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Aug 12, 2012

New York

Clicking the week’s summary chart will bring up a detailed route map for the week including elevation gains. After the summary and overview of the week and Sheila’s op-ed piece, you’ll see the posts in order starting with the first post of the week.You can view any week of posts by clicking on the week in the sidebar.

Click to see week-8 overview summaryOur 8th week began with a big splash… visiting with our friend Grace in Buffalo for our rest day and breakfasting on the brink of Niagara Falls. The pop-up overview summary for this week is not entirely accurate as they changed the first couple of days. So from Niagara Falls, Ontario we went to Geneseo, NY and then on to Seneca Falls, then we picked up the original itinerary into Watertown and Star Lake before arriving here in Lake Placid. The terrain has changed significantly again. Since midweek we’re no longer seeing corn and soy fields everywhere. It’s apparently too rocky to do much farming. Instead we’ve seen, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, The Erie Canal, the Finger Lakes and hundreds of small lakes in the Adirondacks. This area is lovely, plush, and quite hilly. And thankfully the heat has given way to the sunny and comfortable high 70s to mid-80s. We did have one day of rain which is only the 3rd for the entire 8 weeks!

This week’s op-ed from Sheila

More C2C riders

Greg, UK

Ken, Canada

Allan, Hawaii

Max, Vermont

John, Michigan

David, CA

John, UK & Malcolm, Aus

Mary, CA

Every day Spencer knows exactly what he’ll write about, that day’s activities. We often talk about what we’re observing and what might get included in his posts, as well as which photos to take to help convey the experiences of the day. Then every Sunday I write about something. During the week the topic usually comes to me and I think about it in the back of mind and talk about it with Spencer. This week…nada! NOTHING! I’m staring at a blank screen not knowing what to talk to you about. Most odd.

Yesterday when we arrived in Lake Placid, as Spencer’s mentioned, we were met by Daria. She’s a friend of another coast to coast rider and has been following our blog. She feels a bit like she knows us. And while we know less about her, we also feel a connection to her. We have about 60 folks who are officially subscribed to our blog and I know of many others who stop by regularly but are not subscribed. So we have many known and unknown connections due to our blogging. When we’re writing we know we’re speaking to 3 unique audiences:

  1. Ourselves, as a documentation/journal
  2. Our friends and family, to keep track of our adventures, as well as other riders’ friends and family
  3. And as a reference point for future travelers who may remain unknown

Stay with me here. I don’t know where I’m going but as the Cheshire Cat said to Alice in Alice in Wonderland, “if you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter how you get there”. I think I’m following a thread about interconnection and community.

Over the last 8 weeks our group has formed into a loose community. Those “going all the way” from coast to coast (30 of us) feel especially bonded, having shared such intense experiences as the hottest July on record, countless mountain passes including 3 Continental Divide crossings, 10 miles of gravel, 30 miles of chip seal, etc, etc, etc. We can recognize each other from the back by the clothes, the silhouette while riding, the riding style and pace and who they’re with. We may or may not stay in touch, we may or may not ever see each other again. But we’ll remain connected.

The “others”, who arrive each Sunday night and leaving the following Saturday or a week later, have been dubbed “week-lings” or is that “weak-lings”?! Either way, they tend to stick together as our tightness is not easy to permeate. And most of us make no effort to reach out.

Because we value and desire community in our lives we intentionally reach out to these folks. This week that paid off with a very fun ride on Monday. But by Saturday’s ride I realized there were still several new folks whose names I didn’t know, or where they were from…and now, they’re gone.

So where has this rambling taken us? I think seeing some of the dynamics of community while on tour is useful to us as we look at our latest project at home. You may already know Spencer and I have been actively participating in a forming co-housing group for the last 2 years. So I’ve been thinking about the dynamics of our traveling community and how they may apply to our intentional and soon to be residential community in Seattle. The original households involved have shared the hard work of planning and decision making. We will have to work quite intentionally if we are to embrace and enfold the new households as they arrive. This doesn’t happen on it’s own. The bottom line is that community takes intention and work to create and maintain for it to be most worthwhile.

Aug 6, 2012

Cool weather at last

We had a fabulous day off the bike this weekend. For those of you who missed the news – we figured out I was severely undernourished on Saturday afternoon. That’s a condition bikers call “bonking”. You can’t exercise anymore and you don’t think too straight. We should have gotten food into me an hour before […]

Aug 7, 2012

When we get to the top of the hill

What a day today was! It started with a bang and ended with a bang. It was a mere 59 degrees out. It is hard to imagine what a relief it is to be out of the blistering heat we’ve experienced steadily since Wyoming. Even starting the day with a 3 mile climb was not […]

Aug 8, 2012

More Fingers and a Great Lake

We woke today knowing the ride was to be significantly shorter than the last couple. We were supposed to only do 77 miles. Of course, we had to add a little adventure once we got into town to stretch that out, but it was all good. The sun was out all day. We never got […]

Aug 9, 2012

Bicentennial Daze

Here’s a travel tip for you. When camping at high schools in the summer, arrange it so you aren’t camping during band camp. Imagine 60 odd high schoolers banging on drums, xylophones, cymbals and any other kind of musical instrument you can imagine until 9 pm. Then, of course, they have to carouse in the […]

Aug 10, 2012

Climbing to Star Lake

Today’s post began yesterday. There was reportedly to be no communication coverage at Star Lake. It is too far from anything. This blog began in Watertown last night while we were preparing for a severe storm. Sheila and I were safely in the school. The road is slated to go up pretty steadily, gaining most […]

Aug 11, 2012

Into the Adirondacks

After yesterday’s day of rain, we were greatly pleased to see dry pavement this morning and throughout the day. It was a perfect day to ride. The sky was lightly overcast most of the day which kept the temperatures down. Everyone local who we talked to told us it was supposed to rain all day, […]