Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Epilogue 10-6-10

Day 33 Bed to fridge to lunch to nap to dinner to bed Miles 0, avg. Spd. Snails pace, time, as much as I want, total miles, same as yesterday.

Yes, I did not ride today. I wasn't sure that I would ever ride again. But then Amy said, "Hey, maybe after the marathon, I should get serious about biking and we should ride across the country together." Ok, I'm in. How quickly we forget.
Two days ago I was only supposed to do 80 miles but I told Roger that I was going to go 100 because it may be the last time I ever do a century the rest of my life.
Then, Chris Haygood called today, Chris is a good friend who works at Bob Wallace Appliance (ask for him for all your appliance needs). Chris congratulated me and then said, "hey, I've got a favor, would you help me train and ride a century?" Ok, I'm in.

I really expected to be more emotional than I was at the end. I was even more emotional thinking about the end than I was at the end. However, I am finding it difficult to talk about the experience without being emotional as I get further from the finish yesterday.

Many thanks:
To God for his unfailing, love, mercy, patience and protection.

To the Shepherds of the Twickenham Church for their vision in affording me this opportunity and their continued daily Godly living and their daily Godly leading of the Twickenham Church.

To Amy for her love, her vigilance, her sacrifice, her support, her understanding of my need to do this, and for her ability to spend money.

To Kolton, Kooper, and Kody for surviving without their dad, steak, and salsa for 39 days.

To Lloyd Brooks, Brad Bass, Ben Logan, Jamie Kimbel, Jason Brooks, Suzanne Gass, Ben Logan again, Mark Thompson, Ed Sparks, Mark Chastain, Fred Tate, the Bass Family, and Roger Harwell.
Your friendship and sacrifice can only be described as Christlike.

To the Twickenham church family for your continued prayers, thoughts, blog comments, and survival at church in my absence. See, I told you I wasn't indispensable.

To all blog commenters. You will never know how much taking the time to post a comment kept me going.

To the faithful steed. (Ridden hard, and put away wet).
I am very concerned about getting yelled at by Brooke at Bicycles Etc., when he sees the condition of my drivetrain. It's not pretty. You guys at the shop prepare for the worst.

So, what's the moral of this story? I can't tell you right now. But you should hear lots of lessons in days to come.

The best part is, I'm still off for a month and a half.

We'll be home tomorrow. Kolton has football practice 3:30 PM. I may go and watch.

Final pictures.

Last Morning, Lake Butler, Fl..

That means "one more day."

We still have hills.

The family arrives for the big finish.

The long walk to the beach.(that's the Atlantic Ocean people)

It's a really long walk. The steed is not a great mudder.

I'm wet, I don't care.

Wow, the steed is heavy. I think I just hurt myself.

Who's the hot chick on the right?

A parting shot.

The steed, loaded for the last time and the ride home.

Merry Southern Tier Cross Country Tour to All and to All a Goodnight!


P.S. "COME ON PEOPLE GET OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Location:Pensacola, Fl.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Final Chapter

Day 32 Lake Butler, Fl. To St. Augustine, Fl. 71 miles, 5hrs.9min. Avg. 13.7, Total Miles 2723.

That's it. It's done. I finished around 1:00 PM in extremely high winds. The family did a little sightseeing and then we drove 6 hours back to Fred and Nicole's. The end was sort of anticlimactic but it's late and I think I'll wait until tomorrow for the wrap up. Stay tuned for one more day. God is good.


Location:Milton, Florida

Monday, October 4, 2010

Whoops, and then There Was One

Day 30 or 31 (I think I forgot to count the off day back in Austin) Monticello, Fl. To Lake Butler, Fl. 104 miles, 6hrs. 53min. Avg. Spd. 15mph. Total miles 2652.

I would have stopped and smelled the roses today but there weren't any, so I just rode. I intended to do a light 80 miles and then divide up the remainder over the next two days, but, there was a great tailwind and I felt good so I just rode on. Now I only have 70 miles to finish tomorrow.
Wait, did you get that?I finish tomorrow! I've been beating my brains out for 32 days and tomorrow it's over. I was expecting 45 days and we're done in 32.
Amy is on her way right now from Huntsville with the boys. They are stopping over in Atlanta at her brother Clark's house and then coming in for the big finish tomorrow afternoon.
I don't know what to expect tomorrow nor what to expect of my mental/emotional state afterward. All I know is that I set out to do this over a month ago, and way more than once I thought I was done. Somehow by the grace of God and the support of some great friends I am at the threshold of completion.
So many of you have expressed incredible inspiration about this story. I am compelled to ask you again, "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?"

Who knows what my mental/emotional state will be tomorrow.

Do I still live in Huntsville?

Many thanks to Roger Harwell, without whom this expedition literally never happens. Three weeks ago, I would probably have punched him, but tomorrow, I'll probably hug him. Thanks Roger!

Bikes loaded, 6:30 AM Central. Monticello, Fl.

The Suwanee River. Is there a song about this river?

That's Roger, ever waiting.

Ok, I'm in Texas for like a year and then I see Longhorns in Florida, really?

Where am I? The map is screwed up again.

How many more pictures of me riding a bike do you really need to see?

Ok, this one?

Or, this one?

How about this one?

This possum is really good at playing dead. One of the best I've seen, and trust me, Lincoln knows "road kill."

Oh, another picture of me.

This blimp was sent out just to cover my cross country ride.

I can't wait to get home.


Or, you can call me by my proper name, "Lance."

I forgot songs of the day stuck in my head for the past three days.

Three days ago: "Our House" Crosby, Stills and Nash
Two days ago: "Chattahoochee" Alan Jackson
Today: "California Gurls" Katy Perry

Location:N Temple Ave,Starke,United States

Sunday, October 3, 2010

And Then There Were Three

Oct. 3rd, Day 29 Marianna, Fl. To Monticello, Fl. 91 miles, 6hrs. 41min. Avg. Spd. 13.5mph, Total miles, 2548.

Do you realize? Do you get it? Is this possible? I am planning the final routes. I could finish Tuesday, but I may wait until Wednesday as planned. We got a good start this morning and Roger got to ride with me on his bike for about 22 miles. The day looked great until we got close to Tallahassee and beyond. The hills were incredible, way more than I expected.
It looks like we're about 175 miles from St. Augustine, Fl. but there's no great way to get there.
I've been doing this so long that I may need counseling to return to regular life. My wife assures me that I'll be fine as soon as I get home to help her with the kids. Hey, I'm happy to help with the kids.
Hey, I'm happy to do just about anything but ride a bike. Wait, I'm happy to do anything but write this blog.
So basically there about three days left.
Russell Yokley asked me weeks ago if I was going to be able to stop and smell the roses on this trip, I replied that I would. I was wrong, I haven't sniffed a rose.
Somebody told Amy that I was going to have to keep writing after this was over, yeah, not gonna happen. But, you can the entire series of "Lost" on DVD.
I met a retired couple coming west in Orange beach a couple of days ago. They were headed to San Diego. I explained that I was 26 days out of San Diego. They asked me what is was like. How do you answer that question? How do I fully explain any of this to anyone. It can't be done. It is wholly my own. The grind, the pain, the boredom, the victory, they are mine and mine alone. I can only hope that somehow some of you will find your own conflict in your own story, and so claim the satisfaction of knowing that you have overcome. But remember that the only true overcoming is through the blood of Jesus Christ in whom I give all glory and honor for this victory and every other.

Today's pic's:

Sunrise over Marianna, Fl.. How many sunrises have I seen? How many have you seen?

Florida children live very sheltered lives.

Hey, that's Roger!

Yes, another university. Any Seminole fans out there?

You can just see the Steed in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse in Monticello.

Yes, that is a hill.

Yes that is me.

Yes, I look good.

Yes, I am tired.

Yes, I am almost done!


Location:Monticello, Fl.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some Days Are Just Days

Oct.2nd Day 28 Pace, Fl. To Marianna, Fl. 124 miles, 9 hrs. Avg. Spd.13.7 Total Miles 2457.

I put the date on today's blog because I didn't realize it was October. I have no concept of space or time, except to know that I hope to finish next Wednesday.
There have been some uneventful days in the past but this one was especially uninteresting. I rode rolling hills all day along on Fl. Hwy. 90 East, which parallels Interstate I10 for a long way.
Mark stayed with me until lunch time and then he headed back to meet Larissa and the kids in Gulf Shores.
How do I again express my thanks for having such great friends. Mark was another patient angel, waiting down the road every couple of miles.
Roger found me about 4:30 this afternoon in Cottondale, Fl.. Today was the latest I had been on the road this entire trip. We got to the motel about 5:30 PM.
Part of that was caused by a late start this morning. As I rolled out of Fred and Nicole's I noticed the back end of the bike was soft. I looked down and the tire was about half deflated. Sure enough I found a quarter inch sliver of metal in the tread. Changing the tire took way longer than it should have, but I haven't much experience changing tires as this is only the second flat I've had.
By the way, have I mentioned that "Alabama the Beautiful" is a stupid slogan? What does that mean anyway? C'mon man!

Here's all four pictures:

Wow, that's beautiful.

Even better from this angle.

Even slow days have a picture of the Steed. Hey Walton, what was the name of the dog in John Wayne's movie, "Big Jake?"

You can be anywhere and find somebody with political issues.

Any shoulder is better than no shoulder.

Lunch in DeFuniak Springs, Fl..

Hey, is that Roger's car?

If you think Florida is flat, think again.

Which way do I go? Which way do I go?

Go East Young Man!


Location:Marianna, Fl.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Friend Fred and a Largemouth Bass Family

Day 27 Martinique by the Bay, Al. to Pea Ridge, Fl. 66 miles, 4 hours 42 minutes, 14.0 avg. Total miles, 2333.

I left Martinique about 7:00 AM this morning. It was very strange riding road that I had ridden on many occasions. Once I got past Perdido Key it was road I had driven, but never ridden. Scenic Hwy 90 was tougher than I expected but with a headwind everything is tougher than you expect. Winds are out of the North again tomorrow, so we'll have to hope for the best.
We came back to Martinique tonight for dinner with the Bass family. The Bass' are like a second family to me and there's no way to express my affection for the entire family.
We're about to have steak again, yes, there's never enough steak.
After dinner Mark and I are headed back to Fred's for the night. I hope to make a long ride tomorrow before Roger Harwell takes over as support team. It is important to note that this whole trip is Roger's fault.

Mark is going to stay until mid day and then I'm own again.

My friend Fred brought 13 lbs. of rib eyes last night. I'm not kidding,

Tonight I was fed by the Bass family, my second family. Bill and LaNette brought steak, shrimp, and homemade chocolate pie. Brad and Em made it in at a decent hour, and Adam and Erin finally made in about the time dinner was ready. Adam only schedules according to meals.

I was shocked today by memories of my mother. I wish she was here to see this. I know she is watching as my good friend Carney Sharpe reminds me, but I still wish she was here. We shared the anniversary of her passing just a few short days ago. She was an extraordinary woman. I miss her.

I hope you miss someone too.

Today's pics.

Cycling over the Gulf.

Fred and Mark at Waffle House breakfast. I had the hash browns "all the way."

A Bridge over the gulf.

Coming out of Orange Beach.

The Steed at breakfast.

I'm even happy to be in Florida. THE LAST STATE!

Another bridge, Perdido, Orange, I don't know.

Lovely road in Pensacola.

Do you realize this is almost over?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Martinique by the Gulf