have both since retired.

Dave is the proverbial animal.  He did not like riding with strangers and he said as much.  Dave has done this trip before (not sure what might possess someone to do this kind of endeavor a second time, but there were several on this trip that were on this trip or a similar type trip in the past).

Evin started biking about a year ago.  Kind of unimaginable that someone who has really just started biking is planning on doing a ride like this.  Further, his training was  like ours (Satish and Me), no hills to train on.  So the hills were a real challenge for him as well.

However, both of these guys were stronger than Satish and I.  But we came to a day where the head winds were particularly strong and Satish started talking to these guys to see if they might want to do a small pace line with us with a rotation of every half a mile.  And son of a gun, they said yes.

Well for me, this just could not have come at a better time.  It was just such a help, if nothing more than a mental boost to get me through the day.  We rode with these two off and on through out the trip and I hope we will remain friends going forward.

The ABB Staff:  There were six staff members.  They were required to ride the ride every other day, so on any particular day, there were three staff members riding the course.  These women and men seemed more or less psychic when it came to our needs.  Be it water after a particularly hard climb, or a few words of encouragement, they were just there for us.  And no matter what the request was, the attitude they portrayed, at least outwardly, was amazing.  And I say outwardly because everyone had good and bad days, but you would not know it from the attitude these women and men showed every day.

Judy:  Judy was the head honcho.  Also manned the SAG stops on days she was not riding.

Pam:  Pam seemed more or less in charge of nutrition and health.  Also manned the SAG stops on days she was not riding.

Karen:   Yoda of the ride courses.  Also manned the SAG stops on days she was not riding.

Deanna:  All around positive individual.  Also manned the SAG stops on days she was not riding.

Rob:  Head mechanic; Rob's attitude was no worries, we will make it work, I can do it.  Also manned the mechanic's truck on days he was not riding.

Robin:  Mechanic do boy.  Also manned the mechanic's truck on days he was not riding.

And one other thing, pretty much every person on the ride, my co-riders were pretty amazing.  I was one of the slower riders on the tour.  So most folks passed me pretty routinely.  That is how I got to be one of the "Early Rollers," aka, part of the special needs group.  Point is whenever someone or a group of riders passed me, there were always words or encouragement.  And some of the fast folks also said, come on, let us pull you, we will slow down.  So I pretty much got to ride with most of the folks on the tour one time or another.  Most of the folks on the tour were retired, but there was one school teacher, planning to go to law school in the fall and was able to take the time.

There may be add ons to this blog in the future, but for now, this will be the final post.  Please email me if you have any questions:

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Day 50 - Manchester to Wallis Sands Beach and then to the bike shop

About 58 miles with about 1,500 feet of climbing.


Not really sure to begin.

At a cafe:

John and I:

At the Jr. High before we rolled the three miles to the beach:

Pouring the water from the Pacific into the Atlantic. 
The staff carried the water from the Pacific Ocean to be poured into the Atlantic.  We were selected to do the pour because they said we were the most improved riders. 

Pam, one of the staff members with me.  She was pretty funny. 

We saw this beautiful lake within the first 10 miles of our ride:

Seeing the Atlantic for the first time of the trip:

A typical New England town, Portsmouth, NH, along the coast:

Dip the front wheel in the Atlantic:

Final thoughts to come in the next post.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Day 49 - Brattleboro to Manchester

Only one more day, kind of happy it is almost over, kind of sad I will not be forced to ride my bike every day, hehe.

No rain today!  Today's ride was pretty nice.  Some of the roads in New Hampshire were tree covered, so we were riding in the shade, something we just do not get to experience at home.  Also, some of these streets were very pretty, albeit, some of the hills were a bit steep.

Just under 80 miles but we had just over 4,000 feet of climbing.

Also, a new, and the final state of the tour, New Hampshire:

Top of the final climb today:

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Day 48 - Latham, NY to Brattleboro, VT

New state, hello Vermont, good bye New York.

Just under 80 miles today, but lots of climbing, just over 5,000 feet, ugh. 

It was drizzly for about the first two thirds of the ride.  During the second part of the ride, the sun came out and it started to get hotter.

We are seeing a lot less agriculture, and a lot more homes and little towns.  I say a barn on a triple silo. 

Pic from a couple of days ago:

From yesterday:

From today, a covered bridge:

Hello Vermont:

The first top of the climb today was a ski mountain:

Friday, August 3, 2018

Day 47 - Little Falls to Latham

Seventy five miles, just under 2,000 feet of climbing.

WET, WET, WET, that is the best way to describe the day today.  It was a bit drizzly when we left the hotel, but it soon stopped.  Pretty much, as soon as we left the hotel, we were climbing.  By the time we got to the top of the day's biggest hill, the rain had stopped, but I was drenched in sweat.  I took the rain coat off.  That was about mile 10, the top of the big hill of the day.

Clip of Satish coming up the hill:

The first SAG was at about mile 35, and pretty much, as soon as we left the first SAG, it started raining, and it cooled off, so I put my raincoat back on and left it on the rest of the day.

Tomorrow will be a hard day, lots of climbing and it looks like rain as we leave the hotel tomorrow.

Day 46 - Liverpool to Little Falls

Eighty two miles, about 1,300 feet of climbing.

Canastota 911 Memorial:

The worlds smallest church:

Welcome to Little Falls:

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Day 45 - Rochester to Liverpool

About 92 miles and 1,200 feet of elevation gain.

Another pizza pic from Perri's, yesterday:

First, we were on the Eire Canalway Trail for about 25 miles, here are a couple of clips:

Here is a clip of the canal, a boat going through Lock 30.  Not much industrial use any longer, but we got to see the lock being used:

Path along Onandaga Lake:

Heid's, a local institution.  We stopped for a late lunch:

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Day 44 - Niagara Falls to Rochester

103 miles and about 1,000 feet of climbing.

This was a pretty quick century for me, just over six hours for the 103 miles.

At about 87 miles, we stopped at Perri's Pizzaria for lunch.  They advertise a "HUGE" slice.  I guess it was so big, I was studying it, I had to figure out what to do with it, lol.

Riding along Lake Ontario was pretty cool, it looks just like an ocean to me.

At the end of the ride, we crossed the Eire Canal a couple of times:

Monday, July 30, 2018

Day 43 - Niagara Falls

From last night, they light up the falls:

I am a tourist today, here are some clips:

Observation deck, Rainbow Bridge:

Maid of the Mist Experience:

Bridal Vale Falls:

Horse Shoe Falls:

From and observation platform:

Niagara River:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Day 42 - Brantford, ON, CA to Niagara Fall, NY, USA

Good to be home back in the good old USA!

About 74 miles and less than 1,000 feet of climbing.  With some of the steep hills we tackled today, you would have thought we had climbed 5,000 feet; however, one of the climbs today, although somewhat short, was very steep.

A clip of down hill today:

Here are some clips of Niagara Falls as seen from the Canadian side, these are the US Falls:

Dave, Hugh, Evin and Satish:

The Horse Shoe Falls are on the Canadian side:

The bridge is the Rainbow Bridge, the bridge we took into the USA:

From the Queen Victoria Palace Restaurant, on the Canadian side:

On the Rainbow Bridge heading into the USA, waiting for Customs, we are supposed to be like a vehicle:

Welcome home to NY, in the USA:

Day 41 - London to Brantford

Just under 70 miles and just under 800 feet of climbing.  But it felt like we were climbing more.

From yesterday, welcome to Ontario:

Today at a fruit stand with Satish and Dave:

We saw this crop duster while we were riding.  They wanted us well past the crops before he would make this loop.

When the Canadian Government decided to make tobacco taxes so high, it basically put the farmers out of business.  The Government then helped the farmers get into the ginseng business.  This is what it looks like growing:

Today we rode on another hard packed dirt path.  There was also some gravel, but all in all, it was pretty easy.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Day 40 - Port Huron, MI, USA to London, Ontario, Canada

WHAA HOO, new country, EH.

Eighty six miles, about 700 feet of elevation gain.

Kind of a fun ride today.  Wind was certainly a factor, a major helping factor.

We began our ride today, immediately going over the Blue Water Bridge.  As a matter of fact, they closed the bride for us, that is the only safe way for us to get across.  Here are some clips:

There are two sets of finger joints on the bridge; the gaps are so big, we had to get off the bikes and walk them across the joints.  And some folks still got their bike tires caught in the joints:

During the ride, there was some construction and the leaders pulled us aside while we waited for them to figure out the rerouting.  Someone pointed out a pear tree:

We also had to wait for a train today, we waited for about a half hour and then they finally rerouted us.  This reroute added about 3 miles to our ride today.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Day 39 - Birch Run to Port Houron

Eighty nine miles today with about 800 feet of elevation gain.

The wind was our friend today, which was nice and really helped us finish the ride pretty quick.

Back to Tony's for dessert last night:

We saw one of their legendary BLT's; a pound of bacon on every sandwich:

In Millington, the water tower has a smiley face:

Here are a few clips from the Brown City Fire Department's 9-11 Memorial:

Another Great Lake, Lake Huron.  Tomorrow, we will go over the Blue Water Bridge which goes over St. Clair River into Canada.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Day 38 - Mt. Pleasant to Birch Run

About 75 miles and 200 feet of elevation gain.

A lot more farm land, nothing much going on to see that was special.  No video.  However, overall, I find the roads in Michigan to be in pretty good condition.

Ride was fairly easy, but not as easy as yesterday's ride.  The wind was helpful, but not as helpful as yesterday. 

Dave, who lives in Ann Arbor required that we go to Tony's for lunch because the portions are legendary.  Tony's is in Birch Run so it is at the end of the ride which was just perfect.  While I did not go for it, they put one pound of bacon on a BLT, wheh.

I went for the club sandwich.

The whole sand.

This is what was left, I could not eat the whole thing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Day 37 - Luddington to Mt. Pleasant

112 miles with 2,400 feet of elevation gain.

Probably the best century I have ever done, it was quick.  My average speed was 16.5 mph, the quickest century I have ever done. 

Roads were in pretty good condition, overall, I would say.  But definitely more population, even in the agricultural areas. 

Day 36 Ferry Ride Manitowoc, WI to Luddington, MI

Seven miles and elevation climb not even worth mentioning.

Pic from the day before:

Bikes waiting for loading on the ferry:

While on the boat, we passed through our final time change into Eastern time.  

We did not have to be at the ferry until noon, so we started kind of late.  On the bike ride over to the ferry, we stopped by the lake:

  Then we went out to the lighthouse. 

The boat, SS Badger coming in to pick us up:


The ferry is a coal burning boat, so it gets some ecological flack; but from what I understand, it mostly comes from a competitor ferry.

Arrive in Michigan:

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Day 35 - Fond du Lac to Manitowoc

About 62 miles and 1,300 feet of climbing.

Dinner tonight, Mexican, the chips and salsa were great.:

Desert tonight, Culvers custard:

Yesterday, leaving the Princeton American Legion Lodge where we had the brats:

Yesterday was SBW Jersey day in Wisconsin.

When we left the hotel, we headed off, in the rain, to Lake Winnebago to see the light house.  It stopped raining after about an hour.  Within three hours I had taken off my rain suit.

The lake:

Towards the end of the ride, here is a clip of going downhill:

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Day 34 - Mauston to Fond du Lac

Just under 95 miles, and just under 1,700 feet of elevation gain.  It rained, off and on, during the last 30 miles of our ride today.  I was called the Michelin Man, lol.  The wind fills up the rain suit pretty well. 

A couple from yesterday:

Herman from the Netherlands (Holland).

When you come to Wisconsin, you must stop for a Brat Fry.  So at mile 54, we stopped at the Princeton American Legion Lodge for the local Brat Fry.  I made a fatal error at the Lodge, I failed to also get a piece of fried chicken, ugh.  It looked awesome.  When I decided to get a piece of fried chicken, the line was just too long to wait as we needed to get going, we still had 40 miles to complete the ride.

We finished this pretty long ride pretty quickly for us, it was kind of nice.  I was much more comfortable in the rain today because I had on the full rain suit; yesterday I did not put on the pants, and as a result, and as crazy as it sounds, because I did not have my rain pants on, the water runs into the rain booties, and my shoes were soaked.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Day 33 - La Crosse to Mauston

We did 75 miles with 2,260 feet of climbing, did I mention, it was a wet one today.

Some pics:

When in Rome:

When we go by a SAG truck and all is good, we are supposed to put our arm out.

We saw some cows up close today:

We took a trial to the tunnels discussed below:

We went through two tunnels today.  One of them was a mile and a half long.  We were required to walk through the tunnels.  It was dark, and it was dripping like rain.  We turned all our lights off and it was very eerie, complete darkness, you could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I lost my balance a bit.  If you watch Stranger Things, you will know when I say I felt like I was in the "up side down."

After the last SAG stop, it really got wet out there; this was the worst rain we experienced since the trip started.  We have been pretty lucky.  I probably would have quit with seven miles left to go, it was just not fun.  But Satish really wanted to finish.  A couple of clips in the rain.

Day 32 - Rochester, MN to La Crosse, WI

New state today, Wisconsin, we were in Minnesota just a few days.

Today's ride was 87 miles, 2,700 feet of elevation gain.  I thought MN is supposed to be flat, SURPRISE.  Rain was threatening all day.  I started to sprinkle from time-to-time.  At the first SAG today, I decided to put on my rain suit.  However, as the day went on, I slowly shed it.  It only seemed to start raining in the evening, after we were back to the hotel from dinner.

A downhill, but not from the killer climb I discuss below:

We were on a bike path for over 10 miles.  It was really pretty nice.  After the path, we had lunch at Baristas Coffee House.  Then we had about an 8 mile ride to the big climb for the day.  It was only a mile, but the grade is what killed me.  The steepest grade was almost 13%.

Welcome to Wisconsin:

The Mississippi River:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Day 31 - Mankato to Rochester

100 miles, 1,800 feet of climbing.  Back-to-back centuries, never did this before.

Lot's of corn and soy.  Only video from today. 

One of the other riders got upset at me today, he became a little unhinged, ugh.  That's life.

We were pretty steady today, John started with us, but he dropped off after the first SAG.  Pretty much, Satish, Jeff and I made the whole ride.

Couple of pics from yesterday: