Day 2 - NYC to Philadelphia

TRIP: 9875 Calories, 181 miles --> 568 miles per gallon

Day 2 - 5417 Calories, 106 miles --> 606 miles per gallon

This was a very sketchy day. I started out going through Central Park, which is a beautiful place to ride, with full sized roads but no cars. I left the park at its northern border and took St. Nicholas Ave to the George Washington Bridge, where I saw the tiny red lighthouse Sarah Wilson had spoken so fondly of.

The bridge crossing was great, but once I got into New Jersey everything fell apart. I went south down JFK Blvd, a nice road where I saw this (presumably) energy efficient little thing, then tried out Rte. 1, which was a freaking 2 lane highway enclosed by curbs with no shoulder. I got back on JFK and finally took the Lincoln Highway bridge into Newark, which looked like a navigable enough thin orange line on the map, but was a hellish, mind-hammeringly loud mile of broken glass. At this point, I felt very alone and wanted to be back at home.

It sucked. I rode along a 25 mph trucking route for a while, and saw about two hundred hummers at a GM plant marked "for export." I continued riding, rode on the side of Highway 58 past Newark Airport. I got shockingly scared and got off at the first exit I came to, the first step of getting severely lost in south Newark (Hillside and Rosedale), riding through really poor neighborhoods and feeling out of place looking well European.

So finally I found some people who knew how to get me out, and they put me on Rte. 27 (with a full waterbottle and the juiciest orange ever), the PERFECT route to take me down to Penna. It was kind of a parkway, much nicer to ride on than the terrifying highways and glassy ghetto streets of the early afternoon. From then on, I just hammered down 27 through Princeton New Jersey, refueling at a gas station with a fish filet sandwich I bought from a rolling sandwich shop on that trucking route I mentioned earlier. Then I hopped on 583, which was often the deserted two-laner through forests about which roadies dream. 583 took me all the way to Trenton, where I crossed a river into PA. After that, there were a few high tension moments on the narrow shoulders of Route 1 but I took 213 to 532, where I got in the zone for the first time on the trip, and felt like I could ride forever. I rode about 20 miles that way, with my heart rate up around 140, just hammering through the dark. Maybe it was because there was no longer any hope of making it to the hostel before dark, and it had turned into an enjoyable night ride.

I rallied past traffic, cruising at what seemed to be 22 mph the whole way. It was so fast and great. I could have ridden forever, past a ton of sucky traffic and stuff. I blazed past a million cars, and it seemed empty. But then the road was churned up for miles for repaving, and i had to ride on sidewalks. Whatever. After that, I rode into a dairy queen, where two cops and two people informed me that I was in the sketchiest neighborhood ever and the people gave me a ride 8 miles to the hostel. It was 10:40 PM. the hostel was really nice, and I took a shower, and got some falafel and a milkshake in town before going to bed. There were pretty girls and Bentleys all over the streets. (I think it was in Upper Darby)

The Hostel was in a great location, with an Internet cafes, bakeries, nightclubs, and little shops all around. (this picture was taken the next morning.

There was a severe snoring issue with one of the guys in the hostel, and I woke him up to tell him how bad it was. He got right back on task 90 seconds later, and I just suffered through it.

Tomorrow I will wear an unwashed version of the jersey, shorts and socks I wore today.

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