I made it to Boston! I’m staying with college friends Daniel and Kendra for a couple days, then I’ll be doing a couple 100+ days to NY…we’ll see how that goes.
The riding so far has been pretty fun. Got a little rain in NH on the morning of day 2, but otherwise it has been sunny and breezy. It hasn’t gotten super boring yet, as I anticipated it would. I did find myself playing a few games on the road though, especially the closer I got to Boston (spoiler alert: biking into Boston sucks).
Avoid the Glass. This game entails not running over the pieces of glass on the shoulder.
Don’t. Antagonize. Anything. The objective of this game is to not piss any drivers off such that they might cut you off, or honk at you, or throw things at you, or run you over. It’s very easy if done right, even in and around Boston.
And my personal favorite: What Road am I on Now?. It turns out that New England is really good at not putting signs on streets. I’ll be going down a road that I think is the right one, and there will be signs for all the cross streets, but no signs for the road I’m on. You win the game if you can end up where you’re going without looking at a map. Stereotypically masculine, I know, but it adds an element of adventure to an otherwise-normal adventure.
Anther highlight of my ride so far is the East Coast Greenway, a network of converted rail beds and sidewalks and not-highway roads. Presumably this route will someday extend from Canada to Key West along the Atlantic ocean, but for now it’s still under construction. Maine really has its shit together, and finished its portion. New Hampshire did pretty well with “just stay on 1A”, with a few detours around the towns (the ECG is VERY car-phobic). Massachusetts…needs a lot of help. As soon as I crossed the border, I got lost. Then the trail was poorly signed. Then the trail wasn’t even built yet and I walked my bike through an active construction zone. Then I said “screw it”, switched to state highways and didn’t look back.
I think I’ll be able to take the Greenway about halfway to Hartford tomorrow, then switch to state highways where the ECG turns South for Providence. I may be able to pick it up again on the New Haven line on Saturday.
Physically, I’m feeling very well. Sight sunburn on day 1, and mild soreness in the evenings, but nothing alarming. I’m eating a little more than usual, which I realized today will increase my costs unless I figure out a way to cook all my own meals, though I do really like lounging in an air-conditioned restaurant with a beer while someone wearing a smile brings me delicious hot food. Hm.
I think I’ll start filming tomorrow. One of the chores I did during my “day off” today was to repack everything, not only to send things home I’ll never use (razor, mug, cup, a ratchet set without a ratchet…) but also to rebalance the weight distribution, which was fairly awful the first time I did it. In the process of doing this I dug out all of the parts necessary to mount my phone to the handlebars and charge it from the hub dynamo.
Other chores today included tuning up the bike and waxing the chain, airing out my camping gear and doing some laundry.
There are some friends coming over in a bit for grilled pizza night, so I’m going to go map tomorrow’s route before they get here. Talk to you again from New York!