Sunday, June 30, 2013

Week One

Boston to New York City 4 days 270 mi, 13,600 feet climb

It's interesting that most friends and acquaintances have expressed reservations about this trip...the length, going solo, the western headwinds. But after a while there is a change in their attitude to that of acceptance and support. It's as if there has been a change in their own recognition that life has many open doors and it's up to us to individually step through; that we not become so entrenched in our day-to-day patterns that we don't recognize the unfolding of life in its deeper significance. That we follow that voice that beckons us to an untried path which moulds us anew.

That's hefty ideas for a bike ride.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Il a commencé

Departed from my friend's home north of Boston. She looks out onto Atlantic Ocean. I perform the cross country prescribed ritual...dipping my rear wheel into the Atlantic with hope the bike spirits ride with me to dip the front into the Pacific. Ride to Charlestown where I honor the Sweetser clan with a dip of the wheel into the Mystic River. Blackie points out Seth's farm...or's become an industrial and wharf zone.
Thanks Dianna!
Blackie points to Seth's farm. He's not yet convinced though.

I stop for Sunday services where subject is "God the Preserver of Man"...The Lord guards you....The Lord will protect you from all dangers; he will guard your life. Psalms 121:5 A pretty good send off really. Blackie keeps an eye on gear on the Christian Science Plaza while I go inside.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Gear

The most difficult task in packing for any journey is deciding what not to take. If you still have all your old school notebooks stashed on some shelf, keep the broken things because some day you plan to fix them, piles of magazines that you think you might actually read soon, always have clean clothes left over from a vacation're in trouble when it comes to getting your gear to fit in these small bike bags. Make a list of everything you might want to take. Spread it out. Look it over. That's a lot of stuff! Pull out those extra two pairs of shoes and the extra thick air mattress. And do you really think you will read all those books in the late evenings after a hard day's ride? I always take a book to the beach even though I have never read a book at the beach. Know thyself. But rules are meant to be broken. I am taking two by an old riding friend, Calvin Allen, " Westward Ha!: Bicycling Cross-Country with My Two Sons," the 1998 account of trying to do just that. It's a test of the rules.

I packed all this stuff into my panniers and rode around town, up and down hills, and on a weekend bike-camp trip with Jenny and noted "This is heavy." Got rid of more things and finally pared it down to this.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Geek's Report

Anyone who has ever toured by bicycle or thinks they may want to has a keen interest in what others carry. Good sources for prospective bike tourists are
I had done some loaded, or self-contained, touring and had a sense of what might be needed. But the times they are a'changin', and I too had a keen interest in what riders might choose today. Everyone will contemplate another's list to make it meet their own needs. Here is my synthesis.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Jumpoff

Seth Sweetser left England to immigrate to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1640, settling and establishing a farm on the shores of the Mystic River in Charlestown---the town situated across the Charles River and north of Boston. Seth is my first direct European ancestor to settle in the American colonies. My Dad, older brother, and I during the summer of 2011 drove through the area that this farm was likely sited. We were on a quest to determine the authenticity of a large pewter platter that supposedly belonged to William Brewster, another ancient relative.