Hello, Pennsylvania!

Posted 07/02 by Ruthie BenDor

After a quick breakfast of Cheerios (thanks again, Don & Betsy!) I left Dunkirk early to try to beat the heat. I rode along routes 5 and 20, following the Lake Erie shoreline.

My first stop of the day was at a post office in Ripley, NY, to mail on to Chicago a few pounds of gear. I guess it’s true what other cyclists have said—no matter how carefully you pack, you’ll always end up shedding some weight!

Lightening the load

It was late morning before I found the sign I’d been anticipating all day - Pennsylvania! State number three, here I come.


Two miles past the state line, I stopped into a roadside farmstand for a snack. The other customers were curious about what on earth I was doing (“You rode from WHERE?!”), and after I explained, one friendly woman paid for my apple pie, and Grandma Shirley gave me a few home-baked cookies for the road.

Grandma Shirley

The next town I’d be rolling through was North East, PA, where one of my coworkers has some family. I met and hung out with Theresa, Wilma, and Emerson for a few hours at the hottest part of the day.


A small confession: I’d actually crossed the state line on route 20, where the boundary was unmarked, and didn’t realize I was already in Pennsylvania for a few miles. Wilma was kind enough to drive me back to the state line on route 5 so I could get my picture with the sign smile



A few more hours of riding brought me into Erie, where I’d be staying with WarmShowers host Tom and his family.


They host cyclists like me in the kids’ playhouse - clever, comfortable, and entertaining all in one.

Me-sized house

Now that I’ve crossed out of New York, it’s legal to carry pepper spray, which many cyclists do to dissuade chasing dogs. Tom was kind enough to gift me his can. Thanks, Tom!


Tomorrow I get to cross state lines again—Ohio, here I come.

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