As the three of us went our separate ways to enjoy the remains of this summer, I got to thinking I should keep traveling. Cape Cod sounded nice, so I called a few friends and we planned to meet out there for the weekend of the 13th. Of course, it would have felt wrong to drive there, so the trusty Cannondale was in line for its last century (and change). Tom and Greg both had plans for the weekend but one of our classmates, John Paul Shoup was game for an epic ride.
On the morning of August 12th, I left Farmington, CT at 6:00AM sharp heading north toward Simsbury and Bloomfield. After crossing the CT river (using the bike path on the Bissell Bridge aka I-291), I met John Paul 35 miles into my ride at Mitchell's Coffee House in Rockville. We made good time despite the hills of eastern CT and enjoyed what must be the nicest town in the northeast corner: Pomfret. The "Welcome to Rhode Island" sign was a familiar sight on Rt 44 and the gloriously flat roads from there to Centerville on Cape Cod would prove to be 100% necessary. I thought I was fairly well healed after 9 days off the bike, but my knees had other things in mind after the 50 mile mark. Whoever invented ibuprofen, John Paul and I would like to thank you for making the rest of that day possible. Shortly after passing through a few relatively shady streets in Pawtucket, RI, MA greeted us with nothing more than a change in the prevalent license plates going by (admittedly, Tremont Road isn't exactly your average Interstate). Nevertheless, we pushed on toward the Cape and John Paul's first century ride. Once we got onto Rt 6A, the smell of the seawater started to drive home that my coast to coast trip was coming to an end. Thankfully, 6A is also an incredibly scenic road...fully necessary at that point because 1.2 grams of ibuprofen wasn't getting the job done. 13 hours after I started, we arrived in Centerville where Christina's parents graciously offered their house for us to stay. In total, the day ended at mile 165. More impressively, John Paul's first 100+ mile day ended at 130...an incredible leap from his previous long of 42...well done sir.
The next morning, John Paul and I set out for Chatham's Lighthouse beach so I could dip my front tire in the open expanse of the Atlantic. More of Rt 6A was followed by a hefty section of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, both of which helped to ease the pain lingering from the day before. As the Atlantic came into view, I couldn't help but think back to our first day in San Francisco as we dipped our rear tires into the bay near the Golden Gate. The distance in between still seemed unfathomable. As my friends arrived, the final pictures were taken and a bit more closure was at hand. I would like to thank Adam, Noelle, Cait, Nick, and Christina for making the trip out to the cape to be part of the end of my journey. Also, thank you John Paul for fitting those two days into your schedule...I'll remember those rides as some of the best.
Seeing as this is my first and likely last post here, I would also like to thank Tom and Greg for going on this amazing coast to coast journey with me. It wouldn't have been anywhere near as good without you guys. This was easily the best summer of my life, so thanks for making it happen. I would also like to thank Lea's Foundation, our sponsors, and all of our supporters. This trip wouldn't exist without all of you...thank you for your hard work and generosity.