95 km, 5.75 hrs
We finally managed to get ourselves organized enough to get off to a reasonably early start. Not having Internet in the room certainly helped with the process! It also helped that our bikes fit into the room while still loaded, so it took us much less time to organize and pack up our bikes.
We started the day following along highway 1, but Scott soon realized that Highway 1A would bring us back to the waterfront and would not have nearly as much traffic. We diverted to the 1A and stopped for a short coffee break (Becky really wanted a real coffee!). During our coffee break we met a couple of cyclists that were part of a 2000+ people cycle tour. Throughout the day, we were to see more cyclists than we’ve seen on our entire journey so far! We got lots of comments about how heavily we were loaded from folks on their <20lb racing bikes. Someone asked if we were carrying the kitchen sink, and Becky wished she could just pull it out, but unfortunately we left it at home.
Not long after we got back on our bikes and continued along the coast, we were passed by several different recumbent cyclists. It was interesting to see the number of different recumbents on the road. At one point, a couple of them slowed down to talk to us (Becky thought, what a sight, 4 recumbents in a row!). The ‘bent riders mentioned a “recumbent gathering” that was further along down the road, and it turned out to be right along our planned route! It was almost like they planned this just for us, so we had to stop in.
Lynette Chiang of Bike Friday did a great job of reporting on the gathering, so we won’t repeat her comments here, but it was certainly fun for us to meet so many other ‘bent-heads. We also got to try some very fast Bacchettas and Becky tried a Cattrike tadpole trike. “Just like driving a go-cart!” Certainly made us feel every ounce of our loaded HP-Velo Streetmachines! Becky won a T-shirt and Scott won a Route 66 DVD, produced by Lynette. Becky wore her T-shirt with pride, but the DVD will have to wait until we get home – no DVD player on our laptop.
At the gathering, someone mentioned to us that there were plenty of motels in Newburyport, Massachusetts. We passed several in Salisbury, but decided to keep going for another 10km and get to Newburyport. Tomorrow was due to be a long day, so getting more riding in today would certainly make tomorrow more bearable. Unfortunately, the information was not accurate. When we reached Newburyport, it only had a few high end B&Bs. When we inquired within one of them, we found out that everything in town was booked (it was a Saturday night after all!). With the help of a receptionist at one of the B&Bs we booked a room at the Marriott Fairfield in Amesbury. By now it was dark, so we dug out our lights, and followed her somewhat vague directions. This was only the second time on our trip that we have ridden at night. Fortunately we guessed right at the key decision points, and rode the 7 km north without further incident.
As a bonus, there were fresh-baked peanut-butter cookies in the lobby. This made Scott very happy! As a further bonus, our room was handicapped accessible, which meant there was lots of room for bike parking. We were even able to bring them into the room fully loaded! (Perhaps this doesn’t seem like a big deal to most of you, but it’s the difference between moving a bicycle, and moving a bicycle plus 6 bags – it brought a smile to our faces at the end of a long day).