Darlington's Cross Country Blog - June 25 (Final Day)
He finally did it! Supply House Times’ Showroom columnist Hank Darlington, just bicycled cross country, raising funds for The Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association's Memorial Scholarship Fund. His final day of riding was completed on June 25 in Revere Beach, MA, in Boston.
Here's his last post:Date: June 25, 2009 - Final Day of the Ride
Riding Route: From Burlington, MA to Revere Beach, MA (Boston)
Elevation Climb: Minor
Miles Ridden: 18
Today's ride is dedicated to my two riding buddies: Charlie Semperton and Bob Fuller. If you've read my blog you know about the circumstances of these two fine gentlemen. You both made it to the finish line with us! The pictures here include our flag salute to Charlie. Bob, my man in blue, is still recovering from his accident!
Today you were with us in thought and spirit!
I'm sitting in the motel room in Burlington, MA (Boston) with huge mixed emotions. The bike ride of a lifetime is over. I made it! I rode my bicycle across America - all 3,420 miles of it! We went through 15 states, stayed in 43 different motels, climbed over 100,000 feet of elevation and pedaled about 985,000 strokes! We encountered all kinds of weather (both good and bad); all kinds of roads (both good and bad); all kinds of people (good and not so good). I ate more food (and burned it off) than I thought could have been possible. I saw America at 15 mph. I stopped and smelled a lot of roses. I took over 400 pictures - and now I have the job of trying to organize them and remember who, what, when, and where is going to be a challenge!
The low lights: having two original members not be able to complete the ride with us; some of the tough weather conditions; a few days when I just didn't want to climb in the saddle again; the small percentage of drivers that were real jerks to those of us on bikes; some of the road conditions; and always being concerned about personal safety (mine and fellow riders). Notice this is a much shorter list!
The idea of trying to raise money for the Rod Denhart Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association - and seeing the unbelievable response to this has also been a highlight! I had set a goal to raise $25,000 - and we're close to $24,000. If you were waiting to see if the "old man" would make it before you committed, you can go ahead and make the pledge now. We're so darn close not to make the goal! It's a great cause for something I am passionate about. For everyone that has committed - thank you, thank you, thank you!
So in the beginning of this last blog I said I'm sitting here with many mixed emotions:
So what will the next adventure be? I'm wide open for suggestions! Thanks to each of you for being part of this incredible experience!
Read Darlington’s other adventure-filled posts from the beginning of his Tour de USA at his daily blog (http://www.crosscountryrider.blogspot.com).