(Somewhere in Eastern Pennsylvania )
First leg: Boston-Philly ~200 miles
With a big wet kiss, I left Boston on September 1. After saying bye to friends and family, I finally took off with my gear trailing and my friend Quentin running alongside me for the first mile and then I was on my own. That first day, I biked through hours of rain and ankle deep streets before I made it to Connecticut. My sister picked me up 30 miles outside Hartford after I had biked 60 or so miles. My back wheel was in rough shape, so I took the bike to the shop while I took off for a brief visit home. I got back to Connecticut and stayed a couple of nights with a friend at Yale. We biked around New Haven, ate at one of the Italian delis and hung out with some fellow divinity school students before I headed West again the next day. On the road, an older couple came up to me and asked about my trip and ended up buying me lunch. I was amazed at their genuine support and it really lifted my spirits and gave me a lot of motivation. My soon-to-be-a-chiropractor sister took me in, fed and adjusted me when I got to Bridgeport for a brief visit. The next day, I set off for Manhattan to stay with my brother for a couple of nights. The last twenty miles took about 3X as long as I expected and multiple times I thought I was going to get run over by a bus. I survived, but have little desire to bike again in New York.
On Thursday, I left my brother’s on 30th & Madison at 8:30 en route to Princeton. I bike up 150 streets to get to the George Washington bridge and then come all the way back down the other side of the river to Jersey City. It wasn’t until I made it to the D&R Canal trail about 15 miles outside Princeton that I felt like I had gotten out of the City. I finally made it to my friend and former professor’s place just as the sky was about to open. After good dinner, conversation, sleep and a pancake breakfast, I was back on the road. Along the way I met a local cyclist and she asked about my plans and wished me luck and invited me to join a ride through the state of Florida for cancer research although I forget the ride’s name. Again, such a brief conversation encouraged me to keep going. Eventually, I made it to Philadelphia where I am staying with my friend and many times former roommate. Today, we had a salvadoran lunch of pupusas, platanos and pan dulce with friends I hadn’t seen in two years from the Casa study abroad program. That brings me to now and tomorrow I will head off to begin crossing the state of Pennsylvania toward Cleveland.
I suppose I’ll write something again in a month or so. Hopefully my writing will improve.