Not much to Say. Let the photos to the talking.
It was a bit over a mile to the beach and I was loaded like a pack mule. The video doesn’t show the second chair strapped to my rear bike rack and the full pannier. Sue carried the cooler on her bike and everything worked out fine.
I had made arrangements with a couple of my musician friends to meet at the Friday night concert on New Bedford’s (MA) Pier 3. The band started out pretty good but soon lost it’s mojo and eventually lost the crowd. There is a lot to be said about playing to your audience which the band did early in the first set and they had everyone tapping their feet and beginning to move to the music. Playing the second set they lost us with some 80’s music witch they didn’t play well andthat’s when the line at the beer vendor got very long with the audience trying to salvage their Friday night out.
It didn’t take long to put 26 miles just riding around the city. I’ll add another 10 this evening when I ride to the “Music on Pier 3” event tonight.
Here are the videos of today’s ride.
Sue is a hiker, I like to bike. When she said, “how about we ride to Lloyd State Park today”, it brought a smile. I dusted off all the cobwebs from her bike and did the same for my touring bike, the one I was going to ride on tour last week, but didn’t. I took the old commuter bike. The one I call the winter beater. It was a good choice by the way.
I had never been to this state beach but know it’s popular with many. My preference is Horseneck Beach and that was reinforced big time today. The bike friendly roads, the scenery, the weather all came together to make this a nice ride. The beach however was a different story. Horseneck Beach is a long sandy expanse sheltered by sand dunes and is very popular with a variety of personalities.
Demarest Lloyd is best described as where the Walmart people go. We’ll leave it at that.
During my bike tours it’s inevitable that I run into people who say they want to tour someday. There are so many reasons not to tour that life can pass you by and one day you may find it’s too late. I have hear from men who have never done a tour say they want to solo. It looks so cool reading about these solo tourist that we daydream that’s the only way to go. I used to think that way but on my tours with one or two companions I have often said when things got really difficult, that I’m glad I’m not alone.
There are supported tours of all types from the five star hotel to hotel tours, to the fully camping carry your own stuff and do your own cooking minimally supported tours, as well as everything in between those two options. MORE
Today was another late start, around 9:30. But there were a mere 30 miles to our final destination in Cumberland, MD. I really expected to make good time until I started riding through the tunnels and crossed the Eastern Continental Divide. Too many things conspired to get me to stop and take photos and videos. The long tunnels, the Mason Dixon line and the spectacular scenery.
It’s all HERE
There is not a lot between towns on the Great Allegheny Passage. 15-20 miles of stone dust rail trail is about all you see. I wanted to ride the 30 miles to Meyersdale, PA by noon to see the US/German football match. A late breakfast at the Confluence B&B of Omelet, pancakes, bacon, sausage, muffins, yogurt, fruit, granola and lots of coffee made that impossible. I ate so much I felt like a blown up tick and had lots of trouble maintaining 8 miles and hour. At one of the water stops, the volunteer said that Rockwood was a mere 12 miles. MORE
No riding today, Hanging out in Confluence, PA
Another late start, 9 AM for this second 50 + mile ride to Confluence, PA. Forty miles into the ride, I was undecided weather or not to stop for a late lunch or keep moving in order to make dinner at tonight’s campground. One of the things about touring is that I eat stuff like nuts and figs or dates to fuel and eat really hearty and healthy in the evening. The food offerings the first two nights was sparse and lacking protein and vegetables. I did have a light cucumber, avocado and muenster cheese on whole grain toast washed down with a couple of Yuengling beers. That decision end up being a disaster when with less than four miles to the B&B the rains came.
Normally rain is not a problem but when your biking on stone dust in the rain s your bike, your clothes and everything else gets coated in muck. The owner of the B&B was wonderful and understanding when I arrived soaked, muddy and disheveled. Sandy gave me all the scoop about the place and handed a key to the place and headed off to her residence a few miles away.
The first order was to get to the nearby laundry mat where the friendliness of people toward travelers soon appeared. The soap machine was not working and a woman doing her laundry offered me her’s to use. I also did not have small bills to turn to change. She directed me to the local market and also asked the manager to stay open long enough for me to finish my wash. It was already 7:30 and the place closed at 8. Before my laundry was complete, another bike tourer came in with her stuff and I gave her the bad news. She also got soap from the good Samaritan and began her wash. She disappeared for a few minutes but returned with a 6 pack of beer and offered everyone a can. The manager, myself and she sat outside and talked till the clothes were done and everyone finished their washing chores smiling with numb faces.
Earlier in the day as I was about to leave the campground in Cedar Creek I met a man riding a fully loaded bike going the opposite direction. He had traveled from Minnesota to York, Pennsylvania and was on his return ride. I mentioned that his panniers looked really loaded and he responded that he had heavy clothing because it was snowing in St Paul when he began his ride.
Back in Confluence, after 2 beers and approaching 9PM, it was time to find a place couple entering their fifth week in business. Eric and Jaimie, who served me a burger that immediately went to the top of my list of “best burgers”. Two other bikers joined me at the horseshoe shaped bar, who had ridden 91 miles from Pittsburgh this day.
Tomorrow will be a zero mile day spending some extra time in Confluence doing the touristy things like a visit to one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes or maybe a white water rafting trip.
Touring cyclist from Minnesota
The humidity had arrived before the 9 AM start. The late time was to allow my clothes, that spent the night draped over the right field fence, to dry. I did run into people now and then but again spent most of the first 25 miles riding alone. I did lunch with a group or touring bikers at a little ice cream, hamburger joint on main street Glassport, PA just outside of Pittsburgh. Those eating outside would call other touring bikers over by raving about this place. I have to say that my meal tops my list of good hamburgers. Perfectly cooked, juicy, tasty beef on a grilled bun. It really hit the spot. Just before departing a neighbor came over so we could meet her dog, Caramel who was named because of her color. Caramel was the sweetest thing who loved vanilla ice cream and having her belly rubbed.
I was beginning to feel the effects of the heat and humidity when I came upon a boat ramp into the Youghoigheny River and couldn’t resist taking a dip. I was about to go back in for a second round when a pickup pulled into the lot, backed in and the driver began aimlessly walking around getting closer and closer to me and never made eye contact. He was just pushing rocks around with his feet trying to act nonchalant. His gal, also in her early 20’s, sat in the truck with her feet on the dash smoking a cigarette. I didn’t like the way things were developing and quickly got dressed and road away. I looked back to see the pickup leaving the lot as I rode away down the path.
I arrived at Cedar Creek around 5:30 to another almost full camp area. I walked to the farthest end and came across an Adirondack, lean to. It’s best described as a small log cabin cut in half with the open side overlooking the river. I carry snacks of nuts and dates that I hung from a tree away from my camp spot just in case.
Tomorrow is another 50 mile plus ride to the town of Confluence, PA