Drip by Drip: Day 1

For the next week, I will be living off of drippy faucets as I cycle from New York, NY to Boston, MA. Leaking fire hydrants, hoses, kitchen faucets, you name it. If it would have gone to waste that is what I can drink until I reach Boston. No gatorade, juice, milk, or any other liquid besides good ol’ water that was going to waste.

I left the official launch point of Central Park in Manhattan at 5:00 today but I actually biked there from the village of Northport on Long Island, a 40 mile ride from the east. We are in the middle of heat wave here that will be lasting through the end of the week and I hear it’s the most extreme heat wave since the 1950’s. So it was a hot ride over but honestly I just soaked in those rays of sun and turned them into smiles. 

While still in Central Park a guy named Patrick pedaled up besides me and ended up riding with me for a good chunk of the evening. We peddled through Harlem where we met Skeletor, a bike messenger who knew the area well and led us into the Bronx. That is where I found my first water, just 6.6 miles into the journey. I cooled off from the 90+ degree temperatures and drank in as much water could fit in my belly. I filled up my jug and water bottle and was back on the road, hungry and much in need of rest. I had to make it out of The Bronx before I was going to be able to find a place to sleep though. I counted 9 leaking fire hydrants while I was in The Bronx. I’ve come up with the theory that as temperatures rise so do the number of leaking and busted open hydrants. This is a blessing for me because it means I can easily find drinking water but as the entire purpose of my work is to reduce water waste it is not what I am hoping to see. I even saw a guy with a massive wrench trying to break a hydrant open to cool off from the heat wave. 

After just another 10 miles of peddling I was waiting at a red light thinking I should find a church to sleep in and when I looked to my right sure enough there one was. A meeting was just getting over and as a group of ladies walked out to their cars I asked if they knew if the pastor was around. Sure enough he was and this man named Jacob said it would be ok for me to camp out in the grass behind the church.

So I only made it about 20 miles from Central Park today but with riding in from Northport it was actually about 60 miles of riding through the heat wave. I’ve got a gallon of water by my side which will last me through the night and morning and I’m beyond exhausted from a very long day. I’m excited to see if it will break 100 tomorrow. 

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For those of you who don’t know, I am on the Off the Grid Across the USA adventure and today is day 89 of a 4,500 mile ride for sustainability from San Francisco to Vermont. I’m carrying solar panels to create my own electricity, haven’t turned on a faucet since I left San Francisco, am eating local and organic food, and have only created 1 pound of trash which I will carry with me all the way to Vermont.

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This adventure is now a book! Dude Making a Difference is the exciting and inspirational story of my bike ride across the USA on a bamboo bike. Go to www.RobGreenfield.tv/Dude to get a copy or learn more about it. 100% of my proceeds are donated to environmental grassroots nonprofits!