Boating into the Big Apple

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
Jazz on the Park Hostel

Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The alarm beeping at 5.55am was not a welcome sound, but it didn't take long for the significance of the day to hit along with the adrenalin. After 9 tough weeks, today we should finally make it to the Big Apple and end what has been a tough leg of our journey.

We had a last breakfast in our tiny chairs before leaving them to find a new home outside the bathhouse block. Within minutes they were snapped up by a nearby family and we cycled out of the park to see them already being put to use by some happy little children.

The last 15 miles of the US leg of our trip flew past. We kept up a steady pace of 17mph, so excited about meeting the coast again, and ever aware, that it is normally at this point, so near yet so far that things can go horribly wrong. We knew we were close when we smelt the familiar stink of coastal mud. A sharp left turn and we pedalled through the sweet little coastal town, Atlantic Highlands, and hit the ocean. We haven’t seen the sea since Venice Beach, LA and it was a very welcome sight, especially as Manhattan skyline was clearly visible in the distance. After handing over our cash at the Ferry Terminal, we wheeled the bikes in to the queue of commuters heading to work. At this point, it really hit us – We’ve made it!!!!!! The commuters focussed on their coffees and briefcases whilst we jumped around on the pontoon taking masses of photos.

The actual boat trip was fantastic. A gorgeous sunny day meant the view was superb, and we spent the hour long trip on deck snapping yet more photos. The bridges spanning the Hudson looked packed with traffic. Gliding underneath them, with the bikes lashed to the bow of the ferry, we knew we’d made the right call about how to enter this city. Spotting the Statue of Liberty enroute was another bonus.

The Ferry dropped us at East 35th Street, and we headed blindly to the nearest McDonalds to use the wifi and orientate ourselves. Hopefully that’ll be the last time we visit Ronald for a LONG time. We found we were near Times Square, and headed there, whizzing past Grand Central Station on the way. It was pretty hectic on the roads, yellow cabs being the main culprits for insane driving. We were glad to reach Central Park and join hundreds of other people on the calm scenic bike path which took us all the way to our hostel.

We couldn’t check in until 3, so spent the intervening few hours picnicking in Central Park and trying to get used to the fact that we’ve DONE IT! Just 50 miles home from Gatwick to negotiate. An earthquake here yesterday and a hurricane due to hit on Saturday shouldn’t pose problems for us, never-the-less, we’re keeping our fingers crossed!

Jazz on the Park Hostel is in a brilliant location and our room even has a big cupboard perfect for bikes. We’ve already sourced and collected bike boxes, so have only to enjoy a day off tomorrow and we should be completely ready to come home. Seriously cannot wait to see you all!!!! xxxxxx

Miles Cycled; 22 overexcited final miles…

No. of times beeped and sworn at: Once but it turned out to be some dogs barking at us.

Number of times nearly wiped out by a yellow cab: 3 (in about 5 minutes – great call to get the ferry into town)
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triciagick on

Golly gosh - all so amazing and exciting.X

triciagick on

PS. If you do a blog for Thurs to Sunday inclusive - it will be 364 - so maybe you'll have to do one extra so that we get a full year's worth. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

Just completely lost in admiration for the pair of you WHAT HEROS! So looking forward to 2.50 outside the Swan!
All love from CJB amd Me

Charlotte on

Wow guys, reading brought tears to my eyes - you guys are incredible!! So looking forward to cycling the last bit with you. See you on Sat. Cxx P.S please don't give your puncture repair kit away just yet ;-) x

Ernest on

A belated very happy Anniversary. My garage is resplendent in a new coat of masonary paint and my house is enshrouded in scaffolding at the moment so have just caught up with your news.
Having accompanied you round The World through your amazing blog with such intimate detail and photographs it hardly seems that you have been away or that I saw you leave Bosham almost a year ago. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement.
It did impress me that you entered New York accompanied by an earthquake and a pending hurricane, what an extraordinary impression you must have made!
Thomas is in Boston at the moment and I've pondered his bike which is hanging from the roof of my garage thinking of your e-mail invitation to accompany you from the Bosham roundabout. However having not been on a bicycle for fifteen years I did not want to risk calling for a paramedic outside The Berkley Arms and so I will leave it to the experts and look forward to meeting you as you cross the finishing line.
You've been together for ten years but your cycling feat of the last twelve months must have acheived the ultimate in marital bonding and it's clear that nothing will put a spoke in the many happy years of married life you have ahead!
See you Sunday, take great care.

Max, NZ on

I've been following you adventures since your New Zealand visit (had to backfill the earlier bits!). Congratulations on achieving your round-the world-mission. It really is a great accomplishment! However, I'm so very much going to miss my daily after work check of your blog to see how you've been faring. So....would you mind going around just one more time, please!? :)

Andrew and Karen on

Fantastic result guys. Congratulations. Love the dancing on the boat Mikey and what a great choice to get the boat into NYC.

Buzzing for you both - love the fact that the last photo is blurred and in a booze shop.

Really fantastic stuff.

tracy neville on

Amazing! congratulations you have done it! admire you both hugely & have loved reading all about your adventures. We won't be there after all on Sunday so our apologies, look forward to seeing you soon though xx

Jojo on

THE CYCLES HAVE LANDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HBK on

What an amazing trip.

Been enjoyable reading your updates and look forward to seeing you both soon.

Love, Sid, Munee and Rais

Lindy on

Fantastic just caught up as we arrived back in the early hours today . Well done you are both amazing. Looking forward to hearing about your cycle from gatwick and the welcome home. Will seriously miss the blog in the mornings with my coffee!!!!!!
Maybe you are home already if not have a good flight and hopefully speak to you soon. All love lindy

Alison Cunnington on

Congratulations to you both. What an amazing achievement and year. And to allow us all to read your exciting exploits have kept me glued to your blog. I am positive you are home now and I wish you all the best. Mike looking forward to catching up with you later in the week although I am sure you dont want to think about that right now. Enjoy your last few days together before the hum drum life of work etc begins to take over.
Congratulations xxxxxx

Elizabeth on

Yippee you're home and all, but I will miss your blog guys! Well am sure I will just phone you instead!

Debra McMillan on

May I just say........YOU GUYS ROCK !! Please don't judge all Americans by the few baddies we seem to have cruising around the motorways at times. I'm a fifty-three year old housewife from Memphis, TN, who was raised for a good deal of my childhood in the St. Louis, MO area, and whose parents were born and reared in rural Missouri. I found it a rather idyllic place in my youth, St. Louis, but even then we didn't venture into East St. Louis. Anyhow, I've just spent a great past few days reading your entire blog, and have been hugely entertained, sometimes laughing out loud at the descriptions of some of your funnier experiences. And don't fret, even I've had a bottle chucked at some 'hoody' young guys when I was walking down the largest street in Memphis in broad daylight a fews years back, in a fairly decent area! I'd heard that St. Louis was one of the most dangerous cities (and was shocked to hear it), but Memphis, TN has also gotten itself up there on the dangerous list. Even so, I come and go as I please, often on my own, and find that if I just use some common sense, I have no problems. I just didn't want you to go away feeling we were all awful, cuz it's just not so. You've just got to walk like you can handle yourself here in the States, even we ladies....the cops even advise that. Just wanted to thank you, though, for such an enjoyable few day's read. Having come down with a leg ailment, my poor bike's been gathering dust of late, and I got the thrill of a megatrip through the two of you. HAPPY FIRST ANNIVERSARY........and MANY more to come!!!

sogne on

A superb and an excellent trip. I am surprised as your trip ended well before 5th September!? 2 weeks short to complete a year. But updates about your journey gave us something worth knowing. Cheerio!

kathycoolchick on

Well done guys ..only just came across your blog yesterday...WOW...what an achievement...whats next ?

Faith on

Amazing ! Well done!

Tina on

WOW ..... what more can I say!
Thank you so much both of you for sharing this amazing journey. I think I can safely say it is one of the very best books I have every read ...... a joy!
Many many congratulations to you both & a belated Happy Anniversary.

Eva, Stockholm, Sweden on

What a fantastic journey. Found your blog when google on NZ. Will look more on your tour later.

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