08 May Day 01 – One State In One Day
I would just like to thank all the people who have left comments on my last post and also the people who have been in touch through Twitter and Facebook. It is a little bit overwhelming the support I am getting, not only from family and friends, but also people I have never met before. Sorry again for being out of contact, the first week as you will read in the next few blog posts has been harder than I imagined. This is a longer than normal post due to the events of the day, it was pretty exciting and I promise that not all posts will be this long!
My alarm woke me up at 5.30 and at a first glimpse the weather didn’t look too good, but in fact the sun just hadn’t come up. I hadn’t prepped any of my kit the night before so after scrambling around to get everything ready I decided that instead of rushing to get away by 6am, I would give myself another half an hour. I headed down to the beach with James and Nigel to get a few things done. First was to get a bottle of Atlantic water to take to the Pacific and the other was to dip one end of a rugby ball in the Atlantic, to mark the start, the other end will be dipped in the Pacific. This comes from the tradition of cyclists who dip their back type in the Atlantic at the start and their front in the Pacific when they finish.
At 6.46, 1hr 16 mins late, I took my first step. I headed through Long Beach and towards Far Rockaway. For breakfast I decided that I would break my diet and go for a classic American meal, McDonalds. I did go healthy but even so I probably shouldn’t have had it. After the Golden Arches I headed into Howard Beach and Long Island and decided on my second leg I would do 15 miles to Bar Tabac in Brooklyn, where I used to work, for lunch.
Bar Tabac and The Brooklyn Bridge
I met up with my Mum and Maurice, my Stepdad, along with Nigel and James where we enjoyed lunch in the sun at Bar Tabac. It was nice returning to the Bar and finally get to show Mum and Maurice where I used to work when I lived in NYC. After wolfing down the classic Bar Tabac Burger, I headed for the Brooklyn Bridge. When iIwas on my way I called an old friend, Mat Oberg, a comedic actor (30 Rock, Ugly Americans, Onion SportsDome) We waited for the rest of the team from lunch to arrive before we all walked across the Brooklyn Bridge together.
I left everyone at the end of the Brooklyn Bridge and headed off again on my own, passing Ground Zero, and then up Broadway to 171st Street. I passed the Flat Iron building, walked through Times Square, Columbus Circle then headed up the west side of Central Park. Although I love NYC, it was incredibly infuriating being stopped at every block by a ‘Don’t Walk’ signal. This really affected my time. I think the thing that I started to realise is that 1 minute here and there adds up through the day which means I am on my feet for a substantial amount of extra time. Every stop sign started to play with my mental state and by the time I got to 171st street I was done with walking in the city.
George Washington Bridge
I waited for about 15 minutes for James to arrive to film me walking over the State line. This is positioned half way across the bridge, although there are no signs to tell you this. I was filmed walking past the middle of the bridge as well at the end of it and by that time I was just laughing at the fact that we really had no idea what State we were in. I finished the day just over the bridge and had totaled 39.10 miles, this is a mile shorter than I wanted to do for my daily average.
Getting To Bed
What seemed to be an easy task turned into an adventure of it’s own. Nigel and I headed back to Long Beach to pick up the RV, I was still having to drive as we couldn’t get Nigel on the insurance till Monday morning. So we had decided to pick it up and head back to Manhattan for the night. In my tired state I missed a turning on the Sat Nav and ended up on the Belt Parkway, which to my horror had a 11’6″ bridge about 100 yards from the end of the slip road. After a emergency stop we had to back the RV back up the Parkway and to the bottom of the slip road. We then dialled 911 to get some assistance in helping us off the low bridge road. After 2 hours, 2 breakdown trucks and a threat of a ticket from a towtruck guy looking for a quick buck the Police finally turned up. They shut the Highway down for us, turned us around and wished us well, nice NYPD, and we finally got on the right road back to Manhattan.
We decided to park in the same spot as the night before, only tonight the city was seething with people and it was only when I got a text from James that I found out the news that Bin Laden had been killed. It was crazy in the city but by 2.30am I was exhausted and had to go to bed. Nigel went out to Ground Zero to see the celebrations. Here is a short video he took to show you what it was like!