Though things have been a little quiet on the site here, the planning is feverishly continuing behind the scenes. Things are coming together quickly.
As you can see above, I think after several different route changes, additions, and deletions, we have now settled on a plan. Since I last checked in here, I found that the route between Kingston and Montreal was very short of couchsurfers. And so I investigated a new route. Though it adds another day of riding (what’s one more day at this point, really?), we are now turning north at Kingston and taking the Cataraqui Trail up to Ottawa via Perth where we will stay with a friend of ours. Then we’ll leave Ottawa via the Prescott and Russell Recreational Trail to Montreal via Rigaud.
Between Montreal and S. Royalton, VT, a new twist was added. Ferry service between South Hero, VT and Burlington was suspended due to damage sustained during Hurricane Irene. And so instead we are now heading due south to Plattsburgh where we’ll pick up the ferry there to Burlington.
The route changes don’t end there. Southern New Hampshire was another Couchsurfing wasteland and so we changed our route again there. Instead of going directly to Boston we’re now detouring due east for Portland, ME where we’ll stay with an old high school classmate I haven’t seen since I graduated in ’87. From there we’ll take the East Coast Greenway south to Boston.
Couchsurfing prospects in coastal Connecticut were pretty dismal as well. But fortunately a couchsurfer in Waterbury, Connecticut offered a couch and that put us on a route that will take me to visit another childhood friend living in Danbury whom I haven’t seen since 1991. This takes us along a different, but more bike-path-filled route to Central Park where we will end our ride.
I also took advantage of a fare sale and I’ve booked flights back for both of us from NYC to Toronto on August 4th. For some reason this makes it seem way more real than the route planning.
Lodging is almost completely set up through various really interesting-looking couchsurfing contacts. We have a couple nights – near Portsmouth, NH and Boston that are “maybes” and still need to find something in Provincetown, Massachusetts but otherwise are in great shape. Of course if Provincetown lets us down, it was scheduled to be a day with only a ferry ride, not a bike ride, so we will likely just ride to our next stop in Hyannis if nothing pans out.
Training We’re up to 60 KM without too much trouble. I’m riding to/from work 40 km round trip most days now and feeling really good. Dae is doing really well also. The true test will be when we get on the road but I’ve split many of the really long days into two days and our first big day comes on day 3 when we head into Picton, ON at 105 km. But there are lots of rest days planned and a week or so of buffer on top of that so we’re likely to be in great shape.
While we could leave with very little further preparation for the bike, I do want to get a few things done before I go. A friend has offered a front rack and the loan of a set of four panniers. I’d like to get clipless pedals on all four pedals. I also want to get a new set of handlebars to make it a little less of a sit-up bike – it’s a more comfortable riding position for me. And finally I need to get a new seat. This one’s too cushy and is likely to be a problem if I don’t change it out.
Otherwise I’m really preoccupied, as you can imagine, with this trip. Five weeks until we hit the road.