East Coast Bike Tour Day 69 – 71

Day 69 – Windsor Locks to North Grosvenor Dale, CT

I could not make up my mind where I wanted to ride to today. I could go back south and get back on the East Coast Greenway, just go straight across from where I am and either stay in Connecticut one more night or go straight to Rhode Island.

Many people were also telling me that I need to check out Tree House Brewing in southern Massachusetts, but I thought it was too out of the way.

Or was it?

Past couple days I rode through the suburbs and cities, and today I was able to add in the rural parts of Connecticut as well. Feel like I got to experience and see a good amount of Connecticut!

I rode about 20 miles and then said what the heck, I’m riding 20ish miles north of the East Coast Greenway route anyways, let’s go to that brewery!

That’s what this ride is all about – exploring the East Coast, meeting lots of people, and trying good beer. Lots of people recommended this brewery to me, so it must be good beer!

The route Google maps took me on was beautiful – passing by farms, and lakes, and forests, it kept my eyes busy.

Rode through a nice little town called Sturbridge and then had to pedal on a busy rodeway with speeding cars and no shoulder. Had to do this for a couple miles to get to the brewery, but I could almost taste the cold beer hitting my mouth at this point! I could see the finish line getting closer on my phone!

I’ve arrived! I snapped myself a good picture of their sign then rode up the long driveway only to find out…

This whole route up to the brewery was for nothing. I call this my “Fail Friday”.

They had a super long line of people waiting out in the blistering heat. They also weren’t even pouring beers! Only cans to go were being sold and all those people were waiting hours for a few six packs.

I was quite upset. Then I had to laugh to myself as just last night I posted on my Instagram about rejoicing no matter what and to always be thankful and look on the positive side of any situation.

Okay God, I see what you did there.

Just so happens that today I am getting saddle sores for the first time this trip also! There is like a sore circle around my butt. I’ll spare your eyes and not show you a picture of my white ass. Instead I’ll do my best describing it to you.

Just kidding, I won’t! It’s not pretty though. Well, I guess it probably wasn’t that pretty beforehand either..

While I was bummed out (pun intended) about the brewery, I was able to get a solid ride in, see some beautiful sites, and snap a lot of pictures including the welcome signs to both Massachusetts and Connecticut. I also ended up going to a campsite I probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.

At this campsite, I met some pretty awesome people!

Their normal, no hook-up tent sites are normally $15 a night. Unfortunately, I had to pay $30 for the last site available which was an RV site with electric and water hook-ups.

After settling in, doing my laundry, and starting to cook some mac and cheese, the camping host rolled up on his golf cart.

It’s been almost a week since I’ve set up the tent!

He said there was another family that wanted to switch me sites. They had a tent site with no hook-ups, but also had a 13ft camper and two young kids so they wanted AC. He said they were willing to pay me $20 to switch!

I said absolutely!

I would have switched without the money, but they came at me with the money in the request!

The camp host helped me move everything to the new site, then came back a little later and I got the $20 from the other family and he gave me an extra $20 from him and his wife for my trip!

So I ended up essentially staying for free and actually netting $10!

The family came up to me and thanked me. They also brought me an ice cold seltzer and some cheese and crackers. I don’t normally like seltzer, but the coldness of it made it delicious as it was still super hot out.

They were there with a couple other families and they invited me to go hangout with them. They made tons of food!

Mind you, I already ate a full box of mac n cheese mixed with a full can of chili. Then, with the other campers I ate a big bowl of vegan pasta salad, pretzels and hummus, another bowl of mac and cheese, a hot dog, and a turkey burger. I think I almost consumed the amount of calories I burned today!

2nd best thing to all the free food…free beer! The mom, Sarah, gave me her favorite beer from a local brewery near them called Be Hoppy. There was also a home brewer there that brought a growler of his own beer and gave me two cups of it. It was a larger and was super good!

Some of the crew cooking

Went to bed later than I would have if I hadn’t hung out with them, but I definitely went to bed fat and hoppy!

Day 70 – North Grosvenor Dale, CT to Providence, RI

I could feel the sweat on the back of my neck and back as I laid in my tent trying to sleep. Yesterday was about 100 degrees and last night I don’t think it got lower than 80. Laying in my tent beneath the mesh upper half definitely adds a few degrees as well.

All to say, I did not sleep too well. Too hot! I felt fine and ready to bike after some breakfast and coffee, though.

My made-up route took me into Rhode Island and on some rural roads that don’t have any paint on them.

Cheated and got this picture of the sign as I was leaving Rhode Island

As I rode through a stop sign without stopping like the crazy person I am, I came across two other bikers. They were out for a big 69 miles loop for one of the guys 69th birthday. Ending up riding and talking with these guys for about 10 miles or more.

It was so hot out again today that my beard was sweating, my knee caps were sweating, even my helmet was sweating! It was again close to if not over 100 degrees!

We rode down some big hills and they would always coast so much faster than me, I was jealous. I’ve got too many things flapping in the wind! On the uphills, though, I would catch up again and pass the birthday boy.

Views on views

At one point after we stopped to cross a busier street, I got attacked my a wild cougar! It attacked me on my left side, but I punched it in its nose, and it ran off.

Just kidding… As I was crossing, I had a hard time getting my bike to get going. At the other side I looked down and my blue shirt (that I had drying on the back of my bike) got caught up in my rear disc brake. Totally tore up the bottom left side of the shirt.

The guys hadn’t realized I stopped, but turned around eventually to check on me. Showed them what happened and they said I needed to make up a good story about it. So that was my short “good story” of my ripped shirt.

As our routes pointed us in different directions, they gave me some snacks and energy gels and then wished me well on my journey.

I hopped on the Washington Secondary Trail and made my way into Warwick both in search for a postcard and for breweries!

I found the latter!

Three breweries all on my way to downtown Providence: Proclamation Ale Co, Buttonwoods Brewery, and Long Live Beerworks. All three of these places had very odd locations, each I was uncertain if I was at the right place.

All also had beers good enough for me to want another! Proclamation was my favorite if I was with friends as it had a big open space with games to play, but the layout and style of Long Live Beerworks was cool and better for a solo dolo (unless all bar seats are taken).

At the last brewery I called the only hostel in Providence and was told there was no room available. Went back online and it said there was so Ibooked the hostel. At this point I was unsure why he said there wasn’t any room available..

My saddle sore was not getting better. The first half of the day was fine, but I could feel it the second half! By the time I got to the hostel, I was walking funny.

Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to get out of the heat! The inside of this hostel was so freaking hot! I’m not sure which was worse, the tent last night or sitting in the hostel when it’s close to 100 degrees outside with just a small little window AC unit, and a full house of people!

I took a cold shower and before I could dry off I was sweating again.

I now realized that I took the last bed in the hostel, and this last bed was bed number 5 in a small room where the guy who answered the phone slept also. So obviously he just didn’t want anyone else in his room. I don’t really blame him as it was freaking hot in there!

Day 71 – Providence, RI to North Dartmouth, MA

Woke up to some girls feet about 10 inches from my face. That’s how small the room was and how close the beds were piled in there. And of course it was still hot and I was still sweating even when I woke up.

Well, today is Sunday so that means I go out and find a local Christian Church to attend!

Had a nice ride around downtown Providence and then down E Bay Bike Path.

13ish miles away I landed at Refuge Church. I picked this one mainly for the name. I liked the sound of refuge. A safe place to come, and a place to seek shelter (from the heat!).

People were very welcoming and everyone wanted to shake my hand and talk to me. The message was good as well on finding purpose. That is something I am searching for on this trip and hope to implement in my work when I get back to Tampa.

After church I entered Massachusetts for the second time this trip, and sought out my 99th brewery! Canned Heat Craft Beer Co was in a warehouse/garage right on the water in historic Fall River. There was no AC there so I felt like I was baking in a garage. Maybe that’s where their name “Canned Heat” came from.

I had to drink fast, but their beers were both interesting in flavors and delicious. For instance they had some kind of Key Lime Pie Sour, and a Quahog Stout.

As I was leaving, my saddle sore was at the most pain! I literally rode as long as I could standing up which was slightly less painful than sitting. Once I couldn’t stand any longer I sat and prayed for my bum.

I still had 45 minutes to go..

Decided tonight to get a hotel for 3 reason:

  • Rest my bum. Knew I needed to clean and air out my bum. That means lay in the nude and the only other real option to do that would be a nudist camp.
  • That brings us to number 2: the heat. It’s been so dang hot, I’d like some AC! Nudist camp wouldn’t get rid of that heat, so that’s off the table.
  • Finally, combine that AC with actually getting a good night sleep. The past few nights I did not sleep much.

Made sure the hotel I was getting had complimentary breakfast, checked in, and waddled past the concierge into my room. Actually, the concierge guy was super cool and gave me 3 chocolate chip cookies, an apple, and 3 cold bottles of water in addition to my room key.

Stats:

  • Day 69 – 67.22 miles
  • Day 70 – 50.46 miles
  • Day 71 – 38.89 miles

Accommodation:

  • Warmshowers hosts’ parents
  • West Thompson Lake Campground
  • Providence Hostel
  • Residence Inn by Marriott

Breweries:

2 Comments on “East Coast Bike Tour Day 69 – 71”

  1. Welp- I’m sorry to say that in deciding your route, you missed some of the finest sections of the East Coast Greenway in CT; the Hop River and Airline Trails. Next time.

    • Yeah I heard those were nice trails! A little extra adventure always adds some excitement, and those free places to stay are hard to pass up!
      Next time for sure!

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