MAA – Epilogue – Reflections on a Month of Cycling Across America

 

 

Hi again – I get to relax in the RV on the way back to California, so I am taking some time to reflect on my month of cycling across our great country. I hope you had fun tagging along and getting a glimpse into what it was like. The following are some retrospective thoughts about the experience.

TRIP STATS

  • Start – Finish: San Francisco, California to Plymouth, Massachusetts
  • Days Riding – 32.5 plus prologue
  • Rest days – 0
  • Miles – 3569IMG_5704
  • Most miles in one day – 146.5 (Austin, NV to Ely, NV)
  • Feet climbed – 102,450
  • Highest point – 8062 feet (Colorado)
  • Most feet elevation gained in one day – 8288IMG_4236
  • Number of states touched – 16
    • CA, NV, UT, WY, CO, NE, IA, IL, IN, MI, OH, PA, NY, MA, CT, RI (ended back in MA)IMG_5837
  • Dogs giving chase – 36
    • Dog deterrent air horn used – 4xIMG_5428
  • Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) Comfort Dogs met – 12
    • Aaron (send off from home), Cubby, Moses, Eddie, Joy, Katie, Gracie, Shami (early morning send off in Illinois), Barnabas, Anna, Lydia, Obadiah – And they are all looking out for us on the way home!IMG_5827
  • Mechanical Issues – SAG Actual got really good at fixing/maintain things!
    • Flat Tires – 5 (I had one the day before the last ride – slow leak found at camp)
    • Brake pads replaced – 1 set
    • Rearview mirror replaced – 1
    • Chain dirt and grime cleaned – dailyIMG_5306
  • Times caught in rain – 3
  • Highest temperature on road – 104.6 degrees (according to Garmin)
  • Weight lost – 12 lbs.

OBSERVATIONS/LEARNINGS

  • I have a GREAT SAG Team!DSC01816
  • The sweet spot for riding is between 6 and 10 am.DSC01655
  • I don’t like riding in the wind (especially head wind)!
  • I don’t like rumble strips!IMG_4364
  • I am directionally challenged.
  • Biggest Surprise – that I liked Nebraska
  • I have the best supportive friends ever!IMG_5834IMG_5836
  • Best ride – day 15 – Gothenburg to Grand Island, NE – nice smooth road, flat, slight tail wind, moderate temperature (100 miles in under 6 hours).DSC01407
  • Hardest ride – day 12 –  Fort Collins, CO to Sterling, CO (103 miles) – lots of wind!
  • Prettiest scenery – California for awe inspiring, dramatic views and New York for absolute, serene beauty.IMG_4298DSC01738
  • Best barns – IowaDSC01552
  • Friendliest state – Nebraska
  • Best RV Park – Streetsboro, OH KOA (and then Dayton Ohio KOA after the ride)
  • Best bike path – Des Moines, IA
  • Best road – Route 6 in IL from Marseilles to Joliet
  • Worst road – Service and frontage road along Union Pacific Railway West DSC01174Wendover, NV to Salt Lake City, UT
  • Coolest experience – riding along prancing Antelope on the way to Laramie, WY
  • Dogs love to chase bikes.
  • This was a one and done adventure.
  • The vastness of this country is incredible.DSC01133
  • Riding across the country 100 miles at a time was easier than I thought and harder than I imagined (hard to explain).
  • When I asked for a sign along the way…
  • You get to take a new road/go in a new direction only at the top of a hill – never happens at the bottom – you must climb first!
  • Descents are the best!!! (This is what it was like coming down from Spooner Pass)
  • Scoobert is a dog that is too big for an RV!IMG_4345
  • Reconnecting with friends and family is great! Don’t wait to do it.IMG_5711
  • Downshift before you stop. No, really. Downshift BEFORE you stop!
  • America is not flat (except for parts of Nebraska)DSC01206
  • Even Iowa has hills, lot’s of hills!
  • My faith in humanity has been made stronger.
  • There are a lot of good people out there!IMG_5344
  • Respect the checklist! We learned early on that I needed a checklist to make sure I remembered everything. I forgot things every day! (Things forgotten: tail light, Camelbak, sunglasses, food, sunscreen, helmet, more…)Checklist
  • Respect the SAG team! They have a different vantage point and are extremely helpful!IMG_5051
  • Cycling gets you a great tan. LOLIMG_5726

This is likely my last post for a while. There will be more adventures/goals coming up and I may write about them as well, but I’m pretty sure nothing will be as epic as this one was! Apparently, this is the end of the path for now. 😉IMG_5080

God is good! Ride on!

 

 

22 thoughts on “MAA – Epilogue – Reflections on a Month of Cycling Across America”

  1. Thanks for sharing…..it was epic and I loved experiencing it vicariously thru your posts and pics❤️ You are one tough cookie ( and the sweetest too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your great adventure with us. It was nice reading all your daily posts and pics and sharing experiences and people that you’ve met along the way from the day you started your adventure. May God bless you always and ride on!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great recap. Loved it. The signs were the best. Showed perscpective from other areas. Want to have a conversation about a few of them. Hmmmmm. Thank you for staying in touch with us so well. Hope you have a nice ride home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michelle, reading this last post brings tears to my eyes!!! I am so very proud of you and your family taking this trip across America, to bring awareness to MS! (sister)

    The best part, the long and vigorious journey you took on, a personal challenge, a test to your well being, and confirmed the part of plan God has put in your path. You DID it!!!

    I don’t know you personally BUT I feel like I do. We are all here to witness your Personal Triumph and learn all you have from the past month, all you have mentioned here.

    Can I use this quote from Mary Poppins: Supercalifragilisticexpialdocious!!!!! Again, thank you for sharing this journey with all of us, I learn a BIG personal lesson from you and most, God is in Control.

    For now and future, ride on! ( I wish you have a sidecar!!) LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Absolutely amazing and wonderful journey! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. I’m sure so many of us would like to be able to have the time, the strength, and the conviction to do a similar trip. This country is so beautiful, and you got to see so much of it first hand. Were your pictures near a lake in California at Lake Tahoe? I love that place, it’s so gorgeous! So glad your family was able to tag along with you and support you the way they did. Your experience is one that very, very few people can relate to. Thanks again for all the posts and for sharing it with all of us. Ride on–with health!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great recap Michele. I’m thinking a book might be in order!?! Or at least a big scrapbook!! (I’ll help):)
    I’m so happy that the comfort dogs far outnumbered the “chased by” dogs! Anda
    I’ve enjoyed your posts so much-I’ve been detoxing without them the past few days 😂
    Looking forward to you guys getting home! Safe travels and enjoy the ride and the view this time from a nice soft cushy chair and air conditioned RV. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my, it’s frightening what I can do to screw up a post. Like my new name?? This is Penni if you haven’t figured that out yet🙃🤣😂😂
      The other thing I was trying to add was this: of the things you might have forgotten each day here are a few you didn’t: a positive attitude, tons of perseverance, an amazing faith, a fun sense of humor, and an adventurous go-get-it done effort! We have all
      been inspired! Blessed to be a blessing!

      Like

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