Monday, September 24, 2012

Ride the West - Day 23, Marina del Rey California to Costa Mesa California

Our dinner last night was a final banquet, a sharing one more time of a meal between friends. It was a low-key, but special time, followed by a song from Tracey and a slide show from the staff.

Today we had an easy ride to the end. Michael Louis, a rider from our 2010 across the country trip joined us for the day. I rode with him, Baltimore Mark and Joe for the 50 mile day. In fact, we had quite a large number of us ABB riders forming a long line while riding the bike paths today. Most of the day was spent riding moderately slowly along the 25 miles or so of bike path following the beach. It was not to be a day of work, but a day of easy riding. Michael would endear us with his jokes and stories, leading us along the route which he knows so well.

Michael Louis

We passed through some very nice areas of greater Los Angeles and some quite industrial areas too. The variations in the homes were vast. Some of the roads were quite busy and others were void of any other traffic.

Along one of the bike paths

We finally arrived at the last SAG and then on to the last hotel. It was to be an anti-climatic ending to a phenomenal trip. We arrived at the hotel to take a shower, clean and pack our bikes, say some goodbyes and head out for dinner with the remaining riders.

Our last SAG

What can be said after another adventure? There is something very special about doing a long distance bicycle trip that I wish more people could realize for themselves. The camaraderie within this diverse group of people is enormous. We are a group of isolated souls who really only have a few things in common: the love of cycling, the enjoyment of hard work and the satisfaction of the accomplishment of the day's ride. We come from every walk of life, from far corners of several countries, but yield an instant bond with one another. A simple look with an unspoken word, while climbing or descending beside your fellow cyclist speaks volumes. We know what we each are thinking. We help each other in challenges and share in the rewards. We are not just cyclists, we are cycling adventurers.

Today marks the last day of my latest adventure. The ride started in what seems like an eternity ago, in a far-away place called Astoria Oregon. We rode 21 days in gorgeous weather and had 2 days off, finally arriving in Costa Mesa California. The number of miles ridden was 1,433 and the feet climbed was 74,472. We saw incredible scenery, beautiful coastlines, gigantic trees, long hills, ripe vineyards, endless crops, smooth bike paths, enormous bridges, fast highways, lonely roads, slow rivers, crashing ocean waves, wild animals, large spiders, small towns and large cities. Every day was so unique, yet so enjoyable. We looked forward to each day's ride as we knew there would be unusual and interesting sights to be found. Unlike cycling across the country, this was an adventure to be taken in small sips, like drinking a fine wine, and drink it in we did.

I wish to thank my wife Aila, for her support in my adventures. My next cycling adventure will be with her, in Europe. I also wish to thank my fellow stooges (Joe and Mark) who I have shared many a mile with (about 6,000). We have depended on each other, far more than most people will ever know. At times, each of our lives are in the other's hands. You guys are the best. I wish to thank the staff of ABB for putting on an incredible and safe trip. It's amazing how you are able to get us through, safely to the end.

Let see what the next adventure brings.

1 comment:

  1. Jeff! It has been so enjoyable to read your blog! Alan and I enjoyed getting to know you the short week we were there. Just wish it could have been longer! Happy you finished safe and sound and best wishes on your next adventure! Hope to see you again!
    Cindy and Alan Hoal