TRIP 2014

Update #11 - May 09th
Norwalk, Ohio
4,096.54 miles (6,554.46 KM)

April 28: Chittenango, NY to Macedon, NY - 92.29 miles (147.66 KM)

I had an okay night. Before going to bed, I had packed up Alice so there wasn't much to carry in the morning to the garage. I left the house around 7:30 am. I used local roads for a while before getting back on NY 5 for a short distance. After about 2 miles on NY 5, I switched over to US 290 and took that most of the way into downtown Syracuse. I got back on NY 5. Between Solvay and Camillus, I had to get on NY 98 because NY 5 became a restricted access highway.

By noon, I was able to make 23 miles. I stopped at a gas station west of Elbridge for some lunch. I headed Northwerst on NY 31B to Weedsport. I got into Weedsport around 4 pm. This was my intented stopping point for the day but I couldn't make any connections with a minister. There wasn't an after-hours number for the Presbyterian minister. I was able to talk with the interim minister at the Baptist church but he passed me off. I tried contacting somebody at the police station but the emergency phone system didn't work. After about 20 minutes in town, I headed out on NY 31 to Port Byron and Savannah. It was almost 6 pm when I got into Savannah and I didn't see any way to connect with a minister.

It was a little after 7 pm when I got into Clyde. I rode around the downtown area but I couldn't find the law enforcement office. I stopped at the Presbyterian church. There were people leaving the church (possibly from an AA meeting). I stopped at a house that I thought was the parsonage but nobody answered the doorbell when I pushed it.

I stopped at a gas station for a short break and also to change the batteries in my helmet light. It was a little after 9 pm when I rolled through Newark. Traffic was light and there was a wide shoulder so I was comfortable with riding after dark. It was a little after 10 pm when I pedaled through Palmyra. Between Palmyra and Macedon, I almost ran into a black kid on a bicycle. He was riding a small bmx bike and he didn't have any safety gear on it. He was also wearing dark clothes. The kid was riding against traffic instead of with it so he was on the wrong side of the road. At the last second, I swerved around him or we have gotten into a head on collision.

It was a little after 11 pm when I got into Macedon. From NY 31, it was a short ride north to the Erie Canal and the park there. Cyclists are allowed to camp out in the parks where there are locks using the same spots where boaters use. It was almost 11:30 pm when I got everything into the tent.

April 29 : Macedon, NY to Pittsford, NY - 12.99 miles (20.78 KM)

I was sort of an off night. In the middle of the night, I had a nightmare of something attacking the tent and I caught myself screaming. It took a while to fall back asleep. It was good that I had taken the time to stake down my tent because the wind started up. Daylight came early around 5:30 am. To avoid any problems, I quickly packed Alice up and struck down the tent. It almost blew into the canal just feet away. From what I've learned this section of the canal had recently been filled up after it's drawdown for the winter.

It was around 6:30 am when I got back on the road. I stopped at a gas station for some breakfast. Instead of getting on the canal path, I chose to follow NY 31, which became NY Bike Route 5. I wanted to get some miles in because there was a bad storm coming in. I got out my radio because I wanted to hear the latest about all of the possible tornadoes in the South. When I heard that Tupelo, MS had been hit by a tornado last night, I quickly pulled over to call my friend in Saltillo just north of Tupelo. Their neighborhood had been spared from any of the damage but the electricity was out. They had a generator. Their son's (Daniel's) house in town had been damaged but they wasn't any mention on how bad the damage was. Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama had been hit by tornadoes as well.

I stopped at a McDs in Egypt to send out some emails. Since I was close to the Canal, I headed North to get on the canal for a little bit. I wanted to stop at the bike shop in Pittsford to have the hub of the front wheel checked out. There was a wobble and the cones were loose.

Once I got on the canal, the ride was really rough. There had been some work done on the canal and the path was stone. The stone was really slippery because it was raining pretty hard. About a mile down the road, I bumped onto another cross-country cyclists. He had started sometime last year and was wandering around the country. He was having a miserable time and was riding East towards Cooperstown. He told me that he had been sick so I offered him some of my aspirin but he refused. He also said that he didn't have much funds. I offered him some of my food but he didn't want any. He was connected with the Warm Cyclists group and was dependent on his hosts to feed him. He was on the way to Palmyra today.

I stopped at Towpath Bike. They wanted the repair paid for first. The repair took a little over an hour. The mechanic repacked the hub. It was really raining hard and I didn't think that I wanted to go on. I decided to see if I could find a minister at a church. I crossed over the canal into the downtown area. I made a beeline to the largest church steeple that I could see. This was the First Presbyterian Church. The minister was quite friendly and he was a cyclist as well. The pastor offered to take me home tonight and if I have to stay over because of the weather something else could be arranged or I could stay in the youth room of the church.

We went to the parsonage for some lunch. On the way back to the church, the pastor took me out to the mother store of Wegman's Grocery. This was by far the largest store that I've ever been in grocery wise. It was bigger than a Walmart supercenter. Back at the church, I was given the chance to fill up my food pannier with things from the churches food pantry. They are involved in a backpack program to provide meals to kids over the weekend.

Alice was situated in the narthax and I went through my panniers to collect anything that I would need for the night because I was going to spend the night back at the parsonage. Also, I was offered the use of their washer and dryer. I wasn't feeling well and because there was going to be some more rain the next couple of days I was invited to stay over. I will probably have to spend the night at the church tomorrow because Rev Boak has to take somebody to DE so they can connect with a group going on a mission trip to Kenya. Mrs Boak is going to have some kind of treatment for her leukemia.

I was really having a serious problem with a cold. This was my first sickness for the year. Before going to bed, Rev Boak gave me some cold tablets.

May 02 : Pittsford, NY to Brockport, NY - 30.70 miles (49.26 KM)

I had a much better night than the last two ones. I was totally amazed that one small cup of cough syrup worked 200% better than all of the cold tablets and aspirin that I took the past couple of nights. I woke up around 5 am quite refreshed. This was the best I've felt since Monday. I was hoping to maybe stay over one more day but I opted to head out. There were going to be a lot of meetings at the church throughout the day until late evening and the classrooms upstairs were going to be prepared so the church could host five homeless families next week starting Sunday.

It was almost 9 am when I headed out from the church. I went back to the canal path and took it through Rochester. The ride was slow because there was a stiff headwind. I got into Spencerport around noon. I stopped to get something warm to eat at a grocery store. Afterwards, I tried to connect with a minister but I wasn't able to.

It was a slow ride to Brockport. I got into the Brockport area around 3 pm. I went over to the Presbyterian Church. They were having a rummage sale. I was just able to get the cell phone number for the pastor but he wasn't available. Just left him a couple of voice mail messages. There wasn't any contact numbers for the Episcopal and Baptist churches. I tried the Catholic church but there wasn't anybody there who could make a decision. There was going to be a play at the Methodist church. I was able to connect with the Methodist minister but she was out of town. Arrangements for the night were being made for me to stay in the church for the night. This whole thing fell through because the pastor's husband balked at the idea of me staying overnight in the church by myself. The pastor did give me directions to a Free Methodist church South of town on NY 31.

It was almost 4:30 pm when I headed out of town to the church. I was told that I might find somebody there because there is an afterschool program at the church. When I got on NY 31 going West, the first church that I came across was Concordia Lutheran (Mo Synod). I happened to spot a car in back so I thought that I would check it out. It was good that I did because Rev Triplett, who was the interim minister was in his office. He was a pretty friendly guy and he didn't complain after I got his attention by tapping a couple of times on the window near his desk. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, Rev Triplett offered to get me a room at the EconoLodge motel next door. Before he left, he surprised me by giving me all of the money that he had in his wallet, which was over $60.

Tomorrow, I'm thinking about road riding on NY 31 instead of heading back North to the Erie Canal Trail to Lockport.

May 03 : Brockport, NY to Williamsville, NY - 61.31 miles (98.10 KM)

I had an okay night. I was able to get some sleep. I woke up around 5 am. Because I had all of the food on board, I opted to not go to the office for the free breakfast. Seeing that there was cereal I didn't know whether it was stale or fresh. This was my first Potel in a while.

It took a while getting things downtstairs down the narrow stairs and through the narrow hallway. What a safety issue. Not big enough for two way traffic. Surely, I could have been given a downstairs room because there wasn't that many people there that night.

I got on the road around 8:45 am. Instead of heading back to the canal trail, I chose to stay on NY 31. The ride was slow because of a stiff headwind and hills. I only made it to Albion by noon. I stopped for an early lunch. During the afternoon, there was an occasional rain shower but not really a downpour.

I got into Lockport around 5 pm. I saw some activity at a church but I had missed the pastor by just a couple of minutes. Right before the canal in downtown Lockport, I turned Southward on NY 78. About five miles back on NY 31, I had seen a sign for a motel but I couldn't find it. I stopped at a motel but they had rates over $80. Further down the road, there were several high priced chain motels.

Right before dusk, I came across the Super 8 in Williamsville. I didn't want to try and go any farther and get caught in Buffalo. Even with a discount, I had to pay more than what I could have afforded to pay. At least, I had the money that Pastor Triplett gave me last night to fall back on.

Don't know how far I'm going to be able to travel tomorrow because it is supposed to be cold and wet again.

May 04 : Williamsville, NY to West Seneca, NY - 10.48 miles (16.77 KM)

I had an okay night. I was able to get some sleep. I woke up around 5 am. There was an okay hot breakfast. I left the motel around 8:30 am. After about 2 miles of riding, I got to I-90. I found some motels with cheaper prices but more than likely they might have been Potels and I could have dealt with either roach-motels or bedbugs. About a mile further down the road, this guy stopped me to talk with me. Before he left, he slipped me a couple of dollars.

I didn't get far down the road because the front tire was soft. I switched tubes. I had to use my back-up pump to inflate it because the main pump was acting up. There were no churches on NY 78 so when I got into West Seneca, I started going West on NY 354. It was getting late and I was concerned that I wasn't going to come across a church for morning service.

Around 10:50 am, I finally spotted some churches. I stopped at St John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. I got to speak with the minister before the service. At the end of the service, the pastor introduced me and I got to say a few words. The minister was going to let me stay in the church but he arranged a home visit instead with a Mr and Mrs Rothlisburger. Alice was situated in the church library and I collected what I needed for the night. On the way to their house, we stopped for lunch at a Dunkin Donut.

There was a musical concert at the church in the afternoon. It was a chorale made up by choir members of several Lutheran churches. Mrs Rothlisburger was in the choir. Most times the musi was okay but there were a couple of places where the voices were not blended very well. The guy who played the piano and the pipe organ really got the pipe organ to really sound great. There was a reception afterwards with finger food so we didn't have any supper at the house.

It wasn't that long after we got back to the house that I excused myself and went upstairs to my assigned bedroom. I probably fell asleep before dark.

May 05 : West Seneca, NY to Westfield, NY - 68.81 miles (110.10 KM)

I had an okay night. I was able to get some sleep even though it was interesting spending the night in the Rothlisburger's niece's room. Before going to bed, I read a funny fictional book about a Quaker minister and his congregation. I maybe got 6 or 7 hours in. I woke up around 5 AM.

I went downstairs around 7 am. The Rothlisburgers made me a good hot breakfast. Before we went back to the church, Mr Rothlisburger took me downstairs to check his HO train layout in the basement. It was pretty interesting to look at. He was able to get two trains running at the same time. While we were still down in the basement, Mr Rothlisburger surprised me by slipping me a $50 bill.

We went to the church around 8 am. We got Alice out of the library where she was stored but I couldn't take her out of the church because the front tire was flat. Mr Rothlisburger took me to a nearby Walmart so I could get a couple new tubes. Once back at the church, it took me about 15 minutes to get Alice back on the road. It was almost 9:30 am when I got on the road.

I was going to head south on NY 277 to US 20 but I opted to head West on NY 344 instead. NY 344 became Clinton Street in Buffalo. I rode into downtown Buffalo and got on the Lakeshore Bike Path. The ride went okay but it was a little tricky since there were not that many signs. I got on NY 5 in Lackawana. I stopped and got some lunch in Blasdell.

The afternoon ride went okay. At a Family Dollar in Irving, I was surprised at finding a folded up $20 bill outside the store. Just before Silver Creek, I got on US 20. I was going to stop in Fredonia but I decided to go on. The ride went really well.

Between Fredonia and Brocton, there was a deer farm. There were a half dozen small deer. One of them was a bright white albino deer. I stopped to take quite a few pictures of it and the other deer.

I got into Westport around 7 pm. I decided to see I could find some activity at a church. I found some cars at the St Peter Episcopal Church. There was a deacon's meeting going on. The church had this small shelter in the parking lot that you basically crawled into it that had electricity but it looked like it was already occupied. I would have been concerned because it didn't look like you could lock the door from the inside. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, the rector gave me a voucher so I could get a room at the local motel that I had passed coming into town. The rector also slipped me a GH of $20.

I'll be riding into PA tomorrow.

May 06 : Westfield, NY to Edgewood, OH - 73.32 miles (117.31 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. If I would have been a little closer to the office, I would have had a better signal from the wifi modem.

I got on the road around 8:20 am. It was a good day. Nothing really interesting happened during the day. From the motel, I had a little over a thirteen mile ride to the PA State Line. The ride into and out of Erie went okay. Traffic was generally light and there was a good shoulder to ride along. I got into Girard around 3 pm. I wasn't sure that the pastor at the Methodist Church that I had stayed at was there. There weren't any cars at the parsonage. It was still early in the day so I decided to push on to Ohio.

I got into Ohio around 5 pm. I didn't feel like stopping in Conneaut. I decided to go ahead and keep on riding along US 20 till Edgewood. There were two motels across the street from each other so I picked the cheaper of the other two. This was the Potel. I paid a little more than what I had wanted to but I had the money that the Rothlisburgers had given me.

May 07 : Edgewood, OH to Bay Village, OH - 76.37 miles (122.19 KM)

Considering that this was a Potel, I had an okay night. It would have been a little better if the desk clerk would have given me a non-smoking room. The room stunk. I didn't feel like crawling into the covers. I had some wifi access from a gas station next door.

I got on the road around 8 am. The day went okay. It started out a little cool in the 40s but it warmed up into the low 60s. I rode as far as I could on US 20 and then I switched over to the Cleveland Lakeshore Bike Route. The closer that I got to Cleveland the more that I tried to find someplace to stop but I never saw anybody at any of the churches.

I got into downtown Cleveland around 6 pm. There was a really bad section of roadway. It was a little tricky finding my way through the downtown area and across a high bridge over the Cuyahoga River. Once across the River, I got on OH 6 ALT. This took me through Ohio City and Lakewood. This was an okay ride because there was a bike lane most of the way. Traffic was pretty light.

It was starting to get late and I was getting concerned about finding a place to stop. It looked like I was going to be in a residential area for quite a long while. There weren't that many churches along the way so I was happy to see some cars behind a large church. This was the Bay Presbyterian Church. There was choir practice going on but there was also some other activity. There were several guys still there that was staff administration and one of the assistant minister was close by. I was given permission to stay in the church for the night. The alarm system in the part of the church that I was going to stay in was disabled. There were several couches in the sanctuary narthax that I could sleep on. Before leaving, one of the guys went to the kitchen and got me some food. There was a good sandwich and a couple fruit cups. The janitor went and got me a couple cans of soda. Before the assistant pastor left, he offered to come early and bring me a breakfast from McDs.

It wasn't that long after everybody had left that I fell asleep even though I was in a hallway with floor to ceiling glass windows.

May 08 : Bay Village, OH to Norwalk, OH - 50.58 miles (80.93 KM)

I had a really good night. I fell asleep a little before 11 pm and I woke up around 5:30 am. The sun was just coming up. There was free wifi so I was able to get my website updated. I'm glad that I was already dressed because some ladies came in to attend some early morning prayer service. Matt, the assistant pastor came by around 7 am with breakfast from MDs. We talked for about 20 minutes. Before he left, Matt surprised me by slipping me a GH of $50.

I got around a little before 8 am. The temperature was already in the low 70s so I didn't have to wear my jacket. The ride along US 6 went okay. The ride was a little slow because there was a headwind of about 14 mph. I got about 24 miles in by noon. I stopped at a Wendys in Vermillion for some lunch.

I kept on US 6 till Ceylon Junction. Instead of keeping on through to Sandusky, I decided to head South to Norwalk because US 6 became restricted access between Sandusky and Fremont. The ride along OH 61 went okay. I stopped for a break in Berlin Heights.

I got into downtown Norwalk around 4 pm. I had a hard time connecting with a minister. The pastor had left at the Methodist church. There was just a youth center open at the Baptist Church. I found the secretary in the office at the Episcopal church. The rector couldn't be disturbed because he just started a counseling session for a funeral. The secretary gave me some phone numbers. One of them was an after hours for the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I got to talk with the clerk of sessions. He told me that there was going to be a special meeting of the deacons because the search committee had found a candidate for the minister. At the church, I got to meet with the intentional interim minister. Instead of letting me stay in the church for the night, Rev Connor offered to get me a room at a nearby motel. Before he left, Rev Connor slipped me $10 so I could get some supper at a nearby BK.

I'm going to be riding to Fremont tomorrow. I might not make it all the way because there might be some afternoon thunderstorms.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between May 16th and May 23rd.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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