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 ( 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.


  1. Way to go Brook. Remember all the good you have
    seen when you witness evil. And what a great
    new word, Xenophile. Lots of us are rooting for
    you. Sherry and I hope to join you when
    you go through the Fargo area if we can arrange
    it. It's less than 200 miles from us.
    Robb Rasmussen and Sherry Oswal

  2. We hope that good outweighs evil, but at least you got a balance on the day.

    Go Xeno!!!

  3. Racism truly is an ugly thing, along with any other form of bigotry. I try to pretend in my own world that such things aren't as present as they really are, but i guess that doesn't change anything.

    Also, sorry to hear about your knee, i hope it recovers before too long. You're in my thoughts daily Brook. Best wishes.


  4. Brooke, when you encounter people like these I encourage you to pray for them. I know that is a heard thing to do but pray that they would have a change of heart and courage to stand up for what is right, rather than go along with crowd. May they become the men that God would want them to be and have strong principles rooted on His word. You make us all very proud.
    Annette K