Inspired by Popeye, cross-country cyclists drink spinach

Stoked with a fresh spinach smoothie, Tom and Kathy Norton prepare to leave Lewes on their way to Rehoboth Beach to begin their cross-country bicycling adventure. BY DENNIS FORNEY
April 25, 2014

Tom and Kathy Norton of northern Ohio spent the night with us recently. They were embarking on a cross-country bicycle trip starting in Rehoboth Beach and ending in Astoria, Oregon. When they reach Astoria, they plan to head south along the West Coast to California. All in all, they’re planning to complete the trip in about four months.

They called Becky and me because while we were biking across country last summer we joined an organization called Warm Showers. While you’re out on the road you can call Warm Showers participants and they’ll put you up for the night. When you’re home, you offer a night’s lodging to others who are touring. One hand washes the other. It’s a good way to add economy and sociability to bicycle touring. Plus everyone gets vetted in advance by Warm Showers so you don’t end up with questionable characters cruising your hallways in the middle of the night.

Becky made them a nice molé served over brown rice. It went down well with some Dogfish ales. Then next morning I fortified them with a page out of Popeye the Sailor Man’s book. Lots of fresh spinach tossed into a VitaMix along with carrots, beets, ginger, apple, grapes, raspberries, blueberries, lemon, coconut oil, flax seed, Vitamin D, protein powder for good measure and three or four handfuls of ice cubes to make it all thick and icy. Custom-made smoothie. “Strong to the finish, cuz I eats my spinach.”

Drink a pint and it will make you want to jump up on the roof, holler heidi ho, spread your wings and catch the first strong gust straight on ‘til morning.

Tom and Kathy weren’t as enthusiastic about the smoothie as they were about Becky’s molé. They licked her pot clean but politely pleaded full bellies the next morning when I offered more smoothie. Sometimes you just can’t figure.

At any rate, after a couple of weeks they’re 500 miles into their journey. Without that smoothie, I’m sure they would only be at 300 or so by now.

They’re calling their journey Undaunted Perseverance Across America. That’s also the title of the blog they’re keeping. You can check them out at

Nassau underpass trail underway

Ray Quillen has been work ing tirelessly to persuade DelDOT to develop a short trail beneath the Route 1 overwpass at Nassau so bicyclists living west of Route 1 can get across the highway without talking their lives into their own hands. There are many communities just west of the Nassau overpass along the railway alignment including Whispering Pines, Red Mill Farms, Mill Pond Acres, Edgewater, Mallard Point, Lewes Landing, and the list goes on toward Harbeson and Georgetown.

DelDOT is working on a rail-to-trail project between Lewes and Georgetown, but actual construction is a ways off. Ray lobbied hard this winter and spring to try to get a simple trail beneath the overpass into place to connect Minos Conaway Road with Nassau Road.

He reports that on Tuesday this week DelDOT officials were planning to meet on location with representatives of Delaware State Police to map out and stake out a route. Ray wrote: “This will give us a safe way to get back and forth around Route One without having to cross the highway and also a way for people using the American Discovery Trail to cross the highway. After they stake out the path, the plan is to decide what equipment is needed and then get manual labor from the Violation of Probation prisoners to clear the path and then get highway trucks to haul it away.”

Ultimately there will be a much more elaborate trail beneath the overpass, but this solution will be much less expensive, and the good news is, it will be in place for the coming bicycling and hiking season.

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