Eat my syn-lube, New Hempshire, I'm a Vermonter now. Just crossed over this morning. Yesterday was a serious monster day--61 miles and 4100 ft. of climbing. After my brief post from Woodstock, I hit what I expected to be an easier climb than Kancamagus Pass. No deal. This was harder and had a two mile section of solid 12 %. To be fair to the bloke who advised me about this, I don't think he'd actually ridden it himself, but any cyclist would never forget that climb.
I finished my dance with the White Mountains in a long, sweeping drop to Haverhill (Have-yer-HEART-ATTACK-after-that-hill). I was a spent doggie and needed a place to crash. Some locals advised me of the high-end bike shop down the road: High Intensity Bicycle Shop, just perfect for this high intensity day. I talked to them a bit, and they first, offered my a place to pitch my tent; second, offered me a nice room, shower the works! Sweet. The couple who own this shop originally had it as a B&B/bike shop, but the bike business got to big. So they have this large 19th century farmhouse with a barn and all set up for selling super mountain bikes. The husband, Tom, was some kind of pioneer in the downhill scene and so specializes in "free ride" and other wild mountain bikes. In all it was a perfect place to stay, though I did get a solid dose of ribbing for cooking broccoli, which grossed them out big time--the smell, I gathered. They all had a whopping dinner of pancakes and sausages. Tom, at one point, had been a fruitarian of all things. People change. I told him I was a recovering vegetarian. So went my stay at Camp High Intensity.
Today has been one glorious green vista after another. A total screaming riot of chlorophyll. Scads of it. Oceans of it. Green, wondrous green and blue skies to cry for. The climbing has been tough, but I've parked the ego and don't worry about pushing, which I did a little of today. I met my first trans-Am couple who were headed east. They, too, had done some pushing. So it goes.
My body is slowly adapting to this riding, and just about the time I can tear the top off any mountain, I'll be in flatsville. Oh, well. The road pulls me onward to turn and climb and fall like the wind through twisting valleys. I ride along in stunned gratitude and joy at being here in this time. Be well.