Wow. It is really difficult to summarize this experience in one simple tumblr post. I have such a mix of emotions from elation at having completed this long and sometimes arduous journey to sadness that it is over and I have to say goodbye to some really wonderful people.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the best Trek Travel guides: Dave, Amy, Michael and Scott! I also could not have done this without the support of my wife, Holly. Together we rode across this magnificent land called the USA. I am thrilled that cycling for Sally has raised nearly $20,000 for the ALS clinic at URMC. That is simply astounding to me and is all due to the generosity of friends, family, colleagues, patients and people I don’t yet know.
All in all I rode my bicycle over 3,000 miles and climbed some ridiculous number of feet. My Garmin got lost somewhere along the way so I don’t know exactly what my ride stats are. I missed one full day of riding to a migraine and three half days to a migraine but aside from that I was very lucky and free of significant ailments.
We rode through 13 states, rode on two ferries and had only two days of inclement weather the entire trip. We were so very lucky with the weather. I rode my longest ride ever of 126 miles and completed the hardest mountain pass of my cycling “career” by riding up the hard side of big horn pass.
It would be best not to contemplate just how much bacon I ate or how many snickers and payday candy bars or cokes I consumed. Trek Travel should partner with Coca Cola because nearly all of of us drank Coke every day, several times a day!
I will finish this blog off with a random list of lessons learned, favorite places and least favorite places.
- the kindness and generosity of people is unlimited
- America is a big country
- there is beauty everywhere (except perhaps in toledo)
- migraines suck
- I am stronger than I thought I was
- work is overrated
- cycling is freedom (even when you are suffering)
- everything that goes up must eventually come down
- badlands national park
- Adirondacks during peak foliage season
- Lolo pass
- Clearwater river
- spotting three bald Eagles
- bighorn pass
- Madison WI rest day
- iron horse hotel in Milwaukee
- Columbia River gorge
- in truth I enjoyed nearly every state we went through and so this list would be endless
Least favorite places-
- Ohio (sorry fellow Ohioans) : mostly just because I had a migraine through that state)
- Michigan roads and drivers. (Except for the super nice folks who made is cookies!!)
Stupid things I did that I would never do under normal circumstances
1) ride my bicycle on I90 with a narrow breakdown lane and the sun rising so as to blind the drivers
2) ride before the sun had actually risen in the sky
Best church slogan/signs
- jesus died to erase your sins not your mind (saw this somewhere in the middle of.thr country)
- be prepared: it wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark
Best grocery store
- Al’s Oasis: Oacoma SD. Where you can buy ammunition next to the produce section.
Best cappuccino: Portland, OregonI have to go find my orange cat, Linus, now who is annoying our neighbors so it is a sign that it is time to cut this blog short. Thank you for following along as I took this remarkable journey and I wish you all peace, love and good health. Yours truly Carly