|Dates:||12 May 2012 - 26 Jun 2012|
|Duration:||1 month, 2 weeks|
San Diego to NYC on a regular road bike and staying in hotels.
On my way to Long Island I ran into this funny-looking building.
The tower rising from the pit.
As fun as dodging cabs in Manhattan is, Central Park is better.
View from the bridge.
The George Washington Bridge is the only way to cross into Manhattan from the West. Unfortunately you have to ride through a lot of crap to get to it.
Storm over Manhattan.
Glad I'm in here, not out there.
First view of the Freedom Tower.
A lot of New Jersey looks like this.
So here I am waiting under a bridge in New Jersey for the rain to stop. I was almost smart enough to stop at the McDonald's a mile back, but somehow I decided that the thick black cloud wasn't going to get me.
I don't think I'll be getting an early start today.
So much nicer than riding through the city.
Outside downtown, Baltimore is pretty ugly except for this funky building.
Little town's Main Street in Maryland.
The Smithsonian Air & Space museum was the bomb. It was great seeing the actual air & spacecraft, including the Apollo 11 return capsule.
"We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice".
A bit larger than life.
The gravestones cover almost every square inch.
It reads "From the people of the Netherlands to the people of the United States of America".
Now THAT must be where all the money is.
It's surprisingly small. I don't know how they can fit a residence and offices in there.
Meh, the Treasury Department. I'm pretty sure all the money's at the Federal Reserve.
You never get to see these things as real buildings on TV, their always shot from the perfect angle without all the police and barricades visible.
Meet Officer Crawford, the security guard at the Motel-6. He told me of the history of the neighborhood I'm staying in, known as "The Market". It looks pretty scary at night, but it's the wholesale market for the city during the day with fresh meat, clothes, electronics etc.
Guys playing polo in the DC ghetto.
Just one more picture of something that's been photographed a billion times.
So I was just riding to the Capitol Mall when this funny looking building appeared.
I'm officially inside the beltway, the freeway that circles DC.
They've.got a really nice 50-mile long bike path to DC called the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.
On a river road in Virginia on the way to DC.
I broke a spoke on Skyline drive and had to come down the mountain into town. There was this really nice little bike shop that fixed me up quickly, but then I had to climb back up the mountain.
I met Nathan the amateur wildlife photographer and these two British tourists in the lobby of the lodge where we were all huddled around the wifi. Nathan got an amazing picture of a Black Bear with a little fawn in its mouth. The tourists had been to Peru, Egypt and all over the U.S. All of us kept babbling until they kicked us out at 11pm.
It's hard to get a good picture of all the deer I'm seeing. Just as soon as I get close enough with my iPhone, some car comes down the road and the damn thing runs into the woods.
This guy is hiking all 2184 miles of the Appalachian Trail. He does about 15 miles a day, and has been at it for months now. He was hanging out at a picnic area getting ready to do another 8 miles after lunch. He said he spending less than $10 per day.
Finished the BRP, now onto Skyline.
This is the highest point before the end of the BRP. It's all downhill from here!
Meet Turtle Tracking Guy. He's retired from the Park Service and now spends his time watching a population of Box Turtles over a 350 acre area.
I ran out of water and I wasn't sure how far it was to the next source, so I scrambled down to a stream. Try climbing over mossy rocks in biking shoes. I dare you.
Above the clouds.
The Parkway's kinda froggy after the rain. It's 90 miles to Waynesboro, and I'm hoping to stay dry.
I'm staying at this lodge right on the BRP. Motel-6 quality rooms and a Four Seasons setting.
Some guy turned an old school bus into the front porch of his house.
I stayed at the Stonewall B&B last night. Nice place and great food.
I'm trying to take a picture of something ugly. Still can't do it.
So I booked this B&B because it's one of the few places to stay where I am along the Parkway. Funny thing is, when I show up nobody's home. I ended up waiting on the porch for just a few minutes. It ended up being the nicest place I stayed in for the whole trip.
Old country house.
You can see into Virginia from here.
One really nice thing about the Parkway is that the few cars that pass you aren't going that fast.
Goodbye Boone. It was a little jarring to have traffic after two days on the BRP with few cars, but it was great to have easy access to food.
Food is hard to find along the BRP. I managed to scavenge this $2 box of cookies at a visitor's center.
There's really just no ugly parts to this.
Riding along the BRP there are only a few places to stop. Since there were no cheap motels here, I was forced to stay at this mountain resort.
Top of a big-ass climb.
Wild turkey totally unconcerned about me.
Asheville has a funky little downtown.
I had to do a lot of climbing to get to this one.
Heading into the Appalachian Mountains.
Little back roads are the best way to go.
Monument to the Mosquito.
I'm trying to ride between waves of rain. Yesterday I made the mistake of checking into a motel when it started raining hard, only to see it stop an hour later.
Wet day. I'm trying to get some miles in before the heavy rain hits.
There are a lot of very pretty old houses on these back roads.
Signs of progress in Georgia.
Nice to see a little space between the houses.
They seem to be pretty proud of their airmen here.
An old cemetery way down an isolated country road.
Cute back country road.
There's a lot of this in Alabama; small rolling hills and forest.
Meet Sammy, Tammy and friends. They live in what Sammy describes as the richest town in Alabama, with 30 old-money millionaires from the Lumber Mills.
I got rained on again, but it was nothing compared to yesterday.
Right out of Driving Miss Daisy.
I got rained on a bit, but it was nice.
Nice tree-lined parkway.
These states are definitely getting smaller.
White sandy beaches and mansions on the gulf.
Finally a bike and pedestrian friendly bridge!
Old civil war fort.
Ready for the next great flood.
Look what I found in New Orleans!
New Orleans is the least bike-friendly city I've ever ridden in. Every bridge across the river is closed to bicycles, so the only way across is by ferry, half of which are closed on the weekends.
Nice empty bike path along the river.
I haven't heard any banjos yet.
The only hills in Louisiana are its bridges.
Anyone wanna buy a plantation?
Now that's how you build a house on a flood plain!
Meet Terry, Mark and Derick. In addition to warnings about certain areas of Houma (where I plan to stay tonight), they suggested I don't stay in New Orleans' 9th Ward.
Reminds me of Peru.
Had a little rain and even some lightning. It was nice.
Gotta love the old tire swing.
More zombie apocalypse shelters.
So it only took 7 days to get to Texas, but 10 to cross it. Big goddam state.
Definitely not in the desert anymore.
There's a zombie fortress in every small town I pass. Apparently they know something we don't.
Glad to be leaving Houston. Maybe it was just the route I chose, but what I saw was a dump.
I was briefly mistaken for Lance Armstrong in this McDonald's. Apparently he lives in this area and is seen riding from time to time.
These Norwegian carpentry students are seeing a bit of Texas before they move on to New Orleans to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity.
I was wondering what they got the name of the movie from.
Pretty day on a country road.
So I spent the night at Dave and Brandi's Bed and Breakfast in Austin. It was a nice place with great food and the price was right, but this little kid kept threatening me.
Austin has some nice suburbs and pretty scenery.
Meet Don. He retired from the Navy with a disability 40 years ago and has lived in Dripping Springs ever since. He's thinking of moving to a smaller town though, since all those people from Austin are making it too crowded.
I finally found a steer!
I've seen mules, goats, sheep, llamas and ostriches. Everything except cows.
I rode along the I-10 all the way from Tucson. Goodbye my friend, I hardly knew ye.
Nice rolling hills, not too hot, pleasant day.
Everything is bigger in Texas.
If there's a bright center in the galaxy, this is the point farthest from it.
Just a beautiful day.
Nice tailwind and a good road. Another easy 100.
Meet Dave. He used to be a director for a tech company, and retired with his wife by buying an old motel here. We talked for about an hour on everything from pot legalization to hiking in Peru.
Riding straight into the rain.
Storm on the horizon.
Just a nice little climb.
Texas is big. Trying to get 100 miles into a headwind. Austin on 27th, New Orleans by 1st or 2nd.
A nice little climb and the first clouds I've seen in 10 days.
These are some folks in Fort Hancock eating lunch at Angie's Restaurant, and talking about the vaporizing pressure of liquified natural gas at 100 degrees.
This funny little guy was hanging out at a farm-country gas station.
Huge headwind, only going 12mph. Managed to draft off a speeding tractor for a bit, but then he had to turn.
One nice thing about the border fence in El Paso - it provides some nice shade.
Nice change from the desert. A little headwind but cooler.
Woo-hoo! New tire AND a spare. On my way to El Paso.
Here I am rolling along at 5mph through Las Cruces on a destroyed rear tire. Heading to the only bike shop in town.
So when Terry and I were talking about riding to Dallas together he bought a spare tire. I brought one along on my first tour, but later decided it was overkill. After all, you can start with new tires and patch one with a tire "boot" in an emergency. I figured I'd pick up a spare somewhere along the way. Unfortunately I got about five flats between Benson AZ and Lordsburg NM, and in one of the changes I created a pinch between the tube and the rim. As soon as I rode away it blew with enough force to destroy the tire bead that grips the rim. That's something a tire boot can't fix. I played with it and it held for another fifty miles, but it finally fell apart six miles before Lordsburg. Since it was unfixable, I had to ride those last six miles on a flat, pulling in to the first hotel just as it was getting dark. This little town barely has a grocery store much less a bike shop, so I ordered some new tires and tubes online and had them overnight-shipped here. Since I didn't place the order until late Friday however, I've had to spend all day Saturday hanging out at the hotel. I got a little work done, but otherwise I'm eager to get back to it. Hopefully they'll show up tomorrow morning and I'll be on my way to Las Cruces.
I knew I would find myself on this journey.
That little silhouette of a cyclist is me. I don't know if you can pick it out in these tiny pictures.
New Mexico: high desert, high winds.
At Mexico (new) border.
I met this guy at a gas station in Bowie AZ. He was very proud of his six-shooter, and eagerly told me about Arizona's open-carry law and how the NRA is really protecting our freedom of speech and religion.
High winds at my back, but dust storms ahead.
Some jerk at the Arizona Department of Transportation decided to grate the entire shoulder for about six miles, and leave it that way!
MASSIVE tailwind! If my bike had a couch I'd just sit and steer. Doing 30mph and barely pedalling.
I'm glad I didn't try to stay in Willcox. The hotels aren't very inviting.
Just some pretty rocky mountains.
Just finished a big climb.
First real green I've seen in Arizona.
The most beautiful site. I did 113 miles today, about 15 more than I intended, when I arrived here just as it was getting dark. My ass hurts (from the ride, thank you) but I got a nice room with a fridge, microwave and wifi for $44.
These guys did a nice job cleaning up my drivetrain. Off to Benson!
Getting my bike's drive train cleaned and wandering the ASU Tuscon campus. This is their old main building.
Truck stop Adult Boutique with a view.
Here's Shelby's blooming Suagaro.
Jealousy. I'm riding on cobblestones and the freeway shoulder is perfectly smooth. 45 more miles to Tuscon.
Solar powered potato chips.
Lots of funny looking trees out here.
The road to Maricopa. It's not too hot yet, and I hope to get there before it is.
This is Gila Bend.
Dust devils on Mars.
Half of these containers are from China.
Meet Pierre and his wife. They're from Paris and traveling across the U.S. by car. They just came from the Grand Canyon and are heading to San Diego now. Very nice and inquisitive couple.
Long lonely road.
Leaving Wellton behind, Gila Bend in 90 miles.
Venus over the Arizona desert.
Arizona can be pretty when it wants to.
Meet John the prospector. He travels by bike or his home-made canoe between his secret sites looking for silver and gold. He's looking forward to coming up with enough to buy a fixer-upper desert home for about $20k. He says he's getting too old for sleeping outdoors.
Yep, definitely desert.
There's a lot of this.
How much Gatorade do you need for 50 miles in 100+ heat?
Goodbye Calexico, it's been bueno.
30 miles through the Yuha desert at 108 degrees. Extra water and Gatorade!
Big descent down into the desert.
The border wall actually exists! It's pretty big and ugly.
Finally at the summit, 4000 feet. It's all downhill from here!
Ksenia and I stayed at Live Oak Springs Resort, heading to Calexico. The "Resort" was built in the forties when old highway 80 was the only west road to San Diego. It's still cute, but a little worn down. Getting there was really tough. Ordinarily I would stop about every two hours but I was in a huge hurry to get there before dark. I ended up riding almost six hours with only two brief stops for snacks.
This is as close as I got to the Pacific. I would've loved to do the "touch the back wheel in the ocean" thing, but I was in a hurry. I had to get in & out of the bike shop and on my way to Live Oak Springs.
Headed from my house towards the ocean around 11am to get to the only bike shop in town that could replace my broken shifters immediately.
|Dates:||12 May 2012 - 26 Jun 2012|
|Duration:||1 month, 2 weeks|
San Diego to NYC on a regular road bike and staying in hotels.