Well this will be my final daily ride update (but not the final post, I still have at least one more planned!). The last day was a short day, along amazing historic roads and sites. It started the way all the best days do, by sleeping in. I got up around 7:30 without an alarm and it felt amazing. Debra and Camilla were already up and mentioned something about famous oatmeal. They ran off for an errand while I got packed up and ready, and signed the guest book. They came back and, sure enough, served a fantastic bowl of oatmeal, with fresh fruit and yogurt on top. It was a far cry from the stuff I make on my camp stove on the road. We talked for a good long while (I didn’t mention it in last nights post but when they got home from their dinner date we ended up talking for several hours). They were just so easy to talk to. We got a photo together, and they showed me their van which I’m strongly considering purchasing myself for future adventures.
I got on the road around 9 I think, to a slightly overcast day. I just hoped it wouldn’t rain on me. Even if it did it wouldn’t matter, I was finishing this thing.
I got back on the Capitol Trail and enjoyed it for a few miles before arriving at the Jamestown Settlement. I called my siblings that were meeting me at the finish point to make sure we were on track to meet up and it seemed like we were. The complex I was at had a cool set of flags from all 50 states, and a beautiful sculpture out front of the museum.
I got onto a somewhat unique road, the Colonial Parkway. This is a park service maintained highway, made of bumpy gravel in concrete. It intentionally avoids most man made structures in order to keep the character of the parkway natural. It passes many historical markers with pullouts to read them. I started riding along the James River. It was beautiful in the morning
Eventually the road turned inland and approached Williamsburg. Because it’s Virginia there were some non-trivial hills, but nothing that was going to stop me. I got off the parkway to avoid a no-biking tunnel and entered the town. Historical Williamsburg is fascinating. It’s a seemingly very authentic recreation of colonial life. They even have actors wearing period outfits that will talk to you about the buildings and pretend like it’s the 16-17 hundreds. It was really cool.
A group of aspiring young Appalachian Trail hikers was interested in the ride and I told them all about it. I met a guy Named Don who was biking. He was also very interested in the ride, given that he’d just retired and wanted an adventure. Don and I went into a coffee shop but the line was super long. I waited and had some, food before my sister called me to let me know she and my brother were already at Yorktown. I still had 13 miles so I got moving, saying goodbye to Don.
I got back on the Colonial Parkway and rode through the woods for a while before emerging on the York River, just a few miles from Yorktown. I wondered if the spots I was riding through had seen the death and bloodshed of the Revolutionary and Civil wars that define the history of the region. There was no more historical marker reading: I was ready to finish this thing. I rode along the somewhat trafficy, but wide route and sooner than I could have imagined pulled up to the Yorktown sign.
I got a video of myself riding in
My sister also took a video from the opposite perspective.
They had prepared a finish line that they’d decorated with inspirational sayings, like ‘Epic Win for Gamers Everywhere’. Beautiful. They also presented me with a trophy for Best Biker.
With that, I was finished. All the hard days and tired nights were for this, and I was done. I didn’t, and still don’t quite believe it. The reality hasn’t sunk in. My image of myself in my head doesn’t think that I’m capable of something like this, so I’m having a hard time really processing that I actually did it. It will take a day or two to accept. When it does I will post a retrospective of the trip as a whole and my emotions at the different stages. The best way I can describe my state of mind as I rolled across the line was relieved. I did it, and I had a wonderful time doing so. I thought that I would cry, or laugh or have some kind of powerful emotion, but really I just felt content. In a weird way it also didn’t feel over. I still felt like I had somewhere to ride, I just don’t know where the hell that is yet…
My siblings and I got the bike packed up and we drove over to Virginia Beach, with a stop for Bojangles (I didn’t get any on the entire trip. How is that possible?). We got settled into our Airbnb where we’ll be staying for the next week. Any fellow cyclists who are in the area, or finishing or starting the Transam reach out to me if you need a place to stay, we have some couches.
We walked over to the water and had an excellent seafood dinner. Catching up with my siblings was amazing, it means more than they know that they came out, literally across the country, to be here for this with me. Thank you Lily and Strow (mom and Bella I know that you wanted to be here too I understand). The views of sunset were excellent.
With that, for the last time, goodnight!
- Cliff bars
- Chocolate filled pretzel snacks
- Bojangles biscuit
- Sweet tea
- Crab dip
- Bacon wrapped scallops
- Mochi ice cream