Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Last Day of the Ride

Ms. Pat and me at Easton
I have been home for two days and will be writing a post on reflections from the whole trip in about a week or two, but I want to let you know about the last day including a great ride with the MidShore ABATE group and the wrap party orchestrated by Ms. Pat of the VFW post in Easton, MD.  The group ride was about 77 miles each way, and it was hot and a weekend day so the traffic was not always going at the speed limit.  I was sorry that I got these women and men involved in this roasting ride. 
But we made it to the beach and they saw to it that we got back safe and sound.  I could not stop smiling as our group blasted down the road together, I really enjoyed that time of being Not Alone!

Those of you who know me as a rider know that I seldom ride with others, and I had a few things to learn about about group riding with these pros.  But we made it back and they were most gracious in putting up with my sloppy style.  You can see more photos on the ABATE website.

We arrived at Ocean City Beach at a little after 2PM and I walked out to the water and soaked my old combat boots in the Atlantic the same as I did a few days earlier in the Pacific.  It sure felt better in that hot weather on the east coast.

Then we rode back to Easton, MD and the fun began.  It took me some time to realize it was over.  Standing in the water did not trigger the "I did it!" response.  After all, I still had to get on the bike and ride back to Easton. 

ABATE members presenting check to Not Alone
But when I pulled into the parking lot of the VFW hall and saw a welcoming crowd assembled it hit me.  8200 plus miles in 30 days was now over.  And the party was great!  Ms. Pat had arranged for the mayor to present me with a proclamation, a key to the city and lots of local folks were there to help me enjoy the evening.

A live band was there to play the song that had been stuck in my head (Stairway to Heaven) for much of the trip, I got to see my wife after 30 days apart, and my daughter and son-in-law and grandson were there as well.

We raised another $500 for Not Alone and ate until we could hold no more.

Thanks to ABATE, the VFW folks and all who were involved in making this last day a highlight of the month long ride.

Lessons Learned:  Riding with a group is a gas!

Thanks to all of you for your support, and stay tuned for at least one more post with reflections on multiple aspects of the ride: Bike stuff, social stuff, spiritual stuff and some funny pictures.  No more animal videos - I promised!  Subscribed to the blog on the left menu to get an email when i get the next one published or friend Ron Angert of Facebook where I also announce new posts.

1 comment:

Pattianne said...

Yes riding with a group is a Gas especially ABATE. The best part of all of this was watching your face and let you know that there are people out there, they were so appreciative of what you did for our soldiers . Ron you are never ALONE.