|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 volunteer as she was signed up for a shift later that week. I spent time with a new found friend, a bike overnighter and adventurer. I can never have enough friends like that!
A new sign greeted us when we pointed our bikes into the wind, readying for the challenging return ride. Mileage is displayed, though you may want to pack a pannier, or at least a credit card. In spite of the growing popularity of cycling across the causeway, I still dislike the development. Concrete sidewalks line the gravel edge, connecting ramp to ferry dock. I presume there are regulations to follow like handicap accessibility, for starters. But in this instance, a smaller sign would be less intrusive and not resemble those multi-tiered highway signs visible on Vermont's interstate. There are similar informative signs further along the Burlington Bike path, but less ostentatious. The causeway also lacks tree cover; the sign. exposed to extreme weather, will deteriorate rapidly, much like many Vermonters' curiously faded license plates.
For now though, I admit it's pretty funny. Canadian travelers will love kilometers and the knowledge that a restroom and Burlington isn't far away.
The return wasn't too difficult. 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 group and set off for another two miles with my new pal, pleased as punch to have grown my network of like-minded souls.