Today was the big day. Why? Well, you know. It is our final day of Trash Freeway. Our final day of BIKING ACROSS AMERICA. Holy–we could hardly believe it, but got ready for the day just like would would any other. Dan made us coffee, we had cereal, and were pumped to head out and experience the ride to the finish line: The Pacific coast.
Before we left, though, Dan wanted to show us his “tall bike.” It’s a bike with two frames stacked on top of each other that he built himself. He wanted us to try it, and we were a little hesitant, but Jaime eventually hopped aboard. She did a loop and promptly jumped/fell off. No injuries, though. Dan also showed us his electric bike, but we said no to the ride. Don’t want to risk any injuries on our last day!
Eventually, we began our last ride. We zoomed past the Rose Bowl, through parks, under bridges, and out of Pasadena. The whole time, we were jokingly saying to passersby, “You don’t even know!” As in, you don’t even know what’s happening right here! We just biked across America! Everyone around us was unaware of our feat, just as we were to theirs. We tried to take in every moment of the ride, even though we were mostly unable to fathom that this was our last one. We spent a lot of the bike ride looking at each other and silently communicating our amazement.
Before the ride, Naomi’s dad had contacted a local news station to see if they wanted to capture our last moment. They contacted us about it, and we decided it would be great to talk to them after we arrive, that way we could really, truly, and authentically experience the moment of finishing. We weren’t sure if it would work out, but we kept it in the back of our minds for the rest of the day.
We biked through different parts of the greater LA area — the neighborhoods, the famous street names, the shnazzy houses and cars. As we were riding, one of Naomi’s dad’s friends pulled up behind us. Naomi’s dad had been tracking us on an app and told his friend to catch up and say hello! It is so fun to have a good luck hug and have someone around us know that there was quite the milestone taking place!
We counted down the miles ’til the Santa Monica Pier. Three miles…two miles…one mile…none! We ended up at the pier, and spent awhile trying to find the ramp to take us down to the beach. Once we did, we hit our next obstacle: pushing our bikes through the sand. Oh boy. This was probably the hardest part of the whole tour. Because our bikes were so heavy, our wheels sunk in the sand and caused us to use every last ounce of energy we had left from these past three months. We pushed for ten seconds, stopped, caught our breath, then repeated until we finally made it to the water.
We dropped our bikes, grabbed hands, and ran right in! Had we really made it to the Pacific Ocean?! We were in shock. Amazement. Speechless. We let the water wash over us and looked around with permanent smiles, hugging, and trying to fathom what had just happened.
We had a lil’ photo shoot, called our family to let them know we did it, then began the task of pushing our bikes back through the sand to the bike path. Once we made it back to the bike path, we were absolutely pooped. We needed some food! To celebrate, we biked to Café Gratitude, an awesome vegan restaurant in Santa Monica. We ordered to our heart’s (and stomach’s) content — sandwiches, wraps, chocolate cake, milkshakes, juice, tacos, and we even got a free muffin! A waitress at the restaurant, Marianne, had told some of her friends, who were dining at the restaurant, about our trip. They came over to shake our hands and gave us a muffin to congratulate us! We were so happy. Will the kindness ever stop?!
After our celebratory lunch, we biked down to Venice Beach, hung out in the sand and relaxed. We then headed to LiMor’s house, who used to work with Naomi’s dad. LiMor and her daughter weren’t home when we got there, but we settled in and got ready for bed. We also did something we were extremely excited about…shaved our legs! We won’t go into the details.
We got cozy in bed pretty early. We know we don’t have to wake up early to bike anymore, but we were still so physically (and emotionally!) exhausted from the day that we couldn’t wait to close our eye. Plus, Jaime’s feeling a little sick. At least her body waited ’til the trip was over!
For the next week, we’ll be visiting friends and family in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Then, we’ll be flying to NY and NJ! Wahoo!
We still can’t fathom that the trip is over, and thank you all soooo much for being so supportive and joining us in this adventure. Stay tuned for one last post where we will share our reflections and more!
We did it!
October 24, 2015
Starting Point: Pasadena, CA
Destination: Santa Monica, CA
Today’s Miles Biked: 40
Total Miles Biked: 2,710