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Wednesday, July 26, 2006
 Hot and humid 
It's been a hot July. We even turned on the air conditioning in the shop for a couple of days after the mechanics threatened an uprising. The shop owner is riding RAGBRAI and so we're fending for ourselves. It's given us an appreciation for how much energy and knowledge it takes to run a bike shop. It's been surprisingly busy at the shop. Those who have wanted to purchase a new bike probably figure they better do it now so that they will have some time to ride during what's left of the summer.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006
 Streets Blog 
Just discovered StreetsBlog: "StreetsBlog is a daily source for news and information about New York City's burgeoning Livable Streets movement."

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We're back from a trip to the family cabin in Vermont. It was a long, 15-hour drive on the way north, 3 hours longer than the usually trip due to an accident on I-84 in Danbury, CT. We tried to avoid it but ended up reconnecting to I-84 just before the backup. We finally exited and found a local map which we used to navigate around the mess.

We did several rides, some of which are part of Adventure Cycling's Green Mountain Loop. Over two days we cycled the Kancamagus Highway which extends 34.5 miles from Lincoln, NH to Conway, NH. It includes a long climb over the Kancamagus pass. We saw a few other cyclists but not many. The first day was a bit masochistic as we climbed the pass from Lincoln, rode down the other side, then turned around and rode over the pass again. We didn't have time to ride to Conway.

West Side Road bike laneStarting the Bear Notch Road climbView of Presidential Range at top of Bear Notch Road

On the second day we decided ride the last stretch to Conway so we parked at Rocky Gorge Scenic Area. From there we could ride a loop that included the stretch that we didn't ride the previous day. From the scenic area to Conway was mostly downhill and included a long stretch under construction that would not have been pleasant going uphill. At Conway we found the West Side Road (Washington Street in Conway). This was a pleasant road with a long stretch of bike lane. At Bartlett we headed south to reconnect with the Kancamagus using Bear Notch Road.

Later in the week we drove to Randolph, VT to ride a loop from the book 25 Bicycle Tours in Vermont, now called Backroad Bicycling in Vermont. I had purchased the previous edition on sale at The Mountain Wanderer, a small, outdoors-oriented bookstore in Lincoln, NH. The route followed Route 12 north from Randolph to Route 65. According to the book, Route 65 is not a recommended bike route. However, the dirt road recommended as the alternative in the book turned out to be a rocky road with loose dirt. After a few meters we turned around to take Route 65 which was not a bad road. At the end of a rough down hill into Brookfield we reached the famous floating bridge "...which spans Sunset Lake buoyed by pontoons. The bridge, which is the only floating bridge east of the Mississippi River, was originally built in 1820 by Luther Adams and his neighbors."

After Brookfield we headed south along Ridge Road for a scenic ride back to Randolph, with views of the Green Mountains to the west and what appeared to be the White Mountains to the east.

Route 12 north of Randolph, VTFloating bridge in Brookfield, VTView of Presidential Range at top of Bear Notch Road

Another highlight of the trip was the Fourth of July parade in Woodsville, NH and Wells River, VT. The parade personifies small town America. A friend and neighbor from the lake, Bernie, was a participant and was roundly cheered by family and friends as his float passed. Later the crowd jumped a bit as the Revolutionary War re-enactors passed and fired rounds from their flintlock rifles.

Betty Ann, Scott, and KeriePart of the paradeBernie's float

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