Day 26 – Lebanon, NH to Center Ossipee, NH – 82 miles

A solid day today. The nice weather gave me something to smile about :)

After saying farewell to Scott, I headed off.

There were many hills today but they were mostly rolling hills.  The weather was beautiful for the entire day.

Early in the day, I began to notice many motorcycles on the roads.  When I reached the town of Meredith, I understood why.  It was bike week and it culminated today.  There were motorcycles everywhere.  Noise noise noise.  To top it off, road construction narrowed the roadway and gave me little room to breathe as swarms of motorcycles and trucks passed by.  At least I got to enjoy a view of Lake Winnipesaukee while in Meredith:

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Lake Winnipesaukee

The ride from Meredith to Center Ossipee was an alright one.  There were some hills with long grades, but nothing that gave me too much trouble.

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One of the many views of the mountains

I camped at a wonderful campground called Deer Cap Campground.  The girls in the office were quite surprised when I told them I biked from Minnesota.

I set up camp, took a shower, and concluded the evening with some wonderful ice cream at the ice cream shop next to the campground office.

An ideal day of bicycle touring :)

Day 25 – June 14 – Bike Recovery Day – Lebanon, NH

My bike took a beating the last few days in the rain. The chain needed to be cleaned, my rear tire needed to be trued, and the brakes needed to be adjusted and cleaned. My host, Scott, had a bike stand that lended itself well to my needs.

This day also provided the opportunity to dry out all of my stuff that has been drenched. My shoes especially.

Scott is a great host. We had great conversation about his many travels around the country and the world.

I also visited Dartmouth today! Very cool. Maybe I’ll transfer here :)
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Day 24 – Rutland, VT to Lebanon, NH – 55 miles

I thought yesterday was a wet day.

My shoes were still wet leaving Rutland.  The climbing began immediately heading east.  Fog hovered over stretches of the Green Mountains as I climbed up and into the fog.  Rain began to fall through the foggy air after climbing about 1,000 feet.  By the time I reached the top of my climb (2,200 feet or so), near the town of Killington, the rain had picked up to a steady fall.  At least my climbing was largely out of the way for the day.

I stopped in at a gas station/deli to grab a bit of food and take a break from the rainfall.  Inside, I met 2 hikers who were hiking the Appalachian Trail.  We talked for a few minutes and I gained some insight on what I really believe will be my next method of adventure – hiking.

After seeing that the rain would be getting worse in about an hour, I hopped back on Rambow and continued on riding.  It didn’t take long before the rain started falling in sheets.  I had to slow down at certain points just to keep the rain from getting in my eyes.  My clothing was drenched and I was soaked to the bone, but with few other options I carried on mile after mile sopping wet.

It was at this point that I really started to embrace the situation.  Sure, it was wet. So what?  It’s all part of the adventure.  I had a host lined up for tonight so I knew that all of my stuff would be dried.  I would even get another shower to compliment my long shower outside today!  It’s all about enjoying the situation, so I did.

People gave priceless reactions to seeing a smiling cyclist biking through mountains in a rainstorm.  People’s heads turned in their cars, gawking at the sight of someone actually embracing the rain.  Did I really think it was fun?  Not really.  But, I will have the memory of today for the rest of my life.

I ate in Woodstock, VT and continued the rest of the way down the mountain into New Hampshire.  A new state already!  Vermont isn’t very far across, but it still makes it seem like progress is being made when moving into another state.

Hosts cannot be thanked enough for the hospitality they provide.  Another night inside tonight is invaluable.  I don’t even want to think about camping in the rain.

Hopefully the rain quits soon.  The last 155 miles have entailed some form of precipitation.