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July 31, 2010 9:13 am Eastern Time

We’re at Logan Airport in Boston right now, where there is free Wi-Fi.

This morning, at 4:26 am, the alarm on Elliot’s iPod went off. We had to get up for our 6:15 am flight. It was just dawning when we reached the airport at 5 am. Returning the rental car was a breeze.



We had a super-smooth flight to Logan Airport in Boston. The 5 passengers were sleepy.




Next stop, Denver.

July 31, 2010 3:03 pm Mountain Time




August 1, 2010 2:09 pm Pacific Time

We’re back home! In a way, returning home was one of the most difficult parts of the trip for me. Our flight was delayed, and we spent 4 hours in Denver Airport. I wasn’t exercising, so wasn’t drinking, and got dehydrated in the altitude. That gave me constipation, and the final half hour of the flight into San Jose was none too steady, making me feel even sicker. At last, I’m well enough again to post this final entry. I will probably be adding statistics over the next week or more.

Miles Traveled: 2062

Days on the road: 42

  • Camping (KOA Kabin doesn’t count): 6
  • Motels: 36

Times comb used: 0. I told you.

Number of earphones broken: 3. We brought an iPod clone earphone that I got from a flea market for 50 cents. Within days, one side dropped down into the spokes and got torn off. Elliot used the single other side for 4 weeks or so, which was probably better, because he could still hear traffic and conversation. When the remaining side of the earphone finally broke, he bought a new headphone at a discount store. That one broke in a week. He bought another headphone, and that broke in a few days. We were just a few days from the end at that point, so he didn’t get any more earphones or headphones.

Number of Sudoku puzzles solved: 10. This is an estimate. I had printed puzzles 6 to a side, double-sided, and brought 3 sheets, so 36 puzzles. I partly finished one sheet, and did a couple more from local newpapers in restaurants while waiting for our ordered food to arrive. I preferred chatting with locals to doing Sudoku, when there was a choice.

Postcards sent back: about 15.

Number of map errata reported to Adventure Cycling: 12


  • Plane travel, including $400 surcharge for bikes:
  • Motels
  • Camping
  • Other (food)
  • Shipping the bikes back

Flats: Roderick – 7; Elliot – 0.

Flats that were Roderick’s own fault: 7. I had Kevlar tires, but they were more like road tires. Elliot had Gatorskin touring tires. Midway through the trip, I changed tires. The final flat was because I overinflated the tire at a gas station.

Tires used: Roderick – 4; Elliot – 2.

Bike Problems

  1. Toestrap broke
  2. Toeclip came off
  3. Handlebar wrap came off (multiple times)
  4. Handlebar end cap lost
  5. Bolt holding rack lost
  6. Head bearing came loose
  7. Derailleur clicking, needed tightening
  8. Seat came loose
  9. Chains rusty after rain
  10. Derailleur not shifting to some gears, needed adjustment
  11. Wireless cyclometer flaky, then stopped working
  12. Wired cyclometer got wet, stopped working until dry
  13. Sole of cycling shoes came loose
  14. Helmet mirror snapped off
  15. Flat tires (7)

Disasters: 0

Climbing days: 1

Most interesting person met (male): Fred Wilson, at the Corner Motel in Long Lake, NY

Most interesting person met (female): Laura, outside the Ambrose Motel in Cumberland, WI. This was harder to determine. Because of new non-smoking laws, most motels seemed to have resin chairs set up outside the rooms. A common pattern was for someone (male or female) to be sitting on the chairs, and strike up a conversation by asking us about our trip. Camilla in Long Lake, and Mary in Caro were two other examples.

Best Food: Delmonico Steak and Steamed Clams at The Steakhouse in Thendara (Old Forge), says Elliot. I nominate the Gazpacho at the Hardware Cafe in Fair Haven.

Worst Food: Pink Lemonade Drink, from the Family Dollar Store in Caro.

Live animals and birds seen: Whitetail deer, Raccoon, Raven, Rabbit, Field Mouse, Painted Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Buffalo, Cow, Goose, Duck, Chicken, Dog, Cat, Wild Turkey

Types of Roadkill seen: Raccoon, Frog, Seagull, Possum, Porcupine, Snake, Deer, Rabbit, Turtle, Pig, Dog, Cat

Cards handed out: 150 (estimate)

Journal pages used: 84 / 160. The 4.5″ x 6″ notebook from GlyphGuy actually had 80 pages, but I wrote on both sides.

Here the list Elliot and I jointly developed of the best and worst things on the trip:

Best things on the trip

  • Meeting interesting people
  • Kindness of strangers
  • Fruit stands with tree-ripened peaches and nectarines
  • Campfires
  • Exercise
  • Improvement in Elliot’s skin
  • Gatorade and other gas-station drinks
  • Showers
  • Discovering Wi-Fi in unlikely spots

We had a hard time coming up with the worst part of the trip. In retrospect, everything seems to have had a bright side.

Most difficult things on the trip

  • Being away from Merrianne
  • Getting lost on a sandy road
  • Overpriced accommodations (2 days)
  • Black flies
  • Rain (1 bad day)
  • No vacancies at motels (2 days)
  • Headwinds
  • Heat and humidity (2 days)
  • Diarrhea

Things that surprisingly were not an issue

  • Finding Wi-Fi access. It’s abundant. A dial-up modem is completely unnecessary. The iPod Touch was invaluable for locating unencrypted hotspots.
  • Finding power outlets. They were plentiful in fast food restaurants, and even outside convenience stores. I think in that region, people plug in their cars in winter while shopping to prevent freezing. The only time our phones went dead was when we forgot to charge them. Thank goodness we carried a spare charged phone battery in a ziploc, it saved us on occasion.
  • Getting pictures of people we met. With few exceptions, most were fine with it, some even honored and thrilled to be mentioned on our blog.
  • Being too sore to ride. It never happened.
  • Riding on major highways like 2. The shoulder was wide.
  • Riding late into the day. Our pattern of late starts did not hurt us. It was summer, and the days were long. Besides, it was cooler in the late afternoon, and usually more pleasant riding than at midday. At no time did we need lighting, except for an occasional ride out to dinner or errands at night.
  • Cold. Except for that one night in Pulaski when we were soaked, we were never cold. We used our jackets only once during riding, and even then, didn’t really need them, even in rain. I don’t think I’d be brave enough to recommend touring with no jacket, though.

Times Elliot complained: 0


  1. Marilyn Lang says:

    Tiny puddle-jumper planes like that one terrify me!

    I’m glad that you’re back safe and sound, and it sounds like you will have many fond memories of this trip.

    • roderick says:

      Really, it was a silk-smooth ride on that tiny plane. Perfect take-off, perfect landing, very little turbulence.

      I’m back at work now, so this final post will be evolving over the next few days, as I have time to gather thoughts.

  2. James says:

    Hey Guys,
    Congratulations on your journey. My name is James, owner of Fiesta Restaurant in Wallaceburg.
    I’m sorry I missed you both when you stopped in – I would have loved to pick your brains
    and hear about your adventure. It has been fun keeping up with you the last couple weeks.

    Thanks for stopping in and congrats on arriving home safely!


    • roderick says:

      Hi, James!

      Didn’t know that you were following. Thanks for visiting, and commenting.

      I think we might actually have seen you but not met you that day in the Fiesta. I saw some guy working back in the kitchen. It could have been you, or some other cook.

      Take care,

  3. Duane Gaul says:

    Hi Roderick & Elliot,
    I’m glad you guys are safely home. Sounds like you had a great bike trip!

    Duane Gaul

    • roderick says:

      Hi, Duane!

      Yes, getting readjusted to regular life again. Thanks again for your help in finding 104. I intend to send an erratum to Adventure Cycling – the motel should be tagged as “off route”, and the big motel across the street is gone. Not just shut down, it’s gone, as in the lot was razed.

      Take care,

  4. Jethro Chan says:

    Nice summary, but I should not say summary. This is just the beginning for me to realize the value, not to mention, the fun in life! That “little” airplane is big compare to the small planes I will fly to get my flying hrs. Lucky you guys had a safe trip. As you say Roderick, its not the destination, but the journey that counts. This trip and life itself proves it all. The people you meet, and the things you see, the roads you travel, the flat tires, problems, etc. just add more value to this trip. If cycling was easy, it would not be worth anything special! Its when there are “hills” to climb in life, (even when one’s soles are loose) one becomes stronger, things become valued. Hence the phrase achivement vs. fufillment. A car can do this distance easy. but the driver will not feel the fufillment, even if he/she has achieved the same mileage. Its the challeges and things you see that gives the adventurer the fufillment. Once again, congratulations on your trip. Roderick, quoting you again on life “why not now?” is something I will take away from “following” you guys!

    -Jethro Chan

    • roderick says:

      Hey, Jethro!

      Such a philosopher, at such a young age. Readers of this blog, how old do you think Jethro is? My age? Guess again.

      I have (hopefully) one final update to this page. It is mostly done, but is still hasn’t been uploaded. You can see the work-in-progress on the mirror site. I keep thinking of additional things to add. Like any artistic pursuit, a blog is never done, but sometimes, one must be an engineer and say “good enough”.

      All the best,

  5. Mona Schorow says:

    Awe and relief! I’m happy for you. You’re home with Merrianne. You’re safe after a terrific adventure. You’ve wonderful pictures and blog. Your journey was a special one. Speaking of maturity, Elliot earned major kudos from us!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in person…


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