Day 6: Pottersville, New York (57.79 mi/93 km)
Today was a nice short day. Wow, since when does a 58 mile bike ride count as “short”?
I left this morning just after 9 a.m. with beautiful weather and sunny skies. The temperatures were even a little chilly, which, those 90+ degree days in Vermont, was quite welcome.
Right out of town there were a few miles of incline, but then a long, glorious downhill. When that downhill ended in Keene, the terrain leveled out and even had a few inclines, but nothing terrible. And the scenery was, as it has been, splendid:
Once I got through Keene Valley, however, I started to face some inclines again. And these were some serious inclines. The route into Lake Placid yesterday was tough but apart from a few stretches for a quarter mile or half mile, the inclines weren’t as steep as I had been dreading. No, those inclines were on today’s trip.
If you look at the chart at the bottom of this page, you’ll see an inverse relationship between my speed and the elevation. Sometimes, elevation doesn’t decrease my speed by too much—I may be going 11 mph versus 15, but I’m still making some progress. Today, my speed dipped into the low single digits and I was in the lowest gear my bike was capable of going. At one point, I had to stop a third of the way up the incline for a water and power bar break.
I finally got to the top of this incline, dripping with sweat. There were another couple of miles of uphill to come, but mercifully, they weren’t quite as steep as this had been. When I got near the top—although I didn’t yet know I had—I came upon Chapel Pond. That seemed like a good place to stop, being a Chaplain and all. I paused briefly to get a drink of water and to take the following panoramic photo:
As I left that place, I was relieved to discover that a couple of miles of downhill lay ahead, steep enough to not even have to pedal as I flew down the hill at 30–30 mph. It was glorious. I may have whooped a few times out of exhilaration.
At the bottom of that long descent, Route 73 merged with Route 9, which would be my route for the remainder of the trip. The route was quiet, infrequently traveled, constantly beautiful, and frequently smelling of pine:
After 47 miles I pulled over to get some lunch. I only had 10 miles left to go, but my legs were exhausted. And the Stewart’s in Schroon Lake had a tremendous view from the shaded benches outside:
After lunch, I rode another 45 minutes or so along the beautiful Schroon Lake before getting to the campsite of my best friend from high school, George, where refreshments and a long overdue beer awaited.
The 57.79 miles had gone by in the same amount of time as the 47 miles to Lake Placid had the day before. The noted absence of strong headwinds made all the difference. There are only 68 miles left of this whole journey but that’ll wait until Sunday. Tomorrow is a rest day. I’m looking forward to resting my legs and spending some time with an old friend in a beautiful part of the world.
Full workout link: https://www.mapmyride.com/workout/3073857535
453.44 total miles
729.85 total kilometers
18,155 total feet climbed
29,902 total calories burned