New England 2019: lessons learned

This was my sixth summer touring with Cheryl, who has taught me almost everything I know about bicycle touring and camping. By now, I think that I may be getting the hang of this by myself. Nevertheless, every year I find things to learn. Here are some of the lessons learned and relearned from the two months in New England. Continue reading

New England 2019: Cape Cod and the Islands

Wednesday the 28th of August, I rose at dawn to a sunny morning, with rain forecast for 13:30. Cheryl was still on Pacific Time and overslept. We missed the 09:00 ferry, which proved to be a blessing. We walked to Faneuil Hall, got Cheryl a SIM card at Walgreen’s, and enjoyed custom handmade ice cream sandwiches on the Wharf. The fast ferry put us at MacMillan Pier in Provincetown at 15:30. By 17:30, we had checked into the Dune’s Edge Campground abutting the Cape Cod National Seashore. The rain never materialized. Continue reading

On the road again! Riding the A1A in Florida.

To my surprise, three choices have tied for the the lead in the reader poll:

  1. New novel continuing Days of Lead.
  2. Memoirs (sea stories, non-fiction stories).
  3. Travelogue.

There may be more responses coming in, which might break the tie. Meanwhile the trip resumes, not in the middle of the year, but back in January. I have saved this travel report while Days of Lead ran its course. It’s not fair to interrupt a serial novel. Continue reading

Brest to Bordeaux: the last solo ride

On Thursday, the last day of July, I struck out across the industrial port of Brest, heading for the Atlantic Coast. After the rain of the last two weeks, the warmth of the sun on my skin and the brilliance of the blue sky felt strange. I was so happy to be riding again. Fortified with breakfast (and a packed lunch) from an artisan boulangerie just before leaving the warehouse district, I followed the Eurovelo 1 bike route down the coast. Continue reading

The Channel Coast: Normandy and the Mont Saint-Michel

Five hours before sunset, Intercity 13032 pulled into the station at Caen. The dark clouds made it feel like dusk as I made my way north on the bike route to the coast. I had picked a hotel a few kilometres out of town, so that I could get well along the coast the next day. It was Wednesday, the 26th of July. Continue reading

France: the last frontier

DSCN4173On Wednesday the 19th of July, I lay in my tent at 0500, ready to go back to sleep, when I heard thunder. The storm front predicted for 1300 must be early, I thought. With a little more than four hours of sleep, I decided to break camp not to have to pack a wet tent. While I struggled to wake up and get moving, the storm rumbled over the fields well to the south, and never did rain on me. Continue reading

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

dscn4089.jpg(I never saw the 1979 movie, but the title stuck with me.) On Wednesday, the 12th of July, Marianne and her husband Hans had invited me to dinner. I spent the morning waiting for the rain to stop. After lunch in my room, I rode to the Mauritshuis palace, officially the “Royal Picture Gallery”. I planned to visit it, the Escher Museum and take pictures of the Binnenhof (Parliament) and maybe another museum. The plans fell apart quickly. Continue reading