Hello, New York!

Posted 06/19 by Ruthie BenDor

When I feel down in the dumps, it helps to be around other people. So when I’d had enough of moping late in the afternoon yesterday, I wandered down to the ranger station, thinking maybe they’d have a book or something to borrow. Instead, I met scoutmaster Dan.

Here’s Dan:


Boy Scout Troop #114 of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts had rented the group site next to me for their annual father-son weekend outing. Dan invited me over for dinner, and I ended up hanging out with the guys (and one mom - hi Nina!) for the rest of the evening.

Awesome dads

Another awesome dad


I answered tons of questions about my trip, watched the sun set with a few of the dads, ate the best darn camp food I’ve ever had, and hung out around the campfire until it was time to stumble back to my tent.

Sunset from Berry Pond

I meant to be on the road by 8am, but the late night meant that I wasn’t ready to go until 9:30. Of course I had to go over to the Scouts and say goodbye… which meant french toast and orange juice for breakfast. Hanging with the troop has been one of the high points so far, and I’m looking forward to visiting Shrewsbury in the fall.


Boy Scout Troop 114

Was finally on the road by 10. Sunday means antique and yard sales in western Massachusetts, and when I saw this row of bikes by the side of the road, I had to stop.

I'm keeping Peg

The friendly guy running the sale introduced himself as Rock. He’s from New Jersey and does hapkido, so we talked martial arts for a bit. He insisted I test-ride a few of those bikes, including one beauty from the mid-70’s, but I decided to stick with Peg.


Next was the final hill in Massachusetts—it was a long, tough slog, but when I made it to the top it was downhill all the way into New York. Woo!

New York, baby!

Stayed on U.S. Route 20 (wide shoulders, courteous drivers, great riding) for a while, and picked up some apple pie for lunch. Then turned northwest onto New York’s route 66, where I put on headphones, pumped the jams, and powered up seven miles of hills. After that, the day was gravy—it was more or less downhill all the way to Troy.

I’d anticipated arriving past 4, but I made it to my hosts’ house an hour early. They weren’t home yet, so I biked over to a nearby coffeeshop. As I was locking up my bike, this fellow started asking me questions about the solar charger strapped to the top, and we ended up hanging out and having a beer until my hosts returned.

Beer buddy

Spent a lovely late afternoon and evening with Fran and Mark, my hosts here in Troy. Fran works for RPI, and has lined up an interview for me tomorrow with Jim Hendler, one of the originators of the Semantic Web. Not gonna lie - I’m a bit intimidated - but I’m really looking forward to the conversation.

Leave a comment


How fun! It’s these unexpected experiences that are going to make your trip so memorable. Stay safe out there, Ruthie!

By Andrew Hedges on 2011 06 20

Go Ruthie! I’ve been lurking, following your trip preparations. And now you are on the road! May you have many happy adventures. Perhaps that’s a slight oxymoron.

By Edna Myers on 2011 06 20

Great to meet you this weekend!  We’ll be following you for the next 4 months!  Hope you find a good book before then!


By Dan on 2011 06 20

Awesome post; I love the photos interspersed with text, and the photos themselves are amazing.

This is just awesome.

By Marc on 2011 06 20

Thanks for the updates!  I’m enjoying the travel vicariously!

By James on 2011 06 20

Great post and photos. I wish I had thought to connect you to Troy Bike Rescue… which may be a theme as I follow your trip across the country grin Happy cycling!

By Ben Sheldon on 2011 06 23

Sounds great! Makes me wish I’d had the nerve when I had the idea and the body…..

By linda on 2011 06 24