Breaking Cycles: The Start

I’m writing about my ride a year later. Taking out the photos and rehashing memories of such a beautiful yet, physically demanding time in my life. What is interesting is that in this present moment, on the very exact day, I am at Newark National Airport ready to board another journey. Where this journey will lead, I do not know. All I know is that I’m heading to Spain!

Breaking Cycles, Day 1: Walking to my friends apartment to pick up my bike seems like a whirlwind. Thinking to myself, “Am I really going to do this?” My legs begin to feel numb but are still walking in the direction of the apartment. My breathing starts to become heavy as I begin to think of the journey ahead. Me, a bike and the entire width of the United States of America.

My hands start to shake as I begin to remember, I’ve never been camping before, let alone, by myself. I haven’t even trained for this ride. I begin to doubt myself, what am I doing? My preparations consisted of two bike rides, a fitting and packing. THAT’S IT!

Mentally, I have been preparing for this ride for 2 years. The years before, I trained my heart and soul out on the road, cycling everyday. I even left for Boston to start my journey and before I knew it, everything started to fall apart. I decided it would be best to postpone the ride, for when, I didn’t know…until now.

Once I arrived, I was greeted with a smile. Ryan asked me, “Are you still doing this?”, I laughed and said, “I’m going to try.” (Knowing that I’m too stubborn and hard headed to ever quit). He laughed and said," “alright, let’s get the beast down and you on your way.” The beast was the name I gave my bike years ago, why you ask? Because she (yes, she) is a cargo bike and laying next to her is the same size as myself. She is not meant for touring but it was a bike that was donated to the cause and after the years, I’m connected to the bike and won’t trade her in for anything else.

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After we struggled down the stairwells of the small New Jersey apartments with the beast, I was ready. This was my warm up ride. I was taking my bike from Union City and cycle it to the George Washington Bridge to New York City and back across to Hoboken (my old training route).

After Ryan waved me goodbye and said, “if you ever need to stop, do it, don’t keep going because your ego is too proud to quit.” I laughed (because I knew he was right) and said, “yes dad. I’ll see you on the other side!”

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My gear was at my friends house in Hoboken, waiting for the actual send off, this was just another practice round to get my legs warm and again used to the weight of the beast. My soul was delighted with the old sights of the coast and the views of New York City from New Jersey.

After a while I ended up on the George Washington Bridge. The cars and trucks were wizzing bye. I was standing there taking it in. OKAY, I tell myself, this is the start of 5,000 miles——-5,000 MILES!!! What’s funny is that I didn’t even have my ride totally planned out. Those that know me would never be shocked, I’ll take an idea and say, “Let’s DO IT”, then figure it out along the way. Why? Because if I give myself too much time to think, I’ll get so far into my own head and will end up siking myself out.

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The ride into Hoboken was pleasant, it was my old hood for many years. The only odd thing is that I was staying with my friend who lived in my ex-boyfriend’s mother’s apartment. Yep, you read that right, my ex-boyfriend’s mother’s apartment. Walking into the apartment was a flash of old faded memories. Least this experience will be a good one.

For more details and to watch all the fun via instastory, follow me on my personal instagram: @brittanymarie_breakingcycles (I’m still processing the best images of the ride - photos coming soon)