Garry McGivern’s bike-ride to Australia-and-beyond Saturday, 30th-June-2012 Central Square to Jersey City. 89 miles. An excellent start to the day. I found somebody to ride along with and bore! Melissa rode along with me for a good half an hour or so. She took me on a route away from the main road. And she also gave me some more directions for further up the road, which turned out to be a lovely route along country roads.
Well, I nearly made it to New York today. Had it not been that the only place I could find to cross the Hudson River was a lot further north than I needed to go. I’ll be cycling back on myself but on the other side of the river.
It was late in the day, and I struggled to find a way through. There are Freeways everywhere. So even though I had only twenty or so miles to go, I decided to give up on today, regroup and try again tomorrow when I feel fresher. I soon found a motel, where the man sitting behind bullet-proof glass. Who didn’t speak much English, wanted to charge me $85. $85 just for a room, which wasn’t in the best of conditions by looking at the place from the outside. The motel wasn’t in the best neighbourhood, and there was nowhere to eat. I decided to push on.
What a bad mistake!
I left the motel and rejoined the busy road. Then about a mile down the road, something hit me from behind, sending me skidding along the ground! Once I’d stopped, my immediate reaction was to gather my bike and bags together. (My bags had come off in the impact.) And get off the road so that I wasn’t hit again. Luckily though, a young couple had stopped their car across the carriageway to protect me.
I got everything off the road and was on the path trying to put my panniers back on my bike. There was blood pouring from my head, and I had to keep wiping my brow so I could see. The young couple who had stopped kept telling me to sit down. There’s an ambulance on its way. But my only concern was to get everything back together.
The woman who had hit me had stopped further up and came back. All I remember was her saying, “well, at least I stopped!” The ambulance came, along with two police cars. The ambulance men also told me to calm down. Your bike will be okay, they said. But that was my world and had been for the past nine months! In the end, they conned me by saying let us just look at your head. You’re losing quite a lot of blood! And with that, they grabbed me and bound me up on a stretcher. I was still very agitated and concerned about my bike. But they reassured me that the police would take care of it.
At The Hospital
Once at the hospital, I think I must have had every type of scan test going! Luckily they couldn’t find anything significantly wrong with me (not physically anyway!), and all I had was a couple of bruised ribs, a grazed shoulder and the gash on my head, which they stapled together.
Thankfully the police had brought my bike to the hospital and, once discharged. I saw that the only damage was to my front tyre, which needed replacing. And my panniers had a few holes in them. A lucky escape! I changed the front tyre, and off I set to find the nearest hotel. I stopped as usual at the first hotel I came across. I should have carried on, but I stopped as I wasn’t feeling particularly great. Now that did hurt! $200 for one night!
Don’t forget the main reason behind my ride. I want to raise as much money for cancer research charities as possible. After my wife, Josie, died of breast cancer in 2007, aged only 42. Even the smallest donation helps. You can donate to Cancer Research UK or the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click on either one to donate. Every little bit helps to rid the world of this cruel disease.
Subscribe to Garry’s blog and follow Garry’s journey around the world. Plus, you’ll receive news and updates on future tours.