Cromwell to Old Saybrook

We left the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell at about 10:00 this morning. I like the room, the food, the people, and the streets behind the hotel, but I don’t like the road we used to get there. There was so much traffic that we used the button at the crosswalk to get to the other side of the road. I have to thank the people who run the hotel for thinking about pedestrians. Now that I think of it, we might have worked our way past the back gate and found a quieter route. Another time.

 

As Tim has reported, it was a lovely day. The wind was behind us and there wasn’t a hint of rain. The pictures above show my impression of Middletown. Wide roads and interesting buildings. It’s fun to ride through town and I always enjoy it. We passed the bike shop this year—no need for repairs—at least that we know about.

Next (after stopping to make the post about the thin men of Haddam) we stopped (as reported) for ice cream. We often stop at the Pilot House, and we weren’t disappointed. Great ice cream!

After Joe invited us to dinner, Tim wanted to stop to buy a shirt. He left his only t-shirt in Norfolk (not on purpose of course) and the bike shirt wasn’t what he wanted to wear for dinner. We stopped in Deep River and I sat on a bench near the trike while Tim went shopping. Remember Tim’s discription of the young man who made an unfriendly gesture earlier today? I want you to know that 99.9% of the people we meet are just the opposite. Friendly and curious, with waves, beeps, and thumbs up. The pictures above show just one small episode in our daily life on the road. In the top picture Tim is returning to the trike with his new shirt. Note the two people walking behind him. In the bottom picture the man has stopped and started a conversation. He was interested in the tandem trike, and after seeing our Cornell flag related that he is in our class—the class of ’69. We didn’t know him, but enjoyed the short conversation. Travel in an unusual way and you get a chance to meet new people.

It’s possible that we could have kept going for a 50 or 60 mile ride today, but we’re glad we didn’t. It seems that the closer we get to the beach, the more we begin to feel like we are on vacation. 34 miles was perfect. We look forward to dinner with Joe and Jane tonight.

Rest Day in Cromwell

After I finished our quarter load of laundry I found a way to walk out of the Crowne Plaza Complex through the back parking lot. I made a collage of my discoveries: another cell tower, a mailbox to use as a hand background, and a wall along the edge of the parking garage for another hand shot.

After more rest and reading, we greeted Tim’s sister Margot, her husband Peter, their daughter Mallory, Tim’s brother Andy, and our friends Joe and Jane for dinner at the hotel. It was a pleasant get-together and a total change from pedaling our way through the countryside.

Tomorrow we plan to be back on the road.

Welcome Assistance

Tim told you about the wonderful help we got at Berlin Bicycle. Below are a few photographs to illustrate what happened.

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Our rest day offers time to reconsider our need for repairs. After a phone call to Bruce Miller, we ride back down the road to his shop.

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Bruce looks at the chain and confirms the diagnosis. We have stretched the chain (which isn’t surprising because our tricycle is 10 years old, and we’re not sure if we have ever replaced it). Bruce has the parts we need so he takes the back wheel and chain into the shop.

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Before we even think about what we might do while Bruce works, a velomobile pops in for a quick visit. I never learn the driver’s name but do find out that the vehicle has a battery for assists when needed, that it weighs about 100 pounds, and that the driver is going to ship it to Oregon later this summer for a cross-country ride home with a group of similar vehicles. I get to think what everyone else says to us, “I’ve never seen anything like this before!”

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After a bit more time for Shakuhachi practice and blog additions, Bruce puts the wheel back together again – with a new cluster and shiny new chain (actually several chains combined). Test rides and a bit more adjustment follow and we are ready to say goodbye. Thanks so much to Bruce and his wonderful staff. We are ready for many more miles of riding!

You can see from Tim’s posts that we arrived on Block Island today. I will continue to post the rest of our trip from Cromwell to Block Island – at a more leisurely pace than the one Tim has set.