Friday, September 25, 2009
Day 5, Into Long Island
Cookies for breakfast and a surprisingly smooth climb, last nights downhill memories must have been aided by tired legs and fearful minds. We watched the scenery change from hills and fields to concrete and steel as we rolled into Bridgeport, CT on some streets that are definitely being affected by the downturn in the US economy. Shuttered buildings and empty storefronts brought a reminder of the realities facing many that can be easy to forget while out in the woods.
Waiting for the ferry a nourishing meal of Bagels, mustard, chips and cola was consumed to tide over my belly until dinner could be made on the other side in camp. The trip across the long island sound was sunny and gorgeous, we looked at the beaches, recharged our GPS guidance system and shared a few laughs and stories of the road so far.
One of the moments that has occurred to all of us is the re-occurring notion that we are not going the right way. More than once a conversation has gone in this manner. Stranger: “you boys going somewhere”, Rider: “we are riding our bikes to Florida”, Stranger:”That's great, but you are going the wrong way, what you need to do is (insert street we have never heard of and garbled words trailing off as they pull away)”. Never mind that we have a GPS, which has been absolutely great for planning new routes and keeping me from constantly wondering if I have missed a turn. Also forget that all you really need to do is head south and eventually you will get to Florida, with few peninsula exceptions. Forget all of that, what I want to know is why someones first reaction is to insist that you are doing something wrong, it just doesn't make sense to me, maybe next time just ask if we know where we are going.
I don't think that there is a whole lot of love going on for cycling in the northern central Long Island area. There is more wooded areas than I expected and I was definitely surprised when I found campsites, but that has more to do with my lack of knowledge about the area, which I am happy to improve upon. All of that is great and in its own way, the reactions we have gotten are as well. My personal favorite is the sideways, horizontal, palm down hand wave which seemed to indicate the question “why are you on my road?” “this is for driving, doing nails and checking my hair in the mirror”. The other favorite was the honk that interrupted a very energetic Billy Joel-Uptown Girl sing along right at the chorus where Aaron and Jon's vocals were definitely putting the rock in our ride. We are taking it all in stride and enjoying the laughs among ourselves.
at 6:15 PM