Day 58 - Kutztown to Flemington - C2C - from Westport, Washington to Sandy Hook, New Jersey - CycleBlaze

July 30, 2016

Day 58 - Kutztown to Flemington

Everything still wet.
Need to get on the road asap.
More heavy rain predicted today.
And I sure don’t won’t to get stuck in this motel.

Bad Photo of Kutztown University Campus
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The ride out of town was quite pleasant.
Little back roads with lots of cyclists.
Turned out I was riding a designated bike route.

Lovely Pennsylvania Barn
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When I got to Emmaus I decided to take city streets over the mountains.
Good thing, too, because I had a slow leak in my front tire that I could not locate.
I stopped every 5 miles to pump up the tire and to change my dripping bandana.
Bethlehem was eye-opening - the poverty was stifling.
Old, decrepit row houses with people clearly struggling.
And the usual businesses - Payday Loans, bars, c-stores.

Trying to Redevelop the Devastated Industrial Area of Bethlehem
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I stopped for lunch at Wendy’s - maybe I shouldn’t have.
I was tired and hungry - and that’s when you make mistakes.
But then I used up dry time - and it started raining as I left.

So I stopped at a bike shop - to change my tire! What a wuss I am.
They were great - the owner and mechanic asked about my tour.
One employee, Elizabeth, wanted to ride cross-country.
So we talked at length about touring as the skies opened up above.

After the rain let up, I ventured out again, but got only 6 miles down the road.
A few heavy drops came down - warning me a minute in advance.
There was a vegetable market by the road and I swung in.
Covered the bike in the tarp and dashed inside as the deluge started.
Two hours of non-stop rain - sheets of rain coming down.

It wouldn’t stop.
People in the store commented about how they hadn’t seen rain like this in years.
And they told me that they really needed the moisture.
Ooooooh - - was I ever forced to hold my tongue.

When it finally slowed - not stopped - rivers were running down the road.
I probably shouldn’t have, but I headed out onto a water-covered roadway.
It was still raining lightly and the road was treacherous.
I was wearing orange and used my rear blinker.

Water Running Two Feet Deep in the Ditches and onto the Road
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When I got down to the Delaware River, it let up.
I was hoping for an uneventful ride into Frenchtown.
Nope. The road was closed - with a detour uphill hundreds of feet.
You know, drivers don’t think the laws of physics apply to them.
They speed by despite conditions - in this case water on the road.
A guy had hydroplaned into a telephone pole -
And there was a high-power line down on the highway.

Delaware Canal almost Overwhelmed by the Inflow
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Not a Great Day to Be Cycling the Towpath
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I told the utility guys that I was at the end of my rope.
I simply couldn’t climb a 25% grade at this point.
One guy said, “Tough.” But Paul offered something different.
He tied a rope to his little car and towed me up the hill.
Probably illegal, but it made the difference.

Crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey
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I finally got to Frenchtown - but it was gray and dreary.
Hardly the charming destination I had imagined.
Plus I was super tired. One photo and onward.

One Quick Pic of Frenchtown
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I was looking forward to washing clothes and rejuvenating at the motel in Flemington.
When I got there I found out that their laundry was not working.
Nor was their WiFi or satellite TV.
And the room was disgusting.
You didn’t want to walk barefoot - -
(And my sanitary norms are rather liberal)

The rain started back up.
I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich and a banana.
Called a few friends and family - and went to sleep.

Today's ride: 65 miles (105 km)
Total: 3,295 miles (5,303 km)

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