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TRIP 2002

Update #33 - August 18th
Washington, D.C. - 5,401 miles (8642 KM)



After nine days off with friends in Reading, I got back on the road again. The time was long since the recumbent went through some much needed overhauling at a nearby bike shop. The rear derailleur had died and the chain was overstretched among other things. I'll be riding pretty well with a new drivetrain. The only parts of the drivechain that were not replaced were the front chainrings, front derailleur, crankset, and pedals. Along with the repairs, I got some new panniers. These were bought at a local REI. The old panniers were in really bad shape being involved in several accidents. They wouldn't have lasted very much longer.

One of the main reasons for my being off the road so long was that I had gotten a pretty bad sun and windburn on my arms (especially the left one). The skin was super red and I peeled for a couple of days. I had used a lot of sunscreen but it didn't help for the wind. For a couple of days, I stayed inside and slathered on the Aloe-Vera. This really helped a lot.

I think I am doing pretty good considering what my mind and body had gone through the last three months. My left shoulder is holding up quite well. Riding the recumbent hasn't really stressed the shoulder much. I am really amazed at this and quite thankful. Ocasionally, I might get a twinge from the metal head pieces.

Physically, I am doing a lot better. Because of the heat the past ten days (sometimes in the triple digits), I've been able to lose twelve of the twenty or so pounds that I had gained. Mentally or spiritually, I think that I'm getting better. Whenever I go fast or I coast down a hill, I don't cringe very much any more. My confidence in myself is close to back to normal. Riding in heavy traffic doesn't faze me.

My faith seems to have gotten back to normal. This would be great if only anybody can tell me what normal is for me. The mild depression is pretty well gone but I still have a problem with falling and staying asleep.

The six hundred or so miles down the East Coast that I had just completed were some of the hardest (especially in New York City and the Northern New Jersey metroplex area). The ride through the rest of Massachusetts, through Rhode Island, and Eastern Connecticut went okay. Instead of following U.S. 1 through Connecticut and New York City, I opted to take the ferry between New London, CT and Orient Point (Long Island), N.Y. The ferry ride was okay. I was charged $12 for the 16 mile ride. The ferry that I was on actually was used during D-Day. I had three good days riding through Long Island but I was amazed at how hilly it was. Sunday (Aug. 11th), I crossed the Queensland Bridge onto Manhattan Island. I didn't see any of the tourist attractions. I did ride through Central Park. My main goal was to ride to and over the George Washington Bridge over the Hudson River before dark and I did that.

Riding through Northern New Jersey wasn't a piece of cake. I did find an alternative route through Newark and Elizabeth. I did have to get on extremely busy U.S. Rtes. 1 and 9 for about ten miles. The speed limit was supposed to be 45 but I think that nobody was going that slow. Once passed S. Amboy, I took an Easterly route to the Ocean and then headed south through Long Branch and Asbury Park. After that, I followed U.S. 9 south to the tip of New Jersey to Cape May where I got the ferry to Lewes, Delaware. This ferry was quite huge with four passenger levels. The fare for me and the bicycle was $8 dollars this time. Food and drinks were quite expensive.

From Lewes, Delaware, I took a westerly route to the Bay Bridge in Maryland. It was almost a two hour wait to get a ride across the Bay Bridge to Annapolis, Maryland. The young couple who picked me up in their truck told me that they were both Christians and they slipped me a $20 bill. Getting across the Bay Bridge was by far the hardest thing to do this month.

The main problem as I wrote earlier was the weather. Temperatures were for the most part in the high nineties. In New Jersey, the heat indices were triple digits. Road surfaces had to have been over 110 degrees. I felt this through the mesh of my seat that was just twenty inches off the pavement. I drank gallons of water each day. In New Jersey, I did have a brisk headwind to deal with.

Along the way, I did a lot of camping in my tent. I was able to spend a couple of nights inside churches and I had a couple of nights in motels donated to me. One of the neat things to happen was staying with the Catholic priest in Centreville, Maryland. We had several good philosophical and spiritual discussions before we retired for the night.

Here in Washington, D.C., I'll be taking a couple of days off seeing some of the tourist attractions. After D.C., I'm not sure which way I'll be traveling or going to. I might be heading south through Virginia to the Outer Banks of North Carolina or I might be heading west through Virginia to check out a Methodist ministry in Eastern Kentucky. As I wrote in other updates, I'm not sure where I'll be going or how long I will be out. Each day and mile cycled will be with ADONAI's and Y'SHUA's comfort, help, and guidance.




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