Friday, July 25, 2008
Made it home last night after a very long day, started in Portsmouth then on to Boston and finally home. I was so tired that I just dropped everything on the floor and headed for the deck and a view of these amazing mountains I have missed so much. Better to look at them than to ride over them! Just kidding.Still can't believe we're finished, think I biked in my sleep last night but amazingly enough I can't wait to get back on and ride, soon as Fed ex gets it here I'm good to go.Some of the most memorable moments ere the Golden Gate, Donner Pass, Truckee, thru Nevada with gambling and slot machines everywhere, across the Salt flats(unbelievable) and my first two back to back centuries with amazing tailwinds.Day off in Salt Lake and being totally exhausted after 12 days.Across Colorado, meeting up with the Ride the Rockies guys, over Monarch Pass(whew) and seeing Simon on Highway 50. Birthday with very special people in Pueblo, the best balloons ever, seeing Kim in Pueblo. Then on to Kansas, miles and miles of hay and cornfields, smelly cattle feed lots,ran out of water one day(one memorable low point when I burst into tears when the van came by!)They dumped water on my head and said keep going, no rest for the weary!Seeing TS in McPherson, going on into Missouri, the land of a million rollercoaster hills and "interval training" for endless days, legs hurt so bad I thought they would never quit. I think that period was the hardest, still a very long way to go, wondered if I could actually finish it, still a month away. Ohio, Indiana, surprised atbthe beauty of Indianapolis, cool to see the racetrack, and day off with a SUITE! ON into Pennsylvania, feeling a little better , had one week with 4 centuries, hope to never do that again but we all(pretty much) did it and just kept going.SAG stops running together. so many hotel rooms I had to write down the number of the room each night or I'd get lost!Eating nonstop all the time but actually lost 9 pounds, bo y It'll be fun to put some of that back on!Bring on the pizza and beer!Vermont was one of my favorites, beautiful mountains and lakes. New Hampshire takes second prize for STEEP hills--killer at the end with a really tough 90 mile hilly and rainy day. Seeing the ocean as we came around a curve was unbelievable, still makes me cry.Such an amazing group of friends I have in addition to all of you--the group was what helped us all to finish---they will be in my heart forever. Flowers from Simon, calls and emails from everyone--those are the memories I will take to my grave someday, probably be climbing a mountain or biking when I'm 80, I hope.Where from here???I have no idea, need to veg for awhile and do some thinking, enjoy my friends and family, not back to work for awhile. Thank you SO very much for being behind me---Guess I'd better go wade through the mail and see what bills need paying, back to reality with a jolt. If you have a dream, go for it, the world is an awesome place a nd we are so fortunate to live where we do------
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
What an emotional day, can't even begin to describe it. Very cool dinner last night, awesome speeches from everyone, the bond with this group is incredible. Today was great, cool weather this morning, hills to start off then after lunch much better and more flat. had a police escort into the beach(fancy that!) and when we saw the Atlantic I had tears streaming down my face--happy, sad, tired, you name it. We got the bikes boxed up, I'm officially in withdrawal mode, and went out for a lobster dinner on the water with wine and the works. We leave early for Boston tomorrow then home by tomorrow night--it's probably gonna take me awhile to process this but again--thanks you so much for the support, I alweays knew you guys were with me every step of the way. Linsey and Blake, I'm pulling for you and with you tomorrow--everything is going to be great and I'll be there Sunday to give you a giant hug.I can't believe we're done, will be looking for the group tomorrow an d the "ro ute rap" don't know how to function without it. Love you guys, I'm TOAST and I'm going to crash.
Monday, July 21, 2008
wow, just got in after 90 miles, actually one of the toughest days of the whole ride, good thing they didn't tell us that yesterday!Hills and hills and hills--some this morning were clocked at 22 percent(by gps) and the way we were struggling I believed it, almost a mile of that grade, thought I was gonna die. Then more climbing this afternoon topped off by 3 hours of rain, soaked when we got in but so happy to be here that words aren't adequate.I got flowers from my friend Simon, such an awesome surprise,and am doing laundry for the very last time-yeehaw!!! Tomorrow is supposed to be easy, 60 iles to the ocean so we'll see.CAN'T WAIT TO SEE EVERYONE. My neighbor Jim is picking me up at the airport so all the rest of you who offered are off the hook--thanks so much for the offers. So--tomorrow I box up the bike for awhile but will be back on it soon.
Wow, one more state today, started out in the rain but quickly stopped and it was cool and very humid the entire day but great for climbing. We crossed into Vermont and started up the hills--10 m iles of climbing to a summit then downhill then one more big climb over hogback mountain. BEAUTIFUL coun try, similar to the mountains in Colorado yet different, I have got to figure out a way to come back here in the Fall, it's gotta be spectacular.Two really beautiful New England towns, Bennington and Wilmington, along rivers and lakes, just a fantastic day. Have done about 80 miles a day for the last 3 days, one more tomorrow then a quick 60 miles on Tuesday into Portsmouth.Tomorow we have the "last supper", the final dinner for the trip in Manchester. We have a chance for all of us to get up and say something, know that I'm going to be absolutely tonguetied. Words cannot express adequately what I feel right now-maybe after a few days I can come up with something worth being printed.I have met the most fantastic people and done the greatest trips on a bike--the sport has been truly lifechanging for me. Never did I guess when I took up cycling about 15 years ago that I would have this experience.Life constantly drops gifts in our lap--I'm so fortunate to have the good health to enjoy them. Take care, my friends and my family--I will see you very soon. Lots of love to everyone----, saw my first reallife Vermont covered bridge today---COOL!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Well, didn't find the Beatles but had a great ride today, cool at first then got rained on again(yesterday also) then hot and muggy, imaging that. More rolling hills, beautiful lake(Geneva) and a couple of other finger lakes. Wound up doing 70 miles, got in about 2;00 pm ,not a bad day So close to Syracuse but too tired to go exploring, that's the frustrating thing about doing so many miles a day, don't want to add any extra and sometimes we're not close to downtown at all.Tomorow we go to Little Falls, about 80 miles, I think similar country as today. I keep waiting for the "big hills" in New York, too much to ask that they're all aa figment of our imagination.I think they're actually in Vermont and New Hampshire, at least we've only got 5 days left so can't be TOO killer, famous last words.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Thanks for all the great words and encouragement for the last couple of days, have heard from several of you. We got to Canandaigua today, really pretty ride, slow rolling hills but not a terrible mount of climbing. I was actually in a solitary mood and rode the majority of the day by myself, made it the last hundred miler of the trip--was supposed to do 95 miles but HAD to see Lake Canandaigua, one of the finger lakes--it ws GORGEOUS ! Lots of sailboats and kayaks, sat there for awhile and drank a beer with a few other riders. I think that's century number 13 for the ride--don't plan on doing any more soon! We go to Liverpool tomorrow--short day! 65 miles. Makes me think of the Beetles--boy does that date me or not.I;m taking my bike to mechanic's hour tonight and putting 2 new tires on, have had 3 flats in the last 3 days--ctually have gotten almost 5500 miles out of these tires so they deserve to be retired!Probably could apply that to myself, hmmm.Take care, ca n't wait to see everyone, I'm planning on going to Lexi's for the birthday gals, hope to see lots of you there, will bring pictures to share. More later-----
Left Erie after a cool day off, rode about 15 miles that day to find a beach and sat my butt down on it for a long time--it was spectacular! Relaxed and did laundry the rest of the day, back to the Bay to watch sailboats in the evening, maybe a new sport I take up, requires sitting for long periods.Yesterday we did 85 miles, mostly along the shore of Erie. Felt like I was in California---lots of vinyards and the lake actually looks like the ocean. Beautiful day--75 degrees and sunny skies, passed into New YOrk about the 20 mile mark--SO excited I can hardly stand it. Even tho it was a relatively easy ride I felt like I was riding in mud all day, energy level was really down. Maybe just an acumulative effect of the last 2 months.We go to Canandaigua today, on one of the finger lakes, supposed to be really beautiful--another 95 mile day, last really long day of the tour. I can't believe we'll be done this time next week--will write more tonight, gotta load up.Have a wonder ful day!