Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The final morning felt a bit hectic – breakfast was scheduled for 6 am, with 6:30 am load and depart. Breakfast was split between the hotel breakfast room and a nearby meeting room, and it seemed like everyone was eager to get their food, eat, and go. We headed out on Rt 54 east into an overcast morning:
The forecast was for a sunny, warm, muggy day, and the clouds eventually broke up as we continued southeast through gently rolling Virginia terrain, with a familiar mix of farmland, wooded areas, vineyards, and small communities.
We even passed another familiar landmark from Lynn K’s fleche – the Studley General Store.
We continued on through New Kent, past Martha Washington’s birthplace. The traffic was unpleasantly heavy through this section, as we approached I-64, but it calmed down a bit once we crossed over.
Our 2nd rest stop was after 55 miles, at which point Bill’s cleats finally stopped working completely – so he spent a few minutes to change them:
The plan was for all the riders to regroup at a particular location just a short distance from the final destination at 12:30 pm. We were all informed by Lon H that we were making good time, so we might want to stop at a McDonald’s along the way so we didn’t have to wait so long at the regroup point. We arrived in Williamsburg a few miles later:
and spotted the McDonald’s and the whole gang of cyclists:
So we stopped and shared a milkshake before pedaling on. We headed into Colonial Williamsburg and turned onto the Colonial Parkway – a beautiful but rather rough road
which we followed for about 10 miles to the regroup spot overlooking the Chesapeake Bay:
We arrived at about 12:15, so spent the time chatting with the other riders and taking some photos.
The last cyclists arrived, and Jerry announced that the youngest rider, Caelen (16), the oldest rider, Gerry (74), and the tandem with Greg and Zach would lead us all the final mile to our destination on the beach in Yorktown, VA:
It felt pretty amazing to be riding with this whole group that we’ve spent the last month with and to see Susan and the PAC Tour crew cheering us on at the end:
We all wheeled our bikes onto the beach and down to the water for photos:
We did it – we bicycled coast to coast across the country! We weren’t quite done yet, though. After a nice picnic lunch, we all backtracked the 14 miles back to the EconoLodge in Williamsburg and everyone started packing up their bikes and the crew started cleaning up the PAC tour vehicles.
John and I had it pretty easy – we’re taking the train home tomorrow and will drive back down on Friday to pick up the bike, so the hotel is storing it for us until then.
In just a couple of minutes, the final pizza party starts and that will be the end of our cross country bicycle adventure. It’s been an amazing trip. We had a great group of people to ride with, and Susan, Lon, and the crew have all been fantastic. I can’t imagine a better way to have cycled across the country.