Hank – We woke early this morning and hit the road to Pier 11 in Manhattan to catch the ferry to Atlantic Highlands on the northeast coast of New Jersey. Riding through Brooklyn and across the Manhattan Bridge was a trip. There were lots of other cyclists. Unlike Spokane where a passing rider is likely to to say hi or something, every one here remained silent. We squeezed our bikes through the narrow gangway and sat in a mostly empty cabin. The ship was quite full of commuters coming to NYC. Not so many headed from there to Jersey.
Disembarking from the ship in state #22 we stopped for breakfast at a nearby restaurant. We met Patty and Peggy who thought we were far more interesting than their breakfast. They loved hearing about our adventure. We bid them adieu and got in the Henry Hudson bike trail heading east. From there we got on Ocean Blvd and stayed either on the road or on the boardwalk on the coastline heading south. Kathy had a slight mishap after a short steep climb. She stopped at the top but couldn’t undo her shoe from the pedal in time a fell over. She was hurting all over from that. After a break we pressed on.
We were on one boardwalk for a short time and finally saw the No Bicycles sign. Someone told us it’s a $300 ticket. Back on the road we went and stayed.
Traffic picked up a huge amount as we went inland to Lakewood. That “town” is a lot bigger and busier than the map lets on. Before reaching our campground near Toms River we stopped by a Wawa convenience store for some food. Today was the first day they were serving salads. We each got a huge salad for $6.50 each. What a bargain and they were delicious. We ate after setting up camp a showering. We had to hustle because the mosquito welcoming wagon was out in force. We finally cleared the inside of the tent so we could eat and sleep in peace. Tomorrow we are camping in Wharton State Park.
Kathy – Today we rode 52 miles (9 before our ferry ride to New Jersey and 43 after). It was a warm day in the low 80’s with lots of humidity. Our morning ride from Brooklyn to the 11th pier in Manhattan was quite the experience. Lots of traffic, other cyclists, potholes, construction, delivery trucks and school buses galore. Google Map said it would be a 38 minute ride but it actually took an hour. Good thing we left early.
Going across the Manhattan Bridge was pretty cool. It took a long time to get across this beautiful bridge. The bridge is very high above the water and we could see the amazing city views as we traveled across it. It was easy to get distracted looking at the city so I had to stay focused on the ride. We went through China Town on our way to the Pier. Wished we would have had time to stop and take it all in but we had a ferry to catch. Happy we made it to the pier in time, with about 15 minutes to spare.
They don’t waste any time boarding the ferry (this one is passengers only, no cars). I literally got my bike in the ferry when they pulled the plank in and we started moving. The gal yelled, “Get what you need off your bikes and go inside.” We rushed to get inside the ferry (no one can sit outside on these ones) and onward we went to our next destination.
The ferry took us to New Jersey, our 22nd state! After breakfast outside on the pier we started riding again. Initially it was so awesome, riding on a trail right next to the New Jersey shore. Very peaceful. Then we were back into the busy Northeastern traffic. Not our favorite, but it’s part of the adventures. We did enjoy riding on the boardwalk near the ocean (the part you could ride in without getting fined) but the boards we a bit too bumpy for us so we went back to the road.
At one point during our ride we had to go up an extremely steep incline and at the top was a stoplight. I was determined to make it up without stopping (which I did) but at the top I couldn’t get my shoe unclicked from my pedal in time and took a tumble over. So banged up, embarrassed and heart rate kicked into high gear required a 15-minute break before we got going again. I’m probably gonna have lots of bruises show up over the next few days. As the day wore on my whole body was increasingly sore and the temps with the humidity were taking its toll on me. I was very happy to be done riding today.
After our yummy salad for dinner, I decided to take a half of one of Hank’s left over muscle relaxers (from his shoulder pain a while back). I have been living on about four hours sleep a night for the past week or so. Now adding the sore body from the fall, hopefully a little medication will allow me to rest tonight.