I walked inside the terminal and immediately thought of Grand Central in New York; there were high ceilings, a few people milling around. I felt unnoticeable in the cavernous room. I walked up to the ticket area, stood in line, and when it was my turn I asked, “Can you tell me if this is the right place to find the bus to Astoria?” adding, “I have a ticket for the 6:00 p.m. departure, and I’m also transporting a bike.”
“Yes,” the attendant said. “You can pick up the bus behind me on the side of the terminal. It usually arrives about thirty minutes before departure.”
“Thank you,” I said, and before walking outside to join Roger, I bought a Good Humor Giant Vanilla ice cream sandwich at a gift shop inside the terminal. I did not think consuming a 230-calorie ice cream sandwich mattered because, beginning June 2, I would start burning between seven thousand and ten thousand calories per day until I arrived at the Yorktown Victory Monument in Yorktown, Virginia.40
A man and woman exited the terminal walking next to their bicycles and joined Roger and me in a compact communal area next to the entrance.
“Hi, I’m Larry, and this is my buddy Roger,” I said, while extending my arm to shake hands.
The man said, “I’m Garth” and the woman, “I’m Rylee,” each taking turns to extend a warm greeting.
“Are you two together?” I asked. They shook their heads in unison to signal it was their first time meeting each other.
Garth asked, “Are you guys here for the race?”
“Larry is, but I’m riding about a week and then returning home to New Jersey,” Roger offered.
“I guess the both of you are in the race?” I continued.
“Yes” and “Yes,” Rylee and Garth responded.
“Is this your first race? Do you have a goal?” I asked Garth.
He replied, “Yes, it’s my first Trans Am. I want to finish in twenty-two days.”
Rylee just shrugged when I asked her the same question, apparently not interested in divulging that information.
I calculated the math and concealed my marvel at the prospect of Garth cycling 190 miles per day for twenty-two straight days. Garth stood next to his bike, his left arm holding the bike frame and his right hand mimicking a finger gun by his side. He wore a bright yellow cycling shirt reminiscent of Tour De France jerseys covered with sponsorship and an orange reflective top, two prominent stripes over his shoulders and one around his waist. I focused my attention initially on his head and then on his arms and legs. A perfectly fitted curved helmet and glasses to protect from wind and sandblast, a smile that extended from ear to ear, and muscular and well-defined arms and legs conveyed that he was ready to go.
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