One More State - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

July 6, 2014

One More State

Mohawk Trail State Forest, MA

One of the best TV shows ever. I planned a short day of biking today, so I hung around my motel watching an Andy Griffith Show marathon.
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If there is an opportunity for me to bag another state and it only requires a four mile detour to do it, I go for it.


    Ride just a few miles                                                                                                                   Spend one minute in Vermont                                                                                                 A cheap thing to do

Cheap is right.  I got a few yards past the "Welcome To Vermont" sign and promptly turned around.  Vermont is no longer one of the handful of states that I have never visited.

Vermont conquered!
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I backtracked to North Adams, MA and then I had to snake three steep miles up into the next wall of Berkshires.  There were many motorcyclists out for a Sunday drive.  Most of them ignored me, but there was one exception.   A group of eight came up from behind, and each one of them greeted me with either a wave, a salute, or a "hook 'em horns" sign as I struggled up one of the toughest parts of the climb.  I can't tell you how encouraging that was.

I also got waves from a lot of roadies flying downhill from the other direction.  I really wanted to believe that their friends didn't drive them up there.  To be fair, I must say that from the day I entered Indiana until now, the roadies almost always return my waves.  Extra credit goes to today's roadies who dare to take a hand off the handlebars at 35 to 45 m.p.h. 

On the other hand, I have given up saying "hello" to people on the streets.  In the eastern part of New York and now MA, it's as if everybody's mother taught them to never speak to strangers and they have carried that advice into adulthood.  I know it's probably just a regional thing.  When a bike tourist from MA visits a state like MN, he probably writes something like this in his blog:  "What's up with these Midwestern rubes?  They act like they're my friends or something.  I don't even know them.  It's creepy."

Day 2 in the Berkshires.  Looking down on North Adams.
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The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong at the somewhat famous hairpin turn on Route 2.
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Another look at North Adams from a higher elevation.
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Translation: FUN AHEAD!
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I hesitated to post this picture of me at the highest elevation of the day, because I think it might be the cheesiest smile I have ever produced. Nice elk though.
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I targeted the Mohawk State Forest for my campsite tonight.  It was only about 20 miles from Williamstown (plus 8 miles to Vermont and back,) hence the morning spent with Andy, Barney, Opie, and Aunt Bea.  When I got to the camping area I realized I had not taken into account that I had no food.  Therefore, I had to ride an additional three miles into the little town of Charlemont and back.

The only food available at the town's only store that was open on Sunday--a gas station--was a package of hotdogs.  Don't feel bad for me though.  If you try to forget what's in them, hotdogs don't taste so bad when they are cooked on a greasy public grill over a bunch of burning sticks.  I ate 5- 1/2 hotdogs.  My total was well short of the 50-something Joey Chestnut ate at the Nathan's Hotdog eating championship two days ago, but it was a pretty good achievement for me.




Today's ride: 33 miles (53 km)
Total: 1,619 miles (2,606 km)

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