This is the wrap up. The Scotts Kid is officially retired. The whole experience has been surreal. I remember the morning of April 30th when I left Candlewood Lake. It was a cold 33 degrees (I don’t like riding anytime it is lower than 55). Jill and I were talking and I said I didn’t want to leave because of the cold and Jill said she didn’t want me to leave. I proposed hiding out and blogging from the basement which we both agreed would be the better choice but I got my gloves on and left.
The first days were difficult since I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into and had many decisions to make regarding food, shelter and path. Can’t tell you how many times I thought the best course of action would be just to turn around and go home. Not sure “one” particular thing kept me on the road but a big factor was my commitment too many people that I would make the West Coast – these were mostly family and friends that I had known for many years.
Somewhere along the way I started to experience the generosity and wisdom of “strangers” that quickly became “friends”. While this group includes people from many walks of life the one stand-out group are the professional fire fighters that are willing to risk their lives daily to protect people and property. These men and women are truly top notch and deserve our support any time we are positioned to do so. When you think about it one of the truest forms of “love” is when someone who is a stranger and has no skin in the game stops to help someone in need.
The second group of people that I think are exceptional are you the donors to the Pelotonia. There are so many different ways to spend your money and so many charities that are requesting your donations that I am humbled by your generosity. We ended up collecting (to date) $20,046 which is spectacular! While this is well short of my goal I realize that my efforts to make this a national movement were not up to par. Regardless the money we collected will go a long way “to end cancer in our lifetime” and for this I am eternally grateful to each of you.
This will be my last post as The Scotts Kid as my mission is over and I don’t have anything else to post about. I do plan on turning these blogs into a book of sorts. Haven’t done this before but figure it will be easier than taking a bike across the company. The intent is not to make money but to give you a collection of stories (given more thinking times I can add stories and facts to make it more interesting) that can be shared with those you know. I tried to collect the emails of everyone that gave a donation and once the book is together it will be shard with each of you.
Thought you might like some fun facts. These haven’t be substantiated in some cases but will be validated when I have more time. During the trip:
- The pedals were rotated around the axle about 1,187,190 times
- Took 50 days
- Consisted of 1 hard rain storm around Springfield MO. There were 2 or 3 other times when there was a light drizzle and many days when I was surrounded by storms.
- The West had a colder than average April (when I didn’t ride) and a warmer than normal May (when I did ride). This worked out to my considerable advantage.
- Two times when my bike wasn’t ride-able and I had to hitch hike for support (truth be told this embarrassed both MG and I but what are you gonna’ do?
- One time when I had to walk my bike to Walmart to get tube and tire.
- Picked up one time by a fellow bike rider who saw me struggling with the wind and felt like I could use a boost
- Picked up another time by a fellow bike rider who didn’t know where I was going but did know a major storm (with an associated tornado watch) was rapidly catching me from behind
- One major malfunction which was a defective back rim which kept putting pinholes in the back tube (sometimes it leaked and sometimes it didn’t) which was confusing and greatly delayed the final repair.
- Rode on the Amtrack train from Fullerton, CA to Albuquerque, NM. It was fun watching the world go by when previously I could only watch the trains go by
- Rode the High Speed Ferry which was a blast. Allowed me to see son #1!
- Ate breakfast at McDonald’s and dinner at Subway more times than I can count
- Most memorable experience (and embarrassing now that I think about it) was having to walk up a hill with a 3000 foot elevation that took about 4 hours. During the climb I had no energy to ride up the hill and not walking very fast. When I finally got to the top I was so tired I could only lay tarp, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag down. While setting up the “camp site” I started shivering and couldn’t stop. I climbed into the sleeping bag and as the shivering stopped and the wind kept finding a way into the sleeping bag I felt such a “oneness with the universe” and sense of peace that I will never forget that night.
- The day after I returned to Mt. Gilead it rained, hard! Very much an example of the luck I experienced throughout the trip. Mother Nature was very kind to me.
Again thanks to all of YOU donors and trip supporters!!!! You made the trip doable and kept me going. My one final wish is that the kindness you have shown me in a time of need is returned to you many times over. Trust that it made me a better person that will try to do the same in the future.
Signing off . . .