Earlier this year, I ticked off a ride that appears on most every New York City cyclist’s list of “Rides to Do.” It was a century ride to Philadelphia in mid-July.
As great as that ride, and the accompanying weekend with some of my greatest friends, was, my life more or less went south since then. It has been plagued by one big suck after another:
- Sarah broke up with me.
- I moved out of Long Island City. That was difficult because it’s where I lived the longest since leaving my parent’s home.
- I couch surfed for two months. Then I moved into a place on the other side of the Newtown Creek.
- A month later, I moved again. My new room doesn’t have a ceiling and has only some floor coverings. I now have to wear shoes or thick socks to walk around my own room. (But, hey, at least, I’m paying below market.)
- During most of that time, I could barely walk because I had an ingrown toenail. The new toenail only grew back a few weeks later to cause even more pain and a nasty infection. It’s gross, I know.
- The softball teams I played for this summer all lost. The Librarians and The Robots lost in the finals, and the Ball Busters did even worse, losing in the semi-finals. And likely one of the reasons the Librarians and Robots did as well as they did was because I was an emotional wreck and didn’t play in the playoffs
- The softball team I quit won its league championship. That’s great for them, but it sucks to know they were better off without me.
- I won’t be going to Greenport as much anymore. The reason I was riding towards Greenport, as often as I was, is moving to Nevada.
And let’s not even talk about “satisfactory academic progress.”
At this point, all that is keeping me going is some irrationally primal instinct to not die, a handful of great old friends (and some really nice new ones), and bicycling. The latter is why this blog has turned into an informal record of my rides. It’s the only thing I look forward to doing each weekend, and it’s the only thing that I enjoy doing all week. I’m even looking forward to riding in the rain for the first time ever.
In the spirit of revisiting a personal highlight and exorcising the demons that I might have agitated the last time I was in Philadelphia, I will be leading a ride to Philadelphia this Sunday with a small group of riders who are as obsessed with cycling as much as I am.
The ride will not be a full century as it was in July. For one thing, it’s December, and the days are short. Moreover, it’s going to be cold with a daytime temperature hovering around 40°. To make the ride a more palatable seventy-file miles, we’re going to start in Bound Brook, New Jersey, where I made my first food stop on July’s ride. Not only does that cut out the junk miles outside of Newark, it will also save all the day’s hills.
Since Philly is a lot more fun when you actually spend a bit of time there, we’ve charted a few places to go once we arrive. Current possibilities include 2nd Story Brewing in Old City, Strangelove’s near Center City, and the City Tap Room in University City. After that, we’ll head back on the ghetto train: the combination of SEPTA and NJ Transit trains back to New York, with a connection in Trenton.
And instead of being as sad as I’ve been over the last few months, going to Philly might make me angry. That has to be better, right?