Riding my bicycle across Vietnam
It really cements things when you cross back into the home state. I’ll be home tomorrow. The totality of the trip has been consuming. I am both ready for an end as well as not wishing to return back to normal. It’s how it always goes. In adapting to one way of life: nomadic, spontaneous, physically involved, I have switched gears from the day to day. The routine, getting up every morning and seeing something new, meeting and interacting with new people, going somewhere else. The repetition of the bicycle. These aspects play an integral part of the traveling lifestyle. I’m hesitant to reintegrate into school, being home, not going somewhere new every day.
On the other hand I am ready. It has been nearly 3 weeks on the road. I’ve done what I wanted to do, to plan and ahead of schedule. I am recognizing every day I’m by myself the missed virtues of having a riding companion. It’s lonely. Today was lonely. 5 hours on the bike don’t always come easily when you know there’s no one a few minutes ahead waiting for you at the ice cream shop. That’s not to be pessimistic. I see the values in traveling solo.
The common theme through New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio has been uneventful riding: flat, minimal scenery. I was thrilled to stop into Breakwall BBQ in Conneaut this afternoon. That was quite good. I was slow on the bike for about a 1/2 hour after. I reached out to my WS host to ask if I could use the kitchen to cook dinner, to which I received an affirmative reply. It was the last night after all, that is still sinking in! The best I could find was a Giant Eagle, I was going out with a bang. Tenderloin, mushrooms, blue cheese, zucchini, and chocolate cake. All integral parts of the last dinner. And it was great!
Another fantastic WS host as well. We talked for quite a while after dinner. I’ve been informed he’s making pancakes in the morning which I’m excited about! Tomorrow is the last day. I’m astounded. It would be untrue to totally say that “it’s all gone by so quickly”. At times like these, when writing and reflecting on the trip, yes, it has. I remember like yesterday when I came into Camden, ME after a hot day of riding, and all the culinary adventures in Portland. Etcetera. On the bike, it’s a different story, it often doesn’t feel to be going by so quickly, but rather quite slowly, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
TM: 4:56, AVS: 11.0, DST: 54.90