We, Ale and I, had an enjoyable dinner last night with Ken and Marianne, Ken’s grilled chicken and Marianne’s vegetables and salad. Sandi wasn’t with us because she had to delay her flight so she could take Sky to the vet with what turned out to be an ear infection. Even though Sandi didn’t get in until after midnight, we were glad that she had stayed home to get Sky taken care of before we return home next week.
Sandi got to meet Marianne and Ken at breakfast when we all enjoyed Ken’s steel cut oatmeal for which he is renowned. This was just a small part of the great hospitality we were shown in the Klaymans’ home. I am so glad for Ken’s invitation that revived a great friendship.
The first, and likely most important goal, was met this morning before I even started riding. It occurred when I found an envelope labeled “Lazarex Cancer Foundation” sitting on my suitcase. I was thrilled to see that Ken had put us over the $10,000 mark so that we reached this year’s goal. (That does NOT mean that additional contributions will not still be greatly appreciated.) THANK YOU Ken and everyone else who has supported this effort with your generosity and enthusiasm. I am proud to have been part of this effort and I am proud to know so many people who have contributed to this very worthy cause. I haven’t added up all 4 years, but I believe we are very close to having raised $50,000 to assist breast cancer victims. I think that we can all be very proud of that effort.
(Leaving San Diego)
Today’s ride in itself was pretty unremarkable. It was mainly urban riding which means that there was little opportunity to get up any speed because of the various stop signs, traffic signals, rough surfaces and intersections. But none of the ride was bad, either. Virtually all of the roads were reasonable, the traffic wasn’t oppressive, the undulating roads provided some climbs, there were no worrisome crosswinds and I knew that the end was in sight. And, of course, the weather was ideal.
(Just before the Border)
The finish itself was pretty anticlimactic. I met Ale and Sandi shortly before the border to try to coordinate our crossings so that they could photograph me entering Mexico. There were a few problems with that plan, however.
(Approaching the Border)
For one, unlike when I have crossed the Canadian border in either direction, bicycles don’t cross at the same point as do motor vehicles. Instead, they cross with pedestrians, which are numerous. Because they are numerous, I couldn’t ride my bike, but had to walk it to and across the border. Plus, the crossing itself occurred in a building that sported “No photographs” signs. After I had my passport stamped by Mexico, I had to WALK out of the building.
Then, when I finally got through the building and the pedestrian walk way, Sandi and Ale were no where to be seen. They had entered Mexico at a totally different location. Though they left me a message saying that they were at Costco, I couldn’t reach them because the directions I got from 2 locals landed me on a freeway. Going the wrong direction. I had to turn around and walk off because although the clearance should be the same whether I am going with or against the traffic, seeing the vehicles racing towards me is more terrifying than I can stand. Maybe there is truth to the statement that ignorance is bliss.
It was only thanks to Ale’s skill in using her locator app that we finally found each other and that was on a busy street that did not lend itself to any photo ops. This ending was so unlike Nick’s and my finish in St. Augustine in 2016 when we actually had people cheering us. Or when Sandi and Ale greeted us – “us” because local Bob Bernoth joined me for most of the last leg – at the well defined finish at the ocean in Portsmouth in 2017. Or even when Johnny Ward met me at the pier in Key West where I finished last year’s ride.
Despite that, however, another goal was achieved by crossing the border even if the crossing was not commemorated or preserved by a photograph. In turn, completing Laura’s ride West Coast achieved another goal that had become important to me, namely riding around the entire USA. “Twice Across + 2” has now been accomplished.
I hope to see many of you on September 14 at the Completion Of The Journey potluck bbq in Lafayette. Let me know if you are interested so I can provide more info.
I will post some reflections after my thoughts have had a chance to marinate for a while.
Until then, thank you for your support and generosity.