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  • Writer's pictureJoe.Cannon

Day 51: I did it! Coast-to-Coast in 51 Days on My Bicycle

Just want to see the finish--scroll to the bottom of this post.


Day 51 was the final day of my ride. I was anxious. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. and could not fall back to sleep. After tossing and turning for more than an hour I just got up and started getting ready. Chris, because of her Covid (still mild symptoms) had her own hotel room. It was already drizzling outside, but the forecast indicated it might let up soon and not rain until around noon. I seemed to be slow getting out of the gate though. I am not sure if maybe I didn't really want this journey to end. I didn't plan on it, but when I saw a McDonalds right after I left, I stopped and grabbed a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit.


This blog post will be shorter than usual. It only covers one day. Between the rain and the nature of the ride, I didn't meet any interesting people along the way. And I am actually on the road back to Fort Collins.


I finished the ride around 2:00. After some ceremony, you have to dip your front wheel in the other ocean and take some pictures, we went to the Yorktown Pub which Chris found conveniently located near the ride's terminus. After a big burger, clam chowder, and three beers we were back on the road. Chris drove, and I woke up two hours into our 26 hour return drive. I thought Chris was driving very fast, too. Chris normally drives much slower than the average highway driver--and she was driving her usual pace. When "wheeeee" means riding 40 mph down a hill, going 70 feels really fast. I am going to have to drive today.


If you are interested, I have ideas for at least two more blog posts. I need some time to process the whole ride and reflect on what I learned and what completing this BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) means to me. I want to write about that. I am also a data geek and want to do some analysis of the ride and envision another post along those lines. So it those thoughts interest you, check back in the next few days.


Riding


Day 51: 94 miles, 1998 elevation (no wheeees today)

That forecast for no rain until noon proved incorrect. I was soon riding in on and off light drizzle/rain. The temperatures were in the low 70s, so it was not that uncomfortable. That said, the weather, and probably my anxiousness to get to the end, made it tough to stop and take pictures. And this was easily the most significant, from a historic standpoint, leg of the whole ride. I rode through the area of the Seven Days Battles of the Civil War. More than 36,000 soldiers died in this week long series of battles. And the TransAmerica Trail ends/begins at Yorktown Victory Monument which celebrates one of the most significant battles of the America Revolution. Plus, the route took me through historic colonial Williamsburg.


Other than getting confused and lost in Williamsburg, the ride was pretty pleasant. The ride starts by riding through those battlefields. Then at about mile marker 30, the route goes on the Virginia Capital Trail. This is a great 35 mile stretch. A triathlon was using some of the same trail, and that was a bit inconvenient in spots. After getting confused and lost in Williamsburg, I finally found the scenic Colonial Parkway which took me from Williamsburg right into Yorktown. After a bit of winding along the coast, I made my way to the monument where Chris helped capture the "Kodak" moment, there is a video of me riding up to


Photos and video from the day...

Here are some pictures I took along my drizzly ride. The rain kept me from taking more.


In battlefield country, I met some of my relatives who survived. This is a Civil War era Cannon from the Seven Days Battle.


The Virginia Capital Trail had lots of this...

...and some of this...

...and this.



No photos from Williamsburg, where it was rainy and I was frustrated and lost. But it was a very cool area that linked me to the very scenic Colonial Parkway. It was hard to stop and take photos on the parkway, but it was tree-lined and I rode about 15 miles on it. Here it is near the end.


Here is the good stuff, I finished...


Rolling up to the Yorktown Victory Monument... [If video does not show use this link: https://youtube.com/shorts/77wga8Gpfpo?feature=share ]



Some ceremonial photos. I have mentioned that Yorktown Victory Monument is the official start/finish (depending on direction you go) for the TransAmerica Trail.


And then the ceremonial wheel dip.



That is the story of my final day. Thanks for reading and watching.


Chris and I still have two long days of driving ahead of us. I will make at least a couple of follow-up blog posts, if you are interested, do check back. And let me know what you think by commenting below (if you can figure that out, I know, not easy), or send me an email or text.


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19 Comments


ggundlac
Mar 30, 2023

Congrats Joe. Super cool!! Incredible accomplishment. Rest and enjoy your time as you transition to retirement!! Greg G.

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richardmcore
Jul 29, 2022

Congratulations!! I’m just now catching up. I noticed your mention that you felt you needed time to process your trip. That’s the state of mind I’ve been in. It’s been a month since I finished, and I’m still remembering and processing things that got pushed to the back of my brain as I was focused on the day-to-day for nearly three months. Will be looking forward to your reflections!

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Colin Mallen
Colin Mallen
Jul 22, 2022

Belated congratulations Joe, great to meet you and thanks so much for your generous donation.

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janmorgan3778
janmorgan3778
Jul 11, 2022

Congratulations Joe. Enjoyed your posts and adventures.

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Charles Ebert
Charles Ebert
Jul 11, 2022

Congratulations! What an achievement. I'm glad you got to do this and I'm glad it went well. Looking forward to other blog posts you hinted at.

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