The tour magic continues, as Mateo and his mama roll out the breakfast red carpet for us. We all agree to sleep late and just ride the afternoon. I still wake up at 6am, feeling mega refreshed despite the brutal mileage and heat the day before. My Raleigh Sojourn requires a solid cleaning. The weather report calls for afternoon showers. I consult the morning holy trinity (☕️ 💩 🎒) and get to getting the gunk out of my drive train before packing up. Two hours later we’re all up and activated and chowing down on some amazing bacon and eggs.
Our half a day strategy is by design. Rain is in the forecast. Chad needs a bike shop. I wanna catch up with a bike friend I met years ago when she was touring through Buffalo. Plus! Mateo is joining us! Yes. We’re adding one more to our roaming pack of animals (…pretty sure it’s pronounced aminals). He loads up an impressive rig and puts on his Bernie hat and I couldn’t be happier. I refer to him as the freshman and to our crew as the Fab Five.
After breakfast, the rain starts coming in. Its getting heavier, so move out toward New Paltz with a 30-40ish mile day in mind. Final destination tee bee dee. Camp somewhere USA. We hit the bike shop and then head over to hang with Junko and her husband Dave. The skies open up and we take refuge in their house over coffee and snacks. Junko and I met back in 2014. Dave is a straight up bad motherfucker. Sea Bee in Vietnam. Among other things, his front yard includes: Metal shop. Wood shop. Japanese gardens. He’s got a frigging excavator in the backyard and regards it as a tool. Nice stop.
The rain let’s up a bit and after a supermarket stop we skidaddle in the waltz with St Paltz. County road 7 for a bit. Yes. Ugh. Fucking fuckity fuck. These are the hardest climbs yet. They turn and keep going up. Only Daniel and I don’t walk up a hill. Chad doesn’t have a tiny touring gear (aka a granny gear) and absolutely loves to fly ahead of the formation. But when we hit a total ass kicker of a hill and I pass him at 3 mph (and have any breath left – at best a 50/50 thing), I belt out “Chad ain’t got no granny gear, doo dah doo dah. Chad stays walking a up the hill. All doo dah day!”. He’s alone in not being amused by my talents.
When’s the last time you saw a barn with a Scarface fountain out front?
The last stretch is most downhill and the sunset really makes all the sweating and ass busting worth it. The rain stops altogether. The sun has come out under the clouds and is starting to set. I feel like Scarlet Johansson is whispering, “the suns getting low big guy”, only me passing out is Banner turning Hulk. Looking around for services, we plan to hit some KOA because despite smelling like hot funk, we care about hygiene. They usually have nice showers. At our last gas station we reassemble, gassed but not needing gas. Some Interweb research later and knowledge reigns down: we are relatively close to NYC so covid19 has tent camping not allowed. Bathhouses closed. We consider an ambush (or show up and act dumb) but I find a county park on the map. We roll in as it’s getting dark. Set up under a pavilion and we find a outlet. No water though. Dinner and music and stank round out the evening. Snoring ensues…