Getting started (12 May)

First order of the day was  bicycle pick-up and safety inspection. Our two mechanics, Dana and Rick were extremely thorough! Reassured that we now had the best possible equipment, we went for a short ride to the beach. The bike path along the beach was lovely, but fraught with dangers: pedestrians, dogs, children and every variety of bicycle. The cry of "on your left" was an absolute necessity; Emil was almost flattened by a rather hefty young man on a fat tire bike, who swung over in front of him to chat with two girls. Below another dangerous encounter.
At two o'clock it was time for the much anticipated Orientation Meeting, where we got to finally see the group as a whole. After everyone briefly introduced themselves and said why they had chosen this trip, Paula provided us with a wealth of useful information. Attentive listeners, interesting questions and answers and a dash of humor made this important event most enjoyable.

Our first dinner together was bufffet style with all of the ingredients for a healthy start to the tour: salad, fresh vegetables, pasta, meatballs and chicken and an enormous cookie for dessert. Tom's fianceé, Sarah, made the decorations!

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