Day 1 – NYC to Philadelphia proved to be a great success. I had the honor of riding with a fast crew, some of whom I race with at Kissena Velodrome, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY, Earth, solar system, the Milky Way, known universe and your random alley cats here and there, and others I recognize from the cycling community in NYC. Mario, Jono, Lefty and Ray get together to do these rides once or twice a year, maybe to Philadelphia in the fall and Boston in the spring. Anywhere from 100 miles to 200 round trip and beyond.
What started a bit slow, first by meeting at the new WTC PATH terminal designed by the Spaniard Santiago Calatrava, a behemoth of a structure located in the World Trade Center memorial park, second by waiting on the PATH train and taking it to Newark and finally getting our bearings once arriving at Newark ready and antsy (but hungry so bagel stop is obvious) to hit the road. I left my house at 6:30 am and we weren’t actually riding until 10 am.
Time was easily made up for as Ray, Mario and Lefty took lead of the “brisk” ride and Jono lead the other six riders at a less hammering pace. At times, on the flats, my garmin read 24-26 mph. Impressive considering these guys were on track bikes with a single gear, selected mainly based on length of ride and elevation: a long ride calls for a slower pace that you can sustain for hours and hours whereas shorter mileage might call for a more “explosive ride” in which a higher gear inch is prefereed to gain more speed.
We completed the 114.3 miles in a moving time of 6:43:43, for an average speed of roughly 17 mph.
Once arriving in the beautiful neighborhood of Cedar Park to meet my couch host, Laura (if you ever find yourself in NYC be sure to let me know!) I was humbly welcomed with a warm shower, a cozy room and bed, snacks and drinks. At Saad’s Halal we had a grand meal of Mediterranean delight: lamb shawarma over rice, salads and hummus, pita and my moms favorite: baclava.
Unable to move with the onset of a food baby (all the while able to save half the meal for dinner at the camp site tomorrow), I charged my devices, prepped my bags and did a pre ride check for the shorter, 70 mile ride to Susquehana State Park, Maryland tomorrow.
strava ride – https://www.strava.com/activities/773729970
Many thanks to my family and friends who have had many a going away party for me, this trip has been long in the making…Ray, Mario for the photos. And of course Jocelyn for walking me to the corner of my block before I set off on this adventure.