TransAm Day 81 Final Day

Tom writes:

Eugene to Florence: 132 kms

Florence

All the way across!!
All the way across!!

Total number of punctures: 8 (Ami 5, Tom 3)

Total distance for the whole trip: 6782 kms

 

So we got up on the final morning to partake of our final breakfast, put on our Lycra for the final time before finally hitting the road for the final excursion.

As you can see the whole atmosphere was either blessed or tainted by finality, depending on how you see things.

025

Amina’s mum had come all the way from Akalla, Sweden to join us for the run to the coast and it turned out to be a long day in the saddle that awaited her and the rest of us.

Here she is posing with her daughter and the two bikes that would be accompanying them.

028

The ride itself stretched the 132 kms from the town of Eugene to Heceta Beach just north of the town of Florence and the only place close by with good access to the beach.

It was long but not too tough, at least for experienced athletes like Ami and myself, there was one reasonable hill for us to climb and the final eight kilometres were into a pretty strong headwind which somehow felt like quite a fitting end to this mammoth tour.

The rest though was slightly downhill, through suitably beautiful countryside, on a road without too much traffic and with a nice surface for our tyres to get their treads into.

030

030b

Above all the weather was absolutely perfect, sweet sunshine without being murderously hot, in all probability because we were so close to the coast. (I love those last seven words…).

We rode slowly partly so that Marianne, Ami’s mum, could keep up, but also on some level to really enjoy and fully digest what we were about to achieve. Three months ago in Virginia it was difficult to fathom that we would someday be in this position and now we were nearing the end. Quite emotional even for a cold blooded cynic like yours truly.

On reaching Florence we posed by its welcoming sign and then headed in a bit of a daze and a lot of a wind for the beach.

032

Time now for the traditional dipping of the front wheel. We put on our trans am shirts, the ones we had promised not to wear until the moment of truth. It was cold and windy but very satisfying.

IMG_20160731_173126

IMG_20160731_173051

IMG_20160731_172903

041

I decided to do what I had secretly promised (threatened) to do all along, despite the tempest around us. Challenging American prudery and in defiance of all rules of tanning I quickly stripped off and ran off into the waiting arms of the Pacific ocean.

044

And so to the banquet.

Jared and Johnny had organised a great meal and as a surprise to everyone also bought small gifts for all of us reflecting our character or lack thereof. I got a children’s tool kit as a testament to my amazing bike mechanical skills while Ami got some junk food to supplement her obsession with nutrition.

050

053

We got to eat each other with the help of a rather delicious cake and the atmosphere was one of joy, relief and just a tinge of sadness.

048

047

At some point in the near future, when emotions have calmed down a tad, I intend writing a reflective piece on the whole trip.

How we felt, a few dos and don’ts, and general thoughts about preparation and surviving the perils of the North American continent might be interesting for other potential masochists.

Right now though everything is a bit upside down in my head. I am waking up in the morning ready to clip in my shoes and pedal off towards the horizon before realising that I can be lazy and stay in bed. It almost feels like something is missing in my life which is maybe why the first thing I did this morning was to go to the gym and ride for an hour on an exercise bike.

But we have done it. We have cycled the Trans American Trail from Yorktown to Florence!!!

No one can ever take that away from us.

Sweet dreams.

Advertisements

One thought on “TransAm Day 81 Final Day”

  1. Very impressed that you made the whole journey on your own 4 wheels. A great achievement. Enjoy Fiji and Queensland and we’ll see you soon !

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s