Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Days 28 - 30: NYC to Niagara Falls

July 21 - 23, 2014

We've made good progress over the past two days and are already in Hudson, New York after stops in Little Falls and Schenectady.  We're about four days from NYC, the end of our 900ish-mile journey.  A ride like this isn't glamorous.  Sometimes we've had to push the bikes over train tracks:

Lunch might be on a curb:

And we got soaked with rain:

It's been worth the effort, and I've loved the chance to share this challenging adventure with my kids.  

On our way through Albany, we met up with Kate Seckinger, who wrote an article about us in the Times Union newspaper three weeks ago.  We left town before the article came out, and she saved some hard copies for us and made time to deliver them in person.  Very cool.  

The weather was hot and muggy as we rode out of Schenectady this morning, and my kids teased me for sweating so much.  But by mid-afternoon, a major storm blew in.  The temperature dropped rapidly, and soon we were riding through heavy showers.  My shirt went from sweat-soaked to rain-drenched.  

During a lull in the storm in the late afternoon, a local cyclist rode up to us and asked if we wanted to stop by his house to chat.  He seemed very nice and mentioned that he planned to do some long rides with his daughter.  One of the best parts of a trip like this is meeting interesting people, and I should have taken him up on his offer.  But I felt pressure to get to Hudson before dark and demurred.  Within five minutes, rain began to pound us and, in accordance with Murphy's Law, I got a flat tire.  By the time I fixed the flat, it was 6:15 p.m. and growing darker because of the storm.  For safety reasons, I don't cycle with my kids at dusk or night time.  But we were still about 45 minutes away from Hudson and without a good option to sleep.  The rain storm made camping a bad idea -- our tent would have been flooded.  

And then the lightening began.  When a bolt flashed nearby, followed immediately by a resounding blast of thunder, I pulled the bikes over to the side of the road.  It was no longer safe to ride.  Just then, a man in a truck pulled along side us and offered to give us a ride.  His name was Tom Eastman, and as he helped load our gear into his vehicle, we agreed that he just earned a bunch of good karma.  Thanks Tom!  You're a gentleman, and we appreciated your help.

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