Flyers fans Drew Moriarity and Pat Montgomery weren't sure how they would get to Boston for the Bridgestone 2010 NHL Winter Classic. But necessity is the mother of all invention and, therefore, the Drexel University seniors came up with the mother of all ideas.
The pair of friends is bicycling -- that's right, bicycling (in a tandem bike, no less) -- from Philadelphia to Boston's Fenway Park, raising funds for charity along the way as an added bonus.
"We both knew we had to find someway to go to the Winter Classic, whether it was to drive or take the bus or the train," said Moriarity, as he took a rest Tuesday afternoon in Milford, Conn. "We were just looking at Google Maps and hit walking directions as a goof and it took off from there until we were like, 'Let's ride a tandem bike.' "
That's a crazy enough idea on its face. It's even more so when you consider neither Moriarity nor Montgomery are avid cyclists.
"We both know how to ride bikes, but we are not competitive bikers or triathletes or anything like that," Moriarity admitted.
But the unfamiliarity with cycling did not stop the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers from tackling the 300-odd miles of asphalt between the Wachovia Center, home of the Flyers, and Fenway Park, site of the Winter Classic.
In fact, the enormity of the task didn't hit the two until they started their trek Sunday by biking 80 miles to Staten Island.
"We took a very ambitious first day," Moriarity said. "It was 80-plus miles of biking. It's weird, but the next day, I was looking forward to a 50-mile bike ride because it was shorter."
It may have been shorter in distance, but the hills of Connecticut made the work rate about the same. On a tandem bike, it's almost impossible to stand up on the pedals to apply the power necessary to climb larger hills, so the pair has spent a good part of the past two days walking their bike up hills.
They have also spent a lot of time interacting with people along their back-roads route.
"We've gotten a lot of funny looks and, in New York, we got some 'Go Rangers' chants," Moriarity said.
But through all the hardships, the friends keep their two goals at the forefront: getting to Fenway on time for the Winter Classic on New Year's Day (they hope to arrive on the afternoon of New Year's Eve) and raising funds for the Blessed Sarnelli Community.
Sarnelli is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of people who are poor and abandoned in Philadelphia.
"We're both very involved in the charity; Pat more than myself," Moriarity said. "We're both good friends with the guy that runs it and we knew he could use the help and that the people of Philadelphia could use the help."
The group has already collected close to $1,500 and is hoping to bring in $5,000 or more. Donations are being accepted on their Web site: http://broadstreetbikers.webs.com