- The riders and staff. I will always remember.
- Fantastic weather with only 10 minutes of rain. How did we manage to miss all the hurricanes?
- Twelve days of headwinds.
- Swimming in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
- The first day ride up the mountains to the gold mining town of Julian.
- The second day the rough pavement going into ElCentro. My butt was bruised for the rest of the trip.
- Seeing many good riders succumb to the 107 degrees of heat coming into ElCentro.
- The beauty of Day 5 with 3 major passes including Mingus Mountain. On one of the steep 180 degree switchback the headwind stopped me dead and I had to hold on to the guardrail so I didn’t fall over.
- The last 40 mile ride going 30 mph with tailwind riding into Winslow Arizona with that Eagle’s song playing in my head.
- Staying at the historic LaPosada Hotel.
- Day 10 from Ruidoso to Roswell with tailwind on beautiful low volumes roads. One of the easiest and best days.
- Dinner at the Big Texas Steak Ranch home of the famous 72 oz Steakhouse.
- Riding parts of Route 66.
- Finding out Oklahoma has 12-15% grade Ouachita Mountains. Beautiful but painful.
- Riding over the Mississippi River bridge.
- Many loose dogs. One even followed us for over a mile. He wanted to be part of the ice cream gang.
- Speaking of ice cream the ice cream gang had ice cream almost everyday and I only gained one pound on the trip.
- The ups and down of the rollers of the south.
- The last dinner at the Pond House in Metter to have our last regular meal together and to reflex on the trip.
- The group ride in together for the last 5 miles on Tybee Island.
- A fantastic journey with fantastic people.
Today’s ride from Metter to Tybee Island was 86 miles with 1068 feet of climb. Our average speed was 15.6 mph with a 10 mph wind out of the ENE. The ride was a little stressful because we needed to be at each Sag area at a certain time so we could all ride in together. We went thru the historic district of Savannah which was nice. After we got to the last Sag we all rode in together it all sank in what an accomplishment.
I would like to thank the staff for making a dream into a reality.
We started our ride a few minutes before sunrise. We were on some busy roads roads today. This was our last normal day of riding. Today the ice cream gang stopped at DQ for our last ice cream together. It was a fun but a difficult 4 weeks. Tomorrow will be a short day and we will all ride in together.
I was thinking of all the things I have seen over the last 26 days and all the friends I have made. In two days I will be back home in Illinois.
Today’s ride from Eufaula to Cordele, Georgia was 116 miles with 4,300 feet of climb. Our Average was still slow at 14.2 mph because of the east head wind at 10 to 15mph. There was a fair climb going into the Provondense Canyon State Park at mile 25 to 29. The Canyon was beautiful.
Speaking of headwinds the last 6 days were headwinds with the next two days predicted as headwinds also. For this trip there will be 12 days with mostly headwinds, 3 days with tailwinds and 12 days with cross wind. Going west to east one would expect the norm would be the opposite of 12 days of tailwind with 3 days of headwind. Headwinds add an hour or two of ride time for each day. With the 9 extra days of head winds it’s like getting an extra two days of riding for free. The other positive is the winds kept the rain away. We had 27 days of bike riding with no rain.
Today’s ride from Greenville to Eufaula, Alabama was 111 miles with 5,300 feet of climb. The ride profile today looks likes a saw blade with all the ups and downs. We had another day of east winds that we will have for the rest of our trip. The headwind varied from 10 to 15mph and my average speed was only 13.8mph.
We got an earlier start today at 7am which helped us get in at 4 pm. Things I have noticed about today’s and the last several days ride is there are a lot of homes and business that need a lot of work.
If those homes were back home they would have been torn down. Another thing I noticed is not many yards are fenced in and a lot of the dogs run free. Today we had a dog run along side us for over a mile. That same dog followed other bike groups today also for over a mile. The dog just wanted to be part of our pack. I wonder if the dog ever made back home. Here is a picture of the dog.
There were several places today that the trees arched over the road and we were riding in a tunnel of trees. I did not get a photo of this but had my GoPro on and should have a video of some of there areas. I hope to do a YouTube video similar to the following video I did on The Ridge of the Rockies Ride https://youtu.be/GdaI1XvU1dI .
Today we wanted to get in by 5pm and we needed to step up our game to cut an hour of time off our trip. Yesterday we got in at 5pm but we rode 14 miles less distance with the same headwind conditions. We did it by cutting 30 minutes off our ride time by pushing harder and saving 30 minutes off our lunch and Sag stops.
Another thing we were worried about was the possibility of rain. The night before they were calling for a 50% chance of rain but in the morning they were saying only 15% chance. It was a cloudy day but no rain. It’s hard to believe we have biked for 23 days and have not been rained on.
Today was a long day in the saddle we got in a few minutes after 5pm. We rode for 115 miles with 6,000 feet of climb. My ride time was a little over 8 hours with an average of 13.9mph. We had headwind for most of the day between 8 to 15mph. As you can see by the squiggly profile line there was lots of rollers.
Today’s ride was mainly on low volume two lane roads. Most of the pavements were chip seal roads which were good but a little rough. Today was Sunday and we must have past a small church every 5 miles. The weather was awesome again with blue skies.
The past few days we are starting to get chased by dogs. So far we have yelled at the dogs and they stopped chasing us. We also found out that Stig is a pretty fast sprinter when chased by a dog he went from last to first in a few seconds. On a sadder note a dog went after one of the earlier groups and got hit by a car going in the other direction.
The following are Bob from Washington comments on today’s ride.