Saturday, June 21, 2008

Today I was definitely melting

I have been spending the last few stoking the anagama. It has been extremely hard work and very HOT! Today the temps were in the high 80's but with the heat of the kiln it was more like 117 in the shade. There was one point I thought I was going to faint. Its hard to be dressed in long sleeves, long pants, welders gloves, reflective gear and mask in that kind of heat. The worst was that the kiln stalled and the firing did not progress all day long. It was a quiet day, where the last two days were a bit more lively.

Were are done tomorrow. Video soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

planning the route

I have been spending so much time being spread really thin, with my firing this week and my class next week and finals...OK school is now officially over and my direction now is to fill that time with things that will help us get ready for the ride. We arrive in Michigan August 10th and Chris will start riding August 14.

Things we have found out already:

1. 16 year-olds in theory can sign for their passports, but will be rejected when the Passport office gets the application - so if your 16 year old is applying for a passport, don't listen to the Post Office person and ask to co-sign the form, it will save you a headache.

2. There are short-tempered people, even in the biking world, and sometimes they are part of an organization that promotes the sport, chalk this up to someone's bad day and be persistent, go somewhere else to find what you need if you have to.

3. Planning a route on paper is sometimes as hard as scouting it, especially when the route is in a different country. I have spent hours trying to find people to talk to about route decisions as well as scouring maps.

4. you cannot cross the Blue Water Bridge by bike- there are two options- 1. take the ferry (15 miles south of Port Huron) or 2. load the bikes on the car at the bridge and go across w/the rest of the family.

With that said I have been getting some time in on the road, and Chris has had to train without me at times. I guess that is good, since he will ultimately be the one who has to pull the distance, and even with company, will feel alone at times.

So our route plan so far is this:

August 14- Lexinginton to London (85 miles)
August 15- London to St Catherines (90 miles)
August 16- Niagara Falls - see the falls- etc. (36 miles)
August 17 - Niagara to Rochester (85 miles)
August 18 - Rochester to Verona (115 miles)- camp by the lake
August 19- Verona to Herkimer (50 Miles) - short day maybe we'll mine for diamonds?
August 20 -Herkimer to Saratoga (85 miles) - hills start to be noticeable stay in the river valley until Amsterdam
August 21-rest day - go to the races, swimming, etc
August 22- rest day
August 23- Saratoga to Copake Falls (80 Miles)- walk up to Bish Bash Falls
August 24- Copake Falls to Somers (70 Miles)
August 25 - SLEEEEEEPPPP!!!!!

Ok, I need to get out for my ride- more later.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I'm not sure but I think we were melting!

Friday afternoon was a blur, the forecast for Sat and Sunday was a scorching headache waiting to explode, bike shop, grocery store, searching for maps, packing, sandwiches, on an on... Sat morn came so early. The plan was to leave at 5:45 AM head to PA by bike, be picked up by Kenny at the border and head to Scranton for a party then to Phili for the Philadelphia International Challenge to meet Team High Road.
Our ride started out great, a bit fuzzy I admit, so early in the morning. One thing about riding that early (6:30 AM- we left late) is that we witness a great deal of the animal world waking up...we started our day with 10 turkeys in the driveway, then we scared a deer across the road. We had more encounters like this for the next hour or so as we pedaled in a fog. There was one point, while going around the reservoir, where if we didn't know we were in NY we could have mistaken it for Maine. As the sun came up, the frying pan started to gain some heat, and Chris and I struggled through one hour at a time, in 15-18 mile segments. The 18 miles between New Windsor and Goshen was particularly hard, mostly unshaded false flat with a handful of major climbs, few downhills and ONE REALLY MEAN DOG, our 16 mph average dwindled quickly and the last 5 miles before town seemed to drag on forever. This was a laughable moment as I needed to cool off, I pulled over, dumped most of the contents of my water bottle over my head, cursing and grumbling about the climb in front of me, only to get to the top to find out that we had reached the Village.
It was here that I knew our ride had fizzled to an end, 20 miles short of our cross state goal. Chris was dragging and finding it hard to pull anything more out of that hat, the coffee shop visit didn't revive him, the jelly beans and sandwich in the shade of a big oak tree beside the Civil War Memorial didn't do the trick. Kenny happened to be 5 minutes away, and picked us up in no time. We get into the car to discover Chris forgot his shoes. We stopped at sneaker world before heading to Scranton. The party was great, we were exhausted from the heat, well fed, and ready to head to Phili.
More about that tomorrow...