Flying through mountain ridges as the road flows like a winding river of concrete under your feet. Bright white lines blur into one and yellow lines feel like the only barrier between you and falling off a ridge doing 100 miles per hour. The breeze so cold your bones feel alive and wanting to dig further into your body. Trees exploding with birds, fleeing from the rumbling of the engines down an empty road. Leaves falling for the first time ever, so silently and calm, whispering colder days will come soon. Alarm clocks of bikes starting in the early mornings as the recovery of hangover bliss starts cold and shivering. Sunsets you would never believe your eyes could ever see in your entire life grazing across landscapes that look like they could only be of pictures painted. Complete and utter happiness running through my veins filled with accomplishment knowing that I have ridden one of the most amazing runs in all my life.
These words came to mind while riding back home from the Gypsy Run which took place this year on the weekend of 9.13.2013. Organized by Walter Gemeinhardt from Kickstart Cycle Supply, this was the 7th Annual Gypsy Run. I can’t express the amount of gratitude to Walter for throwing one of the most beautiful rides I have ever been on. It was truly amazing and a ton of fun.
The first day of the run started from Oradell, NJ to Phoenicia, NY; trekking over 206 miles on some of the most beautiful roads next to lakes, engulfing tree lines, and majestic mountain ridges that made you feel like you were on top of the world. We arrived to the meet up location a little late that morning and missed the first group. My friends Dez and Justin both were having issues with their bikes, so bad they actually had to rent a U-Haul and drive back to Youngstown, OH. I felt so bad for them but I’m glad we did get to share the ride to New Jersey together. We missed them terribly the rest of the weekend but had to get a move on. The wife and I were very fortunate to meet up with my good friend Traveling Dave and Anna the night before. We did the first leg just the 4 of us, eventually meeting up with a larger group after about 60 miles at a small gas station. The sight of 50 bikes taking over an entire gas station was pretty rad. There were small breakdowns and one bad one but no accidents with our group and the day couldn’t have been more perfect. Finally we arrived to the camp after night fall; everyone welcomed our group in with open arms even though we were the stragglers. Beers were handed to me not even seconds after jumping off my bike. I met so many amazing people that first day and I am happy to say most of them are friends now.
Day 2 was nothing short of amazing as well. We departed from Phoenicia, NY early in the morning. The run had us ending in Narrowsburg, NY and the roads just got better and better. We did not end up doing the run with the entire pack, instead we waited a little while for the bulk of everyone to ride out and we rode in a smaller group of about 12. Riding along side Tim from Lowside Magazine and the Baltimore crew was the best of times. We were doing 90 to 100mph on some of the highways and other times just lollygagging and staring at the views. We did the run at our own pace, stopped when we wanted to and just smiled the whole time. At one point we even got lost but no one seemed to care.
One of the highlights to this day was this store we stopped at in the middle of nowhere simply called “The Dept Store”. It literally had everything and anything in this tiny store, from sex aids to brooms, to camping gear, to BB guns, to pots and pans. Most of the group got coffee and long johns because it was about 48 degrees all day long with hardly any sun. The camp site in Narrowsburg was amazing, right next to a river and secluded away in the trees; it just felt right. Fireworks blew up the sky for a while and the beers went down one after another. It was the perfect end to an amazing run.
The wife and I did a little over 1,250 miles in 4 days. From Cleveland to New Jersey, we rode the entire run, got lost a few times, and from New York back home. I would do it all over again and then some if you asked me right now to go. Adventure is a human need that we all seek. The Gypsy Run uplifted my soul and made me feel alive more than ever. I highly suggest this run to everyone and you need to make it a point to get out there next year and experience it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed one bit. Pack warm and bring the rain gear. Thank you to Walter for organizing this amazing run. I speak for myself and all that went this year and the previous years that we extremely appreciate everything you do to make the Gypsy Run what it is and your hospitality is above and beyond amazing. Till next year, I can’t wait to go back!