TRIP 2014

Update #09 - April 16th
New York City, New York
3,375.77 miles (5,401.23 KM)

I made it to New York City. Today, I'm going to be do some exploring of the city. Tomorrow, I'll be catching a commuter train to Poughkeepsie, New York. At Poughkeepsie, I'll be crossing over to the West side of the Hudson River and start the ride North along the river to either Albany or Saratoga Springs. From either of those places, I'll be starting the ride to Chicago, Illinois and then parts West in the Midwest.

April 09 : Pocomoke City, MD to Rehobeth Beach, DE - 69.35 miles (111.12 KM)

I had a pretty decent night at the motel. There was a free breakfast but it wasn't hot. I left the motel around 8 am. About a mile (2 km) down the road, I headed Northeast on US 113. I got around 22 miles (35 km) by noon. I stopped at a gas station in Worchester for some lunch.

The ride to Berlin went okay. I got into Berlin around 2:40 pm. I was going to stop in Berlin for the night but after doing some shopping I headed east on US 50 to Ocean City. Just before getting into Ocean City, I had to get across a drawbridge with a long causeway. I got into Ocean City around 4 pm. I didn't feel like going around the churches and waiting to see if they either had a Lenten service or a Wednesday night prayer and Bible study. I headed North on MD 528. I had about an eight mile ride to the Delaware state line.

I kept on going on NH 1. I got into Bethany Beach around 6 pm. I rode around the town to check out the churches but I didn't find one that either had a Lenten service or one with a Wednesday night prayer or Bible study. I decided to go. I almost got through the Delaware Seashore State Park before sunset. I had to get out my helmet light.

I rode on through Dewey Beach. It was around 8:30 pm when I got into Rehobeth Beach. Instead of going on, I decided to stop at a motel and get a room. I'm about ten miles (16 km) away from the ferry terminal in Lewes.

April 10 : Rehobeth Beach, DE to Cape May Courthouse, NJ - 21.07 miles (33.71 KM)

I had a pretty decent night at the motel. There was a free breakfast but it wasn't hot. I left the motel around 8 am. It was a short ride into Lewes. Instead of going directly to the ferry terminal, I went into the downtown area to take some pictures of the historic district.

I got to the ferry terminal around 9:30 am. The next ferry was heading out at 11:15 am. There must have been an increase in prices because it cost me $10 for a bicycle. I went to the ferry terminal to wait. The ferry arrived around 10:30 am. I was surprised that two large semi trucks off-loaded. It took about 15 minutes for the ferry to unload and the new load started on. There were two other cyclists (an older couple who were going to Southern New Jersey for the day). The 17 mile (27 km) ride to Cape May, NJ took a lot faster than I expected. I spent most of the time communicating with a friend who had offered to get me a room at a Holiday Inn in Manhattan through his reward points. He surprised me by getting me a room at the Holiday Inn near Madison Square Garden for two nights. This will allow me to do some sightseeing without worrying about my gear and Alice. I'll be taking the train from Asbury Park, NJ Tuesday April 15 and heading out Thursday April 17.

The ferry got to the terminal at Cape May around 12:30 pm. I was the last one off the ferry. I started the ride North to Cape May Courthouse. I stopped at a MDs for a late lunch. After lunch, I got on the Cold Springs Rails To Trails trail near US 9. I stopped to take some pictures at the railroad station. The bike trail didn't last long and I had to switch to US 9.

On the Southern outskirts of Cape May Courthouse, I stopped at the parsonage of the First Baptist Church to see if my friend, the interim minister was home. I was just able to leave him a voice mail message at the church. Today was his day off. There was a lot of things going on at his house so I was allowed to spend the night in the nearby mission house. The missionaries who were staying there had left a couple of days ago and a new couple will be moving in earlier next week.

I'm going to be riding to Egg Harbor City tomorrow. I'm looking at getting into Tuckerton Saturday so I can attend the Palm Sunday service at the Methodist church. I know the minister there. Everytime that I've stopped there was on a weekday.

April 11 : Cape May Courthouse, NJ to Egg Harbor City, NJ - 46.23 miles (73.97 KM)

I had a pretty decent night at the mission house. It was pretty interesting having a whole house to myself. I took the opportunity to get all of my clothes washed and dried. Afterwards, I did some more gleaning and repacking of my panniers. The panniers are getting lighter especially the below seat ones. There was a tv to watch but only one station came in clear. I went to bed around 10 pm in the smallest bedroom in the house.

It was around 6 am when I got up. Made myself a hot breakfast. Cleaned the house up and took everything outside to get Alice packed up. It was around 7:45 am when I got on the road. I rode through Cape May Courthouse to Marmora. In Mamora, I stopped at the Second First Baptist Church to see if my pastor friend was still there. He had moved on a couple of years ago. The secretary remembered me from my last visit.

Before Marmora, I stopped to get some lunch. I changed my route. Normally, I would head East to Ocean City and then follow the Coast till US 9 joined the Garden State Parkway and then tried to get across the bridge over the Mullica River and then connect back with US 9 to Tuckerton. This year, I decided to try and find a route more westerly to avoid the Garden State Parkway bridge. I headed West on Cape May Cnty Rd 631 which connected with NJ 50 south of Tuckerhoe. I'll be following NJ 50 to Egg Harbor City.

The ride to Egg Harbor City went okay. A few miles out of town, I got stopped by a local guy who must have been a cyclist. We talked a while. Before he left, he slipped me a couple of dollars but after a few moments he pulled out his money again and he slipped me a $10 bill. It wasn't less than a couple of minutes more and about a mile (2 km) down the road I got stopped by a lady. She talked with me for a few minutes. Before she left she slipped me $5 so I could go across the street to a ice cream stand to get something to eat. She also told me to wait there because she was going to call her brother in Egg Harbor City to see if he knew of someplace where I could spend the night. She told me that she lived 20 miles away and it would have made a longer backtrack for me. Before she left, she also gave me a tarp. This was a lot bigger than the groundcloth thatI've been using for my tent.

I went across the street to the ice cream stand and I got in line. About a minute before I got to order, the guy showed up. He told me that his sister had called him a couple of times and that he was supposed to let me stay with him and he was also to take me out to supper at a local diner. The guy lived just off of US 30 in Egg Harbor City about two miles (3 km) away. There was a high fence around the back yard but I would still have been exposed. The suggestion was made to camp out in the garage. It could be locked up and the guy got me an old blanket that he was getting to throw away so I could use it as a ground cloth.

April 12 : Egg Harbor City, NJ to Tuckerton, NJ - 24.56 miles (39.30 KM)

I had a pretty decent night in the garage. It didn't get too cold. I heard some noise in the alley but the garage was locked up. I woke up a little before 6 am. Having the large cover as a ground cloth made it easier to pack the tent up. I didn't bother with shaving. I packed Alice up and went across the street to McDs to have some breakfast using the money that the lady gave me last night. Before heading North, I stopped to get a few groceries. I rode back into the center of town and then I headed North on Atlantic Cnty 563 and Cnty 652 which ended at Cnty 542. I followed Cnty 652 East and it joined up with US 9 just South of New Gretna. I headed North on US 9 to Tuckerton.

I got into Tuckerton around 11:30 am. I stopped to get some lunch and I also stopped at a thrift store and got a new short sleeve pullover shirt. I got to my friend's church around 1:00 am. There wasn't anybody at the church. It took a while finding out what the pastor's home phone number was. I got to speak to the pastor's wife. She told me that the pastor wouldn't be back at the church till around 5 pm. He was coming back from Philadelphia after a retreat with the confirmation class. It was about a three hour wait till my friend at the First United Methodist Church was back. I was invited to spend the night in the church and also to stay over tomorrow. I've been asked to speak at both of the morning services.

April 14 : Tuckerton, NJ to Belmar, NJ - 56.03 miles (89.65 KM)

I had an okay night at the church. It was a pretty busy evening. Around 5 pm, the Hispanic service "Casa de Esperanza (House of Hope)" started. I was invited to speak for a few minutes with the hispanic minister translating. The methodist pastor then took me to his house so we could pick up his wife because they wanted to take me out to an Italian restaurant. After a good meal, I was taken back to the church and I spoke to the Jeneration Youth Group. We then went out to a nearby ice cream bar). When I got back to the church, there was an envelope from the pastor and also a bag of food to take along that the pastor's wife had picked out at the church's food pantry. After everybody left, I repacked my clothes and put all the extra food in the food pannier. It was really great having a full food pannier again after having it half full or less. When I checked out the envelope that the pastor slipped me before he left, I was shocked at the amount that was in it. This was the largest love offering that I got from a church this year. It took a while falling asleep. It was way after midnight when I fell asleep. I got almost five hours of sleep.

I had Alice packed up a little before 6 am. The sun came up around 6:30 am so I decided to head out. It was cool enough that I had to wear my jacket. Traffic was light. There was a breeze coming from the South. The wind pushed me along.

A couple of miles (4 km) , I got stopped by this lady who had pulled over on the shoulder in front of me. We talked for a few minutes. She told me that she worked for an agency that helped homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy. Before she left, she slipped me $20.

The early start and the tailwind helped me get 31 miles in by noon time. At Toms River, I headed East on NJ 37 to Seaside Park. I wanted to see how the recovery effort is going. Getting across the drawbridge over the Barnaget Bay was tricky because of the traffic, no shoulder to ride along, and the crosswind that was pushing me further into the traffic lane. Once across the bridge, I got caught in some sea spray.

There was some improvement in the Seaside Park area. The amusement park area looked good after the hurricane and also the fire. I headed North on NJ 35 and then I got on NJ 71. It was slow going because there was a lot of road construction. In several places, there were long stretches of one way roads through the construction. I took my time getting through them. There was a lot of rebuilding going on but I saw quite a few homes that still showed hurricane damage. The rough road caused the front tire to go soft. I had to stop on the side of the road in Manasquan to put in a new tube. The ride became a lot better when I got into Sea Girt and I got off the narrow peninsula.

It was around 5:30 pm when I got into Delmar. I didn't know if there were any motels near the railroad station in Asbury Park. I decided to stop at a motel where I had stayed at before. There is a commuter rail station nearby but it isn't handicapped access. It would be hard to get Alice up into the train there. The commuter rail station in Asbury Park, which is handicap access, is a little less than 3 miles (5 km) away. Tomorrow might be a wet day. Wednesday, there is going to be a 30 degree drop in temperature. The high is going to be just in the low 50s.

When I get to Poughkeepsie Thursday, I'm going to cross over to the West side of the Hudson River and head up it to change my path. I'm looking at going as far North as Saratoga Springs before heading West to Pulaski. I'm not going to be riding through Chittenango this year because my minister friend who I normally stay with is going to be out of town through the first week of May.

April 15 : Belmar, NJ to Manhattan, New York City, NY - 03.94 miles (06.30 KM)

I had an okay night at the motel. The room was okay. The thing that me was that there was a hole in the bathroom door which could have been from somebody's feet or fist. There was some problem with the wifi.

I woke up around 5 am. When the sun came up, I saw the parking lot wet. I left the motel around 9 am. It was just lightly misting. From the motel, it was a short 2.6 mile (4.2 km) ride to the Asbury Park RR station. I bought my ticket through an automated machine. I rolled Alice up the handicap ramp to the platform. I had about a 90 minute wait till the train to Long Branch came. I got on the first car. I had to transfer to another train that would go to Penn Station. The trip from Asbury Park to Penn Station took about 2 hours.

The train arrived at Penn Station around 12:30 pm. I was the last person off the platform because it took a while getting the elevator up to the main concourse. Getting out of the station took a lot longer. I had a really hard time getting Alice out of the elevator because the elevator was small and there was two doors. I had to flip Alice backwards to get the boom out the door.

Once out of the station, it was about a six block walk to the Holiday Inn Express. Even though the check-in time was 4 pm, I was hoping to check-in a little earlier because of the weather. There were quite a few people waiting for a room. I was really surprised that I was bumped in to the front of the line. I was told that this happened because I was a minister and my friend was a platinum rewards member. The room was on the fourth floor. It's a corner room. It is really wild staying someplace in New York City for two nights.

After getting Alice situated, I went out to do some sightseeing. I walked to Times Square and back.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between April 23rd and April 30th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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