On June 23th 2011, I, Daniel Reid, along with my cousin, Christian Gomez, rode from one corner of Brooklyn all the way across to Manhattan on bicycle. My cousin and I had been riding pretty much every day since school ended, each day riding a longer path. The decision to go to Manhattan wasn’t as planned out as you may think. There was no map; we had no directions, no schedule, and no idea what we were in for. We merely got on our bikes, chose a direction, and rode with the wind.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
At first, everything seemed to be going fine, our legs weren’t tired and we were almost halfway there. However, that smooth riding didn’t last because when we got to the halfway mark, we had a bit of an issue. As it turned out, my cousin’s dad, my uncle, was coming to my house to pick up a mike stand, and I was to open the door for him. The overall trip from my house to City Hall was about 10 miles since we stayed on the major roads for simplicity reasons. When we got that phone call, we were already 5 miles deep, and to make matters worse, we only had 20 minutes to get back, even though it took us 35 minutes to get there. We set our bikes to top gear and rode even faster than we thought our bikes could go, retracing our 5 mile path and we conveniently showed up seconds before my uncle.
Now riding at top speed for 5 miles is no easy task, our legs were burnt out from all the effort required to ride on the top gear continuously. We contemplated for about 10 minutes to decide if we should try again, but in the end we decided to go for it. So, we set out again in high hopes that we wouldn’t get interrupted this time. Riding a lot slower than we did last time due to our fatigued legs, we made it back to the halfway point and got onto the next major road, Eastern Parkway. For those of you who don’t know, Eastern Parkway is just a massive hill, and, of course, we had to be going up that hill. At the time, that was the most difficult part of our trip, but upon arriving at the bridge, we quickly changed our minds. Bridges typically go up at the beginning, down and up in the middle, and down at the end, well the incline at the beginning was so steep that we wouldn’t see the rest of the bridge. However, that didn’t stop us, we were driven and we would complete this journey no matter what.
Making it to the other side of that bridge was perhaps one of the most impactful moments of my life. You know that feeling kids get when someone they look up to commends them for succeeding in whatever task, well I was filled to brim with that feeling. That trip showed me that I could in fact; accomplish anything I put my mind to. Due to my success on that trip, I have an entire summer planned of even further places to bike to and with the fire burning wildly inside of me; I will make it to each and every one of them.
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