The final leg of a long journey is always filled with mixed emotions, especially on a solo ride. You know that soon your goal will be complete and while there is excitement about seeing family and friends again and crossing the finish line, there is some hesitation. Knowing that you will have completed your challenge on your own is a great motivator, however there also comes the reality that you will soon have to return to the daily grind of work and life in general. It is with this realization that you do not want it to end, and perhaps, you find yourself slowing down a bit.
You’ve grown accustomed to relying on just yourself and your bike and the freedom of setting your own course…
Riding into Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego was all too familiar to me. I had ridden these routes so many times in the past. Training rides, Gran Fondos and charity rides (MS Bay to Bay tour) had taken me on these roads many times before, and I just wanted to get through it all. There were highlights to be sure: being able to meet up with fellow cycling friends for parts of the journey through LA, riding the beautiful cliff areas of Palos Verdes, and crossing into San Diego County were definitely some of the best.
But… I did hesitate. I really did not want it to end. What was to come afterwards? I wondered, and slowed down a little bit more.
As I got closer to my finish line, Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, that all began to change.
First I was greeted by paramedics, who had been following my blog and live tracking and cheered me on in their ambulance as I headed up the final stretch of Point Loma.
As I got closer, my adrenaline started to pick up as I knew I would soon be there.
I knew that my wife and son were there to meet me, however I was unprepared for the surprise my wife had waiting for me. To my astonishment, she had arranged for many of my family and friends to be there at the finish line, all cheering me on as I came around the bend to the monument.
A great feeling of joy shot through my body as I saw everyone, and realized I had completed my goal.
This was followed by a celebratory dinner and story telling about my journey.
I was overcome by emotion on this last day, one of the greatest days of my life.
… and I immediately began thinking…Vancouver to San Francisco!
A Road Bike 4U would like to thank Russ Ketteringham for sharing this amazing coastal trip with us through his series of blog posts.