Like most of my trips, they begin with a sleepless night, and a long days ride.
I woke up at 5am ready to hop out by 6am and luckily, I managed to do just that. After saying goodbye to my parents I zipped off into the foggy morning.
The ride started off alright. I decided to take the tunnel and have a record of my trip through my ezpass… in case I get axe murdered on the way there.
Heading into Manhattan I wondered how much work will get done on the freedom towers in the next three months…
I wore a mesh jacket through the ride. I opted to bring a primaloft liner instead of my normal touring jacket. The weather reports just seemed too hot. By the time I was in Jersey I really wish I’d brought my warmer jacket. I was mildly cold, but I could manage as the temperature started to rise as the sun stood up higher in the sky.
There was heavy fog that made seeing past 25 feet impossible at times and others where the warmth of the sun broke out of the cloudy sky. There weren’t too many riders out this early, but suspected more would come out.
When the sun did come out, it came out fiercly. The rest of the day was a hot sticky 95 degree ride. How I wished it was cold again. You can just see the heat and stickiness in this picture.
The ride was pretty uneventful, until I got lost. This sign was an omen to the coming of what the day would bring.
Because at some point after this sign, my finger grabbed the GPS and re routed it when I stuffed it into my pocket at a gas station (so no one would steal it when I go to the bathroom). As many of you may know I am anti GPS because you always have to check and verify it to make sure its accurate. This time, paid the price dearly for not doing that. The route the GPS took me was to southern Ohio. Nearly 120 miles off course.
Atop of that, I had the first malfunction of the day. Like an idiot, I forgot to locktite one of my clutch spring bolts. The result? The spring backed out and sheared the post right off. This particular post has been letting go of the bolt a lot and I should off made sure it wasn’t going to come off. I had to remove the opposing spring and run only 4 springs until I can get my spare hub from home sent to me.
But all was not terrible. I entered the backroads (not knowing they were leading me further and further away ) and the next 120 miles of my life brought some of the best roads ive ever ridden. (not to say ive ridden many at all)
This is a map of the detour I took. What an amazing and tiredsome detour it was. Turn after turn. Scary drop offs and hills with blind turns. At first I was super nervous, and as time came, some flow started to develop and I had a nasty grin on my face.
When I finally realized I was at the wrong address I had no cell service and no food or water. My gas was running low and the nearest gas station was over 40 miles away. That sign was a message from god!
I stopped ever so often to double check and make sure I was heading in the right direction. I was already 2 hours off course and the beating sun was making me more and more dehydrated each minute. All I had was a package of honey roasted peanuts and about 3 cups of water.
I did finally manage to make it to Columbus Ohio at 6pm. I was on the bike, according to my GPS, for 11 hours 31 minutes totaling 651 miles. I made it to metallimonsters home and he was kind enough to show me what Columbus is about (buckeyes!!!!) and the whole city reminded me of what Tallahassee was like.
Tomorrow is a shorter day, only 450 miles to Saint Louis. With the time advantage in my hands of going back one hour, i can get one more hour of sleep in before heading off. Of course its midnight and I’m typing this up instead of sleeping!
The ride is very lonely. The weather is very hot. And the distance is almost too far. The patience I need to get through this ride is almost beyond what I can produce. But I’ve started it, and to give up now, would be a waste. I see this whole trip as a test of my will and most importantly, to see if I could give up living in NYC… more on that later.
Id love to go into detail about what I’m feeling about this whole ride and working in Colorado for the next three months, but Ill save that for another day.
For now, good night!