The final 300 home

20Jul10

Here it is.  The closing post to our bicycle tour.  Are you as nervous as we are?  We’ve had a great time posting.  The trip has been a plethora of ups, downs, and in betweens. The final 300 begins now.

Saturday morning June 19 2010

We bid an early morning farewell to Kevin and Yoko.  We got on the bikes at 7am.  We could feel the energy and excitement in our legs as we began pedaling through the streets of Brooklyn.  Earlier in the week we shipped home a 40 pound box of gear which included all of our cooking equipment, our front panniers, clothing and other oddities purchased in Mexico.  This ride was going to be the lightest ride of our whole trip.  We were inspired by our new friend Cass, who we met in Mexico.  He was touring ultralight and it just seemed to make it all easier.  He’s documenting his journey to Argentina and you can find it here.

We planned a different route North out of the city opting to stay on the East side of the Hudson River.  This allowed up to explore new areas, with even more bike paths than when we came down to NYC in the beginning of our trip last fall.  We snaked our way from Kevin and Yoko’s down to the Williamsburg Bridge.  On a side note, NYC is expanding exponentially its bike lane system every year.  We feel so safe biking in and around NYC.  It’s really safer than you’d expect.  Here’s a link to the bike map we used.  We arrived at the Williamsburg bridge to find it practically deserted.  There were a few runner and a couple of cyclists.  We felt like kings of the road.  It was a steep climb up it and we actually were on a separate part of the bridge from the vehicle traffic.  It was elevated above them.  The bridge is about 1.5 miles long and it’s actually longer for pedestrians and cyclists with the safe approach.

Peaceful Williamsburg Bridge

View of Manhattan from bridge

Once across the bridge we headed North toward Midtown Manhattan along the East River.  Then we cut over to the Southern end of Central Park.  We rode 3 miles through the park with hundreds of other cyclists and joggers.  Everyone moves in the same direction around the park.  Next up through Harlem to Van Cortlandt Park where we picked up the South County Trail.

East River

Central Park

What's behind me?

No front panniers

Beautiful bike path along East River

South County Trail, the beginning was still being developed

The South County Trail conveniently connects with the North County Trail with a lot of great downhill sections heading North.  Somehow it feel counter intuitive to go downhill North.  Especially since we were in the city at sea level.  We rode a total of 56 miles and ducked in the woods off the bike path near Carmel, NY.

Bike path parking

Nice bike lane, separate but equal

North County Trail

Bike path happiness in the woods

We rose early on Sunday morning and ate breakfast on the bike path with a 7am start.  We biked for a while then took a diner break at Bob’s Diner in Brewster.  If you’re ever in Brewster this place deserves your time.  Our breakfast was cooked right in front of us, it was awesome.  We took our time, drank too much coffee and took off again.  The bike path bliss eventually ended and we merged back into reality on the road.  It was pleasant nonetheless with ample room on the shoulder and it was a bike route.

We stopped for a late lunch around 3pm. We realized the gas station we were at had wi-fi so we busted out the laptop to see our progress.  We notice that we had only 50 more miles to get to Hudson, NY.  We were headed there to stay with our friends Ed and Rosie.  With some real pushing and pedaling we thought that just maybe we had enough daylight to get there.  We emailed Ed and Rosie and told them to expect us around 8pm.  It was the longest day of the year and the day before Bryan’s 35th birthday.  We thought it would feel pretty spectacular to ride almost 100 miles for those reasons.

Downhill to Hudson

Dusk reflects off of our panniers and stripes

We picked up the pace and start trucking towards Hudson.  We still had more bike path, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.  Then the roads leading to Hudson seemed to just continually go in our direction-downhill.  It was incredible and made all the difference.  As we got closer to Hudson the euphoria was amazing.  At one point we got separated at a stop light and we had just seen a mileage sign.  Debi was screaming with joy to Bryan across the intersection with the realization of only 3 more miles to complete the day. It turned out to be 94 miles total for the day.  We thought about riding an extra 6 around town to make it a “century” but whatever!

We arrived at Ed and Rosie’s and caught up with them.  We slept so hard that night and we were like zombies the next day.  Bryan had a nice relaxing birthday in Hudson.  We went out for a burger and returned home to Ed, Rosie and some of their relatives putting together a little birthday party.  It was so sweet!  Thanks you guys!

We passed under this bridge 10 months ago

Mohawk Hudson Bikeway in Albany

Beautiful summer day on the bike path

We got to ride under the Thaddeus Kosciusko bridge

Bikepath near Corning Plant in Niskayuna

Tuesday June 22 it was light rain and overcast as we rode towards Albany to stay with Bryan’s cousin Eeny.  We only had 40 miles to go so we left around noon.  It was like deja vu, the ride was eerily like the day we rode out of Albany to Hudson last fall.  The road was familiar, and felt more like home.  Eeny welcomed us into her home and we enjoyed catching up with her about the rest of Bryan’s family.  We left Eeny’s on Wednesday to go to Bryan’s Aunt Jan and Uncle Cliff’s home in Rexford.  This was a great day because it’s almost all bike path.  We had a great dinner with Cliff, Jan, cousin Steve and son Colin.  Cliff asked us exciting questions about our travels and we talked well into the evening.

Thursday morning was the beginning of the end-in a good way.  Now the only people left to visit were our own parents.  Bryan’s parents David and Maureen live in Northumberland and it was our first destination.  We managed to fit in another bike path and a stop with our friend Laurie in Ballston Spa.  We arrived at Bryan’s parents in the late afternoon and it was a great reunion.  We spent the next day with them, going out for breakfast and wandering around Saratoga.

Yay!

Debi and Maureen riding the carousel in Congress Park

Bryan and David

Saturday morning we packed up and headed out around 9am.  We had 50 miles to get to Hampton where we started.  A small gathering of Debi’s family would be waiting.  The weather was touch and go and we managed not to get rained on until we rode down the driveway to Debi’s grandfather’s home where her mother Carol lives with her father Bernard. We made it!  We made it!

Debi and Carol

A rainbow touched down a couple of days later, maybe for us :)

We rode 4558 miles in total!

THANK YOU EVERYONE. With the love and support of our family, friends, and strangers this trip manifested into more than we ever could have dreamed.  Daily we reflect on moments from the last year with laughter and disbelief.  This was just the start of many more adventures for us.  We have spent more time together than many married couples do their whole lives, and we walked away stronger for it.  We’re not sure what we’re doing right now, but it’s ok.  There’s a lot of opportunity to be had and we’re open to it all.  We haven’t decided what to do about this blog.  We’d like to add more photos from our trip once they are organized.  We also wonder if it would be fun to post about local bike rides we take.  So check back in once in a while to see what we’re up to.  We may even start a new blog altogether.  If you’d like any further information about the routes we took we’re happy to share  maps and resources.

THANK YOU!!!

Cheers until next time,

Debi and Bryan

Advertisements


5 Responses to “The final 300 home”

  1. 1 Gary Briere

    I want to thank both of you for an exciting trip. I
    almost felt like I was with you reading your posts and looking at the fabulous pictures. I cant wait to follow you on your
    next trips short or long.

    Good Luck

    Gary

  2. 2 Jacob

    Congrats..

  3. 3 Gretchen

    So where are you cats? Would love to see you.

  4. 4 Michael

    Guys, I’m so glad to see that you’re “home”! We have been following closely, much of the trip. And I too feel like I was “there” with you. Thank you so much for sharing! And doing such a good job sharing too! We hope we’ll still get to see you in Cambridge this summer. You are more than welcome-you know.

  5. 5 Mo

    Yay, you’re back! Double date? : ) what an incredible journey.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: