Once again my host had to leave early for work, so again I was out the door early again. That was not a problem, I had a long day planned and an early start was necessary. After Chris helped plan my route for the day, I headed off for hopefully the penultimate day.
The day started with a nice bike trail out of town and through the next the next town. Along the trail I chatted to a local guy who works at one of the colleges and cycles along to path to and from work everyday. The path was nice but due to the time of year, it was covered in leaves that made any holes or bumps very tricky to avoid.
Chris had shown me the elevation profile for today’s ride and once again, knowing what was coming was a big help. Once I was off the bike path, up and up I went, then down and down I went. The route was pretty quiet except when passing through towns, one town I did pass through was the nice little town of Ware, known nationally as the town that can’t be licked. I had prepared myself for a really tough day and in the end it was no where near as tough as I expected. At one stage, just before lunch, I went up possibly the steepest hill I have ever seen. It was laughably steep but fortunately, no more than a few hundred metres long. By the time I hit my lunch spot I had been climbing for quite a while and over lunch, I managed to work out that I was currently at the highest point remaining on my trip. It was a nice feeling, especially because I knew that the rest of the day would be predominantly downhill. Unlike yesterday, the afternoon elevation for today was exactly what I expected. Lunch was followed by a very steep downhill, made particularly unenjoyable by the horrendous cross winds.
Despite Leominster not being a particularly nice place, cycling into town felt really good. I had reached my destination leaving a very manageable 70 miles to the coast. I went in search of my final motel, which proved a little more difficult than I hoped. About 30 minutes after I expected to arrive, I finally reached the Motel 6 and settled in for my final night. I headed across the street where I had a plethora of fast food restaurants to choose from. I ended up buying spaghetti bolognese and a salad, meaning that for the first time on the trip, I had purchased pasta for dinner!
After dinner, I settled down to watch some tv, I watched a bit of the US presidents debate and started flicking through the channels. There was quite a poignant moment when the film ‘the descendants’ came on, it is the same film as I watched on the plane over. It really felt like the trip had come full circle and I enjoyed the whole film once again.
Today’s title is dedicated to my Surly Long Haul Trucker bike, it has been an incredible bike. I’ve mentioned before about my lack of bike maintenance knowledge and how much of a disaster any problem could have been. It really is remarkable how well the bike has held up and tomorrow I will finally get to dip the front wheel of my trusty friend in the Atlantic Ocean.