We met in NJ and rode the train to Penn Station and then rode our bikes through the streets of New York to our hotel in China Town.
Hester Street Fair, where at the back we found a couple of women cooking small samosas. It was their first day there but the food was amazing. For $10 I got the 3 above, salmon and potato, chicken, and tuna. They made them up in front of us, dropping the ingredients in a cup, a quick mix, then wrapping them up in a sheet of filo pastry before dropping them in the pan to cook. Delicious.
We got back to the hotel and I made us all drink water with Aleve before going to bed, which I think saved a lot of pain the next morning.
Starting off was slow because there were so many people but we got got some speed going and it was great to see cheerleaders and members of the public waving at us and shouting good luck..
Unfortunately we also passed a lot of accidents. Even though this was a most enjoyable ride, you had to be concentrating 100% of the time. Riders constantly rushed by from both sides or someone in front would suddenly slow down, or someone would cut in front, not on purpose, but because they'd been caused to veer themselves. Folks crashed into each other, into walls and came off because of the horrendous road surfaces. We saw one old gentleman laying on a stretcher with his neck in a brace, which saddened me because I assumed this would likely have stripped his confidence away to take part in future events. One poor lady came off, dashing the side of her face along a concrete barrier, and I shuddered thinking how her life may be changed because of her injury. There were always many people that stopped to help and ambulances were always close by, but it was alarming how quickly these accidents happened.
And in the distance loomed our last obstacle, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, leading to Staten Island. It's the longest spanning bridge in the U.S. and looked very very tall on the horizon.
A link to the map of the tour is here. It really didn't feel like 40 miles to me when we'd finished and I felt I could easily have cycled a lot more, but we all admitted to feeling mentally exhausted from the experience.
We had another night on the town but nobody went crazy this time, although Emily and I did stay out until 1pm to meet one of her old friends who I'm rather fond of. It was a fun evening and little sleep was had before we were all up early to prepare for the journey home.
Richard, Margie and I were the first ones up so we went for a walk to give the others time to get ready.
And finally, a last manic cycle ride back through the NY streets to Penn Station and catch our train home. It had been an amazing cycling weekend, filled with fun and plenty of laughs, yet although we were all tired as we parted and finally went our separate ways, I have to admit that I was reluctant to strap my bike to the back of Stuart for the last leg home, and I had to suppress a yearning to cycle just one more little ride.