Well, the journey is done, completed, and successful.
Left Carlsbad on Saturday morning for the final 35 miles.
Had my second mishap of the ride when I stupidly overfilled my tires. with all the extra weight I was carrying (around 40 lbs in the panniers) the overfilled tires popped about 3 miles into the ride.
it was kind of scary, as it sounded like a gun shot. when I pulled the old inner tube out it had a 7 inch gash in it. I was just thankful that it was not on a fast downhill, as that could have been serious.
once the flat was fixed, I continued onward. up Torry Pines hill, which didn’t seem that bad… apparently, I have gotten stronger during the course of the ride. then it was onto La Jolla, one of my favorites, through Pacific Beach, and onward to Point Loma.
As I was heading through Ocean Beach, I was approached by a Paramedic Van, lights flashing, I look over and it is my friend JJ, tracking me on Runtastic, wishing me well. it was great to see him.
Then it was up Hill Street (stupid me… why would I consciously choose a street noted for its steepness). well anyway, I did make it up and onto the final stretch all the way to the finish line: the Cabrillo National Monument.
I was very surprised as I arrived, the first person I saw was my Brother, Pete, then I noticed m son Neil, my wife, Monique, then a whole bunch of people I knew, my friends Ken, John, Tom, my in-laws Buddy and Jill, Phil and Robin, Gloria, my nieces Maile and Keala, all cheering me on and happy to see me. it was quite an emotional moment for me. I was overwhelmed. Then it was off to a victory dinner.
I am very grateful to Monique for planning all this and to Robin for making the sign, to Gloria for all her support during and after the ride, Buddy and Jill for the Burke Williams massage, to Shad and Melissa for sharing their place and letting me crash. To those who rode with me through LA, and guided me safe passage. To Tom, John and Ken for coming out and cheering me on at the finish, and for everyone who sent me messages of encouragement throughout the ride.
when all was said and done, I rode 710 miles,
had 2 flat tires,
stayed in 1 hotel, 7 motel 6’s, 1 cabin, 1 youth hostel, 1- apartment.
climbed over 41,900 feet
meet people from all over the world including: Scotland, Brazil, Netherlands and all over the US.
So… what of it? what did I get out of it? what revelations did I have?
I think that the thing that struck me the most was how nice people were. Everywhere I went, everyone was interested in what I was doing and genuinely wished me well and good luck on the ride. it was very encouraging.
the other question I have been asked: what was the best part. I must say that arriving at Pigeon Point Youth Hostel was my favorite memory. it was at the end of a 90 mile first day ride. the trip had taken me much longer than I had anticipated so I was racing the sun to get there. It was getting cold as well, so, with the sun setting, the weather getting colder, and on the verge of exhaustion, seeing the lighthouse come into view was such a welcome sight, when I walked into the office, it was so warm and the staff was so friendly, it was a wonderful moment.
my other favorite moment was arriving at the finish line and seeing Monique, my Son, my friends and my family waiting there for me, that was touching indeed.
My least favorite part? riding through San Pedro. the roads are a mess, torn up from heavy truck usage, debris everywhere, large semi-trucks flying past me… not much fun at all. I was very happy to arrive in Long Beach were they had a nice bike trail.
So…now it is over, time to get back to work and all the other necessities of life.
I wanted to do something big before I turned 50. I am so glad I did. It helps put things into perspective, gave me a chance to think things through, it is difficult to explain.
So, what is next? A focus and re-commitment to my family, my job and my career, a chance to re-establish that which has slipped away and a will and determination to complete those ideas that are still rolling around in my head