If you haven’t been following our journey across America, then check out the previous updates here.
Having travelled 60 miles the day before – walking most of it – and finishing at 6:30am to only grab 4 hours sleep it was fair to say both myself and David were feeling a bit shit. But we were so close to New York City now, we couldn’t give up.
The morning of skating was great, we pushed straight out onto an amazing smooth cycle path – David had a little fall hitting a stick and scraped his knee up as a result, but nothing we weren’t used to this far into the journey. We made alright progress throughout the day and finished up late that night on some amazing downhills that we were able to bomb with the bus following behind us with the headlights. An absolutely phenomenal experience, finishing on a decent 50 miles.
Day 72, the next morning we felt far more rested and refreshed. As we had deviated from our route a little bit heading south. we would be hitting Baltimore that evening, and would have to skate through one of the most violent areas which was something we didn’t really want to do in the dark.
Predictably we found ourselves skating through West Baltimore (where the wire is set) late at night, getting a lot of strange looks, with people shouting at us even trying to force us off our longboards. You know that you’re in a rough area when the McDonald’s signs go from ‘Try our $1 chicken burger’ to ‘Peace for Baltimore’.
We eventually got closer to the centre and the end of a 60 mile day by pulling up at a gas station to park for the night. Right before we went to sleep we were approached by a self confessed meth addict known as ‘Car Wash’. He was excited to hear about our trip and even sold a bit of artwork to David. The next morning Car Wash was still at the gas station, frantically drawing, but not in the same talkative mood he was before.
Day 73 we spent most of the day pushing along a pretty smoggy dual carriageway, stopping over at a gas station for some food where my Ray Bans were stolen off the counter next to me. Fantastic. The need to shower was also getting more and more intense, we hadn’t showered for almost a week and if we rubbed the sweat off our face with our t-shirt we would usually leave a grim black stain with it. It was gross basically.
That evening we made it 67 miles to Pennsylvania and were blessed with a free shower. Another city on the East Coast, but now pretty much exactly 100 miles from New York City. We all had a team chat and decided that we would push on the final 100 miles all the way to New York City the next day, which would put us exactly one day ahead to finish on.
The first 50 miles were pretty straight forward, we didn’t take many breaks and pushed on as fast as we could. With hindsight we didn’t feel as motivated as you might think – that was simply because none of it felt real.
The tiredness grew and it started to get dark, I had a short batch of paranoia whilst skating through a wooded area in the dark, falling off numerous times thanks to the path being littered with sticks. Then out of no where we were 20 miles away, we went into a Dunkin Donuts and the manager asked what we were doing – when he we told him he filled a huge bag with goodies and sent us on our way.
The final stretch was so surreal, we were exhausted physically, mentally but also so used to our daily routine of skating 50ish miles. Crossing a toilet paper finish line was an emotional experience for myself and David, it was 2am and we finished the other side of the Brooklyn bridge looking back over at New York City, a sight we had be using to keep us going for the 3000 miles of skating proceeding it.
Here are a few more pictures from New York City before we headed home: