Best Western Rensselaer, Troy, NY.
Up until yesterday, we've had about 25 miles of actual rain on this tour.
Today we had 75 miles of constant rain.
Most of us weren't daunted by the dousing. It's a major inconvenience, but since the temperature was 70 degrees, it's pretty much just a matter of getting wet. Very wet.
We started out dry at 7 a.m. in Little Falls.
Nine miles later we were splashing along Rte. 5 during heavy downpours.
At the sag, Barbara was stationed inside the van trying to keep the food and paperwork protected.
Mike Miller's niece Michelle arrived at the sag with goodies, which was a nice surprise.
"We've had pretty good weather all this week, but you got our rain today which we've had for," she paused out of reluctance to recount, "three months now."
While Darrell and I were riding a few miles from of the sag, a frightening thunder clap exploded all around us. It sounded like a dumpster being dropped from 50 feet above.
We rode along the Mohawk River pretty much the whole day. At times we rode high on ridges that offered views of appealing rural, sheer=drop-off scapes.
We also spent about half of the day on bicycle paths.
These conditions led to my getting two flats (a setback that only got corrected thanks to Darrell's sleuthing), Darrell got one, and several others got them too. Also, poorly-designed entrance ways to the paths caused a cyclist to go down, and slippery train tracks caused another to do the same.
Three riders decided to skip the rain altogether and ride the van to Troy.
Here we are at the second sag when there was a break in the precipitation.
By this point in the ride my horrendously-overpriced CicloSport bicycle computer had fritzed out due to the rain -- this is a major casualty. I brought a spare knowing this could be the outcome, but I'm unable to find it. Anyone can imagine what a big disappointment that is.
The hotel had arranged for us to use a hose and rags out by the pool. Everyone had this kind of debris to contend with -- on our bikes, our clothes, and our bodies.
Darrell and I found an Indian buffet near the hotel for lunch -- it was good!
Later in the evening I walked around Troy looking for a pharmacy that sells the floss I want.
In keeping with the pattern we've had on this trip, downtown was very pretty, but almost nothing was open, including CVS -- on a Saturday night.
Uncle Sam is supposed to have originated here in Troy -- here is Troy's statue to that end.
I talked to my sister Lauren while I was out and about. She and several of my other family members are going to meet me in Manchester! I'm so excited about this! We're going to go to her nearby residence for a home-cooked meal. It will probably mean that I will miss the group's final meal together, but I think I'm okay about that.
When I got back to the hotel, I played their piano in the lobby. It was really out of tune, but it's always good to get an opportunity to test my musical memory on the road. The woman at the reception desk was very complimentary.
"That was really nice! You know, when you played, you know, soft -- and, ah, loud -- I know what it is... crescendo!"
I spent the rest of the evening trying to get my cycle computer to work, lubricating and cleaning the bike, and drying out garments that I need to wear tomorrow. It looks like we might be in the clear for the last three days we have of riding.
Tomorrow we ride to Brattleboro, Vermont. The ride includes a climb on par with the day we summited Mount Rose in Nevada.
Another thing that I'm excited about is that we'll pass through Old Bennington. This is where I've spent a few weeks at piano camp. I'm going to swing by in hopes of saying hello to the owner, Polly, who is an avid bicyclist.
Oh boy, today's post is mostly a ramble, so I'll put it to rest here.
Parting shot: An impressively white hall in the Russell Sage College campus.