My bike trip from Boston to NYC was ill-fated, which is sad, and I'm back home in NYC. But at least I get some days to catch up.
It took a pretty long time to make my bike road-worthy, so I didn't leave Cambridge until after 10am. The directions to bike from there to here are dauntingly complicated, so my plan was to set my droid in navigation mode, and have it direct me the whole way. Until I discovered that navigation mode doesn't do bikes. So my trip was punctuated fairly frequently by stops to check my phone or the 60 pages of instructions I'd printed out.
The first obstacle was a big "Walk for Vision" crowd (I can only assume they were there to fight vision) on the Storrow Drive bike path. But once I hit the open road, it was much easier to avoid hitting anything else. Even more so when I decided to stick to the major highways: MA-135 has a beautiful shoulder, and I took it all for myself.
My path went through West Newton, Wellesley (I stopped for lunch), Natick (which had a huge kid thing), and Hopkinton. Through all of this, I was chatting to myself nonstop-- about what I saw, how I felt, how my helmet and seat felt, how I felt about how I felt, how I felt about thinking so much about how I felt, what it meant to be a man, etc. Flame had been helpful, but short of encouraging, and called me to tempt me back home with a car at 3pm. At that point I was torn: The mental struggle of being stuck with myself was powerful, but I was beat and there were so many hills, but I wanted to stick with it, but I felt bad that Flame had gotten a car, but I didn't want to spend my weekend doing normal things, but I was pretty sure at that point that I wouldn't be able to make it the whole way to NYC. I demurred at 3pm, biked, and then called her back around 5pm as the sun was setting, still vacillating.
When she didn't answer, I prepared for the next phase of my journey: turning off MA-135 and into small-town New England, and finding a place to sleep. My phone told me that there were no places to sleep for 9 miles-- but that the closest next one was in Whitinsville. So I went for it. And suddenly, with a goal just at the limit of my reach, the world looked different. The road was mine, the forest was gorgeous, the hills were all down-hill. As dark settled in, I had new concerns, but they weren't about my standing as a human being.
I entered Whitinsville after dark. There were no people, no Halloween decorations, and the only stores open were an empty Subway and Dominoes. I walked my bike along dark roads to the B&B... And it was closed. No lights, no answers. As I walked back to town, I hailed a lonely soul on the road. "Do you know where I can find a hotel?" He laughed. "Not around here!"
So I called Flame to rescue me from myself, and spent the night in Cambridge. But the next day, my legs had never felt better. I thought they would be sore, but they were just a bit tense, like a cat's ready to pounce. Apparently my body was all for the challenge, and I'm not sure what was against it.