Unlike all the past mornings, every rider seemed to be awake, dressed and ready to ride by 5:30 am. No one seemed to sleep in. The tents were all mostly down. And instead of a garden full of tents, the grass was showing all around. I could smell the yummy aroma of sausages. I slept in my cycling clothes (a trick I learned from veteran riders) So when my stomach started to grumble, I hurried over to the breakfast line and held out my plate. We had biscuits, sausage and oatmeal. I've learned to appreciate the fibrous benefits of oatmeal. :)
Now onto the road. Nature provided a beautiful day for us to ride home. The sun was hot but not too hot and the wind was a soft breeze. We felt happy to be going home and kind of sad that we were leaving our utopian world of peace and harmony. I'm going to miss all the hugs we shared in the morning. All the tears we shared.
I thought of all the flickering candle lights and whisper of the waves last night at the vigil. We all stood there at the edge of the shore silently reflecting, remembering and hoping.
We've completed our quest. We rode from San Francisco to LA. Together with our families , friends, sponsors and well wishers, we went on an odyssey to do something to better the world. What a journey we have all been on.
As I pedaled along the ocean, I thought of the wonderful people who accepted me the way I was and trained me for this ride. I thought of Sir Mel, who is the world's knight in shining armor. He is always there to slay all the dragons that try to hold us all back. And his Lady Chris, who taught me never to coast. In life you have to keep on pedaling. There's Steph, our team 100 captain, who always greeted me with her big warm smile. Of course Brendan is the ride personified. Bringing joy with his decorated helmets. Encouraging all riders with his playfulness and charm. I'm proud to be one of his possums. He is truly a special human being. Super Doreen who one morning had all riders dancing to the "hustle." There's Eric, Peter and Erin who helped remove the fear I had from shifting my gears. Beth and Leslie. The two women who took me from bring a person who had no clue to a person with the power to make a difference. I'm grateful to these mentioned and many many more.
It does take a village doesn't it? We all did it. We all took this journey together. When I road into the VA, and all the people were cheering and waving signs, I knew for sure that one day, AIDS/HIV will be a thing of the past. We will ALL make sure of it. Wow, now that I'm home, after a few days of rest, I'm going to train to be a better rider for next year's ride........ oops did I say next year :)
Thanks and love to everyone !!!