Sept. 20th. Day 51
Short riding day. 25 miles into town from Grand Isle SP. It took me a while because I was lazy to leave the lean-to. Lyndon had left before I woke up. As I woke I could hear rain on the roof and gravel by the fire pit. I was in no big hurry.
I did pack up and gear up for the rain. A light rain but the kind were I could not tell if it would stop. I rode 20 miles at 10 mph and included some stops before the rain quit. Like all day yesterday, and the night ride out of the city, I was just in my walking shoes. I have not wore my road shoes since before getting doored. They are too worn out. The carbon soles are pealing away from the shoe and every morning I’ve been too lazy to change shoes for a ride I know will be slow and wobbly.
A few more miles into the city. And straight to the cafe, @MaglianeroCafe. Ordered a regular black coffee (fancy made to order and wait, they bring it you you when done), plug in the iPod, and start figuring things out. I had a list of to-dos. Got them all done.
Walked around town. Found the pol0 court. Around 6 I went back to the cafe and took a shower. So cool they have a shower! It’s like one of those places that anyone touring near the city would have to go to. Good coffee for not too much. Very bike friendly. The place had a half pipe inside and a good amount of tables for the laptop types and a book shelf and bike storage and indoor bike parking and a play area for children. And snacks. Also the people working there are nice and talkative. Good spot.
I’m going to take a rest break now. I deserve it and my wheel needs some attention.
I showered and got a cold coffee to go(mostly to buy something because he didn’t charge me for the shower, would have been $1 but I had my own towel).
Scouted by the river bike path north of town but changed my mind and went back into town and scouted some more. Got some local advice and found something so-far-so-go. But it’s only 8:45p and I’ve been set up for about 30min.
Hope I’m good because I can be seen easy. But it’s real quite here so far.
Dang man. Just as I type that a loud ass jet took off from a runway. Guess I’m near the airport. Oh well.
Day 49 and 50
(So yesterday night I was very late to bed and didn’t have much charge anyway.)
On Sunday morning I woke up a little late, around 9:15am. There was no problems and no one in the park, I packed up in peace and walked across the street for a coffee and muffin.
I went closer to the water and looked at the bridge. Just quietly roamed the city. The older part, down by the water, past the shelter, food bank, and the where the tall ships were. There it was very touristy and also were I brushed my teeth. I did a big loop around and back to the street I was in the naught before.
I had seen so many beggars. And having the thought of how to travel with less expenses. Anyway I thought maybe put out a cup while I sit, see what happens. If nothing, fine. If a couple dollars, then that’s a coffee.
I sat next to my bike and wrote in my notebook. I had my hat on the ground and a small Tim Hortons cup inside my had. I sat for an hour and nothing. But then a couple gave me a few dollars and asked about my travels. They were nice and from near Ottawa. We talked for about 15 min. They were just visiting Montreal. They enjoyed traveling too. It was their thing. Go to cities and wander around, see what is to be seen. When I asked what they like most about Montreal, they said the people.
After that I went to my morning coffee spot and got another. Then just crossed the street to the hockey rink.
No one there. But then Jane showed up, a new player, formerly of Ottawa. We knew some of the same people. And another new player rolled up, Fred. Then and swarm of players rolled in over the next 10 min. Germain was a very friendly face.
The crew is bigger than any I’ve played with since New York, including NY. There was about 15 people and they said it was less than normal.
A mix of male and female and new and not new players. Reminded me of playing in Columbus, Ohio.
The games were so much fun. Even playing on borrowed equipment, didn’t matter. I really miss being in a pol0 group and everybody gets along. Where every person is having a good time.
Not until typing this out but after playing in Montreal, I don’t miss playing in NYC.
After the games I made tracks out of the city. And I thought it very cool that the court is almost in the shadow of the big bridge of Montreal. A two block ride and I was on the bike lane over the bridge. The bad part was it was getting dark quick.
I rode over 30km in the dark and very slow because of bad hop in front wheel, to find a camp spot. Being close to the city meant street lights, if not for that i would have not gone so far (on Chambly road).
I had became lost and had to back track because I didn’t have a map but with my sense and compass I followed the right road to meet the 223 and on another map I could see that l I wanted to take the 223 to the US. So I was good.
Camped across from a Tim Hortons but on a de-railed railroad path. On rocks and not dead center so my tent was on a side slope I didn’t know until I was inside.
Next day, today.
Coffee. Rode Sud, for the last time, on 223.
Sunny and warm. Wearing shorts. A first since my last day in NB.
Rode near the canal and lock system on a bike lane. Was ok. It mirrored the 223.
Back on the 223 south to the 202 Est just over a bridge and then Sud again on the 225. On the shittiest road in Canada. Only for about 5 or 6 km to the boarder. Im on a velo but roll up the the dive thru window, Officer Morse opens the window. Where are you from? Brooklyn. “They don’t have stop lights in Brooklyn?”
Uh, I stopped. Oh I was supposed to stop back there. I saw the light but where’s the stop line? No stop line, then I stop at the window.
Vermont has good roads. Pretty views. Close to the water on the 2 South. Rode until near dark. Stopped a Citgo. Bought bread and filled water. By time I got back outside it was dark.
The whole day was slow riding and my wrists hurt from the hop I the wheel shaking my arms all damn day. Not happy about my top speed or wacky wheel.
At the gas station I asked about camping out back. But didn’t seem like a good idea. cops, loitering, etc.
Sitting and pulling a charge as I wrote in notebook. A guy starts chatting and tell me about the state park he’s been free camping in. Wait till 8, don’t have to pay.
I follow his directions and meet him in the park. His spot had a lean-to. Good because word is morning rain.
Lyndon made a fire because he had sweet corn on the menu. We talked a bunch and I made my soup as he made corn by soaking the whole thing and setting it on the hot coals to cook. He gave an extra one to me. Very good. Local, No need for butter.
About 11pm I set up my tent and parked my bike in the lean-to that was on the camp site. I should be dry in the morning no matter what.
Rain still on tent in morn. But clear skies.
Got simple stuff to eat at a close store. Yogurt. Granola.
Stopped at a shady bench near pond to have lunch. Watched one little turtle try to climb onto a floating board. The 4 others already sunbathing did nothing to help. After 5 tries the little guy made it on his own.
Had a biker offer a place to stay. It was later but I needed to ride east more to get to Boston in good time. And he lived west of where we were. Did another 14 miles before I stopped.
Smooth roads 90% of the day.
Taco bell for dinner.
Slept behind a long row of bailed cardboard stacked on skids behind a Walmart. In the grass. Quiet dark.
105 miles to Willimamtic, CT
In the night at 4:40am a forklift driver found me. Called out. But I stayed quiet. No problems.
West Texas somewhere
Here is a look at one day of my last tour. That’s my tent and old bike. Touring in an organized group was fun because I had my own space but I was with a group of people all doing the same thing. I did not have any say in our route or our riding schedule, but I didn’t have to pay for camp sites or hotel rooms either. I should say that this was less than your average supported group tour because we were hired as “endurance cyclist” and compensated to wear branded jerseys and participate in promotional events in certain markets. All for a vodka company owned by Bacardi.
We had hotel rooms on most nights, camping only sometimes. On the next trip I take it’ll be nearly all camping. And I’ll likely be riding solo. And I’ll rarely visit private campgrounds like this one. I prefer State Park camping or free camping in quiet places. It’s mostly because of the money. Why would I want to pay $10 – $20 just to set up a tent for a few hours? Now I look at this photo and I picture everything behind my bike and tent gone, the eight tents and two passenger vans replaced by trees and grass. That’s what my next tour will look like.
I really wish I could have the company of so many good people as I travel again, and having a big company foot the bill in exchange for wearing a free jersey is a dream come true. But that’s not gonna happen again. Much more likely is saving some money, collecting the gear and finding the time to just go.