Nobody thought she could make it. But Ashley Smith, an 18 year old student from Fillmore, New York, braved the mountain ranges, the seemingly endless stretches of pavement and the muscle exhaustion for over 380 miles on her bike.
Ashley, with her boyfriend Matt and their friend Alex decided last summer, to bike all the way from Buffalo to New York City. Ashley is not, by any means, an experienced bike rider. “I hadn’t even been on a bike for two years!” Ashley said. But that did not stop her from completing the extremely long ride.
Including their breaks to eat and sleep, the three rode for almost 2 weeks. They camped at campgrounds along the way, stayed with friends or stayed in hostels and spent less than $400 total. After one day of riding 60 miles, the three decided to camp at Cayuga Lake. They ended up hitchhiking the last ten miles only to be told that they had to be over 21 to camp there. They were given a break for the night, because they literally had no where to go, but were told to leave in the morning.
The longest distance they rode in one day was 80 miles to a state park where, fortunately, they were allowed to stay.
Once they made it to NYC, the three stayed at a friends house in nearby New Jersey. They intended to ride back but, unfortunately, Matt got a call from his family that his mother’s kidneys had failed and they needed to come back immediately. They bought tickets for the first train leaving the following morning.
At 7 a.m. they were at the train station in Newark, New Jersey but could not locate the train to Buffalo. They missed the train but luckily their friend’s mother agreed to drive them to Penn Station to try to beat the train there. They arrived right before the train did and made it back to Buffalo in one piece. Their bikes, unfortunately, had to say in New Jersey until their friend came to Buffalo.
Ashley’s ride was definitely one she will never forget. Despite the rough ending, she said, “I want more experiences like that in my life.”