Saturday, 11 June 2005
Albany, NY to North Adams, MA
55.8 miles, 4h56m, 11.3 mph
Elapsed Time: 6h47m, Max speed: 40.5mph
Total Climbing: 3177ft, Max elevation: 1510ft
Total mileage: 55.8
Our first day on the road was very hard. Very, very hard.
It was very hot. Very, very hot. We were out of
shape. Very, very out of shape. I like to blame the
breakfast at the Days Inn. It was barely adequate.
When we went outside at about 7:30am it was already 75 degrees and
muggy. We took the standard departure photo and headed for downtown
Albany. But before we could even get out of the parking lot I was
stopped and asked for directions.
Little did I know that mere seconds later I would
be asked for directions.
On the way downtown we stopped at a Stewarts so I could buy new
batteries for my camera. I could have done this anytime yesterday, but
I had to wait for the camera to actually fail.
When we got downtown to the State Capitol we had to take another
departure photo. This would be the "official" one. JT got to work
trying to balance his cigarette-pack-sized camera on a park bench.
After several minutes of frustration, we just used mine.
"Official" departure photo
After the opening ceremonies we quickly found the bike path over the
Hudson River and started climbing out of the valley. At one point we
followed a road that Street Atlas USA identified as Rensselaer County
Route 20. I don't think so.
JT on Route 20
Fortunately the dirt road was only about 2 miles long. My big worry was
that the road would dead-end in some guy's yard, but it eventually
reached state route 66. Then we turned on to route 43 which would take
us all the way to Massachusetts and beyond. The early portents looked
A bad sign
And, yes, there was climbing. We basically climbed for about 20 miles
from the Hudson River to West Stephentown. Then we decended for a
couple of miles through Stephentown Center and on to Stephentown. By
the way, according to the sign at the town line, this is the only Stephentown in the world.
By the time we got to Stephentown we were hungry and I was almost
out of water. Then when the restaurant was in sight we were detoured
around town. But on the detour we came across a spring with some guy
filling a big jug. There was a cyclist there and he recommended a deli
just outside of town for lunch. We filled our bottles and rode one more
Lunch was at a place called Dave's Supermarket and Liquor Store. We had
turkey sandwiches and no liquor. Then we remounted and were soon in
The New England Tour enters New England
We started climbing again but this time the grade was not as steep and
only went on for about 8 miles. We saw a bunch of riders who were
involved in something called the Tour de Wagner, or something like that.
The route took us up a valley until we reached the end and spilled over
into the next valley. If you were in a car you would think it was just
one valley, but on a bike you know otherwise. After we crossed into the
other valley everything got easier.
One of the valleys.
We stopped at the Five Corners Store in South Williamstown and grabbed
some more drinks. I didn't want to come close to running out again. I
also checked my wheel and confirmed that I had broken a spoke earlier
when I heard a bang. My map told me that there was a bike shop right on
the route in Williamstown and another one right near the hotel in North
Adams. The one in Williamstown was called The Spoke, so I figured that
would be a good one for my needs. But when we got there, the shop was
closed and there were signs announcing an auction sale. So we continued
on to North Adams. The last few miles dragged on forever but finally we
reached the Holiday Inn. Then I rode across the street to The Sports
Corner and had my spoke fixed. The guy did it for free because I
brought my own spoke. Woo-hoo!
Then we ate.
Downtown North Adams from the room.
"JT and BC's 2005 New England
Ride" Copyright © 2005 By Bob Clemons. All rights reserved.