Afton, VA - Yorktown, VA
Hooray! This past week was the final few days on my tour and what an amazing few days they were. Began the hot and humid week in a campsite called Misty Meadows campground where there was a swimming pool to escape the heat. I took a swim when I woke up and then left camp about 6:00am to get the hell into Charlottesville, VA. I was in a rush to boogie to town because today, my mother and father were coming to meet me and support my ride until I finished in the last 150 miles. I met them at McDonald's and gave them a huge hug for the first time in three months. We had a quick bite to eat then, headed back to the trail so I could knock out 30 miles before headed to the hotel in Ashland, VA. Rode 30 quick miles with no weight and had ice cold beer waiting for me at the end of the ride. Planned out the next day and ate a huge supper which, put me asleep immediately.
Woke up in air conditioning and it felt so wrong to leave in the scorching heat but, with only 2 days left, nothing was going to stop me. I was excited about the ride today because it was almost 70 miles of paved bike path leading from the outside of Richmond to Williamsburg, VA. I got a ride to the start of the trail and began the long, flat ride to my last town. I saw a total of 10 other bikers and this trail was fully paved making it a fast day. Toward the end of the day, my parents called and asked to ride the last few miles with me. Overjoyed, I waited for them 5 miles down the trail and here they came on their bikes. We rode the remainder of the day and laughing the entire way. They were able to get a small feel of what I did for the past three months. After the ride, we sat in the pool then, dad treated us to a huge celebratory dinner. We went to get fresh seafood for an appetizer then Mexican food complete with margaritas for dessert. Fat and happy, we all went back to the hotel and waited on my brothers arrival. Last time sleeping in a bed that wasn't mine and I was okay with that.
Smile on my face this morning as I packed my bike for the last time. I loaded it into the truck and we all left together for Williamsburg. We arrived where I left off yesterday and was excited to get on the road. With a final kiss and hug from my family, I got cooking down the Colonial Parkway, 20 miles down the Atlantic coast. Warm salty air filled my lungs and the feeling of accomplishment began to flow in my blood like a drug as the Yorktown historic monument began to come into view. I heard my family cheering and clapping as I rolled up to the final inches to the massive monument marking this trail as completed. Overwhelmed with accomplishment and confidence it was difficult to keep tears out of my eyes. I gave my parents and brother a huge hug as we cracked open a few beers to celebrate. After some pictures, we rolled my front tire into the Atlantic Ocean and it was again, an overwhelming feeling. After the pictures were over, we set our GPS for “home” and 8 hours later, I laid my weary head on my pillow. With a smile on my face, I was done and I was okay with that. I did it.
The only reason I was able to do this was with the unmatched support from Blackburn Designs, my family, and my friends. Being selected as a Blackburn Ranger was a major highlight in my life and they put together this ride I was able to complete and I cannot thank them enough. Throughout the next week or so, I will be analyzing raw video footage and pictures to make small production of my trip. I will also be posting detail gear reviews, a post-trip journal, and will continue to Get Out There while back home. Although my adventure has come to an end, Rangers Katie and Laura are on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and Ranger Courtney is rolling down the Pacific Coast Highway. Go check out their journals and remember to Get Out There!
Finished out the trail on Wednesday which limited my conversations with people. I had one night alone at Misty Meadows in my tent but soon after, I was picked up by my parents who supported me at the end of the trip. My mother and father have always been at the beginning and end of every adventure I take and again, they saw me finish this trip which, was so motivating. My brother drove up from his home in Atlanta and was able to see me finish as well.
It is always a bittersweet moment finishing a tour and the people you meet make the trip. I will be writing a post-ride journal entry and I will highlight those trail angels that saved the day.
Misty Meadows campground sat in one of the many streams over the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was generally going downhill all the way to Yorktown but, each day was filled with very short and steep valleys with rivers and streams. The terrain was very thick and very green. The closer I got to the coast, the soil was made of mainly sand but, the coastal feel wasn't there. Once I was heading down the Capitol bike path from the center of Richmond to Willamsburg, it was a majority corn fields and thick woods. The last stretch down Colonial Parkway was beautiful and shaded with small beaches along the way.
The roadway these last three days ranged from terrifying to beautiful. As I rolled in and out of Ashland and into Richmond, the traffic and shoulders were not cycling friendly. The bike path was incredible as you can imagine then, the Parkway was not traveled by many, making it a terrific finish. Again, I will be putting out a post-trail journal soon so, stay in touch for my favorite and worst parts along with stories and afterthoughts. Thanks for following!
- TRANSAMERICA Milestones -
- FROM: Watkinsville, Georgia
- DOB: 2016-01-01
- OCCUPATION: General Contractor
What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure?
The feeling of adventure and seeing new places. On a bike, time seems to move much slower and I would love to feel that again.
Have you traveled by bike in the past?
I have completed the Great Divide Mountain Bike route from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
What is your goal for the route?
My goal is to diverge from the route off the beaten trail and go find adventure! I would like to be able to gather stories about my adventure in order to motivate others to get out there!
What do you hope to get out of this journey?
By the end of this journey, I hope to have collected stories, meet as many people as possible, and all around have fun. Along with doing this, I would love to have a very detailed journal and blog for others to follow and get inspired.
- TRANSAMERICA Milestones -