Sleeping on the concrete floor of the pavilion became uncomfortable in the middle of the night. Despite fractured sleep, we awoke early as today we had over 120 hilly miles to ride. After the first 10, Don had a flat from an extraordinarily sharp rock. We used our last fresh tube, and continued on.
We hit a new grocery chain called Price Chopper for breakfast - cereal and danishes. We set out to tackle some hills. Unfortunately, our pace slowed significantly. Some of the hills had grades close to 10% and the extra strain of climbing them caused my lingering knee pain to be much more severe. Don and Justin were patient and we kept rolling over the hills one at a time.
The route near Albany became challenging as there were many options around the city, but none seemed ideal. We decided on one that lead us to a highway on-ramp.
We changed course, zig-zagged past the airport, and got clear of the city. Eventually, we crossed the Hudson River and found a place to eat (and rest) in Troy. Because we had an early start, we had well over 80 miles under our belt at lunch. We stopped at the Flying Chicken for an awesome home cooked lunch.
At lunch, we discovered and alternate route into Williamstown, MA which added on 4 miles but avoided a huge 1000 foot climb and descent, which we initially thought was inevitable. And this new route would take us through a new state: Vermont! Sadly, I got a flat (a tiny nail and a slow leak) to make the second falt of the day. Despite multiple attempts, we couldn't get our patches to hold and we were stranded.
At least we were able to laugh about the terrible patches that stuck only to our fingers and not the tubes. Don and Justin rode ahead while I hitched a ride from an incredible nice guy, Mickey, to a nearby bikeshop. The guys at Tomhannock Bicycles took care of us and sent us on our way with free labor and free gels to get us the rest of the way.
The final 20 miles was easy rolling along a river into Vermont and then Massachusetts. Seeing the green mountains makes us feel so close to home!
We rolled into Williamstown with just enough time for a shower at iur motel and dinner at Papa Charlie's.
Don had bought tickets to Fool for Love, a play at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, months ago in anticipation of us being here.
The play was amazing. Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda did an incredible job. We grabbed a beer at the only pub in town, the Purple Pub. Don finished his tour of his undergrad campus on the walk back to our motel. Today was a long day! Time to crash.