Thursday, October 20, 2016

The final day was a test of resolve.  I realized early it would be a harder day than I originally imagined.  It also had a bit of symmetry with my first day of riding--long stretches of mostly featureless highway with a headwind.  This time, however, add in heat and humidity and some general weariness from riding in the same conditions for the last three days.

The day started ominously when I realized I had no good way to get across the small waterway necessary to continue on Hwy 23.  There was supposed to be a pedestrian route but it was closed by a padlocked gate.  Fortunately, Cathy had not yet crossed and we loaded the bike onto the car and made this crossing:

Needless to say, as confident as I am about riding in traffic, this is not a place I wanted to be on a bike.
I did get to see one more new agricultural crop.
At one point I was able to ride up onto the levee to see
After that, it was a whole lot of

With about 30 miles to go, a deadly piece of shrapnel on the shoulder blew out both my tube and tire.  By this time, Cathy was patiently waiting for me near the end and had to drive back to my location so that I could make the needed repairs.  Fortunately, I had started the trip with two spare tires in addition to many tubes and I ended up needing both tires.

I resumed my trip down Hwy 23 with little to look at until a bridge over a canal at a bit past mile 50.  From here, I could see most of the rest of the way.

I continued to struggle against the headwind that I swore got stronger the closer I got to the end.  With just three miles to go, I got a gift when the road turned southwest and the mostly east wind suddenly became a tailwind.  I put my head down went pretty much all out to get to

While I wanted to end with my front tire in the Gulf of Mexico, this was the closest I could get.

We did this together

As we left, I was able to enjoy the beautiful wildlife area I hardly saw in my sprint to the finish.

The journey by the numbers:

States                                                                   10
Items lost or stolen                                         lock (lost); phone mount (stolen), wedge bag with tube, levers, minitool and pliers (stolen); part of bike rack (lost); Cathy’s purse with cr cards, health card and our passports (stolen);tool bag with small tools (stolen);bike frame (broken);bike pump (broken but maybe repairable);Hydration pack bladder (leaking but with a lifetime warranty)
Bee stings                                                           2
Mosquito bites                                                 Innumerable
Flat tires (tubes)                                               6
Blown tires                                                         2
Miles on MRT                                                    2,300
Total miles                                                          2,469
Days riding MRT                                                32
Days riding from border                                34
Average miles per day MRT                         69.7
Average miles per day from border         70.55    
Lessons learned about security                 3
Last day's data

 I wonder what will be the next big adventure.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Bill! What an achievement!

    Travel safely home,

    J Andresen