Cycling the Atlantic


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Our penultimate day in New York began at Barney Greengrass’ authentic Jewish deli, an Upper West Side institution famous for its Sturgeon and Bagels. I had the meat without feet; Salmon and scrambled eggs. We follow breakfast with another rambling walk through Central Park where we were extras in at least three weddings.

After our previous experiences of flying with our bicycles we searched for possible alternatives. Research, good fortune and circumstance converged to provide us with an exciting alternative. A berth on an cruise ship!

On a sultry, sunny Mother’s Day Sunday afternoon The Queen Mary 2 slipped anchor from pier 12 in Brooklyn, with us on board. Passengers drank Champagne on the open decks and waved little plastic American flags to those left on shore. There’s something equally melancholy and romantic about an ocean liner leaving port.

With the bikes boxed up in our cabin, we aquatinted ourselves with the onboard gym and their bank of stationary bicycles where passengers furiously worked themselves up into a sweat hoping to ward off the excesses of the continuous buffet. Walking the various promenades we stop occasionally for shipboard games of shuffle board and quoits all very age appropriate.

The cruise demographic is mostly old white and middle class. Some are celebrating milestones such as wedding anniversaries, divorces and cancer survival for others it’s a tick off on the bucket list. Shipboard life mixes nostalgia and formality: A formal black tie Captains dinner (no we didn’t go), daily meetings of groups such as Friends of Dorothy (LGBT) or Friends of Bill (AA), along with topical speakers, bars, discos etc

It’s wonderful to have had a holiday in New York and now be sailing to England on a 5 star floating hotel. Such a contrast to life on the road, however, we are itching to get back on our bikes for real.

The Atlantic crossing from New York to Southhampton takes seven days, provided the fog clears and we don’t run into an iceberg.

Categories: Pacific Coast 2015, World tour 2015Tags:

4 comments

  1. It sounds absolutely fabulous guys. New York is definitely on my list. Enjoy UK and can’t wait for the next instalment xox.

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  2. What a trip you’re having! We’ve been following your progress with interest. Chatting with you on the ferry from Tasmania seems a long time ago. Hope you can find time to visit us and come on the narrowboat. Please get in touch soon before the diary fills up!

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  3. Southampton was where we lived in UK šŸ™‚ Where are you headed in the UK? No recs for where to go in Southampton; it is pretty uninspiring. But just hear it are some lovely places: cycling in the New Forest is great; loved cycling in Wales though there were lots of crazy steep hills (including one where I came off my bike and could not get back on again, trying about 10 times with a farmer about a metre away from me whom I didn’t notice but who was silently laughing at me. He got pretty good value entertainment that day.) Also, the Cotswolds were pretty fun to cycle in too.

    When we left Southampton, we rode to Portsmouth and caught a ferry across to Brittany. There is a wonderful little pink ferry across the Hamble River on the route between Southampton and Portsmouth. Loved that little ferry.

    Also, bikes on trains in UK is fabulous. Often they have dedicated bike carriages.

    Happy cycling and may you be blessed with tailwinds!

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  4. well,you are both living the dream,we are following but unable to comment so far. all well and fit here ,gearing up for our kidman way trip in 3weeks,keep well and enjoy

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