New Jersey, Bordentown to Camden

Out of the smoke

I started the cycle south from the beautiful Bethesda statue in Central Park after sitting on a step and having a conversation with a friendly squirrel… yes by this time I had well and truly turned onto senile avenue.  It’s amazing how many conversations you hold with yourself and/or wildlife when you’re riding long distances… or maybe it’s just me.

But anyhow, I headed south down Central Park West it was a crazy ride.  I never thought I’d ever ride through Times Square on a bike.  Riding in New York is daunting for the first 10 minutes and then it pretty much becomes a free for all, you have to be aggressive, you have to own or demand your space otherwise you will not get anywhere.

It’s probably the reason why it is a city I didn’t exactly fall head over heels for.

It wasn’t until I reached Madison Square Garden when I asked myself… “Ok, how am I getting over the river to New Jersey on a bike?”  I guess the beer the night before had sizzled away a few brain cells over night so I stopped outside a Starbucks to cut in on their Wi-Fi to check my map on my iPhone.

It turned out that the only way I could get over to NJ by bike was train or ferry…damn.  I wasn’t getting on no ferry well not while I was still nursing yesterday’s hangover so I set the maps to Penn Station and boarded a train across the river to Newark, NJ.

It was good to be able to travel whilst giving Ursula a much deserved rest.  Speaking of the bike, she still hadn’t suffered a puncture or needed a pump up since we set off 6 days before; Ursula was a woman of steel perhaps I should rename her Queen Latifa.

The ride felt like it was over before it begun and before I knew it I was back on the saddle making my way south 53 miles down US130 towards my stop for the night in Bordentown New Jersey.

I remember the journey being quite a smooth one.  The roads were busy but the hard shoulder was wide enough to be able to cycle without having to keep such a posture whilst steering.

There’s nothing worse than long stretches of road with little to no bike lane to work with because if the legs and mental concentrations don’t get you then you damn sure know the shoulders, elbows and upper back will.

Keeping your arms rigid for 15-20 mile stretches can be a killer!

No habla Mandarin

So I get to my motel which I recall was a Sleep Inn, very basic, no frills but a safe stay kind of place… I went to college so I’m used to the life of no frills.

I remember doing the usual Lycra laundry, shower then ordering of Chinese take-out.  I decided to be sensible that evening by ordering from the ‘healthy’ page.

Steamed vegetables, shrimp and chicken… the conversation I had with the delivery boy was one I’d remember for a while….understanding it well that was another topic altogether.

Door opens…

Me: “Oh thanks I’m really hungry…”

Delivery Guy: *Talks Mandarin*

*I hand him my debit card.*

Delivery Guy: *Talks Mandarin*

Me: “Sorry I don’t speak Chinese…”

Delivery Guy: *Talks Mandarin* ….waving my card at me…

Me: “Sorry no cash”

Delivery Guy: *Talks Mandarin*

Me: *Confused look*


Delivery Guy: *Talks Mandarin*

Me: “Look I’ll write down my card number take it back to the store and run the charge of what I owe you.”

Delivery Guy: “Oh ok thanks sir… have a good day.”

Me: “…..Really?”

I check my account balance every day since then and I have yet to be charged by “Jade Garden Express.”

I can’t help but feel a slight sense of guilt or feel like I have some bad karma heading my way but I guess I’ll dedicate part of the Boston2Miami ride to the confused yet somehow bilingual delivery guy as consolation.

I turned in that night after planning my journey into Philadelphia the following day.

I was going to be staying with a contact my friend in Upton hooked me up with.  My back was giving me hell that day so once I had my route mapped out and saved I hit the switch and said goodbye to another day.

A bridge too far…

The following day I woke up feeling much better, that was until breakfast.  I don’t think I could ever get used to the taste of lukewarm milk and stale cheerios. 

If the Yoplait yogurt wasn’t there I think I would have gone hungry everyday… that stuff was my savoir.  Once breakfast was digested or shall I say ‘endured’ I was ready to hit the road. 

It was a relatively short day, 30miles give or take but if there was one day that really sticks out to me on the Boston 2 Miami ride, day 7 to Philly was the day…