Keith’s parents rejoined us in Buffalo, and they came bearing bikes. We had won the bid on a pair of folding Dahon Boardwalk bikes, including bags, on eBay. The complication was that they had to be picked up…in Maine. Since Loren and Clairice were already planning a driving trip to Albany, at the east end of the Erie Canal, they very graciously offered to make a fairly lengthy side trip to Maine to retrieve the bikes.
Yesterday all the preparation for unstepping (taking down) the mast and placing it on deck provided a good workout. Today we arrive at Tonawanda, the western terminus of the Erie Canal, where a crane lifts the ponderous and unwieldy mast off the deck and dangles it into place on waiting sawhorses. Always a heart-pounding process with plenty of potential for damage, this time we sustain a small gouge in Keith's meticulously refinished bow pulpit wood trim. All of this so that our boat, whose mast normally towers to sixty-one feet, can glide under bridges that rise only fifteen feet from the water.
Pelican’s wings have been clipped again; she can no longer extend them to soar in the wind. But we can fly! We take the bikes on a ten-mile inaugural ride to West Marine (where else?) and have a blast! People seem to be admiring our new bikes. Or maybe they’re marveling at Keith’s multi-tasking abilities as he rides his bike while talking on his cell phone and carrying an eight-foot antenna (to exchange).