Monday, May 3, 2010

The Final Hooray (April 29:Day 27--St Augustine, FL)

Picking up where I left off after receiving the surprise of my life, the final ride to the fire station was fairly uneventful.  Today, however, I rode at a very leisurely pace, savoring the last moments and miles.  Other than being buzzed by a crop duster several times, it was like any other ride of the trip, with the usual SAG stops and bathroom breaks.

By 10:30 AM, we were to all meet at a fire station, where a police escort would take us the final six miles. Two by two, we followed the wailing sheriff's car, uninterrupted by traffic and stop lights.  At that moment, we truly owned the road.

 Brian, one of our escorts (Karen Cooper's pic)

Lined up and waiting to go

Police escort in: final pace line (Pam Harrison's pic)

 The line in front of me

 Roberta, smiling to herself as we finish

As you read in "Surprise", a crowd of friends and family awaited us at the beach, to cheer us on as we picked up our bikes and walked to the Atlantic Ocean to dip our tires.  When I signed up for this trip, I never really imagined the impact this moment would have on me....between the surprise of my children being there and the enormity of what this moment represented, I was a blubbering mass of tears....I didn't even try to hide it.

Though the tour didn't officially end until after the banquet that evening, this was pretty much the completion. Members attentions shifted to family members present, (as should be) and getting ready to go home, which included preparing the bikes for shipment. Thank goodness Patrick was there to help me; it took two college degrees and then, some to figure out how this went together!

The bike is in the box, and ready to travel..

Everyone did gather one last time for the banquet.  Toasts were made, and poems were read. Roberta presented the group with a beer she and her husband, Tom, had brewed just for the ladies of the Southern Tier 2010 tour. It was quite good!

The only thing lacking from the banquet was the recognition of the ONLY person who rode the entire trip....Pam Harrison.  She rode every single mile, regardless of weather, road features, accident or sickness.  Congrats, Pam--it takes a special person with a strong drive and commitment to achieve this goal.  I am proud to have been able to ride with you!

Finally, it was time to leave the biking bubble, in which I had been immersed for the past two months.  Prepared for 're-entry', I clumsily applied the makeup I had purchased a few days earlier, and blew dried and curled my hair for the first time since March 4.  Soon, I was winging my way back to Dallas.  I have been told that re-adjusting to the 'real' world can be challenging....  All I can say is 'There is no place like home.'  It's good to be back, and it is good to have time to reflect on what I have accomplished and all the lessons I learned in the process.

This trip was made complete by being able to share it with all of you--thank you so much for all of your support.  Your comments and visits to my blog greatly encouraged me, and I appreciated each one. 

Now, dust off your bike and start riding!!



47 miles


  1. Congratulations on completing a awesome ride. Wendy and I are very proud of you.

    Gary Smith & Wendy Stevens
    Raleigh NC

  2. Congratulations Mom, what an accomplishment! I'm almost inspired to pump up the flat tires on my bike and go for a ride this weekend!

    love, jenny

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  4. One word comes to mind, Sue: INSPIRING! Way to go, girl!

    Adam Dasuqi
    Scottsdale, AZ.

  5. Congratulations Honey on a tremendous accomplishment. I amm very proud for you. You are an inspiring lady. I've received tons of postive feedback about your blog. Folks have commented to me they appreciate your transparency in describing your adventure. Also, thank you for recognizing Pam for her ride and supporting her. Maybe the Tour owner could also add her recognition to Pam on their Web site.