Hash tag #42..

New speak or old speak, 42 in the number of miles I rode on my bicycle on Saturday.  The adventure was billed as a four-ish hour tour.  After a few missed turns due to GPS issues, I found myself exhausted, fighting the wind, ten miles from the final objective.  My cell phone was rapidly running out of juice. I was faced with calling it a day or riding on without the ability to contact my DW when I either made it to the end of the ride or just had enough. But I getting ahead of myself..

The adventure was like most grand bar schemes, dreamed up after a few beers or a glass or two of wine.  The idea, which has been brewing for the last three or four years, was to ride my bike for 50 miles. The distance seems unattainable for me. I have tried the ride to conquer that distance twice and have twice come up short.  The starting point is my home in Manahawkin and the planned end point is the Margaritaville Cafe in Atlantic City.

Due to geography and highway planning, there is no direct route to Atlantic City from my house on a bicycle. The trip involves a meandering tour of the Pine Barrens.   This summer’s bicycle riding was supposed to be the big training push for the September or October big ride. The the heart issues and life stepped in the way of my training.  I have avoided the big ride in the summer months since I tried the big ride in the summer and did not make it and ran out of drinks out in the middle of nowwhere.

I was ready Saturday. Food and drinks in my backpack and in the carriers on my bike frame. One cell phone to do the GPS navigation, one cell phone to track the ride via Map My Ride and a Ipod to provide the music.  One ear for music and one ear for directions!  What could go wrong?  Well the phone doing the GPS locked up at the first turn that I did not know. I had to stop and reboot the phone. One hour and forty-five minutes later, at another turn that I did not know, the battery on that phone went belly up.

Out of my pocket came the printed  directions.  I used the paper copy for the next 15 miles. Finally at mile 37, the phone doing the Map MY RIde app was almost dead. That was decision time. There are not any pay phones left in the world.  Maybe there are, but would you want to bet on finding one and having enough change to use it?  That was the point that I called my DW and said “Uncle”. Come and get me. I rode another 5 miles while waiting for my ride home. I did accomplish riding the longest distance for the year.

We stopped at Allan’s Clam Bar for lunch. We were only 10 miles from Margaritaville, but I was not driving there if I could not ride my bike there.  Lunch was good. Clams on the half shell, fried scallops and mussels in white wine and garlic.

I am already planning for next year.

Here are two pictures.  See the captions. Thanks for reading.


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