Today was a pretty easy ride and to be honest there isn’t much I can say beyond it was a nice ride. Tiredness and the idea of finishing this ride I think has started to take over not just me but the group in general. For the first part of the ride I rode with the others and did notice a quiet more reflective air about a lot of the riders today. It is that strange area of still a couple of hundred miles to go but your mind has almost decided your done. There are so many mixed feelings about everything that its hard to sort out just yet, for me at least. There is a part of me (from the neck down) that will be glad this all comes to an end. However the idea of not talking to you all each night about my day, not having anywhere to go to tomorrow or not hearing from all sorts of people each day will be something I know I will miss when this ends on Friday. I didn’t start out on ‘My Big Adventure’ to meet other people or to be part of peoples lives for a short time but I have to admit that it has turned out to be one of the best parts of this whole trip.
I hoped, when I thought of writing a blog that I could maybe feel like a few friends or family could almost come along with me. I realize now how many people have joined me for moments along the way (my boys from the diner etc) or those who I write to each day who are travelling with me almost Every Foot and Inch.
When I set out from Manhattan Beach I was not sure if I was going to make it all the way to Boston. Do not get me wrong I was determined and as sure in myself that I could do it, yet that small unknown element and the idea of some bad luck was enough just to make it not a sure thing. I thought a lot before the ride itself about if I could ride up a 12 mile climb or ride just under 400 miles in 4 days. There have been moments as I have been riding that I have looked up the road wondering if I can make it up to the next bend or keep going for another 30 miles in the sun. Even now I hesitate to think I have made it EFI as we still have a day with over 5,000 ft of climbing and one more ride over 90 miles in a single day, yet I know I am close and I know I have managed to do these things before. Every time now I see a steep slope I just tell myself I have done harder and just knuckle down and it will be over soon enough. As Lance Armstrong said and I have repeated a few times, “Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever’. So despite being tired I can not switch off for a few days more.
I will look back over time at my photographs, blog and many emails and make much better sense of what this was all about and what it meant for me. Today it is hard for me to know why you all could get together and donate almost $40,000 just because I decided to go on a bike ride. It is wonderful to feel I have helped the cause for WM and Mayo research into this lymphoma and that you all have cared enough to make a real difference. Again when I set out to do this ride I never really thought about doing it to make a difference. You have certainly made a difference and I guess this was much more than just going on a bike ride.
I keep going, keep pedaling, keep looking ahead down the road. Each day I know I am closer to Boston. However I know if you keep looking at your Garmin to see har far is left, time goes slower, the miles become longer and you feel more tired. If I just keep moving forward and patiently keep working hard each hour, Boston will come soon enough.
There is little to say about today other than I looked down the roads of New York State and kept moving forwards for another 71 miles. We did follow a canal system and train lines through a valley which looked pretty in the sunshine today. The weather was cool but bright and all was good on the ride. The hotel tonight is sandwiched between the train line and I 90 which is far from the best however I am tired so I am not expecting sleep to be difficult. Tomorrow we head to Albany another 70 mile run with just a little more climbing so again I hope we have a nice day and smooth ride like today.