The Art of Looking Sideways

It’s definitely beginning to look like the equipment I have chosen has a specific lifespan, and is reaching its end. Aside from my shoes being constantly strapped back together with duck tape and zip ties, my tyres too have been reluctant to go on any further.
The nail hole left in my tyre back in Montana has slowly been deteriorating, and even my rudimentary fixes haven’t been able to hold it together. But, being me, I’ve refuse to buy a new tyre this close to the end, and so after covering it with another patch and a few more layers of duck tape, finally decided to swap them around to reduce the pressure on the damaged tyre. A lengthy and uninteresting insight in the state of my gear, and how to get around it, but the simple summation is that my stuff has reached its limits, and I’m cheap so now I have to ride around on underinflated tyres…..

Most of the day was spent riding alongside the canal. This was mostly very straightforward due in part to it being well signed, with basic tulip diagrams sprayed onto the asphalt at junctions, but also by the fact that it was the canal path. Next to the canal.
Nonetheless we still managed to run into some characters, like the old man hiking along the trails, upturned walking sticks with the crooks cut off to create rubber topped poles, who seemed to be a bit lost. Though he didn’t ask for directions or suggest he needed help….

We reached the end of our trail today in Utica, where we met our host at the lock. I was a bit apprehensive initially, as this was the first time we were invited around to stay by someone… who was living with their parents. Not because there’s any shame in doing so, but because it very much felt like it was someone else’s house.
Still, I thought with my best British charm, I could surely convince anyone that I was a decent and respectable guest, and that people the world over are generally nice, and not going to rob the house in the middle of the night.
Something I usually have trouble with, being so cruel and ungrateful….

Before heading back home though, we stopped off at the local high school to catch some of the Football (ie soccer) game. Things here, even like soccer, seem very different, such as with the stadium, the kits, the equipment, the electronic scoreboard… Next they’ll be saying they don’t have oranges at halftime?!
My favourite aspect though was the halftime huddle, which although amusing in itself, was finished with some sort of war cry, or “1,2,3, White!”.
At first it sounded like a slightly bizzare and disquieting white supremacy cry. Only later did I find out this simply referred to the colour of their jersey.

It was as always great to spend the evening with people, and the great conversations with Brian and his family and friends.
The menu tonight consisted of “Trash-Bin Burgers”, which were simply a combination of more fruit and vegetables than I can remember, compacted into burger form. Certainly more delicious than they sounded, it also brought a nice change to know that we were eating so many vegetables….

There’s a lot of things I like about the open-mindedness, and creativity here. There’s a genuine want to find out about new things. Its a really healthy and exciting look on life that I hope I can take with me when I return to England. Reminds me of times with Nate, sitting around, drinking tea and talking crap. But in a good way. And without anyone walking off with my futon.
Speaking of which, time for sleep. I seem to be sharing a smaller bed than normal with Jack tonight. Fine in theory, I just reeeeally don’t want to wake up with his beard near my face. That’s the stuff nightmares are made of…

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  1. Those times, they are-a- coommmming!

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