Day 13
This morning I slept in till 8:30, had a decent 'semi-continental' breakfast, and took it easy before leaving my overpriced B+B at about 9:45. I was not in good shape (just packing the bike winded me!) and the route to Hartford was hilly, and the weather forecast was for storms to the south and east. So I headed north. A very good choice!

Route 41 goes north from Salisbury all the way to the middle of MA. It is a really nice ride, especially at south end. I saw a, rather stretched out, group of 'tourists' who were a apparently part of a B+B to B+B type tour. It was fun to see all of them, and to say hi! as they rode past, but they didn't act like proper tourists. None of them seemed to want to stop and exchange riding info, etc. They seemed to be a little nervous about being on the road, but excited and having a good time.

A little later, but still within a few miles of Salisbury, I saw a large gathering of cars and bikes along the road. I stopped and discovered that it was a (I think) LAB ride. Lots of nice folks with good knowledge of where I was headed, so I picked up good route suggestions. I rode on before their ride started and quite a few of them, including several couples on tandems, passed me in the next several miles. The last one didn't pass, but rather rode with me to where they were turning off 41. Nice.

I saw a lot of bikers on 41, literally dozens. Sunday morning in MA is certainly a popular time to ride, and this was a pretty nice one. A front was coming through from the north. It got windy (10 - 20 mph headwinds most of day), but cooler and dryer as I rode north. At 9:45 it was over 90F in Salisbury with very high humidity. By the time I got to the end of 41 a few hours later, it was in the low 80s and the (head)wind really evaporated my sweat. Much improved riding conditions over yesterday.

I stopped in Great Barrington for an early lunch at Subway. Nice place with lots of casual bicyclists, but I got yelled at (standard NE yell, F***ing A**hole) just riding down the main drag. I've been yelled at more on this tour than ever before, but the yellers behave politely other than yelling. A weirdly impotent kind of protest, but it beats getting brushed or run off the road! Riding conditions have improved markedly since Pennsylvania, and today's ride, even most of the part of it on the 'busy' highway was quite peaceful.

At the end of 41 I had the choice of going more rural, and back into NY, or more populated and into Pittsfield. I went for Pittsfield, stopped at a store/gas station for a map and a snack break. The folks at the station said I should ride 7 (the busy highway) north to Vermont. They said it was hillier, but much prettier, than the other route. I took their advice and had a very nice ride up 7. By this time I was feeling almost normal and the weather was much cooler. The headwinds felt good, and if it wasn't great fun cranking up long hills into the wind, it was better than getting overheated.

The north western section of Massachusetts is beautiful and the front coming through had cleared the haze out of the air, so it was extra beautiful this afternoon. I stopped in Williamstown (the home of Williams College) to visit with a fellow staffing the Williamstown Information Booth. We had a really great visit - he is Professor Emeritus of Romance Languages from Williams and we had a lot of common interests - and then I had a good meal before leaving Williamstown, a truly beautiful place and a great school, too bad it costs so much to go there, to ride to Bennington VT, another college town.

I'm in the Kirkview motel, which is, what else, located next to a beautiful 'mini-cathedral' style Catholic church. Bennington is nice place, the scenery is great, everything works as it should, and my room costs $53 including tax. Such a deal after the last two nights. Now if I can only get a modem connection out of here...

Tomorrow I think I'll head east. I feel I can handle hills again and I think I'll try route 9 through Brattelboro and on through Keen NH to ? I find out tomorrow.

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