Over the rivers

Our morning with Marvin was entertaining to say the least. We had some traditional breakfast food at a local place close to a cheap hotel popular with international travelers. During the course of our meal a couple groups of people sat near us, so we would whisper to each other where we thought they were from. Finally when we could not agree on their country of origin, Marvin would interrupt them with a “Where ya from?” Whether or not he was interrupting them was not an issue, at his old age the only thing that bothered him was his feet.

Almost home

Almost home

We crossed the Hudson via the George Washington Bridge, which involved climbing and descending four sets of stairs to access and exit the bridge.
It was not long after crossing into Jersey that we took a wrong turn and pulled in to a gas station/mechanic shop for help. As we rolled up a mechanic came out to greet us, and we told him we are looking to get to Bloomfield Ave, which was at the most four miles away. “On a bike?” he asked. Standing over my bike in my bike helmet and rain gear I just raised my eyebrows and nodded. He thought to himself for a moment, and then told us to take the parkway south. I shook my head, “No we are on bikes, and we can’t take the parkway.” We did not get a response, only a confused look. Another mechanic approached us, so we asked him for directions. “Parkway south.” I tried to explain that it was illegal for us to go that way but they
Hank and Hilary Fandel

Hank and Hilary Fandel

did not know of another route. We said thank you and turned around, a little annoyed that people who devoted their lives to cars did not know the roads. But that was it. Asking for biking directions from someone who does not bike is like asking a butcher what the right way to slice a tomato is. We took a guess and ended up on the right road that led to my hometown of Cedar Grove, NJ where we were able to see friends and catch up on sleep.
Another day’s ride had us navigating Jersey to my college roommate Paul’s house. His parents rode with us a couple miles the next morning, but Paul escorted us all the way over the Delaware River to Paul’s girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend’s house in Philadelphia where we would spend a night.
Paul along for the ride

Paul along for the ride

For dinner we got some pizza at ‘Mom’s Pizza’ where ‘Mom’ would not let me leave a tip because she said I needed it more. She did not know how right she was; I would soon make a large, unexpected purchase with money that could tip her four hundred times over.


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July 2009
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