It seems impossible start to ride before 10.00 am. I have to group all my staff, and fix everything on the TallBike, it always takes more time than my expectations. Because my baggage change at anytime, first depend how many dirty clods I have, but now I have all clean. At this time I knoe my destination: Alphie’s house, a friend of Stephanie who will host me for one night, so it is ok start riding a little bit late. I met her few days ago: Stephanie and me went to Waschingon at her place for a crubs party, they were so delicious!
Direction Washington, it is all street on. The road is nothing special, small scolder, many cars, absolutely boring.
I arrive at Alphie’s place pretty soon. The roommates are nice and interesting people. I cook a vegetable pasta for everybody, and all like it, apparently. We speck a lot about differents cultures and opinions. Is good to be here.
A confortable couch for the night.
I woke up very relaxed, drink coffee and I wait to meet Stephanie again to visit a little bit Washington together. She is by bicycle too and start to ride downtown. Of course I want to take a picture of the White House, the Washington Monument is always at background. We talk a little bit with an old women camping for years in front of there. Protesting and suggesting people and visitors to peace messages of peace.
Then we visit the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln memorial statue. I feel an ordinary tourist, but sometimes people want to have a picture of me on top of the TallBike; I feel an attraction too!
We have to run at the Union Station. I’m holding Stephanie. It takes long time to disassemble the bicycle: wheels, handlebars and the sit, all framed in my bike bag. All the people at the baggage check wants to help me. But at the end I do it by myself just in time to eat something and catch the train to Chicago.
I stat to ride to Baltimore at 10:30. Was nice cross Philadelphia for the last time. I’m following the tram rail. The streets go up and down hill all the time. And the street
become large and traffic-ate. I’m also against wind. Is not so nice anymore. It is hard, decide to ride as much as possible, and when I’m tired try to ride at the next road:
Pensilvenia av. Is better, less cars, a lot of trees, but no scolder. Stop in a house to ask for water, and they give it to me, nice people: also some fruits too, already pit it up.
I’m in maryland now and decide to have lunch. Find a small
place. Caching crubs and order Sundweck with a soft crub. Was more than good. A very delicius snack.
Come back on the road against hill. And after I long difficult ride, arrive at the doors of Baltimore. I call Stephanie a friend of mine lived in Bologna. She give me her address and follow the direction.
Is not so sample find the house, I need to torn around
little in her neberwod. At the end I find the house and Is so cool meet again Stephanie, in her country this time.
We talk a lot and she cook a fantastic dinner. And have a nice shower. Even riding to there was hard, it is a perfect day.
During the night was reining, but I wake up and the weather is so beautiful. Maybe to much hot to ride. I take the bike rail Jacob told me yesterday: very nice into nature, next to a river.
It stop in Trenton and I have to ride on the car street, but there is a nice scolder. I have to temporary take an HighWay for a while. When I’m tired and hungry take a break cooking lunch with my camping kitchen. Potatoes, tomatoes, onion and pasta.
I arrive in Philadelphia quite soon, but it start reining again near the central city. I have to stop two times, the the rein is not so hard and is stops early all the time. Many ciclysts around, even the bad weather. I ask to people if they know some bicycle collective in town. Everyone tel me about Bike Church, but is close now and suggest me to visit the closer bike shop called: Trophy.
I ride to there, find good people working, fixing bicycle. I tell my story and my trip. One of them, Travis, offer me a couch for the night.
I spend the rest of the afternoon in the shop. The Evening we go eat a cheese steak at .
I sleep at Travis house and the day after I want o visit the BikeChurh. A bike co-op inside one of the most old church in Philadelphia. Very organize and clean space. A lot of ricecle parts, tools and bicycle. Joseph explain me the history of the place, and the activities they promote, show me around.
Take many pictures…
In US there are a lot of bicycle shop too, I visit quickly the FireHouse Bicycle in a nice neighborhood, many old bike.
In evening Travis help me a lot to find a train from Washington to Chicago. I bought during the day. Tomorrow I will ride to Baltimore direction. I will need to spend a night somewhere to break it up my trip.
The next morning I wakeup very early, and start to fix my bags. Few minutes and I learn from two nice policemen that sleep in parks is illegal. But them let me go; no bad for the first night of camping!
I’m not so tired for the ride of the day before, but I decide to arrive to Princeton and find a place for the night as soon as possible. So I can visit the city a little.
The weather is getting bad and starting to rening. I need to stop in New Brunswick. A mexican mini market host me for few hours. The rein stop just after my lunch and then I continues to ride.
Already arrive in Princeton I drink a nice (and expensive) italian coffee. I have my moka whit me, but want to relax and site down for a while.
I find Princeton very interesting and nice village, is an University town. I start to ask to the students around the streets for hospitality. When you have a TallBike (even full of bags) it’s easy keep the attention of people!
Quite soon I meet Mindy, walking with two sweaty dogs. I ask her if I can put a tent on her yard just for one night.
She looks like happy to help me and answer me that she as to ask at her boyfriend first, he will come back home soon. I decide to look around the center city, waiting until the confirm, and I find something very interesting… The oldest bike shop in America: Koop’s cycle. Have a nice talk with a guy inside, he explain me the history of the place. Is cool to be here, even because I couldn’t know i will find the first bicycle shop in Princeton!
I come back at Mindy house and meet Jacob, he his a student and also work as firearm. I will sleep in them yard with my tent! We eat diner together, a delicious rise with vegetable. Jacob explain me where is a bike pass that will drive me to Trenton.
I’m worried about the weather, is not good for tomorrow than that I forgot to tack a pictures of Mindy and Jacob. But I did not easily forget.
At my last day in New York I come to visit the Black Label. We go by car at the beach and have a fantastic swim in the ocean.
They host me for the night at the chicken hut. I slept in the couch with the nice company of the cats. The little Steve try to gnaw my foot many times. Was funny!
The day after I find some times to take few photos at the small bike component corner in the “chicken hut”. Then I have to fix all my bags on the TallBike, it look like very very heavy. But i try it and feel comfortable to drive anyway.
I start riding to late, at 11:30 almost, I suppose to bike 80 miles to Princeton, but I do not know where I could arrive. To move in that direction have firth go to Manhattan Island and cross it, then arrive at the Washington Bridge on the north. Bicycling the west cost on the bike rail I see a ghost bike. It’s unbelievable how cyclists community is in solidarity with each other in all the the word. I stop fews seconds just to make two pictures then goes on biking.
When I arrive at the Washington Bridge it is a little complicate find the pass to cross it. You have to go under, then turn right up to a very hard hill, but at the end, up on the bridge, there is a spectacular view.
Finally I arrive at the other side of the bridge and ride to a Jersey City. It takes me 3 hours just to arrive very closed to New York, to the other side of the sea.
Than start an industrial zone with a lot of tracks. The two bridge Lincoin hwy are difficult, very bad traffic and small scolder. After that I fallow the route 27, a more nice street. The weather is hot. It getting dark when I’m in Colonia (near Rahway). I start to look around to find a place to sleep. But is hard to find something nice, quite and isolate. I try to ask to some people for a special location, but not exiting answer. At the end I find a nice park that looks perfect for spend just one night of rest.
I finally manage to fix the pedals of my tallbike. There were many months that malfunctioned. I had to replace the pin inside. I have not found one that was so long as the original, but what should I put more than good.
The Bike Workshop is very welcoming, orderly and strangely clean. The space is small but each person is able to carve them little corner. I arrived early and I helped a guy to expose the tools. They remove and put at every opening. As there is only a small little box for.
I saw Y and after repairs have been drinking a beer and chatted. He told me about his trip from New York to Baltimore and gave some advice.
Today I do a little tourists, I ride the Brooklyn Bridge and arrive at the park. The same view you often see in American movies set in New York. Fascinating. Although I do not dwell much on here. I pedal through the park and find a pass through the trees.
Nearby are all old palace of dark brick with the typical black fire escapes. I think it’s an old industrial area. I stop to buy a spray primer. I eat something, shoot a few photos and go at the library to access the internet (where I’m now).
I would like to visit Time’s Up! space in Brooklyn, but I know it will be closed today. I decide to go have a look anyway. To get there from Manhattan I cross the Williamsburg bridge…
…The Bike Workshop is right under the bridge and, as planned, is closed. Make two photos of the outside, is look like a cool place. There is also a bike machine for componets.
I decided to ring the bell. Opens a guy, who also has Dutch origins, which is called Yotam. Let’s talk a bit and I’ll explain the rules and the history of that space. I discover that he rode the same route that I will go next week to Philadelphia and Baltimore. Yotam offers to help me. I’ll have to return Wednesday, when the Time’s Up! space is open to fix my TallBike and he will explain me better to the road.