Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Day 43 Lancaster, PA to Philadelphia, PA

Day 43 Lancaster, PA to Philadelphia, PA 65.4 miles 3160ft climbing #NM2NY4LFSA.

The day began cooler but even more humid, if that's possible. We choose a particular hotel last night because they have a guest laundry. As we dressed this morning we discovered that the washing machine never rinsed our load. We started pedalling in a lather. After a couple of miles we pulled into a grocery store for water and at the same time used the restroom to rinse out our bibs and jerseys. Soap in your shorts will lead to great discomfort and rash. We didn't want that. We got a late start thinking it was OK to take our time since we are in the home stretch. We stopped at Starbucks for motivation. We used a combination of a walking route and bicycle root to save some mileage. The problem ended up being that the route put us on a very, very hilly, narrow country road. The Lancaster drivers were not friendly but the drivers on the backroad were courteous and gave us room. The hills were not courteous. The other problem is that services are fewer and further between on the country lanes. We rode for a long while before seeing a lunch spot. It was only 30 miles from our destination and we thought we'd be on Philadelphia in three hours or so. We us a tasty lunch just outside of West Chester and then rode on. Something interesting we have noticed this summer. Generally speaking, the people who have the least want to share the most. We experienced this with the very poor in Cambodia and we experience an extension of that as we ride across the USA. The drivers who are often least likely to show courtesy to a cyclist are most frequently found in more affluent areas and those with a wave, a smile, and a kind word are more likely found in less affluent areas. This is a broad generalization but something we have experienced first hand often enough to make an impression. It's a little like the guy in Missouri who yelled at us that he "has an agenda" as though that excuses discourteous and selfish behavior. Riding a bicycle often reveals, like working retail, the real nature of people. People who are generous exhibit patience and decency to cyclists while people who are selfish do not. I always remember reading something that pointed out that someone who is nice to you but not nice to your wait staff at lunch is not a nice person. It is true as well that someone who is nice to you but values their own convenience more than a law abiding cyclist's safety is not a nice person. That said, Philadelphia doesn't show much in the way of brotherly love between motorists and cyclists and in this case they appear equally to blame. Cars parked in the "No Stoppong Anytime" bike lane and cyclists riding one way streets the wrong direction disregarding traffic lights. It has a negative impact on the rule following touring cyclist. As we hit the official city limits, the street lines immediately changed to include a bike lane. I'm glad to report that the one running next to the trolley car is safe from the trolley right up to the painted line. It was getting dark as we rode in and we used our headlights for safe measure. The only other time we used headlights on the trip was for tunnels on the trail. We arrived at the hotel, right in the center of the historic district, and were welcomed warmly. 





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