Well, that’s it. At a little before noon today, we walked our bikes onto the beach at Anastasia State Park, doused each other in celebratory Coca-Cola, and just like that, our 49-day bike ride became something we did, and not something we’re doing. Maybe tomorrow I will realize it’s over, but I haven’t quite processed it yet.
Tony put together a very special playlist for our short ride into St. Augustine today, including:
- The A-Team Theme
- Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
- Hold On – Wilson Phillips
- We Built This City – Starship
- Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue
- Blackened – Metallica
- Angelf&#% – The Misfits
- King Of The Road – Roger Miller
We flew down Highway 207 all the way here, and were welcomed by a screaming woman wearing a Big City Mountaineers T-shirt about a block before we were to ride over the Bridge of Lions. Barbara Bain and her daughter Alli had driven down from Jacksonville to greet us and escort us to the beach. We biked a short few miles on A1A and rolled onto sand, took some photos, and turned around and rode to A1A Cycle Works to drop off our bikes for shipment.
Now I’m off my bike. Which means I lived through the bike ride of my life.
Then I ate a 32-ounce jar of mayonnaise to fulfill a fundraising obligation. Graphic 25-minute video forthcoming.
And, as it would turn out, the man who founded Big City Mountaineers, Jim Kern, happens to live in St. Augustine. And he wanted to take us out for dinner. Jim had the idea to take an inner-city teen from Miami on a backpacking trip 21 years ago, and that’s blossomed into an office full of people in Denver (and a few folks in San Leandro, CA, Chicago and Portland) helping about 200 kids this summer. Tony had already taken off for Jacksonville so he could make his early flight tomorrow, but Nick and I had a great time with Jim. The best way to get to the restaurant was via the Intracoastal Waterway, and when you’ve been traveling at 12 mph for a month and a half, a boat ride is a total blast.
We continue to have donations coming in, and will be over $19,000 as soon as we tally the last few donations. And Tony ponies up his matching donation for my heroic mayonnaise eating.
I don’t know what happens from here, but I know tomorrow, I’m sleeping in. And not putting chamois butter on my ass. And not stuffing myself at breakfast. And not putting on a pair of bike shorts. I’ll probably go to a coffee shop in St. Augustine, sit down with a pen and paper, and try to figure out what I really did these past two months.