Friday, May 08, 2009

Palatka to St. Augustine, Florida!!!!

We had a flat, fast forty mile ride to a fire station on the outskirts of St. Augustine. There we regrouped and waited for our police escort. While we waited we talked about the past two months.

Before we began someone asked me if I wanted everyone to sing 99 Bottles of Beer as we rode over the bridge to the beach. I said with everyone around AND a police escort I was sure I would be fine. They then asked me home many beers were left on the wall. I said just a few. Then spontaneously they all broke in to singing 99 Bottles of Beer starting with Number 5. It was a pretty funny scene with 21 women and their bicycles standing in front of a fire station singing at the top of their voices.

Next, the motorcycle officer, Jennifer, started her siren and lights, then two police cars did the same. Everyone cheered and we began rolling. It was such an emotional high. We rode two by two with Jan B., our oldest rider and her usual riding partner, Marni, leading the way. I rode with Nancy.

As we rode over the Inter coastal waterway bridge on A1A, I was so eager to see the ocean I did not even notice we were going over a bridge. Again thanks to Nancy for teaching me how to conquer my fears. As we got closer to our finish I really started tearing up. Riding into Anastasia State Park was such an emotional high. Friends and families were all gathered at the park cheering us to the finish of our long journey. I found Greg and we went together to dip my front wheel into the Atlantic Ocean. It seems ages since I dipped my back wheel in the Pacific Ocean.

I gave Greg my camera and he took lots of photos. Unfortunately, later I discovered he is mechanically challenged when it comes to my camera. He did not know how to move the telephoto button and a lot of the photos of me I am only a dot in the distance. I take all my photos with the camera set at high resolution so hopefully I can do something with them when I get home.

After we finished all the beach pictures we headed to a nearby pavilion for a picnic lunch. It was such an emotional roller coaster. I knew that my two closest friends from the trip, Lois S. and Nancy, were leaving after the picnic and not attending the final dinner that evening. I was also on a high from finishing the trip and getting to see Greg. Lois, Nancy and I said our "see you later's" because we did not want to say good-bye knowing we will ride again together someday.

After the picnic, Greg and I went to the motel so I could shower and change. Then we walked to a local wine bar and had a celebratory glass of wine. I was very happy I did not quit the trip and that I have some great memories for a life time.

We gather at the fire station for our escorted ride into St. Augustine.

Some of the group behind me as we line up.

The group in front of me.

Thumbs up and ready to roll

A very happy me at the beach.

The all important dipping of my front wheel in the Atlantic.

My bike and me! We did it together...only four flats!

Group photos

Thumbs up. I am the fourth one from the left.

We did it.


Fe-lady said...

I am ALL choked up while reading and commenting! (And looking at the photos!) Congratulations to you Patti and to all your "sisters" who completed this fantastic voyage with you! So very cool!!!!

Anonymous said...

A big thumbs up!! You are rightfully proud of yourself. See you soon.


georgia said...

Congratulations Patty, you did fantastic, bridges and all! You look like one happy camper on the beach. Thanks for taking the time and effort to blog, it was great fun to follow your progress across the good old USA.