I left yesterday wide open, with no plans whatsoever. The weather was awesome. My bike was ready to go. It was time for a ride.
I got a lazy start around 10am with the vague notion of heading south and doing a technically tri-state ride – Mass, RI, and CT. I only really clipped the northwest corner of RI, but I’d never ridden a bike there before, so it counts. As I had lunch in CT, having already accomplished my goal, I thought to myself, “That was too easy. Where else can I go?” For yuks, I plotted a non-highway route to Brattleboro, VT on my GPS, and found a 90 mile route across central Mass to get there. I thought to myself, “I can do that. Then cut into NH to head home, and I’ve done five states in one day.”
So off I went. And it was good. The worst part of the whole ride, actually, was the traffic on the way to RI. It wasn’t bad, by any means, but I seemed constantly stuck behind some idiot or another. Yes, there were occasional idiots during the rest of the trip, but in far less densely populated areas, they were easily put behind me.
As with RI and CT, I only barely cut into VT. Rather than backtrack to Mass and nudge over to NH, I continued north to the first bridge I could take over the Connecticut River, which turned out to be in Brattleboro. VT was the state I spent the shortest amount of time/miles in, yet it was by far the one I enjoyed the most. The roads, the lack of traffic, the 50mph speed limit unless stated otherwise, the awesome scenery – I loved it. As I made my way home, I decided that my first multiple day trip would be a tour of VT. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
From Brattleboro, I simply hopped on Rt. 119 and went east. I knew this would eventually drop me in Groton, MA, and I know the back roads home from there. As I passed through NH, though, I had a sudden “Aha!” moment. That was when I realized, “I recognize this place, and Josiah’s house is just over there!” So I stopped in on a whim, and after his initial confusion as to who this rogue biker was in his yard, he was pleasantly surprised. We spent about half an hour catching up on the events of the past several years since we’ve seen each other.
On my way home, my odometer flipped over 60,000 miles. That’s more miles than any bike I’ve ever had, I think. But it’s running great. In a strange coincidence, it happened on Massachusetts Ave. in Harvard, MA, right in front of the high school I attended.
In summary, five states, 230 miles, in about 8 hours including all of my stops. My last tank of gas I calculated getting 58mpg – a major improvement from the 50 or so I’m used to (and I wasn’t complaining about that!) The carb work Bikeworx did for me is clearly benefiting me beyond merely plugging up a fuel leak.