TRIP 2013

Update #09 - April 16th
Chittenango, New York
Mission Trip 34: 1,273.76 miles (2,038.02 KM)
2,623.49 miles (4,197.58 KM) - Year Total

April 05 - Nassawadox, Virginia to Pocomoke City, Maryland : 53.46 miles (85.54 KM)

I woke up early around 4:50 AM. When I looked outside, it was still raining. It must have started around 9 PM last night. I took the time to update this website. The rain stopped around 6:30 AM.

I left the motel around 8 AM. It was damp and cold so I had to get my second coat out and put it on. There was a slight headwind coming from the North. I rode into Exmore and stopped at the Baptist Church to give them the receipt for the motel room. The ride North went okay. For most of the way there was a wide shoulder to ride along.

I stopped at a Wendy's in Onley for some hot chili. After lunch, I stopped at the nearby Eastern Shore News to get interviewed.

The rest of the way to the Maryland State Line went okay.

 Welcome to the MD Eastern Shore

The wind had switched directions and it became a tailwind. The temperature warmed up some so I was able to take the second coat off. I stopped to take the traditional pictures of Alice at the state sign and then stopped at the visitor center to get a bike map.

It was around 5:15 PM when I got into Pocomoke City, Maryland. I stopped at the police department. The lady dispatcher called around to the churches. She found out that there was a shelter in town but it was full. I was given directions to the manse of the Presbyterian Church. While waiting for the Presbyterian minister to get home, I found a large sidewall blowout on the rear tire. The innertube was sticking out from a gash in the tire right above the rim. It's lucky that the tube hadn't blown during today's ride because I was going over 12 mph (19 KM) a couple of times.

It was around 9:30 PM, when the Presbyterian minister arrived back home. Instead of letting me stay in the church overnight, he offered to let me stay in the manse because there were plenty of bedrooms.

During my wait for the minister, I listed to an oldies radio station. They played a 1986 song by satirist Ray Stevens called "Would Jesus Wear A Pinky Ring? . Here are the lyrics.

Woke up this mornin', turned on the T.V. set.
There in livin' color, was somethin' I can't forget.
This man was preachin' at me, yeah, layin' on the charm.
Askin' me for twenty with ten-thousand on his arm.
He wore designer clothes and a big smile on his face.
Tellin' me salvation while they sang amazin' grace.
Askin' me for money when he had all the signs of wealth.
I almost wrote a check out, yeah, then I asked myself.

Would He wear a Pinky ring?
Would He drive a fancy car?
Would His wife wear furs and diamonds?
Would His dressin' room have a star?
If, He come back tomorrow.
Well there's somethin' I'd like to know (Can you tell me?).
Would Jesus wear a Rolex On His television show?

Would Jesus be political?
If, He come back to earth?
Have His second home in Palm Springs?
Yeah, try to hide His worth?
Take money, from those poor folks.
When He comes back again.
And admit He's talked to all them preachers who say they've been talkin' to Him?

Just ask ya' self, would He wear a Pinky ring?
Would He drive a fancy car?
Would His wife wear furs and diamonds?
Would His dressing room have a star?
If He come back tomorrow.
Well there's somethin' I'd like to know.
Could ya tell me?
Would Jesus wear a Rolex?
Would Jesus wear a Rolex?
Would Jesus wear a Rolex On His television show-ooh-ooh?

April 06 - Pocomoke City, Maryland to Seaford, Delaware : 40.03 miles (64.05 KM)

I fell asleep around 9:30 PM. I slept till around 1:45 AM because I had to go to the restroom but I crawled into the blankets and I slept till around 6:30 AM. I was the first one up. The pastor and his wife didn't get up till around 8:15 AM. During breakfast, the pastor's wife who is also a minister tried to get me a ride to Salisbury but she didn't know when the person who was going to come over to the manse. I headed out a little before 9 AM. I walked through the rest of town and got back on US 13. I was hoping to hitchhike to Salsibury so I get to the bike shop. I didn't have any luck. Traffic was busy but US 13 was a divided 4 lane highway. Most of the traffic was Springbreakers heading North. Every mile or so I stopped to see if I could catch a ride. There were no gas stations along the way.

After about six miles (10 KM), I decided to see if I could tackle the sidewall blowout. The blowout was about one and a half inch long. I found some thick plastic on the side of the road and I was able to sew up the cut. While I was doing this, an older couple stopped to see if I needed any help. They weren't in a pickup truck. As I was pumping up the tire, a state highway patrolman stopped. Somebody had called in saying that a cyclist was hit and was sprawled on the shoulder.

I got the tire up but when I checked out the other side I found more damage. A large section of the outer casing was damaged. The more that I inflated the tire the more the side bulged out. I deflated the tire some. There was no way that I could ride Alice. I walked a few miles to a gas station at the turnoff to Crisfield. I was hoping that I could get a ride there but I had no luck. I tried over two hours but I had no luck. There was a bus stop across the highway but the buses didn't have bus racks on the front. The people at the gas station didn't like me around because they called the state highway patrol on me.

I called the pastor in Pocomoke City to see if he could help me. He found a parishioner who had a pickup truck who would carry me to Salisbury. We got to the bike shop about 20 minutes before the bike shop closed. I got a 26x1.5 80 psi Bontrager tire for $25. I'm not going to get a Continental tire again. Here are two pictures of the damaged tire before I threw it away.

 Picture of bad tire - Salisbury. MD

 Picture of bad tire - Salisbury. MD

I had Alice back up on two wheels by around 5:15 PM. Salisbury had a population of over 60K and there was a university. I found out that there was a shelter in town. I checked out some of the churches but I didn't find anybody. I decided to head out of town. Instead of heading East to the ocean as I had planned, I decided to head north directly into Delaware.

I got to the Delaware state line a little before dusk. I was able to take the traditional pictures in the darkening light. I got into Laurel a little after dark. I stopped at a gas station to get the bike light battery charge. I let battery charge for about an hour. I headed Northeast on DE 9 towards Georgetown and Lewes. There was a wide shoulder and light traffic. I rode till the battery lost it's charge.

I found some woods to camp in outside of Seaford. I went into the woods around 400 feet. It was around 11:30 PM when I crawled into my sleeping bag.

April 07 - Seaford, Delaware to Lewes, Deleware to Carpenter's Corner, Delaware : 22.64 miles (36.22 KM)

I had a decent night even though it was a little cold. I slept through the night without getting up to go the restroom. I slept till around 6:30 AM. I was hoping to get on the road before 8 AM but on the way back through the woods I ran into a vine with some thorns and one cut the side of my nose. It took a while for the little hole on my nose clotted.

The ride East went okay. I decided to ride through Georgetown. I got into Lewes around 10:30 AM. I got to Bethany Methodist Church about 15 minutes before the service started. I got to talk to the pastor before the service. Before the pastor did the prayers, he introduced me and I got to speak a few words. This was the nineteenth time that I was able to speak at a church/ ministry this year. After the service, the pastor escorted me to a motel in near by Carpenter's Corner and got me a room. Before he left to head to North Carolina for a week of vacation with his wife, he slipped me $10 so that I could get some lunch at the nearby WaWa's.

I will be taking the Cape May Ferry tomorrow morning to Cape May, New Jersey.

April 08 - Carpenter's Corner, Maryland to Oceanville, New Jersey : 60.67 miles (97.07 KM)

I had a decent night. I went to bed around 10 PM. The room was nice but there was just a venetian blind shade. There was a lot of light coming into the room from the tattoo parlor in the shopping center next door. I stayed asleep till around 4:45 AM. I took advantage of the full kitchen to make some hot oatmeal.

I was hoping to head out before 8 AM but the rear tire was flat. I quickly changed the tube. I didn't take the time to check out what was wrong with the tube. I got on the road around 8:15 AM.

It was a short ride to the ferry. I got there about a half hour before the 9:15 AM ferry left. There wasn't much traffic. I was the only cyclist. I got to board before the motorists boarded.

 Cape May Ferry - Lewes, DE

 Cape May Ferry - Lewes, DE

They've got wi-fi on board now. After getting Alice settled on the car deck, I went upstairs to the lounge. Instead of roaming around the ferry taking pictures, I stayed in the lounge. There was free wi-fi so I took advantage of it to send out about 30 emails.

The ride was a little longer because the ferry captain turned around to check out something in the water. It was nothing. I did miss a pod of dolphins about 5 minutes before we docked. We got to the Cape May, New Jersey ferry landing about 7 minutes late. I was the last passenger to get off the ferry.

Instead of getting on US 9 directly, I rode along the rails to trails bike path for about 4 miles (6 KM). Along the way, I stopped to call the First Baptist Church in Cape May Courthouse to see if my friend, the pastor, was in. The secretary told me that he had stepped out for a bit but she would give him my message.

It was about 1 PM, when I got to the First Baptist Church. The pastor was surprised at seeing me. His secretary didn't give him my message. He told me that he couldn't host me tonight because he had back-to-back meetings tonight. I did get a glass of water and some cookie snacks to take along with me.

I pushed on to Marmora. It was around 3:30 PM when I got to the Second Cape May Baptist Church. My friend, the assistant pastor, wasn't in today. There was some kind of retreat over the weekend so he took today off. The head pastor wasn't in either. The secretary did remember me from my stopover two years ago but she couldn't do anything. There wasn't much for me to do but to head over to the barrier islands and check out the churches in Ocean City.

Before heading into Ocean City, I stopped to get a few groceries. The ride across the bridge took a little longer than I had expected. It was almost 4:40 PM when I got into the downtown area. I scrambled to check out the churches. I found some people having a small group Bible study at the Methodist Church. They told me that the pastor was at one of his kid's schools for an event and he had his phone turned off. I did get some cookies, grapes, and strawberries to take along with me. I went over to the Lutheran Church a couple of blocks away. The pastor was there. He was really pass-offish and he made excuses after excuses on why I couldn't stay in the church overnight. I checked out the nearby Baptist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches but there was nobody around them. I stopped at the Catholic church but there was nobody at the rectory.

I found my way over to the police station. The officers that I talked to were pretty friendly. One of the officers told me that he and 3 other officers had ridden the C&O Towpath and the first third of the GAP to the Mason-Dixon Line. They were going to do it again in a couple of months. They tried calling around to the churches. There was supposed to be a ministerial association but it was really loose. After about 40 minutes, I was able to talk to a lady minister. She wanted more information about me. She told me that before she made a decision she would have to talk it over with her husband. After about 25 minutes had gone by, I figured out that she wasn't going to call back. There was nothing for me to do but to head off the barrier island and get back to the mainland.

It was about 7:15 PM when I started to cross the bridge and sunset was around 7:30 PM. I got off the bridge right at dusk. I turned on my rear flashers and turned on my headlight in flasher mode. I was quite surprised that I had pretty well a safe ride through the metropolitan area East of Atlantic City. I knew that if I could get North of US 30 in Northfield, I would start getting back into some countryside for a while.

I found some woods between Absecon and Oceanville to camp out in. It was around 10:00 PM when I crawled into my sleeping bag.

April 09 - Oceanville, New Jersey to Tuckerton, New Jersey : 20.73 miles (33.17 KM)

I had a decent night. It was fairly warm so I didn't have to put the sleeping bag liner inside the sleeping bag. I used it for a pillow. I pretty well slept through the night. I woke up around 6:30 AM. I was back on the road by around 7:30 AM. I didn't have to wear a jacket. The high for today was supposed to be in the upper 70s.

The main obstacle for the morning was to get through the 2.5 mile (4 KM) section of the Garden Parkway because US 9 joined it. It was illegal for me to ride on the parkway but I had no other choice. to get around this section would have added at least 50 miles (80 KM) to the trip. There was roadconstruction. There were traffic cones in the shoulder so I stayed clear to the right of them. There was a bridge but there was no shoulder over it. I took the bridge as fast as I could. About 2/3rds the way across the bridge, I saw flashing blue lights in my mirror. There was a state highway patrolman coming up from behind me. Once I got off the bridge and back on the shoulder, the officer told me that he would stay behind me wih his lights flashing until I got off the Parkway and back on US 9. I had about 1.5 miles to ride as fast as I could. I cranked Alice up to around 14 mph (22 KMPH). Every once in a while, the officer gave me instructions over his public address system.

The ride to Tuckertown went okay. I went over to the United Methodist Church. Rev Buttermore was surprised to see me again. I was just here Oct 17th. I had ridden around 4650 miles (7296 KM) since being here last October. Rev Buttermore gave me permission to stay in the church overnight. The church is open to this because every once in a while to hosting homeless families through Family Promise. The next time will be next week.

There was a sofa and I got in about a three hour nap. In the afternoon, I took a walk back to check out a church, Lighthouse Church, that Rev Buttermore told me about. They've been hosting volunteers to work on the homes damaged by Sandy. Supposedly around 400 homes in the area were damaged. I haven't see any damage so far because US 9 is about 1.5 miles (2.4 KM) inland from the ocean.

The church wasn't doing anything right now. They were just hosting church groups. The guy I talked to was the youth minister. He gave me some ideas on where I might find a program in Tom's River. Before I left, the minister gave me a bottle of water and a box of Cliff protein bars. The box had 18 bars in it. I could have taken two boxes with me but I didn't think that I would have enough room for them in my food pannier.

It should be a quiet night here at the church. They aren't going to have anything like choir practice. Not too sure how far I'll get tomorrow. Tomorrow is Wednesday so I might hit a Wednesday night service.

Responsive Reading from Holy Humor Sunday service at First United Methodist Church of Tuckerton, New Jersey - Apr 7, 2013

"Things G-D Won't Ask"

Leader: G-D won't ask what kind of car we drove,
Congregation: He'll ask how many people we drove who didn't have transportation.
Leader: G-D won't ask the square footage of our house,
Congregation: He'll ask how many people we've welcomed into our home.
Leader: G-D won't ask about the clothes we had in our closet,
Congregation: He'll ask how many we helped to clothe.
Leader: G-D won't ask what our highest salary was,
Congregation: He'll ask if we compromised our character to obtain it.
Leader: G-D won't ask what our job title was,
Congregation: He'll ask if we performed our job to our best ability.
Leader: G-D won't ask what neighborhood we lived in,
Congregation: He'll ask how we treated our neighbors.
Leader: G-D won't ask about the color of our skin,
Congregation: He'll ask about the content of our character.

April 10 - Tucketon, New Jersey to Belmar, New Jersey : 62.77 miles (100.43 KM)

I had a decent night. I crashed on the sofa around 10:30 PM without my sleeping bag. I slept till around 5:45 AM. I had Alice packed up last night so I was able to get on the road around 7:30 AM. The secretary had gotten into the office around 6:30 AM so I gave her the church key. The ride north went really well. I got the first 20 miles in by 10:40 AM.

At Toms River, I turned East on NJ 37 to get over to the barrier islands. There was a bit of a headwind. I got 31 miles (50 KM) in by noon. There were no left hand turns so vehicles had to use a right turn round-a-bout. Quite a few of the cars didn't yield the right of way to me. I almost got hit a couple of times. I stopped to get something hot to eat. After lunch, I rode across the drawbridge to Seaside Heights.

I started to see the first evidence of Sandy damage. I stopped to take quite a few pictures of the damaged amusement park with the roller coaster in the ocean. The wharf under the roller coaster had been destroyed and the roller coaster had fallen into the ocean. They were rebuilding the boardwalk and the sand on the beach had been increased.

 Roller Coaster in Ocean - Seaside, NJ

From the amusement park, I headed North on the Ocean highway. I saw block after block of damaged houses. Some of the homes were moderately damaged but some others were really destroyed. There was a section of houses that had burnt down. Most of the small towns on the barrier island were rental summer homes. Some of the homes were smaller than a one car garage. I took a lot of pictures.

 Hurricane Sandy Damage in NJ

 Hurricane Sandy Damage in NJ

 Hurricane Sandy Damage in NJ

 Hurricane Sandy Damage in NJ

At Point Pleasant Beach. I went inland again. I checked out the churches but I didn't see anybody around them. I rode on to Belmar. I checked out the churches. I found my way over to the Calvary Baptist Church. The parsonage was next door. The lady pastor was really friendly. There wasn't a way for me to stay in the church for the night because the church was being used for nightly AA meetings. Instead she offered to get me a room at the local motel. Before I left, she wanted to pray for me and she also slipped me $20 in a green handshake. The pastor told me that the grandmother on her mother's side was a Holocaust survivor. She got sent to the USA and was settled in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. She converted to Christianity and married a Lutheran minister.

There is going to be thunderstorms tonight. I'm going to ride to either Asbury Park or Long Branch and catch the train into New York City tomorrow morning,

April 11 - Belmar, New Jersey to New York City, New York to Hyde Park, New York : 23.34 miles (37.34 KM)

I had a decent night. ,It rained really hard for a while and it did lightning some. I left the motel a little before 8:00 AM. I had to get over to the next rail station in Asbury Park, because there was no platform. It was about a five mile ride to the station. I bought my ticket through the ticket machine. The ticket cost me $15 and I got $5 back in dollar coins.

I had about a 20 minute wait for the train to arrive. Before the train arrived, I called up my contact in Staten Island to see if they might be available. She told me that she would have to contact her husband at work. The train arrived around 9:00 AM. This was just a local train because I had to transfer to another train at Long Branch. The train was right across the platform.

 NJ Rail Transit

 NJ Rail Transit

There was another guy with a bike but he wasn't going all the way into NYC. We struck up a conversation. He was in a christian rehab program for alcohol and drugs. He told me that he has been clean for 30 days. Before he got off the train he slipped me $20 in a GH. The ride became free because I got my money back.

The ride into NYC took about 1.5 hours. During the ride, I got a call from the husband of my contact. He told me that they wouldn't be available tonight. I called up my friend in Darien, CT to see if he was around but I only got his answering machine. I didn't feel comfortable in going to CT or maybe going onto Long Island with a contact. I thought it would be best for me to take another train North along the Hudson River to Poughkeepsie and then ride up to Albany and then use this as a turning point and then turn West. It was way too early in the year to ride in New England and try to cross the Appalachians in either Massachusetts or Vermont.

When we got to Penn RR station in Manhattan, NYC, I had a really hard time getting Alice out onto the street. The main elevator was temporarily out of order. I wandered around the station a long time to see if I could find another way out. I finally found a working elevator in the Long Island RR section of the station. The problem that I had was that I had put Alice facing the wrong direction for the door and I had to flip her to get her pointing in the right direction to get out.

Instead of going straight to Grand Central RR Station, I decided to do some exploring. I've been meaning to go down to lower Manhattan to check out Ground Zero where the Twin Towers were. Instead of walking the conjected sidewalks, I opted to ride. I was surprised at how easy it was. The buses and cars (taxis) were courteous. It was about a 25 block ride down to the World Trade Center. The new Freedom tower was about 7/8 complete. There were a lot more skyscrapers being built.

It was around noon when I got to the WTC. There were a lot of construction workers hanging around on their lunch break. I was hoping to at least see the memorial around the footprint of the twin towers but being that it was a construction zone everything was behind a high fence. To get in you had to get a free ticket either from the web or from the visitor center. There was a security check point and the que was long. I thought that I would take some pictures and make a few phone calls. While I was doing this, two police officers with a bomb sniffing dog came up to check out Alice and my gear. I passed security.

 World Trade Center - NYC

 World Trade Center - NYC

 World Trade Center - NYC

 World Trade Center - NYC

Instead of backtracking, I went over to the West Side of the Manhattan (Hudson River side). It was a short ride over to Battery Park and the bikeway. I got to see the Statue of Liberty. I took some pictures but they might be blurry when I used the camera's zoom. I headed north on tre bikeway/ greenway. It was amazing to see a lot of open land that was a park. The bike way was pretty good. It was the only smooth surface because all of the roads were really bad. No good paved streets. Worse than New Orleans. I rode up to 34th street.

I found a McD's that had a drive-thru and a safe place where I could park Alice for a while so that I could have a sit down lunch. I ventured back onto the streets to ride passed the library to the train station. I stopped to talk to a police officer for some directions. This other bicyclist came plowing into me from behind me. Neither of us got hurt.

I got to Grand Central RR station around 2:10 PM. I paid the $17 for a ticket to Poughkeepsie. The train was going to leave around 2:40 PM. I went to the platform to wait. No elevators this time because I had to go down a couple of ramps to get to the track platform. When I boarded, it was a little tricky getting Alice secured into a wheelchair spotwithout the boom sticking out some. The only seats available were ones facing the opposite direction where we were going,

 NY Rail Transit

 NY Rail Transit

I took a lot of pictures of the Hudson River. It was neat going under the Bear Mountain Bridge at Peeskill. I've walked across the bridge when I did the Appalachian Trail but I also rode across it a couple of times. I took a 15 minute video of the ride with the West Point Military Academy across the river.

We arrived at the Poughkeepsie RR Station around 4:30 PM. I was the last person off the platform because I had to use the elevator. It was about 4:40 PM when I got out of the station. I rode passed a couple of churches but there were nobody around them. I got on NY 9W to head North, I rode on to Hyde Park (the next town north). When I got into the Hyde Park area, I stopped at a grocery store to get some bread. I rode passed the FDR home and presidential library. When I got into town, I checked out the churches. I stopped at the Catholic Church but the priest wasn't around. The guy there didn't speak good English. I found some activity at the Methodist Church. There were some ladies at a weight watchers meeting but nobody knew how to connect with the lady pastor. The other churches didn't have any contact numbers.

I was concerned that I might have to camp out in my tent someplace but there was St Johns Episcopal about a mile North of town. The rectory was next door. The rector gave me permission to stay in the parlor of the church hall for the night, The only problem that I had was that I would have to get out before 6 AM when the sexton came by to open up the building for the nursery/ preschool.

April 12 - Hyde Park, New York to Valatia, New York : 61.59 miles (98.54 KM)

I had a decent night. The parlor didn't get cold so I didn't use the sleeping bag. Less stuff to pack up and put back on Alice. I needed to be out of the church hall before 6 AM when the sexton showed up to open the church hall for the nursery school. I woke up around 3 AM. I finished up my log and worked on the pictures that I took yesterday.

It was around 5 AM when I headed light. Traffic was light and I was comfortable to head out in the dark. I used my headlight. I stopped at a gas station to get some hot chocolate. Sunrise was around 5:45 AM. On the radio, I heard that North of me there were winter storm warnings till around noon.

About 9 AM, it started to rain. It was a cold rain but it wasn't freezing rain. It still got me cold by the time that I got to Red Hook. I stopped at the Lutheran and Episcopal churches but there was nobody around them. I went over to the Methodist church. I had stopped there back in 2006. There was a preschool going on in the church. The parsonage was next door. I was hoping that the pastor that I met there the last time was still there but he wasn't. When I knocked on the parsonage door, this lady in her young twenties with purple streaks in her hair came out. She told me that the pastor who I knew had left five years ago. She had only been there a year and there were two pastors before her but each one only lasted two years. She told me that if I could find someplace out of the weather for a couple of hours the preschool would be finished around noon and then I could stay in the lounge (parlor) for the night. She told me that I should come back around 12:30 PM and she would take me over to the church. She told me that she had to take a shut in grocery shopping.

There was a coffee house a couple of doors down. Prices were really expensive so I couldn't get any food. I did get a cup of hot green tea for $1.75. I nursed it for a couple of hours with free refills of hot water. THe temperature was kind of cool where I was sitting and I was getting kind of hypothermic. My teeth were starting to chatter. I tried to get on the internet but you needed IE to sign in but I don't have IE installed on my netbook.

Around 12:30 PM, I walked back to the parsonage. The lady minister wasn't there. I waited out in the cold for a little over an hour. I felt very strongly that I was being snubbed. I found a phone number hoping that it was a cellphone number but it was just a phone that I heard ringing in the parsonage.

Around 1:40 PM, I decided to head out. It wasn't raining any more but it was still cold in the 40s. I pushed on to Hudson. I got into Hudson a little before 5 PM. I stopped at the police station to see if they had a chaplaincy or if there was a ministerium in the town. There wasn't either one. The officer on the desk got a social worker for DHS on the phone. She wasn't that friendly. She went om and on telling me that the program was just for local people. She didn't even let me say goodbye. The officer gave me directions to some churches behind the station. I couldn't find anybody at the Catholic and Episcopal churches. I found some activity at the Presbyterian church. There was this young female talking to some black people. It turned out that the lady was the new pastor of the church. She didn't know anything. The black people weren't from this country. I couldn't really understand them. I was told to find some building with a red door. I didn't want to go anywhere off the main road.

It was around 6:30 PM when I headed out again. It was a little after dark when I got into Kinderhook. I saw some cars coming out a parking lot of a church. The first two vehicles sped around me. The last guy did stop to talk to me. He didn't know how to contact the minister. About a half mile down the road, I saw a car in back of another church (Lutheran). When I checked out the door, this motion sensitive light turned on and I saw a sign with some contact numbers on it. There wasn't an area cold but there was a pack of bulletins in the mail box. I started calling the numbers but I didn't really anybody. I had to keep moving to keep the light on. I was able to talk with the minister that was listed in the bulletin. The churches were in a cluster. The minister who's number was listed in the door was out on vacation. The pastor who I talked to was out in the country 12 miles away. He told me that at this time he couldn't help me.

About a quarter mile down the road, I saw this car with a light shining around the church. It was a police car. There was a person in the church who called the police to check me out. It was a state patrolman. He was pretty friendly. He suggested we meet in the parking lot of a gas station nearby. The officer invited me into the vehicle so that I could stay warm. Officer Malone was able to talk with somebody who I wasn't able to. They told him that they would get back to him shortly. As we were waiting, the officer had to go out to check somebody who was driving badly. As I excited the vehicle, I had left my cellphone behind. I went into the gas station and was able to sue their phone to call the dispatcher. The dispatcher told me that he would contact Officer Malone. It was about 40 minutes later when Officer Malone came back to the gas station. He had my cellphone in his hand when he left his vehicle and he told me that he had gotten an answer from somebody from the church and they wanted me to call them. A lady answered and she told me that the elders of the church wanted to help me out by getting me a room at a motel a couple of miles down the road. I thanked Officer Malone for his help.

When I got to the motel, the lady that I talked to was waiting for me. She told me that she thought that I might be hungry so she brought me a hot turkey sub, a bottle of flavored water, and a couple of homemade whoopie pies. Before she left, she slipped me $10 in a Green Handshake. It was almost 11 PM when I got into the motel room. I had been on the road 18 hours.

April 13 - Valatia, New York to Tribes Hill, New York : 61.04 miles (97.66 KM)

I had a decent night. ,It was around midnight when I fell asleep. I slept till around 4 AM. I wished that my bioclock would have let me sleep longer. I updated the website and took care of the pictures that I took during the day.

It was around 9 AM when I headed out. It was cold in the 40s so I had both coats on and my gloves on. It was a slow ride to Albany. I stopped a couple of times to get some hot chocolate to warm up. Around noon, I stopped at a Burger King to get a hot meal and to warm up. The bridge over the Hudson River was still under construction. It was the bike way this time. There were no signs at the entrance warning of this. There were some workers jackhammering the concrete walkway. Some workers helped me get Alice through the area. Part of the walkway was closed and there were cones in the roadway. I was able to ride the rest of the way down the ramp.

I decided to try and follow the bike route through Albany but it wasn't marked very well. I had a couple of people on swb recumbents go passed on the other side of the street but they didn't stop. Along the way, I took off my second jacket. I did some dead-reckoning to get on Central Avenue (NY 5). The ride west went really well. There was a bit of a tailwind to push me along.

I wanted to get through Schenectady before dark. I rode through blocks of uncared for row houses. It was a very bad area and there might have been gang activity. I think I rode passed the area's homeless shelter (Friendship House). It wasn't an inviting place. The entrance was gated. Schenactady was too big of a city to stop in.

The bridge between Schenactady and Scotia was under construction. The separate walkway was too narrow for Alice so I had to ride on the roadway. Traffic was sort of courteous. I got into Scotia around 4:40 PM. I saw a sign that said that there was some activity at the Methodist Church. They were having a spaghetti dinner for a benefit. Somebody suggested that I bring Alice inside and put her in a back hallway.

There was a lady minister. She was quite young. She did invite me to have a meal. She was eating at the time with her family when I asked her about a possible place for me to stay the night. She told me that she would have to talk to a few people and then get back to me. They served the meal family style and we ate on fancy china. The food was pretty good. I watched the minister go around to the tables to schmooze but she didn't go to my table. After the meal, I found the minister upstairs but she didn't say anything to me. It was an indication that she didn't want to help me. When I got Alice outside it was lightly sprinkling.

I stopped at the police station a couple of blocks away. The friendly officer that I talked to didn't know of another minister. Between Scotia and Amsterdam a fast moving rain shower came through the area. I had just enough time to get on my second coat and put the shower cap on my helmet. The rain didn't last long but it was enough to get me soaked. I got into Amsterdam around 8:30 PM. It was too late to find the police station so I stayed on NY 5 to ride through town. On the Western edge of town, I stopped at a Stewarts to use the restroom. This guy in the parking lot stopped me before I went inside. Before he left, he slipped me $20 in a greeb handshake. I opted to get a slice of hot pizza that was on sale.

I kept on going through the small town of Tribes Hill. I finally found a place to camp out in some woods up a hill. The clearing wasn't that far from the road because two huge trees had fallen over. There was room to get my tent down. It was around 10:30 PM when I got into the tent. Right Right after I got into the tent, it started sprinkling again.

April 14 - Tribes Hill, New York to Palatine Bridge, New York : 17.96 miles (28.74 KM)

It was a bit of a off night. It was cold and I had some pain in my left arm and my feet were cold. When it got daylight, I found out that the reason why my feet were cold was that the bottom of the sleeping bag was wet. Water had puddled between the ground cloth and the tent. The sleeping pad was wet on the bottom.

It was around 7 AM when I headed out. There were off and on sprinkles. I got into Fonda around 7:40 AM. I stopped to get a cup of hot chocolate and some pastry. There was a Dollar General and I bought some more gloves and a pull over hat on sale big enough to cover my hat.

Between Fonda and Palatine Bridge, there were a lot of things to stop and take pictures of. There were quite a few waterfalls to check out. Also, there were a crew of railroad workers repairing the Westbound track. They were replacing spikes and cleaning the ballast below the ties. I took quite a few pictures and a short video. Some guys also stopped me to take some pictures of me and Alice.

I got into Palatine Bridge around 10:15 AM. Instead of going into town for church, I went across the bridge over the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal to Canajoharie. I stopped at the first church that I came to - St John's and St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church. I got to meet the pastor before the service. There was communion so I wasn't able to speak. I was introduced before the prayer time. After the service, some people stopped to talk with me. The pastor offered to get me a room at a motel that I had passed before coming into Palatine Bridge. The church treasury took me over to check me in and he brought me back to the church so I could pick up Alice.

It is so good to be in a warm and dry place tonight. I'll be riding through Utica tomorrow. I'm about two days ride from Chittenango.

April 15 - Palatine Bridge, New York to Chittenango, New York : 93.14 miles (149.02 KM)

I had an okay afternoon and night. It took a while for the baseboard heaters to heat up the room but when they did the room got pretty warm. I was able to get all of my damp sleeping gear dried. I went to sleep around 10 PM.

I slept till around 5 AM. I left the motel a little before 8 AM. The temperature was in the 30s but it was supposed to get up into the 60s in the afternoon. I rode into town and stopped at a gas station to get some breakfast. The ride west went really well. It started to get more warmer so I was able to take my second coat off and put away the wool cap and the extra pair of gloves. I got into Little Falls a little before noon so I decided to stop for a hot meal.

After lunch, the ride into Utica went really well. I followed the designated bike route so I didn't have to ride into downtown Utica. I got through the Utica area around 3:30 PM. On the radio, I heard that there was the possibility with rain and high winds tomorrow so I opted to push the rest of the way to Chittenango instead of finding a place to stay and then ride the rest of the way into Chittenango tomorrow.

I decided to follow NY Bike Route 5 for most of the way but it took me a little off my path. Along the way, I found a really good flashing light system on the side of the road that was still flashing. I had to swing SW through Onieda to get back on NY 5. I got through Onieda a little before dusk. It was good that I took the time this morning at the motel to charge up the NiteRider battery pack. I got to the Eastern edge of Chittenango before the battery pack lost it's charge. I got to my friend's house around 9:30 PM. I had been on the road for 11.5 hours. If I had ridden 7 more miles, I would have passed the Century mark for the first time this year.

I'm going to take the rest of the week off. I've got to do some repairs on Alice. I have to try and repair the below seat rack and I've got to sew on a new cover on the seat. When I get back on the road Monday, April 22nd, (weather permitting), I'll be heading to the Cincinatti, Ohio area. From there, I'll probably be traveling to Northeast Iowa.

The next trip update should be posted sometime around April 30th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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