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.
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.
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.
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.