Well that is it. The end of the tour has arrived.
I wondered how I would feel when it was finished and to be honest, I don’t know yet. It felt strange that yesterday I went and bought a suitcase to carry my things back home in.
It feels strange that in a little over an hour I will be collected in a car and taken to LAX airport. It seems strange that I will today be getting on an airplane instead of my bike.
I will miss leaving each morning not knowing where I will end up that night.
I won’t have to look at a map each day to look at where I might go. I will miss doing that.
I will miss seeing new things each day. I will miss exploring.
I will miss the sunshine!
I will miss being on this adventure and I will miss the kind people I have met every day.
I will miss lots of things.
I will miss the ride. I will miss some of the best roads I have ever ridden. I will miss the freedom I felt riding a motorcycle across the USA.
But, I am going back to that special place called home. To where I live.
I will be seeing my lovely wife again. I have missed her a great deal.
I will see my kids soon.
I will see my dog. She will go crazy when she sees me.
Those things are really good. Really good indeed.
I rode 21,475 miles in 27 states in 146 days.
That is an average of 147 miles per day. Take out the non-riding days and the average goes up to 177 miles a day.
I have seen many wonderful and interesting places. I have ridden over high mountains and across deserts. I have been in big cities and tiny towns. I have seen almost no cars in 78 miles of riding. I have seen 78 cars on the road in one second. I have seen extraordinary wealth and extreme poverty. I have seen old things that should be cherished and I have seen brand new things to marvel at. I have been boiling hot and I have been freezing cold. What an amazingly diverse country the US is.
I know I am very lucky to have been able to do this tour and I know many people would like to do the same, but cannot yet for a variety of reasons. Many people have read my blog and shown fantastic support and many have written encouraging words. When I started this blog I had no idea how big it would become. I was worried that my writing was not great and I wondered if people would be interested in what I had to say and in the pictures I posted. The kind words of the readers of my blog meant that I would continue posting, nearly every day if I could. Knowing that people were reading my stuff was a tremendous boost. Thank you to everyone that commented on my blog, for it is you that drove me to keep writing. You will be rewarded for your comments and I will tell you about that on Saturday.
Most of all I would like to thank Jackie for letting me fulfil my dream of riding across the USA. Without your full support I would not have been able to do this. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Finally I would like to thank America. All of it and all of its people. It is truly an amazing place with so many marvellous things to see and places to visit. As a nation you have some very special qualities and Americans are a very special people. I have been touched by your generosity, politeness and overwhelming friendship. Thank you America!
There is just one photo for today. Yesterday, I delivered my bike, the Leading Ladies, to the shipping agent in Los Angeles....
My bike has carried me effortlessly on a tremendous journey without complaint and without any major problem. Thank you Leading Ladies, you did a great job!
There was only one make of bike I could ever have ridden across the USA on, and it had to be a Harley-Davidson.