From Alice: Follow that kazoo to Vermont Day

This morning we had breakfast at Jim Niesel’s house, where Jim Van Bergen and Phil Genera joined us. Moe handed off the kazoo to Jim N. in front of a typical New England city hall, and Moe and Kacey peeled off to go home. Then we tried to get all the bikes and chase out of town together. That didn’t go so well, with all the traffic, lights, and people talking over us on the CB. Problem solving experts Bill and Jocelyn texted back and forth with Cat, who was on the back of her dad Dennis’ bike, and used the CB to navigate those of us who were separated back to the group. We rode through pretty scenery in CT, and at our first gas stop we met up with Lori, director of Behind the Scenes, and her husband John. Even without hugs, it was great to see them both. Lori is an inspiring force, and so encouraging. We had lunch in Wilmington, VT, and had some pretty serious rain right before we stopped. Lunch was quick and tasty; Wahoo’s Eatery proved to be yet another sandwich shop that has really figured out how to feed people safely and efficiently in the current situation. Jim Dougherty joined us there. We somehow managed to dodge the showers all afternoon, and arrived in St. Johnsberry about 7pm. We gathered at Bill Sapsis’ house for a fantastic dinner around the grill. Scott Henkels met us there just in time for dinner.

Today was our last day with the group. I am so thrilled that we were able to do a modified ride this year and raise much needed funds for Behind the Scenes, at a time when so many other sources of donations are missing. We were all very concerned about how to do this ride safely, and we had to plan it early enough that we really didn’t know what the situation might be with the virus. We committed to being flexible, and that worked well. In the end, we had a few riders drop out at the last minute, and one join us unexpectedly. I was concerned about being able to find food, and packed an entire saddle bag of snacks, but we have not missed a single meal. The days have been long again, like on our first few years, but we’ve gotten through them. The relay format meant that we only saw each other briefly, and there were no hugs, but it was still wonderful to be with friends again. Everyone was so careful about wearing masks and maintaining distance that I felt almost as safe as I do at home.