Grapes Are King! - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

June 24, 2014

Grapes Are King!

Lake Erie State Park, New York told me there was a 50% to 80% chance of rain during every hour of the day.  I left my camp early and plotted several potential camping possibilities in case I had to get off the road early to avoid getting struck by lightning.  The day grew hotter and more humid, but no rain.  I cruised through the city of Erie and the next thing I knew, I was in New York.

Now I feel like I'm finally in the northeastern U.S.
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Grapes are king out here on the southeast shore of Lake Erie.  I saw miles and miles of grape fields, or, as they are more correctly called, vineyards.  The vineyards in Pennsylvania and New York are as ubiquitous as CORNYARDS are in Iowa and MN.  Grapes are cute, but it's corn that drives the nation's food economy.  Thank goodness for high-fructose corn syrup.  It makes almost all American pre-packaged food taste good.  I sure could go for a Pop Tart right now.

Grapes are king!
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I'm guessing every one of you has experienced getting a song in your head and it just won't go away.  You keep humming or singing it in your mind over and over again.  I recently learned that is called an "earworm."

Almost every day I get an earworm while biking.  Today I had the same one I had yesterday.  It began as I neared the Ohio city of Ashtabula.  I began singing that name repeatedly to the tune of Boola Boola, which I think is the fight song of Yale University.  Very irritating.  It better be gone tomorrow.

I also had a "quote worm" in my head today.  It was a line I liked in my early 20's.  How it came into my mind today I do not know.  Here it is:  "Most men cannot even prove they are not mediocre."  Albert Camus wrote that.  Man, that is twisted.  I considered it a personal challenge.  I felt the need to dedicate my day to proving that I not only rise to the level of mediocrity, but maybe even slightly ABOVE mediocre.  I thought about how I would do it, and then decided instead to simply enjoy my day rather than attempt to take up a challenge I'd probably fail anyway.  I'm not going to play your little game, Monsieur Camus.  Take THAT!

I'm camping tonight in another state park.  Like most campgrounds on weekdays, it is relatively empty.  A red-headed woodpecker kept flying from tree to tree.  A robin kept coming up to my table looking for crumbs.  The birds kept me company until some storms rolled in--and boy, did they roll in!

Today's ride: 61 miles (98 km)
Total: 1,101 miles (1,772 km)

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