First off i completely underestimated the challenges of doing a 600 mile solo unsupported tour in which 400 miles of it being all mountains. i live south of boston and i had planned to ride to up state vermont. then i would ride to southern maine, take my vacation then ride home.
i usually expect to average 14-15 mph on long rides. the whole route was new to me and stores were far and few so i needed to fill up as many times as possible. so it is was common to cover only 10 miles or so per hour especially in the mountains when averaged out. also before i left i forgot to charge my ipod so i was left to my thoughts and wind noise. i know many people dont like mp3 players but after 12 or 13 hours on the saddle your thoughts and motivation is nowhere close to where you started. so my trip to maine was very rough. i now know i was suffering from over training before i left because i was just tired, slow, and unmotivated from mile 10.
planned Leg 1: ( 230 miles 2 days) from south of boston to up state vermont
Day 1 i planned to ride 140 miles to rutland vermont. i came up way short. i left an hour late and came up 45 miles short. it was cold and misty most of the day. after 10 hours on the road i called it quits and found a motel. (90 miles)
Day 2 i hit the rode late again and made it to lower vermont at about 3:30. i was way off pace and spirts WAY LOW. opted to skip my visit to my father and turned north east for maine. the route to maine was 152 miles. i knew it was going to take 2 days because of the pace i was stuck on and i couldnt shake how miserable i felt. (60 miles)
Day 3-4 was all the same. slow, ate alot, drank alot, stopped alot, and slept little. but i was now 300 miles later in maine and at my vacation spot with my family. (152 miles)
planned leg 2 didnt happen. it kinda merged in with leg one.
planned leg 3: (175 miles 1 day) from maine to home
After having a week and a half off with plenty of time to recover i was ready to go home. there is a hurricane or tropical storm that is going to pass sunday. i had planned to ride on sunday and monday if needed, but had to move it up to yesterday to try to beat the storm if it hits. i hit the rode at about 6:30 in the morning and expected the first 40 miles would be all mountains i would cross in the leg, but they would be the smallest of all that i crossed so far. once i got near the coast the temp went from 60 and cloudy to 90+ and very humid with not a cloud to be seen. also i am going south at this point and the storm is going north. the wind was a stiff 15-20+ mph wind and it was constant and unrelenting. thats just a guesstimate but i do know i was pedaling down hill so i could stay above 15 mph. i was not excited about that. so i rode the next 100 miles into the wind.
half way in i was fighting heat stroke i believe. this is only the second time i ever got cold shivers in 90+ degree heat. by the time i realized it i was in between towns and had at least another 30-45 minutes till the next store. stopped and dumped water on me and got myself to cool down a bit. and hit the road. at mile 80 i do not know why but i started to suffer sever depression. i had never experienced this before. i am on the flat part of the leg but at the sight of the next hill i couldnt get myself to keep riding without stopping and trying to collect myself. 45 minutes later i hit the next store. at this point i am just unsure about everything. used the restroom then put on some chamois cream and hit the road and instantly felt much better. finally i hit Mass with 40 miles to go and the wind picked up. it was about 8 oclock and sever thunderstorms moved in. there was a lightning strike about 75 yards from me and thats when i called it quits. about 40 miles to go and called in the sag and that was the end of my miserable tour de failure. (140 miles 14+ hours)
this was my first solo tour and i had no idea the extremes that i would face between navigation and not having anybody else to talk me into and out of bad decisions. if i had at least 1 other person i think the tour would have been much easier and cheaper because of hotels. the mental extremes would be not so bad because i would have had someone to push me and for me to watch over and talk to. will i try it again next year solo..... ABSOLUTELY!!! at least this time i will know what i am in for.