Thursday, July 23, 2009

Part 2

So where did I leave off? Oh right, mile 5... So Jenny drives me to Martin's place with the replacement bike on the roof (did mention I married the greatest woman ever?). As I'm swapping out the pedals I remembered the C'dale only holds one water bottle. It's going up to near 100 degrees (mind you it's been 81 degrees for the past two weeks until this day) and I'm only going to have one bottle. So I stuff one in my jersey and pray or frequent water stops.
We get through PA and into DE and it doesn't get any flatter. At around 3,000 feet of climbing in just 60 miles I start worrying how I'm going to do 170 miles. Then comes Newark. I've been all over the world and I can say for certain Newark is one of the worst towns I've ever been to. This place should be napalmed on a daily basis until it's just a burnt spot on the map. Shithole would be a good way to describe it. It was like riding through a white trash version of east LA. Of all the things that went wrong this day Newark was the worst one.
After pedaling through said shithole we finally make it to the canal. The only way to get over the canal is to ride on 896, a local highway. That wasn't all that bad. It wouldn't have been bad if it was the only highway we had to ride on. But after all the DE bike route signs had been torn down we found ourselves riding down rt. 15 which Martin was sure would bring us out "somewhere around where we want to go". Great.... At one point rt. 15 was closed and we had to detour back out to a highway. This was starting to get annoying. We got back onto rt. 15 when that stooped being rt. 15. We ended up on random back roads wandering south. At one point I knew we were in trouble when Martin said not to worry "as long as we keep heading south" at which point I looked down at my computer and noticed we were heading West. Martin simply replied. "Oh... Well then we need to turn left." We were approaching 6 hours in the saddle and we had no clue where we were or how to get where we were going. A call to my sister, a google map search, and we started heading in the right direction. A few more calls, a flat tire, hearing Martin say we have 4 more hours to go and I threw in the towel. We weren't going anywhere fast, DE roads are ridiculously bad when it comes to being marked, and I couldn't bear the thought f arguing with my sister and mom about this trip. So I called Michelle (sister) and had her drive up and pick us up in some hick town. By the way, if you ever want to have a good time, get dressed up n spandex and hang out at the only gas station in a rural DE town. People gave us looks like we had two heads. To be fair there were some cool kids who gave us direction to Dover.
I can honestly say I will never ride a bike in DE again. F* that!


Martin said...

It all fairness to Newark, it was Christiana that we were riding through.

Still sucked.

Delaware is not a bike friendly state.

Fick said...

It was a valient effort and you lasted way longer than I would have.

Anonymous said...

So you left for a ride to DE without concrete directions??

Martin said...

Joey had a GPS, but didn't download the map.

I had a map, but left it on the kitchen counter.

DE Bike Route 1 was supposedly "well-marked" and follows 15 for most of the length below the canal.

It turns out both Bike Route 1 and 15 are very poorly marked. We missed a turn on 15 because there were no signs where 15 turns left at a 4-way. So we headed straight and rode a big loop before getting directions to get us back on course.

Should've brought the map.

Joey said...

My Garmin doesn't download maps (that I know of) just uploads them. It was poor planning on our part and way too much faith in DE roads.

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