|Picnicking in the shelter of a bridge for a brief reprieve from the wind.|
I was prepared this time around.
Each leader invited a friend, then three ladies pulled up, making a cozy group of seven. And it was a blustery day, promising to be a challenge on the nearly treeless causeway.
But oh, the conversation! We paired up. I introduced my sister-in-law to my co-leader, who lives a stones' throw from her house. Brunch was delightful with eggs, muffins, fruit cups, and coffee. Clearly, some women had already eaten.
The 20 mph gusts were too difficult for a couple ladies so they retreated back to their vehicle. However, the rest forged ahead with wind at our backs. At the turnaround, we had our first glimpse of the new ferry, capable of hauling 20 passengers and 16 bikes. Operating 7 days a week this summer, I plan to use it for an overnight in the Champlain Islands.
|I'm curious: is 231 miles to Boston by major highway or back roads?|
My sister-in-law talked with a ferry volunteer; she was signed up for a shift later that week. I chatted with a new found lady friend, a bike overnighter and tourist like myself. (I can never have enough friends like that!)
A new sign greeted us when we pointed our bikes into the wind. Mileage to local points is helpful, though you may want to pack a pannier or at the very least, a credit card if you plan to cycle the distance to Boston! And yet, I must admit the tall signage is unnerving. A smaller replacement would provide ample information and not resemble those multi-tiered highway signs visible on Vermont's interstate. There are similar informative signs at other locations along the Burlington Bike path, propped at eye level and easily read. I'm also skeptical of it's longevity, exposed to wind and frozen winter conditions.
Cycling on the causeway is popular. So despite my general grumpiness at "progress": adding concrete sidewalk section near ferry dock, picnic benches, wrapping a cycling map around a pole, paving the last 50 feet, obliterating what soil could've supported wildflowers and grasses, I suppose a freeway type sign is par for the course.
For now though, I have to laugh. Pedaling a raised pathway, with water on both sides, for 3 beautiful miles makes me smile. And smile. And smile. I'm sure Canadian travelers will love distances measured in kilometers, and if they need to use a restroom, well, it's all there on the sign.
The causeway regularly has windy days and knowing you just need to use easier gears one-way is part of dealing with headwinds. I said goodbye to the main group at the end point then set off for another two miles with my new pal, pleased as punch to have grown my network of like-minded, adventurous souls.