Day 76 – Rest Day at Home

There’s so much whirling around in my head today I don’t know where to start. It’s wonderful to be at home and I’m so happy to see Megan, Jonah and all the friends and family that came by last night to celebrate my homecoming. What a great way to wrap up the trip! I feel so supported by the folks who could make it and all of you that have offered comments along the way. You have all really helped keep me going over these last two months.

Overwhelmed doesn’t quite catch it, really. I guess I spoke to people last night and I hope I was coherent but I kind of doubt it. I found myself grasping for words to describe the expereience, the different aspects, and to recall the people and the stories. I think I’m better off writing about it than speaking. When I go to describe what’s happened there’s just too many thoughts and I get a log jam in my brain with them all trying to come forward. Not to mention that, while I kind of like the attention, I don’t feel comfortable with it. Part of me likes the spotlight, but I squirm in it if I don’t have a script to work from. Considering I was running on 5 hours sleep and did 84 miles, I might also have been tired. I’ve been reminded to give myself a break, occasionally, usually by my wise partner.

The one impression that was unmistakable today is that I am really tired. Exhausted is probably the better word but I don’t like it because it sounds like I did too much and I’m not willing to admit that. I’m stubborn that way. But it was pretty great today to not try to do too much – read the Sunday paper with a great cup of coffee, have lunch with Megan and catch up with her, visit the Berkeley Art Museum and be inspired, and write this post without rushing. I’m probably tired today because I can be tired. I’ve probably been “sucking it up” longer than I know, but now that I’m home, in my bed, I can finally, really, crash.

The museum had a lot of works from the 30’s to the 60’s by Charles Howard. I didn’t know him but enjoyed especially the ones that remind me of Calder (a friend of Howard’s).

Another first impression that I’ve had getting home is that I could easily get rid of a lot of things. Just look at this ridiculous closet and tell me if yours is much different:

How many guys live here anyway?

OK so this is just shirts! Half of them are probably indistinguishable anyway – if I wore one, walked out of the room, and back in wearing another one, would you notice? For the last 2 1/2 months I’ve carried 5 shirts with me and frankly that was probably two too many – mostly I just wore the 2 short sleeve ones (I also had 2 T’s, and 1 long sleeve).

My impulse then is to pare down my things significantly. I’ve existed with 40 lbs of stuff for the whole trip, surely I could get by with less, incur less hassle, have more space, at less expense.

The other impression is that this integration thing – working back into my normal life without giving up any “progress” that I think I’ve made in terms of growth, awareness, relaxation, whatever; is going to be a lot tougher than I thought. Already I feel like I’ve slipped – that I spent way too much of last nights party talking about me than catching up with others about them. “But enough about me. What do YOU think about me?” 😉



Meanwhile, here’s a few photos from yesterday’s ride that I hadn’t gotten a chance to post yet.

Day 75 Late Additions

Thanks David G for the escort all the way from Davis to my house. Extra points too for making the climb all the way up to Grizzly Peak to get home – over 6,000 feet and 90 miles.
As we crossed Putah Creek outside Davis we saw taggers hitting this bridge with fresh paint.
My usual rule is, if you want to take a picture, get off the damn bike. Otherwise you make compromises and rush things. Here I break my own rule. Thanks for the pic David. Original art by taggers standing precariously on bridge.
Some of the orchards had apparently seeded the roadside with flowers. There were too many different varieties for it to be just wildflowers.
Kansas has nothing on CA when it comes to raising sunflowers.
We saw these at a “U Pick” farm where you can pick your own fruit, vegetables, or cut flowers. Zinnias maybe?

OK so here are some questions that came up last night that, about the trip that, if you’re still reading, you might be curious about.

Q: Are you going to ride to the coast to make it official?

A: Have we met? Yes, of course I will. In fact I feel kind of obligated to take my loaded bike out there to dip my tires in the Pacific. Likely point will be Baker Beach in SF because it’s amazingly photogenic.

Q: Are you going to keep posting to your blog? We’re curious about how this all comes out.

A: Yep. I’ll keep the posts coming for awhile although not everyday. At least for my trip to the coast, a pre/post fitness analysis from Coach Matt, and some updates on whether I’m actually able to sleep in my bed for more than 2 nights in a row.

Q: How many breakdowns did you have?

A: Zip, nada, narrry a single flat tire. I was super lucky and ready to endorse my Surly bike and my Schwalbe Marathon tires.

Q: Did you ever have a point where you didn’t want to continue? Or thought you might through in the towel?

A: Not really. I enjoyed every day in some way, even the day when it rained all 60 miles and it never got over 60F. I was numb and ready to get where we were going, but a warm shower never felt so good. The low point for me was probably the the coffee at the Cuppa Joe Restaurant (ironically named to emphasize its weakness). Sort of like coffee made with Folgers that had already been used twice, with a little hint of dog sh*t thrown in for good measure.

Q: Did you have any close calls with cars?

A: A couple trucks passed a lot closer than I would of liked but I used a mirror and got off the road if things got dicey. There were a couple of times that I actually had to ride into a gravel shoulder to make sure I was OK, and a couple times the air blast itself pushed me farther off than I would have gone. I might have been fine but who wants to gamble when semi’s are involved?

Q: What place suprised you the most? What did you like that you didn’t expect?

A: Probably Nevada. I had zero expectations for Nevada but I really enjoyed the quirky little mining towns and the isolation of those big valleys. Also at some point I’d like to go back and do a loop around Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. They were lovely and I spent way too little time there.


Let me know if there’s something I missed that you’re curious about. Tomorrow I head to Matt’s for my post-ride fitness test. I’m curious if I’m really much stronger or if all those biscuits and gravy on the road countered any real progress.

5 thoughts on “Day 76 – Rest Day at Home”

  1. If Coach Matt says you aren’t any stronger, I suggest you laugh at him. And, of course, thank him for all his help!

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey, Jim. I like those Nevada valleys and ranges too 🙂


  3. Jim, what a pleasure to ride the last day with you home from Davis. Your journey was a real triumph and cause for celebration. And your blog is not only inspirational, but gives us an impetus for reflections. Love the shirts in the closet photo, I hate to post mine, but immediately want to clean house and hit the road!

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