Philly to Maine
Introduction 6/27/2004 8:14 am
Hello to all. This is a group letter going out to those of you that have nothing better to do than read about my sore butt and bicycling adventures. I am taking a short ride from the Philly area up to Maine. should be about 550 miles and take about ten days. If you are other wise occupied and DON'T want to get a note daily from the road, let me know. I will try to make the emails worth while. thanks for all the moral support form everyone. this perimeter ride has taken a lot longer than I ever thought but piece by piece I am getting there. See you late Monday the 28th from somewhere on the road. Philip Gerding
Day 1 Monday 6/29/2004 6:22 am
Hello to all. Couldn't get access last night so this is an AM update of the first day. Riding was wonderful. Cool and clear. Found too many detours and bad signage in Pennsylvania for my liking but I got it done. Met my Friend Beverly-from the ninth grade-at New Hope for lunch and then she carried me over the river bridge that is not very friendly to bikes. On down the road on 29 which had way too many trucks and then GONE. Like having a private bike path about thirty feet wide. Just when it looked like the traffic was picking up I found a bike trail that parallels the canal for ten miles and cruised on in.
Day 2 Tuesday 6/29/2004 2:52 pm
Well I am behind on my pics so here are some. Not much but basically all I did was ride. Today was a good day too. Still way too hilly but I only had to walk twice.The route I am on takes me along side the Delaware River for miles and miles. I am usually riding on some version of "River Road". Have crossed back and forth between New Jersey and Pennsylvania untold times. I pulled in a bit short tonight as I found a lovely campground only four miles from my projected destination. Turns out they have a "special" rate for bikers. $7.50 a night. AND my Sprint card is working so I can do a bit of letter writing. Not much else to say except this is as much fun as I remember and so far absolutely no problems. Hope everyone is well and having fun. If you get bored, grab a bicycle and join me. Still got about 400 miles to go. PG
Day 3 Wednesday 6/30/2004 3:25 pm
Was just a lovely day of riding today, Hard to imagine there is this much "rural" in New Jersey. I went over an hour without even seeing another car. roads are great except there seem to all go UP. I still don't like hills. Messed up and got on the road today with out very much cash. Ever try to find an ATM in a town with out even a pay phone? The diner was great at breakfast but by 1:00 that was a Long Time Ago. I finally got to a place listed on my maps as having both meals and grocery. Nope, Don't take any kind of plastic. Well now. Got 3 dollars and 24 cents. Hmmmm. How about a large bottle of Gatorade and a piece of somebody's "HOMADE" pound cake/ The cake was the consistency of melted sheetrock but I washed it on down and got back to riding. Was struggling up a serious hill when here comes another rider. Wearing full racing gear and weighing about 140 pounds. He called out as he went by," these hills are nothing. I am from Columbia. try riding the Andes". Well, I sort of muttered what he could do up in his Andes but I did get over the top. Yes I walked some too. When I can't even SEE the top I know I am gonna end up walking.
Day 4 Thursday 1/2004 6:30 pm
Well. I don't to jinx this ride but it just keeps getting more and more fine. When I got this morning it was so foggy I couldn't even see the road outside. The weather clowns said strong possibility of thunder showers. I was up and eating the "free breakfast" at 06:15 and decided to wait until it cleared out. By 0700 it was better so I bundled up and hit the road, prepared for bad weather. Never happened! by 8:30 I was out of the Jacket and rain hat, by nine o'clock out of the long sleeve shirt.
Well I was going to just post the pics to the web site but Kurt and Mary are off on Vacation so I will keep putting them here in my email.
Day 5 Fri 7/2/04 7:32 PM
Remember the story that starts off, "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times"? Well that sort of sums up today. Started of nice an cool, riding out of New Paltz and very quickly getting to the FDR Mid-Hudson Bridge. Was very impressive. The
two guys on bikes were just coming off the bridge. They took the train from NY City and were going biking. Considering the shape of their bikes I don't think they will get far. But nice folks. Got across the bridge and found that the alleged route prohibits bicycles.
Neat. So in my usual mastery fashion, I rode around in circles until I noticed a cleverly disguised green sign with a picture of a bike on it saying THIS WAY TO THE BIKE ROUTE. Oh
All for today, here are the numbers:
Day 6 Saturday 7/3/04 3:16 PM
Well after a really rotten night in a horrid motel, the day was lovely. A short uphill to a great classic diner. This was one of the originals. Had no add ons, just step in and there was the counter. Four booths off to the right. Had two pancakes BOTH the size of dinner plates and about a half pound of bacon. Mmmm. Back on the road and one more small uphill then the highlight of the ride so far. Nearly a fifteen minute gentle down slope. I knew I was giving up all the hills I climbed yesterday but who cares? 15 mph and no pedaling. Too fine. Rest of the day was quiet. I stopped in the meddle of a bridge to take a picture and got to visit with some of the other kind of of bikers. Nice folks out for a spin on huge Harley-Davidson's. They were rather surprised to learn I was actually trying to get to Maine on BICYCLE.
Here are today's numbers
Day 7 Monday 7/5/04 6:15 AM
Looks like most of you nice folks did not get the note from last night. I don't have good connection here. I ended up riding from Windsor Locks.CT to Westborough Mass. I couldn't find a place to stay after about fifty miles so I just kept going. Was 92 miles before I got tot a Motel. Met some really nice people and all in
all was fun ride. I will add more tonight.
Day 8 Mon 7/5/04 2:50 PM
Well since every one has commented about the fabulous time I had yesterday for my MAXIMUM, I will have to add today that I suspect the computer is a bit off.I don't know if it broke because I went to fast, to rough, or because I bought the cheapest one out there. OH
well!! I honestly have no way of knowing the actual speed on the wildest descent yesterday as I was too petrified to look down. When the front brake stopped working that was when I got a tad nervous. I did check the rest of the stats, distance and
average against time and they are correct.
Day 9 Tue 7/6/04 2:12 PM
WELL! done and sitting on a very nice padded chair in Kittery Maine. It was just the finest day of riding. Cool breeze, about 72 degrees. got a one minute sprinkle but never even put on the rain gear. roads were paved YESTERDAY, no kidding. It was like riding on glass. Did 60 miles and was checking in at a motel by 3:30 PM
Philip, July 5, 2004 stats for today and total:
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