This morning was bitter sweet as it was the last day of an unbelievable trip. There were so many great things about this summer. I really don't know where to start. The people were great the weather was unbelievable. The route was ninety plus percent down tree lined country lanes. The food was well beyond expectations. The organization of Cycle America was phenomenal. I don't think they missed a beat anywhere and if they did I sure never noticed as it was so small.
Today's ride itself was pretty. However we have become so jaded that we thought it was just another 63 miles. Ed and I set out from the university cafeteria where we had a wonderful breakfast which included made to order eggs. Yes that is right no green eggs! Ed set a hot pace and had me panting to stay with him. Ed claimed that he had been riding with his wife and so had had four days of rest. It is true that he had been riding with his wife but it was a pretty hot pace. We were flying down the road so fast I didn't dare reach down for my camera, I had to hold on to the handle bars or I would have flown right off. As a result we we down at picnic at around 9:30 AM.
With only twenty three miles to go before we hit the finish line it should have been an easy roll down to Gloster. However Ed was in the lead and I wasn't going to let him drop me. We charged down though the final leg which is pretty congested with lots of winding roads and a lot of Saturday traffic. Ed even ran down Jo, who is this woman from UK who is a professional racer, and clearly the fastest rider on the tour. I think she passed me every day and some times twice. When we got to Gloster Greg was still painting a finish line on the road.
The final leg of the trip was a one mile trip behind a police escort down to the beach for a front wheel dip in the Atlantic Ocean signifying the completion of our journey from Pacific to the Atlantic. Some riders charged into the water, however most of the riders including my self settled for a quick dip of the wheel in the water and then a photo. A lot of the rider's husbands and wives were in attendance so it made for quite a scene.
Tonight we are headed out for a harbour cruise with the whole tour group. It should be a blast. I'll let you know how it turns out tomorrow.
What a long strange trip its been.-- Grateful Dead.