Day 73: Cycled Across America

85.47 miles (Total: 4227.16) Avg Speed: 12.4mph Max Speed: 34.5mph

Sunday 1st August 2010.  It was a chilly morning, a bike path took us to the edge of town where we diverted onto the standard country roads. It was a strange feeling this morning, I kept thinking about Virginia and how I felt the night before the first ride of the trip. I had wanted to do this ride for a long time and its easy to think about and say your doing something but its not until the week or days before you start that it hits home.

I was scared, anxious and nervous but couldn’t show it back home or people would worry. That first night when I arrived at Yorktown in the dark of night I felt more alone than I have ever felt. When I actually got to the beach I was still asking myself what the hell I was doing. The first pedal was the hardest, but from those few first minutes of riding I never looked back feeling stronger and more confident every day.

Houses, weather and even some roundabouts this morning reminded me of home.
Batman Wim

Today’s ride wasn’t going to be short at around 85 miles but everybody rode with a sense of urgency today and the easy terrain made things fly. A couple of grocery stops later and we had a surprise visit from Stefaan who had drove down from his home in Portland. We knew he was going to be meeting us later in the day at the coast to join in the party but had arrived early and road inland until he found us.

The final 'climb', now its down to sea level.

Stefaan's surprise visit.

We left Stefaan and agreed a spot to meet up on at the coast. We picked up the speed again, I still don’t know what the desire is to get to the coast as fast as possible but I found my legs pushing and trying harder just to make it, I couldn’t wait any longer. Jessica managed to get a flat 2 miles out so we were temporarily halted but soon entered the town of Florence and began to navigate our way down the beach roads towards the dunes.

There was sand by the sides of the road, seagulls everywhere, you could even hear the ocean. Then I saw it shimmering out for miles into a vast horizon, the pacific ocean. Its the best ocean view I have ever seen, if ever I’ve felt a little bit lost or unsure of myself at that moment I felt 110% confident in myself, this is what I am capable of. Now time to celebrate.

Leading the troops to the coast.
Jessica's flat, 2 miles from the coast.
Getting closer.

Jessica's mum and Stefaan greeted us with Champagne at the beach.

Accomplishing my dream. My eyes were moist.
Me, Wim, Stefaan, Siemen, Terry & Jessica. Solo riders unite.

The dip in the ocean was icey cold, and seconds after getting out I was shivering to bits so we all cleaned and dressed up to hit a restaurant in town for dinner. I was always wary of ordering seafood in places like Kansas and Wyoming being situated where they are so decided to go for the Seafood medley pasta now I’m in a coastal town and it was great.

We returned to the campsite and talked over beers and a fire about the trip sharing familiar tales and stories that I look forward to sharing back home, only snippets make the blog and I especially leave out the stuff that would have worried my mum. 🙂

I hope that when my brothers are older they will be able to read this blog properly and feel inspired to do whatever they want. Its only the fear of something that will hold you back, but there’s no need to be scared. A trip like this will restore your faith in humanity, just look at all the amazing strangers I met.

I may have completed the TransAm but this story isn’t over yet, now I’m riding up the coast towards Portland with Wim and Siemen, so don’t switch of just yet.

21 Replies to “Day 73: Cycled Across America”

  1. Already told you but congrats mate it’s been awesome! Feels like I’ve sat on the back with you through all these blogs! Enjoy the last few days!

    Speak soon, keep showing your chin on fb chat xxx

  2. Reading this blog has made my summer. I knew you’d already made the coast from speaking with you but it still sent a shiver down my spine reading this entry. It felt like when you’re coming to the end of a really good book and you just don’t want it to end. Congratulation on making it across bud! Hope you’re enjoying Portland. Hopefully see you this weekend!

  3. Ryan – It was a pleasure riding with you. This is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and read through each of the int’l coalition member’s blogs (you have the coolest looking blog, by far!). I really agree with your comment about how this trip restores your faith in humanity – that is one of the biggest things I will take from it. It was a journey I am sure none of us will ever forget; and for me, the company I encountered from Wyoming onward made it that much more extraordinary. Keep in touch, spokesman 🙂

  4. CONGRATULATIONS RYE WELL DONE! Amazing achievement!!

    The second photo could easily have been taken in Thornaby!haha, Nice that you got to have a champagne toast!!

    See you soon x

  5. hiya rye,time to chill out and reflect on your amazing journey,i’m so pleased and so very proud of you.Looking forward to seeing you and talking more in depth with ya.Enjoy portland.

  6. Hi Rye, a BIG WELL DONE, i was really worried about you going on this ride so far from home on your own, but being able to follow your blog and knowing you had met so many lovely people to ride along with,made me feel a lot happier,i am so proud of you, cant wait to give you a big hug luv mum xxxx

  7. Well done! I feel like I know you really well now, despite never having met! Loved this last entry with the trip reflections. I’m itching to get out and start it myself!

  8. CONGRATS, cousin! An epic personal journey that – from the comments – seems to have inspired many others, myself included.

    Your blog has been a joy to read. Thank you for including us on the journey. xo

  9. An unbelievable read all throughout the Summer Months, and as inspirational as anything I’ve ever read.
    Hopefully see you soon with Fatboy Kerry (Haha!) for a drink!!

    Kingsmead Leg-end!

  10. Well done Ryan, so proud of you and what you’ve achieved (most of us have dreams but never put them into action and then you get to our age and think if only…) – we’ve all felt part of it with your blog and your last entry had H filling up. The boys can’t wait to see you (coolest brother ever) – chocolate cake made for your return courtesay of Bradley (he’s ate the first one as thought you were due home Monday). Enjoy the rest of your trip and keep safe and see you Friday. Love from us all. xxx

  11. great ride, great stories. I have enjoyed following you. i hope you meet with cooper for another ride someday. safe trip home to you. America will miss you.
    cooper’s “mum”

  12. Congratulations Ryan, we have followed your path and we admire you for following your dream. It will be hard for you to settle down now but you can think of working your way around places. We will miss logging in to see your progress. Well done. x

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