October 2, 2016
We arrived at the RV drop off point at 9ish, the lads had been up all morning cleaning and the RV was spotless. I hadn’t stayed up the night before, I was tired and I slept pretty well.
After paying the obscene amount at the RV place for the crash, I set out on my final ride, a short 44 miles into NYC. The plan was for the lads to get a taxi and head to my works office, where they would meet me on my arrival.
The roads were, white frankly, abysmal. It was outrageously dangerous and had I been on any other day throughout the ride I would have asked them to come pic me up in the van. But now we were van-less and I had to reach that city on my own! There was no cycle path and I was basically on a dual carriageway, a very busy one. I wasn’t really sure if I should have been on there, but several police drove past and didn’t stop me, so I carried on. I was right near the airport so huge trucks were coming past me, leaving a very small amount of room. I was thinking how lucky I will be to survive this!
I had a map which was set to stick to the roads, but avoid any motorways. As I approached Manhattan I got a message from Rob saying how I wouldn’t get through the tunnel I was heading to, and that I should try get a boat. I read these messages but in typical Shane fashion, I believed I could get through the Holland tunnel. I approached the entrance and it’s like a toll thing, where cars pay to enter. I found a gap and shot round the barrier and cycled around 50 meters, before I started to notice the cars slowing on my left, where I enter. I looked to my right and two police officers were chasing me, I slammed the brakes on and pulled over, I wasn’t going to get through this tunnel!
I honestly hadn’t seen a “No cycle” sign, so I thought I would be alright going through. One was quite aggressive and took me to the side, asking me to produce some ID. I had absolutely nothing on me and explained that I had just cycled from SF, he looked at me in dismay and probably thought I was lying. They just took my details and let me go. He refused to tell me how to get over the bridge!
I set about asking some people how to get into Manhattan and ended up on the tube to the World Trade Center. I text Rob to let him know I was around 2 miles from the office and he asked me to slow down. I pull up to the side and suddenly became really nervous, I knew there might be a lot of people and I wasn’t sure how to react. I stood in NY sticking out like a sore thumb in my cycling kit and waited for the signal to proceed.
On the way to the office I seen a fellow colleague, she was on her way to the office so I waited a bit longer so she was there. I was really nervous and when I turned the corner and seen perhaps 50 people holding banners and such I was completely overwhelmed. I thought I might cry, or shout, or celebrate but – probably for the first time in my life – I was speechless.
I probably wouldn’t remember much from the end unless I had this video. It’s definitely a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life!
We did it!