Wake Me Up When September Ends

Philadelphia to Elkton, MD

It’s more than a little cliché to say that time flies when you’re having fun. But just because something is cliché doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And right now I find it hard to believe that I’ve been on the road for over three months and, in less than three hours, October will be upon us. Sure, I’ve travelled a fairly long way so far, been through six provinces and nine states, had a lot of interesting adventures, and met a lot of people – and, all the while, the time has gone by so quickly.

Similarly, when I pedalled my way into Philadelphia two weeks ago I really didn’t have a plan as to how long I would be staying. Well, not a firm plan anyway. I sort of assumed I would stay for three or four days, but when a week passed and I still found myself in Philadelphia it didn’t really surprise me. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always enjoyed my Philly visits. However, I really didn’t expect to stay for two weeks plus a day. Despite an open invitation to stay longer I knew I had to get back on the bike today – otherwise I could easily see another week passing and that wouldn’t get me any closer to Florida. And winter’s coming.

Time to say goodbye to my four-legged friend.

Time to say goodbye to my four-legged friend.

So, for the first time in over two weeks I loaded all my gear onto my tuned up bike and hit the road. The hardest part about today’s ride (other than leaving Philadelphia behind) was the fact that I wouldn’t be reaching any significant destination today. By the end of this week, I hope to have cycled through Baltimore and Washington. But today would be an in-between day.

In keeping with the somewhat random nature of this trip, I wasn’t sure how far I would be going today other than it would be the usual 80-110km. After spending two weeks with Gage and Jack, I am spending tonight in a motel before continuing on tomorrow to stay with Jack’s brother, George and his wife Michelle. They live north of Baltimore so I’m hoping I’ll be able to make it from their place to Washington in a day.

But that’s getting too far ahead of things.

Another Day.  Another Subway.

Another Day. Another Subway.

Other than cycling, there really wasn’t any excitement along the way. And by excitement I specifically mean flat tires. The bike was great today. I’m hoping that’s a sign of things to come. I managed to do a decent job of eating and drinking throughout the day – aided by a stop at Subway for breakfast plus a sub for the road. Every time I stop at Subway I can’t help but think of what a great sponsor they would be for the rest of this journey. Sigh.

The ride from Philadelphia to George and Michelle’s house is about 180km and, as hinted at previously, I had no intention of going that far in one day. So, once I hit the 70km mark I started considering my accommodation options for the night. Upon seeing a Wendy’s along the way I decided that “considering my options” while enjoying a large chocolate Frosty was an even better plan. I was right.

I’ve somewhat come to terms with the fact that I’ll be staying in more hotels than originally planned until I get out of the densely populated areas that have welcomed me since my arrival in Portland. As nice as it is to stay in hotels (even the questionable ones), I’m hoping to return to camping-mode sooner rather than later. Hotels are very hard on the budget. Hard to believe I’m starting to long for the $30 campgrounds from earlier in the journey.

Scouring the various hotel booking sites did not reveal any outstanding bargains but I did manage to find something reasonably suitable. For what it’s worth, there was one campground in the area but, as seems to be the trend, they wanted $50/night. So, tonight I am staying at the Days Inn in Elkton, Maryland. And no, I’d never heard of Elkton before today either. Side note, I can now add Maryland and Delaware to the list of states through which I’ve now cycled.

As has been the case with a few of my hotel choices, I’m not sure how good my current neighbourhood is but the room is clean and there’s a free continental breakfast. I guess I’ll find out in the morning if I made a bad choice. Waking up = good. Not waking up = bad.

Today’s Totals:
Distance travelled: 90.82km
Time on bike: 4:16:35
Maximum speed: 49.00 km/h
Average speed: 21.21 km/h


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