Today we had our last long and big climbing day. We ate breakfast at 0630 and luggage load was at 0700. We left shortly after loading and after riding 1 mile from the motel we came to our last and final state in our journey, which we once again had to capture on film. Due to it being so close to town, everyone was stopped and waiting their turn to take their picture. Most of the photos have 1 or more riders in it so we did not have to stay there very long. Right after the state line the 1st climb started right out of town and it kicked up to 9% and then 11 and 12% and leveled off to 9% once again and went on for 1 mile. We were in for allot of these today and going in we were all told that we would get these kickers all day. At mile 18.2 we had a climb that went up to 14% for 3/4 of a mile and just before this climb I shed my jacket as the temperature this morning was 50 degrees and most everyone had jackets or arm warmers on.
We had 2 rest stops today the 1st one was at mile 36 along highway RT 9 E and it was at the regular car rest stop and it was a welcome relief to stop after 3000' of climbing and we had homemade bars from yesterday that were leftover and they really hit the spot. After filling up the bottles and getting ready to go I took a picture of 4 riders that had purchased yellow jerseys from the specialized bike shop in Brattleboro yesterday. I left the rest area by myself and started to ride down the road and the road had more of the kicker hills, ( I call them kickers when you go down a great down hill and then have to climb right back up a steep hill on the other side. I stopped in the town of Antrim at the grocery store with Kim and Tom, both from Washington state and got a chocolate milk and ate another hammer gel. I figured that I would need the energy down the road as we had 37 more miles to go before we go home today. I then met up with Margo and John and we all left the store together and rode to the second rest stop together and it was located at mile 55. We ate some more and filled the bottles and all 3 of us left together and rode the rest of the way together. After mile 65 we had a left turn and they had told us last night to get in your climbing gear and when we turned the corner is kicked up to 14% and then up to 20% for about 3/4 of a mile and it was getting tough by this time of the day. We made it to the top and began to descend, which was a welcome relief as the legs were starting to complain at every uphill. I kept telling my legs only one more hill, but had to keep lying to them as we had 10-15 more hills to go up before we got into town and there were not any more hills. It was nice to see the motel and we checked in and went and got something to eat and then showered and cleaned up.
Tonight we have our end of the ride banquet tonight at 6PM. They have it the night before our last day as all the activities at the beach tomorrow and many are going home tomorrow by auto as they live in thee area and have friends or relatives picking them up after we arrive at the beach and dip our tires in the Atlantic Ocean. I still can't believe we have come so far from Astoria when we went to the Atlantic Ocean and dipped our tires there and now we are going to finish tomorrow and dip our tires in the other coast. We are assembling at a Jr. High School at 11:30AM tomorrow and we will have a police escort to the beach for the official ceremony. We only have 50 miles to ride tomorrow to the beach and then I will have them take me and my bike to the shop to have it packed up and shipped home.