Archive for May 21st, 2016

The ride home…..

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Thurs May 19

This is it. The end of our adventure begins today as we wake, shake off the aches and pains, head for breakfast then pack up the bikes. Ed will stay behind and board the train around 2pm but by then we should be home.

There’s a lot of reminiscing, laughs and promises to keep in touch. I have one surprise left in store for these guys as we take our last picture together. Last night I wrote up some signs for us to hold during the last picture we would take before heading our separate ways. Check out my next post tomorrow to see it.

The skies today are cloudy but the forecast promises warm and sunny weather later on in the morning. The ride back to New Jersey should take about 4 hours and just one tank of gas. I load up the bike and tune in the radio, say my good bye to Ed and point the bike north for the our final run.

I do a heck of a lot of thinking when I ride. I go through thoughts of my life mostly. Marriage, job, family. I reflect on how I got here and where I will go next. Life has changed a great deal for me in the last three years and has given me time to catch up on the things I have missed out on and also the things, like this trip, that I had always dreamed of doing. They say getting old sucks but I say it depends on what old is and how you choose to live your life as you age.

My life turned a corner when I was roughly 40 years old. It has progressively gotten better since then. I met my wife during this time and my marriage has been a blessing, as she is very supportive in all I do, including encouraging me to take this trip. I recently rediscovered my parents and what it is like to be their son again and not their business partner. Spending a month in Florida with them last winter was the best time of my life. They have always pushed me to be the best person I can be and have always showed me love and support and without that, this trip would never have happened for me. Funny how I do so much thinking when I ride but what else can you do when there is no one to talk to but yourself.

I wonder as I get closer to home how I could possibly describe to my friends and family what this was like and for that reason I am glad I blogged this trip. Keeping a daily account of most of what happened makes it easier to remember everything¬† and gives me something I can go back to and reread in the future. There is this feeling I have inside that can’t be described. I just feel different now. Nothing great but just different and hard to put in words. Maybe because its all so fresh in my mind but I do feel differently.

We pull into my driveway and let out a sigh of relief and satisfaction for what we have done. It’s officially over now for us but Ed still has a half day ride home after getting off the train tomorrow. There’s not much left to say for both of us as we have covered everything over the last day or so but we just smile and remark how incredible it has all been.

Who knows what the future holds for us all but we now share a past that we can talk about forever. I am sure we will remind each other of the moments and events from our trip over the years to come and I look forward to it all. The pictures we took are priceless as we have some 300 or so to go thru. Many of them will pop up on my site, as some have already and  I look forward to printing an old school scrapbook for my coffee table.

In in the end we spent 18 days riding through 9 states for over 3500 miles to meet hundreds of people, to hear hundreds of stories and gain a lifetime of memories…..

Just One Man’s Opinion

The Regular Guy

 

The last ride together

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Weds May 18

Roanoke Va to Lorton Va

Today was the last day the three of us rode together. We wake to dark cloudy skies but warmer weather. We dress in rain gear and ride out to the highway as this is strictly a get to the next stop ride. No back roads or stopovers just roughly 200 miles that will get us all closer to home and the end of our ride.

Traveling the highway today, my mind is filled with thoughts of the trip and I find myself not paying attention to the bike and road. It happens at times that you get comfortable not unlike driving a car, and you find yourself getting somewhere and not knowing how. It’s like auto pilot and most would probably think that would not be possible on a bike but I can tell you it is. It doesn’t take long to pop out of it when you again realize you are on a bike. It scares you a little but I make it thru and ride on.

Tonight’s stop is in Lorton Va. the home of the Amtrak Auto train. Tomorrow Ed will put his bike on the train and take the 16 hour ride back home to Florida. We arrive at the hotel late in the day, safely and without incident. At one point we meet three younger guys who are traveling together for work reasons. They must have asked Ed what we were doing there and when Guy and I walk up, Ed’s in the process of telling them “the story “! We spend about twenty minutes laughing and exchanging stories as we have done on so many occasions, with so many people, each day along the ride.

Nothing crazy tonight but Chinese food and early bed, knowing that both Guy and I still have about 225 miles to get through tomorrow. We sit around the room one last time and talk about all the things we experienced over the days we spent together until we fall asleep.

Tomorrow the Goodbyes…

Just One Man’s Opinion

The Regular Guy