Today is my first van day. As one of the four leaders of the trip, I am responsible for taking a turn driving the support vehicle for the day. This means a day off the bike, but it is necessary to get the group where we need to be. A fifteen passenger van towing a soon-to-be hand painted trailer is my new steed. My job vaguely entails leaving after all the riders, taking care of any errands (filling the gas tank, getting fruit for lunch, etc.), driving on ahead of everyone, setting up a lunch spot somewhere around halfway along the route, packing up and leaving lunch once all the riders have eaten and gotten back on the road, and then driving along the route past the riders again to our new host location. It is fun to get to see everyone throughout the day and check in, and especially fun to give them encouraging honks as I pass by.
First things first were to get our group's scheduled mail drop, pick up some fruit at the local grocery store, and grab some coffee. After the errands were under control, I took to the windy back roads of New Hampshire in search of a worthy lunch spot. As luck would have it, we turned onto a tiny road alongside a river. I parked the van and trailer and waited for the rest of the group. The only downside were the amount of ticks in the area. I think I pulled four off of me before the last rider even arrived at lunch!
Once everyone had indulged in their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, it was off to our new host location in New London. What I found was a tiny town with a lot to offer. Just down the road from where we were staying was beautiful Lake Sunapee, and it was another perfectly sunny day. I spent the afternoon lounging in yet another shade tree, reading, and waiting for all the riders to arrive safely. The evening brought us a tour of a local church's bell tower, a cold cider across the street, and a local jazz band playing in the town green. Quite lovely.