The airline state park trail made this state a favorite of mine. Many photos came from this trail. Though storming, I was able to ride this dirt trail (no mud, hard pack rock) for almost two full days with virtually no cars. The storms kept dog walkers and most nature lovers indoors. The trees were in full fall colors and provided a canopy and cover from the weather. I would go for hours without seeing a soul or hearing a car. This made camping feel safe. Before I reached the trail, I found glass in my tire 10 mi after New Haven. I fell short of my milage goal. Winds were at 30 mph and the rain looked like a cheap Hollywood FX, dropping in buckets. Puddles that could be potholes, large fallen branches, and thin, wide streams of rainwater in the roads had me yielding to conditions. Several hours of the storm were waited out between this bike shop in Middletown and a dunkin donuts 15 mi later.
The next day in a coffee shop in Putnam, a fellow cycle tourist, Laurie, saw my bike with trailer offered me a bed, shower and dinner for the night in RI. Real nice! Laurie is a homeopathic vet. She manages two teenagers, horse, pig, chickens and a home business. A truly dedicated animal lover and an experienced hiker/biker. Very cool person. She had no idea what warmshowers.org was.
The weather eases up for my final 50 miles north. This day, I would meet John. A tatoo artist and grandfather who was planning his first big bicycle trip. He wrote to me with the biggest compliment ever. Before his friends met me that day, he was treated crazy about his touring idea. Now that they heard my story and saw I was not crazy, but actually loving life, he said his friends now support him in doing his first trip. I have inspired others to take big adventures before, but to inspire Johns friends to support him is something entirely different. I’ve friends treat me crazy when they heard my plans. I have met strangers who don’t bike at all, giving me total respect for doing such an adventure. Some treat me like family in a matter of minutes. I am really touched to hear Johns friends starting to believe in him. A big heart like Johns trumps strong legs and a good gear ratio any day.