A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beating the Rising Bridge Tolls - A Worthy Project

I've gotten way past the point where I'm done complaining about everything.

One of the best things that you can do is put yourself in a position to bypass the system a bit. In almost every situation, it can be done. Sometimes it takes a bit of planning though in order to pull it off. And most of the time, having a good fitness base helps you...a lot.

Such as the case with the tolls on Staten Island. There are definitely a lot of people here complaining about those tolls. They have a point...on every entry point, we have to pay in order to get onto Staten Island. In other words we're basically hostages to both the Port Authority and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority in order to get back to our homes.

And in spite of all the complaining in the local media, these two outfits keep on jacking up the tolls. And nothing gets done.

I am way past complaining. It's time to do something.

The project involves getting across a body of water in a boat while carrying a bike, then riding the bike in NJ to my destination.

Both the boat and bike have to be portable. In this case, there are bikes that are foldable and there are boats that do deflate into a bag. You can also get oars for the boat that collapse also.

Basically the plan is this. I inflate the boat on the shore on Staten Island, put my collapsible bike on board. I then row over to the NJ side, then deflate the boat and fold the oars and put them both into a bad that I can carry on my back. Then unfold the bike, and then cycle over to my destination.

Anyway, here is a great example of the kayak bag that I can use while riding on my bike. It's only about $60 and looks pretty durable for carrying around...

The link to the bag is here... http://static.altrec.com/images/shop/multiview/NRS/19942.bck.mv_d.jpg .

The inflatable kayaks that can fit usually are in the range of $500-$1000, which isn't bad at all. There are a list of kayaks that can go into this sack here. The folding oars that they have are also in the range of $60, which is great.

Now for the folding bikes. There are several brands that make good, durable folding bikes there is the Bike Friday brand, the Montague brand, and, if cash strapped, the Citizen brand. All look pretty reasonable to get around on the other side of the river.

Although I would not dare cross the length of the Verrazano Bridge using this method as it is too wide and too tidal to cross, but crossing the narrow Arthur Kill is quite reasonable and might be the way to go.

I might have finally figured out a way to stick my middle finger at the Port Authority. It might take several months for my plan to come to fruition, but hey, they are not going to limit my freedom of movement in this country.

As I stated before, I'm through complaining. I'm fit, I'm active, and I can make this possible.

1 comment:

  1. Pete, I am a kayaker for almost 20 yrs. I love your idea. It has crossed my mind sooooo many times. However your planning, I believe, is a bit flawed. Inflatable kayaks have a tendency to be slaves to Mother Nature. They get pushed around quite a bit by the wind. Believe it or not, wind will be you biggest enemy. Not tides. Although, tide also have to be accounted for. The other problem with inflatables is landing/launching from rocky areas. They have a tendency to get punctures. They are also, inefficient for paddling. Spend the extra money. Get either a root-molded kayak(inexpensive), or if you wish to get a folding kayak, look at feathercraft. Feathercraft is expensive. You will love the paddling, instead of just surviving the crossing. Another sport will open up for you. I promise