Month: May 2019

Wednesday 8th Thursday 9th

Two long days of around 50 miles each.

So Wednesday we woke up to sunshine cool, the 1st job of the day was to buy breakfast and sun lotion in the petrol station next to the motel.

We then push on to pick up the Erie Canal cycle way in roughly 13 miles. We find it easy enough and start to enjoy traffic free cycling.

We had a warm showers host lined up so had to do 50 miles today but at least we could save some money we are spending way too much. Doing well we stop for lunch 20 miles in.

Freshly cooked egg,onion and green peppers in a toasted bun. Lunch break always gives mike the opportunity to study maps and stress more about progress or lack of it!

Back on route we now start to see lots of turtles basking in the sun shine. It is glorious and not to hot but I always burn easily so factor 50 for me.

Cycling along enjoying the sun we see a guy sat under a tree, he was cooking a pasta peanut butter kind of combo and had a loaded bike. So we stopped and chatted. He’s name was Ervin and he was cycling Nova Scotia to Oregon. He had cycled our route previously and assured us we would enjoy it. We left him to his lunch.

After a few miles the path came to a railway line blocking our way, nothing for it we had to cross but there didn’t seem to be a crossing point. Mike had to lift both bikes over the lines. Strange.

I need to make a comfort break, so whilst I am occupied in a portaloo that they provide along route, Mike checks his phone. We’ve done 45 miles out of the 50 so was slightly pithed that our host for the night had e mailed cancelling as he had a emergency. Damn not to worry it’s a nice evening so we call it a day and look for some where to pitch tent. On mile 47 we find a nice pick nick site right between the Mohawk River and Erie Canal with toilet facilities. That will do.

Morning a pretty good nights sleep but got really cold in the middle of the night.

We pack up and cycle on looking for somewhere to eat breakfast.

We find a diner and have cheese omelette the server was the guy who’s house we were supposed to stay with the night before so we chatted for a while and he was apologetic. He was pleased that we still had a good night and pointed us in the direction of the Canal managers office, suggesting that he could tell us where to find lock showers. The manager was super helpful and gave us many many hand outs and two pretty cool baseball caps that was meant to be for the staff. There was a free campground with showers on lock 18. So we decided to head there it’s only 30 odd miles and after yesterday we need a easier day.

More lovely traffic free roads with one small road block

Unfortunately the going isn’t that easy as we’ve run out of tarmac. But it’s pretty so on we plodded hopping for a better surface soon.

Slight detour to find snacks for lunch nothing much as breakfast was filling we check the map again. Our easy 30 miles has turned into a hard push!

Lock 18 yes finally. Bum big diggers and construction workers. They are improving the facilities for a grand re opening on the 17 th we can’t stay here. To top it all one of the workers tell us that there is a storm warning for the area and we should take cover over night. He points us in the direction of town and told us that we would find a cheep motel there. Into town we head a total of 50 miles today over 300 miles in.

The motel is one of the best we’ve stayed right next to a Denny’s so with food in our bellies and a decent roof over our heads we settle down.

This gives us free wi fi and a opportunity to go through the information giving to us by the Canal manager. Mike studies the route for tomorrow, checks the weather and decided that tomorrow will be 20 miles leaving later hoping that the storm will pass.

Tuesday 7th May

A day of two half’s. this morning started of great, the sun was shining and we managed to get a good speed going. We met a really cool older guy who had cycled the trans America coast to coast back in the eighties. Could of spoke to him all day. Pushing on passing over a state line into Vermont still with good roads.we also pass into the state of New York.we finally felt that we were getting somewhere and stopped for our lunch on a high.

Straight after lunch we took a turn of the main road that good old google maps sent us, well that was a mistake we should have stayed on the main road traffic was light and terrain was good. So on our new road yep traffic free but it was hilly and it added about 2hours to our journey.

On the plus side stopping to get my breath after panting up hill I saw a chipmunk he was to quick to get his photo but awesome! We rejoin the main road but by now we are both drained the traffic is heavier and it starts to rain.

Our gears have been playing up a bit and I’d had problems with my front break since mike had re assembled them so we pulled into a bike shop. The man very kindly sorted them for free.

We have completed 47 long hard miles today and got cold and wet. Again there is no where to camp so more money spent on a motel. Tomorrow we should pick up the Erie Canal bike route. 250 traffic free miles to Niagara Falls and hopefully a warm shower host. ( not planning to do all 250 miles in one go!).

Monday 6th May

The sun was shining. We finished off leftovers from last night, packed up camp and left in good spirits.

We did 37 miles and about 20 of them must have been up hill, it was hard going I walked /crawled my sorry arse up, sometimes I actually managed to cycle but it was tough.

Halfway up we met @pedalingwanderlust a guy coming down the opposite way the 1st cycle touring guy on the trip so far a really cool guy. We chatted a while he warned us that the worst bit was still to come and gave us a energy bar stating that we would need it, I did!

We finally made it to the summit and stopped at a cafe for much needed refreshments.

And they catered for vegetarians I had a avocado spinach sandwich lovely and fresh.

We chatted to locals in there for a while.whom were totally in ore with what we were doing. We feel like we are treated like celebrities. The crazy English couple.

After our break we only had 8 more miles to go. All campsites are closed it’s to early in the season, apparently there was still snow here last week so we are staying in a motel tonight.

A welcome sign 4 miles out of our 8 remaining all down, just hope that tomorrow we don’t have to climb them back up.

Sunday 5th May

Repetition eat sleep cycle do it all again.

Weather still cold still wet. Terrain is still hilly.

Food wise is junk food but it’s hot and we need energy.

We pushed on 47 miles today as we’re struggling to find an open campground. It’s still early in the season. We will wild camp soon but at the moment it’s all very muddy here and we need a hot shower to warm up!

The scenery is good would be better if it wasn’t so foggy!

We are both sore down below for those of you that always ask that question but after a few days we hopefully toughen up!

Tomorrow we have another long climb according to the locals but google maps says it’s flat! Only 21 miles to do though.

May 4th

After a cosy night in our cabin it was time to pack up and go. The friendly lady in the office said take you time, but I don’t think she would of liked it if I took the 4 months which I was debating in my head as it’s still cold and wet! As it rained heavily all night.

So bikes packed and ready to go we have breakfast at the petrol station at the end of the campground road. Bagels and coffee.

All we had to do was follow the 2a all day for the next campground. Good old google maps tells us 30 miles and flat 3 hours it says. That will do us.

All I can say is google maps your a liar!

Checking the map, we must be nearly there! The weather hasn’t been kind its warmer but still showers. Onwards we push up very steep hills and back down only to climb another one flat google maps I think not.

After about 30 miles I’m climbing slowly in my granny ring another hill, only to see a dog running straight at me teeth showing and not at all friendly, I’m going to slow to get away from him and he managed to get a hold of my foot,he was locked on good and proper pulling at me almost getting me off my bike. All I could think of was if I come off I’ve got no chance. So I shouted and ripped my foot from his clutch and with the adrenaline I cycled away. I’m ok but have bruises on my foot no broken skin. I’ve heard that it a common thing dog attack’s on cyclist but you always hope that it never happens to you. Mike Was unawares of what happened as he was slightly ahead up the hill. He was waiting for me at the top so I held it all together until he saw me then I had to let it all out and started crying on the road side. A drink of water, some sweets all is well again. Off we go!

Total mileage today was just over 40. We have set up camp in another expensive campground it’s not worth the money so run down but I didn’t want to push on any further today.I’m now snuggled in my tent and definitely ready for sleep. Tomorrow is a new day.

1st day cycling

We started off good but stressing about getting through a big city, The weather was cold and rain had been forecast but never mind it’s all part of the experience. Boston was surprisingly easy and car drivers were given us loads of space. We had picked out a route that after 12 miles we would be able to join a disused railway cycle trail. 12 miles in and coffee stop the trail starts

We chatted to a couple of guys at the coffee shop and one of them rode with us for about 10 miles along the trail, when he left us the rain started

We still had 15 miles to go cold and wet.

Plodding on to our campsite regardless. We made it. It’s $50 to put a tent up in the cold rain or for an extra $17 we can have a heated log cabin.

The cabin it is after 40 long cold wet hilly miles we didn’t feel like a cold wet night too. After a quick shower, we headed out for dinner and a beer at the sports bar opposite the campground.

Where we met Martin Robinson who very kindly paid our bill, thank you. Now home to bed.

1st day arrived in Boston

Well, what a long day. We started nice and early UK time 5 am ready to go to the airport with a very kind lift from mikes dad, thank you, John. Really dreading that bit as we knew that the bikes were too heavy and We would get stung financially.

Mike’s was 32.5kgs and my bike was 27kgs however it wasn’t as bad as we were dreading small worry mikes being 0.5kgs over max allowed but staff very friendly and let it go we both had to pay £65 each extra.

Happily arrived in Boston with no problems customs was easy straight through and the nice man asked us how long did we need, we said about 4 months so he gave us 6! I guess we don’t look that fit!

We had posted a box from the UK to a contact here in Boston ( should have been the easy option). That was a nightmare in itself, we had to pay £150 to send via DHL it was big and weighed 17kgs. We also had to print out content labels, but by this time the printer was now in storage. Mad panic Susie our next door neighbour to the rescue.

It arrived in Boston In time. However, it incurred import duties. We weren’t aware of a separate form that we needed to fill in. We should have filled in a temporary import form. Another fee of $98 oh joy. Elinor our Boston contact very kindly paid this for us taking our word that we would pay back on arrival.

We also had brought a new tent and ground sheet so needed to go to the shop for that. So two things to pick up on day one.

Taxi straight to our previously booked hotel. We leave both bikes in the boxes in the hotel reception. It’s to early to check in it’s now 11am Boston time.

We decide to go to the tent shop over to the other side of Boston. Taxi driver number 2. What a character, really loved his city and was proud to fill our heads with its history. He wanted to know where we were going after picking up the tent ,we explained that we we had to pick up a box from another site. This coincidentally was near to where he was going so offered to just charge us the one way and drop us off there. All well and good but we hadn’t made contact with Elinor who’s got the box. So now we’re left on a complete strangers doorstep in a place we don’t know. Not a problem apart from we haven’t sorted our phones out yet so no way of contacting them, their not answering the door. What to do!

It’s now 2pm she’s probably at work, we wonder around the neighbourhood looking for somewhere with free WiFi and find a small Mexican cafe. Order omelette each but no WiFi. The waiter was lovely and shared his data so kind. We sent a email but she didn’t answer not knowing what else to do the waiter let us use the cafe phone to ring her, no joy. We hung around a bit killing time but with No idea what time she would finish work we decided not to outstay our welcome in the cafe and started wondering around the streets.

Luckily we find a gorgeous looking Spanish bakery that smelled as good as it looked. All goods were freshly baked on the premises in a small family run business. We would of loved to taste everything but we were full from the omelette which was served with spicy diced fried potatoes and fresh fruit all on the same plate with a side of toast and jam! Maybe that’s normal around here but a bit strange to us. The bakery was to good not to go in though so we went in to chat about all the lovely food and cheekily ask the girl if she could call a taxi for us.

Taxi number 3. 4pm we can check into the hotel lovely room with a view over Boston harbour and airport.

Now all we have to do is get that box !

We’ve been on the go all day it may only be 4pm here but it’s 9pm at home but we need that box today because it’s got all the tools we need to put the bikes together. Please Elinor get in touch!

5:30 Elinor emails us to say she’s home, can we please come now, yes. Taxi number 4 ordered no problem. We wait and wait a hour later we ring the taxi number and ask if it was still coming. No problem it’s 5 minutes away so we wait and wait 45 minutes later ring again yes it’s on it’s way it’s stuck in traffic. We wait it’s now 8:30pm it turns up but there’s a problem we ordered a round trip literally just to pick up box turn around and come straight back. He can’t do that as it’s only him working two members of staff have gone home sick and he has a regular 9pm booking the other side of town.

He was a larger than life Italian America just like we see on uk tv and came to the solution that we go with him and gave us a tour of Boston by cab talking nonstop but at least we got the box and a tour and he brought us cokes from a Mac Donald’s drive thru. We finally get back to our hotel 10 pm so that’s now on the go 22hours time for bed the bikes will have to wait to tomorrow. Night.

Day 2 relaxing and bike building.