Day 1: Exploration to Poughkeepsie
The trail ended and yet again my wonderful sense of directions lead me on an exploration aka the wrong direction. I’m seriously starting to question this trip.
I recollected the route and started and saw a road between two lakes. Both maps showed the same and used it to get back on the path. It was so beautiful biking over the bridge between Lake Carmel. This was most defiantly the highlight on the route.
The outcome of many of “my explorations” usually brings joy to my sprite so I’m never flustered when it happens.
I found my way to the Duchess Rail Trial which goes straight into Poughkeepsie. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a “Welcome to Poughkeepsie” sign, so I exited a few miles before the end of the trail on an exploration to my CouchSurfing host home.
I stopped at a gas station for directions because my phone dead. The attendant was new to the area and had no idea how to direct me and nor did the customers. Drivers!!! I asked to recharge my phone but instead he gave me his phone which was no help because he only had Apple’s map which doesn’t have bicycle directions. He finally realized I should charge my own phone…let’s leave that alone…. After 15 minutes charging the phone, it had about 8/10% charge and I was able to look up the bicycle directions to my host house.
After 50 minutes since I got off the path, I finally reached home (temporary home)!
Two gentlemen greeted me at the driveway and I felt a sense of relief and know I could let go because I was officially ok. The first man was my host and second his friend from Long Island spending the weekend. They both guided Betsy and I to the backyard. We went through bushes which felt like a beginning of a horror movie…ha! It was all good! They had so many questions but I just was to take off my shoes. It’s weird how taking off the shoes is a sign that you’re done for the day.
My host started to make grilled jerk chicken while the Long Islander wanted to know every and anything about me and my current and past travel. I felt like a celebrity.
They both were well traveled backpackers and had lived in Cusco, Peru for over a year. I’m still working up the courage to live else where for one year. I haven’t found my place yet.
As the guys asked me questions, all I could think was, “Do I smell? Are they holding their breath? Should I take a shower? Did I pack everything? Why do I still have so much energy? What’s tomorrow’s event going to be like? What’s the weather?” My mind was running a mile a minute. So I excuse myself and went to take a shower and change to a comfortable attire.
When I returned back, the boys had started eating dinner and grabbed the biggest chicken piece and try to eat respectfully. Everyone was surprise how much energy I had as we chatted way pass midnight. It’s was due to all the excitement of meeting fellow travelers.
The Long Islander and I chatted until 2am, way pass my bedtime, it was all good. It took only a millisecond after my head hit the pillow to fall asleep.
Day 1: Mother Hen
It’s touring day and it was hard to wake up in the morning. I kept saying, “one more hour” but 5am was slowly approaching and pedals down was at 6am. I quickly install the handlebar bag and rear brakes, made breakfast, pack the bicycle and tie down the hula hoop. The panniers were heavy and I didn’t know why. I couldn’t see what to leave behind. Everything seem to be needed or had a purpose. I’m so going to feel it when going up hill.
It took me over a 1/2 an hour to find the trail due to my wonderful sense of directions. It’s going to be a long ride to Poughkeepsie.
I asked a passerby cyclist to take this photo to commemorate my victory in finding the beginning of the south county trail. He was the first person to receive my new business card to on this tour.
Off I go with only google maps and a GPS for the whole trip. Honestly, I have no set plans or routes for the bike tour. I’m simply going to hing it.
I’m cycling 75 miles with two main formally train trails along the route. The first is the south county trail to north county trail which are smooth and straight forward!
I took a small break at a little town to grab a quick lunch and fix my pannier sbecause the left panniers was heavy and making it difficult to balance the bicycle. There a couple on a tandem bicycle stop and came to say, “Hello!”.
They came towards me with the look, “I have so many questions and don’t know where to begin…”. A look I’m all too well familiar with. They had saw me a few miles back but my music was to loud to hear them calling for my attention. Nonetheless, I was taken back on how they could ride a tandem with clips!
I told them of my plans for my bike tour and what I was packing for the trip. They too were doing a day bike tour along the south county trail and driving back home. The husband was from Italy and spoke of trails and biking in Italy. I hope too one day bike the wineries of Italy. The wife is an avid cyclist but a back injury has slowed her down. I admire her wellness to continue cycling. They make a perfect cycling team! We chatted for bit more, gave my card and said our good byes.
A few hours and miles later a cyclist rode along side of me asking where I was heading to. We both were ending the day in Poughkeepsie for the Bike New York Discover Hudson River ride on June 29. His family was driving up where he was taking his road bike along to bike trails to Poughkeepsie. He was cycling the 75 mile route where as I will be the bike marshal sweep for the 75 mile route.As we cycled the path together we came across two cyclists on the side of the path. I immediately assume two road cyclist crashed into each other. The first cyclist approached us informing us the other cyclist flipped over his handlebar. The Red Cross first aid immediately kicked in and I became a cyclist mother hen. I asked him if he was okay and began to assess the road since he kept looking on the ground for what could have cause his spill over the handlebar. He proudly said he was fine as his arm was literally dangling. I’m not a doctor but I’m guessing you’re not fine. He desperately called his wife and got her voice mail. So we waited until he got a person on the phone. He finally got through to a friend where he expressed the possibly of having a broken or dislocated collarbone as his wife was returning his call on the other line. I thought it was cute he called his wife first. I approached the first cyclist who was beginning to repair his flat and ask if he needed help. He was good but traumatized by the other cyclist spill. I told him to keep an eye on the injured cyclist as we went in search for the call box. It was only about 100 feet away and press the red button which called the local police department. We explained our location and explain the cyclist injuries. They had an officer and ambulance on the way and the officer thanked us for calling in. I didn’t see the need to stay and we continued cycling together for a mile. I gave him my card and plan to see each other again on the Poughkeepsie ride and he spun off.
Day 0: Running around
After installing the new handlebars, I realize the Ortlieb handlebar bag were to wide for the bar. I started searching the internet for the right bags to fix the bar. I found most people were using the Topeak tourguide bag models. So, I began calling NYC retail dealers for the bag. After calling over 10 shops, I found a bicycle shop in the Bronx near my home, saying they had the bag.
Once I arrived to the shop, they don’t carry the tourguide bag models. I should have known better when the sales rep didn’t know what a trekking/butterfly handlebars were.
Disappointed, I started calling shops futher up from the Bronx. Finally, I found Piermont Bicycle Connection (215 Ash St., Piermont, NY 10968) who carried the correct bag and size. However, the route to reach the shop would be an hour and 1/2 from the Bronx. I’ve never cycled on route 9 or to Piermont.
The route was great but sadly I wasn’t truely prepared for the ride. I had no water and wearing uncomfortable causal clothing. Which made for a long painful ride on my bottom. Luckly, I found an open resturant and purchased a bottle of water for the rest of the ride.
Once I arrived to the town, I couldn’t believe how calm it was. A little peace of nature outside the crazy and busy city. I wish I had known about this route months ago. It’s a wonderful short excape from the city. Of couse, all the road cyclsit knows of this route.
After purchasing the handlebar bag I walked around the plaza and came across a gallery with a photo of the Citibike shot on Broadway as art pieces. It’s amazing how so many people view the bicycles at city art. The photographer was Carl Stoveland and it was part of his Close to Home collection. I had a wonderful chatting with him and learning about his photography, subject and passion for traveling. He too has been bitten by the traveling bug and heading to wine trails in Italy.
Finally, I purchased a two scoop ice cream cup and headed towards the gazebo where I took this photo. While there two girls ask to talk their photo by the river. Of course, they look the picture and went take to the gazebo. There sat an older men with his friends. They ask about my bike and I told them about the upcoming bike tour. The elder woman couldn’t believe i would do the trip alone. I’m so lucky to not let fear hold me back from what I want and love to do in life which is to travel the world.
I said my good byes and headed back to the city. I had to meet a friend helping design my business cards and prints. The cards printed out great and headed back home to hang out with my house guest and quickly pack my panniers and clean up the apt. I got zero sleep for a 6am start.
Installing a Butterfly Handlebar
While preparing for my upcoming bike tour, I decided to change the handlebar from straight to butterfly.
I purchased the handlebar for touring Mexico but at the last minute decided to backpack. So, I’m installing the butterfly handlebar for more hand positions and comfort for this bike tour.
On Monday, my bike mechanic friend supervisor and help with the installation of the new handlebar
I purchased the Nashbar Trekking Mountain Bike Handlebar because of a review posted on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzY95CCU0do).
What you need:
- 1 Nashbar Trekking Mountain Bike Handlebar ($20.00)
- 1 rubber self seal pipe insulation 3/8 ($1.00)
- 1 problem solvers shim 25.4 to 28.6mm ($4.99)
I used the problem solver because the handlebar was smaller then the stem and cheaper then buying a new stem.
- 1 allen key tool set
- 1 “Cork” Handlebar Tape ($14.00)
- 1 clear packing tape (0.99)
- 2 gel bar grips (they came with my straight bar)
- 2 handlebar caps ($2.00)
- 1 color electrical tape
- Remove stem plate
- Remove handlebar cap (for me remove bar ends)
- Unscrew and slid out brakes
- Force open the problem solvers so it can wraps around the butterfly handlebar. For some odd reason it didn’t extend the width, I used a spare metal piece from my Abus locks holder to add a few inches to the plate.
- Place handlebar for a comfortable position and screw back the stem plate
- Wrap the rubber pipe installation around the handlebar.
- Wrap your hand around the rubber and find your top comfort width. Then cut half the installation.
- Use the clear plastic tape around the rubber installation.
- Then wrap the cork tape around the rubber. I wrap for only the top and side hand positions.
- Optional but recommended: seal the end of the rubber with electrical tape.
Of course, repeat on other side.
I took the handlebar for a spin and it’s great! It’s very comfortable and good for shock resistant. The bar turned a lot of heads and people asking lots of questions about butterfly bar.
Okay, so where am I going…stay tuned!
I hope this was helpful.
Mermaid Parade 2014 on Flickr.
I went with a few cyclist friends from Manhattan to Coney Island, Brooklyn to watch the Mermaid Parade.
It as a great sunny day to experience a parade and beach at the same time. I was my first time attending the parade and can’t wait for next year!