What you should expect from a long bicycle journey
Bicycle touring for a sustained period of time is a…
Day 2 – Linden, NJ to Burlington, NJ (63 miles)
So after day one, I woke up feeling quite sore in the leg department. Didn’t start cycling until around midday, even later than the day before, what a fool.
Set off from Linden, and was quickly on some amazing roads. Massively wide shoulders, fairly level for the most part, cool drivers. It was great to be in more scenic, less urban America.
Oh, the saddle. Before setting off (literally a couple of days before) I got hold of a Brooks Flyer saddle. Everyone seems to accept that once broken in they are insanely comfy, but that the breaking in period can be quite tough. They’re right. It’s not unbearable by any means, but on long downhills it’s a great relief to be able to stand up and get off the saddle. Anyway let’s not get into how to care for this kind of pain (Sudacrem).
Where were we? Oh yes the roads. They passed through some lovely quaint suburbia, one of the first areas being North Brunswick, where I found a little cul-de-sac to have a rest for a few minutes. It was a Sunday and the weather was ace (hot!) so people were at home, hanging outside their houses. I bumped into a father & son, Jim and Martin, who were really friendly and we chatted for a good 45 minutes. Jim is actually a photographer so we nerded out for a little bit, and Martin is in-between school at the moment and has big dreams for adventure hiking. We shot a quick little portrait (aren’t red trees ace?):
After this I cycled for a good few more hours, finally hitting Burlington (via Springfield) at around 9.00pm. For the first time I managed to stealth camp in a secluded section of woodland near the college. Pillow solution could be improved. So that was day 2, another 63 miles according to the odometer which was nice after having set off so late and stopping a lot along the way.
Day 3 – Burlington, NJ to Cherry Hill, NJ (12 miles)
What a brilliant day. I rode all of 12 miles, not because of tiredness / recovery, but because today I’d arranged to meet a into-cycling-couple living in Cherry Hill after they’d finished work.
The little cycling that I did do was pretty rad, once again a great area of New Jersey and nice roads.
And then the coolest part. A chap called Isaac emailed a couple of weeks ago, asking if I’d be interested in going for dinner with him and Sarah, his wife if I was passing through. You bet! So I was hanging out with a Coke outside a cafe in Cherry Hill, and at about 4.00pm a big pickup truck pulls up and Isaac shouts hey from inside.
We bundled the bike into the back of the truck and he drove us to his apartment to meet Sarah, stash some stuff and recharge batteries.
Then we grabbed some dinner at The Cheescake Factory and it was great to hear about their love of cycling, families and general lives.
After dinner, we visited Campbells Soup’s global headquarters. Isaac is a head chef there and he invents some of the products that Campbell’s produce. Pretty awesome to see his work up there on the marketing wall. After this we went back to the apartment to pick up the gear and batteries, and shot a bit of video too. A snippet below:
It was a great experience to be in the company of two of the most hospitable people. After an amazing dinner, they surprised me by organising a suite in a local hotel for the night and a bag of Campbell’s goodies. How incredibly kind is that?!
I haven’t spent much time in the cycling community before this trip, but first impressions are that it’s a network of kind-hearted and welcoming people. Thank you Sarah and Isaac, it was an absolute pleasure and I’m excited to stay in touch with you guys.
Shattered now (apologies if the writing isn’t very clear!) but feeling good after a light days riding and the great company this evening. Roll on tomorrow.