October 19, 2009

Rain Rain go away

Finally the sun is out. Here it is Monday Oct 19th, and the sun is shining finally and things are starting to dry up after the 5 days of continual rain that the greater DC area has gotten. I arrived at my friend Pipers house last Tue the 13th and was immediately one of the family. Her and her folks live at the end of a cul-de-sak with a huge backyard and woods that Cooper claimed as his own. Her folks let me store the Rick in the garage to prevent anymore rust from getting to this thing. I was able to go thru all my stuff to try to figure out what to get rid of and what to keep. I need to lighten this thing up a bit 700lbs is just to much weight to be moving around. Started some laundry and gave Coop a bath. After I showered and had a beer we sat down to the first of many delicious dinners. Her family is very laid back and was happy that Coop and I made ourselves at home. That night I slept like a baby in the nice soft bed that they had waiting for me. The next couple of days consisted of resting, eating and spending time with this great family. I have been able to do more research for the trip and get into contact with some old friends down in VA. I will be leaving first thing tomorrow morning and heading south. My next destination is Hampton VA. Where I will meet up with an old friend and rest my head for a couple of days before moving more south. I have had a great time I have learned a lot about cycling and photography from Piper. And helped her dad become a better cook. I doesn't even feel like I am on bike tour at all. I feel that I am getting comfy here and that means its time to go. Its been a great week to rest up and prepare for more and couldn't ask for a better house and family to wait out the rain with. Thanks again Piper, Red, Mark and Susan. You have made us feel like one of the family and I hope that we can come back thru again on our way back. Till next time love and licks from the road, Sean and Cooper.

October 10, 2009









OK so here I am pushing thru DE, windy is an understatement for what its like here! Gail force winds!! Not a very eventful night at the church camp good thing I ended up getting a killer
migraine headache. Went to bed at 7 and slept the night. Got up to more wind and a little bit of rain. Broke down camp and got to it went about 10 miles and had to pull the Rick and Coop into a gazebo in Ellendale DE. Waited about an hour for the rain to pass and got back to it. Went about a mile down the road and saw a veg stand. Came to a stop and got an apple and inquired about boiled peanuts. One thing led to another and I had a plate of meatballs, mac and cheese and wings in my lap and hungry dog at my feet. Turns out I stopped right in front of Ronald Whites place (pictured above). This man is know thru out these parts as a man of charity and good ol BBQ. He has organized and hosted many local and national organizations. He is also involved in the fight against lupus which his wife of 20 years suffers from. I just happened to pull up on the 1 year celebration of one of his grandsons. I was shown great hospitality and Coop got lots of attention from young and old. Its been an amazing trip so far. I have met so many great people, to the folks I met on the ferry from NJ to De to the biker I shared a campsite with to the folks I met outside the grocery store earlier. And to my gracious host Ron White, thank you sir and I look forward to steak and eggs with potatoes in the morning.

Till next time! Love and licks from the road!
Sean and Cooper.

Somewhere in Delaware

Met these folks outside Trenton. Been cool meeting people. Camped out in Delaware last night split the site with a Harley Man on his way to Mass to Key West. Cool dude. Cooper really softened him up. Peoples guards tend to drop with Coop so I get to really talk to these people. Really windy today only did 15 miles . Camping tonight at a Zion church camp ground. Close to the highway 1 and hway 16 in Delaware. Didn't charge me for the site should be a interesting fri night at church camp! Heading to Annapolis east of DC. Should get there on tue. Taking it slow. There is a Bike ride in DC next sat that my friend Piper got Coop and I in. Should be a lot of fun. Don't want to stay at Pipers to long she's not going to ride out until the spring she's getting photo work right now so she's hanging back. She said I could stay for a whole wk but I'll get stir crazy. Gonna roll out of there next sun. If anyone wants to send me anything I'll give u her address. Looking forward to heading south. Nice weather here but really windy. 82 today. Will gotta set up the tent and take a shower. One love from the road. I miss you all.
Sean and Coop.

October 7, 2009

Last few days

Trenton to South Jersey

Day 4 began with us heading south towards Trenton on the lookout for a vet. Came across a group of people out and about. Stopped and talked and they snapped some pics (still waiting on those to be emailed to me!). Asked about a vet and they directed me a couple miles back where I just came from to a vet that was open on Sat and not to expensive. They even threw us some green backs to help with the bill. Rode back and checked in with them. While waiting outside the couple who had donated money to our adventure stopped in to see how everything was going, we started talking pizza and they told me about a spot in NJ that grows most there own stuff on ground. Nice people. I'm really liking this part, meeting all these nice strangers they believe in what I'm doing. They might not understand but they believe. For me this trip is about the challenge of doing what I'm doing physically but also the random encounters I have with people something good always comes out of it. It may be kind words, a little bit of cash, some food or a place to stay its all good. People love Cooper and they love the fact that I am talking my dog around the US in style, not to many dogs have had it as good as him. After the vet had checked out Coop the staff all came outside to check us out. Took some group photos and they gave Coop some canned dog food. Thanks West Trenton Animal Hospital.

Got back on the road and made it across Trenton. Lots of horse ranches around. Horses love the Rick they come running up and stare and follow us down the fence. Coop used to bark at them but now he doesn't care. Stopped to ask a lady for water. Just to make sure everyone under stands how I'm doing this. The only two things I will ask for is Money and drugs. Kidding. Its Directions or Water. That's it I don't beg for money or food. If its offered I usually don't refuse. Its kindness I'm after. So Lisa filled me up on water and asked where I sleep told her I sleep off the road mostly. She said I could sleep on her property if I wanted I got directions and headed that way took longer then expected and I had to ride for a bit after sun down. Scary but wide shoulders. Not trying to make a habit of it. When I got there I was able to use the grill to cook up some grub. Pitched my tent next to the barn and got some zzzs.

Next morning woke up to a heavy fog. Slept good knowing I wasn't trespassing. Lisa sent us on our way with some doggie treats. Thanks Lisa for the spot in the lawn. Rode a couple miles and stopped off at the WaWa for a sunday morning coffee. Sat there sipping my joe and all sorts of people where coming up talking to us giving us good lucks and God bless. Some gave us the thumbs up and some gave us some dollars. Everyone loved Cooper. Honestly if it wasn't for him no one would talk to me. Everyone loves them some Coop. Got back on the rode kinda windy today so wasn't able to move to fast. Stopped for an orange break and a cop rolls up. I was worried because I don't have the best conversations with cops but Officer Chuck with the Manchester Sheriffs department proved me wrong he was very interested in our adventure and gave up a couple bottles of water and apple and some cheddar. Thanks Chuck for the gifts. Ended up camping by this small lake off the side of the rode there was a path that went to the backside. Its been pretty easy to spot the good camping situations. Set up a fire listened to some football on my little AM FM radio and did some cosmetic work to the Rick. Gotta keep up on maintenance if this thing is gonna run right. Made a good meal of rice veg and sausage over the fire. Took some nice pics of the full moon and just relaxed. Coops paw is much better tonight he was running around trying his hardest to catch some rabbits. They smoke him every time.

Got up with the sun tried to make some eggs over the fire but they stuck to my pot. So when we got to the WaWa. I asked if I could wash my pot in there sink. Nice people let me so I washed the couple dishes and pans they had back there. Karma! On our way out a lady stopped us to give us some dog treats I think her name was Deborah Thanks. Got to moving. My legs are feeling good and we put the boots on Cooper he looks like a new born deer trying to walk but once we start moving he gets to going. Did close to 37 miles today the flat roads and Coopers 76 lbs on the ground part of the time helped. Lots of cranberry fields down here one field just got picked and there was some stray crans floating on the edge right next to the road so I stopped to have a snack. Coop doesn't like them at all I think he was a little mad at me for trying. Big wind come off those fields I couldn't image trying to do this with the original Rick I would of been blown over. Hard finding camping due to the fact so close to sea level everything is swampy. And the camp grounds they do have are RV and closed so I found one and rode all the way in the back onto a service road and set up camp made some great sauce and pasta dish. Good night

Woke up had some fruit for breakfast. And hit the rode. about a mile out something went wrong. My pedals were moving but the wheels weren't turning. Tried taking a look at it but its all internal system made some phone calls and the closest place was 16 miles south so I walked and walked and walked came across a road crew asked a dude how far to Tuckahoe and he said about 7 miles. Then he gave me a Turkey sandwich a bunch of fruit and a coke. Thanks Jose. Good food. Then I walked and walked and walked. Finally I pulled up to the Tuckahoe bike shop and had some words with Al the man in charge. He told me we had to get the axel off so I had to take this thing back down to the frame everything out cover off box off wheel off axel off free spin gear off replace and repeat. This part is only for bikes with two side by side wheels or axle bikes. Coop and Al got along great and Al sent us on our way with a no charge. Thanks Al your a good man and you helped me back up onto my pedals. Set up camp not to far away under a telephone tower. Not to bad of a first wk only 51 more to go. !

October 3, 2009

Trenton, NJ is so beautiful this time of year.

Day 1
Carlos and Nick dropped me off in the parking lot of the first of what I'm sure will be several strip malls so I could load up all my gear. Somehow everything fit in the back of the rickshaw, and I rolled out of South Plainfield, New Jersey at around 1:15. Got a little turned around at first, but eventually found my way again. So far there seems to be much fewer hills than I've been used to in NYC. No one has talked to us yet, but I expect that will change soon. It's my first day out here, and I've already had my first big test: the chain fell off the rickshaw. In times like these it's good to have friends, as my good buddy Katzander hooked me up with some knowledge over the phone, helping me to replace the chain and get back out there. Wasn't sure exactly where I was when it started to get dark. Eventually I pulled off onto a dirt road and set up illegally next to the Raritan River near South Branch. I figured I had gone about 20 miles. Made pasta for dinner. The combination of first-day nerves and Cooper's monstrous snoring prevented me from getting a decent sleep.
Day 2
Got up with the sunrise and broke down camp while making oatmeal. After I dumped the oatmeal in the pot I forgot to turn down the flame, so everything boiled over and soaked my burner before the oatmeal was finished. Two years of fancy culinary education in New York and there I was, eating undercooked oats. Today's ride saw many more hills and fewer buildings. The recession doesn't seem to be affecting many of the nice homes I saw where lots of remodeling is taking place. Besides that, lots of stables and cornfields. Pulled into New Hope, PA, where I stopped at a farmer's market for some fruits and vegetables. I met Susan, the lady running the market, who graciously invited me to stay on her couch. The directions she gave me showed that her home was off my path, but I was grateful for this first offer of kindness. Most of the way there was uphill. My body was getting tired and I wasn't making good time at all. About 10 minutes from her place I stopped for an apple and met a guynamed Eddie who liked my ride and invited me to his place only a mile away. He also offered to help me with a few mechanical problems I was having with the rickshaw, so I took him up on it. The night turned into a welcome surprise of poker and beer with Eddie and a big group of his friends (an eclectic mix of teachers, masonry workers, and even a statistician), and the hot shower in the morning was definitely much needed. His next door neighbor, a German gentleman named Klaus, noticed the rickshaw and got really excited. He even gave me a few bucks and some joint oil for my aching knees.
Danke schön, Klaus!
Day 3
Eddie and the boys turned me on to a more level route than what I had planned, so I backtracked past New Hope and down to the Tow Path, which is an old Donkey trail from the early 20th century that runs along the Delaware River. The nice thing about this path for me is that it's strictly for bikes and pedestrians, so no cars to deal with. Cooper had a limp in the morning, so I took him to a vet. His paw is sore, probably due to a sticker or something. They gave me some antibiotics for him to prevent any infection. Cooper being on the DL means that he has to ride in the seat all day, so it was a good thing my new route is all flat. So far the ride is nice as I roll into Trenton to get him looked at further if necessary. I set up camp off the trail next to the river, made a small fire, and cooked up some rice, vegetables, and potatoes. Good eats, and this time no water boiling over!