Day 7, Monday, August 7, 2006

Manchester, NH to Portsmouth (Rye), NH
( 52.4 miles/13.9 mph avg.) 3h 45m 36sec

Up at 5:30, pack and organize, 6:15 load luggage, 6:30 continental breakfast at hotel - scrambled eggs, sausage, home fries, waffles, yogurt, orange juice and coffee. 7:00 on the road.

It was raining when I left so I put a raincoat on Vivian, wrapped my camera in a plastic bag, put it and some other stuff in my bike bag, and double wrapped the bike bag with plastic bags. This makes it next to impossible to access my camera during the ride but it protects the camera and just in case the weather breaks and the sun comes out, I can unpack my camera for a photo opportunity.

The last SAG ( at 31 miles) was a bit emotional and the rain had stopped but it was still overcast and rain still threatened so I didn't get out my camera. However, several miles down the road the weather did clear and the rain stopped. The rest of the ride was a lot more pleasant and everyone could sense that the end was near.

The ride ended at Rye Junior High School in Rye, NH. We all had to get there by 12 noon and we did. A lot of activity took place - hugging, picture taking and social interaction. At 12:30 we assembled in a procession with a police escort (a police car in front and a police car in back) and we road 1.5 miles to Willis Sands Beach on the Atlantic Ocean. The police cars were flashing their lights and blowing their sirens. It was just awesome! There were 58 cyclists all wearing the ABB cycling shirts, spread out over 1/4 mile. We looked like a swarm of bees moving down the road. Everyone was yelling, acting goofy and having a great time - celebrating the end of a fantastic adventure! This was a cross country ride - coast to coast, 50 days, 3,650 miles, 110,662 feet of climbing. I had already done the ride from Astoria, Oregon to Niagara Falls, NY so this year I was completing the Cross America North Ride. It just felt GREAT! I felt the celebration just like everybody else!

When we arrived at Willis Sands Beach, we all took off our cycling shoes, picked up our bikes and walked down to the ocean to do the ceremonial wheel dip and other goofy things (see pics). If you have never seen a "triple bike", see the pic below. A mother and her 2 sons from France were riders on the trip and they rode the "triple" for several days at the beginning of the trip. They also rode it the last day. It can be modified to a tandem by removing the third seat. It was a GREAT celebration! America by Bicycle is a great organization. Doug Torosian, President of ABB, can be proud of what his support staff do to make sure that all cyclists are safe and complete the ride. Unexpected things always happen on cycling rides and the staff always responded in a professional way to deal with the problem. A message to the ABB staff - WELL DONE, GREAT JOB!

This year is the 8th consecutive year that I have done an ABB ride. Most people that will read this journal already know that I have been doing long distance cycling rides since 1999 with ABB to raise money for the CT Alzheimer's Association. Over this time period I have ridden over 10,000 miles and my effort has raised over $108,000. This money is used by the CT Alzheimer's Association to provide:

If you haven't already made a contribution to my effort please consider joining my "Alzheimer's cycling effort family". Checks can be mailed to me at PO Box 574, Gales Ferry, CT. 06335 and must be made out to "Alzheimer's Association." Over 100,000 in CT. and over 5,000,000 in the US are afflicted with this disease, and many more families are impacted by its effects. Current projection is 15,000,000 by the year 2050. Hopefully, with high expectations from new research, a cure or slowing of the progression of this terrible disease will be there for your family or someone you know and care about.

My effort has been so successful, I feel that I must continue! I plan to do a 1,613 mile ride next year down the East coast - Portsmouth, NH. to Fernandina Beach, FL. Please continue to access this website for future ride information and Alzheimer's disease information through the links on my home page.

And please join me for a Thank You party THIS SATURDAY at Alice Acres in Gales Ferry, CT at 3pm.

Continental breakfast at hotel

Continental breakfast at hotel

me and Vivian at Rye Jr. High School

me and my roommate Mike Buchanan

58 riders finished

Behind the Final Four

Police escort to Willis Sands Beach

Police escort to Willis Sands Beach

Police escort to Willis Sands Beach

Police escort to Willis Sands Beach

me - wheel dipping


A "Triple" Bike

Ocean Frolic

Dana getting dunked

Michael and Dana


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