Not many miles today

In my last blog I meant to type out DAMP basement or dungeon not the bad word. Lol I was asked about it.

I had only biked 10-15miles out of Rochester when I got hungry. Actually Gary biked with me, to show me out of Rochester! Awesome man! I stopped to eat some food and saw that Wane Tv from back home messaged me on Facebook and asked for a FaceTime interview! Sure sounds good! After some technical difficulties they finally got me connected. FaceTime is a video to video call where you can see and hear the other person on your phone. Interview went well, just asked me some questions like, what’s been the biggest challenges you have faced, best people or stories so far, how much further to go today, how far have you come, and what are you doing with your donations? I’m trying to get to bed early tonight so I won’t answer them all here. Bit there should be a link on my wall at some point very soon to see my interview.
After that I rode some more miles and the sun was starting to go down! Like I said I didn’t get far. So as I have been asking God all day, I’m going to need a place to stay tonight! I pass a church that the front sign says, “Vacation with God” lol umm yep that’s my sign. So I pull in there hoping for a place to sleep. Instead there is a an early twenties girl just walking out of the church and I ask her. She says come on in, ill ask! So she leads me down some steps where I am confronted with about 10 teenage ish/early 20′s kids. She asks and the leader says, she doesn’t have the authority to do that, but basically 2 miles down the road there is a church that is open 24/7. Ok cool! And I hop back on my bike and head up the street. So I get to this church and there are 2 cars in the lot. There is the huge church and a side building where I was told if I wanted to talk to a priest to see if there was a better place to stay? I walked around the office building knocking on doors but no one to be found. I walked around the large church too, delighted that the doors were unlocked I walked around inside. “Hellllo??” Probably for half an hour I looked for someone. I didn’t feel comfortable just staying in a church when no one knew. There are two sets of doors and so finally I sat down in the last pew closest to the 2nd set of doors. I just start prayin. Lord as this trip is coming closer to the end I pray I did everything in my power to point to you and help being hope to your people. I just pray lord that you give me a sign that I should stay here to sleep. I don’t feel right about this. Not long after I was startled by a man that walked in the 2nd set of doors? I figured I would hear someone coming, it’s dead quiet in here. I explained what I was doing in here and said I didn’t have a place to stay and the other church directed me here. This middle aged man named Steve said, “you don’t have a place to stay tonight? Well pull your bike inside, it’s not safe out there!” Haha! How cool is that?? Then he whips a Christian pamphlet out of his pocket and flips open to a page and says there’s some good stuff in there! The first sentence of the page he opens to reads this: “Be humble and accept the Divine Will, you will reach the end.” Once again, I’m at a loss for words. Interesting guy he is. He then proceeds to talk to me for the next hour on conspiracy theories? How the government is spying on us and how all the bombings were hoaxes and yea. Lol anyway he gets to the end and asks about my trip and hands me $20 and says, “You’re doing a good thing here and pointing to The Lord. Can’t beat that” and he leaves. He was just an average guy coming in to say his prayers? Well that’s awesome! I still needed a tiny bit more confirmation I could stay here. Why? I don’t know. So 3 girls from the other church show up when the guy is on his way out and have brownies!? They came to check on me and made sure I had everything I needed. Gave me their number in case I needed anything. They said they also called the priest to make sure it was ok I was here. He said it was fine. :) sooooo ill be sleeping in my sleeping bag on a padded pew, with my pillow that I always use for camping. (A plastic bag that contains all my clean clothes tied in a little knot so the clothes don’t fall out. :)
Oh yes, Steve went out and grabbed a bunch of things from his car for me. Like 3-4 brochure / pamphlets and something that looked like a rosary. He said it wasn’t then counted the breads like centuries? It’s ok, still has a cross on the end. It’s quiet in here and I can hear water trickling from a fountain up front. Oh yes, this is a Catholic Church! They sure have been good to me on this trip. Even the 3 girls asked about my home church and I said I’m sorry but in Christian.” It’s fine! We all worship the same God!” So everyone is very welcoming. Not one negative on this trip! Should have gone to bed long ago, but I should be able to get up and about quickly in the morning.
Ok I think that’s it for the night!

Tues / Weds Morning

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

Mon

After I got all my junk packed and left, I was hoping I could eat breakfast at the diner right before I turned into where the camp ground was. It was obviously closed, but I checked the times anyway. I’m not sure what time it was, but they should have been open half an hour ago. Booo no one there. I was hoping there would be another place just over the next few hills. Nope. Well I can’t ride on an empty stomach, so I are a granola bar and packed my mouth with beef jerky until I could find a place.
These hills are no joke. I literally ride down as fast as I can just to maybe get halfway up the next one and then push my bike. I’m really not find of pushing my bike up hills. It’s kind of dangerous first of all because the cars and truck want to give you space but they don’t even know what’s over the hill so they really don’t give you any. Most of the time I see a vehicle coming I just go off the shoulder so they don’t need to worry about me and I don’t need to worry about getting hit. It was like this for 10-15 miles.
Now I don’t know who made these maps. They say experts did, now whether it was for scenery, safety, or the views or whatever, but it certainly wasn’t for the easiest or quickest way. I have seen it take me miles out of the way just to take me back to the same already nice highway I was on. Hmmm I have had several people ask why it takes me that way, and I have no clue. It’s the only way I know without using the GPS on my phone. So now I have learned to look at my map before making turns to make sure that the route isn’t just going to meet back up with the same road I’m on. I have also noticed that its taking me on a lot of coastal routes with a lot of turns. I have to stop and check my map at every turn and there is the possibility of missing my turn and having to backtrack. Not fun. So there I was about 15 miles into my route and the road comes to a Y. I’m have a drink and looking at my map, when a little old man pulls up beside me on his bicycle. Asks me if I need directions or help. I tell him my story and how I came over the mountains and really don’t want more hills than I have to. He doesn’t understand why my map is taking me out if the way AND it’s a more hilly route. So he is telling me step by step directions how to take a shortcut that will meet back up with my route. He can tell I’m lost after he starts mentioning turning at buildings and so on. I guess he is just out for his usual 40 mile a day ride for fitness. He was on his way back after going 10 miles past where I had just come from. He said, you know what, how about I just take you. Cool! Not only a shortcut but an Angel to guide my way. At times we are riding side by side and chatting about my ride and how the mountains were so tough. He asks if I have had food yet, and I tell him what I had so he says we need to get some place to eat then. Asks what I like. Anything. So he said we will stop in his home town because they have all sorts of stuff. Mind you that his town is in another 15 miles but this hilly ride seems so easy for him. He asks my pace and I say about 13mph, but realllly slow up hill, and at the time then back down I try and take advantage of the hills. He takes me through all the smooth back roads and turns and what not. I vaguely remember some of these things in his directions. At least he leading the way! We finally end up at a Pizza Hut and asks if this is ok. Yes! I’m famished by now. So we are seated and the waiter gets our drinks and asks us where we are from. He is confused because we arrived together but are from other places. Asks if he had come with me from Bar Harbor? Nope. I just ran into him 20 miles back! Lol. He is impressed! We end up getting a large pizza. Of course they don’t have green olives…. While we are waiting he tells me he has had 4 types of Cancer and is currently going through a kind of chemo for his most current one. His latest is called Lymphoma. It’s where cells grow out of control around his lymph glands. I guess he has a 1 or 2 tennis ball sized glands around his abdomen. Man that’s rough. He was chosen with a select few other New Yorkers to take a trial drug that not only decreases the size of the tumors but takes away the protein the cells use for food thus starving them as well. Double bonus! He said he went in for a blood sample last week and a few days later they would start him on the pills. Awesome. Well a few days went by and no call. They finally called him later in the week and said sorry, he couldn’t have another kind of Cancer for 3 years prior to this drug so they took him off the list of test patients. Wow.. That’s great… No actually that’s really bad. I guess he is looking at a new drug he is on right now? Trying it out. FOUR kinds of Cancer. Here I thought I had it bad. You can tell he has no fear though. Just taking it as it comes and staying in excellent shape. The way it should be! In the mean time out waiter (Rick? Richard? Sorry) frequents our table because he is so interested in our story and how we met and even more that we are both Cancer survivors. He is really excited about this whole thing. He is mid thirties and average to thin shape. Said he has always wanted to do a ride like I am. I said, you just have to… Do it. Lol take steps in that direction and eventually you will be on your bike and headed out!
In the meantime Nelson is writing on the edges of my map the best and quickest way to get out of NY. My map has me going on a gravel bike canal way path? I was told he didn’t know if I had good enough tires for it and another couple said parts of it were sandy. Obviously that isn’t my ideal bike path. He has written around the entire 2 full length edges of my map the routes I should take. I guess he used to be a trucker too so he knows these routes and has ridden a lot of them. I can trust this man. I felt like from the beginning The Lord sent this man just for me! So I grab a highlighter and my phone and am trying to highlight the route because I’m a visual learner. Well my map takes me to the far west coast and sometimes backtracking. No bueno. The waiter comes back over and said the food is on him he is so inspired by our stories. Wow! Thanks! There are 3 pieces left that I put in a box and take with me. We head outside and get a pic, and he heads back home and I’m trying to GPS his whole route on my phone to make sure all the roads connect. He had forgotten a few connecting roads but the waiter calls his buddy and confirms that the roads he was telling me were correct. It looks like a good route! More straight west, less turns. So I’m getting ready to hop on my bike and the waiter comes out the door and asks if I need my water bottles filled with water. No thanks, I need to do a 50/50 with water and gatoraid and ask where the closest gas station is. There are two really close. Cool. He has shaken my hand and thanked me numerous times. Before he walked back inside he said, “you know I think you have inspired me to take a trip like yours. I have always wanted to. so thank you!” Very cool. :) when I inspire people in return I am also inspired.
Side note, on Facebook Nelson’s daughter put on the hope rides page, that she heard I met up with her dad. She is really happy that we met up! When I get to be his age, I want to be as mentally and physically strong as him! So thank you Mr Nelson!
I head to the nearest gas station and the attendant asks where I’m headed. I explain and give her a card. She asks if she can have another because one of her good friends has a child with heart issues. Wow, ok sure!
And I set out.
Nelson pointed out a place on my map, as a place to stop for the night. “You should make it there by 5:30pm” well he doesn’t really stop as much as I do! Basically at the top of every hill I take a mini break to catch my breath and to drink some liquid. I saw a guy coming down the far hill with a strobe-ish light like I have on my bike. I can make out its a bicycle. Then I can see he has saddle bags. I’m secretly hoping to catch him pushing his bike up to the top if the hill like me on everyone, but he just peddled his way to the top and crosses the road to talk to me.
He is a little older than middle aged and has more stuff than I do! He has been on the road for 2 months and headed to Bar Harbor. Aaaand yea that’s where I came from. He is the first person to hand me a business card so far on this entire trip. Leon Webster, Chief Retirment Officer, Bicycle Tourist. I read it out loud and he said, “Hey had to give myself some kind of title!” Lol.
Told him how much training I had before this trip and he said, “That’s what I call, biking yourself into shape!” I was telling him about the tortures of the mountains and how I think I spent a lot of my time pushing my bike up hills! He said, “I have a friend who always said he hasn’t ran into a hill he couldn’t walk up!” Said there is no shame in it! He was reading on the map that after a certain point the terrain was supposed to get more hilly. He said, “But these hills are already f}^{>~*{ hilly!!” Tell me about it! He quickly grabbed his camera, snapped my pic, put my name in his phone and took off before I could ask for a pic too. Lol ah well. Nice to meet you. I peddle on.
Behind my right knee has hurt for a little bit but as I’m literally passing the sign of the town where I am staying at another state campground there are sharp pains behind my knee. I realize that the woman said a long time ago, it might be too high, so you can lower it some if needed. (My seat) I was thinking it was too high because my legs straighten all the way out when peddling. I mean it took the pain out of the tips of my knees. Anytime so far I get off my bike and push, it has always been on the left side, with each step I was kind of twisting my right knee/leg to lean into the bike without hitting the peddled or saddlebags. I get out my tool and take the seat down a few Millimeters. The. I awkwardly try pushin the bike up the last few hills from the other side. Feels better. There is always a 2 mile ride into the registration for campground. It’s a usual thing to do. But these state campgrounds actually have paved roads that lead back. It’s obvious that they can’t give me discounts like the smaller camps do.. There are 3 people working and two of them had fought Cancer. Anyway, they send me to a site. I can tell right away this night isn’t going to be fun. A family of like 6 is at the next campground over. Everyone is yelling at each other, baby is crying, kids are angry, parents treating their kids like dogs. “SIT!! STAY!!” Every meal the wife is screaming at the kids, EAT IT!!! They say something once, then immediately scream it again. There is no repeating at a same tone. Eat it.. EAT IT!!!! Lol it’s kind of funny now when I think about it. Luckily I have ear plugs. I shower and get back to my tent and finish my last 3 amazing slices of pizza. I type for an hour on this here blog and post it. It’s published, so now I can get to bed a decent time! I think I got about 9 hours of sleep! A new record for me!

I’m going to divide this post up into two, because of length..

Must. Sleep.

Big thanks to my new couch surfer, Gary, who took me in tonight. Awesome guy. Went out to eat, had ice cream and got an above and beyond tour of the city. .. But I’m so beyond tired ill have to blog in the morning. Yesterday’s that was lost, I wrote an outline so that when I get a moment ill do that day too. Ok well goodnight!

Feeling Good Today

Already this morning as I getting stuff together I pick up my shoes which I usually leave outside the tent because I don’t want grass and dirt inside, I put my hand in cobwebs and think grossss. I put them on the picnic table and it looks like they have been in the jungle for a week! Cobwebs all over them! I peer inside one of the shoes and see a cob web tunnel and a little spider looking back at me. Yea.. Yuck. I’m sure you can only imagine. I use one of my metal tent pegs and clear off the webs then try and evacuate my unwanted visitor. Clear all the cobwebs in the inside and then bang my shoe heel side down to get him to drop out. He just keeps clinging to the inside tip of my shoe. FINALLY I see him drop out , and hit the ground running! What a fast spider!! Looks like ill be cleaning off my shoes and taking them in the tent with me from now on.. I’m actually feeling very happy to be out of the mountains! I feel like I’m almost home! Of course I’m only a little over halfway.. So I keep reminding myself that I’m not, but those mountains REALLY were not fun at all. Cooked my ramen noodles. This Jetboil cooker is so easy a caveman could do it! Ok need to get moving!

Well. My hour of typing last night is gone. I’m sorry I don’t have time to do it again. Just know Nelson is working on his 4th kind of Cancer and bikes all the time. Lead me through towns for 20 miles. Then gave me the best way to get out of NY. Man this sucks..