Well, we did it – right on schedule. 4000 miles right across the USA in 40 days, pretty much exactly as planned all that time ago.
It was already hot as we left another brilliant (first) breakfast diner in Keene at around 7.30 this morning. I am going to miss 2 breakfasts each morning – pancakes, eggs, bacon, all covered in maple syrup. My efforts to keep us on quiet back roads meant some extra climbing, up forested roads with the early morning sunlight shafting through the trees like curtains. It was beautiful.
We had to make a 6 mile detour at one point, because a bridge was closed – but we had been perilously close to falling fractionally short of 4000 miles – so this was exactly what we needed to make sure. Perfect!
The day was just one final ritual after another. Final coca cola stop – final ice cream and, best of all, final chicken salad at lunch. We must have eaten 30 of them, and this was the best of the lot.
Leading in to Boston there was about 15 miles of rail trail. This was a relaxing way of avoiding the traffic.
But by then a huge thunderstorm was threatening. We just made it across the river before the heavens opened. We sheltered for a while until it passed over. Then it was on through central Boston, Chinatown, and out to the Atlantic – at Pleasure Bay, our final destination. We had run out of continent.
Endings are always bitter sweet. It has been a fantastic, totally stress free lifestyle – sleep, eat, cycle, repeat – and I shall be sad to let it go. We have seen a wonderful, very varied continent, and had nothing but kindness from people along the way.
The weather has been fantastic – I think about 35/40 basically hot and sunny days, and about 3 hours of rain in 253 hours riding. Just 3 or 4 days of headwinds, and about 12 days with strong tailwinds when it really counted, the big mileage days across the prairie. Couldn’t have hoped for better.
The whole thing was my idea – and I had been plotting it for years. My assumption was that I might have to do it on my own, but I wasn’t sure about committing to that, so I am really thankful that Tim took the bait – and that he has been such a resolute and dependable partner in crime! Thanks also to Helen, whom I have missed hugely throughout the trip. We have done so many long rides together.
And finally, I am delighted with the performance of my dream Bianchi Infinito CV. It has coped with everything thrown at it and has been completely reliable. It fits me like a glove, it is ridiculously comfortable for a fast road bike, and I could float along on it for ever. Heaven knows what speed and distance it can do without the luggage …. but that’s for next summer!