Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
They are always with me, the stars. Steadfast companions watching the night, protecting from above. I am reassured every night in the tent when I see them, an expansive canvas of white blips on a calm Black Sea. I always look forward to going to bed after a long day. I often muse about the attitude reversals that take place over summer / on a trip like this. During much of the school / work year, I appreciate sleep, but I’m not eager to go to bed, their is always one more project. On the road, I place a greater priority on getting into bed. Another interesting example: I am simultaneously thrilled and concerned when I ask myself, “what day is it?” How could I forget such a thing. During the typical year I am highly in tune with time; it is a requirement of the society I involve myself with. How can that subconscious rigor so quickly slip away over the summer? Fascinating.
Today was a good day to ponder these thoughts and more. It was the first and only day I spent completely on the Erie Canal Trail. It is dry, hardpacked, silty gravel. Easy to maintain a good speed, but incredibly dusty. On the downside, it can be rather mundane. No navigation to do, few landmarks - and this is more a product of New York than anything else - but it is so flat. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy flatness I’m riding, but the scenery is simply not the same. Mountain vistas in NH and VT provided thrills and daylong entertainment.
The day was mostly uneventful, I had a complete breakdown at a coffee shop / cafe 10 miles in, reading a whole Car and Driver mag and generally spending too much time. As a result of that, I arrived to Medina around 8:00.
Medina is beautiful, the archetype example of an economically (at least at one time) fruitful canal town. Old buildings and churches abound. After a lovely dinner in town at Zambistro I pedaled the few stray miles to the WarmShowers. At this point it was after dark, and I was somewhat doubtful that I had found the right place. Flashbacks to last night began to roll in my mind, but I decided just to set up camp in the large field, and put my bike under the pavilion. The air was cold as I settled into my warm sleeping bag, lulled into sleep by the soft glow of the stars.
TM: 6:07, AVS: 11.4, TM: 70.3