Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010-06-29 Thessalon ON - Sault St Marie ON

I just say one thing: I hate strong opposite wind, really hate! In stead of make my arrival easy it made me waste hours even on descendent road! The route was short but really really hard to make it!
So now I'm very close to the United States, but still won't cross the border for now, not yet!

About photo.... nothing relevant this day

Route: 2010-06-29 Thessalon ON - Sault St Marie ON

Time: 6h34m, Distance 104,12km/64,7mi Moving time: 6h03m, Max Speed: 37km/h, Average: 17,2km/h Total: 2060,86km/1280,56mi

2010-06-28 Sudbury ON - Iron Bridge ON

This day was the longest so far, on which had quite a bad start as the only ATM you could find was in the center of the town on which made me waste 10km and had a late start.
Then the wind was mostly opposite but luckly it wasn't that strong, however as I was arriving quite late, my host Andrij picked me up when I was 15km nearby their place.
On the arrival had a great supper and a wonderful sunset on the lake. Thank Yuu very much Cathy and Andrij! Also for sharing me your photos form Iceland on which gave me more interest to visit them!

So, hope this photo make You bring peace and tranquility.

Route: 2010-06-28 Sudbury ON - Iron Bridge ON

Time: 10h11m, Distance 194,01km/120,55mi Moving time: 9h09m, Max Speed: 40km/h, Average: 21,2km/h Total: 1956,74km/1215,86mi

Monday, June 28, 2010

2010-06-27 Parry Sound ON - Sudbury ON

Back to long distance biking, this day had many rocks, swamps, lakes and forest all over the way, the road was mostly flat on which I was having an average of 27km/h, however, everything was going fine until I had the first flat on the back tire, and was little metal wire who punched the wheel! Right on the last 35 kilometers! After that the average decreased a lot, no places around, no food point, only in Sudbury could find something.
However 2 notes while I was having a snack on police officer stopped and asked my ID, checking criminal records (again), so nothing ans have a nice trip, and after a while 2 deers just crossed the road but they were so fast that didnt gave me time to take off the camera from my pocket, when wanted to take a photo was already too late. They run very elegant!

Photos are being uploaded, as tomorrow I'll have around 200km... wit will be for later. Sorry once again.

Route: 2010-06-27 Parry Sound ON - Sudbury ON

And these were the sats of the day:
Time: 8h41m, Distance 189,49km/117,34mi Moving time: 7h38m, Max Speed: 48km/h, Average: 24,9km/h Total: 1762,73km/1095,31mi

And the song for listen: Metronomy - Do the Right Thing

Sunday, June 27, 2010

2010-06-26 Barrie ON - Parry Sound ON (with forced cheating)

And so this day started vey wet and rainy almost all the time, who was made quite hard to make a decent photo from the small camera, however usually I ride faster on rainy days, the wind was good, the big urban area had gone and according to some hosts it was told me that could cycle on the highway 400, well not exactly.
I was doing such a great average, had cycled around 70km and my average was over than 25km/h, but then a police car made me stop, told me that on any road 4XX (like the 400) bicycles are not allowed, despite on the end the shoulders were quite getting wider, the shoulders were non existent on most of this highway (the 1st higway I saw without asphalt shoulders actually), so first he was taking me to the first available exlit who allowed me to continue to Parry Sound, but then he drove me to to the Parry Sound exit, however I had cycled back around 20km which was my host's place, so meaning tomorrow I'll have extra 20km (doable).
A not on this road was that my host in Barrie, Erin, made me a very nutricious breakfast that I didnt ate or drink anything, so the cereals and the extra You gave me were really powerful! Thank You!

This was taken moments ago before the forced stop.

Route (note the red part is done by police car): 2010-06-26 Barrie ON - Parry Sound ON

Time: 4h02m, Distance 88,54km/55,01mi Moving time: 3h43m, Max Speed: 47km/h, Average: 23,8km/h Total: 1573,24km/977,56mi

And the song: Radio Dpt - Heaven´s on Fire

Saturday, June 26, 2010

2010-06-25 Toronto ON - Barrie ON

After rest 2 days in Toronto on which had happened such a earthquake 5.5 magnitude, police everywhere due to the G20 conference, or simply my arrival!
Well... I had rested the most as the following days are expected to be the real challenge. As had left from the urban wild, let's see how is the wild in the middle of nowhere.
About the pedal today... despite the heavy traffic when leaving Toronto and without shoulders and again opposite wind, it was a calm route to make, the trip was short, including some unecessary extra kilometers.

So.. here is one photo of Toronto, and thank You Andrei for hosting me,despite You were having very busy days this week.

Route: 2010-06-25 Toronto ON - Barrie ON

Time: 5h44m, Distance 104,72km/65,07mi Moving time: 5h23m, Max Speed: 55km/h, Average: 19,4km/h Total: 1484,7km/922,55mi

And for listen: LCD Soundsystem - Home

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

2010-06-22 Burlington ON - Toronto ON

So, started waking up at my host's place having breakfast and still have some chat about my host's father who is in the ScreenGuard business (it's a protective sheet who helps keep the keyboard and the screen of Your laptop clean) and would show the product in universities, I went back to Hamilton for a lunch gathering on a proposed Portuguese restaurant, I had so many positive emergency replies (Once again thanks Adrian), that I should set a meeting before heading to Toronto. Thanks for joining!
During the lunch it was raining non stop and heavy rain, but as Mr Peter likes me, just gave me a bit on the begining and the rest was just a cloudy day until Toronto.
When arriving to Toronto by the shore, entered to the city centre and saw many tall fences (Thought were for construction) and Police, sirens and all the protection on the streets. If could be for my arrival, but no, it was about the G20 summit that will happen this weekend here in Toronto.

About biking, completely flat, very easy to make, despite some traffic in urban areas, but Canadians are bike friendly, so You'll not have any complaints!

Route: 2010-06-22 Burlington ON - Toronto ON

Time: 6h21m, Distance 91,06km/56,58mi Moving time: 5h39m, Max Speed: 36km/h, Average: 16,1km/h Total: 1379,98km/857,48mi

And the song: Gui Boratto - Beautiful Life

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

2010-06-21 Buffalo NY (USA) - Burlington ON (Canada)

And once again, another late night post, but these last days were been such a mess and hurry, but this time it ended up very well :)
Departed from Buffalo at around 12, after breakfast, 10 minute Jacuzzi and prepairing, and in stead of ending in Niagara Falls (40km) and due to not having any host, then decided to continue to Hamilton area!
It was soo amazing how many people were willing to host me, such a great welcome right on the moment I entered Canada! The Rainbow bridge has pedestrians crossing as well, and the funny was when some people asked me that if I was going to Canada, just replied, yeah, sure, why not? You don't? They didn't seemed American or European, so maybe they didn't knew that the countries of the European Union don't need any visas to enter Canada (or any other American country).
A note for bikers os that You to enter on the normal road side, pay 50cent toll for cross the bridge, and get a stamp on Your passport if You are accepted.
After Niagara Falls the route is very flat and the shoulders are not that wide (on route 20), another note there are plenty of cars with many international flags (due to world cup) and saw lot's of portuguese flags! Some big size! As i was cycling with Portugal football t-shirt, it was easy to recognize me (Portugal had won 7-0 to North Korea). So many greetings and there was still time to help an old man to carry his big washing machine to his place, right near Hamilton!
Another big note is that after post a message on the Hamilton group on Couchsurfing, I had lot's of accepted requests, but unfortunately I can be at only one place, so, today, I'll spend the morning in Hamilton, make a gathering somewhere in the city and then heading to Toronto.

Thank You very very much for the great welcome in Canada! Love you all!

Route: 2010-06-21 Buffalo, NY USA - Burlington, ON, Canada

Time: 08h33m, Distance 139,93km/86,95mi Moving time: 6h55m, Max Speed: 59km/h, Average: 20,3km/h

And the song: Hot Hot Heat - Middle of Nowhere

Monday, June 21, 2010

2010-06-20 Geneva NY - Buffalo NY: The first night in a hotel (and hard to find one)

So... I don't know how I should start, but is better to start on the positive side of the things!
My last minute host in Geneva, James, offered me a great breakfast in Geneva city, quite near the "Geneva" lake. And for the note, the next meal I had was only at 6PM, only drinked water on the way!
Talking about water, in the middle of the way, my bottles were empty and had not seen any food point, so I asked (again) for some water to a family who was outside home. They immediately offered me 2 bootles of fresh water and refilled mine, and they were soo great that gave me 5 dollars! I just wanted some water! Thanks a lot Dave and family! All I wanted was just a water refill!
And for the negative side... despite the opposite wind I had on the journey, I was quite delaying the ride, waiting for some positive answer from any couchsurfer in Buffalo, got some that could not host me and even delaying my arrival to 22:30 I had no other choice to find a hotel or hostel! Even that was hard to find! However this hotel has private jacuzzi and allows me to earn miles on my airline card! So... it's still a positive side!

Departing from Geneva: Gracias Ramón Y Jesus!

Route: 2010-06-20 Geneva NY - Buffalo NY

Time: 11h34m, Distance 174,41km/108,37mi Moving time: 9h36m, Max Speed: 50km/h, Average: 18,2km/h Total: 1148,99km/713,95mi

And the song: The Drums - Forever And Ever Amen

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010-06-19 Binghamton NY - Geneva NY: Sometimes the wrong road might be the right one

Now this day was really a crazy day!
After leave Kelly's (and flatmates) place, I crahsed into a strawberry festival in Owego, the GPS suggested to direct north, however as I intend to go via a big city and national road, as for what had figured, the national roads are more flat and bigger shoulders, so continued on the road 17c.
After a while, my stock of water got empty and there were no food point on the way, so I saw someone taking care of his garden. Asked him for some water and he gave me 2 bottles from the fridge, we had some chat about this trip and the other ones, and so Señor Ramón asked me if I was going to Geneva, checked on my phone, it seemed quite on the direction to Buffalo, so yeah, is not that far, I can reach Geneva tonight! So, Sr Ramón offered me a 15USD discount on his restaurants that he owns on the New York state area.
So, route changed, posted a message on facebook informing that was going to Geneva and as Adrian was online, he kindly made requests on my behalf! After few hours I had already 3 positive replies!
So... arriving to James place, I told him that I had discounts for the mexican restaurant! And by coincidence he had lunch there, but still we went there!
When arriving to the restaurant, asked if Sr Ramón was in the restaurant (as he told me hasta luego, I assumed that he was heading to Geneva), and the employee said that was his brother Jesus.
As I told him that I had met his brother on the way, and he had offered me discount for his restaurant and that he was on his yard, he just offered the entire dinner for me and my host!
We had a long night of chatting, Jesus suggested me a very Yummy "Pollo norteño" which was really awesome! A must try! And also teached me how to eat like a genuine mexican! Meaning how to pick food with a tortilla :) Yup! Something that I'll teach in Europe!
It was a really crazy day!
I tried to find the restaurants website but there are info on google as well:
Restaurant Garcia's Mexican restaurant

And this pic is quite before arriving to Geneva on a wine area.

Route: 2010-06-19 Binghamton NY - Geneva NY

Time: 10h51m, Distance 184,30km/114,52mi Moving time: 8h57m, Max Speed: 49km/h, Average: 20,8km/h

And the song: The Juan MacLean - Feel So Good

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010-06-18 East Stroudsburg PA - Binghamton NY

This route was very easy to make specially after Scranton, by following the road 11 mostly beside the river. I was convinced that there would be lot's of ups and downs but there were also water points on the way and the water is real good!
Ah, also cycled in Moscow, but there were no sign (like welcome to Moscow), so I could not make a photo of this.
About food management, seems that I should eat more as my arrival to Binghamton was quite suffering, however I'm ready for another biking day! Possibly the 1st night without couchsurfing.
I must thank Genesi and her brother for the acomodation in East Stroudsburg, and also for the cans of red bull on the way! They were a great help :)

This bridge is really big! I like!

And the route: 2010-06-18 East Stroudsburg PA - Binghamton NY

Time: 10h01m, Distance 185,47km/115,56mi Moving time: 8h47m, Max Speed: 61km/h, Average: 21,2km/h

Song of the day: The foals - This orient

Friday, June 18, 2010

2010-06-17 Brooklyn NY - East Stroudsburg PA

So, left the confusion of the big urban area and started to go to calmer, higher and colder places.
Had some lost ways on the road, but lucky the GPS had corrected me on time (I just watch it when in case). Leaving the big urban areas in New Jersey were really complicated and waste more time and kilometers. Adding this to the opposite wind... but everything is doable!

And the route: 2010-06-17 NYC - East Stroudsburg

Time: 11h07m, Distance 178,47km/110,9mi Moving time: 9h33m, Max Speed: 67km/h, Average: 18,7km/h

And the song of the day: New young Pony Club - Oh Cherie

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New York New York

Well.. So many things to see, to do, to explore and 3 days are never enough! So which means that I have to return again on the near future and save at least a week!

On the first day after my arrival, decided to explore a bit by foot and only had the chance to see just a bit of Manhattam and Central Park, by bike there was some more, despite You can see quite more in 3 hours in pedal. And any street is bike friendly, including the ones who are not listed in the cycle maps. So, if You are used to heavy traffic, You will not complaint at all.

Today is my last day here, with some rain, and is time to plan the next part until Buffalo as there will be only mountains on my way. But for sure they are doable. Tomorrow I'll let you know.

Here are some pics of New York:


Ground Zero:

Heaven for many people (is located underground):

Times Square:

Route 2010-06-15 New York city

Time: 3h33m, Distance 30,71km/19,08mi Moving time: 2h29m, Max Speed: 25km/h, Average: 12,4km/h Total: 425,84km/264,60mi

Monday, June 14, 2010

2010-06-13 Philadelphia PA - Brooklyn NY

This day started with very hot and humid morning leaving Philadelphia, and then from the km 100 until Newark was non stop light rain but at least with a very lovely temperature.
Talking about roads, well... On Pensylvania side there were bike routes and signs directing North to Trenton, however on the New Jersy side, the route was entirely made on the National road nr 1 (again) and this route despite having heavy traffic while approaching New York, is a route not recommended to make if You are a slow rider.
Also between Newark airport and Jersey City on the National 1-9 despite it doesn't say prohibited to bikes, it should sign that, specially on the Pulasky skyway. However I believed in what Viamichelin suggested to me.
About entering New York well... while was searching for a ferry to cross the river, it was not possible to do it on weekends as they were not on service, so when asking for alternatives it was told me that there was a "path" who allowed to reach New York.
But following the directions to "path" it's nothing more nothing less a metro that connects New Jersey to New York, and the price is 1,75 USD, so it's a good price considering the cargo that was with me.

The photo of the day comes from a view from the Pulasky Skyway which decided to call "The United Containers of Benetton".

And the route: 2010-06-13 Philadelphia PA - Brooklyn NY

Time: 9h53m, Distance 168,37km/104,6mi Moving time: 7h44m, Max Speed: 42km/h, Average: 21,8km/h Total: 395,13km/245,5mi

And the song of the day: LCD Soundsystem - I can change

Saturday, June 12, 2010

M: 2010-06-11 Washington DC - Wilmington DE: The Kilometer 125/ Mile 77:

So...the day was clear, route was completely flat (of course there were ups anddowns like waves) lot's of traffic and an incredible number of red lights. Between DC and Baltimore it was kinda like every mile! With all those red lights they made me stop for around 2 hours (or even more) as many of them You have to wait quite like 2 minutes, so if Youjust count30 red lights at the begining... one hour is already lost! And i was quite making a good average!
So... Again between DC and Baltimore I must say that this part is not so bike friendly and the shoulders are not that wide. From Baltimore till Wilmington via National 40 and 13, there is all the space You want, and a bit less number of red lights.
But the best part of the day was reserved near a bridge on which cycling is not allowed (as there are works in it, and also is a paid one. So, there was a police officer quite near the entry, so I asked which options I could get: Or hitchike or get a train (as none of us knew where was the train staton, the only option was hitchiking!
So, while chatting with Officer Hicks (while was talking about this trip, the others I made in the past, the countries she visited, fo kinda half hour) she stopped a truck to see if I could carry on some truck! So, one truck (was forced to) stop, and kindly was asked if the driver could get me a lift just for cross the bridge and he said ok! And now the most funny part and this! When Ms Hicks asked him where did he came from, he Just said that was from PORTUGAL! And that's were we all started to have great laughs, and what bigger coincidence that Eduardo (the truck driver) lived just 30km nearby my hometown (Óbidos-Alcobaça)! What are the chances of this to happen? Seriously! Seems like I had won the Euromillion (actually I have to check if I won something). And so carried the bike on the truck had a llttle chat, Eduardo even would take me to his place if he was living up North, anyway, just met him really made my day! What a huge brotherhood we have! Ah, when he was stopped, he thought that would get a fine (luckly it wasn't), after the bridge he had some works nearby the road, met his colleagues and the brotherhood was really big that offered me a beer and 20 dollars! Thank You very much! But I was not planning to earn money this way!
So a HUGE thank You to Officer Hicks for finding me a ride and Mr Eduardo for the ride just for cross the forbidden brigde (for bikes).
Continuing the trip and arriving to Wilmington on the sunset already (as I choosed the longer version for reach Philadelphia. And considering that cycling with a bag on my back made already some weight and don't allow the blood to circulate propperly, and also the heavy traffic that the road 13 was too heavy, I decided to stay just in Willmington and get a train to my host was it being already late. I hate cheating but safety comes first (it would be more 40km to make IF there were not paid bridges or allowing bike crossing)!

Ah, and I must thank Jon for the great week in Washington and speacially for introduce me very alternative Asian food (at least to europeans!)

So the photo of the day must be our trio: Eduardo, Officer Hicks and me:

And the route: 2010-06-11 Washington DC - Wilmington DE

Time: 11h58m, Distance 188,94km/117mi Moving time: 8h36m, Max Speed: 52km/h, Average: 22km/h Total: 226,76km/140,9mi (As You can see, lot's of stopped time due to red lights mostly)

And the song of the day: Hurts - Better than love.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Last day in DC, time to prepare the stuff for the trip

Well.. today was spent mostly re-packing, cleaning, adjusting ir order to make sure that the trip of tomorrow will be done soft and smoothly (despite the more than 200km/125mi)
So.. time to rest the most, earn some food, relax and have sweet dreams!

Talking about Washington DC, well... it's such a great city to visit! Everyone running (I guess 24 hour), nice bike trails, If You get tired You can put the bike on the metro or bus (free of charge), Water points, public museums free of charge any time of the day, easy to find any street Just by simple combination of numbers (East-West) and letters (South-North), just say where to meet and I don't even need a GPS to find the meeting point!

And here is my expected route until Winnipeg, Canada.

See you in Philadelphia tomorrow! I'll be listening football (soccer) matches if there is live broadcast on radio.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yesterday a walking day, today a little biking and GPS testing.

As today the weather was clear, it was a perfect day to try a bit of the city on bike.
The capital is very clean, very nice path/trails and the drivers respect most of the bikers by giving priority on the sidewalks for example.
There was a confusing part as entering the Pentagon city, that once I entered in their area, it was kinda hard to get out from there, as most of the exits goes directly to higways and by consequense no bikes. You can have a look on the GPS route.
Ah, taking photos to the Pentagon is not authorized, so there is no photo of the building.
So.. let's be happy with the photo of the white house in stead:

So here is the route of Washington DC (city) with the GPS statistics.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Exploring a bit of Wahington DC by foot.

As Yesterday was still kind of tired from the flight and bus trip, also after the Vietnamese dinner, I went to bed earlier, on which made me wake up at around 5AM (still a little with European time feeling), on which the sun was prepairing to rise.
So, started to walk at around 7AM, on which many people were making the traditional jogging and bike riding. Temperature was perfect today!
The walk were aound Washington monument, Capitolium, and the surrounding area. As the weater was still hot I came back to rest a bit and wait for my friend to arrive after work.
Just few moments ago had the Chinese meal most spicy ever! The lips just shake and everthing burns around! I dont know the name but it really has nothing on what You use to like to eat in a Chinese restaurant in Europe! Forget the chop-suey! Seriously! I'll ask my friend the name of those dishes!

American flag in the Capitolium

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Welcome to the United States of America

And so... The odyssey continues, left home from Lisbon, cycled to the airport, packed the bike there, check in in the airport, 8 hours of flight to Philadelphia on which i met some other Portuguese travelers over here, then catch a bus from a Chinese company, on which the buses are very bike friendly, and good price! 15USD just for the bus trip and no extra charges. Then highway to Washington DC to meet up a great friend of mine who came from Lisbon at same day, but different flights and still had time to go to the American version of the Metropolis (club in Lisbon) and had 2 cups of beer (each cup has one liter!).

Now today was sleeping and having a huge breakfast in Saints paradise on which I was the only white one, but still was very welcome by them! Great people! Now at this moment I'm having some time to chill, as the weather is very hot and humid on which makes everything heavy and lazy and just makes You want to sleep all time!

And talking about sleep, I'll take another nap!
See Ya!

Btw, this is how You can pack Your bike with just 1 euro garbage bags, and one tape, empty the tires, dismount the front wheel and seat and that's it! very simple!

My package waiting for the bus to DC

And the song of the day.... Rammstein-Amerika :)