Friday, July 27, 2007

Home Again! Day 53

The top photo was taken on July 24, 2007, as I dipped my front tire into the Atlantic Ocean at Rye Beach, New Hampshire. We had travelled about 3,900 miles since the second photo was taken. That was on our start on June 3, 2007 as I dipped my rear wheel into the Pacific Ocean at San Francisco, New Hampshire.

And the final photo was taken this morning, June 27th, my second day back at the office. Yup, it's "back to the real world". Pictured are Jaime, Steph, Missy, Nichole, and Maria, plus the big guy in the background. Laura couldn't be in the photo, and my partner, Andy and our office manager, Diane, both took vacation when I came back!

The ladies made a lovely "Welcome Home" banner, with many photos on it that they printed from this blog. Cool, huh? Fortunately, I didn't forget too much about "doctoring" during the ride, and we got through the first two days back without a hitch. Everyone has been great, welcoming me home.

About the bike--I bought seven tires on the trip: two lost to "tar", and several with too many pieces of glass or wire in them. I also used a new chain, after the halfway point. And Gerard, our mechanic, replaced my rear derailleur cable twice. But the bike held up very well, despite travelling 3,912 miles on the trip.

We only travelled through 13 of the 48 continental United States (although many of the riders rode into Maine after we dipped our wheels, to add a 14th state). It's a pretty big country, and we saw only a tiny fraction of it in our travels. If you double click on the map at the top of the page 51 entry, you'll see that our route was anything but straight! But it was wonderful.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, and owe thanks again to our great AbB staff. They worked hard to care for the riders, and I'd love to ride with them again. I was able to "smell the roses" every day, and took over a a thousand photos from the trip. Because I got stronger (and faster) as the ride progressed, I was able to ride with all the cross country riders, even those who preferred to ride by themselves for most of the time. There was an interesting dynamic, as the faster (driven) riders and the slower (and happy to stop frequently) riders each seemed to feel that their method was the best. Having ridden much with both types of riders, I think each group did what was best for them.

Since I rode across the United States to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, I want to (again) mention a special rider. I probably rode with Howie more than anyone else on this trip (no offense to all the other great people I rode with). We both rode at similar paces (esp. after I "sped up" a little), but loved to stop, take photos, chat with others, etc..... As I've noted, Howie is a cancer survivor, and is a phenomenal mixture of tough and kind. He battled lymphoma for nine years, and for the last three years has not needed any further treatments.

Just like Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor and phenomenal rider, Howie is dedicated to the fight against cancer. He also raised money to fight cancer while he rode. He, like me, wore a Livestrong bracelet during the ride (just check our wrists in the photos), and he even gave me a few extra Livestrong bracelets that he had. I know he would join me in asking all concerned people who've enjoyed following our rides to make a tax deduct able donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. To do so, please visit my web page at

To the many people who have donated or will donate, I say again "Thanks".

It's been a great ride, and I already miss it! But it's also great to be back home! I encourage all of you to find something that you love, and challenge yourselves like my fellow riders did. Combining exercise, travel, and learning, this trip was a perfect challenge for me. I hope you find, and enjoy, yours as I have.

Please feel free to contact me at

to discuss the trip, this blog, or the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And thanks for reading!

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