Saturday 2nd June 2001, Lebanon NH

Having spent a comfortable night in the Holiday Inn in Brockton, we awoke early, keen to put some miles on the clocks. A weekend trip to Burlington, Vermont, would easily cover the 600 miles, necessary to get the bikes serviced before our departure for Chicago on Wednesday. Horror of horrors, yesterday’s warm sunshine had been replaced with torrential rain – a quick re-think was in order.

We had no waterproof clothing, and no tarpaulins to keep our luggage dry. On top of this Brigid had only an open-face, half-helmet – and no goggles! (She stopped using open-face helmets years ago, when she switched from soft contact lenses to gas-permeables. But we figured this helmet would do until we were able to find a decent accessory shop to buy her a new full-face one.)

We literally ran from the hotel to the local Decathlon sports store, where we picked up two cheap PVC ponchos, which we used to cover the luggage. We then quickly located an excellent accessory shop and bought a new Shoei helmet.

By the time we were ready to head for Vermont, it had stopped raining, but it was already lunchtime. We were not going to be able to make Burlington, so (when it started to rain again) we stopped at Lebanon, New Hampshire, for the night.