Monday, July 28, 2008

Home is where the heart is – Larchmont!!!

We got our first whiffs of salt water from the Atlantic this week, which was pretty surreal. When we rolled through Annapolis, MD and crossed over the Chesapeake Bay it really started to feel like we were almost done. We ran into a minor speed bump, however, when the Maryland DOT informed us that we couldn’t ride on the Bay Bridge so we had to resort to plan B: defy gravity and ride across the water on our bikes. Despite our best efforts we quickly discovered that our bikes actually don’t float so we had to resort to plan C; We would sit in front of a gas station with our best “damsel in distress” faces on until a friendly guy (and former cyclist) on his lunch break would realize that we might need a lift over the bridge and then he would offer to put our bikes in the back of his minivan. It’s almost too easy… Remarkably, everything went according to plan.

We entered Delaware slightly ahead of schedule so we made the past few days shorter so we could rest up a little bit while still making forward progress. Ben had to bail on us shortly after Annapolis but lucky for us, Jamie’s girlfriend, Stephanie, met us and took our trailers the rest of the way to the LMont. Even luckier for us, Stephanie’s mom makes the best eggplant parm in the world and helped provide some wonderful hospitality in New Hope, PA.

I Love NY. We left Newark, NJ (which is wonderful this time of year…if you carry pepper spray) Saturday morning and rode the Riverside Bike Path all along Manhattan. At one point we saw a plane landing at Newark Airport and Jamie looked over at me and said “Hmm, now a plane would have been much easier!” Perhaps the best one-liner of the trip, especially because it helped put the distance we had ridden into perspective. That plane may have left from San Fran 6 hours ago, but we left San Fran 56 days ago. Once we stopped for photos with the Statue of Liberty in the background we were thrilled and it began to dawn on us that we were finally in NYC. We asked a fellow cyclist to take a picture of us and while he was snapping away we said “Hey man, you want to hear something absolutely ridiculous? We rode here from the Golden Gate Bridge.” He responded with the second best one-liner of the trip: “Whoa dudes. I rode from 112th Street and I thought that was far.”

By the the day we rode into Larchmont we had seen and done almost everything except today, one of the most memorable days of the trip, wouldn’t be complete without one of us totally wiping out in the middle of the street in the Bronx. It would have to be about 3,995 miles into the trip to yield just the right amount of sweet irony. I volunteered to check this wipeout off the list. I wasn’t hurt physically but my pride was badly damaged. Who would have thought that trying to hop over a little curb to avoid a red light could be so devastating? I’m all good though, thanks for asking.

When we started to spin through the familiar streets of Larchmont we became pretty giddy and even took a few videos while riding down Larchmont Avenue to document it. The last time we were riding here we were training with the trailers and had the entire trip ahead of us. It feels good to be on this end of the trek. It feels even better to have family and friends to share the giddiness and excitement with. We arrived in Manor Park and rode straight to the well, which was dedicated to our mother, and a memorial bench, which was dedicated to our father. We were greeted there by Spencer and a bunch of friends. We rode through the finish line, which was made out of “Happy Birthday” wrapping paper and enjoyed some cheering and congratulating. It only took a second or two for our beards to become the primary target for everyone’s merciless banter. We couldn’t help but laugh along and even make a few jokes ourselves. It was the happiest moment we’d had in 56 days.

Rest time ‘til Tuesday, then we make our way up to Massachusetts for the 2008 Pan Mass Challenge…look it up!

Also, if you are interested in a Pan USA Challenge t-shirt, bearing a similar logo to that at the top of the blog, just leave a comment on the blog with your email address and we’ll instruct you from there.

5 comments:

Erin McAleese said...

Hey guys, what you have done is truly amazing, I am so proud of you!! Best of luck with the rest of your journey and this upcoming weekend - though the hard part is already behind you.

Jennifer said...

Hi guys, I'm a reporter from InTown Magazine with The Journal News. We have been following your story and were really inspired. Since October is breast cancer awareness month, we would love to write a piece about you. If you are interested, please get in touch with my editor, Jeanne Muchnick at jmuchnic@lohuhd.com

Hannah said...

Wow! I'm the reporter from The Journal News who covered your plans before you guys actually began on your journey, and I couldn't help but leave a comment to let you know how impressed I am with your accomplishment. Way to go!
-Hannah Berkman

Stan_Moore said...

I'm hoping to meet you guys in Sturbridge. Send me an e-mail to
taway@sbcglobal.net
so we can meet up.
I'm just outside of Hartford, CT.
It's my 1st PMC, I'm excited about the event...and blown away by what you've accomplished!
I've been following your progress off and on since Kansas.

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