Monday, July 8, 2013

Day #42: No Ifs, Ands, or Butts About It

Today's Route: Sodus, NY to Texas, NY (58 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 2316

Since leaving St Paul on Day #19, I have not had any rest days. The idea of going a day without cycling doesn't really appeal to me. With that being said, I think it's important for the body to rest every now and then.

My idea of a rest day is a lower mileage day. And so, after three days in a row of 80+ miles each, today's ride felt like a complete and utter rest day in my book.

I had set the alarm for 5:45am, but I was up for awhile last night listening to the wonderful rainstorm that passed through Sodus. So, the first thing I did to enjoy my rest day was to turn off the alarm. I slept in for nearly two hours. Ah, bliss!

The other thing I did to enjoy the rest day was to stop for a cold drink in Fulton and catch up on some Internet stuff for awhile.

As I was about to get back on the bike to ride the final 15 or so miles for the day, a man and his teenage daughter asked me about my trip. The man was so very kind and handed me some money saying, "Here, why don't you use this to get your next meal."

Wowsers! This is the second time on this trip (and, as it turns out, the second time in three days) that a generous stranger has offered me money.

As kind as this is, there is no way that I could accept a monetary donation. It may be different if I was fifteen years younger and strapped for cash to continue my journey. But, that's not the case.

Though I was touched by the man's generosity, what meant way more to me was the man's interest in my trip, his words of encouragement, and his well wishes for a safe journey.

Back on the road I went.

Coming across a detour sign while riding is always a gamble. Sure, you could follow the detour signs, but you never know just how far off-route you'll be routed. While a few extra miles may be no big deal if traveling by car, those few extra miles can be valuable if traveling by bicycle.

I've found that it's generally better to pretend that the signs don't exist.

A "bridge closed" detour.

In today's case, the detour was due to a "closed bridge." If the bridge is closed due to repaving, for example, then that's one thing. But if the bridge is being replaced such that there is no means of crossing the river (without getting wet), then that is, quite obviously, another thing.

With today's detour, I gambled, and I won. I rode right across the bridge as the construction workers were doing their bridgework. Woohoo! That's another data point in favor of ignoring detour signs.

My Warm Showers hosts this evening are Gary (who just got himself a Long Haul Trucker!) and Gerrie. Although their mailing address is Oswego, NY, they live much closer to Texas, NY.

Gerrie & Gary.

Gary and Gerrie live in a beautiful home right on the shore of Lake Ontario. In an email exchange with Gary, he told me the meal for the evening. I thought of that meal so many times today, looking forward to absolute deliciousness!

Look at these gigantic beans that were in the pasta sauce.
The dry bean is on top; the cooked bean is down below.

I've been washing clothes in the sink every few days on this trip. Many of my Warm Showers hosts have asked if I wanted to do laundry while at their homes. I hadn't taken any hosts up on this. After all, what's the point? The clothes will get yucky again in no time!

But, both today and yesterday, I had strangers tell me, "You look like you've been traveling for awhile." Hmmm. Is it the sun-kissed skin which is the giveaway? Or perhaps my haven't-been-appropriately-laundered-in-the-last-too-many-days clothing?

I decided I should probably do laundry. And so laundry I did. I think I even managed to get the sweat stains out of the long-sleeved merino wool shirt that I've been wearing nearly every day of this trip. Victory!

Gary showed off some of his ElevenGear cycling apparel. What a clever jersey!

Bright colors....

...with the Uniform Vehicle Code conveniently located on the sleeve, for easy reference purposes...

...and even a built-in safety triangle.

After dinner, we had a yummy strawberry dessert and watched "American Flyers," a 1985 film about two brothers doing a bike race in the Rockies.

The movie features a 30-year-old Kevin Costner. And yes, there is a gratuitous butt shot of Kevin (just like in "Dances with Wolves"). But (no pun intended), there's an even better butt shot of David Grant, who plays the younger brother.

Thank you, Gary and Gerrie. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it; not only were you fantastic hosts, but you had the intuition to know that this far into the trip, I would definitely enjoy seeing some cute, naked cycling butts.


  1. How's YOUR butt doing these days, Sarah? Over 2000 miles on a bicycle seat! That's remarkable! I really like hearing about all the nice people you encounter and stay with. Good stories, thanks for sharing them!

  2. Ha ha! My butt is doing just fine - thanks for asking. Yeah, aren't these Warm Showers hosts wonderful? It has been amazing to experience the generosity of so many wonderful people across the country! Glad you are following along!

  3. My daughter and I met you at McDonald's in Fulton... I have kept track of your blog since then. Enjoyed the kind things you had to say about our short visit...

    I have had a not-so-secret desire to take a long bike trip someday (not across the country... yet). There is a freedom when on my bike like few things else in life.

    I also remember asking you if you had come to the place where, "you truly appreciate a drink of cold water?" You said that you had, but it was the way your face lit up that I knew that you had as few ever do!"

    1. Hi David! Thank you for your note! I never thought to ask you your name, and so it's great to hear from you again!

      Indeed, I definitely had come to the point of appreciating cold water. Not to mention a whole bunch of other things. While on the topic of water, I came to appreciate a clean water bottle, without brown, fuzzy things growing on the inside. And there are other things, too, such as a shower and air-conditioning. This trip has helped me to appreciate all the little "luxuries" that we take for granted on a daily basis.

      You're absolutely right about the bike affording you freedoms that other forms of travel do not. I highly encourage you to get out for an overnighter on your bike as soon as possible (and take your daughter with you). I've been out on a number of single night bike trips, and I'm always amazed how a single overnight trip can feel like an eternity. You don't even need any gear; you can go "credit card touring" by eating out at restaurants and staying at hotels or B&Bs. For some inspiration on S24Os ("sub-24-hour" rides), as they are often called, you may want to check out this site:

      Please keep in touch. I look forward to hearing about *your* bike trips!


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