Taking Riding With No Hands To A New Level

Hank – We said goodbye to Leo and Bonnie and thanked them very much for hosting us. Olivia, who’s very shy, came out of her shell for Kathy and posed for a picture. We moseyed our way to Waterford, PA–hey, that rhymes. We passed a sweet-looking former schoolhouse that had been converted to a home. In Waterford we found that George Washington’s first public act was to deliver a letter to the French telling them “No trespassing” and “Get off our land.” The British claimed it at the time. The French politely declined saying, “I unclog my nose in your direction, sons of a window dresser. So, you think you could outclever us french folks with your silly, knees-bent, running-about, advancing behavior? I wave my private parts at your aunties, you cheesy-leather, second-hand, electric donkey bottom biters.” Or maybe not.

We tried to find a place to buy some wine for our friends Matt and Loretta whose house we were going to today and there was none to be had. We learned to have to go to a wine and spirits store. The closest was was in Union City, which would add a mile or so to our day’s travel. No problem. And what a lucky thing for us. Well for me.

Union City has a cool museum chock full of cool stuff. Kathy wanted some down time so I checked out the museum. The most fascinating part was the bicycle made by a man with no arms and fashioned so he could steer it with his shoulders. This has been done again but this must be one of the first. Another old bike had a very interesting mechanical brake. The brake lever pressed a metal pad onto the top of the front tire. That had to be scary. I checked out all three floors of the museum. There used to be a ton of woodworking done in Union City. It was the chair capital of the country with four chair-making companies. But that and all the other manufacturing jobs are all long gone now. This building holds the stories of Union City’s heady days, much like I’ve found with other small town museums. Days that passed so long ago that few, if any, people remain who can speak about them. Another verse in the song about the ravages of time and the impermanence of our accomplishments.

Back on the road with our gifts of wine and what a road it was. Matt and Loretta live away from the even the smaller towns. We followed a well-packed dirt road for a few miles, got back on pavement for a couple, and then back to dirt and gravel to their house. Loretta wasn’t home yet but Matt was there to greet us. He showed us to our room and made us feel at home. We got cleaned up and although we offered to help, Matt insisted on fixing a home-cooked meal by himself, which was delicious. Loretta got home right when we were washing the dishes. We stayed up and visited way too late. Tomorrow, Kathy and I just hang out with our friends.

Kathy – Today we rode 35 miles total in 80 degree sunny temps.  We are back in the hills after being spoiled with the flat lands. Our ride was a day of climbing with total elevation at 1,200 feet.  Those many steep climbs had us soaked in sweat throughout the day.  Let’s just day my thighs were burning today!  Rolling hills and farmland greeted us the entire day.  It was a pretty ride, just getting used to climbing again.  Over the next month we are in for some major climbing again on our way to Maine so this is good practice.

Bonnie and Leo were wonderful Warm Showers host providing us with all the comforts of home.  Thank you!!  Moving on with our journey next up was Centerville, Pennsylvania to see ‘family friends’ – friends that are like family,  Matt and Loretta.  It was absolutely wonderful to see them.  They are truly kind people who are extremely gracious.  We are thankful for our time with them tonight and look forward to more time visiting with them tomorrow on our day off from riding.  Not gonna lie, I was concerned about our climbing today but overall it was good.  Hard at times other times not so bad, but much better than I anticipated.  Happy to have the hilly day done though.  🙂  It was a good day followed by a great evening.  Feeling grateful.

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