Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wind Powered!

Our day started with a clear yet crisp morning departure from Metta Earth Institute in South Lincoln. Any chill in our bodies was quickly worked out as we climbed up and up on Notch Rd toward Middlebury. On the way to Middlebury College we passed several windmills whirring away in the southern wind. Things were warming up, buds were popping, and dandelions flowering - and 60 miles to ride to Keene Valley! This had the potential for a great day.
After meeting with an inspired group of students at the college and an essential re-fuel for our push into the Adirondacks we hit the road knowing we had a tight deadline. With gears spinning and rolling Addison County farm scenery urging us on, the miles ticked by. Rounding the bend on Rt. 125 and contouring the lake flowing north, the same wind acted like a motor on each of our bikes. We formed a tight paceline, or atleast as tight as would allow with the addition of our loaded trailers, and cranked. Taking advantage of whatever boost we could, the pace kept building and it must have been quite the sight as our awkward peleton whipped by families fishing near the Champlain Bridge.

Heading into the hills outside of Port Henry the scenery changed to that characteristic of the Adirondacks; exposed rocky hilltops, small fast moving streams, lush understories of fir and spruce. But one thing stayed the same - the wind at our backs. Winding through the uplands on Rt. 6 we were able to soak in the views of surrounding mountains while still feeling the undeniable support from behind us. The last leg on Rt. 73 leading through a narrow notch where trees had been scultped by the force of the winds that had the potential to set us in our place and dish out some hard earned miles at the end of a long day. Instead, those miles were pure enjoyment as we tried to take in all the surroundings of Chapel Pond (which was still holding the last of its ice) and the Ausable River as we approached Keene Valley. Making it to town just in to time to grab a shower at our generous hosts for the night at the Keene Valley Hostel and then head off to a delicious dinner at the local librarian's house was the cap to an amazing day filled with people and the elements pushing us along in our endeavor.

It seems that we have been particularly foturnate in catching good pockets of weather and extremely blessed by the help of generous individuals along our route. It should not come as that much of a surprise but the help that others have been extending to us as we pedal and share our stories has been inspiring. Exploring these topics of sustainability and simplified community living, I feel inspired for the future by the tremendous support we have been receiving. Not only the wind powered us on our ride to the Adirondacks, but the positive thoughts and actions of our friends made it possible and this is what will continue to carry us on as we face new challenges.

- Ross

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