Average speed: 11.0 mph
Vertical gain: 1,092 ft.
Current Elevation: 0 ft.
I made it! I rode my bike from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, riding 3,897 miles over 107 days. What a ride! What a country!
The last day of my journey was a very pleasant and easy ride, with no big hills and no tough patches.
But for the first time in a long time, I had a schedule to meet. I was to be at Bedford Depot at the beginning of the bike path in Bedford at 10:30 a.m., for interviews with Bedford local TV and the Bedford Citizen. Then, I was going to meet with a reporter and cameraman from WBZ-TV, on the bike path in Arlington, at 1:00. Finally, I was going to meet with the same WBZ guys at Revere Beach at 3:00.
So in what was probably the earliest start of any day of the ride, except when I spent the night in a hot tent, I was out of the hotel, having eaten a light breakfast, at 7:15 a.m., heading to Bedford, where I live.
It is almost a coincidence that I am going through Bedford on my way to the ocean. In fact, I would have to go out of my way to avoid riding right past my house. But my house was not the end of the trip. The ocean was the end of the trip. So I did not want to stay at my house last night, for fear I would not properly finish, and I debated whether to even stop at home. After all, I saw my wife and daughter last night in Hudson, and we got the emotional stuff out of the way.
But I have not seen Ernie in nearly four months, and I really wanted that. We debated if that would be good or bad for him, if I stopped by with only minutes to spare before heading over to the Depot. So the default plan was for me to not stop at home.
In the event, I had the very early start and it took me just a little over two hours of very easy riding to go from Hudson to Bedford. I had over an hour to kill. I went home. It felt wonderful, and Ernie was very happy to see me.
At about 10:00, Jennifer and Ronia drove over to Bedford Depot, and at 10:25 I headed over as well. (It would not do if I was early for the 10:30 appointed time.)
There, a small cheering crowd, a TV camera, manned (womaned?) by a young girl, and a bunch of people with cameras, awaited me! It was all very gratifying, very moving, and a bit surreal.
I was handed a microphone, and my friend Tom asked me several questions, such as biggest surprise, hardest part, that sort of thing, all the while being filmed by the TV camera. I’m told the finished video will be out in the next day or two.
Then it was off to lunch at Chipotle’s in Bedford. I rode there, along with Tom, Jerry, and Joel on his cargo bike. Ronia drove and met us there.
After lunch, it was back up to the Depot for a quick visit to the Bikeway Source bike shop, just to say hello and thanks. Randall and Eric were there, but unfortunately Chris was not. I’ll thank him later.
Then the four of us on bikes headed down the Minuteman bike path, at a leisurely pace. As usual, I was a slowpoke. But we were in no rush. In fact, there was time to kill.
When we got to Arlington, about a block from where we thought the WBZ guys were going to be, we stopped and waited for 1:00. Joel rode ahead and reconnoitered, coming back to tell us that the cameraman was set up and we should just continue riding.
So we rode down past the cameraman, stopped, and I was interviewed by the news guy. Then they had us ride back and forth on the bike path about four or five times. Each time the cameraman would attach a GoPro to me or one of the other bikes, or get me coming or going or from different angles. Then we rode through the streets of Arlington, heading for Revere Beach. As we rode, the WBZ guys drove along beside me, shooting more video.
The ride from Arlington to Revere, through Medford, was surprisingly okay for a very urban ride. Much of it was on a bike path parallel to Route 60, next to industrial areas and behind apartment buildings with extensive community gardens.
Jerry had to turn back after the filming in Arlington, but it was nice having Tom and Joel along for the rest of the ride. When we were a few blocks from the beach, we still had about 20 or 30 minutes to kill. so we stopped at a small store, bought cold drinks, and stood in the shade outside waiting for 3:00.
Finally, at 2:50, we got tired of waiting, and so started to ride. We arrived at the beach a few minutes before 3, to a very small cheering crowd, consisting of my wife and daughter and friends Gordon and Melinda. There were also a few random people in the pavilion under which they were waiting.
No sign of the WBZ guys or anyone from the PMC.
I started to take off my shoes and sun stuff in preparation for going down onto the beach and into the water. Then the two WBZ guys showed up. They had gone to the wrong location, an understandable mistake considering Google Maps probably sent them there. In any event, I put my stuff back on, loaded the bike back up, and then we did some more rides, recreating my arrival. About that time, a rep from the PMC arrived and gave me a bag of PMC clothing – hats, tee shirts, and a sweatshirt.
Finally, I took off my shoes and sun stuff, and my jersey, and put on my Crocs, and walked down to the ocean, and stood in the water. I considered diving in, because it felt really good, but there was a ton of algae floating on the surface, and I just didn’t want to get that dirty.
Tom and Joel both rode home, Tom back to Arlington, and Joel back to Bedford.
We loaded my bike and stuff in the back of Jennifer’s car, then Jennifer drove us home.
So that was it! It was a very satisfying end to a very satisfying journey.
That evening, at 6:10 p.m., the piece aired on WBZ News. It was very good! Here is a link: WBZ newscast
In the next week or so, I will write my usual ride report, which will not be just a rehash of all the daily blogs, but rather a reflection and summation of the entire trip. The report will go to all my donors, so if you would like to receive a copy and you have not yet donated, you can do so at www.pmc.org.
Thank you so much for following and supporting my ride!