Monday, May 3, 2010

Surprise! (April 29:Day 27--St Augustine, FL)

It was another beautiful day--Mike had her Methodists praying for us during our entire trip, and once again, they came through for us, prayers answered, producing another bicycle-perfect day for a last ride together. The final ride was short--40 miles to a fire station, where, a police escort took us the final six miles to the ocean in St Augustine. I must say, it was very cool riding to wailing sirens and flashing lights as all traffic  stopped to allow us unhindered passage. Two by two, like the animals on Noah's Ark, we headed towards the ocean, led by our most senior riders, Frankie, 71 and Barbara, 75. I knew we were close when the police escort cranked up the volume and frequency of the sirens, and I saw the first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean, our final destination.  Unexpectedly, tears welled in my eyes; I had done it.  I had pedaled my bicycle across the country....I did it!

With sirens wailing continuously now, we rounded the corner, and were greeted by a crowd of family and friends cheering, waving signs and blowing horns. Many riders had friends and family waiting for them at the end, but, I, like several others, was an orphan today with no one to cheer as we pedaled our final few feet; time, distance and cost made it infeasible for them to come.  Despite my orphan status, I was happy for those who had family with whom to celebrate. Mine would have been here if they could, and were certainly present in spirit.

My attention was drawn to an especially loud, enthusiastic group right in front, waving signs that read;  "Mom--You're Done!!".... "Saddle Sore Tour 2010", "Mom, I bike you a lot".........

 "I wonder whose children those are", I thought as I rolled across, "they certainly are proud".....then I saw the dress one of the young women was wearing.  My first thought was, "My daughter has a dress just like that", followed quickly by a wave of recognition..."Oh my gosh, that IS Diana!!  Oh my gosh!!"  

By the time that realization hit, I was past them, trapped in the pace line and headed to the beach entry.  Upon arriving, I dismounted my bike, and as I turned around, tears flowing freely down my face, I saw Diana coming towards me, with Jenny, Michael and Patrick (Diana's boyfriend), carrying signs, blowing horns and grinning like Cheshire Cats!   I couldn't believe what I was seeing!!  My children, who are scattered across the country were here...from San Francisco, New Orleans, and St Louis!  I was in shock, humbled and touched by the enormity of the surprise; I was a mass of tears!!! They had planned and schemedfor nearly two months, drawing members of the tour into it, to pull off the surprise of the decade.  Susan and Bob were unable to be there, but were represented by  avatars on poster board!!  As I write this, I still can't believe, and find myself, once more, tearing up.

Riding coast to coast was an enormous accomplishment, one that I am just beginning to grasp. But to me. having my children save their money, plan the trip in secrecy and be there as I finished was an even bigger, more meaningful event, one that just can not be justified with mere words.  I would ride every single mile again just for made every saddle sore worth it!

My babies--Thank you--I love you!

Michael, Jenny, aka Secret Friend, Diana and Patrick

Hugging Diana

 Resting after a day of surprises


  1. Your reaction made it all worth it- Congratulations, Mom! I am SO proud of you!

    Love you! :)

  2. What a great surprise! Your kids must really love you and think the world of you. And I bet they loved making you tear up so much :)

    -your secret friend