Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Northeast

My time in the northeast has continued to be busy but fantastic, being able to visit many friends and family. I've pretty much been going from house to house the past few weeks. I haven't been in so many beds and had such constisent showers since before I started riding.

The rest of my stay in NYC was great. It was as relaxing as the city can be, with good NY pizza and fresh foods. I tried to keep up with Colin on a run through Manhattan; it's such a different experience to run in the middle of such a city, dodging the hoards through China Town and over the Manhattan Bridge. I wandered through Time Square on the evening of the bomb scare; I must have left right before things started happening as I had no idea until watching the news later that evening.

The weekly Green Market in Union Square, tons of flowers, apples, and baked goods!

Rally in Union Square, protesting Arizona's new immigration law. Most of the speakers spoke in Spanish, but I was able to understand much of it.

The craziness of Time Square

Colin's work hosts an annual Kentucky Derby party; I walked by to check out to scene as folks get all dressed up for the event and ran into Colin's parents, Harold and Suzanne.

Colin even ran out and caught me.

In the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The Cherry Blossom festival was happening the day we went. Strangely, the cherry blossoms were long gone, but they had cultural activities around the garden. Some people were fully dressed up as anime characters which was very odd.

Riding out of a rainy New York City.

Riding out of New York was tough. I quickly got off the course I'd written out when a bridge was closed and I had to go to the next. The Bronx was disorienting and I ended up riding across town; fortunately, some nice guys gave me directions back to where I needed to be. It took asking a few more people, getting very lost, ending up on a single track trail and having to push my bike over roots and up hills trying to get back out to a road. It was not fun. I didn't make it out of the city until late afternoon when I finally found the bike trail I'd been looking for. It was a relief to get out into the country and on 30 miles of bike trail.

Unfortunately the next day wasn't a whole lot better. I made it into Connecticut and then once again spent most of the day lost after having missed a turn. After wandering the windy back roads for hours, I ran into three cyclists and asked for help. They said they'd been riding those roads for years and still didn't understand them. After debating which way I should go, they decided to just have me ride with them a few miles until getting out to a main road which would put me back on track. I was very grateful for their help, otherwise who knows how long I'd have been out there. After two days of very long, stressful riding, I was wiped out. Fortunately, the next day I made it without trouble into Providence, RI where I stayed with my cousin, Jenica.

It was great to visit Jenica who is a student at Rhode Island School of Design in the jewelry department. It was fun to tour her campus and studio seeing some of the beautiful projects she's been working on. Jenica is also a fabulous cook, another great treat!

Jenica at her desk.

Pawtuckett, RI

Next it was into Massachusetts where I had a nice short ride just outside Boston where I stayed with Colin's brother and his family. Carson, Alexa, and their one-year-old son, Lewis, were fantastic. Alexa has ridden across the county before and is excited to get back out as a family once Lewis gets older. On his way to work, Carson rode me into Boston in the direction of the train station.

Carson, Alexa, and Lewis

Charles River trail in Boston, very nice riding.

I killed a little time enjoying the Boston Common (the first public garden in the country) and Public Garden which were beautiful. Then I met my friend Kyle with his touring bike at the train station. Kyle and I put in a long day to get into Maine, making the most of the nice weather knowing the next day was supposed to be bad. It's amazing how much easier it is to ride a long day with a friend along! Our hard work paid off with a short day of riding in 50 degree, rainy weather to get to his place just north of Portland.

Riding through Salem, MA

New Hampshire coast, beautiful and rocky in places.

Kyle riding in Maine

I've loved being in Maine. It was great to visit so many friends in big cities, but it's also such a relief to be back in smaller towns and in such a beautiful state. Having just moved to the area days before, I was able to explore a bit with Kyle, do some cooking and help him get settled. My friend Kalie also lives in the area, so I've been staying with her and her family the last few days. It's been great to see the Dunn's again; they've been so wonderful and I'm finally feeling more rested then I have in over a month.

An amazing dinner at Flatbread Company in Portland!

Out on a walk with Kalie.

After this great break I'm about ready to get back on the road and finish my trip north. It should be a gorgeous trip north of here along the coast. Eric and Rena Dunn have given me lots of information on the ride north and gotten me even more excited about what's to come!

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