Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boston..! We made it!

Well.. we are officially in Boston..!!!

We got to town last night around 6:00 last night, then biked to Pleasure Bay to dip our front tires in the water and take some pictures and stuff..

While we were biking into town, we decided that the perfect way to celebrate our arrival would be to find a chinese buffet.. Unfortunately, once we had finished taking pictures and high-fiving, we were so hungry that we only cared about what was the closest.. and the winner ended up being, tgi fridays..!

So we got to the restaurant, made friends with all the waitresses, ate a ton, then remembered we had no place to stay for the night.. (at least i thought)

We were planning on staying at this campground, but then we found out that they dont allow camping and it is just a little park.. Luckily, Eric's dad knows a guy, Rich, that lives here, and he invited us to come stay at his house! Rich even has a cottage at Cape Cod that he said we could go camp at..!

So we are gonna chill out here in boston today, then hopefully drive to Cape Cod this evening to hangout there, then probably come back here tomorrow sometime..

Oh.. I just realized that I never told you why we ended up getting here a day early..

Ok.. well.. We were planning on biking about 50 miles yesterday, then 50 more today to get here this afternoon.. While we were eating lunch yesterday though, we realized that the place we were going to stay was like 10 miles out of our way.. So we decided that instead of going out of our way, we would just bike the whole way yesterday afternoon!

We were exhausted by the time we actually got to Boston because it was one of our hilliest days yet! We had over 4000 feet of ascent..! It was an epic day to finish off the trip..!

So the plan now:

- Chill out and see the Boston sights today

- Drive to Cape Cod tonight and stay at Rich's cottage

- Come back to Boston tomorrow.. Ryan, Scott, and I will probably start heading back towards Kansas tomorrow afternoon sometime (i think).. it's a 26 hour drive though.. :(

- will probably continue to be lots of the phrase "dude, we're done.!".. followed by high-fiving or fist-pounding.. (that has been happening a lot)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

more hills, a happier butt, and books..

Soo.. Last night we were hanging out with Steve, and we got to talking about our bikes.. After he looked at our bikes he asked me how much my butt had hurt this whole trip (he recognized my seat).. Then he said that he had an old seat that was nicer than mine that he would just give to me because he wasn't using it for anything..!
The seat is like a cloud compared to my other one.. My butt was so happy all day today..
Steve, you are the man!

This morning Steve biked with us for about 20ish miles.. It was great.. Except for the hills.. We had several pretty huge climbs this morning.. But luckily, we only had 45 miles total to do today!
So we were done biking by about 1:30..

We decided that the best way to spend our free time was to go to a Barnes & Noble and chill out in the coffee shop area and look at books/magazines all afternoon..
So we were there for about 4 or 5 hours.. I bought The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn..! Pretty excited about reading it..

We didn't bother looking for campgrounds till we were at the Barnes & Noble... Unfortunately, there is none anywhere around here..
So we got another motel room.. EconoLodge..!

I have been surprised by how beautiful the country is up here! I was not expecting this much wilderness up here, but it has definitely been a pleasant surprise! (except for the hills.. but we kinda like those a little.. sometimes)

We have two days of biking left.. We are doing 50-60 miles tomorrow.. then we will only have 50 miles till we are officially in Boston!
We are already planning our next trip.. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

oh.. this is where the hills are!

well today was pretty chill.. at least this morning was..

This morning we slept in and took our time getting ready.. We biked about 20 miles until we saw a dunkin donuts!
Needless to say.. we stopped.. for way too long.. Once it was all said and done, we decided that we had eaten enough donuts that we should just count that stop as our lunch..

So we took off from the dunkin donuts, which was in Albany, and proceeded into the hilliest country we have seen in quite awhile..!

While we were eating donuts, Ben told us that he thought there was going to be a few big hills after Albany.. But we just kinda shrugged it off.. we had been getting kind of cocky about our new found leg strength.. until we left albany..!

Pretty much we climbed all day after we left the donut shop.. Not many of the hills were too long (except for 1).. but there were alot of them!
The other annoying thing was that my shifter was messing up on me all afternoon.. I decided that the single most annoying thing that can happen while your climbing a hill is to have your chain keep jumping from gear to gear..
The only thing that I can think of that would be comparable to how frustrating it is, would be to have someone pull up next to you in a truck while you are climbing, lean out the window, and begin tickling you..
(yeah.. annoying)

luckily, i was able to figure the problem out after a little while..

Tonight we are staying with a guy named Steve in Pittsfield, MA.. He is a really cool guy who has been entertaining us with some of his crazy travel stories (he has been all over the place)..

Should be in Boston on Monday!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

donuts.. laziness.. ice cream.. more ice cream.. watching our figures..

so like I mentioned.. last night Ben's girlfriend, Katie, and her mom, Kathy, and her grandma took us out to dinner.. It was awesome to chat with them and eat more italian food than anyone ever needs to.. The "unique" service allowed us to have plenty of time to hangout at the restaurant and share some stories.. it was pretty awesome.. slash the best meal we have had in quite awhile..!

Afterwards we got a red box movie, The Road, and went back to Ryan's uncle's house to watch it.. I would officially, not recommend it..
While we were watching the movie.. Ben and Katie went to a daylight donuts to hangout for a little while, and Ben was able to score a ton of day old donuts for like $2..!
once again.. we were pumped..

So this morning we feasted on donuts.. drank coffee.. and watched music videos (my favorite)...

Our bike ride today was pretty chill.. we did about 75 miles..
ate chinese food for lunch.. aka.. awesome!

stopped at a rest area and all took quick naps on top of the picnic tables.. i was so comfortable there.. i never wanted to leave.. and i was pretty upset when the other guys finally made me get up and back on my bike..

Then we stopped at an ice cream place.. which of course, is dangerous..
We got 2 half gallons of ice cream and split them.. after we finished those off, I made a little wager with Eric..
He was talking all big about how he could eat so much more ice cream.. so i said that i would buy another half gallon, and if he couldn't eat half of it, then he would have to pay me back for it..
He ate it.. (i was devastated)

So, after Ben, Scott, & I had eaten over 1/2 gallon of ice cream, and Eric had eaten 3/4 gallon.. we hit the road again..
Scott and Ben tried to get Eric and I to race.. At first I wasn't feeling it.. But then I remembered that Eric had just beat me in the ice cream bet, so I took off.. Luckily for me, 3/4 gallon of ice cream is alot.. and he was hurting pretty bad..! :)

Oh! while we were eating ice cream we noticed that Eric was covered in salt (from sweating so much).. So I nicknamed him 'My Little Margarita'.. I think it will stick.. It just seems right..
and it makes it really easy to challenge him to a race.. All I have to say now is "come on my little margarita.. lets see what you've got.." then he gets his little grin, and it's on..!
I love it..

We are in Schenectady, NY right now.. should be in Pittsfield, NY tomorrow.. its only like 60ish miles.. we are feeling pretty lazy and dont want to bike very far anymore..
only 4 days of biking!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

soo.. who is ready to stop biking,,,? this guy...

the last couple days have been pretty chill.. We have only done about 70 miles both days with decent weather (well... kinda)..

Yesterday we biked from Rochester to Syracuse and it went pretty well.. we stopped at a dunkin donuts (which was awesome), then ate lunch at a gas station (not quite as awesome), then ended the day at a dunkin donuts again (and again, awesome)..

When we got to town last night though, we realized that the closest campground was 20 miles away.. This left us with several options.. the easiest, which is of course what we picked, was to get a motel room..
So we did a quick search for cheap motels with continental breakfasts (that is our only limiting factor.. we will not stay at a motel without a continental breakfast!), then settled in for the night..

Today we took our time getting ready.. watched some music videos.. then hit the road..

It was supposed to storm pretty much all day today.. but as we got going, we realized that we had a tailwind so we decided that we could outrun it.. That is until we saw the sign for Flo's cafe..
The sign was huge and all it said was "Flo's.. home of the 10¢ coffee"..
who is not going to stop at that place..? not us, that is for sure!
So we all went in and started talking to some of the local people.. Then, as one of the local guys was leaving, he threw $30 down on the table and said "This should help with the bill boys.. I wish i had done this kinda thing when i was younger"..
Needless to say, we were pumped.. So we ordered two more rounds of pancakes to celebrate the guy's generosity...!

We are staying with Ryan's uncle tonight in Utica, NY.. Ben's girlfriend, Katie Johnston, and her mom are road tripping around up here right now.. So we are going to meet up with them for dinner tonight.. We are pretty pumped about it..
Ben has been preparing himself all day to see his lady friend.. he even trimmed his beard this morning.. Oh, and if you haven't seen Ben with a beard, then get ready.. because it is good.. (so Katie, I hope you're ready)

oh.. we rode with our shirts off again yesterday.. I didn't wear my bib shorts this time.. so hopefully my weird tan lines are starting to blend..
I have found though, that it is incredibly hard to apply lotion to your own back..
But when your options are to either try it yourself, or ask one of the guys that you are sharing a bed with to rub lotion on your back..
you know what we're going to choose..

ok.. Should be in Boston in 4-5 days..

I'll keep you posted..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

who knew buffalo had wings.. maybe they grew them to fly over waterfalls

So there we were.. chillin at our campground in New York.. planning our course for the next day.. Then we realized that we were about to be in Buffalo, New York the next afternoon..! normally the approach of a big city doesn't get us too pumped because we can typically be almost 100% positive that we will get lost.. However, with the help of google, we learned that Buffalo is home to the Anchor Bar, which is the originator of Buffalo Wings!
Needless to say, this excited us.. and we decided we had to go..

It all looked perfect on paper.. We would wake up early, bike an easy 40-45 miles to Buffalo, eat more than we needed to, then bike an easy 15ish miles to Niagra Falls and chill there for the rest of the afternoon.. (see, it sounds nice doesn't it!..)

Well.. about the only thing that worked out according to our plan was, that we woke up.. and even with that we were off.. we decided to wake up at 7.. so naturally, we all got up at 8..

Then the "easy" 40-45 miles to Buffalo turned out to be a miserable 55 miles.. (10 miles is alot when your riding a bike).. We thought that we would just cruise into Buffalo on this main highway, which worked out well.. until we actually got to Buffalo..
Then the "no bicycle" signs starting popping up.. We ignored a couple, but eventually we got off the main highway and decided to make our way to the Anchor Bar by meandering through city streets.. Which of course added about 8 miles of stop & go, potholed roads with a bunch of annoyed drivers and no shoulders..
Yes.. you are correct.. we got frustrated quickly..

By the time we made it to the Anchor Bar we were all about ready to throw our bikes in front of the next available oncoming bus.

But then we ate.. and everything got better..! We ordered 100 wings.. but the people were nice to us and ended up giving us 111 (we counted..)..
After we ate, a bet was placed..

The guys decided that if I would drink a thing of the bar's "suicidal hot sauce".. then I would earn a ride in the car till Niagra Falls..
So.. I did it once.. Then we realized that the video camera wasn't on.. So i had to do it again..
Yes.. once again, you are correct.. bad idea..
Once the flames in the entire upper half of my body conceded though, we forged ahead (ryan and I stopped at a wendy's to get frosty's first)..

We met the guys at Niagra Falls.. went on the Maid of the Mist, which was awesome!.. then realized that we had been ignoring a pretty significant part of our evening..
where we were going to sleep..
After asking around we realized that, unless we wanted to pay $80 for a campsite, we would have to go another 20 miles to the closest state park..

Luckily.. Ryan is our friend..
so he let shuttled us to the campground.. (i know.. we are babies..)

Today's riding went pretty well.. We got rained on most of the day.. Ate "garbage plates" here in Rochester, NY.. ( http://americanfood.about.com/od/extremeamericancuisine/a/garplate.htm )
And we have a warm showers family that was willing to host us here in Rochester.. so we have been chatting it up with them and eating strawberry pie..

Oh! this morning we stopped at a local cafe with a plan to just stop quickly to dry off and drink a cup of coffee.. but when we saw how cheap everything was to eat.. we all ended up eating huge meals.. We decided it was okay because we only have a few days left where we can justify having a "second breakfast")

New Pictures by the way..

Sunday, June 20, 2010

3 states, weird tan lines, huge lake, nice RV people..

soo.. we are in New York! We were in 3 states today.. we woke up in Ohio, then cut through the very northwest corner of Pennsylvania, and now we are about 40 miles from Buffalo, New York..!

The last couple days have been awesome because we have been following a bike trail that just pretty much follows along the coast of Lake Erie.. Last night we camped right on the edge of the lake and there was a sweet beach right down the road so we all went swimming in the lake and hung out on the beach for awhile.. Then we went back down there to watch the sunset and watch ryan take pictures of the sunset (which are sweet).. The campground was showing a movie last night, the new alvin & the chipmunks movie.. I missed it unfortunately, but ben and eric watched it and said that some of the people looked at them weird when they actually laughed..

Oh! funny story.. When we went to the beach to swim for a bit.. Just as Ben took off his shirt to get in the lake, we heard a couple of teenage girls start laughing a little too loudly.. Then one of them said, also a little too loudly, "Oh my gosh, I thought he still had a shirt on!" We all thought it was pretty funny..
So the moral of the story is: Don't mock people for their tan lines.

Another funny story.. Today.. Just as we were getting to the Ohio/Pennsylvania border.. Ben saw the sign first and yells out "I see Pennsylvania".. Then, completely serious, Eric (who is at the front of the line by the way) yelled very quickly, "Where?"
At first we all laughed.. But then when he maintained his serious face (not completely sure if he was or not), we all lost it and started cracking up.. We laughed for a few good minutes before we took our pictures by the sign and got back on the road..

We also found a sweet doughnut shop this morning by the lake.. It was pretty good.. But didn't even compare to the place that the Scherk's treated us to in Indiana..

Tonight in the campground we got to meet our RV neighbors because they offered to cook us some hot dogs..! They were really nice people and we chatted it up with them for quite awhile.. They told us all about alot of stuff that we wanted to know about sailing, the lakes, and about Niagra Falls..
Oh that reminds me! We are gonna be at Niagra Falls tomorrow! We are planning to get there early in the afternoon (its about 50-60 miles from here), then we are gonna chill there all afternoon and see what there is to do.. We are pretty pumped about it..!

We figured it up and we have about 600 miles left till we get to Boston.. Which seems like nothing at this point.. We are actually going to arrive a couple days early, so we will have some time to chill out and see some of the stuff around town..

Today Ben and I had a race of sorts.. We just took off because we wanted to push it for a little while.. But us pushing it quickly turned into Ben trying to drop me, then me trying to drop Ben, then Ben trying to drop me again.. Then both of us being too tired to keep up the pace and Eric and Scott catching up to us again.. We were devastated when they caught back up to us because we thought we were way ahead of them.. but oh well..
Ben and I are both winners in each others eyes..

Ok.. I'll keep you posted on Niagra Falls..

Oh i almost forgot.. we rode with our shirts off all day today.. and I was wearing bib shorts.. so now my tan lines are going to look like I have been wearing a women's swimming suit..
no laughing..