August 20, 2015
This was Day 21 of Petoji. It was the last long day and once it was over I knew I was actually going to achieve my goal of riding across the country. I had a few long days before this- 178 on Day 5, 175 on Day 7, and 180 on Day 13. The same rules applied on all of them: don't fall behind nutrition and hydration.
It was foggy early, which was fun and added to the scenery. As the day went on the fog wore off and it got hot and humid. By the end of the ride there were storm clouds in the distance and I saw a rainbow. There was a little bit of everything on this ride. It seemed fitting that the day would end with a rainbow. Petoji was almost over and my pot of gold was just within reach. I only had 121 miles on Day 22 and 60 miles on Day 23.
As I write this post, it's been less than a week since I finished Petoji. It still doesn't seem real to me. I've had this dream for more than 10 years. I always felt like I was physically capable of the ride, but where would I find the time and money to do it? Well, the truth is that I never found either one. The original goal was 30 days, which had to shrink down to 23. When it comes to the money, let's just say that this wasn't the most financially responsible thing for me to do right now and leave it at that. But you know what? I did it anyway.
They say a dream is a goal without a plan. For most of those 10 years, riding across the country was a dream. Early in 2014 I broke my hip and things changed. What if something worse happened and I never got the chance to ride again? Something like that could happen at any time. I better ride as much as I can while I'm still able. Riding across the country was always my biggest bike dream, so why not start there?
About a year and a half later, I did it. The dream got a plan. That's all it really took.