The next to last ride had a little bit of everything: anticipation of the finish, looking forward to meeting a new group of cyclists, a drawbridge, light rain, tailwind, boardwalk, and a touch of headwind. There was also an unexpected encounter and reconnection with family on the eve of the last ride.
The rain was supposed to happen during the night, but it lingered into the morning. However, it was light and the temperature was not cold. By getting well beyond the marathon route in Dover yesterday, I had only 22 miles left to cycle to Milton DE where I would be meeting several folks from the local Sussex Cyclists bike club for the first time at the Happy Cow Deli. We came from different directions with completely different wind and we arrived at the exact same time!
It wasn’t too early to eat and I finally had access to really good food, including microgreens grown by Ted, the owner, right in the store! That was a very nice change after weeks of grilled cheese sandwiches.
With the cyclists, I would return to familiar beloved areas where I had trained – Cape Henlopen State Park and Gordon Pond Trail. I’d also cycle on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, something I’d never done. At any point in the last two days, I could have arrived at the Atlantic Ocean, but I wanted to arrive there at Bethany Beach where we have so many family memories.
With all the scenic and nostalgic cycling done for the day, I had to get to my hotel. That meant turning northward and cycling into headwind for a short distance. I was reminded how charmed the weather had been for my trip. I had had headwind for only 23 miles in over 3000 miles. I had had one real rainy day, one day with twenty minutes of drizzle, and today with a few hours of light rain. I had dodged a thunderstorm and hail. I had cycled ahead of headwinds in Kansas. And Hurricane Matthew was something I heard about only on the news.
While unloading our car at the hotel, we were blocking another car. The driver was patient. She asked what the support vehicle was for. I explained that I was riding across the US and that I had just one more day, and that I believed women can do so much more for so much longer than we think we can. She agreed, explaining that she is a dietician specializing in diabetes. My daughter was diagnosed with diabetes just weeks before my ride started. She is the picture of health, cooks and eats very well, and she exercises, so this was a total surprise. I had been waiting for a cause to emerge for my ride, and it had just presented itself. Should you be inclined to grace my ride with a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), I’d be honored. This link will take you to my JDRF page.
With one more day and only fifteen miles to go, friends and family had gathered to witness the finish.
Start location: Little Heaven DE
End location: Rehoboth Beach DE
Distance: 47.6 miles
Cumulative distance: 3146.2 miles
Elevation gain: 593.8 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/752775901