It was meant to be one of those short and simple 45-mile rides. A leisurely endeavour, where sweat isn’t broken and heavy breathing would be a distant afterthought. At first, everything was as expected. A chilly yet comfortable 9°C, a dull English mist clinging to the tops of the tall mountains, clouds inanimately buoyant in the sky, blocking the Sun’s every effort to scorch the ground, and a light prevailing west wind gently encouraging us along our way…perfect cycling conditions.
The terrain wasn’t ideal but who cared? Having experienced the dizzy 8,500ft climbs of New Mexico, the near vertical ascents of California and the mammoth expeditions over the Passes of Washington, we felt comfortable with the challenges of today. The problem was ‘Hernia’. And no, that isn’t the unfortunately named young girl we met on the road in Saranac who decided to join us on our ride today, or the laughing dogs you’ll find hunting Antelope on the African plains, but the painful bodily condition that’s plaguing Anthony’s progress up the steep hills. Just in case anyone’s worried, don’t be. Anthony’s now taking the advice of Bob (the Veterinarian we met in Port Hope) and is sleeping on his back with his legs in the air to help minimise the adverse affects…can you confirm David?
So with Kat cycling with one leg tied behind her back to keep the steady (slow) pace, we cruised up and down, up and down, up and down, across and over the mountains of the Lake Placid area aka Essex County. All was going well. We stopped every 15 miles to rest, eat, and buy anti-chafing cream: DZ-Nuts for him and DZ-Bliss for her’nia (sorry couldn’t miss that joke opportunity). Our second stop involved stopping at High Peaks Mountain Adventures to order some new tyres for Trusty and Steed. We stayed a little longer than planned but enjoyed chatting with Bob and Alex …thanks guys for your help. Our next rest stop, after a great 43mph downhill section and gut busting 6mph uphill section, was in a place called Elizabethtown. We stopped for drinks and a comfort break and met Rose who is a trained concert pianist and has enjoyed a few cycling tours of her own. We also met a lovely guy called Pete whose story touched our hearts …wishing each of you all the best.
Our final leg, before arriving in the beautiful town of Westport, NY and the wonderful B&B, The Inn on the Library Lawn, required just one more 200ft climb. And it was at that precise moment, half way through the climb that Anthony suffered another tyre side-wall failure. It’s a very dramatic and sudden event, and we are both grateful that it didn’t happen during our 43mph descent earlier in the day. If it had, this blog would have been signed ‘Kat x’ and not ‘Us x’. So, thanks to the cycling Gods, we are still with you today. With the tyre patched up in true Blue Peter fashion (sticky-backed plastic) and inner tubes replaced, we limped downhill into Westport and our B&B to meet a different Anthony, the owner and a great host.
After freshening up, we decided to treat ourselves and have a slap up meal at the nearby French restaurant. Veal was on the menu but after seeing yet more Veal Crates a couple of days ago, we decided to have the bloody beef instead.