New England "Transcon"
After years of dreams, Mike made plans to spend April and May riding 3500 solo miles across the USA, using the effort to raise money for cancer research at Dana-Farber as a supplement to his regular Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) fundraising.  Donations, large and small, are welcomed and can be made via this link.

Then -- COVID.  Rather than scrap the plan, a "virtual transcon" -- 3500 day trip miles, carrying all supplies for the day, including a tour through all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns.  If you would like to be added to the blog d-list, use this email link.
Day 47:  Vacationland! (53 miles)
Test Drive: (25 miles)
Day 48: Peak, Play, President (75 miles)

I realized this tour was incomplete with a visit to New England's largest state by area (it is larger than the other 5 states put together!), the only state with a dead animal on its license plate -- New England's youngest state -- Maine.  It would be easy to plan a full 3500 miles just within Maine, but I cherry picked a tour along the seashore, followed by a trip down the Piscataqua River back to Kittery.  Of all of the coastal riding I have done on this trip, the 20 miles from Kittery up to Wells were easily the most scenic -- Routes 103 and 1A wind along the seashore -- vista after vista.  I put the two best shots in the photo log, I could have taken a dozen.  Memo to self: budget a week and ride the whole Maine coast at a later date.

My main squeeze bike Tammi spent three weeks in the shop awaiting shifter replacement parts.  Donor Dave found the required parts on Craig's List -- which got Tammi back on the road.  After a quick test drive, off to the Granite State.

Peak:  Pack Monadnock.  In the Native American tongue:  Pack = "little", Monadnock = "isolated mountain".  11 miles from its "Big Brother" (which offers no road to the top), it offers a very challenging climb with grades > 25%.  It was a good workout!

Play:  "Our Town".  Setting:  Peterborough, NH, AKA "Grover's Corners".  Peterborough checks the NH trifecta:  white clapboard Congregational church, Union Army Statue, obscure historic marker.  Wilder's message resonates with me:  you need to appreciate the small things in life -- because you are going to be dead a very long time.  This bike journey has been a very direct outgrowth and manifestation of my desire to live that aim.  Happy to visit "Grover's Corners" and acknowledge the wisdom of the 3-time Pulitzer winner

President:  Franklin Pierce -- the only native son of New Hampshire elected President.  Challenge question -- name ONE accomplishment of Franklin Pierce?

Pierce had a tough lie of the ball -- he was a "dark horse" candidate nominated and elected as a compromise -- a Northerner comfortable with compromise on slavery, compromise on everything.  His endorsement of the Kansas-Nebraska Act led to armed insurrection in those territories, and ultimately to his becoming "PNG" in the Democratic Party.  His commitment to compromise led him to become very unpopular during the Civil War.  He is systematically regarded as a fourth quartile president.  And, given our recent national events, I have to note -- compromise is flawed when it leads you to make the wrong moral choice. 

3350 miles down -- 150 to go!  Still targeting to wrap this tour up on Father's Day -- I am now scrambling to log a few rides that I wanted to complete -- let's hope the nice weather holds through the weekend!

Kittery Harbor
Nubbin Light, York Beach
I got my Baby Back!
Pack Monadnock -- Little Brother = Tough Climb
Big Brother Monadnock
Awesome View from the Summit
Peterborough, Our Town
Grover's Corners, Downtown Peterborough
Pierce Homestead, Hilllsborough
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