We had 70 miles of rolling terrain and a couple of smallish towns to ride through on the last day to get back to Hudson, NY. Temperatures were in the upper 90s with humidity to match. We agreed to start early, ride slowly, and stop at as many stores along the way as necessary to safely finish.
Still we worried about a stretch in the afternoon that Laurent was calling the “Sahara” because we wouldn’t see a store for 15 to 20 miles. During the morning we navigated our way through the towns and then stopped for a leisurely lunch at a bar in a very small town just on the edge of the desert. After eating, resting, and watching part of a US Women’s Soccer match, we set off. The bar tender had been nice enough to give us two pitchers of ice to fill water bottles and ice socks, so we were fine for a while.
Persistent rollers in this section, however, had us stopping every few miles in shade to lower our body temps. Time dragged on; the air was stifling. At the top of yet another hill, we pulled off again in the shade. At this point, we had only warm water and soggy useless ice socks. And we thought we still had about six or seven miles long miles to the next store. Dark clouds thickened overhead and thunder sounded in the distance. Our moods were not improved by the thought of being caught out in a thunder storm. We set off again.
Suddenly, a warm rain started and quickly became a downpour. For just two minutes maybe. We got thoroughly soaked and it felt wonderful. Then the rain stopped and the sun came out.
A few minutes later, we reached the store at the other end of “the Sahara.”