My Route

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Day 19: Friday, 20th July. Destination: Vernondale Motel, 7m W of Erie, Pennsylvania

On, briefly, through Pennsylvania for my bike's 1st 1000 mile checkup in a place called North East to the lovely Vernondale Motel, a little East of Erie. The Lake County bike shop in North East was one of those places that the second you walk in you know you're in safe hands: some kids were hanging out talking about an upcoming bike race, and the tech guy / owner knew them all and - as became evident - was involved in organising the local bike club. He was busy, but the second he realised I was doing the coast-to-coast he put down what he was doing and gave my bike a thorough check-up, throwing in some maintenance advice for free. I couldn't help thinking of how, in these secular times, places like this have taken on the community role of churches, and this bike guy was doing a good job of keeping the local tearaways on the straight and narrow.

Well, with such uplifting thoughts and my gears meshing smoothly I cleared the city of Erie popping out the other side ending up at the Vernondale Motel. Stuck a bit out in suburban nowhere, it had charm sufficient to compensate for it's location: The old lady at the front desk offered me a cyclist's discount and a fresh squeezed glass of orange juice and the room was pure 1950's, with one wall (behind the bed) a giant technicolor print of pines, lakes and mountains and everywhere else collectable 50s lamps and chairs. Neat-o mosquito.