Journal April 1 to April 8
Vermont & New York
April 1 Shoreham, VT to Salem, NY
The first day was by far the hardest. I think that the lack of sleep and stress of leaving took its toll on all of us, especially Billy. The stiff headwind didn't help. The 62 miles from our house to our first stop, sister Chrissy's summer camp on the Battenkilll River in Salem, NY was hard and long, but we made it by dark. We were exhausted, only to be revived by a good meal and a good night's sleep. The highlight of the day was the send-off we received from our friends at the Shoreham Elementary School, and the friends who turned out to ride with us for a few miles. Look for their names on the "Wind in the Face Club" page. A TV crew from Burlington caught up with us in the afternoon and followed us for a few miles.
April 2 Salem, NY to Troy, NY
In spite of yesterday's struggle, we all felt great today. A good tailwind all day helped the situation. Chrissy brought us lunch, which we devoured at a picnic place in Schaghticoke. In Melrose, NY, a Troy TV station and Newspaper interviewed us. Nice guys. In Troy, NY, my home town, we stopped at Rudy's Schwinn, where I worked as a teen-ager, and surprised Rudy. An Albany newspaper reporter and photographer met us there and got some words and pictures. We made it to David Yarrow's house, just at dark, where we were welcomed and feasted as in days of old. David and his friends really took care of us. Patti had a whirlpool bath and we all ate like kings.
The kids are doing real well at this. Of course, we stop much more than a solo cyclist would to let them rest and play, and we keep them well fed and hydrated. 52 miles today.
April 3 Troy, NY to Kingston, NY
A cold headwind, a late start, and some challenging hills put us at our destination, Dan & Janet Morgan's in Kingston, NY, after dark. It was another struggle, but it was worth it. Dan & Janet are tandem enthusiasts who know how to treat travelers. Janet's gourmet cooking, Dan's route knowledge and help (not to mention his cellar full of bike goodies) and their outstanding hospitality had us overwhelmed. We went to bed well fed and cared for.
April 4 Kingston, NY to Marlboro, NY
Easter Sunday. The kids got a double bonus: we carried treats from Carole Betts all the way there, and our host, Janet, had shopped for natural treats for Easter Sunday morning as well. She found a few baskets and Ellie, Henry, & Timmy were delighted. Dan and his friend John and I cleaned and lubed the bike and made a few adjustments. We took the morning off and had another feast (pancakes, etc.), and hit the road about 1:30, but not before discovering that the hydraulic brake had developed a leak in the line and required an hour to tighten and bleed the air out. The afternoon ride brought us to Marlboro, where we got a motel room after dark.
April 5 Marlboro, NY to Croton-on-Hudson, NY
A great, cool, sunny day with a tail wind. We rode across the Hudson on a beautiful bridge in Newburgh, and cycled south along the east side of the river. It's quite nice in this area, with lots of monasteries and friaries and nunneries, all beautiful stone, ivy covered, with expansive landscaping. We met our most challenging climb and descent yet at Bear Mountain. We climbed it in one sitting, our team working together smoothly now, and the descent was a trial for our brakes. They got pretty hot, and we stopped once to let them cool. At the bottom we were pulled over by a state trooper who started to lecture us about the dangers of the road we had just traveled. When we told him about our itinerary, it stopped his lecture short. We made a dash for Croton-on-Hudson, where we found a health food store and a riverside campsite, our first camp of the trip.
April 6 Croton-on-Hudson, NY to New York City
We woke to Canadian Geese honking just outside our tent. It was cold and damp, but a quick breakfast got us going and down the road we went. Today we did something we have always dreamed about: we rode our Quad down the Albany Post Road (Route 9) until it turned into Broadway in Yonkers, then followed Broadway through the Bronx and into Manhattan, right through the biggest city in the world. Times Square at rush hour!
Along the way we made a lot of people smile. We got shouts and honks of encouragement every few minutes all day long. In the city it was nearly constant as we rode through the different neighborhoods, and at every light we got questions and greetings from the pedestrians and motorists. It was great! We made it to Jane Street at about dusk and filled our bellies at Bonsignour's while greeting all of our West Village friends.
April 7 New York City
Our first rest day! We are in the neighborhood in Greenwich Village where we have sold Christmas trees for over a decade. We visited with Philippe Bonsignour, Mark Hallenbeck, Joyce Healey, Andy Ward, Angela Palumbo, Dick Philips, Charlie Verral, Ginny, Val, John, Peter, and other friends from Decembers past. Shopping for, preparing and eating food at the Hallenbeck apartment was a pleasure and Billy had a chance to catch up on e-mail and phone calls. The rest day went by quickly! Staying at our friends, the Hallenbecks, in Manhattan, taking a day off from cycling. We slept late and shopped for food and visited friends, spread out the tent to dry. We had a little article about us in the New York Times. We ate a lot. The city is wonderful, Greenwich Village is just so cool. I ran into several Christmas tree customers and a fan of "Christmas on Jane Street" from Nebraska. Tomorrow we rise at 5:00, leave at 6:00, catch a ferry to New Jersey at 7:00, and we have a chiropractic appointment in Tom's River, 44 miles down the New Jersey coast. Thanks to everyone, we love you all!!!