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Part 2?


Dusting off the old blog to get things rolling again. I’d like to hear some suggestions for another long bike journey.  Adventure Cycling Association has recently released a new route that  (for the most part) traces historic Route 66. When I read the article announcing it this morning I was once again reminded of what I enjoy doing most.

Where would you go on your bike?

Some Updates


Two new links were added to the “In The News” page: The article from The Miami Herald that was mentioned in the previous post and one from Bill Cooke’s blog Random Pixels.

http://randompixels.blogspot.com/2011/07/in-case-you-missed-it.html

A few days later


The Miami Herald printed an article in today’s paper about the ride. Writer Garett Franklyn was able to capture it nicely and even got a hold of some of the kind folks that helped me along the way.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/07/29/2335423/cross-country-odyssey.html

The postman dropped off an envelop from Nevada. Inside was a certificate and pin commemorating my crossing of Highway 50. That long slab of pavement is definitely something special.

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Day 64 (postride)


This will probably be the final relevant post.

Pierre and Sala had been gracious San Francisco hosts. I was able to enjoy much of what the city had to offer during my short visit thanks to them.

I took the bus to the BART (train) station and rode rail to SFO airport. After the usual checkin process, I made my way to the gate and had a sandwich while I waited to board. Flight 1334 was on time and I was on my way back to the Atlantic by 1pm.

The 6 hour flight over much of the terrain I had covered over the last 61 days was sombering. The majestic mountains that had tested every bit of strength I had were no more than wrinkled lumps on the vast landscape. The barren desert was calm and cool and the roads that took me days upon days to cross were just like lines on maps. The endless plains were like a quilted blanket of miniature fields and crops.

The sun set quickly as the plane flew away from it along the jet-streams. The south’s lush green landscape was peaceful and gray with the last glare of light. Nightfall came over the Gulf of Mexico. My neighbors on the flight were kind enough to share crackers and cheese since American Airlines offered nothing more than soft drinks on a cross country flight.

Lights came into view as we flew over Florida’s west coast. The Boeing 757 passed the east coast and made a wide turn to come back over Miami. Key Biscayne, Downtown Miami, and all of the places that make up what I call home passed by my window.

Touchdown officially put and end to the journey.

While waiting for my bags on the baggage carousel, I was ambushed by Kenny, Nina, and Alain. They were at MIA to pick me up and welcome me home. They took me to have dinner and go over all of the curiosities that they had left over.

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Day 63 (postride)


The sun came out for a blissful day of riding around the city. The Raleigh is swift and nimble now that it went on a crash weight-loss diet. I rode up and down the steep city roads, some even lined with staircases for pedestrians. Basement Sports by the bay fixed a spoke that had broken during the bus ride into the city.

The renowned Golden Gate Bridge was packed with tourists from around the world. It is as impressive as I had imagined it. It was a struggle to squeeze in between the masses as I crosses it to visit Sausalito and Vista Point over the Marina and Alcatraz. I could not have asked for better weather in a city that had been blanketed by blinding fog the day before.

Chinatown was bustling with activity when I went down Grant street. I found a cheap duffle-bag that would be just the right size to carry my panniers back home since the bike would be staying. Pierre had decided to buy it after hearing that I had posted it on Craigslist. I’ve been asked why I didn’t decide to keep the bike and, aside from the fact that I already own three others, I felt that it is a more interesting continuation of the tale. I have no use for a touring bike in the near future and Pierre would now have an alternative to his fixed gear Peugeot. Not to mention, it comes with one helluva story.

Pierre joined me after work for more bike sight seeing in the evening. We visited Golden Gate Park and took the bike over to the (now visible) Pacific for the ceremonial coast-to-coast photo.

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Day 62 (postride)


A foggy day in fog city. Pierre and Sala drove me around through San Fran. We saw different neighborhoods, landmarks, and that ocean they have on the west side.

Thanks to Eric A. and Patrick C. for their donations.

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Day 61


Ride Stats:
Distance: 66.77 miles

The Vallejo to San Francisco awaits. I left Davis with a calm day ahead. Done were the mountains, the deserts, the canyons, the plains, the woods, and the beaches. All that was left was some urban bike trails, rural county roads, and casual city riding.

I stopped at a fruit stand and had a basket of fresh strawberries for lunch. I was in no hurry to finish the last day. Using only my handwritten list of directions, I managed to successfully navigate through areas that were mostly connected with major highways and interstates.

The sorry excuse for a tire finally quit. The tube inside was no longer holding air and it looked like it had been put through a garbage disposal. Not a single section of the outter rubber remained intact so I had been riding on protective layers and carcass for hundreds of miles. I stopped outside of Vallejo to change it out for the replacement I had purchased in Fallon a few days ago.

The bike felt sturdy once again now that it had a solid tire to kick around. The last few miles through Vallejo sent me up some incredibly steep roads that were not too long. Once on Georgia Street I was in sight of the ferry building.

Here is where we use our imaginations. I rolled up to the ferry, paid my fare, and set off for San Francisco.

Truth is, this part isnt as magical as it was supposed to be. I rolled up, walked inside, and faced a sign that told me I was too late. I had missed the long awaited ferry ride by one hour. The alternative was to wait for the bus that would take my from there to the other ferry building, effectively covering the same route but on land. I had two bagels while I waited for the bus. Once it came by, I stuffed the bike in the large storage compartment on the belly and jumped inside. 45 minutes later I was in the city. I paid my fare and set off to meet up with my good friend Pierre and his girlfriend Sala. It would be pointless to head to the Golden Gate Bridge now since the sun was setting and the trademark fog had blanketed the city.

I met up with them in a cafe on Fillmore street and we spent the night laughing and talking about just about everything.

I was done. I had made it across the country to San Francisco, CA. Atlantic to Pacific. It is unreal. Now I can go from tourer to tourist.

Thanks to Road America for their donation.

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