6/24/2016-Friday : we did it!!! There was beautiful weather for our short 17 mile ride. We started off in groups of 2-3 to minimize risk, it’s rush hour in Boston! As a group we re-gathered 4 miles from the beach and our Crossroads team vans guided us with flashing lights and occasional horns blasting the rest of the way!! No flats, falls or problems for anyone!! And amazingly, Richard who fell 2 weeks ago and broke his clavicle rode yesterday for 35 miles and all 17 today!! Amazing ! he’s benefitting from great conditioning before his fall! So how do I feel about the past 50 days? I’ll tell a brief story–about day 6 in the ride I was feeling uncertain if I could do this thing. I finished a ride and pulled up to the van and Larry was there. Larry is one of the staff and has done these rides for 20 years. I said”tough ride” and his reply got me back on track and refocused. He said without any judgement in his voice “if it was easy, everyone would do it”. Well today I can proudly say I did it! I did something few people have done- and I’m proud of it! I did it safely, accompanied by like minded and fun loving people from all over the country and world and we walked away as friends, who I hope will remain so for life! We’ve raised over $20K dollars for ALS and for a brief few moments met with Andrew S. Leclaire a truly amazing ALS patient who changed our lives while we reached out and touched his and his family! Finally, I saw, smelled and heard the USA in a way so different from most. The stark deserts of California and Arizona were windy threats to me! Dehydration, sun exposure and self doubt dominated my early ride thoughts. I was happy to hear almost everyone of my co-riders felt the same! With continued riding those thoughts gave way, and I learned to adjust my eating, fluid intake and biking style. Food became THE focus, it became a fuel that reversed much of the leg fatigue ( it’s not all lactic acid) and fluids were the main avenue to maintain mineral and electrolyte balance – headaches, dizziness and more fatigue were consequences if careful attention to overall liquid intake, was not well maintained. This kind of ride is epic and for me it was made easier by the fantastic and professional staff at CrossRoadsCycling. But, even more by the fellow riders I was privileged to ride with! We supported each other when needed (flats, chain issues, rare injuries) laughed so often I feel different and spoke about our lives like only long time friends will do!! What a gift! Thanks Denise for giving me the space to be me while still loving you after 39 years– you and the kids are what it is all really about! As an aside, for our last meal a group of us went by car to a local Cheesecake Factory for lunch. McCauley had the line of the day– “I don’t normal eat much dessert but since this ride began, it’s been a necessity”. As we finished our 3 different cheesecakes- Kevin then said – “that cheesecake was amazing, I would have licked the plate if you all weren’t here” .That was when we all laughed hysterically and decided, yeah, it might be time to start tapering back on the carbohydrates!! Thanks everyone for following along and for those who has the resources to donate- I and Kevin are really grateful. Your comments, jokes and best wishes were an important part of the whole experience for me. it has been terrific and humbling!!!