Day 2: Elverson to Lancaster

This morning I got up at 6:45 AM. I didn’t sleep well last night since my legs and my back were aching the entire night. I left Mark and Sue’s house at 8, after taking a picture of both of them in front of their cherry tree.

Mark and Sue

I only rode for about 2 miles when my legs became sore again so I stopped in front of a gazebo. As it turned out it was actually a coffee shop. An Amish person struck a conversation with me and we both went inside the coffee gazebo. The owner, Lynne, asked me what I want. I jokingly said a couch, so I can rest a little. Next thing I know, she called her husband, named Lynn, so I can rest at their house, which was just next door.

I told Lynn about my journey and my website. While he was on the computer, I met Lynn and Lynne’s daughters and son. After stretching out my legs a little, I decided to get back on the road. After taking two photos of the couple and their coffee gazebo, which is named Twin Valley Coffee, Lynne offered a prayer for me. I’m not a religious man, but I can always use some good vibes.

Lynn and Lynne

Mark and Sue had told me about a bicycle shop called Shirk’s, which is about 9 miles away from their house. There I bought two water bottles, a pair of sunglasses, and a tune up service for my bike. Ben, the mechanic, also replaced the brake pads for me. The owner gave me a steep discount on the service and gave me the water bottles for free! They are so nice to me and my bike, definitely a great bike shop.

Shirk's bike Shop

It was around 1 PM when I arrived at Shady Maple Smorgasbord, another place recommended to me by Mark and Sue. I had a taco bowl with some iced tea for lunch, but only found out later the good food is on the second floor.

Soon after I got on the road again. I was in Amish country. With the smell of horses and cows, and green grass and blue sky, I felt I was in a photograph. In all four directions were wide open farm lands. With the 80 degree temperature and the occasional headwind, I began to worry about what would happen when I ride in the Midwest or the Great Plains. Several people I’ve talked to told me that the headwind was so bad there that some people turned back. Mark, who rode the TransAmerica trail in 1987, was going from west to east to catch the tailwind. I was warned by the lady at Riverbend Cycles that the wind is bad out there. Judging by my speed, which is only about 7 mph, I will not be able to move forward at all if the wind gets too strong. I might just keep going south to Florida if that’s the case. I will decide once I get to Virginia.

Amish Country

Around 5:40 PM, I arrived in Lancaster. I was able to contact a host on Warmshowers at the last minute. My host is Amelia, an outgoing girl who is in her twenties. Her two sisters live with her and so is her brother. I got to talking with the brother, whose name is Luke, about life and such. After taking a shower, I made dinner with Luke for just the two of us. I prepared some salad and Luke made some fried eggs. They were simple but good.

After dinner, Luke and I took a walk around downtown Lancaster. The town was a happening place with music at the civic center and people driving with their stereos blasting. When we got to the center of the town, there were two police men on horses. Horses kind of scare me because they are so big. I petted one for the first time.

Downtown Lancaster

I’m back at Amelia’s apartment. Luke put down some sheets on the couch for me. I’m ready to call it a night even though I only rode about 33 miles today, compared to 36 yesterday.