My Route, More or Less (Red line, but starting in NY)

My Route, More or Less (Red line, but starting in NY)

Make a Difference

I'm pedaling for many reasons, the most important of which is to raise awareness and funds for Pedals For Progress. P4P is a non-profit that collects used bicycles and sewing machines in the US and donates them to poor people overseas. P4P combines my love of bicycling with my growing concern for those deprived of life's most basic necessities - sparked by a visit to the slums of Kibera in June '09 (pictures). P4P improves mobility and economic options for destitute people, opening pathways to greater dignity and opportunity.

Please make a donation, if you can (please write "TSQ2USQ" in the '...honor of' field). Remember, a bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses. :)

My Game Plan

I'm following portions or all of three routes mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association: the Atlantic, TransAm, & Western Express. I'll cycle through thirteen states: NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, KY, IL, MO, KS, CO, UT, NV & CA! I'm leaving on 4/17/10, and expect to return to New Jersey by mid June - back to my family, friends, & neighbors. I plan on cycling 5 - 6 hours per day, 6 days/week, usually starting in the early AM. My laptop and phone will allow me to work remotely most days, but I won't pass up opportunities to smell the roses along the way!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 12

Today's Route: GPS Tracks

Today's ride was great other than worries about my Achilles tendons. That's right, plural. I've found my weak link - literally, my Achilles' heel. Oh, that and sprinting from so many dogs I lost count. I'm just happy no one shot a rifle at me. Okay, I'm not really concerned about pot shots. I am however feeling a mix of being welcomed and decidedly unwelcomed. People I meet in shops and restaurants are almost unfailingly friendly, as are many drivers, most of whom give me wide berth while passing. A handful have even honked and given me the thumbs up. The unwelcome feeling runs strong, however, while outrunning dogs, sucking exhaust from the cars and trucks that accelerate hard as they pass uncomfortably close, not to mention zero bicyclist sightings for days...until today's arrival in Berea. A genuine bicycling culture seems to exist here!

I took a pass on the regional fare on offer today: Dolly Parton pie at Dooley's Diner in Booneville, KY. Strawberries and cool whip and I can't remember what else. Strawberries: good. Cool whip: no thanks. The food was tasty, especially the home made carrot cake, and the waitress made me feel at home. Ditto the guy at the store in Big Hill who invited me to sit down at the counter and rest, and bade me farewell by intoning me to 'be safe'.

I felt relieved when I reached Berea, a town with coffee shops, a college, and a large number of artisans. After my usual hotel routine: check in, plug in electronics, upload pictures & GPS tracks then shower, I eagerly headed into town. Met Sune at his gallery, which represents more than 30 artisans; Chelsea at Main St Cafe - also owned by Sune; and Natalia, Paul and Nick at Berea Coffee & Tea. There's enough bicycle tourists coming through here for Paul to inquire if I was riding the TransAm. Nick, an avid bicycle tourists and owner of a used bike shop, introduced himself. He had lots of solid advice for stealth camping and related bicycle tour survival tactics. All in all a very pleasant end to the day.

Please donate to Pedals for Progress:


Anonymous said...

Steve: I'm so relieved to see that you are finally in Berea. Does it seem like civilization to you? Just yesterday I was talking to someone who is convinced that NYC is a dangerous place. HA! Keep safe,
Love, MOM

Anonymous said...

Steve: Today I'm ahead of you looking at the towns you'll pass through next. Here's a good one: Bardstown bills itself as the "Bourbon capital of the WORLD"! How's that for something to look forward to?
Love, MOM

Joyce said...

Hey, Steve:
I know what you mean about the dogs. I carry pepper spray that I call "pit bull spray". Never had to use it, but came close - in my own neighborhood. Life is rough in the areas you are traveling in. I can understand your apprehension. They must shake their heads in disbelief that a damn Yankee has nothing better to do then get on his bike and ride all day. Make sure you don't act "all upity". Country folk are good at heart and will literally give you the shirt off their backs. Question for you: what is the mileage expectancy of your tires? Have you had to replace any yet?
Love ya - JA

Steve Fahmie said...

Hey mom & Joyce! I relieved to be in Berea too. It does seem like civilization. I did more then my fair share supporting the local economy today. Expect to receive packages at 107 Monroe; please hold until I'm back! Looking forward to Bardstown. S/ be interesting in a Berea way. I'll send home some Bourbon for sure via 107 Monroe. Not sure how long my tires will last...but I've only had two flats so far! I'm looking forward to fewer snipping dog incidents...

Anonymous said...

HI Steve, Glad to know you had some time off. Hope the dogs get fewer, but I can tell you from experience-- in most areas where you will be riding the dogs run free--even in my town of 20, 000 the dogs walked us to school and then made their way home. What's the news on the achilles? I suspect it's Boon-ville, as in Daniel, a home state boy. Travel safely! We are loving the posts. Be well. Leslie

Steve Fahmie said...

Hey Leslie. :) Thanks for the heads up about dogs. Yikes. Just added dog spray to my list. I'll have to find a way to mount it to my handlebars so it's w/in easy reach! Enjoy the Great Saunter!!