Day 33 – Ride Across America for GTG. Keene, NH to Salisbury, MA, the Atlantic Ocean and the finish!!

GTG Bike Thermometer 5.30.19Current money raised. With the addition tonight of $1000 from one of the riders on the trip with me, we have raised, $24,565 for GTG.  

Our loss has forced my son into uncomfortable and unfamiliar feelings and thoughts.  My son has an opportunity to be around others who are experiencing the same feelings that he has and the program provides a safe, non judgmental space for him to share those feelings. As a result, he is receptive and engaged in my conversations with him.                                                                                                                                  – Parent of a GTG Student

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Success!!  Today we completed our ride of 3450 miles at the Atlantic Ocean on Salisbury Beach, MA.  We started at the hotel in Keene at 7:15 am.  We rode through Keene and up Concord hill located on the east side of town. The hill is more than 2 miles long starting in town and climbs between 7 and 14 percent grade.  A tremendous effort, especially first thing in the am.  By the time we reached hilltop, drizzle and fog descended on us and we were cold and damp for the rest of the day.  Precipitation was not forecast and none of us had proper clothing on. The temp declined to 46 degrees and with that came cold, Southerly winds.  We felt those winds in open areas and certainly at our finish on the beach. 

New Hampshire is a verdant, beautiful and historically rich state.  At every town, homes, buildings, cemeteries prominently displayed the original home owner, the age of the building or the origin of the cemetery, respectively.  Sometimes signs would identify and give history for a prominent citizen – see video.  In addition to logging activity and trucks hauling tree trunks, mills cutting timber into boards, we saw paper companies, camps and retreats.  Invitations for  recreational activities appeared everywhere – including downhill skiing.  We frequently saw boats on trailers and we saw several beautiful lakes in areas along the ride.

Jut before lunch, as we were coming to a stop at a light, Jen grabbed my arm.  She couldn’t get her shoes unclipped.  I was able to prevent her from falling and with more force, she was able to unclip.  Fortunately, our lunch was across the street and she was able to clean her cleats and pedals which were then treated with WD40.  Her clips worked well after that.  

Due to the weather, our progress was slower than planned and we arrived 40 minutes later than expected for our group ride to the shore.  The other riders and Mike wore the ABB jersey made for this year.  I wore my GTG jersey – see photo.  How exciting to see my partner and friends at the beach waiting patiently for me!

At the beach, we took off our shoes and socks and ran with our bikes to the water’s edge to dip our tires in the ocean,  then raise our bikes over our heads and shout with joy.  33 days, 3450 miles ( for the other riders – I had about 370 miles less due to the wedding trip )

Then, our bikes were transported by van to the hotel, we showered and boxed our bikes for shipping home.  Later, our farewell dinner celebration was filled with good humor, warm congratulations from each other for our accomplishment, speeches with heartfelt sentiments and thoughtful insights about one another that comes with spending some intense time with each other.  The staff was particularly complimentary about the 6 of us and how well we came together as a family – to support one another on the hard days and to appreciate each other like a family.  Truly, I feel very close to the other riders after biking across America with them.  

Some final thoughts in another blog post.  For now, please enjoy the video below!  It is now 12:20 and time for bed!