Looks great from the photo's

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Day 82 - Eugene to Florence - THE END

Start time: 06.53
Start location: Eugene
Start State:
Start weather: Overcast and cold
Total millage so far:

Finish time: 16.30
Finish location: Florence
Finish State:
Finish weather: Hot
Miles today: 84.34
Total millage so far: 4,336.90
Today's top speed: 35.2
Today's average speed:  14.8
Today’s ride time: 5hr 38min 57sec
Punctures - 8 (slow back wheel), (staple in back wheel), (major blowout), (back wheel 31/7/12) , (back wheel 01/8/12), (front wheel, slowly over past week, suddenly flat as stopped at hotel 07/8/12), (BANG after being mended from earlier 07/8/12), (2miles from the end 08/8.12)

Music played:

Rod Stewart - The Story So Far - The Very Best Of
Kate Bush - The Whole Story
The Big Chill

Blog for today:

 Ok here goes.  I'm writing this a few days later as I've not had time before.  As always its harder to put into words what happened and to try and remember things too.  The morning started out as another ride, albeit the last one.  Everyone had mixed emotions about it, it was hard to take it in.  The weather was cold and we had to leave the big city for the cycle lanes out of town and into the countryside.  It was grey and cold, I put on both coats in the end just to keep warm.  The scenery for the majority of the last day looked just like back home.  I could have been cycling around Kent or Sussex & Surrey, same temperature and types of trees.  The roads were slightly busy, mostly with logging trucks again, you could see huge swaths of forest having been cut down recently.  

In Oregon their is much more gardening, in that people take more pride or spend more time and money in making their gardens look nice.  The flowers today were lovely.  Wee stopped off for a coffee and some food early on in the ride, I had skipped breakfast as I didn't feel like eating anything, so I picked up a muffin with some bacon etc in it.  The next big stop for second breakfast was this little place on the main road.  An old cafe with a young lady working behind the counter all on her own, making the meals one at a time.  To say the service was slow would be an understatement.  There must have been about 8 of us in there before the locals started turning up.  I think some of them said they would come back later lol.  The  food looked good, but I just had toast then had a little nap while the others waited for their food.  I had taken a couple of sleepers the night before to help me sleep as the ear plugs don't always help. I think I was still under the influence of them as I was still tired.  

After breakfast there was a little climb, and it was pretty small. I was expecting something a bit bigger, oh well.  On we pedalled, sometimes as a group, sometimes pulling away when there was a nice downhill to ride.  It was hard to  concentrate that day.  From the off people were going through red lights, not stopping at white lines and pulling in front of cars.  After a few hours on the road people settled down some and got into the ride.  My mind was every here though, not able to stick on one thing for more than a few seconds.  What to do when I get back, memories of The ride so far, friends and family and loved ones who have died.  The miles counted down and before long we could start to smell the sea!  WOW what a lovely smell that was.  I started going faster and faster, taking on the hills with no problem, poor Ublad didn't know what was going on so had to work hard too to keep up, swapping places as the off-shore wind was becoming stronger.  I stopped to take a photo of a house on a bridge when I got another puncture!  2miles out from the finish line!!!  Can you believe it, sucks or what!!  Pretty much all my punctures have happened in the last month, many in the last week!  I pulled over and started working on it in the shade.  Luckily the others turned up just as I was starting to put the new tube in.  Jake worked his magic and put it back on in record breaking time, then we were off again.  

1mile to go!!!  Not far now.  To the hotel to sort ourselves out, wait for the others, dump our bike bags, pick up the fireworks and have a quick drink and beer.  Then we were off to the beach.  This was it, the final ride, the last part of the adventure, dipping the front wheel into the Pacific Ocean.  Less then 3months earlier we had put our back wheels into the Atlantic and set off on this crazy odyssey.  We sadly lost Ollie early on in the trip, but at least Jake, his son, had taken his place for the final week.  Across the bridge and turning off to the beach and dunes.  Everyone excited.  Where would Ben be, would he make it??  Yes he did. phew!

We pulled into the car park, got all our stuff together.  I had packs of fireworks stuffed up my bag for the whole ride, so felt a little like Wile E Coyote about to be blown up lol.  Up and over the high dunes and there it was, the Ocean, after over 4000miles, 11 States?  I forget now lol, we had made it, made it to the Pacific.  What a sight as the other riders carried their bikes across the sand to the waters edge.  Ben waving the flag and trying to unfold his banner in the winds haha.  Lots of photos were taken and everyone dipped their wheels in the water, what an atmosphere.  The Then we held a little memorial for Ollie and each of us took some of his ashes to the sea and let him go.  Very emotional.  We let some fireworks which we had been carrying for the past 2months, since Kentucky and that was it.  We carried our bikes back over the dunes, the adventure over.  Three months of cycling across a continent had come to an end, our dreams had come true.  There are many memories with this trip, some sad but mostly happy.  Memories I will take with me forever.  New friends made have been made, US & UK relations restored, a empire rebuilt lol.  It has been great and I am sure I will be adding more to the blog over the coming weeks.  The computer has been playing up today, so not sure if all i have written has come out.  I guess if you want to know more about the trip, then you will just have to talk to me :)  

There is so much more to write and talk about, a few days ago we saw a car being driven early in the morning by a guy wearing a hat but with no windscreen in the car!  odd.  The motorbikers in Mitchell with handle bar mirrors in the shape of the German iron cross.  Yesterday while driving up the coast we saw whales in the ocean which was amazing.  It will be odd not cycling 80odd miles each day and not seeing the group too, made lots of good friends and had lots of funny times.  No more cookingor bloody sandwhiches though!!  .  I wonder if our fitness levels will drop fast when we get home, it will be odd to have missed the whole summer, even though apparently it has been the worst on record.  Anyway, got to get up now.  Back to London tomorrow.

Good luck boys in my bag.Camera lens needed cleaning, so all todays photo's are messed up.  I will just have to do the ride again lol
 Getting ready to leave
 I think he has been waiting 3months to see this sign
 paint your body?
 Last day of junk food
 57 miles to go
 Breakfast first though, second breakfast which lasted 2hours - almost

 Christmas is coming!
 Hey grandad, time to finish off the ride.

 Been away from some time?
 Getting closer
 The Fall Guy?
 Can smell the sea!!
 House on a bridge, then a flat tire
 1 mile to go
 Catalogue pose
 Woop woop
 The long walk up and over the dunes to get to the ocean.
 Made it!
Ben arrives just in time with flag, banner and champers
 I've done it!

 At last, I've turned the Yanks into Brits!


Nice view from my hotel


  1. Congratulations to all of you. A real achievement to be proud of. Your photos, in particular, told the story and were great. Thanks, Mark

    1. Cool, glad you liked and followed our adventure. It's nice to be home though. It still feels like a dream though, something which happened to someone else

    2. Yes, I think back to the Southern Tier crossing; the people and the places frequently. Soon it'll be time to start planning the next big adventure. It gets in your blood.

    3. maybe, who knows. back to the gym and the spin bike tomorrow - exciting! lol