Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Day 12 - Wolcott to Rochester, NY
Total mileage for the day: 2
Total mileage to date: 619
As I stumbled out of bed this morning I made a tough decision not to ride today. My knee has progressively worsened and I am concerned about its well being for the remainder 57 days on the bike. I strolled down main street of Wolcott, NY and stepped into a diner for a hearty breakfast. I encountered several men eating breakfast at the bar and experienced the saddest moment of my trip so far. The men bantered about politics, economics and such, but then they broached a topic that broke my heart. I will sum up the conversation with a quote from one of the gentleman, "I hate niggers!" One even said to me, "you wouldn't recognize us with our sheets on." Tears are rolling down my face as I type this remembering this conversation and how freely these men shared their disgust and disapporval for "niggers." I suppose getting to know America does include getting to know all walks of life - even those who struggle to love and accept those different from themselves. I met an older couple (they were not public racists though for the record) in the diner that were heading to Rochester and they offered me a ride. I arrived at 12:00 and had 5 hours to spend until my host came home for work. I used my cute charm to convince the bellhop at the Hyatt to hold my bike, bag and trailer so I could cruise the downtown free of worry from the theft of my bike and trailer. I entertained myself by strolling around downtown Rochester, loitering at the library, enjoying a lovely lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant and visiting the local bike shop. Perhaps my favorite moment of the day was meeting Jeremiah. He advocates (http://www.gaelateca.org/) the Irish culture which includes carrying a xenophilia spirit. He enlightened me on my favorite new word - Xenophile - a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs. Imagine that in the morning I was surrounded by men who outwardly shared their hate towards people of color and then I meet this beautiful man on the bike trying to share his passion for loving foreign peoples, cultures and customs. I hope to cross more Xenophillias in the upcoming days then those who enjoying wearing sheets. I suppose I should be thankful traveling in these parts that I am white.
Onto less heavy topics, the weather should be good tomorrow as I head to Lockport, NY. Let's hope my knee holds up better tomorrow.