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Published: April 28th 2019
This Jersey Girl is riding to the home grown state today!!
After packing up the home office and getting all our food out of the neighboring flower shops refrigerator, we had route meeting in the back parking lot of the office--where I have frequented in my car over the years and I still can't believe that now I'm on a trip again and rode here, and get to keep riding! We are joined by some local alum, as well as some of the home office staff that is going to ride and/or drive our vans for us today so we can have more of our riders on the road today. Lily and I have been looking forward to riding together since she left us in Miami so today is the day!! We recruit Raffi and Carly and we're off!
We have a pretty smooth morning of riding and we're all pretty comfortable riding together, even through Northeast Philly! That quickly changes when Raffi gets a flat and we pull of to fix it. Turns out he has a gigantic nail in his tire! Gotta love the philthy philly rep 😉 This city really should sweep its streets more! We
spend some time pumping up his tire, innuendos included. Due to the amount of force he was using, he ended up bending his valve and needing to pump up another tube--Bike & Build 🙃 We see the van pass with a green bike on the back--never a good sign, especially this early in the morning. Some of our team also rides past as the morning warms up.
We get back on the road and head towards lunch, which turns out to be behind a Wawa--Perfect! 😊 The green bike turns out to be Noah's (of course) and apparently he broke a ton of spokes! Luckily he didn't crash, which is unheard of and we're all glad he's safe! We eat some left overs in the shade and get back on the road as the heat continues to warm up and promises to destroy us.
Onward we ride, eventually reaching New Jersey after crossing the beautiful Calhoun Street bridge. We are immediately hit with traffic, circles, and no welcome to New Jersey sign--go figure. In the heart of Trenton, we struggle to find our way to our route since no roads are well marked. We pull over in the
grass of a circle across from the bridge, take some selfies, continue riding, and eventually find our way to the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail.
Though we were excited about being on a trail for over 30 miles, that excitement quickly diminished when that trail turns out to be all gravel, with bricks and stones with large gaps between, smelly, and no where to stop to pee. We try for a gas station, they dont have a bathroom, we try the one across the street, out of order aka rude man would not let us use it. So we pop a squat, keeping it as classy as NJ. I chalk for Nora Jane (NJ) some play on words about "NJ Welcome to NJ" or something along those lines. A homeless man is enjoying his lunch on a bench nearby and Raffi gives him a miller lite he had been carrying around with him for some few hundred miles. We even have to stop to climb over fallen trees, with bike too. What a mess. Luckily we have a good ride crew to make up for this not so fun trail.
We're the first ones to second
lunch, where we find Eric parked in some shade. We're hungry, hot, and tired, not to mentioned annoyed with this trail. We eat some carrots and hummus, and then climb in the van for some AC and some chips. We re-route on the road for a few miles and then get back on the trail for the home stretch, ready to be off our bikes, or more so off this trail. We find some fountains by a church campus of some sorts and we decide to drip our feet in. We play "Odds" to see who would wade to the center of the fountain and no one wins (or loses?), we we gear up to ride again. Lily then realizes that no one asked me, so she asks me, I say 1-10, and then count to 3 and we both same the same number. Looks like my socks are coming back off! I wade across the somewhat refreshing, somewhat moldy water, with shams pulled up higher than usual, touch the center of the fountain, and wade back to the edge, relatively unscathed.
We get back on the trail and though " 3 more miles" is usually aint no thang,
its devastating to Raffi who then coins the phrase "No more riding my bicycle." The things that happen when we're hot and over it. We then ride into Highland Park, with some parts looking familiar since I've been up here for work and to visit my friend Jackie quite a few times. We are relieved to arrive at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, where we seek out the best rooms for AC and get the shower shoe line started. The shower is not exactly private and is pretty slippery getting in and out--it feels more like a closet with a toilet, shower, and sink. Trying to shower quickly since other riders would be coming in and in dire need of the same thing, I get dressed and go to my room where I pump up my thermarest and write some support messages to potential donors for my trip while laying down and resting.
My sister lives nearby and plans on stopping by on her way home from work! I'm excited to see her and while I await her arrival, I take what may have been my first nap of the trip, for 10 minutes. I wake up with
her saying she arrived and I'm confused since I'm tired and only half awake and excited to see her. SHe told me she was by the van, so I go out to where our van was and shes not there. I go inside to look for her, and shes not there and no one saw her. I eventually find her parked behind our other van which is parked in front of the church. I give her the biggest hug ever and I'm ecstatic to see her beautiful, smiley face. 💜
I take her inside where she meets the team, joins us for lasgana dinner, and then we set of on a mission for ice cream, which many of the team members also on the same mission. I run into NJ and some of the home office staff on our way, where I introduce them and they point us in the right direction. Sister pays for my soft serve with jimmies since I'm pretty broke at this point and its cash only. Happy to be enjoying this summer treasure with my most treasured gift makes it feel like a normal summer, minus my rashy painful behind. When we (painfully) walk
back to the church, I have go to put coconut oil on my toosh, where I show Bri the exact imprint of my saddle on my behind. Fun 🙃
She watches as I put my laundry on my laundry loop and she meets Noah and few others. What a life and its seems silly but nice for her to see what Bike & build life looks like--dirty laundry on loops and rooms packed with bags and thermarests. leaves and then I walk a few blocks over to Jackie and Mike's apartment--crazy that I can walk here!! I've visited and stayed here before now I'm just casually going over their place for a beer while on Bike & Build! They both supported my trip so they are eager with questions as I explain the hows and workings of Bike & Build life. A little beside myself that this is real life as my outside life has popped the bubble of my Bike & Build life, we walk back to the host, where Jackie says they frequent often for the market when it's in season! I've had pie that was bought in this parking lot! Life is crazy.
about being late for curfew, but find NJ on the porch on the phone while I bid farewell to these dear friends. Like most things that are K2C, curfew is pretty lax at this point and NJ was unaware/unconcerned about the time I arrived back at the host. A few good hugs later, I head into the host and am eager to get to bed. I roll up my laundry, reply to some fundraising messages, and curl into my sleeping bag, grateful for a nice end to a hard day.
Tot: 1.302s; Tpl: 0.05s; cc: 13; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0263s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb