Off to an unstellar beginning

Day one of my trip, yesterday, brought me to the dumpy-but-sterile Howard Johnson’s in Jamaica, New York, chosen for the fact that it’s just a mile from Kennedy airport. Here’s the $125 view:

HoJo View

Today, I cycled north through Queens toward the Bronx. On the way, the bumpy Queens streets (rural Saskatchewan backroads are smoother) broke the bolting holding on one side of my rear rack. Because of the weight, the rack bent, and I had to unload the whole bike to fix it, putting me behind schedule. Then, having carried on, I discovered that the only bridge that crosses to the Bronx is a bicycle-forbidded freeway with no sidewalks. Thus, I was forced to cycle west to Manhattan to use the Triboro bridge. Unfortunately, I somehow confused west with east and ended up way the hell out in Little Neck, practically in the next state, before I realised my error. To make things worse, my left knee started to hurt again.

As I have to be in Easton (north of Albany) by Saturday afternoon, I no longer had time to make it cycling. So, I was forced to rent a car and drive to Albany. The nearest location? Kennedy airport. I rode all the way back down there, and by the time I arrived my knee was killing me. There’s nothing cheap about New York, and I’m paying an exorbitant rate for this stupid car, a Dodge Magnum that looks like the vehicle of choice of a gangster pimp.

As I write this, I am having dinner at a “Roy Rogers” at a truck stop on the I87 Thruway, where a portion of every large Coca-Cola is donated to “support our troops and their families”. I ordered water.

I’m not sure what the knee problem is. I like to think that it’s this bike, which isn’t ideally suited to long-distance touring. At least, that sounds a lot better than old age. I won’t be able to stick to my plan to ride to New Brunswick if the pain persists, so a change of plan may be in order. Maybe in the end it will be a Greyhound tour of the northeast. I’ll have to put some Simon and Garfunkel on the Ipod.

Better news to come. I hope!

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hedley bontano


  1. Stella on July 27, 2007 at 19:32

    chin up darling!!!

    ohmygawd….how would I give up my diet coke? but i would, really Blanche, i would!


  2. carolyn on July 27, 2007 at 20:50

    According to some, Knees mean stuck in Ego and INflexibility… and issues about kneeling… hmmm…not you… Here is the affirmation to work at that— Life flows from me and I flow with life in perfect ease!

    Blessings for happy travels.

    Much love for some unknown reason,
    Carolyn Dawn

  3. Krista on July 28, 2007 at 14:14

    This too shall pass. I hope that the knee improves, because I know you will love NB. Quite possibly the polar opposite of NY. Love, K.

  4. Mia on July 29, 2007 at 05:44

    Sorry your New York experience has been such a bad one. It really is a great city once you get settled in and start exploring the neighborhoods. Hope you have better luck.

  5. Darren on July 29, 2007 at 06:20

    Hi Ed,

    Sorry to read about your persistent kenee affliction. I too suffer from worn out knees and they have plagued my for years. As a friend from Toronto sarcastically noted, they didn’t get that way from a hockey injury — bitch.

    Any how, just keep us posted on the New York travels and we can hopefully meet up. If all else fails, including your knees, just bus it up here to Freddyville and we can take it from there. We’ll be in Beantown and Toronto from Labour Day weekend onward and back in New Brunswick on the 10th. So keep in touch via email, etc. and we’ll get it sorted out.

    Happy trails!


  6. Michelle on July 29, 2007 at 11:46

    Love you lots!!! Think happy thoughts of big hugs.


  7. pat on July 29, 2007 at 13:35

    Nothing witty, pithy or cute just a note to take care of yourself. Not an auspicious begining think of the stories you’re collecting. If everything went smootly – how banal.

  8. dougdo on August 7, 2007 at 15:27

    Staying at the Howard Johnson’s, eating at the Roy Rogers and driving at Dodge Magnum. I would’ve never believe this was you Ed! So it must’ve been quite the awful day to make you stuck in such corporate hell. Why didn’t you and your bike take the train to Albany?