Epilogue - Coasting the New England Coast - CycleBlaze

October 5, 2021


I'm currently editing videos of the trip for Youtube (you can access them at the videos page. But before I do that I wanted to pen some thoughts about the trip.

First thing you're thinking if you've gotten this far is "What happened to the rhyming verse?" Well, this is the epilogue and not the actual trip, so it doesn't count. Plus, do you know how tough it is to find something to rhyme with each day? It was a challenge and one I committed to keep up and I will probably do it for the next trip (stay tuned) but until then, I'll just write as I normally do.

I usually like to account for the "best of" which I loosely associate with the tour Academy Awards. It's fun to recount the fun parts of the trip and remember how enjoyable it was

  • Best Weather. Well, the weather. The only precipitation we had the entire trip was once we checked into our motel in Hyannis. We walked to dinner with our rain jackets on but all riding was free of rain gear
  • Worst Stairs. Doesn't anyone assign cycle tourists to rooms on the ground floor anymore? The 3+ story climb in Boston's north end was really tough since it was a narrow, winding staircase
  • Best Restaurant. Palos tapas bar in Providence RI. Who knew? We stopped in on the evening of our 27th wedding anniversary, and they could only slot us into a table for 45 minutes or so since we didn't have a reservation. But the bar was wide-open so we saddled up and had some of the best patatas bravas ever!
  • Single best food. Neither Kath nor I are lobster fans, but the lobster ravioli at EmBARgo tapas bar in Hyannis was the single best food we had the entire trip. I had smoked salmon which I really enjoyed (and had it all to myself since Kath doesn't like smoked salmon) as well. Funny fact - the bartender said he liked having us at the bar that night since we were the youngest (and his words, "best looking") couple there that night. While that was all dinner, other meals are as follows:
    - Best Breakfast: Molly-O's in York Beach. Without a doubt, the hand-cut potatoes they used for home fries - best I've EVER had
    - Best Lunch: Day 4's lunch on the beach. Just some chips and a take-away sandwich, but man, can't beat the vibe
  • Favorite stretch of road. This is a tough one but I'll have to go with the Maine coastline. New Hampshire's coastline along 1A is very scenic as well, but there's just something about Maine...
  • Best Lodging. America's Cup Inn in Newport. Very European-like feel. They had afternoon tea (which we didn't partake) and a phenomenal breakfast spread. Wait, maybe I have to go back and revise my "best breakfast" sub-category. Not the most modern but the coolest feel. Even if our balcony had a view of cinder blocks :-)
  • Best piece of gear. I think I better split this into multiple sub-categories. I mean, really, how can I compare a sock to an iPhone?
    - Bike Gear - my Specialized handlebar harness. Held my clothing in a compression dry sack, and cinch loops on top held clothing layers we shed as the temps changed
    - Electronics - Really liked my GoPro 8 and the media mount setup. Used it to shoot all the video. Also I don't use a mount which allows me to pan and move the camera about. Make sure you have good bike handling skills before attempting
    - Clothing - I may be old school but I find a cycling cap with that small visor very effective at preventing sun glare. That little visor blocks out the bright sky and the sun and prevents one from squinting
  • Worst stretch of road. Two immediately come to mind - the Sagamore bridge crossing and the MA roads from Topsfield to Lynn. Sagamore bridge, while crossable with a ~6'sidewalk, it was not separated from the 60+mph loud traffic and had a drop-off curb. Best to walk if you don't feel safe. I rode it, Kath walked; 'nuff said. The stretch of roads on Day 3 were just weekday normal traffic, riding on potholed and many patched roads. No-one gave us a hard time, just not a fun stretch. Better when we hit the bike paths going into the center of Boston

One final thought. Journaling is fun but does take some time. I appreciate sharing my adventures with you and encourage you to write about yours and post them as well. We all have unique experiences and see the world differently - it's fun to read about others' journeys and how they view it and what their trip is like. For me, I can look at a route that I'm contemplating and get some more details - maybe a certain place to eat that was fantastic, or something to see of the beaten path which is worthwhile. Journals can often inspire to travel to someplace new never seen before so I like that as well.

Something else you may not think of - journals are in many ways for you. Months from now you can look back on the journal and relive your experiences. If you're in a funk and sitting inside with 7 days of rain you can pull up a journal and read about and instantly you're transported back to the tour and remember the ride you had. When I'm no longer able to ride, these journals (and my videos) become my memory happy place.

"Whenever I think of the past it brings up so many memories" - Steven Wright
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