New York

On the Prescot-Ogdensburg bridge.
Day 32: 131 km. The cycling was not smooth today. One reason was the headwind. The other reason is that he didn't put enough effort to it. If you have a small distance to make, then you think 'It's easy, just go slowly and you'll get to it', but you don't put any effort in the cycling and you never get into a good rhythm, especially if you are stopping too much, and that's why every hill seems difficult. You need a little effort to get things going smoothly and you also need time to develop a rhythm.
Mr. Iik crossed into USA on the Prescot-Ogdensburg bridge. He didn't do it exactly legally, as there are signs prohibiting the access to cyclists and pedestrians, but nobody stopped him on the Canadian side. The deck on the bridge is a steel grid and he didn't ride across but walked the bike on a pathway. As he got to USA he got a little lesson in good manners, but he was cooperative and the entry into USA went smoothly. He was pleased to see that the roads in the US had a wide and mostly good shoulder divided with a full white line from the rest of the road and drivers obeyed the divide and didn't cross the line. Along the road there were neat houses with big lawns and the owners must be spending most of their free time mowing them. He finished his cycling today in Canton, and went for a dinner - if he recalls correctly the first dinner of the tour.

Adirondack mountains park.
Day 33: 138 km. Cloudy morning, it all smelt of another rainy day, but Mr. Iik managed to dodge all the threatening storms by waiting them out close to some shelter. After Potsdam the road starts to climb to Adirondack mountains. The climbing is not all that difficult, he is quickly up in the hart of the park. It seems this is very popular retreat for New Yorkers. The road is excellent, the traffic low, the scenery of forests, lakes and rivers is nice, the atmosphere is peaceful and Iik thinks at times that he is out on his weekend Sunday ride at home.
It is not Sunday though, but Friday, which means a lot of week-end campers have moved to Adirondacks from all over the state. All the campgrounds are full but Iik doesn't have much trouble to find a wild camping space behind the demolished sawmill. As he puts up the tent the picture-book creatures from the woods move closer to check him out: a dear, then a coyote, then a hawk.

Day 34: 167 km. Today was a rather lazy day, from lake to lake and coffee to coffee. He stops in a library in Indian Lake to send e-mails and to print out a street map of Manhattan. At the petrol station he meets a guy (Carl) who gives him a free map of the state of New York. It later turned out to be quite useful, especially when crossing Albany, following many variants of the road #9 to Yonkers and finding the way to Jamaica station in Queens. It would be a tough job to do it with just the card that he was riding with so far.
The idyll of Adirondack park ends somewhere around Mayfield. It must be something in the air there as the drivers, who were benign as sheep in Adirondack adopt the wild urbane manners as soon as they cross the sign indicating the end of the park.

American home: the flag, the lawn and chairs on the porch
Day 35: 101 km. The last wet day. How will Mr. Iik miss them! Today he did a good job in crossing the labyrinth of under- and over-passes across the Hudson river in Albany. It was just 15:00 when he reached Hudson, but his wet feet were complaining and he checked in the motel early. He made a kilometer further and back just to avoid the shame of having to write down a pitiful distance of 98 km in his diary. It was too late to cycle to Poughkeepsie and he didn't know if there is any other accommodation in between. The motels are rather sparse in the USA, he now learned to appreciate the luxury of motels in Canada, where every village has at least two of them.

Day 36: 171 km. Look, look. It's sunny morning, just as predicted. Mr. Iik followed route #9, which becomes closed to cyclists in Poughkeepsie, so he is directed to #376 and #82 and back to #9 in Beacon, but there were road works on #9 in Peekskill so he leaves it, goes around on #9A and again back on #9 and exits in Ossining where he asks in a visitor center about a hotel but gets an offer for $161 without the tax, which is ridiculous, so he says good-bye and continues to Tarrytown which is renown for its many motels, however Iik fails to find any of them there, so he continues on #119, finally finds a decent motel in Elmsford, and celebrates both this lucky find and a practical end of his tour - after all, he is just 70 km from New York City - with a bottle of white wine and three slices of pizza.

On NYC streets.
Day 37: 62 km. (4-August-2009.) When Mr. Iik went through Albany a couple of days ago he justly concluded that riding into New York City shouldn't be much more difficult. A little caution is needed to confront frequent patches, holes and cracks on the streets and a watchful eye on the cars coming behind you, especially when you overtake single, double or even triple rows of parked cars on your right.
Mr. Iik followed Broadway up to the beginning of the Central park, then went in the park to have a little nap on the grass and then cruised on Avenues (going north to south) and Streets (going west to east) up to the ground zero and the Atlantic.

So, Mr. Iik came to the end of the tour. What can he say? He was not overwhelmed beyond expression as he stood at the Atlantic front with a lookout on the Statue of liberty. He'd known that he would be there sooner or later. There were no more kilometers to go. And there was no time to continue and cycle around the world, which he felt able of doing more then ever. He was silently satisfied and he didn't even feel the need to tell it to anybody.
Just one song from long ago came to his mind:
'Rejoice, glory's ours!
(Our young men have not died in vain
Their graves need no flowers
The tapes have recorded their names)'

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