Welcome friends!

We'll keep you up to date on our crazy tandem adventures... in the hope that you'll help us reach our goal of a dollar raised per kilometer ridden. 100% of donations will go to either Oxfam or Kiva, your choice. (In the case of Kiva your "donation" is actually a loan so you'll get it back!)

Mid-May to mid-August 2010
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia to Bolinas, California

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

As well as spectacular views and the opportunities offered by our slow pace to observe many treasures hidden to the motorist, the challenges of travelling by bicycle in this heat up these hills have been worth every drop of sweat because of the people we have met. We have relied on the kindness of strangers and been rewarded many times. A kind couple visiting family in St. Andrews came over to see our bike and when they heard we were having no success finding a certain tool in town, took us to their friend's place who had the tool, helped us fix the bike, then drove us 40 minutes out of town to a Clam Bake we were an hour and a half late for, bought us the tool and stored our bike in their garage overnight, all this for two complete strangers they had met at the side of the road. Thank you!!

The next day we crossed the border to the United States with no trouble at all. The first night in the States we had already set up a place to stay on warmshowers.org. What a lovely couple we met upon pulling into their (steep!) driveway near the incredible Reversing Falls near Pembroke, Maine. They put us up in our own little loft apartment full of charming antiques, stained glass, and a lovely view of Cobscook Bay. They shared with us an evening and morning of great food (salad straight from the garden!) and company.

Heading southwest again the next day, we biked until 5:30 pm. By then we were very tired and hungry and stopped at the first grocery store we found. We had planned to ride another 7 miles or so that day but sat down to eat our apples outside the store and didn't really feel like spending another minute with our sore bums on the bike seats! That was when a friendly young fellow came up and asked about our bike and our trip. He invited us to stay at his place, with the disclaimer that the shower facilities involved a large metal tub and a watering can. We eagerly accepted, and were soon walking up the path to the house nestled in the woods he and his wife had built. There was a guesthouse (just for us!!) and a gorgeous outhouse which was the senior year project for her fine arts degree. They called themselves "rockpushers" or "earthmuffins"... We cooked up what we'd bought and shared the meal (enhanced by their sauces and beer) around a table with a firepit built right in the middle! Canada-USA differences were discussed and they were quite surprised we aren't carrying a gun. This inevitably led to us being shown their guns. To top off the American cultural initiation we were treated to a fantastic breakfast of Johnny Cakes, a New English specialty, at 6:30 am, our earliest start yet.

We rode 70 miles that day, until 8 pm when we finally found our next warmshowers contact, near Bar Harbor. We were exhausted. It had been the hottest and hilliest day. We shared supper and they shared their stories of moving from being freelance writers in New York to becoming plumbing inspectors here in Maine, to a retirement of gardening, tending a gaggle of expressive geese, and repairing bicycles!

So far we have only met wonderful people, both in Canada and the states, and hope the trend continues all the way west!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Extra Extra Read all about it: Jane and Eric are still married!

Internet's slow here, can't upload pictures, but will soon!

Jane: Thank you for the fantastic send-off on Sunday!

We found a veeeery windy campsite in Grosses Coques that night, and made it to Digby on time for the ferry the next day. By that time we were so windblown, sunburnt, hungry and saddle sore that we ate everything we had in 5 minutes flat and fell asleep for most of the 3 hour ride!!

We camped 3 km from the ferry terminal in St. John, in a clearing in the woods near Irving Nature Park. Next night was at New River Beach Provincial Park, lovely spot. On the fourth day we got to St. Andrews, the rain started, and we stopped!!!

Heading off again on Sunday, a little more aware of what to expect, well rested and well fed. On the road it was instant oatmeal for breakfast (except for the morning we couldn't resist buying a blueberry pie at a roadside stand and ate half of it right away!), bread and cheese for lunch, pasta for supper... we'll get more savvy with the one burner stove as we go. ;-)

Eric: We have made it to St. Andrews NB and everything is going good. There were some definite communication issues to work out on the first few days. Jane wanted to speed down every hill as fast as possible, while I wanted to take it slow in case the road changed. Inevitably the issue only came up halfway down a hill (her pedaling madly, me braking) when it was kind of hard to talk! It would continue up the other side until we were both too out of breath to negotiate. This got worked out though during a very hilly 20 km detour to see a waterfall that we never found (we went into Weymouth Falls thinking the name might mean something..).

Each day on this trip we are learning to appreciate things we have taken for granted, like access to running water, big fluffy pillows and motorized transport.

We have climbed a great many hills already and learned to make good use of the time coasting down the other side to perform synchronized moves to alleviate butt pain.

Overall it has been great and I am sure it will only get better every day. For now we are happy to be staying with our friend Sarah on a small organic veggie farm near St. Andrews, to sleep in a real bed and get out of the first rain storm of the trip.

Much more to come when there is no weeding, planting, and bike repairs (on other people's bikes - ours is doing great) to do (we have to earn our keep!)
Lots of pictures on the way too.
Miss everybody back home and hope you're all well.
Eric and Jane

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The power of many...

Thank you so much to everyone who has already contributed to our causes. $350 in Kiva loans and $435 in Oxfam donations - almost $800!! Almost to Boston! We encourage people to pledge a little bit per km, it'll help us pedal further each day knowing it's for a good cause!