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!


  1. Sounds awesome so far. Such a wild trip! Hope you meet lots more interesting people.

  2. Now we all want to hop on our bikes and have wonderful wild and back-woodsy adventures too. However, the selfsame bikes are currently gathering dust, sawdust that is and lots of it, so, one project at a time.
    Keep on having a fantastic trip and we will enjoy nit vicariously through your great postings.

  3. I love reading your posts, it is so great to hear about your adventures. Some parts made me laugh out loud too! We have been thinking about you lots. Sounds like you are meeting very interesting people. Keep the updates coming!

  4. Oh man you guys, I want to be there! Sounds AMAZING! Every now and then I stop what I'm doing and think, Jane and Eric must be biking right now, like, right now. Jane is staring at Eric's butt right now. I hadn't even thought about all the marvelous people you're bound to meet. You guys are an inspiration to us all. Just remember that when you're huffing and puffing up that next hill. We're all cheering for you! (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....). Please write down EVERYTHING! You're kids will thank you for it. Love and luck and smooth flat roads to you both.

  5. Sounds like you are having the time of your lives! Thanks for sharing the wonderful stories. Best of the luck as you continue on your epic journey.

  6. Love the updates.

    You guys had an RSS feed, which was great as Google Reader told me of your updates instantly; however, it seems to be gone now... damn Blogspot/Google. Ah well.

    Keep 'er up guys!

  7. Great post. I am so impressed with you two. It takes a lot of heart to spend sweaty day after day with a new set of hills to greet you. The longest bike trip I ever did was 7 days, and I remember the pain and cursed heat like it was yesterday. Oddly enough, its those tough things that I fondly think of the most when I recall my trip (with a sort of nostalgia/cringe inducing mixture).