14 Oct 2010, 7:34pm
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new york city

my favorite thing about today was playing the umbrella game (performing the umbrella dance!) with everyone else in manhattan–waiting to see who would lift theirs up, who would tuck theirs against their shoulders, who would duck theirs left or right, as we walked towards each other on the crowded sidewalks. maybe that was not my favorite thing about today, but it was right up there. i have been to new york city a few times before, once when i was fairly young with my family and once sometime in college with my mom, but this visit is the first time i’ve really understood why someone might want to live here voluntarily. yesterday i saw a small car covered entirely in a carefully-crocheted cover, and then halfway down the block, a bicycle that had received the same treatment. before that, a pick-up truck garden. for example. also, the ice cream is really tasty. it is too much city for me, but i’m enjoying my visit.

today i walked through central park and went to the met. it was pretty awesome.

11 Oct 2010, 8:02pm
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7 Oct 2010, 8:13pm

the end

yes so i made it. twenty miles from yorktown i met bev and herb, friends of my grandparents and my hosts for the next couple nights, on their own ride on the capital trail between jamestown and the chickahominy river. just east of williamsburg, i ran into paul, who’d arrived in yorktown last night and was headed into town to pack up his bike before his train home tomorrow morning. he told me jason and gregg were still in yorktown, too, staying at an awesome church hostel there. oh i pedaled into town like the fierce and fabulous champion that i am. singing.

ate lunch. ate dessert. got sand in my shoes. told strangers what i’d done. took some photos. waited for jason, gregg, and paul to get back to yorktown so i could see them all one last time. i wish everyone who ever helped me in any tiny way on this trip could have been there to meet me!–but it was amazing just to see the three of them again, to congratulate each other–holy crap, we made it!

bev and herb came to pick me up with balloons(!) and champagne(!!). we took photos by the water. i smiled a lot.

photos from across virginia–

(the lovely quilt on my motel bed my first night in virginia)

(fog in breaks interstate park)

(movin’ forward. have i mentioned that bike route 76/the transam is signed in virginia?? it’s awesome, especially because every road in virginia has at least three different names, i swear, and the name on the map is not always the name on the road sign)

(one of the last 10-mile photos i remembered to take. oh well)

(outside a gas station. yup)

(this is a statue of a cowboy riding a velociraptor. if that’s not an argument for riding your bike across the country, i don’t know what is)

(natural bridge)

(ginny and me at the university of virginia)

(bumpass. tee hee)

(i think route 1 is the atlantic coast route)

(on the door of an awesome coffeeshop in ashland, va)

(last day panda)

(thank you, beautiful legs o’ mine)


7 Oct 2010, 7:09pm


hi. i made it! 100 days!

5 Oct 2010, 5:19pm

gettin’ my kicks on route 76

this library is open until 9pm! but they’ll only give me a half hour of internet. i’m in ashland, va. i think i’m a tiny bit over one hundred miles from yorktown. yup. i felt great today. rode 90-ish miles. still feel pretty great.

blacksburg was awesome–my hosts (heather, chris, and their 2-year-old son dylan) were wonderful and sent me off in the morning with amazing homemade lasagna for lunch. and cookies!

between blacksburg and catawba, i met another eastbound rider–paul from ottawa (or the town that is kind of part of ottawa, except in quebec). we rode together until yesterday, when i stopped in charlottesville after lunch and he rode further. on friday we ended the day in buchanan. on saturday we rode to a campground with a little hostel room between lexington and vesuvius. on the way we stopped at natural bridge, “one of the seven natural wonders of the world,” and paid a ridiculous amount of money ($18) to see it. the price included admission to two cheesy museums–a toy museum (”american history told with toys!”) and a wax museum with a wax version of davinci’s last supper, which is displayed in a special little presentation with a dramatic voiceover telling you about judas’s betrayal and the passion of the christ and so on.

sunday–sunday was the BIG DAY. the BIG HILL DAY. super steep 4-mile hill from vesuvius up to the blue ridge parkway. then 27 miles on the parkway. then the cookie lady. i’d been dreading that hill for thousands of miles–and looking forward to the cookie lady even longer.

well, the hill was not so bad. i got up it. it turned out to be only three and a half miles. i walked some of it–call it weakness if you like; i call it “training for the pct.” heh. the blue ridge parkway was beautiful. the hill down to the cookie lady’s house was a blast.

the cookie lady is june curry, who’s been helping out cyclists since ‘76. she has a “bike house” for cyclists to stay in that is several sizeable rooms FULL of transam memorabilia–photos, postcards, newspaper clippings, t-shirts, you name it. someone wrote their masters thesis (in geography for unc-chapel hill, in 1994) about the transamerica trail–there’s a copy there. oh my gosh, the place was amazing. i think i’ve mentioned that a. and i used to joke that when folks asked us where we were going, we should say “here. this is our destination. we rode from oregon to come here.” well–i rode across the country to get to the cookie lady’s house. to see this museum of the transam and to be a part of it. i just ate it up. and felt so good about the way i am traveling. remembered all the kind people i have met on this trip. the things that have gone wrong and the things that have gone right. and i thought about the end of it coming up and i realized what i’ll be losing. my feelings about ending this trip are all over the place, of course. a lot more about that later, i’m sure.

yesterday we rode to charlottesville, got some pizza for lunch, and said goodbye. i rode to the outskirts of town to stay with ginny and raj (my step-grandma’s sister and her husband). ginny took me back into town to show me around the university of virginia campus, and raj made delicious indian food for dinner. this morning ginny drove me a few miles out of town (she was worried about traffic on the highway) and sent me on my way with a sack lunch complete with juice boxes. i rode and rode and rode. i met a band who’re just finishing up a tour by bike. awesome. awesome awesome awesome. i am almost done.