There was already a partial blog post from this morning about the spider in my shoe and cooking ramen for breakfast.
Ended up taking off and heading down the hill into town to where one of the locals said was a good place for breakfast. Walked in to order and a man approached me wearing cyclist outfit. Asked me about where I was headed and I told him the story. They were the first people I had met doing their trip for someone else. They were donating to the Wounded Warrior Project. I had heard of them from when I did the Tough Mudder and some of the proceeds went to that organization. He said his son had done it before too. Him and his wife were tracking from Montana to the East Coast. We exchanged cards and I gave them the shortcut that I had just done instead of going way out and around. They said hey, as long as we make it, the route doesn’t matter. I agree. They were doing 70-90 miles a day! BUT they were not self sustained. They have 2 guys always a little ways behind carrying their stuff. Wellll I don’t have that luxury. I gave them the same tips as everyone else. Mountains. Suck. I guess they had only trained as long as I have though. Lol they said the big cities were very confusing and hard to get through. Especially around Niagra Falls. Said they got so lost they had to have their people come pick them up and put them back on the right road. Thanks to my angel Nelson, ill be by passing Niagra falls. My map has me going up into Canada and back down? Why? As much I was would like to visit the motherland I didn’t have my passport and would really like to avoid delays. After I stepped outside to confirm plans with my next night of couch surfing I got off the phone and a guy approached me. He said him and his buddy were the van following the couple that left a while ago. Lol nice.
You know it’s surprising that couch surfers get upset when you can’t stay with them? I mean I throw out requests to everyone in the area hoping I get something back. When I do, some have already changed their plans to host me and everything. I always have to apologize and in my message which auto populates and I just change the name, I put “TRY” to make it to your town. Some have even gone as far as criticize me for not giving them more notice. Lol really? I NEVER know how far I will be traveling on any given day. The weather and terrain effect how far I go. Anyway.. The 2 man crew said I’m about out of the hills. About 2 hard days left.
This 30 mile route that Nelson has me on is anything but hard. No turning, just a 30 mile road straight west. On my map they had me bouncing up and down along the coast. Probably many more hills. When all was said and and done I did 57 miles starting at noon.
I ran across several lakes, one had big tractor looking things basically harvesting Lilly pads and sea weed? I asked a guy why, and he said they were collecting water chestnuts. Oooo I see. Didn’t know those grew like that. Said hello to a guy just out of the boat shop that I was going to get more gatoraid from and he was filling his boat with more oil. Asked how his day was and he said it was a good day for boatin! Yea, it was a nice day. Speaking of, the wind was the only thing wrong with today. I have come to learn and taking to multiple people, only because some said it was a myth that wind always or frequently blows from west to east. I can verify this is true. Anyway I went inside and grabbed liquids and he came walking in and asked of that was all? Heh didn’t know he was the shopkeeper. Asked about my travels and I told him my story and handed him a card. He got really shifty eyed and slowly took my card.
He said 2 of his family members died of cancer. One was his brother last week…. I had never thought about the other perspective to my trip until now. I’m trying to raise hope, that after cancer you can still live a normal life. Well.. He had no hope. There was no hope after cancer for him. He just lost his brother and here I am telling him I’m on this quest to raise hope. He said, ” yea… It’s a nasty thing..” I didn’t know what to say. I don’t even think I said sorry for his loss. I was at a loss. I had never really thought of this situation before.. He was probably asking himself why I was chosen to live and his brother to die. I sad thank you, and left.. I thought about it for hours.. It reminded me of a personal question that Alin who used to work with me asked. (I hope he doesn’t mind) but I think someone or family close to him died of cancer. He questioned why I thought I was chosen to live and not that person. There are so many things that go into that question. There are thousands of things that contribute to why a person dies and who doesn’t. Sometimes, God just says your time is up and there isn’t anything you can do. I think I huge deal is how you handle the news.. How you deal with problems. You can accept them or let them hinder you and your life, adding stress into your system is poison to your body. The main thing a person needs to do, is number ONE! Don’t fret, everything will be fine. 2. Be physically active. 3. Start eating right if you aren’t. I have to deal with number 3 a lot. So I tried to explain to him as gentle as possible those things. I don’t have all the answers.. I can only tell you my opinion and what I did. My experience. Which leads me to another topic. Why I’m donating to an organization that doesn’t try to come up with the cure for Cancer. This might be a bit controversial but this is my opinion. I honestly don’t think one person is going to say tomorrow, “I found the cure for Cancer!!” It’s just not going to happen. Do you know how much money is wrapped up in all this Cancer stuff? The more you need the pills the more expensive they are. For me personally my brain surgery was almost $80,000 my radiation was $100,000 and my FIVE pills f chemo every month were $12,000 A month. For a year. That’s JUST me. Not including how many jobs would be loaf, all the machines and companies that would go out of business etc. I believe the BEST thing you can spend money on is memories. That’s why I’m going to donate to the Jack and Jill foundation. They send families of vacations when one of the parents is terminally ill. I do believe that EVENTUALLY a cure will be found, but they will only let small technological advances happen at one time. So the best thing I have to offer anyone… Is happy memories. Of course my memory is horrible so I take a lot of pictures to aid me..
On a lighter note..
I had lunch on a rock. My left over half of my breakfast burrito and and my full blueberry muffin.
Getting to my new couch surfers place in lower Rochester was an experience. I felt really out of place. I haven’t been in this sized city since before I left home. Cars all over, some turning in front of me. Some waiting, the shoulder of the road was horrible lots of the time and my flat road ALL day long now had a massive hill when I was about 6 miles left to go. I peddled through some not so good parts of town, sometimes kind of worried to take out my iPhone to continue looking at how to get to where I was headed. EVENTUALLY I made it. I had been texting Gary most of the day giving him updates on my progress. He actually biked down to the end of his road to meet me.
Let me talk about Gary for a minute. He is a 67 year old man, never married or any kids, and has been basically self taught his entire life. He had a photography studio when he used to live in Atlanta, he had open for a good 15 years. Has worked anywhere you can think of in the technology dept. He went to school for film so knows about movies. He knows something about EVERYTHING. He has worked for a place that makes LCD screens, he is a programmer, he is a database consultant, he collects art, movies, loves his classical music and let me tell you about his APARTMENT. He was involved with a church across the street and they re renovated a recreation gym. They divided it up into 5 or so separate apartments and his apartment is HUGE! He basically has the apartment of my dreams. Lol. Wide open area with his collection of motorcycle helmets and tons of books. Oh yes he worked as a motorcycle repair guy too and this year marks his 50th year of riding cycles. He also bicycle rides with a group of people. He has a spiral staircase that goes up to a loft where you can look down on basically the whole apartment except for one room. The room he allowed me to stay in. His room has very high walls but not ceiling to it. So when you are on the loft and you can about peer over into his bedroom. Ill put a picture up soon. He let me take a shower and we headed out to get some food at a Mexican restaurant, then took a little walking tour of the city and over by a river to see downtown Rochester. Then went back and got his car to go get ice cream. Lol this place is open till midnight every night. Then took me only a very detailed your of the city. In the basement of his building is an 100 year old 2 lane bowling ally. It looks 100 years old! You have to go down and manually put the pins in the holder to drop them onto the lane. I guess some people decide to still bowl there? There is also a coin laundry mat down there which seems like a damn dungeon but they all took coins. Washed my clothes and was so tired I wanted to come back to get then dried. Which today is my latest start yet but he made an excellent breakfast for me of eggs, bacon, blueberries, coffee, (he doesn’t like coffee either so he changed it with all the creamer to not coffee. Lol) and some Greek yogurt with a small block of feta cheese I believe? And we just talked a lot about life and faith and anything you can think of. What an awesome guy! He has learned soooo much! He picks up small hobbies along the way and becomes good at them like I like to do. He does all his work in his loft on his computer, semi retired he provides plenty of flexibility in his schedule. Can’t thank Gary enough! He also read the book, ‘Into the Wild’, which is my favorite movie. So we talked about that a tons of other things. But yea, I need to get going! I might only get 30 miles in today?
The couple I met yesterday morning said they took a day off and were extremely stiff the next day. They said taking a day off is like missing a day of work, when you come back you have a lot to catch up on! So I do my best to ride everyday to not let the soreness catch up with me!
Wow I’m really sorry, I’m looking in my notes and I am a day off on my dedications!! I missed the 21st for the 2nd day of Matt Farrell in honor of his mother! I’m really sorry, so today ill back track and ride ride for your mother Matt! God bless you