Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 5

Net Elevation gain: approximately -300 ft.
Average Speed: 8.8 mph
Top Speed: 34.9 mph
Time spent biking: just over 4 ¼ hours
Total time for the day's travels: about 9 hours
Miles biked today: 37.5
Total for trip: 220.3 miles

Day 5 started slowly. Jenny was up early (6ish), but Brett was sleepy, so we stayed in the tent for a while longer. Just as we were getting ready to make the move to leave the tent, though, it started raining, and not lightly. We looked at each other and sighed. We know we'll have to do it sometime on this trip (get out of the tent to start the day in the rains), but we weren't quite ready this day. Finally, the rains let up and we were really ready to start our day.

The rain finally let up around noon. It was nice to have a little extra rest, but we were ready to get going when it finally stopped raining.

We packed and left Gilbert Lake State Park quickly, but it was noon by the time we left. Campgrounds are usually at the top of hills and this one was no different, so we enjoyed some nice downhills to start the day, dropping back to the river valleys. Along the way we saw several more deer, and some fabulous mushrooms!

Does anyone know what kind of mushrooms these are?

On our way into Oneonta, we decided to get Brett a knee brace for his ailing left knee. The pain had been getting more steady and a bit harder to deal with, and as Rick commented, it was telling us something. Although it was hard to be sure it was the brace's doing, the knee felt a bit better with less pain almost immediately. There were still plenty of times it hurt, but far fewer than it had been.

Brett poses with his new knee brace, about to try it on for the first time.

We also stopped for some scrumptious pizza just outside of town. It was SO good.


Lots of things happened in Oneota. Most importantly, we replaced our failing back tire. We had been cringing every time we hit a bump or went down a hill quickly. We put on a slightly wider tire than before, but one that we have a lot of confidence in: a Specialized Armadillo. This tire is billed as puncture resistant, and Brett has had great success with this brand of tire on his bikes. We are very excited to have new tires on both the front and rear wheels now! We realize we should have done this before we left, but now it's resolved.

The rip was so bad by the time we'd reached Oneota
that you could see the dollar being pushed out through it.

Also in Oneota, Jenny recognized a face on the sidewalk out of her past. It's been about ten years but Jenny and Alix (who know each other from homeschooler camp at Hulbert Outdoor Center) had fun talking for a while. We got to meet her partner Calvin, too. They had cool bags that they made themselves, and Alix is selling her creations. It's always amazing to bump into someone from the past so randomly and unexpectedly!

Jenny and Alix hadn't seen each other in 10 years!

Lastly in Oneonta, we found a great place to rest, refuel, and tap into the Internet: Green Earth Health Food Market. Dean, the owner of the fine establishment, was really friendly and helpful, giving us oil for our chain which needed some after all the rains and offering us a chain tool (which we would have accepted had we not borrowed one from Spartan before we set off on our trip). Dean also gave us good directions out of town on more friendly roads than we would have taken.

So, finally, we set off to do some real riding. We had only fourteen miles on our odometer for the day, the downpours while we were in Green Earth had just let up, we had the new tire, and we were feeling rested and refreshed. We also felt a bit antsy to be moving forward, even though Dean had graciously offered us a place to stay for the night at the store.

Oh, the rain.

The terrain was easier, as we followed Route 7 West along the Susquehanna River. We made good time, stopping only for small breathers and one longer stop when a sign said “Strawberries.” We ate quiche and some great homemade ice cream (strawberry/rhubarb and also chocolate Oreo fudge).

It was getting dark as we neared our destination for the night. We had written down detailed directions to the campground this time, with how far we had to go before each turn, and this was very helpful in keeping our spirits high and our motivation strong. We only had one large hill to climb and arrived at the campground around 9 P.M.. We picked a spot, set up, cooked up some couscous, cheese, broccoli and hot dogs for dinner, enjoyed being able to use the Internet and the power to charge our electronics, and went to bed. We were going to take a shower, but would have needed coins, which we didn't have, and couldn't get because the office was closed for the night.

We were very happy with the final tally of miles for the day, considering we got off to such a late start. Also, we enjoyed our first day free of mechanical problems! (Although, we still had to change a tire.)

Our bike parked along the side of the road while we take a little break.


  1. I'm so glad Brett got a knee brace and I hope this helps. New tires too. You're bound to be flying along those roads now.
    Yay, for lovely little surprises of meeting old friends again. :)

    May the longtime sunshine upon you...

  2. You are so wise to check with locals in plotting your route. They know the secrets and territory better than a map can indicate. The foods you are consuming sound so delicious and wholesome. The rain, the rain, my gosh the rain!! Would rain suits make it better? Here's knowing that clear days lie ahead for your exciting trip.

  3. It may be raining, but you are certainly bring me some sunshine! I am so excited to read your blog everyday and see what kind of adventures you are having. It makes me smile to think of you running into old friends and making new ones on your way. You two are incredible!
    So much love,

  4. i'm having so much fun reading your blog! not only am i enjoying your observations, photos and daily stats, i love the comments posted by all your readers. so cool!

  5. the mushroom might be Beefsteak Fungi,Fistulina hepatica.

  6. those are the coolest looking mushrooms ever!!! I love that you stop to take pictures of the awesome things you see along the way!!! Yay!!!

  7. I'm pretty sure Darleen spent an hour trying to ID those mushrooms, but no luck :(

    Brett, are you stretching enough??? When I had all my knee pain while biking years ago, I thought there was something wrong with my knee's inner workings, but it just turned out to be operator error. My knee cap was being pulled funny ways by muscles developing unevenly, and I guess that's very common. Stretching set it right. That your knee brace is working hints to me that perhaps it could be a similar issue, and the brace is lining things all up right.

  8. I can't believe we ran into each other! the rest of the walk home I was trying to figure out what the odd's were that we met. I'll definitely be watching your adventure!!