Riding through the city of Utica I was almost hit by a car.  The driver was making a left-hand turn across traffic, didn’t see me, and missed crashing into me by only 5 feet.  I screamed as I was braking, which may have helped get her attention so she braked as well sparing my legs.  I’m grateful for the firefighters and paramedics who respond to accidents in our communities...I thought of them in that moment.  I’m grateful that we didn’t need to call them!

Later in the day I did crash, but it was a slow motion crash, all on my own.  My chain derailed as I was going up hill with both feet clipped with cleats into my pedals.  There is nowhere to go in that situation except for over (I haven't fallen over in this way since WA state)...I only slightly bruised my knee.

At a convenience store on the outskirts of Herkimer, a man asked about my travels – when I told him the reason for the bike trip, he said, “You’re what we around here call a ‘truther.’”  …the name fit well enough.  He proceeded to explain to me how the jet fuel was hot enough to melt the steel because the steel wasn’t properly insulated, and that the buildings pancaked down because of their weight.  With further discussion, he stated (like so many people I've talked with across the country) that he doesn’t trust government officials to tell him the truth, and he said he wouldn’t be surprised if that was true in this case.  He listened with care and friendliness as I told him about the scientific evidence that was missing from his explanation.  I gave him a DVD.

Just a moment later another person approached me to ask about the bike.  He’s a social worker.  He’d already been questioning 9/11, but he hadn’t heard yet about the scientific evidence presented by AE911Truth.  He was interested.  His son has a degree in criminal justice.  Also, he has a friend who's a retired state trooper who volunteered at the WTC site and is now very sick from exposure to the dust.  He said that both would be interested in the DVD.

I talked with a firefighter at the Herkimer fire station.  He’d never heard of the scientific evidence or AE911Truth – he said he intended to look at the DVD that afternoon.  At the Herkimer police station, the police officer said he had looked online at some of the evidence from the WTC site but had not yet heard of AE911Truth.  He expressed support for the science and my effort – he said, “We need more people like you.”  I also dropped off a DVD for the Herkimer County Sheriff.

At Little Falls the fire department bay doors were wide open.  Three firefighters there had not heard of the scientific evidence or AE911Truth.  One of the firefighters walked around the corner to the police station with me.  As we walked I mentioned that some of the people I’ve met along the way, some of the AE911Truth petition signers, had told me that they are fearful to approach their local law enforcement officers to talk about 9/11.  He said in a quiet and sort of sad voice, “Yeah, they’re afraid to talk with us too.”  I wondered aloud why people would be afraid to talk with firefighters of paramedics. He shook his head and said, “I don’t know.”  The patrol officer we met just coming onto duty had heard of the scientific evidence but not AE911Truth (like the Herkimer police officer he said he’d learned about the evidence of molten iron, etc, online).  He was interested in the DVD.

I made quick stops at the Fort Plain and Canajoharie village offices and left DVDs for the police chief and the fire chief in each town.

The first half of my day I rode on the pavement of Rt 5.  And then I rode the gravel of the Canal Trail.  I saw a cyclist along Rt 5 who was please to see me, and had rushed to complete his business so that he could ride with me on the 7-mile trail to Schenectady.  I appreciated the opportunity to hear his life story as we rode together.

In Schenectady I met with business owner and AE911Truth petition signer grateful for my work - we had coffee together and talked about some of the challenges of talking with people in the community about 9/11.  I left some DVDs with him to deliver to the Schenectady fire and police stations.  I asked if he was afraid to do this.  He said no, but that he thought I would be a better AE911Truth ambassador than him – he wanted AE911Truth to be represented well in interactions with local fire and police stations.

It was getting late in the day, so I rode without stopping through several communities on my way into Albany.
My top priority riding into Albany was to visit New York State Museum.  As I entered the museum I gave my business card to three museum employees/volunteers at the information desk.  We had a friendly conversation about the bike trip and some of the evidence, just enough to let them know why I was so interested in the WTC display at the museum.  (I also let a man who desperately needed to make a call regarding a medical concern borrow my cell phone, such an easy thing to do to let someone make a call on my cell phone.)

I was concerned about what I saw in the display.  I took photos for future reference of parts that I considered to be scientifically inaccurate.  I copied this from the display into my notebook, “Temperatures rose to over 1300 degrees F….  If the fire had been more contained, the beams could have cooled down and regained their strength as the fire moved and consumed fuel.  As the structural steel frame began to melt….”  I have not yet seen evidence of continuously raging fires over 1300 degrees - the smoke seen in the videos of the fires an hour after the plane crashes is black, smoldering. 

As I left the display and was walking toward the door, I had a choice to say something about my concerns or not.  As I approached the desk, all three employee/volunteers were staring at their computer screen.  They had been viewing the "9/11 Journey for Truth" website as I was viewing the display.  I told them that I had concerns about the scientific accuracy of the display - they looked uncomfortable in the way people look uncomfortable when they first hear about the scientific forensic evidence presented by AE911Truth.  They suggested that I write a critique of the display for the museum director.

I didn’t get to do most of the outreach I had been intending to do in Albany.  I had a broken spoke (a continuation of damage from an incident on a railroad crossing in Ohio).  So after picking up a final shipment of DVDs from the AE911Truth office I found a bike shop for the necessary repairs.  I didn’t get out of Albany until noon.  I had intended to deliver a DVD to the New York State Police Superintendent…I guess I’ll mail one with a note from NYC.  

I’m grateful for the capable bicycle mechanics at the Broadway Bike Shop. The ride out of Albany was first intensely urban, and then hilly.  My stamina for outreach is quickly fading - I'm tired from more than 90 days on the road.  I think this is a good thing – it means that I’ve given nearly all the strength that I have in me for this journey.  I’m relieved to be nearly at my destination of NYC.  On the ride from Albany to Red Hook I dropped off DVDs for the Rensselaer police department and the Castleton-on-Hudson fire department.  

I was hosted in Red Hook by a couple of AE911Truth petition signers for dinner, and then another couple provided peaceful company, a comfortable bed for the night and breakfast in the morning.  I appreciate meeting AE911Truth petition signer I left ten DVDs with these petition signers for delivery around the Red Hook and Dutchess County area.  Again I am happy to give some of this work to supporters along the way.

 This is a lovely time to be riding down the Hudson.  Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, so there are clear views through the trees to the river and surrounding hills.  And the scent of the damp leaves is richly pleasant.  I’ve seen pileated woodpeckers a couple of times here in the woods along the river.  Seeing pileated woodpeckers reminds me of home.



10/26/2012 6:49am

Glad you are okay after that close one in Utica, NY. You're almost at your final destination. Please take extra care on this last leg of the journey. We need you to make it safe and sound. What you (and Pam) have achieved is nothing short of amazing!

10/28/2012 10:21pm

Hi Rena! Wow, I was shaking in my chair reading the description of your near miss!! Simply heartbreaking about the first responder who is now suffering from the effects of the dust he breathed in at Ground Zero. There have been so many tragic stories like that. Justice has not been done for those true heroes.

I'm so glad you're finally in NYC and that you got to enjoy the ride along the great Hudson River! My apologies about the hurricane - it was out of my control. Looking forward to hearing what's next for you! Love, Shar

David Cole
10/29/2012 5:51am

Thank you so much for your incredible outreach.


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