Monday, October 03, 2005

105.8 miles to Atlantic City

Pretty much there, at least :-)

After biking to Pier 11 (near the South Street Seaport), Mike and I hopped on the 11am high-speed ferry to the Highlands across the Hudson in New Jersey. We crossed a bridge to reach the NJ shore and biked south about 40 miles to Seaside Heights, passing places like Point Pleasant in the process.

We then detoured inland to avoid the dreaded Route 9 and Garden State Parkway, and continued south through pretty unpopulated areas. Hungry and searching for a particular road, we encountered a food truck parked alongside Route 539, its motor running!

Alas, nobody was inside the truck. After several back-and-forths along this road, it turned out the locals had mislabeled the road.

We continued on, and as it got dark we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere - aka Washington, NJ. Pretty good roads, very long, there was absolutely nothing for miles and miles except for animals and the occasional car ... this lasted for 24 miles - 10 as dusk approached, 14 in the dark.

Finally we reached ... Egg Harbor City! A suburb of Atlantic City, 20 miles away, Egg Harbor City had no hotels. But their city buses go to Atlantic City. So we hopped on one, stowing our bikes underneath the bus. For $2.90 apiece it brought us to the big AC.

Apparently it isn't wise to go there on a Saturday night without a hotel reservation - they were almost all booked up - so we paid exorbitantly for rooms at the Holiday Inn, one of the only places with vacancies. We biked from the bus station to the Holiday Inn and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was the fanciest Holiday Inn ever! Total milage? 105.8 miles on the bike for Saturday!

By this time it was 10pm and we hadn't had a meal since 11:30am (we had tiny snacks on the way though), so we popped into the nearby Tropicana casino's cafe and had pizza, onion rings and fries. Decent, though later we found that there are other restaurants that are much better and more fun in the Tropicana, in a place called "The Quarter". That'll have to wait til the next trip.

We went around the Tropicana casino and played the penny slots. Mike and I each spent $1. I really don't get gambling - all these people were dropping $25 chips on blackjack tables for 30 second games .. that would just stress me out, blowing $25 each 30 seconds or so. It might be more fun if skill was involved .. maybe competitive pacman?

This was my hotel room. Very comfortable bed and pillows, not too stylish .. the lobby was much nicer though.

In the morning, we walked along the Atlantic City boardwalk. There was some sort of walkathon going on in the opposite direction. All sorts of preprinted t-shirts. A large group of high school students were participating. I can imagine the bright principal who decided, "let's send a bunch of 16 year olds to the AC for a nice wholesome class trip!"
Here is the beach!
And here's a photo of me at the beach.
Here's Mike on the boardwalk.

And here's the Taj Mahal, with the over-50 set having fun at the slots. They're zombies there, just pressing that button over and over!


Blogger M said...

Great blog entry!
Although Philly was Great, I think I actually enjoyed AC better because it was my first >100-mile day ride, but also, the first 40 miles were beautiful as we were riding along the water..The next 60 was also cool in that we didn't have to worry about turning every couple of blocks and so from a navigation standpoint, because it was a bit like being in Kansas, it made it pretty easy to just go straight a lot!
And then of course, there's the fact that the destination is a beach and nice hotels with all you can eat buffets!:)
Definitely a trip I would do again some time!
You should post the directions/maps so that we can reuse them next year and others can use them too..:)

9:44 PM  

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