Manny and Jo: Episode 1

manikinEpisode 1:  Jo’s Gone GI

Manny and Jo, stood poised, at attention as two of the fittest manikins styled the latest in springtime athletic wear for women in a Treyvor’s Department Store show window on Fifth Avenue in New York City,  two blocks west of The Wilderness.    Across the street was Hatties Bagels one of the few coffee and bagel stores open at 6AM on a Saturday.  It was one of the few times the City slept, with the exception of the early exercisers, the runners of course.  And, it was no surprise that runners congregated at Hatties, in eyeshot of the veteran stick figures of sport fashions, sipping coffee and sharing bagels, many not even realizing they stood in the playground of a fitness fashion makeover.

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Conversations in Cuba

How we traveled and what we were expecting…

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La Conversacion Statute

Sunday 10/16/2016:  We boarded the Adonia in Miami, a 600′ boutique cruise ship that hosts 750 passengers — far less of a behemoth than big sister cruise ships with 3000+ passengers.  We were immediately attracted to the Adonia theme — a smaller ship of like-minded passengers visiting Cuba with a purpose.   A purpose of having people-to-people encounters, sharing of cultures, one person at a time.  The trip wasn’t about politics, a badge in Rosetta Stone Spanish, travel embargoes or governments — but simply meeting the Cuban people, learning more about their culture and sharing some of ours in return.    We would have 4 days on land:  2 days at Havana, 1 day in Cienfuegos and the final day in Santiago de Cuba.

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A battlefield finish

Day 4:   Bicycling from Elizabethtown, NC to Moores Creek National Battlefield
40ish miles — and bonus points for headwinds

The fourth and final day of our East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour, cut short due to Hurricane Matthew began at the Corner Cafe in the heart of Elizabethtown.  A cafe that is open “All Day” according to the neon sign on the window, or just until 2 PM according to the fine print.  We were certain to be done with breakfast before 2 PM.

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Wine’ing down

Day 3:   Bicycling from Fayetteville, NC to Elizabethtown, NC
43ish miles — and who’s really counting when there’s so much to see?

The third day of the East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour began with breakfasts piled high with ham and bacon and a side of bacon fat with fresh steamed or raw vegetables a distant memory (unless you carried your own).  With Hurricane Matthew dominating the news and expected to take out the Eastern seaboard from Florida to North Carolina, many cyclists who lived along the coast or needed to take care of business went off in separate directions.  Those cyclists who were left behind were grateful for the chance to ride another day.  And a half.      Continue reading Wine’ing down

Hogs, Logs and Miles

Day 2:   Bicycling from Smithfield, NC to Fayetteville, NC
70ish miles — and who invited Hurricane Matthew to the Carolina coast?

The second day of the East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour began with new routines and new grooves setting in.  The pre-ride routine included two trips (maybe more) to drag your luggage and bicycle from your room to the lobby.  Bonus points were earned for not spilling your cup of Joe.   If you made it to the lobby without losing Joe, you treated yourself to a sit-down in the lobby lounge, chatting with bike mates, and planning your departure time for the day’s ride.  Minutes are ticking, and it’s time to keep moving, so you find your way to the luggage truck to hoist your bag onboard — a bag that has mysteriously doubled in weight — and discover there is still time for more socializing.   You then grab a tire pump, one that puts more than 40 pounds of air pressure in your tires, and quickly realize you’ll be riding a lot faster today with air in your tires.   A long glare at your bicycle seat followed by a quick request of the saddle gods to be kind, and your group-du-jour of riders — with bright visibility lights flashing — are ready to cycle on. Continue reading Hogs, Logs and Miles

Transitions

Day 1:   Bicycling from Raleigh, NC to Smithfield, NC
42.5ish miles — or more depending on bonus miles & wrong turns

The first day of the East Coast Greenway WAY (Week-A-Year) tour began in downtown Raleigh with nearly 40 cyclists jones’n to get on their bicycle legs.   Many drove double-digit hour-long car rides, tipping the scales of 70 mph speed limits for the right to transition to a pace that resembled something much slower.  Cycling at touring speeds, with the winds at your back if you were lucky.   A pace that averaged 10-12 miles per hour once you factored in the stops – that were many, especially on day one. Continue reading Transitions

Piseco

27845836173_100102d4b2_zPiseco Lake…in the south west corner of the Adirondacks is a place where time stands still, where technology doesn’t matter, where face time means in-person, where base-camp overlooks one end of Piseco Lake, and dozens of mountains, and you never get tired of staring at the view….

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The warmup

Signs of an aging runner…

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Doris drove the oversized van —  a rehabbed ambulance — into the lot designated for runners taking four parking spaces while Lois tended to other matters.  Outside, runners no older than 40 congregated, wearing singlets and shorts in 45-degree weather, not growing goosebumps, waiting for the half marathon to start. Inside the van, the temperature a balmy 78.

Sporting an age category far right of the runners bell curve, Lois and Doris broke a sweat with two layers of pants and a full contingent of long sleeve shirts, Goretex vest, and a winter jacket.  Behind the driver’s seat a long hallway  – presumed once used for stretchers – flanked a private bathroom, a closet with two fold out chairs, a coffee station and a large sofa covered with knee braces, ankle supports, bandages and four pairs of running shoes.
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Writings and journeys, flavored with spice…

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