Not Always As Planned

You would think that at the advanced age of 51 I would realize that things do not always go as planned. The jury is still out on this…

Well, That Was Different
On Saturday I felt fine and rode like shit.
Last night I didn’t want to ride, but then wound up riding fairly well.
It makes no sense at all.

Last night I drove the bicycle up to Peachtree Bikes in North Buckhead for their Monday night recovery ride. Forgetting that I needed to be at a location sixteen miles from home, at a time when Atlanta traffic is usually a mess, I let Google navigate me to the shop. I’ll be damned if I didn’t arrive within one minute of my predicted arrival time!

Last night’s ride was well-attended, and included my (former) co-worker Al, and Catherine (aka “Saddle Sores”). The ride is short, ~20 miles, and slow, ~14 mph, and the group stayed together fairly well. At one point I (selfishly) put the hammer down on Mount Vernon, a multi-mile 1% downhill because I was feeling my oats.

I noodled with the idea of going for a Stone Mountain ride this morning, but didn’t do it. The cooler, drier air would have been great to ride in, but I have other things on today’s agenda (like writing this blog post!).

Flickr Pics Of ITP
In a twist of theme today’s photos will be shots of me, rather than shots by me. These photos were taken during the Vermont trip. Longtime readers of this space will have little difficulty picking out yours truly in the mix.

“Roommates”
Roommates
This is me and Bob, my roommate for the week. I could tell you that we had ridden over that mountain pictured behind us, but I’d be lying.

“Which Way To The Pub?”
Which Way To The Pub?
This was the day I experienced my flat and finished alone. To be fair, I was looking for a specific pub, the one that is pictured next.

“Oh No Your Didn’t!”
Oh No Your Didn't!
This was at Mike’s Tiki Bar. I have no recollection about to what we were reacting. I’ll blame the beer.

btw – you can tell from my Team Wimpy jersey that these three photos were taken on the same day.

“When I Ride I Take My Beer Seriously”
When I Ride I Take My Beer Seriously
Taken at the Hill Farmstead Brewery. Why I am never included in People Magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive” list still puzzles me.

I’m Reading A Book, That I’ve Electronically Checked Out From The Library!
Without doubt 2016 will go down as a monumental year in my life. Hell, how many times does a person get to quit a company with which he/she has toiled for nearly twenty years?

At the suggestion of a friend I am currently reading Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (pssst, that’s an Amazon Affiliate link, so if you happen to click on it and then buy something from Amazon I’ll get a few pennies. Come on, I’m unemployed! 🙂 )

Younger, employed Paulie would have spent the $12.99 for a Kindle version of this book. Older, unemployed Paulie found that he was able to borrow a Kindle version of the book from the Dekalb County Public Library system and read it on his iPad. Future Paulie will download the Kindle version to his Kindle so that he can read it on that device instead; the iPad is great for reading books, the Kindle is better.

Look at me saving money and using public resources for which he has previously, and continues, to pay taxes to support!

I’m on target to complete at least five books this year. For many of you this is a pittance, but for me who all-but gave up recreational reading a young age, this is a revolution.

Binge Watching “Silicon Valley”
One reason I haven’t read more books is because I love watching videos. In this age of mobile electronics this is so easy to do…

I am currently binge watching my way through Silicon Valley. A few days ago I managed to finish up Season 2. Yesterday I bought Season 3 on iTunes (it’s not available for checkout from a library) and have watched the first four episodes — thanks, insomnia!

It’s A German Study Day
I’ve managed to avoid doing any real studying of German since last Tuesday’s class. Bad Paulie, very bad Paulie. So I am planning to spend the remainder of today, that which occurs between the completion of this blog post and class time at 18:30, sans the time needed for hygiene and nutrition, studying for tonight’s class. I will also wait until the last possible minute to park at Colony Square to avoid incurring another ridiculous parking fee.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Weekend Update

It’s Monday already? Even when you aren’t working the weekends go by much too quickly. Today marks the one-month anniversary of my sabbatical.

Really? What Happened To Me?
On Saturday morning I finally got my shit together to get up to Vinings to ride the Saturday morning ride departing from Atlanta Cycling. At twenty-two miles I was concerned that the ride would be too short when compared with the distances I’ve been riding over the past month.

I was cruising with the peloton nicely until “the split”. At “the split” I should have gone left to avoid the hill, but my riding partner Al (who had been complaining of dead legs during the thirty+ mile ride he did before this ride) went straight. I was feeling okay, and on the far right side of the street which made it difficult to take the left turn to avoid the hill, so I went for it. About a third way up the hill I was struct with heartburn (for perhaps only the fourth time in my life!) and was dropped quickly.

All alone with not the greatest sense of where this ride goes I was happy(ish) to find familiar road markers. After a few miles of riding alone Al called me to find out where I was, and was kind enough to turn around and ride backward so that I wouldn’t have to finish solo.

I was embarrassed and disappointed with my effort.

I lunched with Al following the ride at El Pollo Tropical.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Old School Cycling” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Old School Cycling
Saw this old gal (or guy if you’d rather) parked on the street while walking up to the races.

A Small, But Vocal Gathering
Upon arriving home and showering I marched up to East Atlanta Village for the annual East Atlanta Criterium. I met up with one of my Flickr buddies, Greg, and sat at Argosy, watching the races from afar which was easy to do since this year’s race didn’t attract a large following. (I’ve said this every year, “I hope the East Atlanta Criterium” comes back next year.)

Given the weather predicted for Saturday afternoon I chose to carry a golf umbrella instead of my camera gear.

As the afternoon wore on, and I had more than enough beer in me, I wandered across Flat Shoals and hung out with the cadre of hashers who had convened. And on that side of Flat Shoals I was able to refill my plastic cup with Bombardier Ale at The Elder Tree Public House.

After the races were over I stopped into Grant Central East for a couple of slices of pizza and a Coke before staggering home.

It was a good day, or so I think. 😉

Sunday, Muddy Sunday
Somehow ten years have passed since that fateful Sunday when I opted to join ITP-Reader Stacy and Phil for a photostroll in College Park instead of running the “Catch The Crabs” Black Sheep Hash held that day. I remember texting “Boner Rooter” later that afternoon asking her how the hash was and she told me that lightning had struck near the on-in, scaring the shit out of all who were there. I made the right decision that day.

Yesterday I tempted the Gods by attending the “Catch The Crabs” hash. It was a good romp through the woods and swamps of Newnan, as I knew it would be, followed by an on-in that was completed under ominous skies. I just made it under the pole barn when the skies opened up, only rain thankfully.

After my weekend’s activities I was pooped and passed out by 9:00pm last night.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

AT&T Hostage

Shamefully it has now been a week since I have been on two wheels.

This morning I am a hostage to AT&T. You’ll understand why in a minute, but as of now I am forced to wait from “8:30-12:30” for a technician to arrive to start performing analysis on my U-Verse setup.

The Power Of The Storm
I met up with (former) boss Hank, as well as his nephew who is in town this weekend, at Lucky’s in Brookhaven at 5pm yesterday.

Lucky’s was a convenient meet up spot as I had been to Dunwoody for lunch, and then shopped Costco in Brookhaven, before spending some time at the Brookhaven library.

Nowhere in any of the weather forecasts did I see the potential for the torrential rain, pea-sized hail, and extremely high winds that plagued Brookhaven for over an hour yesterday. The lightning was so close that you’d see the flash and then immediately hear the thunder! Things got so bad that the entire shopping plaza in which Lucky’s is located lost power for at least two hours. We were asked to leave at 7:30pm because they were closing at 8:00pm with no firm commitment for when their power was going to be restored.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Raindrops On A Slide” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Raindrops On A Slide
Taken after a strong, but not nearly as disruptive storm on Tuesday.

In case you didn’t know, I love taken photos of water droplets.

The Extended Power Of The Storm?
It wasn’t but a few blocks away that I encountered electricity again, thankfully, since the thought of all traffic lights between Brookhaven and East Atlanta being out made me rather nervous.

Having not eaten dinner, Lucky’s had no way to cook food without electricity, I stopped into Fellini’s Pizza in Candler Park for a salad, slice, and Coke.

I returned home to find that I had no internet nor the ability to make a phone call using AT&T’s U-Verse phone service. I did all the standard tricks of rebooting the modem, reseating cables, whatever, but nothing fixed the problem. With no phone service I tried multiple times to call using my cell phone, but AT&T’s cell service is so spotty in East Atlanta that my calls from the basement were routinely dropped.

I was able to call from the main floor of the house this morning, and hence I am now a hostage to AT&T until they arrive. The better not try to tell me that there is a problem inside the house, though if they want to give me a new modem for free I would be okay with that.

Weekend Plans?
Tomorrow is the East Atlanta Criterium. The EAV Crit is also known to me as the event three years ago during which I met someone who was willing to go out on a date with me, two dates actually, before she told me that I was not “it”. I have not had the good fortune of going out on a date since… I am assuming that if the weather agrees that I will attend.

Sunday is a Black Sheep day, though I admit being fearful of the prediction of “90% chance of thunderstorms” that I am seeing. Keep in mind that it was an August Sunday in which lighting struck near the pack during to On-In and scared the shit out of them. So, I am a tentative participant…

Have a great weekend friends! Perhaps I will see some of you out and about.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Taking Lazy To A New Level

Holy crap, it’s 8:45am? Guess I should get a blog post out today before I have to clean up and meet some friends for lunch…

I’m Not Color Blind, I’m Color Dense
I think that I need to consider upgrading the lighting in my bedroom. On Tuesday I once again went into the world wearing a color combination that didn’t work. I did this because I swore that in my bedroom I was holding my blue shorts, but clearly when I was out and about I was wearing my olive green ones. I’d made my choice of navy blue sneakers all the more curious. Of course I was at a museum, so I could have always blown off any criticisms with a statement of how I am an artiste!

ITP Flickr Pic
“Honestly Abe?” (High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Honestly Abe?
I’ve tried to break myself out of the habit of taking photos of sculptures. However, there was something so striking about Abraham Lincoln’s pose on Tuesday that I had to shoot this.

Damn, I just realized that I should have titled this shot “Penny For Your Thoughts”. DANGEN!

I Never Tried The BBQ, But The Sandwich And Conversation Were Great
Made it to Castleberry Hill around 5:40pm for my 6:00pm meet up. Before I could go admire ITP-Reader Stacy’s paint job up close and personally I was greeted by my friend who was also an early arriver.

We went into The Smoke Ring and were told that there would be a Creature Comforts beer dinner later, so we were sat in the smaller section of the restaurant. No biggie. We asked if we could have their beer leftovers, but none arrived at our table.

Our own beers and an amazing appetizer of fried green tomatoes were ordered and we started catching up and conversing about the creative process. I talked about what my creative process is, and about photography and even my reasoning for starting to learn the German language. After a while we agreed to wander down to Elliott Street Deli & Pub for another beer.

Since we’d never ordered dinner at The Smoke Ring I was glad when she said that she wanted to order a sandwich at Elliott Street. We’d had two beers already and a third one had made its way to the bar, so I was happy to eat. Further, it’s a little-known fact that Elliott Street makes fantastic sandwiches — and “two-bite” cannoli as I found out later.

Elliott Street Deli & Pub has not changed a bit since I last visited; that’s a good thing in my book. Mike and Pete (the owners) still hang out, the interior is still dive-bar-esque, and my friend Dave Rice’s photo of a woman on a motorcycle still adorns the inside of the men’s bathroom. Last night the bar even had a duet of stringed instruments (think “folk” not “classical”) performing for a few hours.

What has changed is Elliott Street itself, now that it has once again opened for through traffic. Once a construction dead end, cars and motorcycles now zip around the neighborhood. And, when I got up from our sidewalk table and turned the corner, I could see the new mechatronic football stadium that is still under construction. I was home by 11:00pm and slept really well, perhaps too well which is why I am still typing this blog at 9:15am.

On Today’s Agenda
I’ve already mentioned lunch. After lunch I will be running some errands — groceries, gas for the lawn mower, banking, etc — before returning home to do some “work” — German and software development studying.

I’ve thrown an offer to meet my (former) boss Hank for a beer, but he’s committed to moving his daughter into a dorm at Georgia Tech today so I’m not sure if this will happen.

Considering it’s Thursday (it is Thursday, right?) I may hoof up to EAV to shop my first East Atlanta Farmers Market in far too many years.

Yesterday I received a Dropbox link to photos taken by the Sojourn staff while we were riding in Vermont. I will peruse these tonight and see if I can find any good, or incriminating, ones of me. 🙂

Have a great day friends!

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

$22

$22 was the amount I paid for parking at Colony Square yesterday. Had I budgeted a little more time I would have left their parking lot immediately and parked at a lot that was considerably more reasonably priced. The reason that I didn’t know the exorbitant amount that Colony Square charges for a full day of parking is because when I go there for German class I am able to validate my parking for up to four hours, so I usually get out of paying for parking. In total I was parked at Colony Square for 9.5 hours, so the validation option was moot since the other 5.5 hours of parking would have brought my cost up to the maximum amount charged. Needless to say, I shall never again pay for parking at Colony Square.

Other Than The $22, How Was My Day?
I had a nice lunch with ITP-Reader Steve, even if Tin Drum‘s lunch offering was less than stellar when compared to the dinner offerings I’ve had at this location.

When lunch ended I hopped across Peachtree (oh man, I should have literally hopped across Peachtree — what a missed opportunity!), beating the rain, and went to the High Museum of Art where I wandered around the exhibits for a few hours. I was thoroughly impressed with the works of Vik Muniz, and a little less impressed with the photographs of Walker Evans. Given the equipment Evans had in the 1930s I should cut him a little more slack. As I always do when i am there, I also perused the High’s permanent collection of American and European art and appreciated the presence of some of the other patrons of the art who also chose to be there.

Yesterday I became weirdly inspired, actually wishing I had brought my camera along with me. I felt unusually alive, for lack of a better term, experiencing a rollercoaster between the extreme highs and lows of my emotions. For many people this might have been troublesome, but for me it was oddly exhilarating, at least for the short time it lasted.

I had heard that Octane has opened a new location inside Woodruff Arts Center, so I stopped in an had a couple of cups of coffee; their liquor license is supposedly “in the mail” and they will begin selling beer once it has arrived.

Charged up on coffee I returned to Colony Square and studied for my German class which began at 6:30pm.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Midtown” (Atlanta, Georgia, United States)
Midtown
One of the interesting things about shooting panoramas with an iPhone is the way that it distorts the image. In reality these letters are straight across, not curved. Of course this probably means that I am doing it “wrong” but I don’t care because I liked the way this looks.

A Return To Castleberry Hill
Tonight I will be returning to Castleberry Hill for the first time in what feels like an eternity. Castleberry Hill is one Atlanta’s many distinct neighborhoods, tucked just south of downtown and just east of where the Falcons play their home games.

I first learned of Castleberry Hill when I attended the very first Atlanta Photographers Guild meetup (ITP-Reader John, aka “Ham with Cam”, did I get the name correct?) which convened at Elliott Street Deli and Pub. This was back in the “glory days” of digital photography, when people did photowalks and posted photos on a site known as “Flickr”, perhaps ten years ago. Think “Pokémon GO” with cameras instead of phones. 😉

Here’s a shot I took at a meeting in 2008:
Rasheeda

Anyway, tonight I’ll be going to The Smoke Ring where I will be catching up with another friend, and then perhaps to Elliott Street afterward for a beer.

It May Be Time To Find A Dermatologist
For the past couple of weeks I’ve been suffering some from my adult-lifetime dermatological affliction; I don’t know the name of what ails me so that’s the best way I can describe it. Normally this affliction is mildly inconvenient and has produced lasting scarring, but in this instance it is also painful.

I determined last week that in addition to the pain this affliction can cause, the scarring also one of the reasons that I have struggled with meeting women. In effect I have a hidden shame, like a shitty tattoos that I did not choose to get, that I am afraid will scare away women at the worst possible time.

Perhaps with my final two months of health benefits I should seek a dermatologist’s opinion. Have you one that you recommend?

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Returning To A “Normal” Life

It’s a lot harder to write a daily blog when you are not traipsing around on a bicycle going places to which you’ve never gone before, taking photos along the way. Speaking of bicycles, I was supposed to be on mine (if for no other reason than to determine its current health) at the time I write this blog post however a late night turned into a late morning and I failed to convince myself to get out of bed.

A Day In Chamblee
I made it out of the house yesterday by lunch time so that I could eat at Pollo Norteño while doing my loads of laundry. By the time I returned home I was beat and took a short nap prior to putting away my now-clean clothes.

I considered making a grocery store stop on my return trip, but decided that I should continue to eat the contents of my pantry until I’m left with only random bits and bobs from which I cannot make a meal.

A Night In The ‘Hood
Last night was the first night I’ve been out in EAV in quite some time. Not much has changed, both for good and bad, and I had a good time.

On a slow Monday night it’s easy to find street parking. Whew! I’m still trying to keep the M6 ding free (conveniently ignoring the damage I inflicted upon it in February), so I like getting a street spot when I see shows at The EARL.

With time to spare I wandered around the village a little, checking out the spots that have changed since I last did so. Since I’d already eaten dinner and am trying to be a little cognizant of the money I’m spending, I stopped into Argosy for one beer prior to the show. While at the show I also allowed myself just one beer, would you believer, a Miller High Life in a bottle.

The show was solid. I missed the first of the two opening acts, but caught Victor St. Baloo’s set, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

Kyle Craft and his band took the stage around 11pm (?), which is no problem on a Monday night when you are on sabbatical. The band, six strong, played songs from Craft’s first solo album, “Eye of the Hurricane”, which was released earlier this year. Craft followed the band’s set with three acoustic songs as his encore, ending with his rendition of Lou Reed’s “Take A Walk On The Wild Side”.

ITP Flickr Pic
“I Had Moxie!” (Danville, Vermont, United States)
I Had Moxie
Fun Fact: I love regional sodas.
Sad Fact: Regional sodas are much harder to find these days.

Moxie is a soda company that has been in New Hampshire since before 1900. These days it’s owned by a MegaCorp (what company isn’t?), the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England in this instance. To my taste buds Moxie has a “Coke + root beer” flavor to it, but what do my tastebuds know?

“Charlie O’s” (Montpelier, Vermont, United States)
Charlie O's (Montpelier, Vermont)
After one of the hardest days of riding, Middlebury -> Montpelier via the App Gap, my roommate Bob and I stopped into to the biggest dive bar in Montpelier, Charlie O’s. It was worth buying an $8 bike lock to get the experience of Charlie O’s. Charlie O’s was a dark, empty at 2pm, cash only, pay as you drink, dive bar tended by a pretty young woman named Alena who showed me where her Vermont hometown was on the tattoo of the state that she had on her forearm (what 25-49 year-old doesn’t have at least one tattoo these days?).

Given the matches on the bar I asked if smoking was allowed in bars in Vermont. Alena looked at me as if I were a crazy fool, since I was dressed in a bicycle kit at 2pm on a Monday I understood her position, and answered “No”. I may have blew her Socialist mind when I told her that it was still legal in Georgia.

What Are We Going To Do Today Brain?
In addition to studying German in preparation for tonight’s class, as well as some computer-science shit in preparation for the rest of my life, I think that I will try to make it to High Museum of Art to see some of the exhibits that have escaped my eyes thus far.

Have a great day friends!

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

Home Again

I’m back in the EATL. Thankfully the worst part of Delta’s flight yesterday was the time that it left Burlington, Vermont — 6:10am.

Yesterday was spent unpacking, sleeping, and binge-watching The Great British Baking Show. I see that the British original series “The Great British Bake Off” starts again on August 24th; I need to find a way to watch it in real-time.

I Would Ride Three Hundred Miles
And I would ride three hundred more, just on flat terrain this time.

We began Friday by taking an hour-long ferry ride from Vermont to New York.
Vermont Day #6 : We Ferried To New York

Here’s the map of the actual bike riding we did on Friday, you can see where I decided to stop GPS, missing some of the ferry ride as well as the two-mile stretch ridden from the ferry that took us back to Vermont to Sojourn’s office.
Vermont Day #6 : We Rode To The Ferry Taking Us Back To Vermont
The ride on Friday also contained about 1500′ of climbing over a 23-mile course. At one point toward the end I sprinted to lead a pace line only to find out a couple of miles down the road that no one stayed on my wheel! 😀

I spent Friday and Saturday nights back at the hostel in Burlington. I was again on my own as I was the only one of the sixteen riders to spend time in Burlington. Friday night was interesting, as I was awoken by a young couple having sex in a bunk near mine, at least until someone walked by and told them to stop. Unfortunately it rained hard for most of Saturday, putting the kibosh on my walkabout plans as well as the air show that was scheduled that day.

Perhaps the only disappointment of the trip was getting on the scale today to see that my weight is still over 210. My metabolism must move as slowly as molasses these days.

Uber Bested Lyft On This Trip
When I left East Atlanta a couple of Fridays ago it was 3:15pm. Because of this Lyft deemed it to be “high demand time” and charged me an additional 150% on top of the normal fee, thus my ride from East Atlanta to the Candler Park MARTA station cost me over $15. Even though I know that Uber also has a high-demand tim policy, Lyft lost me as a customer for the rest of this trip.

In Burlington I Ubered from the airport to the hostel, from the hostel to the Burlington airport (at 4:15am), and from the Candler Park MARTA station home, never even considering Lyft.

I’ll reevaluate my ride-sharing company of choice again in a few weeks.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Taking The Ferry To New York” (Burlington, Vermont, United States)
Taking The Ferry To New York

“Are You Ok?” (Burlington, Vermont, United States)
Are You Ok?
These two pieces are on opposing sides of a window at the Burlington Hostel. I liked them a lot, so I decided to take photos of each and try to bring them together.

Where Next?
I’ll be in Atlanta for the next two weeks. I need to start taking care of some things in my life, like reminding myself that I will need to have employment again sometime in the future.

Today’s task is to wash and dry the three huge bags of dirty clothes that currently sit on my bedroom floor. Tonight I will be headed to The EARL for the first time in a long time; I’ll be seeing Kyle Craft, former lead of the band Gashcat (who very few people knew).

In two weeks I’ll be taking off for a week in Colorado, surrounding the weekend of Colorado Invihash. Three trips in two months, by then I might finally having the whole packing thing figured out.

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

The End Is Near

I am writing this at 2am on Friday morning — wide awake. Yesterday’s ride was tough on many levels, which I’ll describe briefly, but it’s the realization that I failed to get my “day bag” that has me mildly panicked. My “day bag” contains my car and house keys. Hopefully by the time you read his it will once again be in my possession.

Yesterday’s Ride
With the thought of Smuggler’s Notch facing us we all reticently headed out from the Trapp Resort. As we left I was thankful that I didn’t chose to wear my Deutschland jersey yesterday. The climb was tough, and for me became literally impossible when, 1/5th of a mile from the apex the chain on my bike broke. I walked up the remaining climb and the support car which was positioned there was able to remove a link and get me back on the road. The irony of my mechanical was that I chose to wear my chainlink cycling socks yesterday. I wish that I had taken a photo of my feet next to my broken chain.

Here’s the map to the point of chain breakage:
Vermont Day #5 (part 1)
9.6 miles, I stopped recording here since I wasn’t sure that I would be riding any further

With a repaired chain I rejoined the chase, eventually catching up a few miles before ou scheduled stop for lunch at mile 29. As the heat continued to increase my health improved and my riding became much better; I was crushing it (for me). Thirty miles later we took the Vermont Bike Ferry, across a twenty-yard gap in the rails-to-trail path that lead to Burlington. I was the first one to the Foam Brewery in Burlington.

Here’s the map from Smuggler’s Notch to Burlington:
Vermont Day #5 (part 2)
56.4 miles

There was some confusion as to which van held my “day bag”, and I stupidly rode off to visit a few more breweries thinking that I’d get it before dinner. Obviously I was wrong. Then, I had to help my roommate back to outperform room after dinner and after talking to him for awhile I fell asleep.

Until now, it’s now 3am.

Even with my mechanical my day wasn’t the most notable. Two of our riders wrecked independently, one of which took a ride to a local hospital; both seem to be fine.

ITP Flickr Pic
“Before Smuggler’s Notch Got Really Hard” (Stowe, Vermont, United States)
Before Smuggler's Notch Got Really Hard
Taken after what I thought was a tough part of the climb. The gondola rides, which are just out of view to my left, were an indication of how wrong I was.

“A Vermont Winery” (Cambridge, Vermont, United States)
A Vermont Winery
Due to a route change required thanks to a full road closure, our lunch was held at this winery instead of a brewery. The one glass of red that I had was good, if not a bit pricey at $9.

“Who You Calling A Cow?” (Cambridge, Vermont, United States)
Who You Calling A Cow?
Perhaps my favorite photo from this trip. These cows were so sweet, happily chewing grass and plants for their lunch.

It’s A Small World
I found out yesterday that one of my riding companions knows one of my college roommates; they both work at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Weird.

I saw hash marks around Burlington yesterday. Burlington hashes on Wednesday nights, so I was literally a day late.

On To The End
Today is the final day of the tour. Today we ride a ferry from Burlington over to New York, then down toward Charlotte, and finally ferry back to Vermont. Unless it’s raining, at which point I may walk over to the Burlington Hostel and try to check in, instead of riding.

At the time of this writing there is a 100% chance of rain in Burlington for Saturday, and I fly home super early on Sunday. Hopefully I will have keys in hand when I get back to East Atlanta and can start putting my life back in order.

Cheers,
Paulie [burlington/vt]

Struggling Along

Ugh, yesterday’s ride was made more challenging thanks to what appears to be a cold. I went to bed feeling slightly better, but as soon as I awoke this morning the runny nose and sneezing began. I am going to try and ride today, what we are told is another difficult day of climbing. We’ll see how this goes…

Here is yesterday’s map:
Vermont Day #4
~60 miles, with another couple harrowing hard-pack gravely roads; thankfully I didn’t get any more flats. There was a 74-mile option, but that came after a second brewery stop and added an additional 1000′ of climbing, so I passed. I think there must have been some prize money on the line yesterday because most of the group hammered after lunch and I rode the last twenty-five miles alone.

We spent the night at the von Trapp resort, yes the same von Trapps from “The Sound Of Music”, in Stowe, Vermont. The brewery tour guide claims lineage to Maria and Baron von Trapp. Sadly, no one here these days speaks German so I couldn’t practice.

ITP Flickr Pic
The scenery yesterday was nice, but nothing worth stopping to shoot on a day in which I was feeling so lousy.

Hill Farmstead Brewery (Greensboro, Vermont, United States)
Hill Farmstead Brewery

Wednesdays are “release days” for the brewery and when we arrived there were already over twenty people with empty growlers in line. The brewery’s beer is good, but to me it wasn’t wait in line good.

I Am Seeing The End
My legs are nearly spent and I am struggling with this cold/allergy. I am almost looking forward to the end of the tour. Though shorter in mileage and one day shorter, the climbs on this ride have made this much harder than RAGBRAI.

Today we ride from Stowe back to Burlington through Smuggler’s Notch.

Tomorrow we are to take a ferry to New York, ride along Lake Champlain on the New York side, and then ferry over to Charlotte where Sojourn’s headquarters is. From there I would get shuttled back to Burlington. I mention tomorrow’s plan because there is also an 80% chance of thunderstorms in Burlington tomorrow, so there is a good chance that I might decide to sleep in and stay in Burlington instead, especially if I have not kicked what started to ail me yesterday. We’ll see how that goes…

Cheers,
Paulie [stowe/vt]

My Richie Porte Moment

I was having a pretty good day yesterday. After spending a long time in Danville, Vermont, where the group gathered for a picnic lunch, we headed out in a ten-mile decline stretch of rail-to-trail. It was a blast.

Through Portland, Vermont we wound our way to a three-mile stretch of hard-pack dirt and some gravel. Still pedaling well I powers over this stretch. At this point we were on mile 51 of the ride. As soon as I returned to asphalt I knew there was a problem, my rear tire was mushy. I stopped, and felt that I was able to press the tire half way. DANGEN! With no support nearby, and me without a way to do a tube change because this isn’t my gear, I slow-rolled a couple of miles before stopping to wait for support.

In all I lost about fifteen minutes waiting for someone to show, and then to change the rear tube.

Here is yesterday’s map:
Vermont Day #3
58 miles

ITP Flickr Pic

“Somewhere In Vermont” (?, Vermont, United States)
Somewhere In Vermont
This was a stopping point during yesterday’s route. I have no idea where we were.

“The Inn At Mountain View Farm” (East Burke, Vermont, United States)
The Inn At Mountain View Farm
This was our overnight stay last night. It was as quaint as you would imagine.

Feeling A Little Ill
Woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover. We stopped into a bar after the ride, and then had a beer tasting followed by a meal of food/beer pairings.

More concerning to me is the feeling that I have a cold coming on. I’m tire, have a bit of a sore throat, and a runny nose. This feels much like what happened to m in Germany. I don’t think my body appreciates the clean air…

Cheers,
Paulie [east burke/vt]

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