'Big Mike' tail wind ride
* Anyone wishing to join the bike tour or become a volunteer in the Mid-Jersey Chapter, give a call at (732)-660-1005.
This bike tour was on May 17th and 18th, 2003.
May 17th . . . I woke up at 4:45am. I mainly take forever to get up. No matter what day it is. But I got up fast and got myself going. Dressed up in my bike outfit, eat and watch the weather. My mother and I loaded the stuff in the car and left at 6:20am. Reached Sandy Hook, NJ about 7:30am. It was a cloudy and chilly morning. The first thing I did was look around for the WNBC-4 news van. Did not see it any place. 7:40am...I brought my olympic torch to show the top MS staff. The bike tour director name Gina saw it and held it before she ran off in the distance. 7:55am...Got a pic with MS President Mike holding the torch. As I went to register. I tried to get a cue card. The bike tour route. They did not have anymore. It will be at the first rest stop. Which is Seven President Park. Had to leave my duffle bag in the parking lot. The yellow van was a tad late. It was breezy out. The good thing about the breeze. It is a tail wind. Coming from a northeast direction. So I said good bye to my mom and took off at 8:15am. Doing about 18 to 22 mile per hour. The help from tail wind. I was doing good time. Got to the first rest stop at 8:55am with max speed of 22.4 mph, average speed of 16.0 mph. With cloudy skies at about 50 degrees. Took some pictures and said hello to some friends. No bananas and no cue cards. Was told there will be a batch at the Belmar rest stop. Made the second rest stop at 9:45am with max speed of 24.3 mph, average was 16.2 mph. Cloudy skies with 51 degrees. This is the Belmar Rest Stop by the way. No bananas and no more cue cards at this rest stop. Not happy about this. What happens if I or new comers do make a wrong turn and need to make a call on my cell? I have been in this tour for years, but I do still make mistakes. Took pictures and said HI to a few good friends. Did not see WNBC-4. Was looking for them left to right. I then thought they stayed in Sandy Hook. Oh-well!! Good music at the Belmar rest stop like always. This rest stop is right across the street from the beach on Ocean Ave. Rest stop three at Perks Cafe with the time of 10:43am. Max speed stays at 24.3 mph and average speed stays at 16.2 mph. Cloudy skies and still chilly with 52 degrees. Guess no one is allowed to use the cafe bathroom. Because the portable bathroom was on the other side of the building. FLUSH! No one showed up to see me. Made the 4th rest stop at 11:25am with max speed staying the same at 24.3 mph and average up to 16.5 mph. Cloudy skies still with 56 degrees. Sun is trying to peak through. Still no bananas. Finally got part one of the cue card. Bad news is that it is a xerox copy on a 8 by 10 inch paper that is missing one side and cut off the top. DUH! I did the best I can with this copy. I called two friends one by voice and the other by text message on my cell. Next time I stopped was ontop of the route 37 bridge to take pictures. Was windy on top. Reached lunch finally at 12:25pm with max speed from the bridge at 30.1 mph and average speed stayed at 16.4 mph. Still cloudy out with the sun really trying to peak out at 57 degrees. My friend...the Donahue's came to visit me. Another friend from WBHS was in the area and could not make it. Got caught in traffic on route 9. I won a t-shirt from radio station called Oldies 100. Did take pictures from lunch. Left lunch at 1:35pm. This time I did get the second half of the day cue card. Now I'm happy. I mainly like to stay for lunch for around an hour. Made the 5th rest stop at 2:05pm with max speed staying at 30.1 mph and average speed staying at 16.4 mph. The rest stop was suppose to be Cedar Creek School, but it turned out to be in Lacey at the Lacey School. Still cloudy and breezy with 54 degrees. Did not record the first 3 minutes on my speedometer. Forgot to hook it back up after lunch. No bananas still. All you see is oranges, power bars and snacks. Plus the water I like that is called H2Go. Made rest stop 6 at 3:07pm with max still at 30.1 mph and average now down to 16.2 mph. Weather is cool 57 degrees with cloudy skies. The name of this rest stop is Ocean County Vocational School. Left leg just starting to ache a tad. Tiny rolls as we cycle inland for awhile. Light head wind now and then. No bananas at the rest stop. Did take pictures. Made the 7th rest stop at 3:53pm with max still at 30.1 mph and average speed is now at 16.1 mph. Weather is still cloudy with sun trying to come out at 54 degrees with light wind. We are cycling on new pavement on route 539. Smooth cycling from here on. Awesome!! Stopped by the Garden State Parkway like I always do every year to see the cars go under and take pictures. Finally reached Pineland Regional High in Tuckerton at 5:00pm with max speed still the same at 30.1 mph and average at 15.9 mph. Sun peaks out at 57 degrees. Ya-hooooo!!! Called my mother that I made it for the day. Sign up for massage, shower up, dinner and then massage. Talk on my cell and watch the wonderful sunset. The sky clears out slowly. Read my book and chat with other cyclist. Read my book and bed by 9:45pm. Nighty-night!
May 18th . . . . Lights on at 5:30am in the morning. Usually lights come on at 6:00am. Oh-well!! Up slowly to get dressed and clean up my mess. Change into my cycling clothes. Check out the front of the school. Clear and chilly out. Brrrr!! (smile) Go eat breakfast and speech at 7am. I forgot her name. This wonderful woman in a wheelchair gave a awesome speech. She has MS. Then set up my bike and water bottle. Called my mother and took off at 7:45am. Slow start for me. My knees took a bit to warm up. It was aching from saturdays ride. Reach the first rest stop at 8:35am with sun and clouds and 53 degrees. My max was 24.3 mph and average was 16.3 mph. This rest stop called Lower Bank Tavern. Half way to this rest stop. My legs felt better. Also took a bit for my hands to warm up. Still no bananas at a rest stop. How nutty is that? Did a lot of drafting before the second rest stop. Cycling in a group to cut down on wind resistance. Second rest stop called Port Republic at 9:24am with sun & clouds and 63 degrees (?). Max the same at 24.3 mph and average the same at 16.3 mph. This rest stop is by the Garden State Parkway. Did take pictures. One with the bike tour director name Gina. Her and all the MS Mid-Jersey staff are great. Reached the third rest stop called Masonic Temple in Linwood area by 10:50am with sun & high clouds and 66 degrees (?). Max speed still at 24.3 mph and average is now at 16.1 mph. Got two cyclist with cool hats hooked onto there helmet. Those hats that has three points on it. Usually have bugs at this rest stop. No problem this time around. Right knee gave out for a short time on top of the route 152 bridge. It happened as I got back onto my bicycle. Might have turned my leg the wrong way. Reached lunch in Primary School in Ocean City by 11:55am with sun and clouds. Breezy out now. More breeze on the bridges. Now that the tour is hopping islands. Max speed the same at 24.3 mph and average at 15.3 mph. Called my friend doing a charity called Perfect Pitch (Home Run Derby) out in Denville, NJ. Stayed in lunch a bit shorter. Left lunch at 12:43pm with sun & clouds. Before reaching the Avalon rest stop. I got a flat rear tire by the Sea Isle City water tower. A friend with bike number 582 helped me get my rear up and running again. I thanked him a couple of times. Pics is in my album. After he got done and left. Decided to look over my front wheel. Found s staple in it. A slow leak. A MS staff came by. I told them what happened. Said not to take it out and see how far I go with the staple in it. Reach rest stop four in Avalon Rec Center by 2:20pm with cloudy skies and 66 degrees (?). Max speed the same at 24.3 mph and average now 15.5 mph. Becuase of the flats. I lost a full 35 minutes of cycling time. It started to sprinkle before reaching Avalon rest stop. Reached rest stop called Masonic Temple in Wildwood by 4:05pm with light rain and at some points with big rain drops. Starting to get a tad chilly out. Did take a few pictures. Before reaching the Wildwood rest stop. Part of the tour course was along side the Garden State Parkway in Stone Harbor. The rules said that if no one reach the Wildwood rest stop by 3:30pm. You will be sagged to Cape May. No more cycling. But They did not stop no one. I was prepared to pack it in when I reached the rest stop. Was happy to continue on. Took pictures on the way to the finish line. Made it to the U.S. Coast Guard in Cape May finish line at 4:54pm. Cloudy and chilly skies. Max speed was 25.0 mph and average at 14.9 mph. Feels good to finish up. Bad news is that my duffle bag got wet at the bottom. The pants I planned on wearing was damp. Anything at the bottom was damp. Signed up for a bus at 6pm. Called my mother about the bus. Went to eat the BBQ. Chilly with no pants. Was shivering enough to wear the pants anyway. Bus problems comes later. Board the bus at 6:30pm. Had to wait for bikes and bags to be loaded under buses and on school buses. Finally left at 7:00pm. Took two hours to reach Sandy Hook. Wait a long while later for the school bus. While waiting for the school buses to arrive. Did some chatting with other cycle friends. Because my bike was on the school bus. Home by 10:30pm. Watch TV and bed by 1:30pm. Why 1:30am? Because I fell asleep on the floor with the TV on. Good night!
Mike's Thought on the bike tour . . . . . . I think I got the flat near a building construction area. Staples on the shoulder. Plus bananas was only at one rest stop out of the whole weekeend. Bananas at lunch. This is very odd to rarely have bananas at any rest stops. No cue cards on the first half on saturday was not good. Was not suppose to rain and it did in Cape May County on sunday. Met up with my friends from past bike tours at all location of the tour. My old friends came to see me at Toms River lunch.
***Raised a total of $1,376.00 for the MS Mid-Jersey Chapter. (smile)
***To know more about riding or volunteering in the May 2004 bike tour for the MS Mid-Jersey Chapter. Then give a call to 732-660-1005 for more information.