I’ve been back in Brooklyn for a number of days. I’ve got a better grasp of how a long solo bike trip throughout a quiet area of north America has changed me. Or what it has let me see about myself.
The easiest way to explain it is that I left new york to find something and in over two months on the road not only did I not really find it. I forgot I was looking. I was not looking for one thing though. A mix of things absent.
It was not until I got back to the place I left that I found what I was looking for.
I was here before and everything around me is the same as I left it. I changed. And I feel for the better. It sounds dumb but I was serious. Now I’m tranquil.
About 36 hours after tour over
I rushed back to Brooklyn.
Not a mistake
Thought if I ride 329 miles in three days I’d be in Brooklyn Friday night. I was.
I got lucky and stumbled into a friend of a friend who gave me a place to stay.
And then Saturday. Well since I have no phone and a few of my main people are out of town. Not that great of a day. I just wanted to feel excitement.
A little too little
I did watch soccer. Missed that
And I had eggs for breakfast. Good stuff
Stood on B’way and watched to foot traffic. And saw a OWS march.
Thought about my lack of connection.
Visited the clothing shop. Saw friends. But that felt a little uncomfortable.
I’m a jerk. I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 5 days.
So useless in the space I take up. Do I even want to stay here?
Try to remember on a scale it’s only a 3.
But what I don’t like is that my heart hurts. As in real chest pains.
Am I unhealthy. I need sleep
I need lots of sleep
October 5th, 2011
Woke up at 8
Stayed in tent til 9
A light rain as I took the tent down but not long.
Weny back to breakfast spot Liam and I walked to yesterday.
Not a hard choice, I could see it from my camp spot.
French toast, eggs and large OJ. Same as yesterday.
As I sat there Tyler came in to say hi. Must have seen my bike outside. He gave me chocolate, just like the last time I saw him. Said Franky was in the coffee booth and wished me good travels.
Was going to jet but figured it wouldn’t hurt to get a coffee. Franky was there and said she would be in NYC this weekend. The occupy wall street thing was on her list of to-dos. And she asked about places to eat.
I was on the road by 11am. 7 South.
Cool and cloudy but dry and looking like there might be sun in the afternoon. The wind was on my back.
Not riding fast but not trying real hard. The roads were mostly flat. Some rolling small hills.
I had not really rode since the 22nd of Sept if I don’t count the race.
I’d spent more time in Burlington than anywhere. I had a good time. Made friends.
I don’t know how to put it to words but as I rode away I felt very down. Not for leaving. But for riding. I didn’t want to be riding a bike. I didn’t want to be so far from Brooklyn. But even if I was closer, or even there, I’d have felt no better. Pretty easy day for riding and the last thing I wanted was to ride.
What I wanted was to be at a party with refreshments. I want to be done. I don’t want to take photos. I don’t want to eat. Or stop for water. I want to be done. Soon. But I know I’m no better off. I have not changed.
Doesn’t matter. After about 50 miles I felt better.
Did about 97 miles
I’m almost exactly 200 from NYC. Of course this is measured by shortest route.
At about the half way point home from here right now there is a friend from Machias, Julia. She invited me to stay on my way home. I emailed her and learned she is leaving tomorrow for the weekend and won’t be back till Tuesday.
I would need to ride 100 miles to get there anyway.
But if I get a early/on time start tomorrow. And if the wind and roads are anything like today, 100 should not be too bad.
Like a ball rolling down a hill. Shortest, straightest.
Tented up close to the road. An abandoned business. On a slab of concrete behind a tree. But under the overhang and next to the building.
Cooked soup. And almost burnt my tent down with this new stove fuel. It was acting up then a big fire ball popped out. After that I moved it outside the tent then it decided to behave normal.
Oct 3rd. Not sure of the day number
Ive skipped notes a few days but today I woke up in a vacant house. My two housemates and I were safe through the night sleeping in a house that was simply left open. Heat, water, electricity. And people living in the apt upstairs. But the front door was unlocked and open.
It worked out fine even if it was a bit worrisome with the thought of getting caught and kicked out into the rainy night.
Walked to get an egg sandwich at a market.
Coffee at a place on the north side.
Then a walk to the sports store to buy a mini stove fuel for $1.99.
Then to another coffee spot where I met Franky and Tyler. Girl and guy working there. Franky liked that I was on a trip and offered an out of town roommates bed to crash in if the roommate ok’d it. Sure, let me know. Email.
Went to do laundry. But no place to change so I went to Maglinero to shower. Back to laundry but got ripped off by them. $2.50 for a wash(used last of soap from weeks ago) and $.25 for five minute dry. 5 min? That’s a rip off. But it pays for the gas they burn to do their free pick up and drop off laundry service. Told the guy I disagree.
I’m pretty sure it’s the first time on the road that I showered and wore clean clothes in the same day.
Some notes about maybe pol0 happening. NSPI is over and the road crew was back. Liam was surfing in Maine.
No players at 5pm. But met a guy walking his dog and we had a lot in common. Was good to talk to him. I can’t recall his name, maybe Collin. Red hair. Kind of crust. Should have asked for a photo.
Checked email and the place to stay was open. Meet at 8 for dinner. Perfect.
Some punk ass mall cop but not a mall cop was busting on me for plugging my iPod in. Unplugged it. Ten min later. Back in my face about my bike leaning on a wall. Church street is basically a mall. I was across from a Macys and Starbucks. Fake smile. Hassle for jacked up reasons. Only negative person I met or encountered in all my time here. Jim. Asshole.
Back to Maglinero coffee and a charge and get out of the light rain as I wait for pol0 hour.
Went to pol0. Watched and watched only. Just two games of 3v3 so not many chances but not one person offered me to play with. One cute girl, Monica, offered me a warm beer. I passed.
Then they lost the ball. Six players and only one ball. Looked for it with them in the dark using my light but no luck.
I’m sure everybody there was nice. Nobody was not nice. But I didn’t feel very welcome. At 8 it started to rain and I had a dinner date so I used that as an excuse to leave. I was leaving anyway.
Brushed my teeth in the water fountain by the skate park.
Rode to Franky’s in the rain.
Parked my bike in the living room. She prepared dinner in the kitchen. Home grown potato. Noodles and pesto. And homemade doughnuts with chai tea.
Ari and Tyler and CC were there to. It was a nice time.
Tyler and CC left and Ari, Franky and I kept talking for a little bit but not long and she showed me the room I’d be sleeping in and we all said goodnight.
The only thing that would make today better is …. Wait,
Today was spotted with a little conflict. Rain and a pol0 crew who was not especially receptive of a new person.
Today could have been much better. I’m super lucky to be where I am. I could be sleeping out in the rain right now.