Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bike and Build...

I took a few vacation days to meet up with Sophia and thirty of her new friends that are riding from Providence, RI to Seattle, WA with the Habitat for Humanity Bike and Build program. They travel about 70 miles a day, stopping few days in a community that has a active Habitat for Humanity project to assist with the build. It just happened that the route that they are traveling had them passing within three miles of my parents house.

On Thursday morning I met up with Sophia in lovely Roscoe, NY and prepared for the 70 mile ride through the southern tier of NY with the final destination being my old college town Binghamton, NY. The ride was a lot of fun as the scenery in the area is amazing; lots of steep hills rising from the Delaware river valley and dense deciduous forests. About 20 miles into the ride we hit our first SNAFU. The road we were to travel was closed. We had two options for a detour: 1) take the long way around adding 10-15 miles to the trip. 2) ride on Route 17 which is pretty much an interstate (in fact it is in the process of becoming interstate 86), and it is illegal to ride a bicycle on it. To make a long story short, we got a police escort form a very kind state trooper.

You can just see the squad car in this photo of the group getting off route 17. This guy saved our asses big time.

After another little detour that took us on some nice dirt roads along the river we got to Hale Eddy which is a few mile from my parent's house.  A few of the group decided to take a break and cool off in/by the river.

From there it was a few miles to Deposit, NY where we stopped and snacked some eats.  After lunch we had about 30 more miles to Binghamton which included a few long steady climbs.

Once in Bling-Blinghamton, I met up with my old roommate Doug who lives in the area.  He and his wife, Jimae, are expecting their first (and only from what she says) child in a few weeks.  It was nice to catch up as It has been at least a year since I saw either of them.

On Friday morning I met up with the Bike and Build peeps for a few hours of landscaping fun at a build site on the south side of Binghamton.  This was one of the more interesting parts of the trip as i got to speak with many, but regrettably not all, of the people on the trip. I must say that these people have some serious motivation and direction in their lives.  I takes a certain type of person to up and leave their comfort zone and ride across the country helping out the disadvantaged. What is even mare amazing is that 90% of the people on the trip are not avid cyclists.

After the build day, Sophia and I stumbled around Binghamton for a few hours taking in some of the bizarre architecture of the area.  We even went to Beethoven (recreation) park and took a carousel ride, which is a bit of Binghamton area history/culture.

Best wishes to all those on the Providence–Seattle route and all the others that are out there making this world a better place.


Anonymous said...

Hey there. Those of us without a JHU password can't see your photos. I'm sure they're super sweet and all, but maybe you'd like to share them with the rest of us non JHU-ers? :)

Dr. K said...

Sorry, the google servers were being a PITA, so I uploaded the photos to my JHU and forgot to change the permissions. Should be better now.

Sophia said...

wait, wasn't there one of us pacelining on the highway? Because that'd have been a sweet pic

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