Now that this ride is over, there are mixed emotions. On one side, the body and especially the legs are especially happy to receive a break from the daily grind. Conversely, the camaraderie gained by riding together and tackling the varied challenges of reaching each day's destination will be greatly missed. However, friendships have been formed by sharing the hardships of the tour and those will last a lifetime.
With 11 riders participating in the tour, it was a smaller number than on last year's Northern Tier. This was the inaugural year for the Pacific Coast ride so that number is certain to build over time. Also attributable is the time frame of the ride. With a later starting date, many college students could not complete the ride prior to the start of their fall class schedule so, instead, plugged into an earlier ride. Actually, several of this year's riders were forced to leave the tour a few days early for the start of classes so an even smaller number of us were present for the final wheel dipping event.
The prevailing northwest winds along the Pacific Coast in late summer gave us the luxury of tail winds much of the way. They were especially welcome on days with longer mileage. The pedaling would have been far more difficult if our course had been in the opposite direction. The dry climate also was quite beneficial. With only 1 small rain shower, and that occurring during the night, we never were forced to deal with rain attire or wet riding. With continually cool Pacific breezes, we could not have asked for better weather conditions.
There were only a few falls among the riders but none was serious enough for anyone to require stitches. All could be handled with a simple first aid kit. On a fast downhill with a sharp curve midway, one rider touched a small patch of gravel and the wheels slipped out from under her. Fortunately, the road was fairly smooth and she escaped with only a serious case of road rash.
In another more dramatic situation, while riding through a tunnel, both of a riders wheels were caught in a drainage grate which stopped her bike suddenly and blew out both of her tires. The sudden stop propelled her off the bike and into the road but, fortunately, with no car next to her, she was able to walk the bike to the end of the tunnel where new tires were mounted. Helmets are required and hers protected her head from injury as well.
A large thank you is conveyed to all who contributed to Bike the US for MS in conjunction with my ride. You inspired me on the most difficult legs of the ride. Please know that together we can and will make a difference in the lives of those suffering with MS. Thank you also to the many friends who prayed for my safety. I value your concern and although I cannot thank each of you individually, I truly appreciate you.
It is good to push ones self to new goals. We never know what we can accomplish unless we try new things. There is a certain degree of elation as you reach short term and eventually long term goals and I encourage you to experience that sense of satisfaction.
Now that the Northern Tier and Pacific Coast rides have been completed in succeeding years, several friends have asked if I will continue around the perimeter of the US by tackling the Southern Tier next year. The answer is--Only time will tell.
Tip of the day:
All of our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
139.8 Hours of Riding*
Average Cadence 79 Revolutions per Minute
Average Heart Rate 89 Beats per Minute
1,325,000 Pedal Strokes
746,500 Heart Beats
63,498 Extra Calories Burned
(Likely many more than that were Consumed)
* The same time it took Sherry and me to fly our Baron around the world!