July 12, 2016 – Clouds, 75 degrees
Miles Today: 63
Miles to Date: 12,770
States to Date: 33
I thought today was going to be about hills, but it turned out to be about Pokémon Go and Rumanian moonshine.
I faced a half-mile of vertical rise over sixty miles; a good workout on a clear, warm summer day. Riding west in this land of north/south valleys means hill after hill. In the middle I did have seven beautiful miles on the Coventry and Trestle bike paths, but even they were a solid upgrade.
Rhode Island must have been unhappy I only planned one day there; I got massively lost searching for a bike path that didn’t exist, and spun another five miles in Little Big Rhody before reaching the Connecticut line.
I needed a serious lunch, so camped out in Riverview Restaurant in Plainfield. A big fried chicken sandwich with French fries served up with loud country music. Then I pedaled twenty more hard miles to reach Willimantic by four, where I talked with the General Manager of Connecticut’s largest coop about how will we live tomorrow.
By the time I reached my warmshowers’ host in Mansfield, the preliminaries of day were over and party time began. Tony Malloy, a vegan body builder and IT guru for UConn Library, invited several friends for some of the best food of my trip. This vitamix magician made a great Mexican dinner of gazpacho, lentil/walnut/tomato paste as a hearty meat alternative, and all kinds of toppings, plus Corona, Modelo and Plum Palinka, a Rumanian liquor so strong the vapors alone knocked me back.
Although our dinner conversation kicked off with a typically academic discussion of the value of ‘Open Education’ textbooks, we soon got to truly important stuff, like how Pokémon Go has captivated the world in five short days. Even me, on my bike, had heard of it and seen people wandering aimlessly with their eyes glued to their phone. Two people in our group downloaded the app then and there and proceeded to ball toss the imaginary Pokémon who appeared on the dining room table and in the corner of the kitchen. Anyone feeling Alpha male barked at Tony’s Amazon Alexa, who could play any song we could think of at any volume, and seemed pleased to be yelled at.
Quote of note: “Cats are good practice for dealing with people on their own terms.”