After “sleeping” in the airport, I was one of the first ready to board the plane to Colorado.
My Papa (grandpa) passed away a couple weeks ago so I took a few days break to go to the funeral and see family in Colorado.
The 3 days I was in Colorado was both a good break for my legs and butt from biking, but was also a great time to see all my family and celebrate the life of my papa.
While I was in Colorado, I ate so much! Any weight that I lost during this trip had to of been put back on during my time in Colorado. Also ate enough sweets for the remainder of the year! No regrets.
My flight to Boston was a red eye flight so I arrived back in Boston at 7:30am. Both legs of the journey were spent trying to sleep, but I’m not one that is good at sleeping on planes.
I walked an hour from the airport to pick up my bike from a warmshowers apartment. Anna was super kind in letting me store my bike in her small room for the 3 days.
Today is Sunday, so that means finding a local church. To find a church, I just simply type in “non-denominational church” into Google maps and search through the results to find one near my route.
The results took me to Seven Mile Road Church in Malden, MA. Real nice people there and actually a few folks my age that were there from Orlando to help out with an event this week. Was good getting to know them and swapping contact information.
After church I met up with a guy that has been following my ride on Instagram. Dan learned of my ride from when the East Coast Greenway shared my story back in early stages of the trip. I’m thankful they shared my story as that has opened up doors to meet many other people!
Dan bought me a sandwich from Dunkin donuts, (which are everywhere up here) and we took off.
Surprisingly, for not sleeping much on the plane (if any), I felt fine and was still able to put in over 42 miles.
We rode down to the beach and over into Marblehead. The ride today was my first real taste of the New England coast, and I was loving the sights and cool breezes of it!
It was nice riding with a local that was able to give me some history, point out neat places and knows the way around. Also, was just nice having someone to ride with and talk to while getting the miles in. Normally, I’m just talking and thinking to myself while riding! Glad to change it up.
We made our way into Salem and took a break at Notch Brewery. It was both of our first time at this brewery and we sipped down on a pilsner that was recommended to us. It was cold, crisp, gentle on the palate, and with a quick hop finish. It hit the spot as did the bratwurst, potato salad, and half of Dan’s ham sandwich!
The food, beer and heat outside almost put me into a coma, but we trekked on. The destination for me tonight was a warmshowers family located in Topsfield, MA.
After the Peabody area, we hopped on a nice gravel path into Danvers where I was supposed to meet up with the warmshowers host Dave.
Once we got there, Dan said audios and good luck, dropped off a bunch of snacks with me and completed the circle back to his home.
As I waited for Dave, I went over to a local creamery and cooled myself down with some ice cream.
Dave arrived, gave me directions to his place and I rode the 6 miles over to his place. They were super kind in sneaking me in for the night as they had a party today with a bunch of people and tomorrow they are having another group of people over. Letting me stay and entertaining me in the middle of a couple busy days was extremely generous!
I hung out with his family, ate good food, drank some tasty Harpoon beer, and really enjoyed their company for the night.
After a solid breakfast and a bagel to go made by Suzy, my mind was set on checking out New Hampshire for the first time.
I still had a quite a few miles to go in Massachusetts before I hit NH, so I just followed the East Coast Greenway route. It took me on some back roads past nice rural houses and land, large lakes, and open conservation areas.
The rural route took me in a large C-shaped route and I ended up back on the coast. Oh the beautiful New England coast! I’m starting to feel the only thing I dislike about New England is their football team. Go Broncos!
Right before I hit the coast and before New Hampshire I hit the small section of bike path on today’s route and was given a great sign showing how many miles I have left if I stick exactly to the route.
New Hampshire had some killer views!
Not only the dead had those views, which I passed by so many cemeteries it felt like, but those biking this route had even better views off the coast.
I made it to my second to last state on this trip! What a great and awesome feeling that was to cross the state line. Also knowing that I would cruise through this state in just a day.
I was loving the route along the ocean, but I was also feeling like I needed to go to my first NH brewery!
So, I made a hard left, went inland and added a total of about 7-8 miles to visit Smuttynose Brewing.
They had a large facility, but a tiny tap room inside the brewery. It was actually pretty neat drinking real close to the brewing equipment and tanks at a fairly large scale production site. I was able to get a flight of 4 pours there for only $5 which was a nice change compared to the usual $8-$16 flights.
Back down to the beach route after the brewery and my competitive self came out. I had stopped to take a photo and stare at the ocean when suddenly two bikers whizzed by.
They looked the part of serious bikers and were cruising at a respectable speed. I’ve seen tons of bikers go by, but for some reason today I wanted to try to catch and pass them.
I quickly got back on my bike, put her in gear and started huffing and puffing to catch up.
Got em’! Definitely took some work and some speed that I don’t normally pull out on my rides. I rode past them and in my mind made the sound of a race car flying by spectators.
Now in front of them, I could hear them talking about my sign on the back of my bike so I slowed a bit and started chatting with them. The husband said I must be in excellent shape to pass them up with all my gear hanging on the side of my bike.
That’s what 78 days of riding with an average of 45 miles a day will do! I’ve always been in decent shape, heck, I can’t even donate blood cause my heart rate is too slow, but now I’m in real good shape!
They were good people so I ended up riding with them for the rest of the day. Actually, I ended up drafting off of them the rest of the day as that little stunt took a lot of energy out of me!
I’m glad I did as they took me to a couple places off the route to get some photos and good views.
They rode with me all the way through New Castle and into Portsmouth which was a great section in itself! We came to our split up point at Prescott Park where they said I needed to take a picture with the whale. So I stood next to the whale ready for the picture and they said, “no you need to straddle the whale!”
Sure, why not!
Back to being solo, I made my way in and around Portsmouth and found a couple breweries. In the morning, I texted a couple in Portsmouth from warmshowers and they said I was welcome at their place tonight after 6pm.
Enough time for me to visit two breweries!
Being a Monday, only a couple of the breweries in town were actually open, so deciding on which ones to go to was much easier – go to the closest open ones.
I ended up visiting Earth Eagle Brewing Co and Great Rhythm Brewing Co. Earth Eagle is known for their gruit beers which are beers made with herb mixtures instead of hops. They were pretty tasty, but I’ll stick with hops – lots of hops.
After my beers I went across the street over to the apartment that I would be staying at with Jess and Polly. They are a younger couple from Australia. Polly actually is a brewer at a local brewery too!
Unfortunately, his brewery was one that was closed on Mondays, so after he made us some delicious vegetarian Banh mi sandwiches, we all went out to Loaded Question Brewing Co to chat over a couple beers
So many New England IPAs up here! Hmm I wonder why…
They love bike touring as well and their next tour will be on those small folding bikes through Japan!
Hearing their stories only got me more excited to plan another trip…