Mileage: 60 miles
Weather: Low 60s to start. Low 80s to end. Sunny. Winds out of the west.
Highlights of the day:
It’s definitely a day of mixed emotions for the staff. On the one hand, we are truly excited to see this ride to completion and celebrate this accomplishment with the riders. On the other hand, we want to keep going! We all really love this summer family of ours and, if it’s not obvious already, we love the cycling. Whether we’re on the bike or driving a support vehicle. I think we’re all just a little bit addicted.
It was a nice day for the last leg of the tour. Temperatures remained moderate all day long. Our only complaint about all the sun is that it impacted our pictures at the beach. It was in the wrong place. But then again, they will match nicely with most of our our state sign photos for the tour.
The first half of the ride provided us a few more New Hampshire style hills. They were short but with enough of a grade to keep the day interesting. They led to the one SAG stop of the day and the last SAG stop of the tour. Lots of fruit. Everyone had to eat a banana (or two). The stores had to be emptied. There were even left over cupcakes from last night’s celebration. From there we moved to our last food stop of the tour. Me & Ollie’s. It’s a coffee shop with great bakery goods. We swarmed in one last time and ate up most everything that wasn’t tied down. No fingers were lost.
We all gathered at the Rye Junior High at mile 48 for one last group photograph and opportunities to say goodbye. The riders were then escorted to Wallis Sands Beach by a police cruiser. We owned the road!
At the beach, friends and family greeted the riders with loud cheers as we pulled into the parking lot. Onlookers in beachwear looked curiously at these odd Lycra-clad people carrying their bicycles down to the water. We performed the necessary end of tour ceremonies. Front wheel dipping. Emptying the official water bottle containing seawater from the Pacific. Lots & lots of pictures. More hugs. More tears. And grins from ear to ear.
The last day comes to an end. One more motel for the final luggage drop. Bikes prepped for shipping. Last dinner shared with new friends. Vehicles return to the ABB office tomorrow. It’s time to go our separate ways but with a wealth of new experiences and friendships that will last a lifetime. This ends the Across America North blog for 2016. I know the “North” staff leaves for home with each of us planning his or her next ride for this summer. I hope we’re not the only ones.
Focus! Be safe! Have fun! :)