Editor’s Note: Yesterday, Justin Field, UD Class of 2011, embarked on a TSD-sponsored bike-ride across America to raise money and awareness for the Food Bank of Delaware (see his first dispatch here ).
Finally — after months of planning this expedition, dealing with the whirlwind of exams, graduation, moving out of my apartment and making final preparations, the cross-country trek finally began.
With my friends and family watching, I dragged my bike to the ocean near Dewey Beach to complete the ceremonial dipping of the back tire in the Atlantic (to be followed by the dipping of the front tire in the Pacific).
Unlike my riding partner, Dean, I did not have the foresight to take my brand new bike shoes off, and as my tire got wet, my shoes and socks got soaked, forcing me to put on flops until they dried.
Then we were off. We then bid Delaware goodbye with an unceremonious photo at the border between Fenwick and Ocean City.
After twenty miles or so of comfortable paradise, we turned inland, and suddenly felt the 90 degree heat we had been hearing about. On the other hand, it was easy riding as the roads of the Delmarva are flat as pancakes, and filled with vistas of wide open fields and farmhouses, surrounded by tall pines so it was scenic too.
Unfortunately, we hadn’t prepared for the heat, and quickly ran out of water. After deliriously making PB&J’s, we did manage to find a convenience store and rehydrate.
We realized weren’t going to make it to our campsite by sundown, so we rolled into a small town that will remain nameless, and knocked on the police station door. We told them our story, making sure to include the biking cross country thing, and they said “Yeah just find the [city park], and set up your tent somewhere out of sight.”
That stroke of luck was soon followed by a family at unnamed city park offering us the rest of their Memorial Day barbecue spread, since they hadn’t finished it and needed to leave. We couldn’t believe our luck!
We spent the rest of our tougher than expected first day lounging by a slow moving creek, grateful for the kindness of strangers. More soon……