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  • Writer's picturePatrick Baechle

You have reached your destination

I am sitting outside at a table under the canopy of a Greek restaurant, in a cool drizzeling rain, listening to bazuki music and sipping warm lemon chicken soup in the Town of Cranford New Jersey. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Where is it? I do not know but, there is a train station here and this town is alive with pedestrians, shops and restaurants. People are freindly. It's clean and its well maintained. It's a really nice town, as have been most all of the towns I have passed through in New Jersey.

For some reason, this leg of the trip, coming into the thicker populations surrounding New York City, has been the one that has given me the most apprehension. I guess sometimes we develop impressions of places based strictly on outward appearances. Sometimes we assume an area is just like what we see from a train or from the freeway but, until you immerse yourself into the thick of it, you find out that it is not really a scene from Bladerunner.

The scene here is a comglamoratiom from many town halls and conference rooms where people got together to agree upon reasonable plans for their communities and landscape. Those plans have resulted in great bike trails along beautiful green parks through small towns like the one I am sitting in now.

Ont thing that I am starting to understand, however, is that lodging is not bicyclist friendly and, is pretty much only located near freeways. Very rarely can you find a reasonable hotel in a towns central business district, nor, near the bike trail. It's always necessary to leave the quiet, pleasant greenery of the trail and travel away several miles to get to a hotel.

I am starting to use Google maps to navigate from the trail to the hotel. It helps when zig zagging though residential neighborhoods, with no signs, to get the turn by turn. So at the end, Alexa says "you have reached your destination. Your destination is on the right" and there it was indeed; The Holliday Inn Express. Right in front of my eyes. On the other side of a six lane highway with a four foot high concrete barrier wall as far as you could see in both directions.

Today I am riding today to Jersey City where tomorrow morning I will take a ferry across the river to board the mother ship.

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