Today was awesome and epic and hilarious and clocked in at 120 miles. We rode out of Philly and had decided to stick to our own route rather than try to ride out with the guys in what can turn out to be a confusing scramble out of a city. As we were going east on Spring Garden, I noticed my jersey start to get loose. I looked down to see it unzipping from the bottom. ‘Rachel! Krista! what is happening?’ They looked back and we all were laughing as I tried to fix the zipper while riding but wound up riding out of North Philly with my jersey almost completely open but just held together in the middle where the zipper got stuck. ‘These people probably wonder who the party girl is riding half naked blasting Girl Talk,’ Rachel said. It was so hilarious. We finally pulled over to Dunkin Donuts to use the restroom and I was able to get the zipper unstuck.
Planning a route with google maps for cycling is a huge pain in the ass. The streets are only labeled with names, not route numbers. Krista and I worked on this route at 11pm the night before and were so exhausted. We did not wind up trying to follow all these turns.
We were trying to get on Route 27 and there was a sign for a detour. We decided to go for it and stayed on the road. ‘Road closed ahead,’ ‘bridge out 500 feet ahead,’ the signs read. ‘Ah, fuck it, let’s just see what it is.’ Well the signs were right. ‘It’s a giant pit!’ Rachel yelled. It was a little sketchy crossing this in our road shoes but we all want to race cross this season so it was good practice. We came out completely muddy on the other side and Krista wasn’t able to clip in until we stopped in Princeton for more water.
This was the road on the other side of the bridge and I was so glad we had decided to take a smaller route instead of trying to stick to Route 1, which had turned out to be a full-on highway.
Using google latitude is cool for this race because you can see where some of the other teams are. We’re the icon with no photo and Aram Wolfpack had already finished in the Bronx.
We were back on track and riding on Route 27 east through New Jersey. We came to an intersection and Krista tried to go through our red light but had to turn back around because some cars got the turn signal. She circled on her bike then said ‘I got to get out of here.’ Rachel looked at me and said Krista must have been embarrassed by not being able to make it through the intersection the first time. We caught up to her and it turned out that the mud on her shoes from crossing the ‘bridge’ had dried her cleats into her pedals and she couldn’t get her feet out! She wound up taking her foot out of her shoe while riding and we pulled into a Pizza Hut parking lot where she was able to pry her shoes loose and dig out some of the mud.
Erin Young also caught up to us in the parking lot and we wound up riding the rest of the way with him. It was really nice to have a fourth person to ride with. When we finished the stage in the Bronx, Krista said it was like we were talk show hosts and had different guests every day, since we have wound up riding with guys for long parts of the stage since the first day. We rode into Baltimore with Alex, who had crashed at the first checkpoint and had to get his derailleur replaced. On the second day, we rode with Aaron and James from Boston through some of the hilly roads into Philly.
The route into NYC was super sketchy. We stayed on Route 7, which wasn’t a technical highway according to the map, but it was stressful to ride on with cars passing at full speed and barely any shoulder.
We finally made it into Newark and just had to ride almost the length of Manhattan in order to make it to the GW Bridge, which is the only bridge we could use as cyclists to get into Manhattan.
Coming up one of what we hope is the last hills of our day in New Jersey near the GW Bridge.
At the end of every stage you have to text Austin a code so he knows you finished and gets your time.
We finally finished at Tuff City Cycles in the Bronx where Tone was throwing an alleycat. I had considered doing it if all the checkpoints were on the way to East River Bar, but decided against it when Tone told me there was a checkpoint in Manhattan and I began to slightly lose my mind from hunger and exhaustion.
It really was an awesome day and I am so happy and proud to be riding with Rachel and Krista. Today we will be riding about 80 miles into New Haven.