Follow my journey through the southern tier of America on my bicycle through my blog.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 45 (40 riding): Total overall distance: 2974.23mi Total distance today: 58.59mi Total time: 4.34.57 Avg speed: 12.8mph Top speed: 43.0mph

Random thoughts of the day:
-I haven't been cheered for this much since...ever I think
-This is the last climb of the trip...eventually I am going to say that and it is going to be true
-Goodbye mountains, it was nice doing business with you
-I rode away from the hotel 3 hours ago...and have gone .18 miles
-Tomorrow will be quite a sense of accomplishment
-Yes!!!! A new personal best for high speed...coulda gone higher...but I thought about my tube exploding again and that would end badly for me
-If a leprechaun caught the easter bunny...would it create a super Easter Patrick's Day?

Today was quite a day. Nadine and I got up and out of our "hotel" room by 8:30 and headed diagonally across the street to the only store in town to have a bite to eat and wait for Ricky and Paul to show up after they climbed the mountain that we climbed last night. They eventually showed up around 10:45 or so and we all had some snacks before heading out around 11:15 or so. They were planning on finishing in San Diego today and I was planning on ending about 20-25 miles short of the beach in order to have a nice easy short ride tomorrow as sort of a celebratory victory lap to the ocean where my brother would be waiting.

Over the next 3 hours, we rode through some neat little towns and were wven cheered for at one point by a bunch of kids on a school playground. It seems like everyone we pass knows we are almost done! We went up 4 separate 1000'-1200' climbs just to drop down the same distance just to go back up. Quite silly and tiring in the heat. Going down those descents was obviously quite fun, and on one of them I even set a new personal speed record of 43mph. I was about to pedal and try to get to at least 45mph and hopefully 50, but then the thought of my tube exploding or even just losing a little air crept into my head and I rode the breaks down to 35mph for the rest of the descent. Anyway, the ascents weren't too bad, mainly because I knew it was the last day of climbing! It was pretty hot which stunk but it wasn't as overbearingly hot as yesterday. We stopped to have lunch at a small diner in the town of Pine Valley which was just before the last major climb. We ate so much food that the waiter was so impressed, he gave us 2 free ice cream shakes as long as we finished them. They were gone 2 minutes later. Then we just hung around for a few minutes...not sure why, we just didn't want to leave. Ricky and Nadine fixed Nadine's back breaks before the long descent into the suburbs of San Diego and I called around looking for a campsite or cheap hotel to stay at. At that point, they still had 50 or so miles if they wanted to get to the beach and it was already 4:00. I had struck out on every level with finding respectable campsites or hotels before San Diego. The only good campsite was closed and the rest were outrageously expensive. The hotels on the route were as well. We left anyway with nobody really having a plan as to what to do after the descent from the mountains. We were so excited to leave the mountains behind us though, that we just went. The ride down was fun. It was very little pedaling and on good roads for the most part, including a small portion on Interstate 8 again. When we reached the bottom, it was just about sunset and we stopped to formulate a plan. The 3 of them decided not to go for the beach tonight but to stop early. Since that was my plan too, we then tried to find a decent hotel not too far away. We ended up finding a Motel 6 in El Cajon, about 30 miles from the beach but off the ACA route. So here we are, in a Motel 6 after eating at the Chinese Buffet across the street. We are watching the show "How it's made" on Ricky's phone that is attached to Paul's computer that is attached to Paul's projector which is set up to project the show on the wall of the room. We know how to travel. This show is really incredible by the way.

Nights like this make me really happy that I found these guys and was lucky enough to be accepted into their group. It makes me wonder how i even spent the majority of this trip by myself. I guess it's fitting though that I finish the trip by myself tomorrow. We will be leaving at separate times and to slightly different locations I believe. Anyway, it's fitting to finish the journey the same way I started it and spent most of myself. I'll meet up with these guys again tomorrow night I think for a "last supper." It will be tough to part ways as they have become good friends. We have spent a good bit off time together in the last few weeks.

Now a brief note about tomorrow. I cannot believe that my journey is 30 miles from being completed. I have no idea what I am going to do after I finish. I haven't gone 2 days in a row with riding my bike since Jan 9&10. I have no idea what emotions I will feel upon dipping my front tire in the Pacific Ocean but I know I will have a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and for that I am excited.

So I will talk to you all on the other side of my journey...tomorrow night!

1 comment:

  1. Devin, you must be beaming. I am so incredibly proud for you. JOB WELL DONE!!!!