Halftime

Wheel full 70px Last night was the halftime point in  my ride from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Key West, Florida.   I have been on the road for 42 days and given my plan to arrive in Key West on November the 10th,  I have 42 more days left to ride.

Wheel full 70px My RidewithGPS app tells me that I have ridden  almost exactly 1,300 miles/2,100 kilometers since starting in Halifax six weeks ago.   It also tells me I have about 2,100 miles/3,350 kilometers to go.  This is what that situation looks like.

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I’m at the map pin, eating breakfast

Wheel full 70px In order to accomplish the remaining distance, I will have to ride on average 50 miles/80 kilometers every day between now and the 10th of November.  That will be tough, but it has always pretty much been the plan, as I planned 60 mile/100 kilometer days every day south of New York City with a rest day about once a week.  So, believe it or not, I am pretty much on track to do this.

Wheel full 70px A big factor in my favor is that three quarters of the elevation gain is now already overcome and behind me.  RidewithGPS tells me that, since I started riding, I have climbed almost 68,000 feet/20,500 meters- a gain of more than 12 miles/20 kilometers.  On the entire remainder of the ride, there’s only another 22,000 feet/6,600 meters to go, and that works out to a little more than 100 feet/30 meters per mile/1.6 kilometers.  That’s less than a two percent grade on average, which is close to imperceptible on a bicycle.

Wheel full 70px Not bad for an old fat guy, eh?  Or at least I was at the start of the ride.  We’ll see if we can do the “fat” part of that in completely by the end.

Wheel full 70px See you along the way to Key West!

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Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more

Wheel full 70px When you make lodging arrangements at a non-chain hotel or motel through an online service- hotels.com as an example- in a distant place of which you have no current familiarity it has been my experience that you quite frequently wind up surprised when you check in- sometimes in a good way, sometimes not.  Yesterday when circumstances- a credit card transaction at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and two plain old fashioned that was declined, which led to the discovery when I called Wells Fargo that the card had apparently been compromised the previous day when I stopped for breakfast and had been run up by $3,000 or so- required that I scramble to reserve lodging somewhere so that I had a fixed address at which I could receive a Fedex package from the bank, I wound up having just that happen to me.

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Wheel full 70px Provincetown- P-town– Massachusetts shares with Key West, Florida the longstanding reputation for being the center of the gay scene on the Atlantic Coast.  This goes way back to a time long before the current widespread acceptance.  I have had a few openly gay friends over the years and a few others who had never come out, but my exposure to any ubiquitous gay cultural environment was nil.

Wheel full 70px Until yesterday, when I found myself in a hotel lobby conversing with a number of really friendly men (in a nice way), all of them seemingly fascinated by a guy dressed in black spandex and polyester wearing shoes with cleats on the bottom that made this just wonderful “click-click-click” sound when I walked.  It was fun, and was repeated at the hotel’s continental breakfast bar this morning.

Wheel full 70px It appears I am staying in the premier gay hostelry in P-town.  I was personally invited tonight to the “Underwear Party” in the club, which happens to be in the basement of where I’m staying, seen in the picture above but I probably won’t go, as my stock of good-looking bicycling underwear is woefully short.  Cool to be included, though.

 

P-town

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Wheel full 70px Oh, and while I’m at it…

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Instead of a long ferry ride in the rain here last night it was an even longer bus ride in the rain.  But here I am, arriving around nine last night.

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Wheel full 70px For reasons I will explain in a bit I will have the day to sightsee here.  It’s cloudy and still windy, but dry.  Catch you later today.

Closing in on 40%

Wheel full 70px It seems like it was just a few days ago that I was leaving Halifax, Nova Scotia and already here’s

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Wheel full 70px I rode through the heart of the downtown, which was very exciting and at the same time sad, because it was in Boston five years ago that my daughter Stephanie, her husband Gary and we in the rest of the family had to come to grips, after several months of unsuccessful proton radiation treatments, that their son Aidan’s very aggressive brain cancer was not treatable.

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Wheel full 70px Aidan passed away a day before his second birthday late in 2011.  He was very much on my mind today.

Wheel full 70px My route out of Boston was planned to be the ferry to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod.  Brisk winds caused the Atlantic to be too choppy for the ferry to run, so I wound up on a bus for almost three hours instead, going the long way around.  The wait to depart was cheered by the opportunity to meet two longtime friends made over the Internet.  I was treated to several beers (truth be told, about half the beer I have drunk during my entire life) and great conversation for most of an hour.

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Wheel full 70px It was really nice to put real faces with names, but I was surprised at the degree of connection that online interaction over the course of the past decade had created.  I can only hope that I can be as gracious a host in Alaska when folks drop out of nowhere and visit me there.

Wheel full 70px So, with about 1,300 miles down and 2,100 left to go, my trip is getting close to 40% complete. I’ll go into greater detail in a coming post, but for now I’ll just point out as well that three-quarters of the trip’s projected elevation gain is behind me. This is a big deal, as I will need to pick up the pace in order to keep my promise to my wife to be in Key West by November 10th. My average riding speed has definitely increased several miles an hour over the past few days as the terrain has flattened.

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The Banana Suit

Wheel full 70px I had to break out the banana suit today- my long sleeve, err… high visibility jersey.

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Wheel full 70px It is not supposed to even reach 60 degrees (F)/15 degrees (C) today.  But I’ll blend in with the ever-increasing fall colors perfectly.

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Wheel full 70px The winds are supposed to reach 16 miles/25 km per hour by this afternoon.

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Wheel full 70px But they are out of the northeast and that’s a good thing, as I’ll be headed in their direction.

No Ferry for You!

Wheel full 70px Well, it looks like my ferry ride from Boston Harbor to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod is going to turn into a bus ride.  There are 9-10 foot/~3 meter seas later today due to the high winds in the area and that is apparently too rough for the ferry.  The company is substituting a bus, which I am told will accept my bike and panniers.

Wheel full 70px So I’m disappointed.  I had looked forward to seeing Boston from out on the water, but that’s just not going to happen, I guess.  The day will still be a good one- I’m getting together with some friends when I arrive at the ferry terminal, which will be a treat.

Wheel full 70px Concern has been expressed about my riding in downtown Boston.  Here’s my route.

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Wheel full 70px I am riding across the city on the “cover” that they built over the Big Dig- the former I-93 Central Artery.  I rode on it in May on one of the city’s rent-a-bikes, and have no qualms based on that experience.  So, film at 11.

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