Biking with Eli from Ohio to New York State, 2012

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Back in the Spring of 2012, when Eli was finishing up his first year at Oberlin College, we spoke on a Skype call. I asked him if he wanted me to give him a ride back home after his final exams. “Yeah, that’d be great,” he responded, then paused to confirm one important detail. “You are bringing the car, right?”

“No car. Just the tandem bike,” I replied. A few weeks later, I flew into Columbus Ohio with our Bike Friday tandem packed in two suitcases, and my old friend David Levine drove me up to Oberlin the next day. I assembled the bike, and Eli packed his summer gear into the suitcases, which David shipped back East for us. Eli had seven days to ride over 400 miles to central New York State for a family reunion and memorial service for my father, John, who also enjoyed riding his bike. Below is a photomap of our ride (see full-screen version). We originally planned to ride 480 miles across the Northern Tier bike route (by Adventure Cycling) and the Erie Canal bike trail (by Parks and Trails NY) to my hometown of Morrisville, NY. But we modified our trip and rode 429 miles in 5 days, then caught a ride with relatives in Skaneateles, NY to avoid some hills on a very hot day.

Download any of these photos from my Flickr Album

  • Our final destination was Morrisville NY for a family reunion and memorial service for my father, John, who also loved riding his bike

  • Welcome to PA

  • Tandem assembly 9

  • Tandem assembly 7

  • Tandem assembly 5

  • Snapshot of the original bike photo map

  • Spotted an actual Oberlin albino squirrel

  • Visiting Michael, Jen Tavi, and Paul near Rochester

  • Eli's summer stuff fit into the two bike suitcases

  • Preparing for take-off from Oberlin

  • Lunch stop at Geneva on the Lake, where the cook told us, "You must be hippies, or physics majors!"

  • Cruising outside of Cleveland

  • Riding across the Ashtabula bridge

  • Fabulous ride on Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway

  • Gorilla chases us away on our bike

  • Eli in deep thought

  • Riding out of Rochester

  • We skipped Niagara Falls to speed up our trip, and found a delicious Mexican lunch in Batavia NY

  • Eli helps fix the flat tire

  • Welcome to Chili NY