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myspectaqlaryr
13 February 2010 @ 02:39 pm
My mission in life at this point is to take the time I have been given to create focus and effect change.
Throughout Joanna's illness and before before recovered, I told the universe that if she was returned to me, to a healthier and more complete life, I would in return give the universe (God as some of you will see it) part of my life in payment.... She was returned nearly wholly, so now I give of myself as much and as often as I can, largely in the form of these bike rides.

The two causes I chose to work for were Alzheimer's ((which claimed my Dad in 2006) and AIDS (which has claimed too many friends and loved ones over the past 25 years).

I send you notices and updates to update to those who have known and lost friends and family who suffer from these afflictions.

If these updated and announcements are irksome, annoying, or otherwise a pain to you, do not hesitate to tell me. I will immediately take you off the list for any and all future mailings. My purpose is never to tax your time or patience, but to keep you updated and involvolved.


In 2010, I am proposing 11 rides in all......

RIDE 1 - My AIDS ride again this year will once again be AIDS LIFECYCLE - the 545 mile trek from San francisco to Los Angeles. My ride this year will be dedicated TO and in honor OF Antonio Vaccaro- the late husband of my friend Michael - who was in my production of Midsummer Night's Dream. ANTONIO was lost to us in late December of 2009....

Though I am the front man and rider for TEAM ANTONIO, I will - as I did last year - ride with the name of anyone you'd like to honor written somewhere on my arms or legs.....

I am registered at the official AIDS/LIFECYCLE 9 website (I am Rider #6007) and have a direct donation page set up where you can make your donations....

http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/AIDSLIFECYCLE9/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=1878982&pg=personal&fr_id=1220

April is officially being declared "The Drive to the Ride". Michael and I will be gathering interest, support, and effort in a concerted manner until the and through the ride in June, but with particular zwal throughout the month of April. Parties and appearances as well as a garage sale at my house.. Those of you who have been pinched in the current economic climate can help by going through their closets, basements, attics, garages, and storage spaces and donate the stuff you no longer need to the cause.



RIDES 2 thru 11 - My approach this year to my Alzheimer's ride (again is support of the Alzheimer;s Foundation of America) - rather than another solo transcontinental ride - is to take my approach to a new level. Over the next five years I want to organize one-day century rides (100 miles) in each of the 50 states - initiating rides in 10 states each year over the next five years. The new wrinkle in my rides for this year is that I will be courting local riders in each state (at first, 10 - 25 riders) who would be willing to bring at least $100 to the Alzheimer's cause). Limiting the number of riders allows us the fly under the radar in terms of needing permits or disturbing the normal day-to-day functioning of the towns or cities in which the rides take place.

I'd like to find a 25 mile circuit to ride around and through participating towns allowing less accomplished riders to participate but not be obliged to complete all 100 miles of a century. Additionally, riders could participate by riding virtually - either by riding a stationary bike at a local gym or in their homes.

So, if you have a bike, friends with bikes, a gym, a town, a bike path, a way to bring $100 to the cause, be in touch.

Thanks for hearing me out. I hope you find a way to become a part of what I'm trying to do...


Lon
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
29 December 2009 @ 05:10 pm
with each other

with those in need

so... this spring I need 99 more cyclists to join me for all or part of an inaugural New York century ride -

part of LestWeForget 2010 - the Year of Ten Centuries......

10 states - I'll handle New York - anyone want to volunteer to establish a small ride like this in their state?

100 miles each state - a circuit of 25 miles so riders can ride what they can - 1,2, 3, or 4 times

100 cyclists each state (at least) - let's grow from that number

$100 dollars in their hands (at least) - not a fortune and very doable



.... be in touch .....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
out of the house early and a circuit 30 miles south and north and ....looked like rain.... but didn't.... load up the car and head to Vero Beach my new stop.... got a half mile and realized I hadn't loaded the bike on the rack.... now on to Vero Beach.... then the rain came.... and as is Florida's way the rain came for 2 hours then went.... sun emerged as I reached Cape Canaveral.... I hate doing the ride this way.... my energies and focus scattered.... but loners can't be choosers.... as I near Vero Beach I scope out the 30 mile course I'll be riding tomorrow.... quiet, flat, A1A along the ocean, and Rt. 1 into Vero.... arrive late afternoon at Uncle Ronnie's.... Ronnie - my Mom's kid brother.... with whom I had nor spoken to in 23 years.... that silence was broken by a phone call last year - while I was pedaling across the country.... Ronnie called me to congratulate me on the task I was undertaking and confessing his envy that I was doing all the things he wished he had.... and to tell me that he had learned to use a computer in order to follow my blog (which embarrasses me posting this so late - sorry everyone - sorry Ronnie).... Ronnie and his wife Joan greeted me, welcomed, me, fed me and regaled me with stories of both their pasts, showed me pictures of my forebears, and took me on a guided tour of their complex.... Joan is a sweet, attentive who was ever - and I mean EVER - offering me a piece of fruit, a second helping, something to eat, a piece of candy.... they love having company.... Ronnie is as proud a Dad as can be... a Master bridge player.... I feel bad - as having to deal with the shifts and cancellations has me spending as much time if not more trying to arrange housing and such down the road...... where to stay, where I'll ride, media, mileage.... blogging - again, as evidenced by the horrific delay of this final blog - took a back seat.... Ronnie is the family historian (on my Mom's side).... I had long forgotten that my great grandfather competed as an endurance cyclist.... in a pre-stationary bike world, he would ride on a stage with cyclists whose rear wheels were up on blocks.... genetics - still not sure if I find comfort or conflict in this.... something more and more apparent every day.... and the more I talk to Ronnie, the more it becomes clear.... and vague.... Ronnie and I are the "intellectuals" of each of our generations.... very much the outsiders.... he is a devout atheist (an oxymoron, I admit) and I a dissatisfied agnostic (one day, those of you who don't know it, let me tell you my theory of religion and spirituality using the Pittsburgh Model.... it becomes evident Ronnie is checking off his "list" vicariously through me.... I do hope he manages to get to New York so I can take him to Ellis Island.... he is one of my angels, my inspirations, my guides.... off again to Starbucks... and another night of deep slumber....

up in the morning and off to do 30 miles north of Vero and back.... gray morning - bit of a mist.... let me talk about mailboxes.... people love their mailboxes.... why had I missed this phenomenon...? mailboxes in the shape of, in the arms of, perched upon, embedded in manatees, dolphins, pelican, conch shells, flamingos.... .... .... .... the things that fill my brain while I pedal.... the sun never emerges this day.... the gray prevails.... the cycling is the easiest part of this year's ride.... logistics are my burden and my demon.... I find I'm living in my head more than drinking in what surrounds me.... I'm at the party but not talking to any of the guests.... back to the car.... then to Starbucks- coffee and planning, coffee and planning.... .... .... .... I miss my friends.... I hope I hear from or see those who have been my angels in the past.... I appreciated you when you helped me before - I cherish you now.... only now do I fully realize how much they were the stewards of my spirit as much as my possessions.... ah, offer of housing in Ft. Lauderdale.... back to Ronnie's .... dinner and more talk.... tonight's topic - the fidelity waiver clause (I'll explain it to anyone who doesn't know what it is - think "the list" episode of "Friends").... on Uncle Ronnie's list....? Valerie Bertonelli - you scalawag.... who'da thunk...? interestingly, found out when my Mom was young, she harbored quite the little crush on a semi-famous B-movie actor of the day.... his name...? LON McAllister.... always thought I was named after the kid on the Mickey Mouse Club.... at least that's what I was told.... thinking Mom snuck that one by my Dad.... a good night of company... off to sleep....

up and out to do the 30 miles south of Vero and then back.... this time along Rt. 1 - I am ever her slave....at this point, a more commercial more congested road.... today's ride is more business than art, more perspiration than inspiration.... today my job is riding.... 30 miles out and back.... bike on the back of the car.... off to Ft. Lauderdale....sun is out and it is truly Florida - as one thinks of Florida at this point.... have to wait for my evening's host to get out of work.... so I park at a Dunkin Donuts and pedal around.... I'm under 200 miles now.... my host Cindy calls and lets me know I'm clear to make my way to the house.... so nice to have company again.... and all the amenities of home.... internet, cross-breezes, home-cooked meal, conversation.... and Eileen .... a sweet lady - a Maltese, born with only three legs... named - Eileen.... as often as possible her head finds it's way under my hand.... one of the nicest nights of my trip.... makes me miss my Aggie and my Joanna....

breakfast at Gramma's (once on the Food Channels "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives).... amazing breakfast.... taking the day off, but Cindy has offered to drive tomorrow's path.... this is my last day off.... as of tomorrow, I pedal 'til the end....my biggest food indulgence of the trip - a stop at - of all places - Arby's for the decadence that is a Jamocha shake....an amazing fish dinner ... a day of indulgence.... 197 miles left .... 4 days....

up and out and across the bridge to A1A again.... along the very Miami coast of Florida.... stop for brunch on South Beach.... among the beautiful people.... in spandex, I held my own - well, not literally.... back on the bike and met a fellow cycling enthusiast who guides me along through the remainder of Miami and on toward Coconut Grove.... see a bike shop ... and despite the odd noises my gears are making, I'm compelled to keep going.... on - along Florida roads that that fall away quietly as the sweat trickles down my back and temples.... my sunglasses fog and clear intermittently.... my hands now and again stiffen and numb.... as do the arches of my feet.... a dull ache in my lower back.... as I reflect....


this is my hobby

my joy


no wonder my wife rolls her eyes.... ....



as is my pattern, I ride 'til I feel I can go no further (ask me about the Smith & Weston Theory of Can't).... and back to Coconut Grove.... pedaling miles I said I couldn't... stop at the bike shop I saw.... and while I seek out the local Starbucks.... I've forgotten that it's Sunday.... and there I find a Sunday New York Times.... the crossword puzzle...! I am in heaven.... yet wishing I was home.... Coconut Grove is my Eden - if only for a moment.... the kind sir at the bike shop replaces my cables for free.... Cindy picks me up ... I have pedaled 61 miles today... and there are now 126 miles left.... Cindy is a temptress... she brings me to Jaxson's - an ice cream mecca where I have an amazing coffee milk shake.... it's a joy the things I can eat after 60 - 75 miles of cycling a day.... one more night with Eileen's furry self at the foot of the bed.... thank you Cindy for being such a gracious host, tour guide, and escort.... sleep.... and Keys in the morning....

Gramma's for breakfast again. then off to Key Largo in the car....flat becomes flatter, as everglade and marsh emerge more and more to then become ocean and isle.... to the Starbuck's at mile 104 (the Keys are marked and known by what mile marker you're at).... bike off the car and onto the road .... the Keys have a wide sidewalk/bike path for much of it's length.... 19 miles leave me with 107 to go.... my host in Key Largo is in Miami and will be home late afternoon.... love the feel of this place.... as afternoon ebbs and twilight usurps the sky, I arrive a Jim's house.... just over the bridge from the mainland.... his house on a channel, leading to the open ocean.... an expatriate feel.... the edges of the water doted with boats and lobster traps, buoys and pelicans.... the reflection of single lights in the channel water.... Jim's house is a way station.... not just for me, but on this night other friends .... a cultured environment, but so laid back... peaceful, but tinged with just the right amount of sarcasm.... in Jim, I have reached 5 degrees of separation for the first time ever.... the deepest connection ever on these rides.... from me to Jason, who hired me as an actor, then as a director - Jason to Connie, a woman who lost her Mom only a few months ago to Alzheimer's - Connie to Patti, a writer working on book about the people who act as caretakers their loved ones who have Alzheimer's - Patti to Jim, who went to high school in New Jersey with Patti.... asleep early tonight.... will be up at 3 to watch the Leonid meteor shower......

up in the middle of the night.... strolling down a darkened street in my pajamas and sandals.... the clouds open a proscenium to the south..... in one hour I witness 5 stray streaks trying to sneak by me.... lonely travelers too.... back to bed.... 107 miles call....

up and out and luckily the car is being forwarded by Jim and a friend to the motel I'm staying at in Marathon - my next to last stop.... a 56 mile day.... late start.... my meteor viewing has slowed me a bit.... crab Benedict at a fine local eatery Jim suggested.... quickly out of Key Largo.... my world is more water than land at this point....time slows.... riding is easy and safe as there are bike trails for the lion share of the ride.... other cyclists along the road.... asking me how many miles today.... if they only knew.... .... .... .... sad to see this coming to an end.... sadder that I am alone.... more bridges.... more keys.... turquoise water is nearly iridescent at this point... every time I cross a bridge, I am accompanied by a squadron of pelicans.... life is lazier.... pedaling quickly seems a crime.... call from Kathy - of John & Kathy .... friends of Mike & Sue. friends from Chicago....Kathy & Jon own a small hotel at mile marker 51.... I'm told my key will be in the room.... even starting late, the miles fall away quickly.... I even slow down, rest more often, delay the inevitable, fight he end.... no way to get the car from Marathon to Key West at this point - else I'd consider pedaling to key West today.... so at 1:45 in the afternoon, I reach the Anchor Inn - I sit on the edge of the bed - silent, still.... tomorrow is the end.... I've been so busy - biking sure, but preparing, training, bargaining, cajoling, coercing, rationalizing, enduring - never imaging the end coming so quickly, so silently.... no internet at the Anchor... so off in the car to the only source of for the internet in Marathon - McDonald's.... who knew my cycling across the country would lead me into a fast food restaurant - three times.... endurance cycling creates odd places, times, conditions.... off to bed early.... perhaps another shot at a shooting star.... awake again at three again down a darkened street and looking at a still sky.... save one scratch across the firmament.... one meteor - one day left.... back to sleep.... places for the finale....

packed up and ready to hopscotch the last 51 miles.... drive 20, cycle 20, drive 12, cycle 14 (an amazing north then south cross of the 7 Mile Bridge), drive to the hotel in Key West, cycle 9 north, then 8 miles back.... to the hotel.... where it catches up to me finally.... I'm sobbing and I'm not sure why.... it feels selfish.... I want this ride to have meant more.... I've thought long and far about how infamy get press.... and how I envy Extreme Home Makeover, Oprah, & Ellen Degeneres.... I would do this anonymously if it meant people better understood the reason behind what I did... thoughts racing through my head.... every time I think to stop, I somehow am pushed forward.... ok, pull it together Lon..... out on the bike.... one last mile calls.... half a mile later I stop at Ernest Hemingway's house.... he wasn't there.... on to the road and the last half mile.... and in an instant, it was done.... then quickly over to the pier on the southern side of the key....at 6:41 - it seems the sun also sets.... and as I promised, a margarita and conch fritters.... I was lucky enough to have company at dinner , a Key West citizen that made sure that after 2 margaritas - after not having had alcohol in several months, made sure I got back to my hotel.... but not before I got "the best key lime pie" a claim that happens as often as "the Original Ray's Pizza" does in New York..... tired, tattered, torn, a touch tormented, and a tad toasted... asleep by 9:30.... done.... dreaming....

woke late - 8 a.m. .... put on non-cycling clothes, packed up, and in the car to retrace in minutes and hours what had taken me a month.... had the iPod cranked up.... couldn't drown out my thinking.... didn't want to do this.... but I start planning/brainstorming a ride for next year.... today I drive it had taken me 10 days to cycle.... Jacksonville is my end point for the day.... wanted to get out of Florida, but I'm exhausted.... weary from thought.... the "shoulda, woulda, coulda's" of the past 6 weeks....

but a plan for next year....

do I do this kind of ride again?

maybe differently.....

wrestling with the fact that the notoriety this creates frightens me... scares me.... the cause transcends me but sometimes like I'm seeking the attention....

I have to find another way....




I flat out miss home.... the puppy, the house, the other half of my heart... amazing their tolerance my dreams....

day after tomorrow I'm home....


late dinner at Waffle House

I don't remember the rooms Ive stayed in anymore.... at least individually .... it's all one big collective room....

goodnight....


up and out.... tomorrow I'll be home....a little over 800 miles left.... sparks, shorts, crackles...... my brain won't stop.... where to ride.... when to ride..... how to ride.... to have the event draw more attention, drawing the funds it so needs.... the iPod gremlin haunting me.... each song some reminder ot re-reminder of my state of mind.... car on cruise as my mind races.... as the seed of an idea emerges.... not A ride.... not ONE ride.... but rideS.... .... 50 of them .... one in each state.... - a century (in cycling terms a century is 100 miles) in each state.... .... a not just me.... invite others.... 99 others.... ride a century with me... have each rider bring $100 to the cause.... .... .... ....

can't organize 50 rides in one year.... .... .... ....

could probably do one in New York .... after all I live there....

Massachusetts.... I'm from there....

New Jersey ... I'm near there...

Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, California... I have a solid base of friends there

Florida and South Carolina.... I made solid connections there....

so....

how about in 2010 I organize and establish what will be annual rides in 10 states...

then again in 2011 - 10 more rides in 10 more states....

and again in 2012 (well, if the world doesn't end)....

and 2013....

and 2014....

establish a legacy....

not a point to point ride... but a circuit.... of 25 miles, so less confident , yet well-intentioned riders could do one lap.... or two... the hardier riders doing 3 or 4 ....

every rider bringing $100 to the cause.... 100 riders.... a $10,000 day in ten states.... $100,000



damn, my feet are cold.... I guess I should have packed more than bike shoes and sandals.... I've travelled north enough now to be reminded that it's autumn....

the legacy rides idea haunts me now.... I was told I don't get a bug in my head....


I get an ant farm....


who can I tap for resources.... how much can I feasibly do in a year...


"go confidently in the direction of your dreams - live the life you've imagined".... Thoreau and Me.... him living alongside Walden Pond.... me along I-95....

"what would you attempt to do if you could not fail?"

"be the change you wish to see in the world".... yeah, Gandhi, Dulcinea, and Me (don't hate me for my Oxford coma)...

I'm in an imaginary philosophical buddy film and road pic now ...


Jo's gonna hate me - and love me - for this....

so here I am am , well, Dulcinea and me.... driving along.... looking for windmills to tilt at.... amidst the combined symphony and cacophony this is my thoughts.... when al of a sudden it is 13 hours later ... and the magical kingdom of Richmond, Virginia looms on the horizon....at home lies only 394 miles away.... to sleep.... sleep well, dream inspired, rise to return home....

up and out early.... breakfast at what will be my last Waffle House for a while.... into traffic .... and the Northeast Corridor.... DC... Baltimore - where I lose an hour at the tunnel.... Delaware and its very ardent, humorless state police.... New Jersey ... so pretty that people insist on standing still on the turnpike (ok, I haven't lost my sarcasm)....a ride of 5 and a half hours becomes 8.... seems you can go home again.... just it's a hell of a commute.... late autumn lands in my lap with a thud.... but the home fires burn for me.... and the lights I ever have waited for in my window signal me home.... my lighthouse.... my beacon....cut through the night.... and I am home



Canada to Key West
pine cone to palm frond
pine tree to palmetto
puffins to pelicans
moose to key deer
rocky coast to sandy key
bridges high and bridges low
ferries quaint and mighty
rain cutting and steamy
boots to sandals
harried to mellow
lobster rolls to conch fritters
hot coffee to frozen margaritas
temperate to tropical



Routs 1, 17 , and A1A.... my mistresses... my misery.... my plan.... my penance.... my ritual.... my reward


thank you Jo, Phyllis, Rachel, Lanny, Elena, Vivian, James and Jim, Kris, David, Brett, Melissa, Joan, Scott, Vanessa, Connie, Proctor, Patti, Lee, Micki, Maurice, Ella, Lorraine & Lou, the Tinaris, Dawn and her whole family, Laura, Ronnie & Joan, Cindy, Eileen, Julie, Mark & Chrissy..... my hosts who provided housing, those at restaurants and bike shops and roadside stops who assisted me, those unnamed who gave me relief, comfort, and aid....


Lisa, Angie, Mark, Paola, Hal, Michelle, Hollywood, Emily.... I missed you being a part of it this year....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
Maine (x)
New Hampshire (x)
Massachusetts (x)
Rhode Island (x)
Connecticut (x)
New York (x)
New Jersey (x)
Delaware (x)
Maryland (x)
Virginia (x)
North Carolina (x)
South Carolina (x)
Georgia (x)
Florida


when we last left our hero, he was stranded outside of Jacksonville, NC without an escort vehicle to advance me to my next stop.... my prayers and positive thoughts (challenging to summon up at points) were answered by Ella.... the manager of the Best Western I've been staying in....

I advance to Holden beach.... and Lorraine & Lou.... Lou is the grandfather of 2 of my former students.... a lovely couple/ lovely home.... they fed and housed me and talked to me of NY and their youth..... of Dead end kids and tenament flats....... a little NY in the Carolinas.... made me homesick....


up in the morning, breakfast at the clubhouse, and 70 or so miles into Myrtle Beach..... the road gets flatter and straighter.... I pass thru the town of Calabash.... I learn that there actually a for real Mrs. Calabash (those of you who know Jimmy Durante will know the reference).... I've been given refuge at the the Caravelle.... the local Myrtle Beach TV station does a story on me.... again the desk clerk advances my bag to Charleston.... I sleep well knowing I am taken care of and will be meeting up with Joanna tomorrow....

wanna make god laugh....? tell him your plans.... out early and head to Georgetown... but get a flat... and another... and a third.... and a forth.... my new good friend Sokol takes me into Georgetown to a bike shop ... well, to where a bike shop is supposed to be.... it has closed... without hesitation Sokol takes me into Charleston.... which was in its way an unforeseen blessing as Rt. 17 was ripped up for 20 miles and would have been like ride over railroad ties and scattered bricks.... seems a burr developed in my rear rim.... tore up my back tire and the 4 inner tubes.... bike repaired ... I spend the rest of the day making up the miles in Charleston.... then head over the bridge toward my hotel... again donated by good souls... I meet Dan who offers to take me the 5 miles up the interstate to my hotel... great family, great dog (I miss my Aggie).... the girl at the desk looks like Cameron Diaz... pleasant way to arrive.... an hour later Joanna arrives.... amazing the safety and love that can be packed into one little red-headed hellcat..... my inspiration, my annoyance, and my fellow 5 year old in thought..... a shower and into Charleston to Magnolia....... both the city and the Restaurant are .... awe-inspiring....... what a great night......

out and off to Beaufort..... road flat and shaded and relatively barren.... then road construction - again.... and no shoulder on the road...... was saved again by angels who rode me past the construction and into Beaufort... a beautiful. sleepy southern town - half in hibernation.... rode around until Jo & Phyllis caught up to me... we toured the historic district, had lunch and headed into Savannah.....

reached Savannah just after sunset.... went to great restaurant - sweet and friendly piano player.... even got contacted by the TV station in Savannah.... getting interviewed tomorrow....

up early... backtrack to where I finished yesterday.... ride into Savannah over the bridge.... then over to Paula Dean's restaurant to make reservation.... then a a ride around Savannah.... beautiful city... I'll be back here....
back to the hotel and out to a late breakfast... the interview... and a trolley tour of the city.... past Forrest Gump's bench... and ever so many location from locations seen in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"... and Jones St - from whence "keeping up with the Jonses" derives... 24 squares around which one sweet city revolves... off to Paula Dean's restaurant... and I gotta tell ya... not great.... then off to Savannah Smiles - a dueling piano bar.... great place .... fun way to end the day...tomorrow we drive to Jacksonville....

start the day reconfiguring how to do this trip because my escort is now unavailable to me - so IU have my car and my bike.... so the plan is to go to every other planned stop for 2 day.... first day - a 60 mile circle to the north, the second day a 60-mile to the south.... will be doing this in Jacksonville, Daytona, Vero Beach, West Palm, Miami, Key Largo, and Marathon..... no linear but miles nonetheless.... so today is a rest day... with stops on the quaint St. Simon's and Jeckyll Island.... the coastal islands are a vacation in themselves .... will be back here when not in such a rush....... late dinner at - Finally - WAFFLE HOUSE....

up and out for breakfast.... packed and to the airport... too short a time to have Joanna - blessed no matter how little tie it was.... first 60 mile circle - to the north.... finshed and off the Daytona.... the towns still are in off-season mode... the temperature and humidity rise....

in Daytona - thank you Patti for Trish... thank you Trish for Laura.... thank you Laura for the use of the house... I sleep like the dead on this trip....

wake up.... ride an hour... breakfast... help a damsel in distress.... and out on the road again....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
Maine (x)
New Hampshire (x)
Massachusetts (x)
Rhode Island (x)
Connecticut (x)
New York (x)
New Jersey (x)
Delaware (x)
Maryland (x)
Virginia (x)
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida



.... the miles don't flow easy this year.... easier to cycle.... tougher to arrange.... in Cape May, as every other town along this trip, it is off season.... darkened shops, restaurants boarded over, boats lifted from the water.... tarps stretched over hibernating patio furniture.... those visiting the handful of shops open for a few hours a day on these shortened days... I am among the youngest inhabitants of Cape May this night.... Congress Hall.... a hotel in the quiet tradition on the grand tradition of Newport or the Hamptons..... dark wood bar and friendly patrons.... offers of housing further along my path from newly made friends and fans.... off to sleep in a quiet cloistered darkness....


.... up long before the sun... none of the three local car services are available to take me through t
he deluge to the ferry.... finally woke an enterprising owner of a one cab cab company.... who posed an interesting thought.... if we're depleting the oil from the planet, are we removing what lubricates the tectonic plates....? on to the ferry.... and the rain continues.... asked to be cautious while wearing my "fancy dancin' shoes (my bike shoes) .... even as I arrive in Delaware.... met by a reporter..... Tony Russo of the Bayside Gazette.... who was kind enough to carry my bags forward to Pocomoke City, MD.... as I set off into the rain.... if it ain't rainin', it ain't trainin'.... through the delaware beach communities.... and onto Maryland... into Ocean City... a town with its own fabulous kitsch going... which demands an answer to the question, "what is it that links together pirates, Jurrasic Era dinosaurs, and miniature golf?" .... turning inland toward Pocomoke City.... it gets warmer.... and for the first time, I remove layers.... less color in the trees.... I have outraced the autumn.... crosswinds get to me for the first time.... just at the right time, I reached Pocomoke City.... the lady at the front desk finds a fine gentleman who agrees to advance my bag to Virginia beach...odd that sometimes am so ready to speak about all of this.... and other times JUST WISH PEOPLE WOULD GET IT.... FACE THIS DEMON CALLED ALZHEIMERS.... tonight I eat dinner quietly.... this trip gets quiet and quieter.... more and more reflective.... the winds cross me.... and the bike... white noise that removes thought like sand swept from the dunes....



up and out by 8.... today has a deadline.... and a complication.... and a need to believe that the universe will provide.... the gentleman that offered to take my bag gave me the entrance code to his car.... tried it and it didn't work.... so I left the bag behind the main desk.... and believe he'll get my notes.... and of I go.... clicked miles off quickly....out od Maryland, into Virginia.... took a bathroom and hydration break (best not to confuse these ) at 27 miles....gassing up his car ... the gent with my suitcase - the universe indeed provides.... not sure if mile markers (or lack thereof) are a help or hindrance.... by 1:15, I have biked 73 miles.... across the entire Delmarva Peninsula to the toll booth of the Chesapeake Bridge and Tunnel.... a 17-mile ride with Maurice - amiable and content... with a daughter who's asking for a puppy.... who's always dreamed or coming to NYC.... so he's been invited.... a sucker for anyone who wants to fulfill a dream deferred.... 15 more miles to the hotel... arrived to learn that my bag had indeed arrived... but no one to carry the bag tomorrow.... pack out the panieres.... and a friend will be through to pick up my gear in two days.... enough essentials to last me 2 days..... on my own... and off to bed....

out early .... miles wear away.... out of Virginia, into North Carolina... heavier bike ... .warmer.... sweat trickles down forehead and back.... at a rest stop.... bathroom and hydration.... and the southern-ness of the trip starts.... NASCAR posters and promotion, pecan things... and perhaps the cutest Ill hear during this trip - ladies discussing where the cars will gather along the highway.... and the kids will get to do their "trunk or treat-ing".... how homespun.... cross the three-mile bridge into the Outer Banks.... home of wild horses, the Wright Brothers.... and local actors (that one's for you Jo).... to the hotel... the NY1 piece premieres.... i get several contacts from it.... hope it helps.... off to sleep perchance to dream....

out at 9 - 72 miles straight away, crosswinds and a very heavy bike.... fingerless gloves come out.... shorts and short sleeves .... disagreement between me and a guard rail.... bike pants are shredded on the left leg... strong cross winds.... helpful strangers.... 72 miles and Hatteras calls me to rest....an extra hours of sleep

early breakfast at Sonny's - free breakfast - thanks Universe.... one mile to the ferry.... Phyllis catches up to me....ferry across to Ocracoke,,,, 14 miles across to the southern ferry,,.. long crossing to the mainland.... early sunrise ... what with the time change.... fine meal at Sanitary Fish.... thanks to our fabulous waittress Amy.... to the Best Western in Cedar Point....

a day of rest... well, that was the plan.... trying to find transport into Wilmington... and as of 11 p.m. Monday night I still don't have it... and just when I think I have hit the end, I receive this in an e-mail....


"I'm not sure what I've "subscribed" to, as all I'm really interested in doing is getting a message to Lon about the extraordinary thing he's doing. I know only too well what his brother went through, as I am the caregiver for my wife. I am also a full time high school teacher here in NYC.
Thus, I don't have the luxury of "free time" to surf blogs. I happened to have NY1 on while I was feeding my wife her breakfast and when I heard that NY1 was going to announce their New Yorker of the Week, something inside me knew that it had to do with Alzheimer's even before they started the segment. I, of course, can't do anything as dramatic or attention catching as biking from Maine to Florida. Being a language teacher, I am writing a book of bilingual poetry about the illness' impact, annotated with journal entries that are intended to give context to the poetry. On the more immediate level, I'm inserting information about Alzheimer's disease into my lesson plans, and having the students study it, write essays about what they've read and become more aware of the illness. With one diagnosed every 70 seconds (I also had read somewhere that it was every 15 seconds) and no cure in sight, plus the trillions of dollars for Bush&Cheney's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will be up to my student's generation to take to the streets and demand that the money needs to be spent for health care not further senseless misery.
Lon, if you do read this message, and if and when you're in Brooklyn, I welcome you to our home. I would also like to send a caregiver to caregiver message of solidarity to your brother for standing by your father, and not succumbing to the desperation of want to just walk away from the stress, and soul-felt wrenching pain that strikes us in the depth of the night, when we're all alone with our loved one and only the walls around us for comfort. It's you, Lon's brother, that also deserves to be recognized for the care and the love for your father that kept you going on the hardest task of your life. You too, will always find a warm welcome in our home."


I still don't have any way to transport my gear..... but I endure......

tomorrow is another day....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
27 October 2009 @ 09:26 pm
Maine (x)
New Hampshire (x)
Massachusetts (x)
Rhode Island (x)
Connecticut (x)
New York (x)
New Jersey
Delaware
Maryland
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida


left over from Day 14 - was up and out early... across queens, faster than last year... south through Manhattan... to the Staten Island Ferry.... across New York Bay.... by the statue of Liberty.... across Staten Island.... thank you Chet- I will remember your friend Al for you... to the Outerbridge Crossing.... across .... and into Jersey.... thanx Melissa... so happy for you.... to the Jersey Shore.... flat, wind with me.... straight.... glorious.... to the home of Joan & Vincent .... great family, delightful company..... I hope all my hosts.... are like this

Day 15 - up and out and more jersey Shore....... flat and windy, and 63 miles later....... a bridge leading into ocean City.... my luggage preceding me thanx to Joan...... no internet..... so quiet, so still...... so... good night......

Dy 16 - awful rain.... and even worse.... inertia grinding me to a halt.... Scott takes me, Dulcinea, and my luggage yo Cape May.... lovely hotel with a stationary bike.... 40 miles and rest.... and dinner at the bar... where I meet bachelor uncles Jessie & Casey... also taking the ferry in the morning and offering not only transport of my gear, but housing in the Outer Banks..... I love that the universe allows me to continue to belive in its beneficence.....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
Maine (x)
New Hampshire (x)
Massachusetts (x)
Rhode Island (x)
Connecticut (x)
New York (x)
New Jersey
Delaware
Maryland
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida

well.... it's been an adventure....... planned to post and .... well, what's the expression....? "wanna make God laugh? tell him your plans...."

after a few more miles on the stationary bike, I left Danvers on Day 8.... put in a ton of miles at the gym there.... enough to make up the Danvers to Plymouth, and Plymouth to Providence legs of the trip.... got to Dawn's Mom's house in West Warwick, RI ready to tear into the new day on the road....... Sheri made me an insanely huge breakfast.... she carried my gear to New London.... lots of hills ... and the Middle of Nowhere Diner...... there should be one of those every 10 miles at some points....

the smell of burning leaves..... hills, hills, and more hills..............so chilly through the morning........ I'm feeling reticent/hesitant/faulting/failing.... not sure why.... a dear friend was available to pick up y stuff in New London .... our friendship has had more hills that the day.... but friends are people whose faults we accept and even appreciate...... as they appreciate and accept ours....

and this friend gave me my new favorite line - a treatise - and a warning - on accepting the faults of others, rising above the noise, but being ever mindful that those who push you button.... can do so because they install them....

"just 'cause the monkey is off your back.... doesn't mean the circus has left down......"

love having friends that get it.....

completely collapsed from the day and off to sleep early............

Day 9 - - - D Day - a day of great fun and great challenge..... on to the ferry..... over to Orient Point.... as the Ferry departs...... it starts to unravel........

within 30 minutes........

2 escorts who were covering 22 days of the trip.... had to cancel..... pedaled hard and fast as near to home as the daylight would bring me....

Day 10, 11 12, 13, and 14 - dedicated to rescheduling, re-planning, re-organizing, re-ducing, re-searching.... ways to get around NOT have escorts.......different ways of doing the ride.... different ways of packing.... different ways of doing what I need to do....

realizing there are no bike police.... I set the schedule, the rules, the rhythm, and the reason of this ride.......

and offers start to come in... immediately, 22 days is reduced to 13.... then 11.... now 5....

reduced my gear to one much lighter bag......

bought a cargo box for the back of the bike... it opens up to 2 saddle bags.... if I have to, I will be able to travel with 3 days worth of absolute necessities.... then ship the remainder ahead....

was selected to be and interviewed for NY1's New Yorked of the Week (NY1 is an all news station in NYC)


more later .... I'm fried....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
22 October 2009 @ 06:51 am
I am over 600 miles into the ride thus far.... but in the last 36 hours my escorts for the greater part of the rest of the trip have had to cancel on me......

thus I find myself with anyone to shadow my ride carrying my gear.....

I seem to have found coverage for the Florida leg of the trip....

starting Saturday Oct. 24, I am in need of someone to carry my gear from -

Tom's River to Atlantic City (actually Ocean City),
Ocean City to Cape May, NJ
Lewes, DE to Pocomoke City, MD,
Pocomoke to Virginia Beach, VA
VA Beach to Kitty Hawk, NC
Kitty Hawk to Ocracoke, NC
Atlantic, NC to Jacksonville, NC
Jacksonville to Wilmington, NC
Wilmington to Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach to Charleston, SC

if anyone (or anyone you know) could help, PLEASE be in touch ASAP......
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
Maine (x)
New Hampshire (x)
Massachusetts (x)
Rhode Island
Connecticut
New York
New Jersey
Delaware
Maryland
Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida


day 4 - beyond cold.... frost.... leaving a warm bed in not a treat.... my brother Lanny made his way to the house I'm staying in.... despite coming right from having a tooth extracted.... so I drove the distance to my childhood home in Danvers, MA.... odd how my house and neighbor have shrunk.... at the same time the sleepy town of my youth bustles as it never had.... Halloween decorations up.... joined a gym to make up the miles I drove .... the miles are more comfortable, but tougher - no coasting on a LifeCycle........ Mom is so old now........ sundowning.... and the accident last year.... we still will never see eye to eye - on much of anything.... my sister Linda IS my mother reincarnate - and complains about how annoying my mother has become.... I apologizes to everyone who has endured my repeating stories - Jo in particular.... seems it's a Blais family trait.... something new to work on.... as is "hating" - which I realize is really just my family commenting on anything they don't understand or share interest in.... Bit n BEAR - Mom's dog and Linda's service dog.... Bit is to time as my Mom is no food in the house.... my eating style far too weird ... they looked at things like hummus and soy like I had brought them back from Mars instead of Stop N Shop.... so much of my life in review here.... secrets and lies.... plans and fears.... and the many sides of the truth.... perception is reality.... love tempered by the tension of proximity.... slept in the room slept in ages 6-12.... the room I realized my own mortality in.... swiftly and deeply to sleep....

day 5 - up no so early.... met a niece I hadn't seen in 30 years.... one of her kids loves all things theater and performance....hmmmm.... though this is supposed to be a rest day, I can't seem to stay away from the bike.... 50 miles on the stationary bikes.... sore ass and compelled to keep cycling - the addiction has kicked in.... split my new bike pants.... 1st reward of the trip..... fried clams from The Clam Box in Ipswich....went with Mom....
was reminded of my mother-in-law towards the end of her life... Mom's hearing is gong pretty quickly.... the irony of this is immediate.... there is no anger... she can't remember hers, I can't sustain mine.... she can't.
won't refuses to remember so much.... she is simpler, slower, kinder - yet as opinionated as ever.... back home ready to settle in.... someone I had a crush on 30 years ago IM's me and suggests we go out for a drink....I remember the crush.... and the eyes.... a girl who I always remember as both tough and fragile - now the sweetest woman.... all those qualities still present in still dark, still wide, now wiser eyes.... Dunkin Donuts late - my quiet reminder of late night Bayside.... I miss home....

day 6 - slept late - very late.... day started in the afternoon.... my brother Lee, the last person you;d think could or would find at a sewing machine..... rescued my bike pants that I tore up yesterday.... quick stop to see Brian Shulz - who I was in high school and drama with 30 years ago.... quick visit and a promise of a home-cooked meal and some wine lessons next time I'm back in town.... out of nowhere a call from Rachel - tickets to see the Boston Symphony Orchestra.... into Boston - rather Somerville to first pick up Joanna - another former student and friend.... teaching "The Game"... which the more you play, the worse you get at it.... Indian food... and off to Symphony Hall.... the sounds, the hall, the audience - each a treasure.... couple next to me held hands throughout the performance - so sweet.... off to Our House - which for that night became a musician's bar.... youthful energy is intoxicating.... a dark. cold drive home.... and, of course, a stop a Dunkin Donuts....

day 7 - miles on the stationary bikes, many there asking about my every day visits from out of nowhere .... and my cause.... emblazoned on my bike clothes.... handing out cards.... meeting people that had gone to high school with my older siblings.... "where have they been?", "what's become of them?".... I smiled a lot.... dinner with my my friend Micki and a great deal of nostalgia and clarifications.... and seeing why we had been the kind of friends we had been.... and SNOW - huge, fluffy flakes for hours.... the weather this tip has been the exception to every known rule.... home and, oddly enough, a stop at Dunkin Donuts....
 
 
 
myspectaqlaryr
33 degrees.... wet, cold razors.... good chili/bad chilly.... the game.... meeting the German film-maker.... texts/messages/calls.... Port Clyde.... the stationary bike.... the Food Channel.... all things Python & Muppet (with a little bit of Derrick Clive).... amazing vegan dinner.... locked out.... frost.... Moody's.... the lovely Darcy at Bikeman.... pennyfarthing.... Pleasant Hill Road.... wind.... burning leaves.... sea salt.... tarps.... lobster traps.... stews and rolls....flashbacks of younger days.... Saco.... lovely hosts.... laundry.... home tomorrow....

day 2 - Ellsworth to Rockland....went to bed knowing snow was forecast....

woke to found worse.... no snow, but the coldest rain possible.... it felt like the sky was hurling wet, sharpened icicles at me....

quit after 5 miles,,,,

drove toward Rockland - our next stop....

stopped for coffee, stay more amazing vegetarian chili....

Elana and Vivian know all things Python...... and Elana knows the Muppets.... odd soulmates....

they are fellow Anglophiles ....

learned the game.... rules will follow....



"did you say there was a .... pig.... crawling up the side of the house"

"just the one dear?"

made our way to a house we were given use of.... beautifully placed Cape Cod on the point

went to the Mid-Coast Gym.... in the florescent light I cranked out 69 miles on a stationary bike.... no coasting........ pure miles

amazing vegan dinner - Maine seems littered with them....and organic farms...... good stuff....

made our way back to the house....

oops....

accidently switched of the electricity in the house.... luckily called our hosts and rectified the situation....

day 3 - woke up to frost... crisp air.... 39 degrees....

Moody's diner for pancakes....

Bikeman bike shop for plugs for my handlebars....

learned that the old fashioned bicycle with the huge front tire.... is called a pennyfarthing....

learned a trail that cut out a bunch of hills.... Pleasant Hill Road was just that.....

the road smoothes with each passing mile....

Maine tosses images and sensations at me.... good and bad.... the ocean, burning leaves, fireplaces, even the wind have smells....

pine needles and acorns cushion and confuse Dulcinea's tires....

Maine is going into hibernation.... tarps cover the boats, which have been lifted from the wtery berths....

cords of wood - both strewn and stacked.... await the winter which seems headed toward it headlong....

arrived in Saco at sunset....... good hosts, great comfort, AND laundry done......


my childhood home tomorrow..........



enjoying the texts and messages...... some inspiring.... some endearing.... some - well, are exactly what i need.......

be in touch......