Catching Up: Philly to NY
After a few days in the exciting and frantic streets of New York City, we are now back in the country, reflecting and planing our route (the final leg of this season’s traveling). It has been a whirlwind last few weeks as we’ve passed through big city to big city.
We immersed ourselves in the bike culture and varied bike shops in Philadelphia and were amazed to find the diversity of cyclists in the city.
The day we left Philadelphia, the NE was experiencing record rain. Rivers were overflowing their banks. We hit a stretch of road that was underwater and had to reroute.
Fortunately, the canal tow paths that we were riding into Lambertville, NJ didn’t overflow and were passable. However, the Delaware was running unusually high and fast.
We had a close encounter with a falling tree! It still strikes us as ironic that after 9000+ miles of road riding, it was a tree on a gravel road that almost hit us.
We stay with Laura’s cousin and spend a few days eating and relaxing in New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ – two cute sister towns separated by the Delaware river.
Cuteness abounds in New Hope!
On our way to New Brunswick, we stop by the Princeton campus and thoroughly confound students and locals with our vagabond looks. Un-ironic sweater over the shoulder wearing was prevalent, as were popped collars. We are in strange country, friends.
We met up with the folks at CycLab, Princeton’s very own bicycle co-op. They took us on a mini-adventure around campus and ate at one of the hallowed eating clubs on campus.
Just outside New Brunswick, we stumble upon a cemetery and find the grave of Laura’s great-grandparents.
In New Brunswick, we stayed with Zack, a reader, fellow bicycle tourist and researcher who has been studying the effects of hurricanes in Mexico. We go to a place called Stuff Yer Face, a great local eatery that specializes in strombolis and good beer.
From New Brunswick, we take a train into “The City” and find ourselves in the madness that is Manhattan. We experience something like shell shock as we try to navigate through the traffic.
We ride over the varied stretches of new bicycle infrastructure in New York, including the Williamsburg bridge.
We spent our first night in New York in Queens, someplace we’ve never been. Our hosts take us to one of their favorite eateries in they neighborhood that serves Bosnian food. The food is dense, grilled sausages and potatoes and a spinach pie – it all seems perfect for the crisp evening.
Reluctant to leave New York so quickly after traveling all this way, we change plans again. We spent an afternoon exploring Brooklyn and the surrounding environs.
Through the magic of the internet, we get help from BrooklynByBike and @noneck, and put together an impromptu presentation in Williamsburg. Despite the short timing, we get a great enthusiastic crowd that asks some probing questions.
After our presentation, we get a visit from some critical mass riders! We move the venue to the street and talk to some riders and answer questions about bike touring. Somewhere in there, we are handed a “Times Up” sticker and our bikey evening in New York is complete.
We say goodbye to our hosts in Brooklyn. We know Becky through her parents who we stayed with in Durham, NC. It’s a small world and the internet is making it smaller.
On our way out of NY, we decided to cross the Brookyln Bridge, along with thousands of other tourists. It is slow going, but the views coming into Manhattan were great. There are people from all over the world walking on the bridge and it reminds us how unique this place is.
We decided to stop by one last bike shop before we leave the city. It is a very stylish bike shop in Tribeca called Adeline Adeline that specializes in Dutch bicycles and accessories.
We hopped a train at the iconic Grand Central Station to get out of the city and into the country.
We’re in the Hudson River valley now in the small town of Garrison, NY. It is beautiful here. The colors are changing and there is a definite chill in the air. From here, we are riding east to New Haven, CT then north to Boston. Winter is coming and once it arrives, it will be the temporary end of our traveling for this portion of our journey. If you are along our route and want to meet up, send us an email!
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