Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 1

What an amazing and epic day one! Today could not have been more fun. Although it was 45 degrees and hella windy. For my norcal crew. They say hella up there to describe things.

Stuck with the plan. Met at mud and got on the road at a out 9:30. There was about 15 friends and family to see us off. Thank you so much, each and everyone of you that got up early on this cold and windy Sunday morning to see us off.

We started with 7 of us up to the bridge. We took the George washinton bridge. It's the only way to get to Jersey by bike power from Manhattan. It was RVK, his gf Jen, two guys named Dave. The Norcal crew and myself. Nico and Sean are the two guys who stayed with me Saturday night and are biking from DC to Boston.

One of the Daves dissapeared after 14th st. So we were down to 6. Then we lost the Norcal crew about 100th st and the west side hwy. They were staying at the hostel up there.

Then ran into Carolyn and her friend Sherry with her son Jordan. Who I found out is quite talented and only 9 years young. So we were back to 7.

The wind was fierce up the west side. So the other 5 biked with us up to the base of the bridge and said smell u later! Then it was up probably the steepest hill of the day. That's the highest point of manhattan right where the bridge is. If u have biked up there you know what I'm saying. This was truly our first test. We both made it up the whole way. Keep in mind. Today was our first day biking with all of our gear. Rocket scientist I tell you.

So we get all the way up the hill, stop at starbux to take a leak and then my first "incident.". When we were getting onto the GW. There is a tight turn to get on. It's a downhill and we had good momementum. There was a road biker in front of us. Of course he's not moving fast and has his head phones on. Not only is a sharp turn but it gets real steep. So he is taking up the whole path. I start yelling to him. To late. I get stuck int toe clips as my back bag catches his back wheel. I go straight into the stone pylon face first next to me. Luckily I caught myself. Could have really sucked. Anyways, got it out of the way quickly. Rich had his today too. So hopefully were good. Check out his blog as well, But finish reading mine first. It's going to get good.

Holy shit! New Jersey sucks for biking Judy outside of the city. Well south if the GW anyways. with the biking option really took us for a ride. We actually went right by my boy Terrances house. So that was the last good bye. We literally rode by his block, got to say wassup.

The route through the industrial areas were very dangerous and trecherous. First of all, the shoulders are littered with filth. Glass, pieces of metal and car parts. If we were going to get flats that would have been the spot. The dangerous part was the no shoulder and cars zinging by. Luckily it was daytime and the traffic wasn't bad because Sunday and mothers day. After that it was down through Newark which wasn't that bad. But by this point we were getting hungry. Especially biking through all those multi cultural neighborhoods where the food smelled amazing.
We kept biking south and this incredible thing happened. We saw hundreds of cyclists biking on a road to the left of us with blue jerseys on. We looked at each other and pitched our route and jumped on the mix. It was great, I was biking and had my blue Patagonia wind breaker on. Rich was a little more obscure with his red wind breaker. But both of us stuck out like sore thumbs without the jersey and our gear. Automatically we were accepted to ride along with them. Then everyone want to interrogate us.

It is a law enforcement bike ride called the "police unity tour.". They come from all over America to raise money for the memorial in DC. I was told they are adding 308 names to the memorial this year. Wow, all day long we were biking slow. Looking for the right road, wind and highly trafficked side streets really slowed us down.

Now we were cruising with hundreds of other cyclists and a police escort. They were moving really well. We held our own with all our gear and the uphills. It was great every intersection we could just cruise through.

Met folks from all over in all types of law enforcement. Secret service, corrections officers and cops from all over. Met a dude from Oregan who biked from Seattle to Wisconnsin for his 20th ha reunion. Then some dudes from Vegas. A lot of riders from Jersey and the DC area. Told Agee of them about the blog and asked them to follow along. Everyone seemed envious. Just made me feel that much better about our decision to bike accross the USA. Really could not have envisioned a more uplifting experience for our first day.

It all went downhill after that. We had lunch at a real greasy Greek diner. So after lunch we were a little sore, tired and it got a but colder out. We then had to find a hotel. Both of us have Iphones. Also have the Garmin edge 705 GPS with me. They really seem to not be the most direct routes. We ended up taking way to long to find our hotel. Hopefully that will get better down the road.

Oh yeah, almost forgot about Matt the school teacher we met on the west side hwy. He was riding next to me and had a similiar set up on a touring bike. He asked what was up, so I told him. He is doing the trip in July. Good luck to you Matt.

Time to go eat some dinner! Thanks for following along. I'm finally excited about being on the trip. It's been a crazy couple of weeks and my emotions have been all over the place. Off to Philly tomorrow. Staying with my fraternity brother Ben. Going to be a good time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:New Jersey 18,East Brunswick,United States


  1. Sounds like an inspiring first day, Ry!


  2. ROAD RASH! How's your taint?

  3. Nice seeing you guys on the road yesterday. I am part of the Police Unity Tour. Glad you guys could put some miles on with us. Good luck on your trip. I will keep following along.
    Is your butt as sore as mine? We did 90+ today from Edison, NJ to Wilmington, DE.

  4. Thanks John. Definitely glad we biked into you guys. Ned, taint no problems. Jane. Def a great first day! Thanks for reading along.