Friday, May 31, 2013

Epilogue - Mission Complete

It has been one week since arriving at the Atlantic Ocean and completing my "Epic Ride Across America" I have used this past week to ponder what I have just completed and to put into perspective what this 9 month journey has meant to me and what I learned from it.

“The most gratifying part of your goal isn't always necessarily the finish line, but rather the journey that gets you there. The training, the preparation, and the commitment you make to yourself to go beyond in order to achieve your goal.”

The journey that gets you there" what a journey it has been. After years of dreaming about riding my bike across America, I have finally accomplished it. In reflecting on it a week later, the 8 months leading up to the ride was quite the journey that required me to sacrifice certain things and events in order to stay focused on the mission. The long winter did not help make the time go by quickly but the ride was quick in part because of the awesome support team of Mike and Barbara Munk, Karen Bauer, and Jim Benson of America by Bicycle. They ran a first class flawless operation for 33 straight days.

I would not take on a mission like riding across the country with getting guidance from an expert. When I hired Coach John Hughes, I got an expert. The comprehensive 8 month training plan was well worth the money and included everything from nutrition to off the bike strength and stretching routines. Coach Hughes was always positive and readily assessable with any questions I had. I was without a doubt ready and prepared for the ride and did not have any issues at all. I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to take on any type of endurance ride. Thank you Coach Hughes.

The biggest thing I look back on besides the riding every day is my fellow riders, a diverse group of men from all over the world with the same goal of getting across America on a bicycle. For those of you who have ever been on a sports team or work team know what it’s like to have everyone on the same page going for a common goal. That is what we all shared every single day. No complaining, no whining, just riding and enjoying the task before us. I learned from these men that age is just a number; that having an incurable condition or diabetes is not a road block; the human mind is much more powerful than the human body. I saw firsthand the relationship between a father and son and how awesome it was for them to do this trip together. I saw men who lost 60-80 lbs. and changed their lifestyle to do this ride; I saw men overcome injury and illness to complete the ride. I saw men raising awareness for causes such as the
USO, War Child, Save One Life, Caring for people with hemophilia around the world, Bone Marrow Failure Diseases. I was inspired everyday by these men and was proud to ride with them.

One of my goals when deciding to do this ride was to use it as a platform to give back to the community in some fashion. The generosity of family, friends, colleagues, fellow riders and complete strangers who donated over $20,000 was awesome. Thank you
generous donors you have made this trip even more special for me. Your donations to the Wounded Warrior Project are what this journey was all about and you all made it happen. You should all be proud of your contributions. I could never thank you enough.

I need to thank Mary lee for her understanding, support and encouragement during these past 9 months. She has been my biggest fan, supporter and promoter. Thanks for all you do every day, I Love You.

Another big supporter and contributor has been Joshua Love of
SuRab Athletics. In addition to being a corporate donor, Joshua collaborated with Zander Cowan and Jacob Sussman of Pelham Island Pictures to produce a mini documentary about my ride and goal of raising awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project. Thank you gentleman, your work was first class.

Well what am I going to do now? In two weeks I am riding 148 miles for a beer in t
he Harpoon Brewery to Brewery Ride from Boston to Vermont. Then a 5K road race in my home town of Fitchburg, MA for the Wounded Warrior Project. I will do a few sprint triathlons this summer and then end the season with a solo attempt at New England's Premiere Adventure Race - The UniBank Blackstone River Valley Greenway Challenge.
Thanks you all so much for following my adventures and supporting my Epic Ride Across America. I could not have done it without all your support and encouragement.

See you on the road.