Posted by: robinson2000 | August 31, 2012

The Final Push

30th August

We woke up bright and early feeling joyous and optimistic about the day ahead. It was to be our final day on the bikes and the only thing from stopping us from finishing our Maine to Miami adventure was a short 40 mile ride to South Pointe Park. We had chosen this finish point since it is located at the very bottom of South Miami Beach and had a nice looking pier to mark the end.

We were both feeling slightly more refreshed after grabbing a descent night’s sleep in our cheap motel and headed out to find a good restaurant to have a celebratory breakfast. We didn’t need to cycle far since we had found a touristy collection of restaurants the previous evening, overlooking the beach. When I say it was a celebratory breakfast, I in fact chose the same thing that I’ve eaten all holiday, 2 pancakes and a bagel with cream cheese. It was a winning combination and one that I wasn’t about to alter on the last day. As we left the restaurant a couple of old Jewish gentlemen struck up conversation and quizzed us about our ride. One of them was very hands on and began prodding the wheels and playing with the GPS computer. “Steady on, old man”, I thought, this is a highly tuned machine, which has just carried me the length of the country and doesn’t need your podgy digits poking it. We quickly said our goodbyes and pressed ahead with the ride.

The first 10 miles took us parallel with the beach and provided wonderful views of the golden sand and the ocean. As we passed one stretch of beach, a lady on the side of the road waved us down to stop. She turned out to be a reporter and clearly in need of a story as she quizzed us on our journey and took down our details. Hopefully we’ll be front page news tomorrow and have a press huddle waiting outside our hotel.

After the gorgeous views of the ocean, the route snaked its way in land and took us towards Fort Lauderdale Airport. Airports are never enjoyable places to cycle around and this was no different as the road we needed was closed and we were sent on a wild detour on a huge highway and then around a building site. Splattered with mud, we left the chaos of the highway behind us and followed a road back to the coastline. It took us back the Highway A1A and from what my GPS device told me, it was as simple 20 miles down to the pier. It was a really enjoyable 20 miles, with the blocks ticking by easily as we weaved in and out of the traffic. With 5 miles left I pedalled as hard as I could towards the finish line. All the pain and aches from the previous 2400 miles seemed to melt away as the final few miles flew by and it finally felt all worthwhile. I rolled onto the cobbles of the park and saw a straight stretch all the way down to the pier. It was a wonderful feeling to apply the brakes at the end of the pier and finally say, I’ve done it. Words don’t really describe the relief that washed over me as I waited a few moments for Chris to catch up and share the moment. It was excellent.

We stood about for a while, basking in the moment and taking some photos to commemorate the occasion. As a final act to mark the moment, we dumped the grotty tent in a dustbin at the end of the pier. Although it had done us proud for two tours, it was now half broken and covered with the blood of many splattered mosquitos. It was also a bitter reminder of some of the awful night’s sleep we had experienced over the trip. To cap off the moment we sat outside in the nearest restaurant, which happened to be a Smith & Wollensky’s, and celebrated with a beer and some food. We had been cycling for 36 of the last 38 days, covering an average of nearly 70 miles per day, battling extreme weather conditions from searing temperatures to gale-force winds and rain to complete the ride in the time we had, so I think a treat was in order. We didn’t go too crazy as we had a beer and shared a calamari.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading and following the ride and of course a huge thanks to everyone who has donated to such a worthwhile cause.

Total Mileage: 2420

Miles Remaining: 0

 

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Responses

  1. Enjoy your sunshine in Miami, I hope you get a hero’s welcome when you get home, fantastic cycling and great writing too (and graph – only a Maths teacher would have thought of that…)! Well done again…

  2. Goodness you did it !! What a feat. Hope you are now basking in the sunshine.

  3. Congratulations to you and Chris – what an epic journey. I might even buy you a beer on your return – a takeaway might be a bit too extravagant. Ask Chris if he would like a tow around the M25. Be safe. Love. Dad

  4. Well done both of you on your mammoth trip and Ben should take up Dad’s offer of a drink , it only happens once in a life time!!!!See you soon, enjoy the rest.
    sue and Mick x

  5. An inspirational adventure for an important cause. Congratulations and hope you’ve enjoyed relaxing in Miami!


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