I had mapped out a brand new route on the other side of the river, up through Deerfield into Shelburne, on tiny back ways with names like Sand Gully Road and Lucy Fiske Road (intersecting now, and for all eternity, with Erah Fiske Road... makes you think).
|Before the suffering came the bridge over the pretty Deerfield|
All of this sounded like a delightful adventure in the morning, but soon after I set out, I began losing power. It felt like a battery was missing. Shortly thereafter, I hit the nastiest hill of the day.
Standing up and jamming down on the pedals for all I was worth brought scrambling, meager progress.
Scramblescramblescramble, stop, heave for breath, hike-a-bike, heave for breath. And so forth.
A third of the way into the loop, the idea of turning back flitted through my mind, but was squashed like one of the gnats flitting endlessly around my sunglasses. Turn back? I might as well give up on the whole day. Turning back is so... depressing.
For better and for worse, I'm not real good with letting go.
|This is a road, but only because it says so on the map|
|Climbing does have its rewards, such as the view from the top|
|Some people find lamas on the tops of mountains; I find llamas|
|Pretty much the entire library for the town of Shelburne|
|Some business owner built this beauty, no doubt. Four chimneys!|
But I finished. Ragged, barely moving, I crawled into a convenience store about two miles from the car and croaked out a request for a cola and a granola bar. Sweetest meal I've had in a while.
I'm sorry I wasn't in shape to relish the challenge while I was there, but it was, in fact, some of the more beautiful country I've ridden out here. Glad I took photos, 'cause I ain't headin' back there too soon.