Monday, May 31, 2010

posted up in toronto, ks for the eve. off to belle plaine, ks to see some family tomorrow.

day 19 - hannibal, mo to monroe city, mo - 25 miles

day 19 - hannibal, mo to monroe city, mo - 25 miles

most of today was spent mending my rear tire. i got out early, topped off and hit the road. after 15 miles i noticed a small tumor growing out of the side of the tire. twas tube squeezing through the sidewall. i figured, 'hell, its prob gonna go soon, there aren't any good shops around, so i'll just go for it.

wiithin minutes the tumor was huge and thumping the frame. i patched the tire again but this time with a piece of rubber from an old tire. within a couple of miles the thump returned. i patched again with the rest of my rubber tire. that patch took me another 10 miles before the tire was shot but at least i made it to monroe city where there was food and shelter.

sone great news pinged my phone earlier that day. a pair of specialized armadillo tires were going to be shipped my way thanks to my lovely friend back in nyc.

so i posted up in the rainbow motel. a fine establishment you imagine finding in the plaines of america. the cig smoke aroma didn't bother me a bit as i layed in a comfortable bed, after a hot shower and in front of a tv. there i lay, stranded until late the next day.

breakfast number 2

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day 18 - hannibal, mo to hannibal, mo - 20 miles

day 18 - hannibal, mo to hannibal, mo - 20 miles.

man its country out here. the library has a sign on the door which reads "no concealed firearms or weapons allowed." nice to know so many people are carrying weapons that a sign is necessary to remind them.

i had a leisurely morning since i was only supposed to ride 70 miles to moberley, mo. i ate at a local diner where someone asked if i am carrying a weapon on my trip. i told her i had a knife. she said she'd carry a revolver. the rest of the table agreed with her. seriously, do people think the world is that dangerous? i cant even imagine carrying a gun - freaks me out. i do have pepper spray for those pesky canines though. haven't had to use it yet.

careful who you take directions from. i found myself on a dirt roade. i thought to myself, 'i've taken dirt before and i can do it again.' big mistake. 10 minutes in i tore a hole in the sidewall of my tire - ruined. so, i knew i had to hitch it back to hannibal to buy a new tire. within minutes two fine gentleman picked me up. they probably had 3 teeth between the two of them and their thick country accents prevented me from understanding but only a few words, but they drove me directly to a bike shop. i even offered gas money but they refused.

i bought some new gear and fixed up. i decided to return to the mark twain cave complex where they let me stay another night. on the ride back i flattened another tire. this flat caused a small tear in the sidewall. i patched it up with some duct tape and put the new tire in - seemed to be fine.

back at the campground i met a traveling couple, andrew and evelina (sp?), from ontario. they were traveling in a camper van and taking a tour of the us. they invited me for dinner and wine where we spoke of travels. they even donated to the lrf.

i went over to restaurant where i had been nighy before for a little dessert. the owner came up to me, "you know the cops were out looking for you last nighy." i stared back like a curious pup. "couple of days ago we had a bearded man wearing a bandana come in here a cause a scene. he was yelling at people and smoking. a real ass." i still stared. "so when you came in here last night, the staff thought you were him" she explained.
a simple case of mistaken identity.
pretty sure if anyone was looking for me i could just turn sideways and disappear anyway.

i crashed out that night thinking 'ok, i'm only one day behind. i'll just need to pick it up tomorrow.'

Saturday, May 29, 2010

crashing out in sedalia, mo. good night moon.
after spending the night and this morning with some great people, i'm headed to columbia, mo to restock on supplies. bam.

Friday, May 28, 2010

posted up with some folks i met at the park. now drinking homr bree and playing scattergories. dope.
bulletptoof tires are in. back on the road to moberly, mo.

day 17 - athens, il to hannibal, mo - 90ish miles.

day 17 - athens, il to hannibal, mo - 90ish miles.

when my alarm chimed, it didn't matter what time it was, i knew it was too early. the couch i was asleep on was so comfortable, but i staggered off, packed up, said my goodbyes to dan (a real stand up individual) and departed at 7:30.

my pedaling started slow as i headed toward the crazy horse campground where i was supposed to stay the night prior.

there i met andy. a young guy who had been running the campground since his family purchased it 4 seasons ago. dude was a super nice, super friendly guy who took the time to show me around and even hook up some food as well as just shootheshit. its always nice to get a little conversation in since im spending 8 to 10 hrs a day with my own thoughts.

the spot was cool and definitely away from it all. there were cabins, campers, room for tents and even a disc golf course. i've never seen that before. so, andy hooked up what is called a 'horseshoe,' an illinois favorite. i posted a photo of it the other day. its a piece of texas toast topped with a chicken breast, french fries, cheese sauce and chili. talk about good and full of calories. kinda bummed i didn't get a chance to stay there.

the sun was hanging overhead as i departed. boy i tell you, my arms and legs are tanner than OJ is guilty. i'm developing one serious framers tan. if you were lucky enough to see me streaking by you, you'd think i was wearing a white one-piece.

i pedaled around the illinois back country for a few hours trying to stay close to the interstate so i could take shelter in a motel incase any thunderstorms crept up on me again. i zigged and zagged, dodged farm equipment and hit up some dirt roads until i met my greatest foe to date, the illinois river. while using my usual tactic of 'just heading west' i discovered train tracks that crossed the river but no roadway. there was however a walkway that scooted along side the tracks. no tresspassing sings were posted all over the place but there was a radio that reached the bridge operator. "yo, bridge operator" i spoke into the radio. "is there someone down at the railroad crossing," a voice said back. "yeah man. can i cross on the side here? i'm on a bike and the nearest crossing is miles from here." "i can't have ya crossin here. theres a train comin. please stand clear and i'll be down after." a train whistled by and a man came walking down the walkway.

"legally, i have to tell you that you can't cross here. but if you do, i aint seen nothin." he proposed. "well, is there a road on the other side so i can keep riding?" i asked. "well, the river is up so the road is flooded. youd have to push your bike bout half mile up the tracks. i mean we can get you cross as long as you not goan tell on me." "well dude, i definitely wouldn't tell on you but i don't think i wanna try and push this rig up tracks. where is the nearest crossing besides the interstste?" "well, theres the florence bridge bout 8 miles from here." "then thats what i'll do. thanks man."

i back tracked about 4 miles and headed south 4 miles, the whole time guzzling water until i was dry. damn was i thirsty. i rode across the bridge and stopped at the first town i came to at the town market aka the town vending machine. all there was in detroit, il was a pepsi machine where locals came to drink like the wild animals of the serengeti. water was sold out so i downed two mtn dews quickly, chatted with locals and hit the road.

i pulled into the town of pittsfield, il around 4:30. thirsty, hungry, 35 miles left to travel and running out of daylight, i went for a cheap and high calorie option, mcd's. i almost feel bad for eating crap but for 6 bucks i can hydrate and stuff 1600 calories into my face.

after that small but energetic meal i rocked out 35 miles fast to hannibal, mo and the mark twain cave complex. when i came to the mississippi river i was forced to cross on the interstate but there were signs allowing bicycles to ride on the shoulder. something comforting about that.

i rolled in around dark a bit tired from the long day. so i set up my tent and and went across the street to a restaurant to grab a cold brew. unfortunately they were closed but i was still able to grab a dr. pepper from those who were cleaning up. little did i know but i stirred up a little concern amongst the staff. i didn't find out about it until the next night, but apparently the authorities were involved.

man, i slept well in my tent. oh, and MO has lightning bugs! reminds me of childhood.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

dinner is served.

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check out my bulge.

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on the road again. no sponsored nights in sight. this is when things get interesting...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

day 16 - lightning, thunder and rain, oh my!

day 16 - champaign, il to athens, il - 85 ish miles.

so i started the day with 100+ miles in my head.

i had a great home cooked breakfast with dennis and his wife rose, the owners of D&W camping. these were two people that really had things in perspective. just great folks, intelligent, well-spoken and just as nice as they could be.

my first 50 miles took forever. poor road conditions, headwind and high heat made for some incredibly slow travel. even riding into a gentle breeze feels like wading through a pool of chocolate pudding. i know it sounds delicious but damn is it hard. and the road i was on reminded me of first avenue in nyc. holes, cracks, bumps, ruts and sticky tar didn't help my speed one bit. it was either that road or the wind so i ultimately chose the wind. at least i could get a rythm going in the wind. ok, sorry for the complaining now for some more stuff that proves the world is full of great people, as if this blog hasn't done that enough.

i walked into a joint in mt. pulaski, IL, my skin leaking profusely, covered in salt from head to toe, lips chapped, skin red, mouth parched, you could call me sahara jack. once again i stuck out like a sore thumb and immediately started gabbing with the locals, filling them in on my project. i went to the restroom to wipe down and when i returned the locals were departing. they wished me good luck and were off. as my childish meal of chicken strips and a chocolate shake came, the waitress promptly said, "your meal is covered." "what?" "yeah, one of those folks got it, but i can't tell you who." "fair enough. please be sure to thank them for me." amazing!

nearly 50 miles left and roughly 4 hours of daylight. i was moving, energized and eager to just get there. i was shooting for ashland, il but as i passed through the small town of athens a massive thunderstorm snuck up from the south. lightning and blackness filled the sky. wind blew in stronger than ever. i raced west assuming i could skirt the storm as i had done in indiana. suddenly i hit a dead end and was forced to turn back. i knew i was done for. as i headed back in the direction from which i had come, i saw two men standing in their garage watching the storm build.

i figured it worth a shot so i approached the gents, a father and son, dan and adam. they looked at me inquisitively, dan more so than adam. "can i wait out the storm with you guys?" i asked. "yeah, sure. come on in buddy." just as i got in rain started to fall and then harder. wind was swirling from all directions. lightning was all around us. damn, was it nice to be watching it from a garage rather than on the side of the road. the rain continued for more than an hour.

it took some time for us to all warm up to each other but once we did, we were laughing, joking, talkin bout all sortsashit. i was truly happy that these two didn't tell me to just keep moving along.

the rain didn't stop until well after dark. "you can just crash here in the garage if you'd like." dan proposed. honestly that sounded great but i wanted to get to ashland and the crazy horse campground. lightning still filled the sky in every direction. "aw, you know what you can sleep on the couch." well that was all it took. "you sure? cuz that would be great," i sounded.

that was the best night of sleep i had had in days.

blew out the side wall on my tire = ruined. hitch hiking back to hannibal for repairs.

welp, one blown side wall and two flats, and i'm right back where i started.

blew out the side wall on my tire = ruined. hitch hiking back to hannibal for repairs.

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day 15 - thorntown, in to champaign, il - 95 miles.

day 15 - thorntown, in to champaign, il - 95 miles

"bop bop bop beep, bop bop bop beep bopop beep" (imagine as music)

in my head this is the inspring melody that opens the latest jonsi album, go. now for those of you scratching your head as to what i'm talking about, jonsi is a musical genius and makes absolutely beautiful and powerful music. i recommend it. his album, go, popped on my ipod and gave me the energy to jam out my last 35 miles today.

the day before i left on this trip i had the privalege to see jonsi live at terminal 5 in nyc thanks to a lovely lovely friend of mine. a friend who i am looking forward to seeing next month in yellowstone.

anyway, i started early early and rocked out a quick 60 by lunch. the temp was up to 90 so i chowed some wendys and grabbed an ice cold frosty - loved it.

i rode on into the heat of the day, wandering backroads to avoid shoulderpess death traps. ohio and indiana were incredibly easy to get through. just head west and you make it. in illinois, you dead end, hit dirt roads or just loop around right back around to where you started.

i rolled into champaign at 5:30, my fastest day/distance thus far. i headed into the local library, updated, blogged and stunk up the joint. from there i headed out to the D&W lake campground.

i spotted a hometwon buffet, went in and ate for an hour. after 4 plates of food and 3 desserts, i was ready to pop. at about 3am my stomach punished me for the mistreatment.

the guys at d&w couldn't have been friendlier or more accommadating (sp?) we chatted about the ride and such and dennis, the owner, offered up a
morning breakfast that i couldn't have been happier about.

after some chatting on the phone with friends and family i discovered that my next stop didn't exist where my directions said.

i was scheduled to stop at the lake louise campground in byron, il which was supposed to be 60 miles west. turns out that was site 180 miles north. so i decided i'd have to bypass that stop and just turn two days into one. the next day was to be 100+ miles in the scorching heat and low headwind.

oh boy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

day 14 - logansport, in to thorntoen, in. 66 miles.

day 14 - logansport, in to thorntown, in - 66 miles.

i woke up and had a casual slow morning. 2 packets of oatmeal, 1 serving of peanut butter and a box of golden grahams and i rode to town. there i sat down and had b+g, hashbrowns and coffee.

as i stood at the counter to pay, the waitress asked, "you just passing through?" i guess i kind of stand out. tall, skinny, tan, bearded, pony tailed and wearing bike gear. as i explained what i am doing, a woman chimed in behind me, "where will you end up? i replied and we began talking. her husband was also present. we spoke about the ride, their family, my family and the whole time i could tell another table was listening in. i'm pretty sure the woman knew someone who had died from lymphoma, but honestly the days are starting to mesh together and its harder to keep track. we parted ways and as i was getting set, the woman approached me. "here's our contact info in case you need anything. and buy yourself a nice lunch." there was a $20 bill folded in the paper she handed me. "thank you so much," i replied. i can hardly believe how nice and generous people are. it truly makes me feel honored and privelaged to meet them.

as i turned around a man approached. "i'm sorry to hear about your father," he said. he was from the table inside. "let me ask you this; do you accept jesus christ as your lord and savior?" oh jesus, i thought, is this conversation about to go down?

i'm not a religious dude nor have i ever saught out to be. if its real, its real. if its not its not. whatever. don't get me wrong, i can respect the whole deal, i'm just not into it. i explained this to the man who turned out to be the pastor at a local church. "you will be in our prayers," he said as he left. so i got that goin for me, which is nice.

it was about noon before i set out for my remaining 60 miles. there was a bit of a headwind so it took a little effort but all was well. i stopped for a pizza and ice cream lunch and kept on.

i strapped on my helmet cam to get some great plaines and farmland shots. fortunately while filming i looked to my right and two dogs came busting out of their garage and after me. these dudes actually came into the street. so i jammed as hard as i could and out ran them. hopefully that footage comes out. i'm sure i shrieked like a little girl.

after a few more miles and another dog chasing i found myself in thorntown, in. a small town with a market and no cell reception. i moseyed on over to the Old Mill Run Park where there was a cabin waiting, their only cabin. this park was huge too. sooo many campers and RVs. people had decks built up outside their rigs. flowers, statues, grills, sheds and golf carts accompanied most of the residences. what an interesting and fascinating topic: the world of campers and the communities.

earlier in the day a friend had commented on one of the photos i had posted from the morning. said he was in the area by coincidence. so he and his wife came by and i shared stories from the experience thus far. they had lots of questions. the dude, i actually met in new zealand while studying abroad back in 2004 and he now lives in chicago. was great to see some friends out there, fo sho.

looking forward to more friends and fam when i hit CO in just over a week.
missouri baby!

off-roadin'! backcountry, il.

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this was breakfast compliments of the crazy horse camoground. a horse shoe its called. chili, cheese, fries, chicken, all on t

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this is dan's son, adam.

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this is dan. he let me crash on his couch last night to stay out of the lightning.

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welp, didnt make it to my destination last night due to a serious thunderstorm. instead a father and son let me sleep on their couch. glad this hobo look isnt scaring people off.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

day 13 - celina, oh to logansport, in - 100+ miles.

day 13 - celina, oh to logansport, in - 100+ miles

today was a long and hard one (twss). my alarm went off early at 5:30 and all i heard was rainfall on the camper. i snoozed for over an hour until it stopped and ended up leaving around 8am.

the first few hours were spent wandering and weaving through ohio and indiana farm country. there was sun on my back and a wind from the southwest so every time i went north i was cruising. though everytime i went west i was slowed significantly. then i had my first flat of the day. changed it right up and kept on rockin.

many people i talk to seem to think that flat-land riding is easy and i was one of them. well, after spending 100 miles in the saddle its clear to me that flat-land can be a bit challenging. you're basically stuck in one position without rest. yes, there is no strain from going uphill but there isn't any rest that comes with descents. i definitely feel it in the flats.

after roughly 55 miles my legs and body began to tire and food was in order. i was craving some high calorie Mcd's and it just so happen to be the first spot i found. i hadn't eaten mcds for years except for the occaisional breakfast. my meal was great, followed by a mcflurry. i'm starting to develop a bit of a sweet tooth just because i can.

a fellow saw me leaving and asked about my trip. bam, the word was spread more.

as i departed i could see thunderstorms in the distance. within minutes it poured and then it was over and then it poured again and as the sky dumped, my tire went flat again. i found some nearby shelter and watched the rain come down and down as i repaired the tire. i'm starting to get good at fixing flats. the rain stopped as i finished the fix. i rode to the nearest bike shop where i bought more tubes, co2, and a new tire. a hole had formed in my rear, hence the flats.

it was 5pm and i still had 50 miles to go. i ventured off into farm land again, trying to catch the wind. i zigged north and west for an hour or so when i looked around me. the sun was shining on me but i was surrounded by thundrestorms. i could easily see them coming from the south, unleashinf lightning and buckets of rain onto the land. i raced west as fast and as hard as i could. last thing i wanted was to get caught in one of those storms. its amazing, no matter how tired i am i can jam on it to outrun a dog or storm. i was caught in a bit of rain and just as i cleared the storm, my 3rd flat hit. i tossed out the old tire and put on the new one and cruised onward.

as i rode through the small town of peru, IN i encountered my first bit of negativity from a driver. a gold mini-van was passing me in the 25mph zone of main street and the driver shouted out "sidewalk!!" that was all fine. i guess he was having trouble getting around my bulky physique. it appeared that his kids were in the car with him. great lesson for them. then as the car was about 50 feet in front of me suddenly the passenger popped a middle finger out the window. now, i'm pissed, well, not really, just more surprised. i must admit though i threw up a middle-finger in return. my adrenaline was rushing and i was eager to see if that van would stop or something. it just kept driving. sorry i gave you the finger, passenger, but know your pop needs to catch up on the laws of the road. bikes and cars must co-exist on the nations roads.

the ride at dusk was beautiful. the thunderstorms cleared out and left huge lone nimbus clouds in the sky to dance with the sunset. vibrant pinks, oranges and blues filled the sky. all the rain had created a light fog and mist on the ground that gave the land a rather mystical look. twas dope.

i rolled into tall sycamore campground around 9:45 where monica, the owner,
was wrapping up her day. we got to talking, she hooked up an ice cream sandwich, and she told me her husband was a survivor of lymphoma years ago but her father in law wasn't so fortunate last summer. tears swelled in her eyes. i gave her a big hug and made my way to my cabin.

i don't think i ever slept so well.
after a short 66 mile day, i'm sitting in the sun in thorntown, in.

not too shabby at Old Mill Run Park in thorntown, in.

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yeah indiana.

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day 12 - marion, oh to celina, oh - 80 miles

day 12 - marion, oh to celina, oh - 80 miles

what a perfect day besides the occaisional dog chase. i woke up to blue skies at the hickory grove campground. by the time i got out of bed the sun was high in the sky. i emerged from the camper as a caveman from his cave. of course i hit my head coming out as my lanky body couldn't stand up straight inside. i packed up, chowed a power bar and i was flying.

i rode for a couple hours without seeing but a dozen cars as i zigged and
zagged through the flat ohio farmland. i found myself on a lonely road, overgrown trees to the left and tall grass to the right, a road you'd find in a horror movie, i thought. a house suddenly appeared on my left and as i rode i kept thinking of horror movies. i heard something thumping to my left and as i swung my head around an 80-90 lb black lab mixed with rhino was bearing down on me. this dude was smart as he didn't bark once. he was hunting. dude could have lunged, caught my left leg, knocked me down and carried me into the woods for a lean meal. i would have been lost forever. fortunately i put some power into my stroke and tore ass outta there.

shortly there after i was confronted by a rottweiler who stopped me in my tracks. as i got nearer and nearer his house he stepped closer to me. i turned around and went around the corner so he'd think i was gone. when he went back to resting under his tree, i made a break for it. fortunately just as i made my break, a car came from the other direction masking my sound. as soon as that car drove by, that dog became aware of me and began charging. as he grew closer i let out a huge bark which stopped him in his tracks. but this only enticed him more. he looked at me for a moment, ears perked, head cocked and he let out his own bark in return and put it into full gear. we were side by side. he in his yard and me in the road. as i rode to the end the yard he took a sharp right back onto his property and barked as i raced away, heart pounding. sorry to all of you that were hoping for a better ending. you know who you are.

only a few miles from my lunch destination my rear tire went flat again. after fixing it and over inflating it, so i got a mad wobble and thumping, i pulled over in somebody's driveway for another look. changing a tire on this thing can be a bit time consuming as i have to unload the entire thing so i can turn it upside down. anyways after some tinkering the owner of the home came out and shouted down his long driveway to make sure i was ok or if i needed anything. i explained i was good to go. all of a sudden he was right behind me, snuck up on me like a child sneaking to the christmas tree before he is supposed to be there. he handed me a cold bottle of water with his good hand. "figured you could use this." his other arm was a prosthetic with a hook for a hand. i thanked him and we discussed the ride and where to get a good lunch in lakeview - the next town over. before i took off, he said, "you need any jack?" i looked confused. he spouted "money?" "oh, no thanks. i'm set." i replied.

in 30 minutes i was in lucky's lounge in lakeview, oh where i was treated to a free calzone and mtn dew - awesome! i sat down inside and the owner amd i discussed the ride and the cause for quite a while. turns out her brother was recently diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing treatment. today, saturday the 22nd, luckys is doing fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, where a portion of proceeds will go to said charity. Jill and I had great conversation for over an hour as i swalloed my food. after coming back from washing my hands, i asked how much i owed. she said "this one's on me." how kind and generous. "thank you for what you are doing." she said.

i was on the road again and racing as i had heard that tv station and newspaper were at the Kozy Campground waiting for my arrival. welp, due to a massive detour i ended up arriving late and missing the media.

i met sandy mast as i pulled up. she was just as delighted to see me as i was to be there. she showed me to a camper and said "i'll give you a few minutes to get ready and the i'm taking you to meet some people and grab some dinner." "all good to me. thank you." i replied.

we picked up her husband, kevin, a dude who could be a linebacker in the nfl, and her mother margaret. we all went down to a new restaurant, dockside, that sat on grandlake. there we met sandy's, daughter, brother, ted and his wife ainette (spelling?).

great family, the masts. they were definitely kind and welcoming. made me feel as i had known them for years.
we enjoyed apps, dinner, drinks, dessert, great stories, good conversation and some sweet jokes.

the day was perfect.

who says pony tails aren't cool?

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new jerseys are in - back

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new jerseys are in - front

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calm morning on the wabash river.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

awesome storm.

after 100+ miles, 3 flat tires, 1 new tire, a quatah poundah con queso, fries, a mcflurry, a mcchicken, some rain and some wind, i'm finally at tall sycamore campground in logansport, IN.

awesome storm.

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stoppin for lunch and then pressing on for another 50+ miles to Tall Sycamore Campground in logansport, in.


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flat tire in indiana

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day 11 - shreve, oh to marion, oh - 72 miles

day 11 - shreve, oh to marion, oh - 72ish miles

i awoke early but snoozed for an hour (thats right, snoozed is now a verb meaning to push the snooze button repeatedly.) the cabin was damp as were my clothes from the previous day.

i used the stove for two reasons - boiling water for oatmeal as well as drying my gear. i rigged a broom handle over a burner for gloves and stacked chairs high enough to drape a shirt near the heat. finally dry and full, i hit the road around 9:30.

the day started cool and wet, full of hills and descents, rather uneventful really. i ended up pulling out the video camera and took some nice scenic shots as well as riding shots.

after 20 miles or so i stopped for coffee and ended up eating an oatmeal cream pie and jelly donut. that combo had me blazing as soon as i got back on the bike. but as i sat there eating, i couldn't help but overhear two women talking at the table next to mine. they were discussing finances and the trouble they were having making ends meet. one said, "i'm only pulling in $776 a month." just makes me realize how fortunate i have been in my life. if they knew what i spent in my bike, they may have just shit.

i powered through the rest of the morning and on into the afternoon when the sun finally came out. first time i had seen it in three days. when you spend all day outside, three days without sun is a long long time. and as the sun beat down on me the hills flattened and the road became a speedway.

out of no where another cyclist came up beside me - only the second cyclist i had seen since leaving new york state. we chatted about the ride and he told me where there was a good shop to buy some new break pads. the PA hills chewed mine up.

after stocking up i ran into a group of cyclists, those much more serious about cycling than me, and asked them where to find a grocery. they said to follow them and after about a mile they dropped me off. i stocked up in rations but saw a taco bell nearby. i think i ate there just because i could, oh, and i like it, just hadn't had it for a couple of years.

i cruised up to the hickory grove lake canpground where i met sharon. i was expecting a tent site but instead ended up with a small trailer, so small i couldn't stand up straight. it was once again great to have a bed to sleep on. just as it is nice to have a bed tonight where i am typing from right now - the kozy campground in celina, oh at the end of day 12. make sense? good night.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

after food, drinks and good company, i'm crashing out at Kozy Campground. yeah buddy.
Heading out to dinner with the mast family in celina, ohio.

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day 10 - lisbon, oh to shreve, oh - 75ish miles.

today started out great as i raided the breakfast room at the days inn. anything available i ate and i continued to graze as i made trips back and forth to my room as well as the hotel computer.

with a freshly wiped bike and dry clothes i set out into the rain. it was a slow start as my left knee has developed some pain but as i got riding it stretched out and i was moving. And by the way, whomever said ohio is flat is full of it. i rode up and down all day just as i had done in PA.

after a couple of hours the rain began to subside and as i crest the top of a hill, i heard a sharp hissing and before i knew it my back tire was flat like roadkill. so i changed it out and by the time i was finished by body temp had dropped and i began freezing and my hands were numb.

the first restaurant i saw was a subway where i sat for over an hour in an attempt to warm myself and dry. and of course i ate footlong meatball sub.

i knew i had roughly 40 miles to go and it was already 3:15. i'd be rolling in late for sure. i rolled through canton, oh and stocked up on bike tubes and co2 cartridges as i was going into somewhat of a no mans land for the next day.

eventually i found myself rolling through wide open country, still hilly of course. the number of horse-and-buggy trumped the number of cars i saw. i was in amish country. i thought that if i shaved my stache and put on a straw hat, i could disappear into this community. i'd have to learn how to build barns and pray, but it could be done. also, these amish gave cool waves compared to what i thought they'd give. i figured them to throw up a stagnant hand but instead they gave a flick of the wrist and point or even toss up a peace sign.

one bearded fellow weirded me out and a bit and made me wary of his presence. he came up beside me in his blue van, and not a mini-van but a kidnapping van. he watched me the whole time as he passed. as i came over the next hill he was sitting there in his van in an intersection with his cell phone out pointing at me as if taking a picture. as i passed he pulled out behind me and began to follow - not to close but close enough to make me a bit nervous. at the next pulloff i pulled over and the man kept on driving but slowly. i grabbed my knife from my handlebar bag and placed it in my front pocket. think i'd be travelling alone and not carry protection? i looked down thd road and saw the van just sitting there on the shoulder. jeebis, i thought, what is this dude doing? i was ready to shank a fool. as i rode closer and closer to the van, he kicked it into reverse, flipped around and started towards me slowly. as we were about to cross paths i could see that cell phone out again. suddenly, he lowered the phone, put on a big smile amd waved. i nodded. he drove away. dude, please be more tactful and less creepy the next time you stalk some one in an abduction vessel.

it was beginning to grow dark and i still had a ways to go. i pulled into the lake wapusun campground at about 9pm. i was welcomed with a smile and given directions to a cabin. i'm loving these cabins, such a great place to dry out.

as i stood eating dinnet, watching transformers 2 on this fancy phone, and drying my wet clothes over the hot burners of the stoved, a knock came on my door.

it can be a bit quiet out here, so it was cool when my fellow cabin dweller invited me to his cabin to hang with his girl and him. they were a nice couple, definitely in love. we discussed politics, traveling, work, the ride, the legalization of marijuana (which should be legalized) and many other things. they gave me some of their leftover dinner and dessert - my second within 30 minutes.

as i yawned and my eyes began to fall i excused myself and went and crashed for the evening.

beautiful ohio day

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

sittin' pretty at Lake Wapusun Campground in Shreve, OH. Tomorrow headed to Marion, OH - 107 miles. b-b-b-booyah!

Day 9 - Pittsburgh, PA to Lisbon, OH - 70 miles

We're off on the road to Ohio!

Well today it rained 100% of the time. The severity varied anywhere from sheets of rain to drizzle and when the wind blew the trees released what they were holding.

Unfortunately today I ended up stopping 10 miles before my campground destination on account of the onslaught precipitation and chilling temperatures I encountered. I was supposed to mosey on up to the Chapparal Family Campground in Salem, OH, but unfortunately they only had a tent site for me. If the weather had been dry and/or only slightly damp, I would have been there in a second - or at least in another 45 minutes. But the fact that my hands were numb and my bones wet, I stopped at a Days Inn, spread out and basically turned the room into a drying rack. It smells in there now. Sorry.

Courtenay and I started out from her place and she put about 15 miles in with me before we made a first stop to warm up. The chick is brave, heading out in shorts, she was goose-bumped out when we stepped into a Starbucks for a warm beverage. We laughed a lot, shared a hug and parted ways.

I rode and rode and rode, going through periods of warm and cold spells, my feet swimming in rain water. I didn't even have to drink out of my water bottle - just had to open my mouth. I rode my way through desolate back-country roads, busy neighborhood streets as well as a short bit on a highway, which I hated - glad to be alive right now. It's amazing that I can take one road 30 miles and it will change from a single, lonely lane to a 3 lane commuting monster and all within a couple miles. Civilization is one crazy machine.

After my brief highway ride, I pulled over as soon as I could to map out a safer route and grub down on a steak sandwich. I sat in a smokey bar and chowed down, chatted with locals about the ride and discovered that I there wasn't a roof at the campground. That's when I decided a hotel was in order. So I altered my route a bit, going a bit out of the way to avoid heavy traffic areas, and thinking the whole time that I'd just find a motel and post up as needed. That's the thing about riding in the rain - it's all fine as long as you know you have a dry place to retire. If that luxury can't be afforded or just isn't available, my mind just starts to think hypothermia and misery. Perhaps I'm weak. Meh.

As I rode on I came upon a make-shift stoplight, you know, one of those lights that is set-up when construction has turned the highway into one lane. Well, I was parked behind a silver mini-van when the driver of said van opened her door and turned to me. "You traveling?" she asked. I replied, "yes ma'am." "Where from?" "New York City." "You want a free dinner?" I looked her with a perplexed but eager smile. "I own a restaurant just down the way, so feel free to stop in if you'd like to eat." " Thank you." I said. She drove off, and even though I had just eaten 2 hours ago, I knew I couldn't pass up a free meal.

I rolled into the town of Rogers, OH and headed over to the only restaurant/bar within miles. The Y-Inn it is called. As I walked in, all the locals turned towards the door to spot me, a soaking wet hippie looking dude wearing dripping clothes, a helmet and a smile. The waitress came to me and said, "My mom said you'd be coming in. Here's a menu. Have whatever you'd like, on us." Damn, I love traveling. If I were traveling with another person, who knows if I would have been invited in like this and received such a warm welcome.

As I pondered my order, the locals came up to discuss what I was doing. Even the waitress, Lori, was going around and telling everyone in the joint what I was doing. What a chance this was to tell my story, so I did to anyone that was interested. I took photos with folks and of folks and one woman was snapping photos of me from a distance.

I ordered the fish, fries, green beans, a roll, six hot-wings, and 2 bud diesels - all on the house. I couldn't have been happier. Those country folks are great and so friendly. As I sat there eating, a young woman came up to me and asked "What is it you're riding for?" "Lymphoma" I replied. She handed me a $20 bill and said "that is wonderful. Here, take this. It's from me and well, that man over there." She pointed to what must have been her husband or boyfriend. She then smiled and said "Next time, ride for MS. That's what I have." Naturally I felt a bit saddened by this but she had a grin on her face like she had come to terms with her MS and accepts it.

Once again I met two more people that have been touched by lymphoma. Lori, the waitress, her daughter was diagnosed with lymphoma in her early 20s and was able to battle it and win. Jan, the owner of the Y-Inn and the woman who invited me in, she lost her sister in law to lymphoma. I'm seeing more and more why this ride is important and how truly necessary it is to give to those who can help these people.

I sat in that place for nearly 2 hours just talking and hanging out with some stright-up country folk. Nicest folks around if you ask me. Also, very very interesting. Makes me wonder why people head out to the country in the first place. Either they're born there, run there to get away, or escape there. Either way, it's all good to me.

I finished up the day with another 8 miles during dusk. The glowing light of the Days Inn was the warmest thing I ever could have seen.

Day 8 - My Bed to the Couch - 0 miles - Rest Day

Rest Day. Awesome. Gave the knees some much needed rest.

I thought I was going to sleep in this morning as if I were still in an undergrad at CU skipping my Western Lit class. But much to my dismay I was up bright and early at 7:30 - guess my body is just getting used to it.

Court and I had a leisurely morning, during which, I updated the blog and took care of internet doohickey business. In the late morning Court took me down to the strip for some breakfast. The strip is a hip little area, where the suits mix it up with the cool, just east of the high-rises of Pittsburgh.

After finishing my breakfast and Court's we went for a drive through the city, checking the sites and purchasing some gear from an REI. To my surprise I had some dividends saved up and my items were FREE - booyah! We then went to the Warhol museum and checked out the work of a seriously strange man - at least that's what his art says to me. What a trip I had in there. My mind was wandering to-and-fro as I could feel every synapse firing. I can't even imagine what was going on in Warhol's mind to allow him to make such interesting and ultimately strange art.

So, the guy took a camera everywhere he went, right. Imma bet that he was just "that guy" at parties and functions before he became famous. I can imagine his friends and acquaintences saying, "Oh man, here comes that Warhol again. He always has that f#$%in' camera. Why do we invite him to these things?" The guy recorded everything.

One other piece that is incredibly intriguing is the Last Supper print he did, in which, he made two prints side by side on pink. You know the Last Supper? The one with Jesus and pals - though I'm pretty sure the old man to the left was about to stab JC. Just take a look at this painting and analyze it as if it were modern day and think about what each person is thinking and/or doing. It's a blast and rather hilarious. I mean, there's obviously one guy that knows some business is about to go down and all he wants is one more beer so he can get the hell outta there.

All-in-all today was great. Nice and relaxing. And amazingly it seemed to go on forever. I could tell that hopping back on a bike would be a bit of a challenge.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 7 - Emlenton, PA to Pittsbugh, PA - 70ish miles

Today was a great ride because I knew at the end, I would be reaching a resting point.

I started the morning chilling out with Martha, John and their son, Greg - the owners of the Gaslight Campground. We enjoyed coffee and donuts and discussed their campground a bit. They have owned the place for six seasons and explained that the previous owners had let it go into the crapper. They have really turned it around and they said that each season is getting better.

The place was bustling as the camping season is really beginning. Everyone that rolled in was beyond friendly and everyone seemed to know everyone. I'm discovering that campground folks are amongst the friendliest people around. They are all about the outdoors, enjoying the company of others and having a great time.

I hit the road just as the air began to warm up. The sun was shining brightly but there was a bit of a head wind. I turned on some tunes and cruised excited to visit Pittsburgh for the first time and to see my friend, Courtenay, who put me up for my two nights in the city.

The ride was mostly downhill with a few short climbs and after a couple of hours I hit Butler, PA where I consumed yet another mass amount of food. I just can't seem to get enough. After eating and 3.5 hours I cruised into the northeastern outskirts of Pittsburgh where Courtenay lives. Many of those back-roads are awesome. The trees create a canopy that hangs over smooth pavement where I cruised freely due to the minimal amount of autos. Everything is built into hills and on hill-sides in this town. So, it's a bunch of climbs and descents no matter where you go. No flats.

I met Courtenay while sitting in some cool grass in her neighborhood. She showed me the way to her place where I unpacked and we caught up. We had a great night during which I met some of her local Pittsburgh pals. We stayed out late, and I could barely keep my eyes open, but it was comforting to know that I didn't have to get up early and bike and I could just sleep in.

Oh, something I did find in the local liquor store that night was Dale's Pale Ale. Probably one of my favorite beers from my favorite brewery, Oskar Blues - brewed right in Lyons, CO.

courtenay braved the rain this morning. bam.

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May 17th

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 6 - Parker Dam St. Park, PA to Emlenton, PA - 75ish miles.

So, there are the pretentious, snobby bike shops who will stare down their greasy nose at an amateur cyclist and emit an aura of discontent, And then there are the uber-friendly, passionate, get-to-know-you, genuine, truly helpful bike shops. Today I discovered the latter.

As my alarm chimed at 6:30 am, I awoke to thunder, lightening and rainfall. Fortunately after 20 minutes or so, it stopped, and I made a break for it, packed everything up and hit the road. I stuffed half a poptart in my face and cruised 14 miles to Dubois, PA while dreaming of food the whole time. Did you know poptarts have 410 calories in just two little pastries? I ate those things all the time growing up. Lucky to not be enormous I guess.

As I slowly rolled into Dubois, I found a small restaurant where I sat for two hours. I consumed eggs, gravy, potatoes, toast, cheese, oatmeal and even a chocolate shake compliments of my super-friendly server, Cassie. It was extra-chocolately I might add. And while eating I updated the blog and such.

Feeling full, I took off for the Gaslight Campground in Emlenton, PA. As I reached the top of my first hill I noticed my bags to be wobbling to-and-fro. The upper right mounting point on my bike had become stripped out and the rack was no longer held tighly to the bike. I backtracked about 4 miles to the nearest auto parts store in hopes of getting some re-threading materials, but to my dismay that doesn't exist anymore. For some reason, I feel like it did when I was a kid.

The wobbling wasn't so bad that I couldn't ride, it just took that much more energy to keep the bike stable. I was still in a bit of farm country but I noticed that there was a university in Clarion, PA. Where there are college kids, there are bikes, so there has to be a bike shop.

I rode the next 40 miles straight into the wind, always climbing and descending, not a flat road in sight. As I pulled into Clarion, I must admit, I chowed a KFC double-down for some cheap, and delicious, energy. If you don't know what a double-down is; it's bacon, cheese and sauce sandwiched between two pieces of chicken. i'm salivating right now.

Just down the street from the KFC, I asked a gentleman on the street about a bike shop so I could get this bike fixed and back to being solid. He pointed me to University Bicycle & Outdoor. Here I met Chris, one of the nicest and knowledgable bike gurus I've come across. He immediately took an interest in what I was doing and began solving my probelm of a wobbling bike. Chris re-engineered my set-up, even throwing a brand new and sturdier rack my way. I ended up spending over 2 hours in the shop talking and discussing the ride. Dude, was incredibly helpful. So if you're ever in Clarion, PA be sure to stop into this guy's shop. There is even a small climbing wall inside.

At about 7:30pm, I set out to the Gaslight Campground in Emlenton, PA, just over 20 miles away. Of course the last 2 miles of the ride were straight-up hill. Everything in PA always seems to be just at the top of a hill. I'll ask "Where's X?" and people will always reply, "Oh, it's just at the top of the hill." Thanks.

I pulled in after dark, but Martha and John were there waiting, just chillin' on their porch. They were great as we discussed the ride a bit. But most importantly for that moment, they showed me to a cabin. I was expecting a tent site, and I knew my tent was soaked from the previous night. So, that cabin was beautiful to me.

sippin some coffee and resting today in pittsburgh.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

day 4 - waterville,pa to parker dam state park, pa

day 5 - waterville, pa to parker dam state park, pa. no clue on distance but if i had to guess - 80ish miles.

not real eventful today. woke up early and changed a flat. i met the owners of happy acres and some of their employees - great people. hooked me up with some ham and cheese and i hit the road.

the day was full of hills, small towns, back roads, no cell service - the boonies. and i liked it. there was very little traffic so i could ride in the center of the lane. i had absolutely no campground to get to so i took my time.

i took video and pictures even stopping to get off the bike and get some scenic shots.

i rode and rode and rode until i made it to parker dam state park. it was dark when i arrived so i sat up shop and hit the hay. i was awaken by thunder at 1am and it proceeded to rain all night.

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day 3 - blakeslee, pa to stillwater, pa

day 4 - stillwater, pa to waterville, pa. 85ish miles.

gotta dig the kindness of strangers.

i left whispering pines early during a misty rainfall. teresa saw me off and offered me practically everything in their store. i appreciated the kindness but there was nothing i needed or wanted to carry.

when i arrived in the town of millville, i sat a stop sign chomping some cashews when a dude, steve, walked up and started asking me about where i was headed. after some chitchat he invited me to eat breakfast with him and his pal wayne. and boy, did i accept that. i had had left over rice and pasta earlier and a real breakfast really hit the spot.

we ate at a local diner where everyone was friends and joked around accordingly. the conversation was real mellow - we discussed travelling, work, city life vs. rural life. i tell ya, i wish there was a place like this back in nyc.
after swallowing my food and slamming my coffee i was out and cruising.

after miles and miles i came to a hill the guys had mentioned at breakfast. twas the longest and most difficult climb i had come across yet. seemed to go up and up forever into dense fog which kept me from ever seeing the top. but what this climb did do was empty out my stomach and vanquish all my energy. it was time for a second meal.

i rolled into the town of jersey shore, pa after a fast descent off the mtn. i saw a place which read french toast on their sign so i went right in for another breakfast. after a large helping of b&g a couple approached me and asked where i was headed. i told them and they responded, "well, it looks like rain out there. why don't you stay with us?" i could tell these folks were genuine and not dodgy or anything, but i politely declined and explained my ride and sponsors and that people were expecting me. they pointed me to a back trail as to avoid the busy roadway up to waterville.

about halfway up i developed a slow leak bit decided to press on as to not get stuck in the dark. as i rolled into what i thought was waterville, three of the hillbilliest gentleman came up to me as i stared at my map.

apparently everything about me screamed outsider, from my socks to my bike to my helmet. we spoke for a while, me in my long slow colorado draw, and them with a thick country, backwoods accent. bob and tom knott, bros, and dave were their names. i came to learn that bob and tom are known as the 'not so right bros' in town.

we sat around dave's house for a bit, drank bud heavies, talked about the ride and routes. they wanted to take a photo with my bike and me so i told them we could use my phone and then i could email them the shots. they immediately burst into laughter, "email!" they exclaimed "boy, you dont know where you are!" Apparently i didn't. gonna have to print out the shots and send em via snail mail. those guys could have hung out all night. as the sky began to darken i headed to the campground.

on the way out a car rolled up beside me and shouted, " you riding for lymphoma?" i nodded. "i'm a reporter." so he took some photos as i cruised on my partially flat tire.

i arrived at happy acres planning to slip into a cool tent but to my surprise they hooked up a yurt! this place was dope. talk about luxury in the woods. hot shower, big bed, sofa, kitchen, tv where i caught up on the world.

the reporter, patrick, and i sat in the warm lodging and i gave an interview. seemed like a good one too. hopefully I'll see the article today.

solid day.

day 3 - blakeslee, pa to stillwater, pa

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day 3 - blakeslee, pa to stillwater, pa

day 3 - blakeslee, pa to stillwater, pa

i awoke this morning to sunshine and crisp temperatures. i shared some coffee with barb and paul and i was off for a 70ish mile day - nice and short.

after 15 miles i felt as if i had gone back in time. suddenly i was traveling through rolling hills and small small towns. towns with one stoplight or no stoplights. cars were few and far between and to my dismay, restaurants or markets were obsolete. i had no idea how sparse PA is.

after countless rolling hills, narrow roadways, and great views, i found myself in shickshinny, pa. here i refueled for the last 18 miles which appeared to wind through more hills.

as i devoured a meatball sub, fries and chocolate peanut butter custard i asked the server for the best route through the hills. she spouted some route that involved an incredibly steep road. the men in the next booth chimed in with a route that avoided the hill so i agreed to it. before departing the older of the two guys, joe, 81, introduced himself and asked me to come by his place to check out all of his antiques. i thought this to be a bit strange but i imagine he just wanted to share some words with someone else.

i went by his house, which he built decades ago, where he had hundreds of antiques lying around, all of which are going to be sold at auction. when he shook my hand good-bye he gripped it as hard as he could to show me he still had tons of strength, even for an old feller. i snapped some photos and hit the road as it started to rain.

this is a new philosophy i'm adopting out here: if someone wants to visit or hangout or show me something, then i'll agree. safety and time permitting of course.

after some time in the rain, i rode upon Whispering Pines Campground. Here i met the Wojton family who could not have been nicer. they offered me some hot chocolate and anything else i needed, which turned out to be propane.

they told me of their daughter, Valerie, who died of leukemia last november as tears swelled in their eyes. Teresa, Valerie's mom, handed me a picture of their daughter and asked me to carry it with me throughout my trip. "of course" i replied. there is a facebook group titled 'remembering valerie' for anyone who would like to take a look.

after some tender moments they showed to the trailer in which i stayed the night. a warm and cozy place that allowed me to dry off and sleep well as it rained and poured all night.
just got outta the boonies and into some civilization. eating breakfast and drying off in dubois, pa.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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Alright day 2 coming your way, a bit late but nonetheless here it is.

Sussex, nj to blakeslee, pa - 75ish miles.

so did you guys realize that pennsylvania is full of hills? well now you know and knowing is half the battle. it was a day filled with climbs and only a few descents - so it seemed to me at least. And the thing i burned through the most today was calories. i ate my face off.

-two packets of oatmeal
-one bowl of fruit
-half a bag of cashews
-one plate of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brocolli
-one piece of cake
-two cups of coffee
-four candy bars. i know, not the most nutritious, but hey, they were free thanks to the awesome folks at pleasant acres.

i met linda and tanya in the morning when i walked into the pleasant acres office. linda could not have been more pumped for what i am doing and she showed me the nj herald article immediately. we chatted a bunch. she hooked up some coffee and candy and after some photo snapping i was off into the beautiful and refreshing morning sun.

pa is pretty awesome for riding ill tell you what. some nice forests and great descents make for a pretty nice day. though I'll tell you someone needs have a look at some of those shoulders. i'm lucky to not have had an elbow taken off by a side mirror.

after riding in some miserable traffic i ran across Francine and her pooch, daisy who immediately pointed me down some great back roads. it was the size of my packs that got her talking to me. i cant imagine how many conversations my luggage will start. im looking forward to those for sure.

finally 25 miles and 3 hours later i arrived at WT Family camping where i was welcomed with smiles and a huge plate of food.

barb, paul, kevin, carol and a 3 yr old kevin were all there as we enjoyed conversation and some chocolate cake.
carol as well as another one of barb's daughters are currently dealing with MS and paul actually battled throat cancer and won over 20 years ago. man do i have it easy. these guys have been through a lot and they're still going every day, running a campground, doing charity work to give back and even feeding and housing a hobo-looking cyclist. i have a feeling that this kind of warm and friendly generosity is what will keep me moving across the country.

welp, i think thats it. oh, on a lighter note and sorta embarrassing one: that night i was awaken by footsteps crunching through leaves in the woods. immediately i thought it to be a black bear since i had been warned earlier that day to be wary. my heart began to race as i heard the beast move closer and closer with every step. i began to think 'this is it, i need to either jump out and scare this thing away or just lie here and be chomped.'

so with all my might i unzipped my sleeping bag and tent door and jumped out wearing only what god gave me, (or what science gave me, your call) ready to stand tall, let out a yell and give that bear something to run from.

turned out to be a small herd of deer. damn those deer.


Monday, May 10, 2010

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hola compadres, senors, senoritas, friends, friends of friends, babes, dudes and supporters...

it is officially the end of day one. after nearly a year of talking, planning, chatting, joking and dreaming this ride has finally begun.

it is to all of you that i'd like to say, thank you. thank you all for the interest, support, morale, kind words and donations. and for those of you that donated before i left...way to go on the faith. i know there are people out there that will benefit.

welp now that the sap is out of the way, how bout a report on the day.

manhattan, ny to Sussex, nj -85 miles-ish. honestly my plan to track this adventure has not panned out as i hoped so be ready for guesstimations.

when i woke up and looked out the window i noticed the wind howling and began to think "should i take off on monday instead? hell no" it was this very wind that i fought all day and most of it was head on. most of the time i felt like i could have walked faster. fortunately my good friend justin p came along for a solid 40 miles to help pull a little bit and provide some company. if you're saying what's pulling? he rode in front of me and sliced through the wind so i didn't have to, therefore i rode in a bit of an air pocket. after those 40 miles i was then on my own but i don't think the true reality of what I'm doing will set in for a week or so.

something i do realize is that i'm about to turn into a human garbage disposal that will eat anything in sight. i had just decended my first real hill and came across a little snack shack and knew i had to refuel for the next hill. i swalloed a bowl of chili and a hot dog without chewing. but it was here that i meant a cool dude named kenny who immediately took an interest in my fully loaded bike. we began chatting and i told him bout the ride. turned out he lost a good friend to lymphoma years ago and just like that another supporter. the beauty of it is i know he'll go and talk about it to family and friends and the word will spread on. and like that i was off.

after a while if riding i noticed a photographer crouching on he side of the road and he snapped a photo of me as i rode past. he shouted "keep riding man." he then drove past me, hopped out of his car and snapped another shot. this went on for a couple miles until i stopped and we begn talking. i was actually expecting him as the day before i did an interview with the new jersey herald. the article should be in mondays paper-crazy.

the sky began to grow dark and i still had 10 miles to go. actually riding in the dark was great. the traffic died as did the wind so i tirned on my lights and cruised into the pleasant acres farm campground who generously provided a trailer for me to crash in for the night. this trailer is nicer than my apt back in the city. fully styled out with a kitchen, living room and a bed. couldn't have been a better place to arrive when one is cold and hungry.

tomorrow i'm heading to blakeslee, pa where there will be a tent site waiting. what happens in between i have no idea.

ok, thats enough, thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010