We are glad we got a good nights sleep because today was eventful to say the least…!
and we definitely learned a lot! Including;
- There are no cycle paths or even ridable pavements in Newark, though truckers are courteous and friendly.
- Andy can actually fall off his bike (dam clipless pedals) and can’t cross roads without supervision.
- A note for other tourers riding out of NYC (firstly don’t bother, get the train to Summit instead) make sure you get a ferryman to hold your bike over the crossing to prevent your pride and joy disappearing into the Hudson.
After lunch the day got considerably better we had found out from the locals that the weather we were experiencing wasn’t a normal temperature (high of 38C), which was a relief! So we had a water fight that even Andy joined in dressed in his bike gear, this was how hot it was.
When we finally arrived at our first experience of couch surfing we climbed to the top of the highest hill in true Andy style.
“Just as we arrived a deer affectionally referred to as a ‘rat with hooves’ ran across the road.
This was to be our first of many sightings.
We met our first lovely couple Carol and Gary, who counteracted our terrible morning with a lovely evening. We shared some great company, lovely conversation and food.
They also had another couch surfer staying who was a awesome woman called Kimberley she had conquered three iron mans, what a lass!!
So this was a great days riding even though we were continuing to feel the effects of the New Jersey heat wave. We met a fellow tourer Chris from Connecticut and joined forces for part of the day.
Andy rescued a tortoise from being turned into a pancake.
We did 72miles, but pausing every 10miles to source the shade made the day quite long.
“We were stopped by a intrigued American that took Andy into the bushes to show him the first mountain in the trail.
We arrived with Aaron really late after searching many different apartment blocks for over 1hr. Note to self must buy a cell phone. He made us feel very welcome and we looked through his interesting photo albums on his own adventures.
That morning was another scorcher, we stumbled on a classic car show in the centre of Conshohockem.
Here we chilled in the shade with some locals and devoured some pulled pork (Aaron and Ella you would have loved it).
On one of the many stops on this sweltering day we spotted a raccoon, we kept our distance but managed to get a picture.
Another stop was at St Peters village which was very picturesque. There was some kids jumping into a flooded quary near where we were eating. We were tempted but thought better of it.
When we arrived with Susan and Mark we shared great food from their garden and interesting conversation.
“To be honest as soon as we saw the tandem in the garage we new that we would have plenty in common.
Mark provided us with lots of tips and helpful information due to his own experience cross country and working for the adventure cycling association.
Started off the day well rested to discover Lancaster rolling hills and Amish farms.
“There way of life is simple and endearing, I feel we have a lot to learn from them.
The cycling was tough in the afternoon my body felt weak so I paused for a rest then powered on with support from Andy.
When we arrived at Manheim David and Lindsay met us in the town. Even though they had a guest they kindly made room in their beautiful home. There antique furniture in their house reminded me of our own and we were very comfortable. It was really fun exchanging stories of travels and we hope to see them at our home on their trip to Europe.
I got to eat Gluten free pizza, very tasty!
Today has been the best riding yet on the Pennsylvania roads. It was a bit cooler and very hilly but no traffic and we experienced our best downhill ever!!
We saw more wildlife firstly spotted a beaver and his family and later snapped some turkey vulture’s on the ground.
“When we finally arrived at Elaine’s phenomenal house in the woods we realised we had no food, doh. We had to head back into town adding a extra 8 miles to the daily total.
Elaine’s daughter kindly greeted us then left Bruce (the dog) to look after us. Shame we couldn’t meet Elaine though we are forever in her debt for her kindness.
After a well deserved lie in in the manor house we headed into Maryland. This state officially has the biggest shoulder/cycle lane ever, being twice the size of the road.
We met some delightful locals in the Bubba cafe where we had a random/tasty selection of foods.
“Tonight was our first wild camping experience we found a spot in a church garden and bedded down for the night.
We didn’t bother with a tent and Andy marked his territory to keep the animals at bay.
“The 40miles of off road cycle paths through Washington made for a fab day.
The sun was blazing, but luckily we had the trees for shelter.
We arrived in Alexandria in good time (prettiest town so far) to meet Rolando and Ninoska. Their new apartment was beautiful and they very kindly let us stay during their move. We were looked after very well and had the pleasure of meeting Ronnie cutest big dog I have ever met!! We hope that these guys end up moving or at least visiting us in the UK soon.
This wasn’t the best day to record, lots of busy roads and we got rained on which lowered the mood. Though saw a cool water tower and took a lovely break in the cock and bowl.
Eventually arrived at our camping ground to discover it deserted.
“Soaked to the bones we took shelter in a wooden hut and made a home for the night.
Today was a very wet though fun day. We smashed 50miles before lunch and ended up in Fredericksburg.
We entered the town as drowned rats. Here we met Jeff, what a legend!!
“Being a keen cyclist and proud red neck (his words not ours) he saw us in the street and came to our rescue, instantly organising a warm shower next door in Micah, a homeless support centre.
His kind nature and awesome accent was endearing so we entered his shop and rested for a while. Then went on to research, organise and pay for our accomodation for the evening and if that wasn’t enough he treated us to lunch at Sammy t’s.
We highly recommend the crab cakes and they even had gluten free beer, BOOM.
We have decided after nine days of cycling and the change in the weather we are taking a rest day in the motel.
“Pictures of hot tubs and the obscene amount of food we are going to demolish to come…