And We're Off!
And We're Off!
When embarking on a long journey, I try to keep in mind two things. One, it's important to plan ahead. Two, it doesn't matter how much you plan, things will happen differently than expected, so being flexible and rolling with the punches is crucial. We arrived in Philly after having our departure delayed by 4 days due to a landslide over the train tracks, and after spending an extra 12 hrs on the train because of flooding delays. We were tired, but excited to finally start our adventure. Our friend Dawn Riddle put us up at her house and helped with last minute outfitting at the bike shop she works at, called Bicycle Therapy. We started our tour with a 73 mile day trip from Atlantic City back to Philly, where we had left all our camping gear and extra food.
On the first day we experienced something that I've had the pleasure to experience only a few times before. We stopped into a restaurant for some food and the air conditioning (it was in the 90's and humid!) and, as usually happens, people asked what we were doing. When the waitress found out we were biking back to Oregon, she started telling every customer that came in. A couple of ladies came over to talk to us, and after they left, the waitress said that those ladies had paid our bill. When thru-hiking people who do those random acts of kindness are called trail angels, so I guess on a bike tour we could call them road angels.
Today we crossed the Appalachian Trail, and got to talk to some thru-hikers, named Metric and Low Expectations, who had recently passed their halfway mark on a northbound thru-hike. Now we are in a town called Mt. Holly in southern Pennsylvania. We've spent some time on nice bike trails, and a lot of time on roads with traffic. In the next few days we will reach the 300 mile Canal Tow Trail, which will take us all the way to Pittsburgh. We have heard there is a legendary and eccentric biker guy who has won The Race Across America a couple times, and will sometimes ride across a few states to stop by and say hi to a friend. Hopefully a friend of a friend can put us in contact with him, and perhaps we'll get to ride with him for a little bit!