We started our morning at 6:50, leaving the boat ramp at Crystal River and heading into a beautiful sunrise. Left to right: Kory, Mikey P, me, and Kirt. Mikey P and Kory are riding FIXIES! Kirt's wife Susan, my wife Laura, my son Nate, and Mike (a friend) ran SAG for us providing all the necessities we needed.
On the first leg of the trip, Mikey P's bike broke down. He racked it and rode the rest of the way with my son Nate. Note for next year...make sure everyone has DETAILED maps of the route...the SAG's got lost!
Thankfully, the ride was uneventful. The truly impressive part of the whole trip was Kory riding his fixie. Not only did he keep up, he PULLED his fair share! As we approached the 100 mile mark in Deland, he sprinted up a hill leaving Kirt and I behind in his dust. He earned the right to cross the 100 Mile mark first, and he earned our respect.
Leaving Deland, we headed toward the last third of our journey.
As we crossed the 116 mile mark, the temperature cooled from the sea breeze, and we knew we were close. A headwind all the way to the end and one last hill to go. I looked at the bridge and thought, "Easy Money!" As we crested the hill, I noticed the railroad tracks under us and got that sinking feeling...the Intercoastal bridge showed itself and we all felt a little sick. Damn that thing was high and steep. Kory noted that this would finish his legs. I looked at Kirt and asked "Who came up with this idea?" Onward we went, each at our own pace. Kirt topped out first, then me, then Kory. WE MADE IT! Down the hill a quick left and we ended up at Flagler and Columbus and The Ocean!
Each of us celebrated our achievements and the first statement was, "I can't wait untill we do this again next year!"
My thanks to everyone who made this ride possible: My lovely wife for the sacrifices she made helping me get ready. My family, friends, co-workers, my riding partner Pete, and Forum-mates who prayed for our safety and success.
My thoughts after completing this ride? Life goes on though our loved ones have passed on. Everyone dies. Don't be sad they are gone, celebrate how they lived and be happy to have shared in their lives, if only for a moment. Pray. Ask for help. Believe in Guardian Angles. Share yourselves with others and enjoy their friendship.
Best regards to all,