… those are my impressions of the first few days of riding due west.
Many many big birds of prey +++ big swamps with streetcrossing turtels +++ terrain is hilly – comparable with german “Taunus”-mountains +++ saw already two dead opossums on the road +++ busy chipmunks everywhere +++ beautiful wooden houses all along the way – usually standing on well moved lawns as big as two soccer-fields +++ streets often have no shoulders – and if they have the shoulder is full of broken glass +++ most car-drivers act very carefully and yield to me … only few morons scare me on purpose with their roaring trucks while passing me
Last night I stayed at Gary and Suzannes house (yes, a beautiful big house standing on a huge lawn). Gary – riding his bike – picked me up on my route to his place. He did already several U.S.-crossing in all directions. He helped me out with planning the next few hundred miles of my route and he gave me plenty of clues – as for example:
- Free refilling of iced water @ Dunkin Donuts or McD.
- If you do not find a safe place to camp, ask the local police – they often help ( do not use 911 for that!)
- “Hiker/biker”-campgrounds in national parks will always give acommodation to hikers or bikers – even if they are full for RVs and cars
- During july and august in the midwest: better get started in the morning before sunrise – that offers you some convenient miles on completely empty streets and with temperatures below the 90s
- Use floorpumps in bike-shops for free
… and many more small hints
He also convinced me to get a mirror for my helmet – I am looking for the next bike-shop.
Meeting my first two warmshower-hosts was very helpful – and it was really fun! Despite that I really like the calm evenings on campgrounds with the smell of campfires in the air and cooking my rice with garlic and beans (yummi!).