On day 6 of our ride, we depart Manhattan on our way to New Jersey. After touring the city by foot last night, we’re eager to experience it from the saddle and in the light of day.
Sadly, a Manhattan hotel does not make an ideal bike repair location so my broken derailleur is still just that, broken. Fortunately, with the rear derailleur maintaining tension, I can set the bike to a fixed chainring and ride on. It’s not perfect, but should be more than enough for the flat streets of the island.
You gotta love New York. There aren’t too many places where 80 people dressed in bright blue jerseys and spandex shorts can walk down the sidewalk without garnering a second look.
If you’ve ever tried to coordinate a truck load of bikes in the middle of the city, you know there aren’t too many places you can do it. Fortunately, we were less than a half mile from Central Park which provided an ideal staging area.
NYPD Officers were on hand to help escort us from the park to the Staten Island Ferry. This was no small task given New York’s traffic but one they accomplished impressively.
The guys from FDNY Engine 55 even stopped by to cheer us along.
Once on the ferry, we made our way to Staten Island, passing by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
Back on dry land and two wheels, we made our way to the Staten Island Medical Center.
Stopping at North Shore LIJ Staten Island University Hospital, were were met by medical staff and administration for a reading of the names. The support we’ve received on this trip from medical professionals of all types has been consistently impressive.
As we approached the FDNY Station on Staten Island, we were met by the unmistakable sound of the Pipes and Drums Corps along with the gracious hospitality we’ve come to expect at every fire department and EMS agency on the route.
While resting at the station, it began to rain. Rain however, does not stop a Muddy Angel.
A lightning strike about a quarter mile from our location combined with a downpour that severely limited visibility however, does slow us down a little.
After a brief (and very wet) meeting of the minds, we opted to err on the side of safety and return to the station we had just departed. The station crews were nice enough to break open their MCI cache and supply us with blankets to dry off and warm up.
We waited a while for the storm to clear, but based on the radar image, it didn’t look like that would happen any time soon. Already behind schedule and seeing no relief from the downpours and lightning, we opted to make a run for the trucks and live to ride another day.