I might have slept in a little later than I intended. This coupled with the fact I had photos to upload, and emails to reply to, meant that I didn’t get out of the hostel till gone 11. I spoke to a couple of guys outside the hostel whilst loading my bike. These turned out to be quite important conversations.
Firstly Bruce (after checking out my gear for a good 10 minutes and commenting on various things) mentioned that there was a great cycle repair shop a few blocks down. This was important because I’d lost a screw to my mud-guards in transit and it was catching on the wheel. He also mentioned a cycle event in Chicago which is slightly less important but interesting nonetheless. A second chap, Sid, informed me of warmshowers.com which is important for later on in the trip. Both wished me good luck as I headed off to try and get my bike fixed.
After spending a while at the store I finally got the screw I needed (free of charge) and began re-attaching the mud-guard outside the store. At the point I bumped into Gil who has been living in NY all his life. He’s an amazing improv Cellist and you can check his site out at http://gilselinger.com. I explained what I was doing and he wanted to cycle with me on the first stretch down to the peninsula. Once we got down to the bottom of the island it was pushing 4pm. Gil explained that a few more hours of riding would put me in the heart of New Jersey and not somewhere I want to be looking for a safe place to stay.
It was with this that Gil offered to take me around to Brooklyn Bridge and then back to his apartment to plan out the next day a bit more effectively. Snapped a couple of pictures of the bridge and went back to Gil’s really nice apartment. After deciding we were a little peckish Gil offered to treat me to a Mexican, which was absolutely delicious. Best. Steak. Fajitas. Ever.
Bellies full, it was back to the apartment to plan a route and destination out for tomorrow. We settled on a route and Gil kindly printed it out. It was getting late and so not to impose any further I found a hostel a few blocks down to stay for the night. Thanks Gil for all your help and treating me to the meal, if all Americans are half as generous I’m going to enjoy this ride immensely!