At the ski club meeting on Wednesday night, I was asked what my favorite state was on the trip. I had to think a minute, but it came down to Oregon and Montana. I chose Montana.

It’s not entirely fair to Oregon because one of the reasons I like Montana better is that I had four cycling companions to share the scenery, the tail winds, the climbs and descents, the rain and the heat.

Flying back to Connecticut, we soared in over the north-west corner of the state, which many would say is the most beautiful, rugged, and wild section. I gazed out the window at the reservoirs and the ski areas but what I noticed most was the trees. The entire state appeared to be plush-carpeted with green fur. I felt as if I could brush my hand over a soft corduroy fabric of lush foliage.

Last night I drove to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Coyote Blue in Middletown. I took my bike and enjoyed a leisurely 20 mile ride through the town of Haddam, before dinner. This town is in the larger area that I call the “Bermuda Triangle”, the points anchored by Middletown, Branford, and Old Saybrook. The Connecticut River forms one entire leg of the triangle. It is full of curvey roads, short steep climbs, rollicking, knuckle-tightening, roller coaster descents, and beauty that replenishes my soul. Streets like Beaver Meadow Road, Roast Meat Hill Road, Little City Road, Skunk Misery Road.

I found myself trying to describe the countryside as I have been doing all summer across the United States. You know something? Connecticut might be my favorite state. Oaks of all varieties, maple trees, birches,  and evergreens are thick alongside the road, many of them towering to 75 or 100 feet tall. Some of the trees are right next to the paved surface of the narrow, back roads, creating a tunnel of leaves. The understory is thick with the gnarly, interesting trunks of Mountain Laurel, ferns, and skunk cabbage. Stone walls, perfect or in various states of decay, run along the frontage and occasionally diagonal off, disppearing into the thick vegetation. I realize now how unique Connecticut cycling is.

As promised here are a couple of more videos. Today you can meet my cycling companions. The first video is an interview of Tom Sullivan, his son Mac, and Mac’s high school friend, Drew Gottman. We are waiting for Ty at the bottom of a great downhill that was preceded by (surprise) a tough climb, a few miles outside of Highwood, Montana.

A couple of days later we were being chased by a rainstorm. Try as we might, we could not outrun it and the rain drops were beginning to thicken. Luckily, we were coming into the town of Belfield, North Dakota, population 800. Hopefully, there would be some type of structure there that we could use for shelter. Mac’s bike is equipped with a GPS unit that sends out a location signal every 10 minutes. Dozens of people are watching his signal on-line and when he stops, they all know. While hiding under the covered picnic area of a residents home, Mac called Ginny (his Mom) to let her know why the “blip on the radar” halted for 30 minutes or so. Ginny said “get video”. Here it is;