Day 4 – Middlebury Gap to Ticonderoga NY

I’m starting to feel in the swing of things – I’ve developed my routine and am getting comfortable with the whole setup. That means less time fiddling with bike stuff and adjusting cables and bags and more time to see what’s around me.

My body, however, has developed something of an objection to the plan. I’ve noticed this thing that happens when I stop and get “cold” i.e. not really cold but not warmed up anymore. After I get back on, after about 15 seconds of real exertion I get this wave of ache and heat that surges through both legs. And then it passes and I’m good as new. Hey coach Matt are you tuned in? Is that 4 days of lactic acid reminding me I need to do something with it? Sorry I forgot my foam roller at home. But probably more stretching wouldn’t hurt. That would be any stretching in this case.

I had a beautiful start from the Swiss Farm Inn where I stayed last night.

Roger was a great host – even set up the Warrior game on his big screen for me last night.

Even had a tailwind for awhile. Though I also had about 10 miles of serious headwind to which I was thinking is WAY to early to be complaining about headwind. That’s saved for Kansas, right? The  reasoning for my Westbound course sounded a little like romantic folly as I had to drive my feet at the pedals and hunker down. WAY to early for this. Just do not say the four letter word that starts with W ever again.

I had to turn around to get this shot – that’s the hill I just came up

I struggled with the Middlebury Gap today. That was steep and made the Kanc look easy. 2+ miles of 12% grade had me in my grandpa gear for the whole way. While on my way up I was noticing how you need to be careful when cars go by the other way. Usually I hear cars coming up behind me and check them in my mirror to make sure they’re giving me room (and the VT drivers have been super polite BTW – even the big trucks give me the whole lane when they can). But when cars pass you the other way, you don’t hear the ones coming up behind you so i always check then too. So in my exhausted climb I was thinking – hey I’m kind of “sound blind” when cars go the other way, which I thought was a pretty cool phrase until I remembered that we have a perfectly good word for that already. Low blood sugar + endorphins = epiphany. Some are real, but some remind me of stoner logic.


This probably gets 8 mpg but it looks cool. Inconvenient truth.
Nothing before me but the open road. Glorious morning and VT sometimes looks more American than Norman Rockwell.
They mow this. Not the biggest one I saw today.

Holy crap. Why do you need a yard even close to that big? So you need a tractor to mow it, probably herbicide to keep the weeds out. It could be helping capture CO2 instead of being a point source for emissions. Something tells me this isn’t the last one I see this big as I hit the Midwest. At least here the mowing season is short.

What the hell is this anyway? A yak or just a furry cow? Or is that what a yak is?
I’m not much of a Frost fan but seeing this, and the town of Middlebury makes him seem more real.


Downtown Middlebury – Pride Represented
I’ve seen so many cemeteries but this one, set on a ridge was especially intriguing. Some of the stones were from 1760


Taking the ferry to NY
The ferry crosses Lake Champlain which is really long and stretches all the way into Canada. This is why Fort Ticonderoga was important (well also because it held a ton of guns and ammo).
Another day, another state. This is 4 out of ???
The falls at Ticonderoga.
Our host tonight, Chef Darren Geiser.

Darren used to be the head Chef at several of the big country clubs down in Sarasota Springs FL. He’s cooked for three presidents, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino…  (although he didn’t which presidents, Billy Bragg ref, get it? 🎶🎵🎶)

Anyway, this hotel has been in his family for 68 years and he’s come home to run it because his Mom’s too old to. Though it sounds like she’s not too old to tell him what he’s doing wrong. Something to think about as we parents get older eh…

Hey, you know what I’m gonna do tomorrow? Get up and start pedaling!


16 thoughts on “Day 4 – Middlebury Gap to Ticonderoga NY”

  1. Hey let me know if any images are sideways – I still haven’t found a bug fix for wordpress…

  2. Love it that you take ferries on your trip! Please take care of your body. Hope we can meander through Maine, NH, and Vermont before long.

  3. Coach Matt here, yes following along with rapt interest. First, the easy part….all images were correct orientation.

    Second, your muscle “issue” when restarting from rest. Two things are likely going on: 1) you need to start out more gradually after stopping and essentially re-warm up. Keep it in a light gear, and give your body a chance to start spinning easily before you ramp up the intensity. 2) In the one multi-day tour I did (a mere 7 days), I noticed that days 2-4 were the hardest physically, then I adapted and got stronger as the days added up. See what happens in a few days……

    Really enjoying your journey from my couch every morning 😉

    1. Good insight Matt! A re-warm up. I always forget to do that.

      Jim – just love your humorous posts and tremendous progress across such beauty and sometimes w___! We’re riding there alongside you.

      I’m hitting the Sequoia century tomorrow. Will think of your journey.

  4. Hey Jim, hope you enjoy my home state of NY. You’re going north of Troy (not missing anything) but I hope you enjoy the Finger Lakes. Now today I’ll feel guilty, since a golf course is 18 of those huge lawns. But the guilt is reduced since I’m walking it and not on a golf cart. Maybe I can convince the greens-keepers to use hand mowers.

  5. Hi Jim,

    Mom and I are reading your updates aloud here at my house together. What an amazing trip you are on. We love your photos and your writing is very entertaining. Looking forward to the next report. Stay safe!

  6. Keep posting, Jim. Loving reading your thoughts and seeing the amazing photos. I must be old because I don’t know what “stoner logic” is??? I can guess, however😉

    1. I updated them – did that fix it, Bill? Thanks for the yoga idea. Reminds me that I was going to try to do that on my day off. We’ll see if they do yoga in Old Forge.

  7. You should be able to do that 12% grade no problem given our neighborhood street!

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