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05/30/2003 Entry: "Seager got his wallet back!"
Scotia to Dalton
Mark, Seager and I got up early and got ready quickly so we could get to Seager's wallet in Dalton before the post office closed. We didn't get on the road before the eternally fast Jesse, but we were ready before almost everyone else.
We started out riding from Scotia into Schenectady on the western edge of the Albany metropolitan area. Knowing that we would be in a hurry to get through, Shenectady decided to have much road construction. We found the only safe way to get through it was to occupy the lane and not let any cars pass.
We started out fast from a traffic light, and a block later were almost up to 20 mph when Seager hit a bump and his right rear pannier jumped ship and got dragged down the road by a bungee cord. Mark and I were of course laughing hysterically. Seager's rain cover was no longer waterproof now that there were holes in it, but he got it reattached and we got on our way.
I guess the stress of urban riding was too much for Seager, and he felt the need to lighten the mood. Within two miles, Seager provided us with another chance to laugh when he bucked his left rear pannier and dragged it down the street for a while.
The bike route we were following took a lot of crazy turns, but we didn't take all of them. It's not that we didn't try, we just got lost going through the city. We knew we had to end up on 20, so when we were confident we had no idea where we were, we asked how to get there. We got some directions that involved taking a left at Dunkin Donuts and a right at some convenience store, but we got there just fine.
While we were winding through Albany taking up an entire lane, we spotted a Chris and invited him to join our "critical mass." Critical mass is the term for the amount of radioactive fuel necessary to sustain a nuclear reaction, but for us it is the quantity of bikers necessary to occupy a lane without having the cars mess with us.
We went slowly down a big hill in traffic and then 20 went across the river. We took a big scary ramp up into the sky and rode the freeway with the trucks for a little bit. There were some hairy lane changes and big bumps that launched us a bit, but we all made it to the other side alive.
Chris fell off the train going up a big hill and the other three of us finished our fast day into Dalton to get Seager's wallet. Somewhere along the way we entered Massachussetts going up a little mountain. When we got to Dalton we called Jesse to see where he was and he said we had a Methodist church to stay in for the night. It was a very nice place, and a big thanks goes out to the pastor, Phillip Kim.
After meeting Pastor Kim, we went to an Irish pub for dinner to celebrate Seager having a wallet. On the way there we talked to some people who have been hiking the Appalachian trail for the past 5 months.
We got some cheap RC Cola on the way back to the church and then commenced the cleaning of drivetrains. It was lots of work, but it's so very nice to see shiny parts again and not hear my chain as it turns the gears. Josh showed up after dark, having slept in a bit and had a flat tire along the way too.
Dalton to Ware via Amherst
Today started out sunny and hilly. I really don't like climbing hills, but when they're big ones, the downhill almost makes the climbing worth it. Most of the group stopped for second breakfast at an organic foods market with very good ice cream and doughnuts, and a really nice smell to it.
There were some amazing downhills, but my favorite thing was when we saw the sign that said "Narrow Winding Road Next 4 Miles." It was great to coast for that far again. We stopped at the library in Northampton and found a nice little cafe for lunch. The internet line in Northampton was too long, so we are now in Amherst instead.
That's all I've got for now. Thanks for reading.
Replies: Leave us a note! (1)
Can't believe you guys are almost there (I mean Boston-not mentally, although some of your adventures have led me to wonder about the latter). It's amazing picturing the places you're riding from your journal entries. I wouldn't want to drive in that kind of traffic, and fortunately I rarely need to. Thanks to Saeger for the chuckles experienced just reading about his "mexican jumping panniers".
Hearing of all of the kindness coming your way, from the folks you encounter along your journey, is especially encouraging to those of us worrying about you back in the Midwest.
Enjoy Boston. Can't wait to see you when you get home.
Posted by Mike's Dad @ 08/15/2003 11:14 AM CST