Last Saturday our ROAM bikes came into Bremerhaven by boat and today we could finally pick them up again after four weeks (for me actually two weeks, because of my vacation in America). After unpacking, which went pretty fast, it was time for the BBQ, some chatting and thinking about our next tour.
The last couple of days in New York City were very nice. I've met a lot of people and I've been on a pub-crawl or visited a bar with bluegrass music. I've had a delicious meal at a nice Mexican restaurant and Tom's Restaurant (where Jerry Seinfeld always sits), took a walk in the park and watched the sunset at the Hudson River. In short, I've had a very god time (especially the last couple of days). But all good things must end and have to get back home, sniff...
Yesterday I went down to Starbucks for some tea and a sandwich, just a half hour work to get breakfast. This morning Bert had the good idea to go to the restaurant closely at campus. There you can just scoop it on your plate and you pay by weight. The also had free WiFi so I got to go online to get up-to-date again. After we put all the reserve parts in the truck we left for a short 40 kilometer ride to the company that was going to ship our bikes back to Europe.
This morning we first had a riders meeting to discuss our Roll over Washington and our visit to the European Union. There were around ten ROAM posters to be signed by all the riders and handed to the support team as a thank you. Finally I collected a number of photo's for the slideshow tonight at the EU.
This morning when I woke up there was a cake on the pick nick table and my bike was decorated with balloons. Today, the day we would arrive in Washington, happens to be my birthday. Last night we also received free beer from Steve, a velomobile dealer. Steve also brought a Go-One Evolution and would ride with us the final day. After some 10 kilometers we had a short break and his tires looked very soft. Turns out he never had ridden the bike and the tires had only 2 bar in them. Also the yellow sticker was still on the SPD pedals.
The landscape was getting more hilly the last couple of days. Today and yesterday there was some more climbing to do. Just after we left I heard a ticking sound ever six revolutions. I stopped and inspected the chain. Yup, a chain link was loose on one side. My repair set is probably still back in Portland, but fortunately Harry was behind me and had a chain tool. I removed to links and went on.
After I posted six blog messages online I took some time to look at the stars. It was a very clear night and there was no light pollution from nearby cities. That means that it was going a cold night (coldest so far). No problem because I have a sleeping bag that is nice and warm. Tonight was the first time I had to zip it all the way. Other nights were warm enough to leave it half opened. Also we could sleep in a hour longer because today was going to be a relative short day, only 150 kilometers, but with a lot of (short) climbs.
This morning it rained lightly for a moment during breakfast. Luckily we were sitting in a shed of some sort, nice and dry. During the cycling it stayed dry the whole day except for a half hour in the morning. Put my foam cover on and cycled shirtless. After it stopped raining and the sun started shining it looked like the road was on fire, such a nice blanket of smoke.
Because we het gained a hour yesterday we had to get up a hour earlier. My sleepy head packed everything in dark, eat and left. Together with Harry, because he had some problems with his Garmin Edge 800, so I was his navigator for today.
When we got up this morning Machiel reported that besides mice and squirrels we have some new thieves. Raccoons. A night the tried to crawl into his tent to search for food. He chased them away and also tried to chase the rest of the little thieves who were stealing our bread et cetera away. But they are pretty stubborn. When I stood like a meter away and stamped his feet and yelled, he just sat there, looked at hem like: "yeah, what do you want?". The also got away with a number of Clif Bars.