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Day 55 Recap; Pacific Ocean, check.

by EP on August 1, 2010

Our last day of riding was a special one. After talking about the highs and lows of the trip, we set out for the Pacific Ocean from Fairfield, California. We weaved around the bay area on various bicycle trails and state highways. As if to say, “I’m not giving up,” the great American landscape threw a few more hills at us along the way. We made a couple of climbs over the golden rolling terrain and passed through valleys filled with perfect rows of vineyards and sprawling oak trees. As we continued West we could feel the cool bay breeze blowing against us; we knew we were close.

In the town of Sausalito we met up with Kevin Heller (West Point ’83) who treated us to lunch and offered to ride with us all the way to the Pacific. Kevin led us up a steep hill that led to the one and only Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge was a surreal and special thing for us because it represented San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean and most importantly, the end of our trip. We were fortunate enough to reach the GGB on a day when the sun was shining and the bridge was in full view. The San Francisco skyline, as seen while riding across the bridge, was as beautiful as any we’ve seen over the past two months. We weaved our way through the flocks of tourists on the bridge’s walkway to reach the other side.

After riding through the Presidio and stopping a few times to take in the gorgeous bay views, we made our final descent towards the Pacific Ocean. When we saw the Ocean each of us breathed a sigh of relief. It’s hard to believe that we made it more than 3,800 miles (through 21 states) in just 54 days. Each individual day seemed to pass by so slowly that it made it hard to ever even think about finishing.

Dan’s sister (Lauren) and wife (Kelly) snapped a few photos of us as we arrived at the Pacific. We had to carry our bikes about 100 yards across the sandy beach to reach the water to dip our tires in the Ocean and be done with the trip. We quickly realized how much upper body strength we lost during the last two months. We were nearly crushed under the weight of our bikes as we carried them on our shoulders to the water. As we felt the cold ocean water running over our feet we took some time to exchange hugs, high fives, fist bumps, chest bumps and every other imaginable form of celebratory gestures. As quickly as our ride began on June 6th in Maine, it was over.

After we finished we met up with Larry Davis (West Point ’71), Nina, Ryan (West Point ’98), Frank (’74), Ben and Kevin (’07) and others to celebrate the end of our trip over a beer at Schroeder’s Bar in downtown San Francisco. All of the above named people are members of the West Point Society of San Francisco. It was great to reminisce about the ride and share some of our experiences with friends. We had a wonderful time and couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate our finish.

We are now down at Dan’s parents’ place in Southern California getting ready to attend a finishing ceremony. The City of Corona has put together a nice ceremony for us at 3pm on Sunday at Taps Restaurant in the Dos Lagos shopping center. We certainly hope you can join us so we can thank you for following along with us throughout our journey. Also, each of us (Dan, Pete and Joel) will be writing some additional end-of-the-trip thoughts tomorrow. We’ll take the time to thank everyone that played an important role in our ride so don’t forget to log back in and read about it!

We also want to send a special “Thank You” to a friend we met in Massachusetts. Patrick Johnson works for Hyatt Regency where we met him while riding through Massachusetts, he has been following us this whole time and keeping in touch. Patrick went out of his way and pulled some strings to secure us a room at the downtown San Francisco Hyatt Regency hotel. As you can imagine we were exhausted and wanted to celebrate our conclusion, because of the proximity of this hotel we were able to rest easy and comfortably, thanks again to our friend Patrick!

Check back soon!

- The XC10 guys

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{ 2 trackbacks }

Some pictures from the finish
August 2, 2010 at 6:06 am
Joel’s final note
August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina Baker August 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

Congratulations on an amazing journey and achievement in the name of a great cause! Leisure Time Golf Course in Stow, Ohio will be hosting a golf tournament to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project on August 29th. Those of you who will be in Northeast Ohio are welcome to join us!

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Lynda and Craig Brady August 2, 2010 at 6:08 am

Congratulation boys! Great job!

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