Today We Stood at Sinai


Joey here.  Today, on Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the receipt of the Commandments (variously interpreted) at Mt. Sinai, we stood at Mt. Sinai . . . New York.  The town is flat as a pancake and only 30 feet (10 meters) above sea level.  The experience reminded us that calling something a mountain doesn’t make it so, that belief can trump reality (for better or worse), and that ideas and words change the world . . . if we don’t just think and talk, but act.

We left Stony Brook on a pedestrian/cyclist path.  Everyone we saw on the path was wearing headphones instead of listening to the red-winged blackbirds.  We felt we were the only ones in the moment.  One alert walker interrupted her phone conversation to ask about the Ride and human rights.


We never had been this far east on Long Island.  It is beautiful here, with pretty towns, thick woods, real agriculture, and many vineyards and wineries.


Here’s something odd.  What are Custer and the Indians doing on eastern Long Island?


lt turns out that the Custer Institute, an astronomical observatory, chose the name in 1927 to honor the hospitable grand niece of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer.  You’ll recall that Colonel Custer and his 7th Cavalry were wiped out by a coalition of American Indian (First Nations) tribes in Montana in 1876.  That the Indian Museum, affiliated with the NYS Archeological Association, is next door, seems to be coincidence.

In some villages, motorized traffic moved more slowly than we did.  A driver saw us as we pedaled past, honked at us when he passed us later, and we all pulled over to talk.


Dennis’s Jeep’s vanity license plate says KAHUNA.  Jeffrey asked if he’s Hawaiian.  He isn’t.  Dennis has lived on eastern Long Island his whole life.  He doesn’t surf, but rides stand-up boards, which he said we could learn to use in a few minutes.  He said he read our sign and admires what we are doing, and plans to follow our journey.

Dennis knows what we’re about.  Some others may get the wrong idea from a quick impression.  Several people called out “Thank you!” as they drove past us this Memorial Day weekend.  We suspect that they spot the U.S. flag we fly from the Sprint 26, count our wheels, and assume that Jeffrey is a disabled war veteran.

Jeffrey pedaled hard to make the 3 PM ferry from Orient Point, the eastern tip of Long Island’s North Fork.  We passed lighthouses as the ferry left Long Island . . .


. . . and more lighthouses as we entered the harbor 21 miles across Long Island Sound at New London, Connecticut.


Here’s New London.  And here’s the Electric Boat company, where part of an under-construction submarine (at the photo’s center) is outdoors for spies to admire.


We left the ferry, setting foot in New England!  After a few miles of pedaling, we crossed the Thames River to Groton, Connecticut, where we are spending the night.  Here we met Mary Beth and Evonne, who took a keen interest in the Ride.  Their excitement suggests that they support acting, not just talking, about human rights.


Tune in tomorrow as we travel inland.

5 thoughts on “Today We Stood at Sinai

  1. I imagine some folks back in that “other “Promised Land–aka–Upper West Side should beam that you were at Mt. SInai today of all days. I hope you had some dairy treats…if not there is still Monday for those… I’m beaming for you and I’m in Mason-Dixon Line Territory with my own dairy treats without any meat..not to worry LOL
    ‘Cousin Joel in Delaware

  2. sounds like a beautiful ride – hope it continues being beautiful and safe , Amy

  3. Glad the leg is holding out. Isn’t it nice to take a ferry and enjoy the scenery while someone is doing the work? Enjoy New England. Art

  4. Hello, Jeffrey: I’m a longtime friend of Kathy Jones, who wrote me about your spins. Bravo! Don’t know if Maine is on your agenda, but know that you have a place to stay if you get to Portland June 23, 24, 25, 26 or 27; or anytime from July 12 through August 3. All best, Dick Pollak

  5. Another Human Rights coincidence – You cross Long Island Sound where the Amistad was captured in 1839.

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