It was so warm in the camper that a candy bar I’d forgotten about in my pocket was pretty much liquified this morning. Since it was just above freezing outside, I kept it in the wrapper to reform for later.

We were packed and ready to go early, but then Kelly had another flat. In trying to put more air in the tube, we discovered it had a faulty valve and that’s why it wasn’t holding air. At least this one was just a quick tube change and we had an air compressor to fill it up again.

We got rolling down the hill in all of our layers and it was so cold. Once we no longer had hills to speed down though, it wasn’t as bad as I expected to ride at that temperature. We stopped at a gas station for breakfast sandwiches before getting back on the trail, and the sun soon burned off the fog, necessitating several de-layering stops as the day slowly warmed.

Jeremiah’s cousins had warned us that there were some trail closure signs ahead, but we could ignore them because the trail was definitely complete there. Considering our past experience, I kept expecting the trail to just end or be missing a bridge or something after we passed the signs, but it turned out just fine. The trail was pretty nice today except for several miles of looser gravel that felt like riding through sand and really slowed me down, although I wasn’t as slow as yesterday. Going through Little Falls, we saw rock climbers on the nearby cliffs.

We stopped in Fort Plain for lunch at the Mediterranean Kitchen. The restaurant didn’t quite seem open, but they took our order and we ate some really good Greek food on the stoop in the sunshine. A cop stopped to talked to us about cycling and happened to live in the same town as Kelly. Another guy stopped to talk to us about cycling and happened to have been a principal at an elementary school near my parents’ house. Fort Plain was a very surprising town.

Shortly after leaving Fort Plain, we stopped again in Canajoharie. My legs were getting painful again so Kelly and Jeremiah went off-trail to a Walgreen’s to get some pain helpers (a topical NSAID, heat patches, candy, and chips) for me while I sat on the trail and stretched. It actually really helped my hip flexor, enough that that didn’t become an impediment again.

At a later stop, I made sure to massage my problematic quad, and I also moved the cleats on my shoes again to see if that would help. Two different bike mechanics changed some things on my bike recently so it would fit me better, and neither of them agreed with what had been done previously, which makes me wonder who actually knows what they’re doing. Moving the cleats back to where they were originally didn’t hurt, and may have helped. I’ll have to see with some more riding.

We were unsure of our camping spot again tonight, hoping to find a place either at the lock in Amsterdam, or on some state land before town. However, we decided that we might as well get a cheap motel again and not have to worry about finding a campsite or possibly finding dinner before Amsterdam. I was happy to see that there were some okay stealth spots available, but we still went to town.

Once we’d ridden up the hill to the Super 8, we decided to get Chinese food delivered instead of going back to town. Jeremiah and Rebecca went to a nearby gas station for some snacks, and we all enjoyed hot showers and Farkle. 53.5 miles today.