I love the challenge of cycling long distances with my family and the stimulation of exploring new places. We've savored delicious food, marveled at amazing sights and memorable cultural experiences as we've cycled through Japan, Iceland, Europe and the U.S. But the best part of the trips has been the excuse they provide to reconnect with old friends, and the opportunity to make new ones. Day Two of our ride to Niagara Falls included both.
We spent the morning with Paul and Debra Descloux, our neighbors for nearly a decade when we lived in Ossining. Over the years, we watched their children grow up, and it felt good to spend the first night of this trip in their house, a place that feels like a second home. Paul was a competitive cyclist in college and still rides regularly. He hopped on his bike and guided us on back roads out of Ossining for the first hour of our ride. Here are two videos as we got ready to leave, narrated by Paul:
And here's a video and pic from the road:
The last photo we took with Paul, before he returned home:
We cycled through Peekskill and Cold Spring, enjoying gorgeous views of the Hudson River:
We made it to Beacon, New York and were welcomed there by Kristan Flynn and Jeff Domanski, who invited us to stay in their home. They were definitely taking a gamble, because we had never met before and were only recently introduced via e-mail by my good friend Alison Berna. Alison went to college with Kristan and convinced her that we wouldn't trash her place. They have two children, a 6-year-old daughter Sofia and a 2-year-old son Nathan.
Here I am with Kristan and Nathan:
Nathan being silly:
My daughter Saya immediately hit it off with Sofia. They sang songs from "Frozen," came up with silly games, put on an ice cream party, and refused to go to sleep at bedtime:
Sho, Eiko, Kristan and Nathan about to eat dinner:
We stayed up late talking with our new friends and felt lucky to have met such a generous and loving family.