In our idle hours over these past eleven days, I vowed not to let all of my 3,500+ miles of hard work come to naught as my body withered and weakened from disuse. An accumulated half-day’s worth of time at Dayton’s Pacchia cafe, shocking my muscles into jittery flexion from overdoses of caffiene was the first step. Thanks again to all the baristas and pastry chefs there who facilitated my fixation.

A second step was a return trip to the refreshingly bike-savvy town of Richmond, Indiana, our last stop before Dayton. My rainjacket had been misplaced at Chris Hardie’s place and seeing as there were six days to kill in the city where flight was born (the Wright Brothers began their aviation-destined entrepeneurial ventures with a bike shop in Dayton), I took off one morning on a 90-mile round trip to collect my coat. By 8:30 in the morning, I was on the road already once traveled, averaging a solid 22 miles per hour with a disparaging tailwind. Disparaging only because tailwinds work just one way. By 10:30 I had made it to Richmond in time to witness the celebratory parade in honor of their selection as an all-American city. Congratulations, Richmond! By 1:30, I was back in Dayton, 90 miles more not-atrophied, relishing in the celebratory accolades of the baristas & pastry chefs at Pacchia who thought I was nuts for riding so far by so early in the afternoon.

Later, Andy and Emily picked me up and we went hiking deep into the excruciating woods of Ohio to jump off waterfalls in Yellowsprings, kicking ferociously against the deadly undercurrent to reach salvation at the surface of the frigid waters below. Then we checked out a Birds of Prey sanctuary, where all these badass birds who’ve lost wings, legs or eyes are cared for. It was adorable and sad.

All of these activities were meticulously planned so that I could ride to Columbus in an indirect fashion along old railroad trails on a hot, humid day with headwinds. Furthermore, I logically started at noon so as to ensure I rode during the most oppressive parts of the day.

Twoarmparty was now officially split up. Quinn was in Syracuse, Andy was still in Dayton, and I was on my way to help one of my best friends get married in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. It wouldn’t be until Sunday (as I write this) that we’d be back together again.

During my flight to Philadelphia, I kicked the seat in front of me constantly for the entire duration of our 90-minute trip. It was ok because it wasn’t a very crowded flight. The people on the flight back to Columbus weren’t so lucky. Sorry about that, lady. Had to keep the legs in shape.

Once in the ill-nicknamed City of Brotherly Love (have you ever met many Philadelphians? They hate eachother. And everything) I demanded that Jon, my friend of 27 years, ferry me by motorcycle so that in my high-speed, two wheeled terror, I would try to crush his pelvis as I held on for deal life with my phenomenal thighs. Route 611 from his home in Furlong to the wedding in Stroudsburg was hilly, massively scenic, and full of blind curves Jon took at breakneck speed with me behind him. My legs were sore and his hips were so collapsed, he could barely dance. But not before we took our blushing groom-to-be out for a night on the town. Rampant chicanery ensued, I promise you that. Details will not be explained here. Let it be known that some members of the bridal party are not allowed in certain bars and may owe the city of Stroudsburg some money after the tickets are processed.

Getting back to dancing, it is now a well known fact that all Staneks love to dance and are great at it. Michelle (the little sister) has been a better dancer than you since she started studying at Miss Pat’s on Greenwood Avenue 20-mrrmmmphhh years ago. Patti (the mom) couldn’t be torn off the dance floor. Don (the dad) had hip replacements a few years ago which were apparently bionic. And I, of course, pledged to not stop shakin it all day and night long, singing “She’s a maniac” and running in place even when Scott (the groom) and I went hiking in Jacobsburg park three hours before his wedding. All of the following photos from the wedding are from my sister. Thanks, Michelle.

The groomsmen. From left: “Hutch”, Jon, “Silent” Ken (the best man), Scott (the groom), Joe, myself

OMG, I look good in a tux!

Me & Mom

The whole fam.

From left, Me, Jon, Scott, his bride Liz.

Through this intense, well planned training regimen, I feel quite ready (not to mention seriously anxious) to re-begin our trek tomorrow morning. It’ll be two long days to Pittsburgh, then some grueling days through Pennsylvania. Having flown over the state in less than a freakin’ hour, I’m psyched to do it the hard way, over the better part of a week. Easton, I’ll see you again just after the fourth of July!