Bike Odyssey 2014 – Day 50 (July 6) – Final night of the trip
Mad Max the finale – the cops catch up
My noble steed is now a museum-grade display of the airborne bugs of North America, in the form of a montage (the Southern States beneath the South-Western bugs, beneath the Pacific bugs and now the Northern bugs). One day entomologists may find this useful. Tomorrow: home! At this point, a relief from solo biking and simply from biking at all, every day. 330 miles today (more than I intended but no accommodation appeared at any earlier juncture – all good since less mileage to cover tomorrow on the last lap), through fine Pennsylvania parkland, enlivened by 40 winks at a gas station (where I took the photo with unknowing cop in background), by several hours of rain (drizzle mainly but at 70 mph it feels like grapeshot), and by a 20-mile tailback jam caused by roadworks. Reaching the front at last, no roadwork at all, of course. (It’s Sunday.) Nonetheless American drivers brought to bear their chief national characteristic, supine subservience. Curious how national stereotypes are commonly the precise opposite of the truth. There are ornery American mavericks but if you’re seeking a nation of rugged individualists you want Russians. Supposedly the dupe of socialism, no Russian ever met a law he didn’t want to break, at once. Americans could only breathe easily if a law were passed requiring them to do so. The ‘passionate’ French? The most cold-blooded nation on earth. (Except possibly the Uruguayans.) An’ so on. My day ended wonderfully with a classic encounter to cap the trip: waiting in line for a room, the guy behind me, Larry Alpert, 46, turns out to be a Brooklyn College grad who studied under Allen the Ginz, in our office. Like the airborne bugs of N. America, they’re everywhere. (BC grads.) Brings me full circle. What a goddamn trip!!