I had a great stay with Julie and Dave. A very interesting couple who I felt very at ease and bonded well with. Thankyou for looking after me so 'brilliantly'
After homemade blueberry pancakes and local maple syrup, Dave drove me back to the main road where I continued the journey east under pedal power.
Soon after my good luck with tyres came to an end. The bike shop that didn't tighten my wheel (last week) may be to blame, but I can't be sure.
After beginning riding I felt a bit of a bump as the wheel rolled over. I stopped at the first town to inspect. It looked like the tube was squeezing the tyre outwards by the valve.
Somehow the actual tyre twisted a bit under pressure.
I deflated it, straightened it out and blew it up again but it just kept popping out.
It could have been a faulty tyre with a weakness but I suspect it was badly fitted in the first place. I will never know though.
I was close to a bike shop who diagnosed that the tryre was now kinked and splitting on the side and I needed to buy a new one. They agreed on the potential cause.
Very frustrating bearing in mind my Marathon Shwalbe tyres lasted in excess of 4,000 miles (1 is still going) and never had a problem. 1 was only replaced when it was looking bald.
This new, equally expensive, puncture proof tyre lasted 1 week.
The shop only had bog standard tyres which they fitted and off I went. I immediately hit my last major climb of this trip.
The Kangamangus Pass - 2,855 ft. It was 10 miles of steep climbing.
After only 2 miles I noticed my new tyre starting to go flat !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ???????? !!!!!!!!!!!
Tyre 1 - 4,000 miles
Tyre 2 - 300 miles (est)
Tyre 3 - 2 miles
I hoped the shop had just done a poor job of re inflating it but that wasn't the case. I pumped it up and continued on. It became apparent that it was definately a slow puncture as I had to pump it up again once more on the journey.
The climb wasn't great fun for the first 5 miles because I was thinking about poxy tyres.
I really enjoyed the 2nd 5 miles though. I got in a good grove and even managed to overtake 2 lightweight cyclists on the way up.
They were in their 30's I guess, had all the sporty looking cycling gear including sponsored vest etc and were riding bikes that weighed less than my STINKING shoes.
They must have been gutted to see a fully loaded, baggy top wearing, grubby looking, pop belly Brit overtake them. Especially so when my clippless shoes made me look extremely unprofessional, as my feet fell off the pedals when my dodgy gears kept jumping. (As I powered past ;)
To rub salt in the wound, after the overtake, they were downwind of me.... ;)
I was sure to say a big hello and wave as I went past. So many racing bike types don't say hi when they I overtake me. ;) hehehe.
I arrived in Conway, alongside queues of tourist traffic, having ridden 46 miles. It's a nice town and have found a hostel which isn't super cheap but better value than a Motel.
I'm now undecided whether to go for the coast tomorrow and hit Portland, or skirt it (the coast) a while longer and head more directly for Linconville, Maine.
So far the local beer is not helping me decide.
Either way, soon, I will be able to say I rode the USA (and Canada) coast to coast.