50 miles is nothing. The day flew by so quickly that I was convinced I didnt even get on my bike. It was a remarkably easy ride today. All downhill with some rollers. Everybody was itching to get to camp, so that might be why we flew through the course so quickly. The only stop we made was about a half hour for lunch.
That night was party central. We were all so excited to be done tomorrow that most of us decided to express it in the form of moonshine and beer. This resulted in making a fire from a 250 pound log we found in the forest and farting on each other until 11 at night. It was a night to remember. Unfortunately it ended up getting broken up when all of us pissed on the fire until it was out.
I couldnt sleep at all that night. Maybe it was from the excessive drinking, maybe it was from the four hour nap I took that afternoon, or maybe it was because I was so excited to make it to DC. Regardless I only got about 4 hours of solid sleep. Waking up the next morning sleep deprived on top of a hangover didnt make me feel all that confident about the ride. Even if I only had to pump out 50 miles to the finish line. But I managed.
The second I got on my bike I was on fire. I stopped at the first water stop just to fill up my water bottle and I was off. Me and Joe rode in at a fast pace. A FAST pace. The last 10 miles into DC were all on a very nice path. The only downside was all of the congestion. I discovered that riding across the country makes you very cocky. I kept on looking at all of the bikers on the path thinking, "what horrible form! I can bike faster than that! That guy looks like a douche bag!" Oh well. I think I deserve to be a little bit arrogant after completing a ride like this.
Joe looked over at me at one point on the path and said, "I think we just passed into DC." This took a second to register between the two of us. When it hit us we looked at each other and gave a huge high five. I think I might have been a little to excited because I almost knocked Joe off of his bike.
Once we got off the bike trail and had the final stretch to the finish, I decided, "I want to be first!" Not that it really matters, its not like I would win anything or gain any glory, I just wanted to be first. Its a good thing I know how to bike on city streets because I was dodging in and out of traffic like nobodys business. And yes...I did make it first. Woo Hoo!
Before we were actually able to cross the finish line we had to go to a lunch. The best food of the trip! It was a previous rider who owns a greek restaurant in downtown DC. He was nice enough to make food for all of us for free! Thank you Costas!
When we left for the finish line, we were greeted by alot of family and friends. It was nice to cross the finish line and have my mom standing there to greet me. Nice to see a familiar face after biking 3300 miles.
After everyone made it to the finish, I headed off to my hotel for a much needed shower. I then headed to a reception hosted by one of my fellow riders for the final goodbye. Tear...
All in all this was one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. I learned alot about team work, coexistence, my limits and many other things that dont need to be mentioned here. I feel that I have truly developed and gained some perspective of the world.
Thank you to everyone who made a contribution to me and the organization. Thanks to all for the moral support. I wouldnt have been able to do it without you. Thanks to Brian at Shockspital for the help with the shifter. Thanks to Hurl at CRC for his vast biker knowledge and advice on how to be a badass. You da man. Thanks to all of my friends and family for not telling me I was crazy for attempting something like this. And especially to all those on the Big Ride who made it a truly memorable experience. I hope to see all of you again soon.
As Ernest Hemingway says, "Im no walker."