Today's Mileage: 69FINAL TOTAL MILEAGE: 3737
The last day of my Big Bike Ride had arrived. I had mixed feelings as we left Berryville. I was excited to get to DC, but not looking forward to facing the "real world" again: job, rent, bills, ugh. Mostly, though, I was excited to finish the bike trip.
We rode in on the Washington & Old Dominion bike path from Purcellville, which was a nice change of pace from the highways we had been traveling. Laura had put up welcome signs along the way!
We crossed Key Bridge into Washington, DC and headed for the Thomspon Boat House on the Potomac River. But first -- the finish line!
I was really happy to see all kinds of friends and family had turned out to welcome me home.
Laura and baby Lionel were wearing special T-shirts for the event, including a map of my route and a list of cities I had toured through on the back!
I dipped my front tire in the Potomac, making my arrival by bike in DC official.
Ana Marisa carried our gear back to her house so the bikes were light for the final climb up Wisconsin Avenue to her house. It was a good thing I had all those balloons, because I didn't have a bike light!
The bike ride across the country was an amazing couple of months. I accomplished something big, and along the way pushed myself past my comfort zone more than a few times.
I was able to let go of a lot of frustration at the world and focus on the important things, like what kind of ice cream do I want right now? Being forced to live in a very physical realm, where my only real concerns were about shelter, food, body and bike performance allowed me unwind from the stress of my job and forget the sillier things that preoccupied me.
I got to see our beautiful country up-close at a slow speed. I already knew it was beautiful, but I feel that I know these places more intimately now: their roads, their roadkill, their hills.
Meeting great people along the way was one of the best things about the trip. Because we traveled mostly through small towns, we were always somewhat of a spectacle and people loved to stop and ask us questions. It will be strange being a "nobody" again after two months of virtual celebrity. The people we met were friendly and generous. Many times, we were fortunate to be offered food and lodging, and people were always helpful with information about the area.
Many thanks to all my companions on the trip: Wesley, Dave, Rosemary, Fox, Debbie, and Karin. You were always a ton of fun, and a source of inspiration and motivation when my legs didn't want to pedal anymore.