What a variety of riding terrain today. We started by crossing the footbridge on I-80, leaving Delaware Water Gap, PA, early in the morning. We wanted to log high miles after yesterday’s short day. After crossing the bridge, we entered New Jersey’s Delaware Water Gap Recreational area and cycled through this effectively abandoned nature ride, with the Appalachian Hiking Trail close by.
Early in the ride, we saw a doe and her two fawns in the woods. This was to be a foreshadowing of deer sightings for the remainder of the day. The riding in the park was challenging in places. There were some steep climbs on this little-traveled roadway. After nearly thirty isolated miles in the park, we reached civilization again and cycled on a smooth road without the type of hills we had struggled up earlier. With this favorable road, we started piling up some mileage, eventually entering New York State in the Tri-State region (PA, NJ, and NY). However, the progress was stymied when we turned onto route 211 and began our long, steep ascent to lunch. We leveled out at Otisville and settled in for some italian food at a local eatery–great fuel for the remainder of the day.
After lunch, we cycled toward Bloomingburg, New York. We traveled up High View road. I suppose we should have known better with a road name like that, especially when it deviated from Old Mountain Road! But our long, hard climb was rewarded with several deer sightings, including some springing across the road in front of us, as well as magnificent vistas from our lofty perch.
The last thirty miles of the day were more favorable, using the higher altitude of midday as a ski slope down to the finish line. The gradual decline in altitude allowed for steady and strong pedal strokes bringing us into New Paltz, NY, by dusk. We were very satisfied with ninety-two miles while also climbing 4,200 feet. My gps indicated 6,900 calories burned on the day. I’m not sure about the gps’s math, but when Debbie told me my supper at the local diner contained only about 900 calories, it made me want to swap the McDonald’s hot fudge sundae that topped off our meal for the mega-caloric chocolate “milkshake.”
Bicycle touring requires a lot of fuel. Debbie and I lost weight during our 2010 tour despite eating large portions of food. It seems we cannot keep up with the required intake. We consider this a side benefit to the touring experience.