Monday, July 04, 2005

New Brunswick, 49.9, and plenty of sun to go around

I wish I had a digital camera with me the past couple days... New Brunswick is an amazing place, with rolling hills, quiet countryside and friendly folks at every turn. On my first ride here, starting from my mother-in-law's house on a small lake outside Sussex, I stopped to look at a map tucked in a jersey pocket. Most everything around me was farmland, but i'd just happened to stop near someone's house... Within moments, a weathered man came out of a modest, but well-kept farmhouse and hollered,

"You know where you're going?"

I was startled, but immediately replied, "of course." Pause. We look at each other. Pause. He knows I want to know where I'm going, but don't want to ask and is waiting for me to speak-up... finally I say,

"St Martin's?"

He waits long enough for me to finally have to ask, "do you know which way?"



Another long pause. Suddenly we're both laughing under the clearest blue sky and he points down the road while turning for the door, his back still heaving with amusement... a sun drenched sky will do strange things to a man. Like make him laugh for no reason... but being friendly? That's just what being from around these parts is about - and I have too many examples from just a couple days here to type in this entry... and this blog is about riding anyway, right?

49.9 mph!!! I'm such a wimp. The roads from Cassidy Lake to the Bay of Fundy are HILLY. Not just a hill here and there hilly, but if the road isn't going up, it's going down. In a 3 hour ride, I averaged less than 16mph over 50 miles! In a second, more up-tempo ride, I averaged 16mph over 35miles. Crazy slow, but it was hard work the whole way. Of course, 90% of that work has been negated by the lemon pie and piles of food and beer I've consumed the past couple days (any weight I dropped last weekend at the two-four, is back!), but nonetheless, I've been riding my ass off in a place ripe for it. The farmland stretches to the horizon, everyone's willing to share the road (of course, in a 3 hour ride, you may only see 10 cars, so it's not like they're stressed- out about traffic) and all you need to focus-on is pedaling. In New Brunswick, folks know the score. If you get a chance to be outside, do it. Winter is just too long to be grouchy about anything come summer - even a skinny, sun-baked, lycra-wearing 30-year old hogging the road and pulling-up from a tuck on a massive descent right before hitting the magic 50mph. 49.9. 49.9. 49.9. That will haunt me for a while as i'm not much of a roadie and am pretty cautious with speed within the I495 belt of Boston... I guess I'll just have to wait till next year to break 50... but i'll tell ya - 49.9 had me laughing and smiling like a little kid at the bottom... 50 is just a number. Seeing a Bald Eagle pull a fish from the water right in front of you after your ride ... is ...


Post a Comment

<< Home