14531414016_6beed960c9_z

Day 13: Back on the Road

36 miles

2014-06-30 15.04.34Well, after four days of relaxing, visiting friends, and sightseeing, it was time to hit the road again today.  We weren’t in a hurry since we weren’t planning a long day.  After loading up the bikes we said goodbye to Susan and Peter and headed north along the Delaware River.  We crossed over to the New Jersey side early on and rode along the towpath next to an old canal near the river.  The towpath was actually a nice way to go.  It was gravel and dirt, which was a little dusty, but it was nice and flat and mostly shaded.  Having no cars to worry about was icing on the cake.  Our destination for the night was the Quality Inn in Easton, PA so we eventually crossed over to Pennsylvania again and rode on the towpath on that side of the river.

read more

Stem Riser on Freya

Day 12: Chillin’ Out

Stem Extender on Freya

Stem Extender on Freya

When we first arrived at Susan and Peter’s house, we thought we might be leaving today, but two days of sightseeing wore us out, so we used today to relax and plan for getting back on the bike tomorrow. We slept in and then enjoyed pastries from New Hope’s French Bakery, especially the delicious chocolate croissants. Alan found a stem extender at Firehouse Cycles in Yardley, PA, and he spent some time on Sunday afternoon installing it on Freya (that’s my bike) to raise up my handlebars a bit.

read more

14511376526_31e3cb1092_z

Day 11: A Small Bite of the Big Apple

0 miles

Statue of LibertyAfter soliciting sightseeing ideas from my friends on Facebook (thanks to all who had suggestions) we decided to take a boat tour around Manhattan to see the city.  We also wanted to visit the 9/11 memorial and meet my cousin, Susan, for lunch.  We left New Hope before 9 AM to catch a train into the city.  Then we transferred to a subway train that was supposed to go right to the World Trade Center.  Unfortunately the WTC station is currently closed on weekends so we scrambled to choose a different subway stop in the city.

read more

14353004237_eca6773299_z

Day 10: The City of Brotherly Love

DSC01140After a hearty breakfast with Susan this morning, we set off for Philadelphia by train to do some sightseeing. Philadelphia is second-to-none when it comes to early American history, and I wanted Alan to see a little bit of the city and some of its historical highlights. We rode the West Trenton SEPTA line from Yardley to the Market East Station in Center City Philadelphia. We first had lunch at Reading Terminal Market, which is one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Philadelphia. The market is filled with food vendors, and its hard to decide what to eat given all the variety. Asian, seafood, Pennsylvania Dutch, bakeries, candy, delis; Reading Terminal Market has a LOT to choose from. We settled on crepes from Profi’s and then walked several blocks over to Independence Mall.

read more

14533011894_fc6b7e1d55_z

Day 9: Resting in New Hope, PA

0 miles

PlayhouseOur rest day began with a big breakfast followed by lounging on the couch watching World Cup soccer.  Eventually we drove into town so I could get my hair cut.  When my hair gets about a centimeter long I get a flat patch up top from my helmet.  So simply cutting it all off avoids that problem.  No hair = no helmet hair!  I got my beard trimmed short at the same time since it was getting itchy.

read more

Stone bridge

Day 8: Staying with Friends in New Hope, PA

29.5 miles

We left the Hilton Garden Inn in Ft. Washington, PA this morning a little bit earlier than we have typically been getting on the road. Not having to cook breakfast or break camp made for a quick escape in the morning. We grabbed some doughnuts at Dunkin’ Donuts and cruised across Montgomery and Bucks counties easily enough. It was our fastest and easiest day by far, even though it was a bit muggy. I enjoyed biking through my old stomping grounds (actually very old, since I haven’t lived in Bucks County since I worked for biotech firm Ecogen back in 1994). My desire to avoid afternoon thunderstorms and the expectation of seeing my good friends Susan and Peter made the ride seem fast and easy, and we rolled into their driveway in New Hope, PA around noon. After bringing our bags inside and getting showers, we relaxed all afternoon with Susan, hanging out and watching movies. After delicious Indian takeout from Jaffron, in New Hope for dinner, we made some plans for the next few days.  On our list:  Philadelphia, meeting up with Princeton friends, and New York City, so stay tuned!

read more

14498447101_eedbb7c983_z

Day 7: Meeting Other Bike Tourists, Almost

47 miles

Despite being at the top of a steep hill, French Creek Campground was a nice place to stay.  Any campground with showers is ok by me.  And there were no mosquitoes to speak of, which was a nice bonus.  But they did have a bunch of little gnats that liked to fly in our faces.  These bugs were annoying us at breakfast and encouraged us to hit the road.

read more

Strawberries

Day 6: Starlite Camping Resort to French Creek State Park

39.6 miles

As we packed up this morning, our neighbors came over to see how we fit all our gear into our panniers. They were very impressed with our packing strategy. So, with fresh legs and two cream-filled donuts from the camp store in my handlebar bag, we rolled out around 9:30 am. Our oatmeal breakfast didn’t seem to last very long, so we stopped for the doughnuts only a few miles down the road. Then, at the bottom of a big hill we braked hard for an Amish farm stand selling fresh strawberries. The woman running the stand was kind enough to sell us half a quart, which we stashed in a zip lock bag in the food pannier for later in the day.

read more

Cabbage White

Day 5: Rest Day

0 miles

Today we took a rest day, electing to stay for one more night at Starlite Camping Resort instead of pressing on farther east. Even though we weren’t planning to be riding today, we got up fairly early for dollar donuts at the camp store. I had a cream filled doughnut, although I was tempted by the apple fritter that is a local Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy. I think this is a Sunday tradition at the campground, and the retirees who are summer-long residents are a lively bunch. We spent the morning using the camp store wi-fi to finish blog posts, curate photos and send email. One man chided us for working, but we just laughed that “we’re not working, we don’t have jobs!”.

read more

Day 4: Bring on the Calories

28 Miles

Whoopie Pie!

Whoopie Pie!

After yesterday’s sufferfest, can you blame us for sleeping in? Add in a morning rain storm and we didn’t leave our tent until 10:30 AM. We knew we didn’t have too far to go today so a lazy morning was no cause for concern. After a hearty oatmeal breakfast we packed up and hit the road. Seeing as how we didn’t leave camp until after 12 noon, it wasn’t long before we were thinking about lunch. We stopped in a town called Mt. Joy, PA and had a bite to eat in a nice cafe on the main street. Caroline got a whoopie pie with a chocolate shell on top that was YUMMY! Then it was back on the road to burn those calories.

read more

14294258359_f78e55bd12_z

Day 3: From Good to Not-So-Good

32 miles

FarmToday was a good example of how a day can go from good to bad.  The day started with fairly easy biking through scenic fields of wheat, soybean, and corn (always corn).  We enjoyed pleasant smells along the way as many roadsides were thick with honeysuckle and flowers.  We even stopped to watch an Amish man leading his team of horses around a field, cutting down some alfalfa.  Sights and smells like these are why I think bike touring is such a great way to see the world.  You have more time to soak it all in rather than just whizzing past in your car.

read more

14462134655_5422d84700_z

Day 2: Timonium, MD to Delta, PA

41 miles

After breakfast at an Einstein’s Bagels near the hotel, we made our way a little southward to pick up the ACA route going north to Pennsylvania. The route rolls out into the lush farmland of Harford County, Maryland and I mean roll. Rolling up and down valleys, with lots of elevation change, much more elevation change than I expected. On my fully loaded bike I’m feeling quite slow, but the scenery is beautiful with many working farms and old country houses that probably date from the Civil War or even earlier. The roads are narrow, without much shoulder, but with much less traffic than Baltimore.

read more