Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 65 - Tuesday, August 21, 2001
Since the library was on the way out of town, I decided to go in to use their internet connection to check e-mail and add more dots to my map. I had remembered Miki commenting that there were very few internet cafes here in the US, so she was having trouble accessing her e-mail. She was pleasantly surprised when I told her that almost all libraries offered use of the internet for no charge.
Well, according to one of the e-mails I got, it appears that I have achieved (temporary) celebrity status in the office. So now I definitely have to finish the trip! Welcome to the new readers!
In my earlier journals from Washington State I had reported that there were two people rumored to be riding to New Jersey, but I had never seen them. They have just finished their trip - I got an e-mail from one of them who had caught my reports on the bike touring e-mail list. It must have been them since their stops in Washington lined up pretty close to mine.
While going on Highway 5 toward Utica, I got to see why the bike touring people from New York would say "ugh" at that choice. Although it was a decent road to ride on from a "getting from point A to point B" perspective, it lacked any touring appeal. I saw more fast food places on this section of road than in the whole previous four days in New York!
Once I approached the Utica area, it was off of 5 and on to the city streets. Even with the Utica city map, I had trouble finding either of the two bike shops. So I went to the payphone to call for directions. One of the two shops in town had gone out of business, but I was able to find the other one.
Like the Auburn shop, this one didn't have any high end bikes. He sold mostly used bikes, with just a few new Ross mountain bikes. He even made keys also.
There was no room to bring the bike into the shop, so he brought the tools out onto the sidewalk to check out the bike there. The flange on the fixed cup of the bottom bracket had developed a crack, which if left unchecked would have worked its way around in a circle. He didn't have an exact replacement, but he was able to fix it using the "MacGyver" approach - he had another one that was about the same size when put in backwards.
Crossing the river was a bit of a challenge, as the crossings in Utica all appeared to be prohibited freeways. Luckily my city map showed a legal crossing on the other side of town - I don't know how I'd find it without a map!
There was a short rain shower in the afternoon that passed through pretty quick - better weather than expected.
When I got to Little Falls all of the hotels were completely booked. This is the first time this has happened on this trip. The Best Western called ahead to a bed and breakfast eight miles down the road in Dolgeville, which had a reasonably priced room.