Author Topic: finishing  (Read 4853 times)

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Offline HONDO

« on: February 04, 2011, 11:00:13 am »
I know its the journey and not the destination and Im not using this as a mile marker gauge but Im curious at what point in the east to west trans am did it suddenly sink in that you actually realized you were going to finish the entire ride, coast to coast. How did it feel?

Offline John Nelson

Re: finishing
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2011, 11:54:19 am »
It didn't sink in until I saw the "Welcome to Astoria" sign, and then it was overwhelming.

I did one day at a time, lived in the moment, and very rarely thought about how far I'd come or how far I had to go. It's like that on tour. There is just barely a tomorrow and the day after tomorrow doesn't exist at all.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: finishing
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 01:57:51 pm »
I started feeling like we WERE going to finish, as opposed to we MIGHT finish, somewhere around Montana. 

I survived the slap in the face of mountains in Virginia, but there was still a long way to go.  Made it over the steep hills of Kentucky, but there was still a long way to go.  Gritted our way through the Ozarks, but there was still a long way to go.  I didn't have any problems with altitude sickness in Colorado, but there was still a long way to go.  We had a big fight, terrible windstorm, and my daughter bonked badly in Wyoming, but there was still a long way to go.

But somewhere, closer to West Yellowstone than Missoula, things turned from maybe to we WILL make it.  Around a thousand miles to go, and I started planning airplane tickets.  Because we were going to Anacortes.  And despite some of the hottest, steepest, longest passes (Loup Loup and Washington) of the trip in Washington, we never really faltered after that.

Offline Elessar

Re: finishing
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2011, 02:03:50 pm »
I find it hard to not comment here so please forgive me for my ignorance.  I haven't ridden anything longer than a 15 miles so I really can't speak from bicycling experience.  However, I have ridden motorcycles for many many years.  I can tell you that I love the ride and barely give a hoot about the destination.  It would seem normal for me that ten minutes after I arrive somewhere that I am ready to get back on the road.  This can drive my wife nuts but I love the ride.  Usually, it doesn't matter where we're going as long as I riding.

Now, I'm ready to sell my motorcycle and transfer my wanderlust to bicycling.  I dream of touring a lot and look forward to getting out there.  This is easy to say with virtually zero experience, but I have always been a dreamer, so...I can't wait.  I know that I have so very much to learn but I am looking forward to learning something new every day and learning it while on the road.  I love adventure and live for change so I feel very excited about my opportunities in touring.

If I were qualified to answer your question, I guess I would say that I would observe the destination and end of a big crossing with bittersweet tears of excitement and joy.  Then I would look over my shoulder and wonder if there were time to go back and do it again...
"The road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.  Now far ahead the road has gone and I must follow if I can."  J.R.R. Tolkien

Offline jimbo

Re: finishing
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 09:23:01 pm »
John Nelson's reply "to live in the moment" resonates with me as well. I rarely thought about how far I came or what was left. I was excited to wake up and start tomorrow every day. With 3700 miles down and 300 to go I finally started to anticipate the destination. Enjoy your moments.

Offline Awf Hand

Re: finishing
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 11:24:06 am »
Bill, we're cut from the same cloth.  I've motored all over on MC's as well.  I had a KLR 650 that would take me anywhere I wanted to go, and found I enjoyed road travel and didn't need the off-road capabilites.  I bought a Buell that would take me on any road I pleased and I went, but still, somehow felt sensory-deprived.  I started biking a few years ago and last summer I put nearly three times the mileage on my Schwinn as I did the Buell.  

If the destination is more important than the journey, the MC is my first choice.  But if the goal of travel is having a great time instead of making great time* pedalling is the nicest way to do it.

*Loosely paraphrased from the Pixar movie "Cars".

I rode across Wisconsin last fall and I didn't 'know' I was going to make it until I saw Lake Michigan.  This was sort of like when our first daughter was born.  She wasn't real to me until I could see her.

Offline lonerider

Re: finishing
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 09:52:06 pm »
I have been riding for a long time and used to live for the ride, the journey of the event. Now, the destination seems to be what motivates me to get on the bicycle, but once rolling the journey sinks in and keeps me going. When I stop, the destination once again becomes the motivator until I am riding and then the journey takes over motivation duty. It is an odd routine, but works for me.

Now on my motorcycle the journey is the only thing that keeps me on it. Could care less where I am headed to, just want to ride. I suspect in the future the motorized bike will take more of my time than the bicycle unless fuel price becomes a barrier to enjoying the ride.

Offline MrBent

Re: finishing
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 04:53:39 pm »
Good topic.  Those moments before starting are especially intense.  I remember cinching down straps and pulling a windbreaker tight, this acid ball in my stomach.  How could I ever finish?  The cure to this is to start pedaling.  I KNEW with certainty that I was going to finish the ride somewhere in the Rockies.  I know the mountains of the West, and it was like coming home even if I hadn't ever pedaled those particular roads or been in those sections of the states I crossed.  But, really, although I had some very tough days, I was always excited to get moving, to see what the next turn in the road held in store.  That kept me going.  When the destination seems out of reach, too far to think about, you realize that it's the journey that matters.