Long armed "Rick the wall" taking a selfie with me as we prepare to cross the Hudson River
I was not sure what to expect as we prepared to roll out on Sunday to officially conclude the HAA odyssey. We had just modified the course to address safety concerns and George Mount and I were preparing to play sweeper and warn any riders that may have missed the updates to the route.
Of course, Rick the Wall volunteered to join the sweeping operation and Mike Elliot who had just arrived on a red eye flight decided to do the same. David and Tiernen Regan also joined in. We were a formidable team.
I worked on Don's bike to adjust it to fit Mike's smaller build. As Mike prepared to ride Don's bike, we were both overcome with emotion.
We rolled out gently. Not sure what to expect as we hit the hills, traffic, and narrow bridge passageway. We soon arrived at the old meet up point and sure enough we found a group of cyclists ready to join the fray.
Riders ready to go
We advised them not to ride over the bridge but our warnings went unheeded. They were determined to join, regardless of the dangers. Sue, shared she hadn't ridden a bike in 8 years. My comfort level went from concern to alarm. But there was no swaying her.
Sue calling the shots!
Initial trail riding is calm and serene
Tight squeeze in traffic
Then there were hills. George led us out and took us up the hills at a brisk pace. His climbing legs are back and I could hear suffering behind me. Tiernen, riding behind George seemed to welcome the challenge and I could sense that George was smiling. The joys of riding!
We reached our first stop lights and I looked back. Mostly smiles. Of course, put Mike on a bike and he always smiles...
Checking on the troops!
We arrived at the bridge and stopped at a first tier to wait for a signal from the camera crew to proceed.
Approaching the bridge over the Hudson River
Ride across America verteran Max waiting for signal to move on!
Tiernen enjoying the view
Soon we were on the way ...
Narrow passage ...
It wasn't long before we hit 56th street and rolled up the hill to 9th avenue. There we met the rest of the team, including Sean Maloney and ASUS Chairman, Jonney Shih
Jonney Shih, all smiles!
Sean Maloney, "Let's do it"
Here we go!
George Mount at the finish!!
Congratulations to Amy Brennen, Jaril Valenciano and Steve Pine for their parts in making this a superb finish.
My work though was not over. We had to coordinate loading up bikes in the van, figuring out how to get to lunch, unloading at hotel etc., and sending the van on it's way to California with Mike at the helm. As things moved forward I could see Dennis relaxing more and more. Kudos to him for doing such a spectacular job getting us to New York. Dennis, the Mother Hen driving Mother Goose!
This all went like clockwork, with the exception of David R. and Tiernen arriving at the hotel sans luggage and wallets and expecting the van to arrive.
The van was happily parked at B&H and we were enjoying a feast of a lunch. In the end he scraped enough money to get a cab to our lunch spot, so all was well.
As Mike and Rick drove off in the van, Dennis looked both relieved and sad.
By evening smiles were everywhere. .
The /Regan clan!
It's hard to believe the ride is over. I'm sitting at Starbucks with Diana, still processing yesterday.
Too early to even think about what the last 12 weeks have meant to me.
I'm currently feeling physically exhausted yet filled with relief and gratitude.
I will probably write one last blog capturing a recap of the adventure. :-)
Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement. Your comments and feedback have helped keep the fire burning. And a special thanks to friends, family, and caring new friends who came out to ride, provide support, or simply cheer us along the way. I don't have the words to tell you how much this has meant to me.