Tallahassee was the only place I really encountered hills, and that was my undoing. I couldn’t negotiate those few hills without my gears, and my bike couldn’t hold itself in any one gear any longer. Help wasn’t going to happen before I needed to move on, in order to arrive in time to meet my obligations.
It was April 6, the completion of the year that I had originally allowed myself for a tour to honor my Dad and to memorialize my grandfathers. Now, it was a memorial to them all.
When Murchie and I originally planned this trip, Tallahassee was my ending point. It’s kind of funny how things work out.
The cycling ended in Tallahassee on 4/6/12. I rented a car and headed to the beach. Jacksonville beach was pretty nice. The beach itself is so firm that people cycle up and down it all day long. Now I understand the term “beach cruiser”. Previously, I though it was because people only needed one gear to cycle around the flat beach boardwalks and beach roads. Perhaps it’s beause they are perfect for cycling up and down the beach with their fat tires and lack of gears.
Sunrise was beautiful. John doesn’t like the beach, so I’ve never really lobbied for time there, but I’ve missed it. My paternal family has always spent time on the water. Only allowed myself one day in a oceanfront room. Now, I’m in a much less expensive, quieter hotel, waiting for my departure day and time. Reading good books, lounging by the pool and shopping.
Soon, I’ll be back with my husband. Soon, my bike will get a much needed overhaul. Soon… my own bed, my kids, my friends.
To my Dad and Granddads, you inspired me to do this year of adventure. It has shaped me, as you have shaped me. You set an example for me of what to expect of myself and what to expect in a man. You have not disappointed. I found a man who you have defined by your own lives. I have become a person who is happy with myself, and yet not complacently feeling that “I have arrived”, but rather, “I know where I’m going in life”.
This brief, month-long journey has revealed things to me that needed to be learned. Things have occurred that I haven’t posted out of human respect, rather than respect for the subject who has precipitated the lesson. It all makes me appreciate my friends and family more than ever. It makes me appreciate how I was raised by my family and how I continue to be raised by my current family (yes, I believe we should continue to grow, learning from our spouses and children).
I shipped the trailer home today.
To the many warmshowers hosts: you are a wonderful group of people. You have been a wonderful lesson to me.
To my friends who have left comments, thanks. Your encouragement has been food for my soul.
Hopefully, there will be more touring, but The Paterna Tour is complete. I’d hoped to cycle to Alaska as a part of it, but all the men in my life, would simply be proud of me realizing that “that particular journey is bigger than I am currently capable”. Hopefully, one day, in the not too distant future, that desire to cycle to Alaska from the East coast (generally speaking) of the US will come my reality. It would be a shame to leave a 30 year dream unfulfilled. But it would be a bigger shame to leave the “love of my life” for months on end, to pursue something of less significance than “US”.
Go make your own breeze and remember: if you’re not having fun; you’re in the wrong gear (or your gears aren’t working correctly)