TRIP 2016

Update #12 - June 12th
Chittenango, New York
Trip 48 : 2,840.44 miles (4,544.70 km)
Year Total : 3,593.36 miles (5,749.38 km)

First day off the road since June 01st. That was back in Clyde, Ohio. I had ridden 497.74 miles (796.38 km) since my last day off.

May 30, 2016 : Bryan, OH to Bowling Green, OH : 51.73 miles (82.77 km)
Trip Total: 2,296.98 miles (3,675.17 km)
Year Total: 3,049.40 miles (4,879.34 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the motel. In the afternoon, I took over a two hour nap. Around 5 PM, I took a short walk to a nearby grocery store and a BK to get some supper. At the grocery store, I got some things for breakfast because they served breakfast really late at the motel.

I slept pretty lightly. The mini fridge made a really loud clunking sound almost contiuously and the thermostat above me clicked. I woke up a couple of times during the night. I woke up around 5 AM.

I left the motel around 7:20 AM. I backtracked to US 6 and headed East. There was a tailwind to push me along. I got the first 20 miles in by 10:40 AM. I continued on to Napolean. I stopped at the McDs for some lunch. The McDs was a little over a mile out of the way but I needed the break. I could have tried to stop in Napoleon for the night because there were two Warm Showers members in the area but being that this was Memorial Day I wasn't sure that I could find either one of them home.

The afternoon ride went okay. I stopped at a dairy place in McClure to get a small strawberry shake. I got out my laptop to see where the motels were in Bowling Green if I couldn't connect with the WS member. I didn't have any cell phone service there. Across the highway to the North was a church where I had stayed at last year. I remembered that they were serving a free community meal that night. (Going to my journals that the stop over was May 22, 2015 and the church was an ELCA).

About 12 miles out of Bowling Green, I stopped at a motorcycle place to see if I could call the WS member. There was a shelter and a picnic table where I could sit at. I was able to connect with Tom. He told me that it would be okay to come over but he told me that there would be two other people there. One of them would be a girl. Tom gave me directions to get off of US 6.

About 8 miles out of Bowling Green, a girl on a packed out touring bike caught up to me passed me. In a few sentences, she told me that she was going to Tom's place. She told me that she had left Gary, IN three days ago. She was going to be going to Baltimore, MD to catch a jet to Portland, OR and she would then ride back to Gary. In a few seconds, she blew passed me and was out of sight in no time.

I had a neat encounter with two young raccoons a couple of miles down the road. They were attempting to cross the road from a field to the North of the road but when they saw me they turned back into the field where they have come from. It happened so fast that I wasn't able to stop and get out my camera. A couple of miles further down the highway, I stopped to talk to a farmer who was planting a field of soy beans. He was filling the planter from a hopper trailer. The farmer told me that his tractor cost over $200K and the planter cost a little over $100K. With all of his farming equipment, he told me that he had spent over a million dollars.

A couple of miles into Bowling Green, Tom was waiting for me near the county fairgrounds and he escorted me to his house.

May 31, 2016 : Bowling Green, OH to Clyde, OH : 45.72 miles (73.15 km)
Trip Total: 2,342.70 miles (3,748.32 km)
Year Total: 3,095.62 miles (4,952.99 km)

I had an okay night. Tom and his wife took me, the guy from Nashville, TN, and the gal from Gary, IN out to a local pizza place and also for some ice cream. Instead of trying to sleep in the small enclosed porch with the other guy I opted to camp out in my tent in the back yard. I moved all of my stuff out of the garage and into the backyard. I had the tent up and things inside by 9:50 pm. I didn't stay up late because I was tired from being up by 5 AM. I did sleep lightly because of the neighborhood dogs. At least, I didn't have to try and go inside to use the restroom.

I woke up with the sun. I had Alice packed up by 6 AM. The gal from Gary left around 6:20 AM. She wanted to get in 95 miles because her goal was to get to Litchfield. Tom got me some breakfast. Tom was going to be leaving in about a week to go on an Adventure Cycling supported ride across the country between Bar Harbor, ME and Anacortes, WA. There are supposed to be 9 in the group. Tom is going to be riding his Rans V-Rex SWB recumbent.

I got on the road around 6:40 AM after Tom took some pictures. I got back on Poe East and headed East to Main Street where I turned South for the ride through the downtown area. In the downtown area, I missed my turn to ride passed the university so I continued South to US 6. I forgot that US 6 became restricted access till it got past I-75. I backtracked about a quarter-mile and took the first road going East. This road was a good choice because it took me over I-75 and ended about two miles East of the interstate.

Once I got back on US 6, I got slammed by a headwind of about 15 mph. The ride East went okay because the land was mostly flat. By 10:40 AM, I had the first mile in. By noon, I had ridden almost 27 miles and I was about 6 miles out of Fremont. I stopped for a late lunch in Fremont around 1 pm.

After lunch, I found the trailhead for the Inland Trace RtoR path that would take me to Clyde. I got into Clyde a little before 4 PM. From downtown Clyde, it was about a mile ride to my friend's house.

June 02, 2016 : Clyde, OH to Oberlin, OH : 47.63 miles (76.21 km)
Trip Total: 2,390.33 miles (3,824.53 km)
Year Total: 3,143.25 miles (5,029.20 km)

I had an okay night. After supper, we went into town to Charles' and Jean's church "Harvest Baptist Temple". Lots of people but they were pretty well self-centered. Not too many people were friendly towards me. It was just a "two-handshake" church. Lots of people were in suits and dresses. I thought that people would come up to comfort Charles from the loss of one of his younger brothers but they didn't. Multiple pastors but between head pastor. Getting ready to go through a year long period to select a pastor even though they want to make the youth pastor the head pastor.

There was this lady playing a flute and some people playing guitars but there music was drowned out my an organ that was played loud and was in the same tune as an organ being played at a ball field. Stage show "presentation" church. There were two large screens behind the stage where slides and videos were shown. There were tv cameras in the auditorium. One of the main slides shown had an American flag but it was shown backwards. This really got to me because on Memorial Day 32 years ago I became a naturalized American citizen in a service done at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando, FL in 1984. At the bottom, there was the slogan "God Bless America" with two !'s. To me this statement is quite arrogant being some kind of command for God blessing this country. I firmly believe that it should be "May God In His Mercy Bless This Country?".

I had to tell one of the ministers about Charles's loss so that he could tell the other members of the congregation. The youth minister gave the sermon using slides of the instruments of the Temple. The youth minister showed a picture of the Lavelier and he said that the modern day equivalent of a bird bath. He should have said that the modern day equivalent was the batismal font in some churches.

It took a long time falling asleep because I slept too much during the day. Instead of six hours of sleep, I probably just got 4 hours. I woke up around 5:30 AM. I got myself cleaned up and dressed and got my things outside but I had to wait till Jean got up around 7 AM to get into the second garage. Before eating breakfast, I got Alice packed up.

I got on the road around 7:40 AM. I backtracked into the downtown area to get back on the bike trail. A couple of miles down the road I had to stop at a park bench to retape the space bar because the right pedal was hitting the space bar. It took me about 35 minutes to get it done.

I followed the bike trail till about 2 miles out of Bellevue where the paved trail ended. In downtown Bellevue, I stopped at a grocery store and hardware store to get a few things. Traffic was kind of heavy till I got to the East side of town. I stopped at a Walmart to take a tea break and to check my email. Leaving the McDs, I talked with two older guys about Alice.

A quarter mile passed the McDs was a divided 4-lane highway with a wide paved shoulder divided by a rumble strip. There was a strong tailwind that pushed me along. I got cruising up to around 13 mph. Even with the delays and long breaks, I got the first 20 miles in by 11:35 AM. I was in downtown Norwalk by noon and I had ridden almost 23 miles. I went to the SE side of town to have lunch at a McDs. I got my laptop connected so I could check out if there were any WS members on my route. I found a couple in Oberlin.

It took a while getting through town to Bus US 20 because US 20 was restricted access. Once I got onto US 20, the ride was a little slow because the road shoulder was pretty bad. Because of the heat in the 80s, I took some breaks along the way. I was able to connect with the WS members in Oberlin.

About 4 miles out of Oberlin, I met up with a cycle tourist heading east. He was traveling from Chatagua, New York to Detroit. The guy was really going light with just a small pair of panniers and a twisted up tire on his rear rack. He was moteling it.

I got to my WS host house in Oberlin around 5:20 PM.

My goal tomorrow is to head North to Elyria to either contact the WS member there or try and connect with the assistant minister at the Presbyterian Church in Bay Village outside of Cleveland.

June 03, 2016 : Oberlin, OH to Westlake, OH : 29.79 miles (47.66 km)
Trip Total: 2,420.12 miles (3,872.19 km)
Year Total: 3,173.04 miles (5,076.86 km)

I had an okay night at Ken's and Lisa's house. There was an upstairs bedroom that I used. I got some rest but I wish that I could have gotten more. I woke up around 4:45 AM. I kept myself quiet till around 6 AM when I heard some noise downstairs.

After getting cleaned up and dressed, I took everything downstairs to the garage to pack up Alice. Ken got me some breakfast. Lisa came into the kitchen. We got into a discussion about how I financed my rides. I told Lisa that I traveled by faith. Lisa commented that I must be dependent on others giving me funds. I told Lisa no and I'm content with what I have and I can survive on the Road Manna that I find along the way. After breakfast, Ken helped me get Alice out of the garage. Ken took a couple of pictures of me and Alice and he went out to the street to find the daily newspaper. I headed out walking on the sidewalk towards Main Street. Less than a foot and a half down the sidewalk, I was surprised at finding a folded up $20 bill on the sidewalk.

In the downtown area, I found a quarter in the street. I got on US 58. The ride North to Lorain went okay. In Lorain, I got on US 6 going East. I stopped at a lakeside park to work on the kickstand. I put on the small hose clamp that I bought at the hardware store in Bellevue above the rubber boot to keep it in place so I can park Alice in grass.

Even with the two extended breaks, I was able to ride 22 miles by noon. The afternoon ride to Bay Village went okay. It was in the upper 70s so I took quite a few mini breaks. I was able to connect with my friend Matt at the Bay Village Presbyterian Church. I could have stayed in the church for the night but Matt offered to get me a room at a Super-8 in nearby Westlake.

Around 6 pm, Matt came by and picked me and took me to his home for a cookout in the backyard. I met three of Matt's children and also Matt's wife's father up from Florida. After the cookout, Matt took me to a grocery store and offered to get some food to fill up my food pannier.

June 04, 2016 : Westlake, OH to Mentor-On-The-Lake, OH : 44.79 miles (71.66 km)
Trip Total: 2,464.91 miles (3,943.86 km)
Year Total: 3,217.83 miles (5,148.53 km)

It was really nice seeing Matt again. I missed him last year because he had been on vacation in Chatagua, NY. I had a good time at his house at the cookout. I met his three boys (1 six and 2 twin boys who were a little over 7 yrs old). There was supposed to be a 14 month difference in ages between the youngest boy and the twins. Matt's wife, his wife's mother, three yr old daughter, and nine yr old daughter were at a ballet recital that the 9 yr old was taking part in.

I had a somewhat okay night at the motel. It's been almost a year since the last time that I've stayed at this motel. The room that I got was a little run down. The carpeting was a little frayed at the entrance to the bathroom. The bathroom door had a lot of worn spots at the bottom of the door. The thing that wouldn't allow my mind to settle was the smoke detector on the ceiling. It was falling out of it's mount. Instead of being fastened at four points, it was fastened at two spots. During the night, I had half expected it to come crashing down onto the foot of the bed and hit my feet. The chairs weren't tall enough for me to try and put it back into it's mount by myself. The parking lot was pretty well empty when I checked in around 3 PM but it was almost filled up at night. The people in the room next to me to the North got into their room really late and they were pretty noisy about it.

It was going to be a long night. Around 3:40 AM, I woke up. I was thinking that this was it and I'd be awake the rest of the night but after staying up for about a half hour, I was able to fall asleep till around 6:30 AM. I got cleaned up, dressed, and then went to the breakfast room to pick up some breakfast. There weren't that many people in the breakfast room.

I left the motel a little after 8 AM. Instead of backtracking passed the Bay Presbyterian Church, I followed the frontage road to the next exit to the East and then headed North back to US 6. Once back on US 6 the ride East towards Cleveland went okay. The ride was a little slow because I hit sections of bad shoulder. Near Lakewood, I got on Alt US 6 that became Detroit Ave. Lakewood was really bike friendly. In the downtown area, there were plenty of places where you could lock up your bikes. These spots were marked with round blue signs that had a capitol B. At one marked spot, there was a tool center with the bike tools fastened onto it by long metal cables.

Between Lakewood and the West side of Cleveland, I met up with a wild critter that I thought I'd never see in a residential metropolitan area. There was a young skunk near the intersection of the highway. It had come out of some woods that mught have been part of Cuden Park. The skunk must have been a couple of months old. It was trying to wrestle with and pull a large piece of either a donut or a hard roll back into the woods. This was happening less than a foot or two from the road. I stopped about seven feet from it and I took several pictures of it and a short video. I must have watched it for a little over ten minutes. It was oblivious to the traffic and to me when I passed it.

A couple of miles passed the skunk there was some kind of yard sale going on in front of a senior center highrise. They called it a "Trash to Treasures Sale". I stopped because I caught sight of a table with baked goods. I bought a large piece of Apple strudel and a bag of chocolate chip cookies. They were being sold for a free-will donation.

Traffic was really light on Detroit Avenue. A couple of blocks passed the sale, I flagged down a young guy on a touring bike heading West. He looked to be in his young twenties. The guy was really soft spoken. I had a really hard time hearing him. He told me that he was from Bloomington, IN and he was finishing up a perimeter tour of the country. He has been out a little over a year and he was on his home stretch back to Bloomington. He had ten days left on his tour. He had a cam-corder with him.

The ride through the rest of the West side of Cleveland went okay. I didn't have any problems riding over the high and long bridge over the Cuyuhoga River into downtown Cleveland. I got on the Lakeshore Bike Trail. I got off of Detroit Ave and turned North on West Third Avenue and then rode down the hill to North Marginal Road. I rode passed the city's large football stadium, science center, and the Rock Music Hall of Fame. Just passed the Music Hall of Fame, I found a road surface that was being repaved. This was great because during the passed couple of times through this area, the highway was really bad with a lot of bumps and potholes. I had to stop at a boat docking area on the lake because I saw this guy at the end of a crane. He was in a sling and was working on the electronics (possibly radar) at the top of a tall mast of a sailboat.

Just passed the Burke Lakefront Airport, I bumped into my second cycle tourist for the day. This was a young lady and she was heading West. We stopped to talk for a few minutes. I found out that she had started from Portland, ME three weeks ago and was traveling possibly to the West Coast. She was a lot different than the girl that I had met in Bowling Green, Ohio. She was on a hybrid bicycle with a handlebar that was quite similar to the Glenn "Bowtie" handlebar that I had on my first two hybrids made by Schwinn.

I made my way through Gordon Park and Cleveland Lakefront State Park. There was this one section of the park that was almost white like it was covered in snow. Instead, it was covered with white seed pollen from a grove of trees. I had to stop and take a few pictures of it.

Coming into Bratenahl, I met up with my third cycle tourist of the day. This was a very young guy possibly right out of high school. Tyler told me that he had just started out from a nearby suburb and this was his first day out. This was his first cross country trip and was riding to Los Angeles. He was going to try and make it in seven weeks. He told me that he was going to cross the Mississippi River somewhere near St Louis and get on the Trans-American Route. I shared with Tyler as much as I could with possible routing to the Mississippi River and possible bridges to be used to cross over. Tyler soaked it up like a sponge. Tyler told me that he was going to cross the Rockies somewhere near Pueblo, CO and then ride into Southern Utah. I couldn't help him there because I was only familar with Northern Colorado and Utah. We talked for about 15 minutes.

Just beyond the ritzy area of Bratenahl, I started to ride through the economically depressed area of East Cleveland. I stopped at a gas station for a break to get something to drink and I gobbled down the piece of strudel. After the break, I continued on Lakeshore Blvd (Cleveland Bike Trail and part of the path around Lake Erie). I stopped at this parking lot of a shopping center because they were having some kind of festival. It was a safety and bike safety festival mostly geared to the young kids in the area. There were some exhibits. The thing that got me to stop were several monster trucks and a robotic hydrolic powered giant robot man and dog. There were several fire trucks and police officers. The police were getting ready to raffle off some old adult and kid's bikes that were possibly found or stolen and retrieved. Helmets were also being raffled off. I picked up a clear plastic poncho that was in a small plastic box. Never knew when something tlike this would come in handy. I talked with several of the police officers.

I tried to contact several of the WS members in the Mentor area. I rode along Lake Shore Blvd till around Lakeline. I stopped at this Nazarene Church because I saw some activity. Some people were having a graduation party for one of the young people who attended the church.

Instead of continueing on OH 283, I turned South along OH 91 because there was a bike path. I got on US 20 in the Wickliffe area. It was around 5:50 PM so I stopped at this McDonalds for a light supper. There was this young black guy who must have been a homosexual who was a cook. He was speaking in a very high hyperfeminized falsetto voice, It was so high that it was hurting my ears because it was so out of normalcy. I didn't stay long at the McDs.

A little after 6 PM, it started to rain. I put on the poncho. I had to stop at a picnic shelter in a park next to several softball fields to wait out the rain. There were several little league teams playing in the rain. I started to ride through Willoughby. I stopped at this one small Lutheran Church. There was a parsonage next door. The elderly pastor turned me away when I asked him if I could spend the night in his church.

In Willoughby, I checked out several other churches but I didn't find anybody around them. I got a text from the young guy in Mentor who was a WS member to tell me that he couldn't host me tonight because he was going to be out of town. I hadn't heard from the couple in Mentor-On-The-Lake.

Somehow, I missed a turn and I got off of US 20. I was surprised at finding myself back on OH 283 in Mentor. I finally was able to connect with the guy in Mentor-On-The-Lake. He was unavailable because he and his wife were down in Western North Carolina outside of Asheville on tour himself.

I stopped at a gas station for a break. Going out of station, I spotted a truck in the parking lot of a Methodist Church across the street. When I got to the church, I found the door unlocked and lights on downstairs in the fellowship hall. It turns out that an AA meeting was getting ready to start. The guy who I talked to didn't know any contact info for the pastor of the church. I waited around for the treasurer of the group to show up but he didn't have any info. He went to another Methodist church in Mentor but he couldn't get hold of his pastor.

I decided to get off of OH 283 again and I headed South on OH 615. I saw some activity at the Advent Evangelical Lutheran Church, There were some cars in the parking lot. When I went inside, I saw some good signs for me. In the entrance way, there was a shopping cart for donations for a food pantry and a sign with parts of Matthew 25. There were a couple of ladies in the sanctuary along with several young kids. They were practicing for some kind of play skit for tomorrow's service. The music director got hold of the pastor and he offered to come over to talk to me. He mustn't have lived that far away because it was just a few minutes before he arrived.

At first, Rev Bonds was a bit skeptical about me but when he read a couple of my letters of reference, glanced at the JfJ article, and briefly watched the first part of my video interview that I had on my Ipod, he became convinced that I was legit. He offered me the use of the youth building for the night.

Last Sunday was the last activity in the building. There were several sofas to sleep on. There were drinks and snacks left over and a box of t-shirts and if I could pick out a t-shirt if I wanted one. Rev Bonds went back to the church to see how things were going in the practice. Rev Bonds came back with a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream. He did invite me to attend the 9 AM service but I told him that I would possibly get on the road before 7 AM. I want to get to Chittenango, NY before my birthday in 11 days.

June 05, 2016 : Mentor-On-The-Lake, OH to Kingsville, OH : 45.16 miles (72.26 km)
Trip Total: 2,510.07 miles (4,016.11 km)
Year Total: 3,262.99 miles (5,220.78 km)

I had a somewhat okay night in the youth building. The room was a little cool and the space heaters in the walls didn't work. I slept somewhat lightly and I had to relieve myself outside quite a few times. The room didn't get that dark because of the fire exit sign above the door and the light from a nearby security light came into the room. At least, the sofa was comfortable and there was a large pillow to use. I got up around 5:45 AM. I packed up and left the youth building around 6:35 AM. I turned on my tail-light and one of my headlights on flashlight mode. I continued on OH 615 going South to US 20. Along the way, I had to stop to get undercover to wait out a brief rain shower. The light rain lasted about a half hour.

From where I waited, it was less than a half block to US 20 where I turned East. For church, I decided to stop at the First United Methodist Church in Mentor. Big Church. I met one of the associate pastors. The senior pastor was already at a conference. I listened to the bell choir practice. Before the service, I met one of the other associate pastors. She led most of the service. This was the last Sunday for the associate pastor who I had met first. He was soon going to leave the ministry and go back to corporate America. The lady associate minister introduced me and included me in the corporate prayers. I had a feeling that I wasn't going to get any assistance in trying to find some place to stay for the rest of the day and I didn't. The lady associate pastor hemmed and hawed and went from one excuse to another. There was no way that I could stay in the church for the day. She didn't know of a church member who I could stay with. She or any of the associate pastors there could make any financial decision like getting me a motel room. There was a motel just a couple of blocks West of the church. I did tell the associate lady minister that She wasn't following the teachings of compassion that the Messiah expressed. I left the church about fifteen minutes before the second service was going to start.

The ride East was slow because of all of the traffic lights and traffic. I stopped in Painesville for an early lunch. I made contact with the WS member in Geneva. It turns out that he was in Colorado. He should have made his profile to reflect that he was unavailable for hosting. Between Madison and Geneve, I had to stop at a closed dairy bar to wait out a thunderstorm. There was a rocking chair to sit on. I waited for about 90 minutes before I headed out again.

Once I got back on the road, I had a tailwind to push me along. I stopped for an early lunch in Geneva. The ride through Ashtabula went okay. Traffic was pretty light.

Around 7:30 pm, I saw some young people working on a sign in front of the Living Waters Baptist Church in North Kingsville. The pastor was still around. He told me that there wouldn't be any way for me to spend the night in the church but there was a motel about three miles away just North of I-90 in Kingsville. The pastor met me at the motel and he slipped me a small GH before leaving.

June 06, 2016 : Kingsville, OH to North East, PA : 55.32 miles (88.51 km)
Trip Total: 2,565.39 miles (4,104.62 km)
Year Total: 3,318.31 miles (5,309.30 km)

I had a somewhat okay night at the motel. The room was okay but I had to deal with some road noise coming from the nearby interstate. I slept lightly through the night.

I had planned for an early start but it was a little after 8 am when I headed out. It was about a two mile backtrack to US 20 where I turned east. The ride to Conneaut went okay. I stopped at the McDs in Conneaut for a break. After the break it was about a three mile ride to the PA state line.

Instead of taking the lakeshore route (PA 5), I stayed on US 20. The ride went okay. There was a slight headwind to slow me down some. I stopped in Girard for a late lunch break. I was able to connect with the WS member in Erie. It turned out that he actually lived in Fariview on PA 5 West of Erie but he wouldn't be home till after 5:30 PM. There was no way that I wanted to wait that long someplace so I decided to push on through Erie.

The ride through Erie was really slow because of the traffic, the roads, etc. It took me nearly three hours to get from one end of Erie to the other. I was really happy to get out into the country again. I had about 15 miles to ride to North East. I contacted both of the WS members in Erie but I was only able to leave voicemail messages.

I got into North East around 6:30 PM. There was nobody around at the churches and I didn't see any contact numbers. I stopped at the police station to see if anybody there knew of a local minister. I talked with a friendly sergeant. While the sergeant was waiting for a call back from the Methodist minister, I got several texts from one of the WS members. Jason texted me that he was working 2nd shift but it would be okay for me to camp out in his back yard.

June 07, 2016 : North East, PA to Blossom, NY : 77.26 miles (123.610 km)
Trip Total: 2,642.65 miles (4,288.24 km)
Year Total: 3,395.57 miles (5,432.91 km)

I had an okay night camping out in Jason's backyard. I camped out under a small tree. I put Alice under another nearby tree. The trees kept the tent and Alice dry because there was a brief thunderstorm after dark. The tent stayed dry inside.

I had Alice packed up by 6:30 AM. As I was leaving Jason's driveway, Jason yelled out at me and I stopped. He had come back home a little after midnight and after about four hours of sleep he was heading back to work the first shift. Jason gave me a couple of energy bars.

It was about a three mile ride to the McDs near the interstate where I stopped to get some breakfast. I must have been there for about an hour. Once I got back on the road, it was about another mile to the NY state line. I stayed on US 20. The weather became warm enough that I was able to take my jacket off. There was a bit of a tailwind to push me along.

Because of it being warm I took quite a few breaks. In Westfield, I stopped at a gas station in anticipation of getting something cold to drink but instead I helped a guy who needed to have some air put into a three wheeled stroller. He was getting ready to waste six quarters in a coin operated air compressor but I used my hand pump to add air to the wheels.

The tailwind kept up through the morning. Because of this, I was cruising around 12 mph during some places. I made the first twenty miles in by around 10:20 am. By noon, I had ridden 27 miles. I stopped in Fredonia at a Wendys for a late lunch.

I had plans to try and stopover in Silver Creek but I decided to see how much I could get in before quitting. I did stop at a Dollar General outside of town. The sky was looking a little omnious. There were a lot of black clouds. In Irving on the Seneca Indian Reservation, I took a 20 minute break at a picnic shelter at a gas station to see what the weather was going to do. There were some really dark clouds coming off of Lake Erie near Buffalo but they were heading South.

Instead of getting NY 5 and riding along the lakeshore of Lake Erie, I stayed inland on US 20. There were some light sprinkles so I had to get on my jacket for a short time. Near Farnham I stopped at a gas station for a break. There was a picnic table. I went inside to use the restroom and to get a Little Debbie pastry and something to drink. Outside, I got out one of my paperbacks to read. As I was reading, this older guy from India came out of the store. He stared a long time at Alice before he talked with me. When I told him that I was a minister he exclaimed that I was a holy man. He asked me if I was hungry. He went back into the store and came out with two large cookies for me. The cookies were as large as desert plates.

I made it through Hamburg okay. I did know somebody in the Orchard Park area but it has been a long time and I didn't know if they were still around. I kept on going. I did have to get my lights on. Traffic was light. I rode sidewalks whenever I could. I kept an eye out for any spot in some woods where I could camp out. It must have been around 10:15 pm when I finally came across some woods where I thought that I could stealth camp in. It was around 11 pm when I finaly had the tent pitched in and all of my gear inside. It took a little longer to set up because I didn't use my helmet light.

June 08, 2016 : Blossom, NY to Ridgeway (N Medina), NY : 40.23 miles (64.37 km)
Trip Total: 2,682.88 miles (4,292.61 km)
Year Total: 3,435.80 miles (5,497.28 km)

I wished that I had been more selective on locating some level ground to pitch my tent. The area that I had selected was a bit humpy. I didn't want to take too much of a chance using my headlight a lot because I wasn't really sure how far off the road I was. There were a lot of humps under my sleeping pad and bag. I was surprised that I was able to fall asleep. It had to have been close to midnight when I did so. I slept a bit lightly throughout the night, There was the occasional sound/screech of an animal that wasn't that happy that I was camping out in their backyard.

I did wake up early to the sound of rain but I was able to fall asleep again. I was pretty surprised that the tent stayed reasonably dry inside. When I looked outside a little before 6 am, I noticed that I wasn't as far away from the road as I had expected. I was also quite close to somebody's yard. Less than a yard away was the start of a mowed yard and also a children's playset. I quickly got everything packed up and the tentside struck down and back on Alice.

It was about 6:20 AM when I was back on the road. It was really cold. I wished that I would have taken the time to locate and put on my thermal underwear. The temperature had to be below 50. The front had gone passed and now a lot of cool air was coming off of Lake Erie. There was a pretty brisk crosswind while I was traveling North on NY 78.

In Depew, I stopped at a BK for some breakfast. There was just one other customer in the dining area. I noticed that the guy had either a high school book or a college book. While I was getting ready to leave, the other guy came out to talk to me and to slip me a small GH. I asked the guy what he was studying. He gave me a strange answer. He told me that he was more interested in the information that he got in the blank spaces like he was trying to read some kind of hidden code.

The ride North went okay but the travel was kind of slow because of all of the traffic and that I was riding the sidewalk most of the way. I took several breaks along the way to get some hot chocolate.

I got into Lockport around 11:40 AM. I stopped at a McDs for a working lunch. I took the time to write out the past two day's journal entries. It was almost 12:50 PM when I left the McDs. From the McDs, it was about a three mile ride into downtown Lockport. Instead of getting on the Erie Canal Towpath, I turned East on NY 31, which was State Bike Route 5.

I rode throuugh the Gasport and Midddleport, I stopped at this fruit market because there was a sign that said baked goods. I found a loaf of rye bread that was on sale for $1.50. When I took it to the counter, the lady there struck up a conversation with me. When she heard that I was on a mission trip, she gave me the loaf for free and also she gave me a special cookie as an advance birthday present.

I stopped at a gas station in Middleport to get some hot chocolate and also to try and connect with the WS member in nearby Medina. I was able to and was given directions to the couple's campground, which used to be an old girl's scout camp North of Medina. Because it was going to be a cold night tonight, I was given permission to camp out in the old lodge. There was a bedroom that might have been used the cook.

My goal for tomorrow is to try and get through Rochester and try and connect with my friend at the Presbyterian church in Pittsford. I'm about 150 miles away from Chittenango.

June 09, 2016 : Ridgeway (N Medina), NY to Pittsford, NY : 53.79 miles (86.06 km)
Trip Total: 2,736.67 miles (4,378.67 km)
Year Total: 3,489.59 miles (5,483.34 km)

I had an okay night in the lodge of the old girl's scout camp. I stayed in the bedroom where the cook might have slept in. There wasn't a door but I got the room warm. I did some cleaning of the room before I moved my things into it. I found a broom and swept the floor and I moved most of the old mattresses out of the room. I found some clean blankets and a pillow and made up a bed on the army cot. There was a small electric space heater in the entranceway of the lodge and a three panel room divider in the kitchen. The room got warm.

I slept about seven hours. I woke up around 5 AM with the sun. On the counter of the kitchen, I found a plastic container of banana bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a large bag of grapes. My hosts must have let them out for me. There were a couple bottles of bug spray but I didn't take them. I packed up the peanut butter, some of the grapes, and ate several slices of banana bread for breakfast. Before leaving the camp around 6:40 AM, I stopped at the bath house and got cleaned up and got a well needed shave with hot water. I was the only person up.

I backtracked into Medina and got back on NY 31 going East. The tail wind pushed me along. In Albion, I took an extended break. By 10:20 AM, I got the first 20 miles in. Around 11 AM, I was in Brocton and I had traveled 24 miles. I stopped at a McDs for a working lunch.

The afternoon ride went okay. I decided to see how far I could stay on Bike Route 5 before getting on the Erie Canal Trail. In Gates, I rode passed the Rochester airport. I got on the Erie Canal Trail about a mile or so South of downtown Rochester. There weren't that many people on the trail. There was a long detour to ride around because they were doing some work on a bridge over the canal.

I stopped a lock for a break. I was able to connect with my Presbyterian pastor friend in Pittsford, We were supposed to meet at the church at 7 pm. I got into Pittsford around 6:20 PM. While I was waiting for Bruce to show up, I sat on the first couple of steps of the porch to the offices. I had a neat encounter with some animals. I wished that I had my camera out because two chipmunks started to tussle right below my feet. It was really neat seeing this happen. The tussle lasted about several minutes. I waited till a little after 7 PM before I decided to go to the backside of the church. I found Bruce there talking to some people from the church. Bruce had been waiting for me there since 6:30 PM. After we got Alice inside the church, Bruce took me out into the country to his house for supper with his wife.

Before Bruce left me back at the church, he slipped me a $20 bill and a $5 gift card from Starbucks.

June 10, 2016 : Pittsford, NY to Jordan, NY : 65.81 miles (105.30 km)
Trip Total: 2,802.48 miles (4,483.97 km)
Year Total: 3,555.40 miles (5,688.04 km)

I had an okay night in the youth room of the Presbyterian church. I didn't stay up till falling asleep. I woke up around 5:30 AM. I left the church around 6:30 AM. Before getting back on the Erie Canal Trail, I stopped at the Starbucks to get some breakfast. The prices were really high. I opted for a bagel and some organic chocolate milk. I stayed there till around 7:15 AM. It was really getting crowded and there was a long line of people waiting to be served.

There were just a few people on the trail. I talked to this one guy who was jogging. It turned out that he was a Christian and he set up Awana youth groups at churches. We talked for a couple of minutes before he turned on a side trail to get to his house.

A couple of miles down the trail, I bumped into a guy who was on a tour. He had started in Albany and was riding to Buffalo. He commented that I was the first person on tour that he had met. I didn't stay on the towpath much longer after that encounter because the pavement had ended and the trail had become crushed limestone and packed dirt.

I headed South for about a mile and got back on NY 31 a couple of miles out of Macedon. I stopped at a Walmart to see if they were still selling activity sports pants but they didn't carry any more and had mostly shorts in the men's department. There were a couple pairs of sports pants on the clearance rack but they were way too big for me.

By noon, I was in Neward and I rode about 25 miles. I pushed on to Lyons and I stopped at a McDs there for a late lunch. The afternoon ride went okay. I wanted to see if I could get really close to syracuse before quitting for the day. I stopped for a break at a gas station in Clyde. I was thinking about stopping in Clyde but I decided to keep on going.

I stopped for another break at a gas station in Weedsport to fill up my water bottles. It was nearly dusk but I decided to go on. The older abandoned section of the Erie Canal paralleled the highway so I switched over to that. I tried finding a place to camp out along the trail but there weren't any places. The trail was basically on top of a ridge line. There wasn't any level ground to the North of the trail.

I got onto Jordan around 10 pm. There was a clearing around the village hall. There wasn't any place where I could hide my tent. Next to the village hall was the county's road department. There was a wide area that had been moved beyond the fence line. I walked around the fence line and found a place where I could be out of sight. It was around 10:30 PM when I had the tent pitched up and all of my gear inside of it.

June 11, 2016 : Jordan, NY to Chittenango, NY : 37.96 miles (60.74 km)
Trip Total: 2,840.44 miles (4,544.70 km)
Year Total: 3,593.36 miles (5,749.38 km)

I had an okay night camping out. I was able to get some sleep even though there was the rumble from the nearby interstate. I woke up around 5:30 AM and I quickly packed up.

I was back on the road around 6:20 AM. I stopped at a gas station for a short break several miles down the road. The sky was getting dark. Near the intersection of NY 31 and NY 173, it started to rain. I decided to get off of NY 31 and ride to nearby Warners. The rain started to come down hard. I had to stop and find some cover under some trees to wait out some really hard rain. I had to wait for about 20 minutes before getting back on the road.

I stayed on NY 173 through Amboy and Solvay. I got on NY 5 about six miles out of downtown Syracuse. In Syracuse, they were getting the downtown park ready for the area's Polish Fair. I rode passed the historic way station museum of the Erie Canal.

Around noon, I stopped at a Burger King for some lunch. After lunch, the remaining three miles of NY 5/ NY 92 was really hard because of all of the traffic and the street lights. I rode sidewalk as much as I could. I stopped at a large Salvation Army thrift store to see if I could find a pair of Athletic pants. I found a pair but they were a little big. I had a really hard time getting through the intersection where NY 5 slipped off from NY 92.

The remaining 8 miles to Chittenango took a while. There were quite a few hills to cross over in Fayetteville. I walked up several of the hills because they were steep.

I got into Chittenango around 4 PM. Before going to my friend's house, I stopped at the Salvation Army Thrift store to see if I could find some pants there. I was able to find a good pair that fit for around $2.50 because they were half price. I got to my friend's house around 4:30 PM.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between June 19th and June 26th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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