Aug 18

Atlantic at last

by in Week 9

  • Durham, NH to Gloucester, MA
  • 63.8 miles
  • 4,291.5 miles total
  • 150,836′ of climbing total
  • Rain and sun and drizzle

We did it! We made it to the Atlantic Ocean on our own power! Woo hoo! What an accomplishment. We are ever so proud of ourselves and the entire cadre of cyclists we’ve been riding with all summer. That includes those who, for many reasons, couldn’t finish the ride. Life throws curve balls and one nailed a member of our team today. Jon from Idaho, a sweetheart of a guy, went down hard while crossing a railroad track 8 miles into today’s ride. He was unconscious for 2 minutes, but the doctors say he’ll be OK. He’ll have to finish the trip another time. He was being properly cautious from all accounts, but got caught anyway. We wish him a speedy recovery.

But let’s get back to the start of our story. Last night we ate at the University of New Hampshire – Durham. The food court was as big as a football field. They had everything you could imagine – burgers, ribs, salads, make your own stir-fry, desserts galore including fresh hot cookies. They had plenty of options for vegans, gluten-free people, etc. It was heaven after a long string of less than adequate meals on the road. Breakfast was just as good except they put chocolate chips in their pancakes. What a travesty. Leave the chips in the cookies, please.

It was raining steadily as we left. The plan was to get the whole group to the Gloucester High School which is one mile from the place we were going to dip our tires in the Atlantic. When the whole group got there, we’d get a police escort and go. Everyone was raring to go. We started in heavy raincoats and booties, but by 10 we’d slipped out of them because the rain had virtually stopped. It was in the first 8 miles that Jon fell. Motorists and cyclists helped him until the aid car came. After that, most people were much more cautious about the wet roads. Ric from Monroe fell and scrapped himself up only a mile or so from Jon’s accident. There was one more accident today. Alex, one of the Smyth-Osbornes, had dipped his tire and was riding back to the gym when a car hit him and bent his front tire. Fortunately Alex is OK, but his bike will need the wheel replaced before he can ride it again.

Our trip was uneventful. The rain made everything feel more homey. The towns were quintessential New England towns with town squares, gazebos, colonnaded porches, majestic city halls, classic stone walls, etc. Sheila felt right at home. We eventually arrived at Gloucester and crossed the “not quite” finish line at the school. Other riders cheered us in. Greg gave us all red, white and blue plastic leis. We signed the pavement and waited for the last arrivals, cheering on our comrades as they arrived.

When we all were in, we lined up behind a police car for the trip to the beach. Gloucester is having a waterfront festival this weekend, so we needed it to be able to navigate the throngs of cars and people. Locals were all wondering what the to do was about as we swarmed like lemmings to the Atlantic, the promised sea following the arrows used by the crew to get us to our final destination.

There was much joyous tire dipping. We smooched and don’t you love the look on Tim’s face? He’s like a grown son we never had. When we stood in the water and raised the tandem high, we were unconquerable. Leaving the water we had conversations with locals about what we’d done, why, how, and where. It was the first time we had to recap the whole trip in a few minutes. We’ll get more experience, but if you have been following the blog, you know the stories will go on and on and on.

Tonight we’re going on a whale watching tour after dinner. It’s the final celebration for all the coast-to-coasters and their friends and family.


25 Responses to “Atlantic at last”

  1. From Jim Flesch:

    Fran and I congratulate you on your wonderful accomplishment.

    Pls tell Jon we hope that he has a speedy recovery.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm #
  2. From Daria:

    CONGRATS….WTG….WOO HOO….YOU DID IT!!!!!!! I had tears in my eyes as I read your post and the pictures were fantastic. I feel sooo bad for Jon…wishing him a speedy recovery.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm #
  3. From Rita:

    You just completed the adventure of a lifetime! My word, what’s next?

    Congratulations!!! I enjoyed reading your posts. I had intended to catch up a week at a time over breakfast, but such good reading, couldn’t wait that long towards the end. And now your done and I’m done.

    I’ll be interested to hear of your co-housing endeavor. Keep me posted.
    All the best to you both,

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm #
  4. From dianne grob:


    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm #
  5. From Richard Chadek:

    Good job my friends.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm #
  6. From Margaret Kitchell:

    Congratulations from Jack and me. Great pictures of you at the ocean. Sorry to hear about Jon and hope he will be okay. See you when you get back.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm #
  7. From Janet Koran:

    Congratulations to ALL of you for making this awesome, amazing journey.
    Give Ted Koziel a special congratulations for me. I am so proud of all of you.
    And, the blogs were very interesting.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm #
  8. From Dale Dell'Ario:

    Congratulations guys. We’re proud of you too. We are holding summer here for you. It is rumored that Jeff is making me another rhubarb pie in which case I’ll save you a piece Spencer.

    Have a safe trip home.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm #
  9. From Dale Dell'Ario:

    And enjoy your free week to visit.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm #
  10. From Johnny C:

    Congratulations on a job well done. You have inspired me to take up the challenge 2 years from now. It was a pleasure meeting and riding with both of you.

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm #
  11. From Angeline Thomas:

    Congrats!! SO proud of you two! Can’t wait to celebrate in September. You’re unstoppable!

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm #
  12. From DeeDee Rixe:

    yipppeeee!!!! awesome ride and great accomplishment!!! love it. safe travels home…perhaps more than 2 wheels

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm #
  13. From Pramila:

    I’m a friend of Ric( from Monroe) and have been a big fan of your blog – CONGRATULATIONS guys !!!! fantastic achievement !!!

    Posted on Aug 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm #
  14. From Sean:

    Congratulations S&S! Welcome to the exclusive club of cross country cyclists 😉 Way to go!! So excited for you both to have realized this trip.

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 5:25 am #
  15. From Jeff Underhill:

    Never any doubt. You two have what it takes to accomplish amazing things. Congratulations. My only question is, what next?

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 7:42 am #
  16. From Stephan:

    Congrats. Whaf an amazing journey.

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 8:06 am #
  17. From Martha Jolly:

    I’ve read intermittently along your way this summer and have enjoyed and appreciated so much getting a small sense of the journey. What a great adventure – congrats to you and the rest of your riding team on your accomplishment! Glad you’ve arrived on the “right” coast safely; traveling mercies for the trip home.

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 8:49 am #
  18. From Tom Crawford:

    Thanks for the great BLOG.I found it hard to wait for each days entry.Tell Ted Koziell congrats,if he is still around.

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 8:55 am #
  19. From Ric Hart:

    I heard that Jon finished the journey when he got out of the hospital. What determination! I’m so happy for him. I know when I fell I was ready to get back on the bike and ride and almost, not quite annoyed with those that so nicely tended to my road rashes so they wouldn’t get infected. So I somewhat knew his feelings.

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 11:00 am #
  20. From Sheila Bender:

    Hardy congratulations! Impressive summer activity, that’s for sure!

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm #
  21. From ellen, vincent, shane, and cole:

    CONGRATULATIONS on accomplishing your goal and much more! Love, all of us

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm #
  22. From Kelly Van Horn:

    So proud of you guys!!!

    Posted on Aug 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm #
  23. From Kathy:

    Yahoo!!! Pat and I are really proud of you guys. xoxo

    Posted on Aug 20, 2012 at 11:41 am #
  24. From Carol and Francis:

    Big congratulations to you guys!!

    Posted on Aug 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm #
  25. From Anne Thomas:

    Just returning to Pennsylvania from the trip myself (well, Minnesota to Gloucester), this is my first good chance to look at your blog. It is fabulous, and i commend you for keeping it up every day. Congratulations on the blog and your ride. I enjoyed spending time with you two on the trip. Can’t wait to look at the whole blog. Cheers, Anne.

    Posted on Aug 22, 2012 at 4:35 am #