PUT Day 1 2012

Well, an interesting an uplifting day’s cycling is over.

The statistics are as follows:

Distance:
52.08 mi

Time:
4:33:04

Avg Pace:
5:15 min/mi

Avg Speed:
11.4 mph

Elevation Gain:
1,729 ft

Calories:
2,157 C

Avg Temperature:
66.2 °F

Min Temperature:
57.2 °F

Max Temperature:
80.6 °F

We were up and out of our rooms this morning by 06:00. Last night I was rooming with Paul, my colleague from Essex Police. That’s Essex England, not Essex NJ! Breakfast was a chance to speak to the rest of the so called Team Ohio, although this year, the sub set know as Team HRH is as big as Team Ohio. There is myself, Paul, Lisa from Canada and Maggie, a 70 year old lady originally from the Isle of Man who now lives in Ohio. Maggie it turns out knows my mother’s cousin on the Isle of Man. Maggie and Paul were PUT virgins and its probably fair to say were apprehensive. This wasn’t helped by people telling them about the steep hills they would encounter and the saddle sores they’d suffer. I’m unable to comment as to who was responsible for this owing to the rights given to me under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of the USA. (look it up!).

I think at this point it needs putting on record, that despite Paul claiming I snore, the only person I heard snoring last night was Paul. Yes Paul, that was you snoring, it wasn’t me as I was awake and listening to you. I’m sure Daphne –his partner- could confirm he snores.

The weather was miserable and wet whilst we waited to set off. Not the conditions we had hoped for. Now, the Americans are always so incredibly hospitable to me on these Tours, BUT I think they have taken it too far this year by importing British weather as well!

However it was not cold. As you can see from the stats, the temperature never went below 57F. We started the day wearing waterproof jackets etc., but of course it stopped raining and I was left sweating in my jacket till the first stop. The jacket is not colloquially known as a boil in the bag for nothing.

The ride today was a completely new route and avoided us going into Newark. We rode through lots of lovely townships and made a first stop @ the headquarters of the Verizon phone company. This was after only 16 very slow miles.

The 2nd spell of riding was in near perfect conditions, warm but not hot, dry and no wind. We did 20 more miles and had a lengthy lunch stop, a ceremony and various speeches including from the CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Craig Floyd. Then it was time to ride the last 16 or so miles to our hotels in Edison. By now it was very humid and not as pleasant to ride in, but it was dry.

After showering and changing, it was time to hit the bar for a medicinal beer and then it was food time, lots of pasta and chicken – good for carb loading for the day ahead. Then a beer to wash the food down!

Tonight, I am rooming with the snoring machine known as Michael T Rae. He was the man who introduced me to the PUT and was my room mate last year. He is a well connected guy and is a pleasure to be around. It was a no brainer when he asked me to share a room with him again this year.

motor bikes

just some of the Police Motorcycle Escort bikes

Start of day 1

Paul, Jeremy, Maggie, Lisa, Mike and Me – read to set off

 

 

School Band

school

Children of just 2 of many schools that came out to cheer us on.

 

 

 

Tomorrow is a much longer day and breakfast is at 0500! Yes, a 5 am start!

 

 

Finally a personal message to Michelle, you know why the PUT is such a special memory to me. Perhaps one day you can accompany me to Washington DC

Under Starters Orders

Well, it’s the eve of the Police Unity Tour  (PUT)2012 and the it’s nearly time to set the peloton off.

After yesterday’s blog post, we had fun at Newark Airport as there was no one there to meet us. A taxi was going to cost $135 to the hotel before Paul managed to sweet talk the girl on the travel desk to offer us a lift to the hotel when she finished work. However, that proved unnecessary as we managed to phone the PUT offices and arranged for transport in the form of Stu from Essex county sheriff’s department in New Jersey. The problem was caused by my sending the email with flight details to the wrong address – d’oh.

Still better late than never to the hotel, and still in time for a couple of beers with Paul (my colleague from Essex Police in England &Lisa from Canada – part of Team HRH ( Her Royal Highness) – the three of us representing the Commonwealth in this year’s event.

Tuesday breakfast brought more meetings with old friends from across the USA, including Colorado, more from Ohio, California and elsewhere. It’s always good to speak to old friends and compared to me many are old! Sorry guys and girls!

Then it was time to reassemble our bikes. Fortunately they all went together apparently well. We beat the rush to this and so had plenty of space in the bike store to work. There are some very nice bike here, mine excluded

After this, Paul and I went for a walk along the main street in East Hanover looking at various retail establishments – especially the bike shops! Unlike in the UK, there are no pavements (sidewalks) and so, it was rather risky walking down the street. Something apparently not done in the USA. Crossing the road meant a walk of up to 1/2 mile to find a break in the concrete central reservation! Still, it passed a few hours and enabled us to get out of the hotel.

Returning to the hotel at lunchtime, we registered for the ride and got our pack with details of the hotels  we are to stay in, our luggage tags ( they take our luggage to the hotels for us each day). I knew in advance that I was rooming with Mike Rae of the US Postal Service like last year. We also got our Road ID bracelets with details of our emergency contact details etc. – Michelle, I hope you do not get a phone call!

After lunch we spent the rest of the day at the meet and greet session, meeting other riders, new and not so new. Selling/ swapping merchandise and having a buffet full of carbs to prepare us for tomorrow. Also, it was a chance for a beer or two, or was it three?

Oh, I forgot to mention we had a visit from the Morristown Pipes Band – aka men in skirts!

One of the PUT virgins was a lady originally from the Isle of Man, she is the same age as my mother and apparently knows my mother’s cousin! Small world!

There is not much more to say before I turn in for the night.

Men in Skirts

Peter Paul & Mary

Peter Paul and Mary – think we’d be good folk singers? (Mary is from the Californian Highway Patrol)

Team HRH

Team HRH – your Diamond Jubilee Team ma’am