I want that world.

Sarah & Dolly
Sarah & Dolly
Sarah and I a few years back – we don’t take enough pictures together!

I’m so proud of my daughter.

She’s been working at Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) for exactly a decade, helping to end the death penalty and build a better criminal justice system.

She has educated me along with thousands of others across the country, and I’m now one of EJUSA’s biggest supporters.

Will you sponsor me as I bike 2,528 miles up the east coast raising funds for EJUSA’s amazing work?

Sarah is the Communications Strategist, so she sends good news about EJUSA’s work to my inbox almost every week. (I suppose she sends it to lots of other people as well, but it feels like it’s just for me.) Like two weeks ago, when Nebraska took a major step towards becoming the first conservative state to end the death penalty. I love reading about this kind of progress while I’m gathering strength for the next day’s ride.

Donate today, and help Sarah and her co-workers reform the glaring problems in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Being Sarah’s mom gives me the inside view on EJUSA’s incredible impact. And I am so impressed – not just with my own daughter but with the whole operation.

EJUSA deserves your support. Gifts from people like you and me keep EJUSA organizers in the places where they are needed most, transforming our criminal justice system so we can all live in a world with more justice and less violence.

I know I want that world.

I’ve got over 2,000 miles left to go, but I am already looking forward to crossing the borders into Maryland, New York, and Connecticut – states where EJUSA helped end the death penalty. Donate and follow my ride through those states and more.

Thanks for joining me on another biking adventure!

Wanderings and reflections: July 2

Three weeks ago today, we biked into Bar Harbor, a triumphant ride.  It was wonderful to celebrate our adventure with my fellow cyclists at the closing banquet.  Then everyone dispersed, like kicking an ant hill and scattering the occupants, each rider returning to home, family and friends.  Don arrived on Friday and we enjoyed Bar Harbor and being reunited after a three-week separation (remember he flew to Alexandria to see me when I was pedaling through).

How quickly we lose the routine of the ride.  No more early bedtimes, and early wake-up times.  No more focusing on road conditions, weather or food.  Don and I began a different “wandering” before returning to Indiana:

June 12-15:  Bar Harbor

June 15-17: in Boston visiting Nancy H., touring the Freedom Trail

June 17-19: visiting our daughter’s in-laws in Plymouth, MA, and enjoying the Heritage Museum and a short bike ride on the Cape Cod Canal

June 19-22: Hancock, MA to attend Tanglewood with long-time rugby friends: Friday, Sheryl Crow; Saturday, Boston Bobs Esplanade Orchestra plays Simply Sondheim; Sunday, Diana Krall

June 22: Touring Hyde Park, including FDR Library, Eleanor Roosevelt’s home Val-Kill, Vanderbilt Mansion, then bike ride across Walkway over the Hudson near Poughkeepsie

June 23-24: staying with friends in New York City and experiencing the 9/11 Museum and the One World Observatory, as well as Jim Parsons in “Act of God” on Broadway; also rode our bikes around much of the perimeter of Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge

June 25-28: Virginia with family to celebrate grandson Mason’s 4th birthday

June 28: 11 hour drive from Virginia home to Indiana.  On the calendar I had been away exactly 4 months (departed 2/28).

All of these “wanderings” have given me time to reflect on this adventure:

*It definitely felt different from the start as compared to the Southern Tier ride 2 years ago:  I had some confidence in my ability and endurance and I was riding with a group of very experienced cyclists.

*Quickly my hay fever was a factor as spring was already in the air.  While I enjoy the beauty of blooming flowers, my nose and eyes are not so appreciative.  And with the trees already having leaves, there were no long vistas to enjoy.  Sometimes, it felt as if we were cycling in a green tunnel.

*In many small towns where there was no grocery, no pharmacy, basically no services, you could frequently find a car repair shop of sorts.  What does this say about the workmanship of our car factories and the country’s reliance on automobiles?

*There is no question that states need to find money for road repair – and preferably include wide shoulders when resurfacing the roads.  Especially in the New England states, cycling was an art of “dodge ’em” due to the numerous freeze-heave potholes.

*For the most part, the southern Atlantic states are flat.  It is not until you reach Virginia that you begin to experience the hills – and then they continue with a vengeance.  I think the steepest and longest were in Connecticut, but there was very little flat terrain north of Washington, DC.  I don’t have good climbing legs to begin with and they were “spoiled” by the flat of the southern states so I found the New England states a real challenge due to the hills.  But I am not too proud to walk a hill, pushing my bike beside me.

*It may be selective memory, but I have little recall of aggressive drivers on the road.  I did tire of the constant sound of cars and trucks, preferring the sounds of nature to tires on pavement.

* I actually miss the “Biking Bubble”, the structure of the day.  But as fellow rider Barbara B. wrote, there is much to learn when you emerge from the Bubble:

Lessons Learned in the Biking Bubble

Stuff happens. You can’t control it. Let it go and enjoy the ride.
Improve your daily life by being more mindful and present.
Keep the TV and media on very low volume. Everyday, people are drawn through the media to what they perceive as “bad stuff” happening in the world. Often, the bad stuff didn’t happen or has an explanation they are not aware of. And almost always, the situation is not as bad as perceived, nor does it have a solution we can influence. Change your focus. Look for the good and wonderful things about your life and others. Dwell there, not in a stew of negativity.  Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.

*At age 67, I have proven to myself that I can take charge of my body and my mind and achieve the goal of riding every mile.  How long will this endurance and ability continue?  I hope for many years to come. While I don’t have a goal to cycle the perimeter of the U.S., I would love to cycle down the West Coast, enjoying the ocean by my side each day.  And I would gladly return to Maine for more cycling, even with the hills.

Thank you for joining me on this epic ride – and for supporting Equal Justice USA along the way.  Your comments and encouragement have been much appreciated.

Gaelic Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.                                                                                                         May the wind be always at your back.                                                                                               May the sun shine warm upon your face;                                                                                           The rains fall soft upon your fields and                                                                                                Until we meet again,                                                                                                                                    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relaxing in Bar Harbor: June 12-14

After the delightful celebration dinner on Thursday evening, Patricia and I attempted to “sleep in”, but 7 am was the best we could do.  It was nice to take our leisure with getting ready for breakfast, and not to worry about packing our suitcases and taking them to the trailer.

The van and trailer were leaving at 9 am to take riders to the Bar Harbor and Bangor airports for flights back home.  Just as all the bags were loaded and the passengers saying their last goodbyes, Michelle discovered that the battery was dead.  Luckily the maintenance man for the hotel had jumper cables and was able to give the van a quick charge, so that departure was not greatly delayed.

With help from Janet, Susan G.’s friend from New Brunswick, I moved my suitcases to the Shore Path Cottage, and even took my bike to the Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop, as I discovered that my handlebars had been twisted the previous day.  I had been looking for a sailboat cruise for Don and me, and discovered that Patricia and her friends Joe and Priscilla were booked later in the afternoon.  We invited ourselves to join them, without protest.

Don arrived after his 1,330 mile drive from Indianapolis around 11 am, settled into the B & B and we quickly found some lunch before heading to Southwest Harbor for our sailboat cruise.  We boarded the Alice E., a former lobster boat, with Alex as Captain and Christy as Mate for 3 wonderful hours in the harbor.

After dinner, Don and I drove up Cadillac Mountain, but the clouds had come in and we could not enjoy the sunset.

On Saturday, we decided to take our bikes and ride the Cranberry Island ferry to explore these islands in Southwest Harbor.  The season has not officially begun, so we discovered that there were no facilities open on Little Cranberry Island.  We disembarked on Great Cranberry Island, taking our bikes to explore on the 4 miles of paved road and another 4 other miles of dirt road to several inlets, then enjoyed lunch at the local cafe.  After the ferry returned us to Southwest Harbor, we continued around the peninsula and visited the Bass Harbor Lighthouse.  Continuing further around the peninsula, we ended up in Bernard/Tremont and discovered Thurston’s Lobster Pound.  It was a bit early for dinner, so we enjoyed steamed mussels as a appetizer before ordering our lobsters, my first whole one of the summer.  We continued our drive around Somes Sound to Northeast Harbor and visited Thunder Hole – no thunder in the waves, but a beautiful wave view.  We managed to miss sunset on Cadillac Mountain (poor navigation on my part), but enjoyed twilight overlooking the harbor in downtown Bar Harbor.

On Sunday, we decided to go for a bike ride in Acadia National Park.  First, we discovered that Don had a broken spoke on his bike, then we were told that skinny tires didn’t work on the carriage paths, and riding on the main road was hazardous, with no shoulder.  We opted to rent mountain/comfort bikes and headed to the park to ride the carriage paths.  We wandered passed Eagle Lake to Jordan Pond, where we enjoyed lunch and the traditional popovers.  Later in the afternoon, we met up with Bill Phillips (from my Oxy years) and his ski friends Chris, Jen, Annie, and Richard.  Ultimately, we all drove up to Cadillac Mountain and enjoyed a beautiful sunset, then ate late dinner back in Bar Harbor.

The weather had been perfect, the accommodations wonderful – Don and I vowed to return to Maine and explore further another time.

Photos from June 10: Rocksport to Bucksport