Tuesday October 29 2013 I slowly pedaled my way through Saint Augustine.
I stopped to chat with the owner of a small shop who said he rode a unicycle as a kid. He was impressed with my machine, so I suggested he upgrade at Unicycle.com. Occasionally a car would pass and toot or shout they read about me in the paper yesterday. A Trolley driver giving tours stopped at a light and started a conversation. He had his mic. on so everyone could hear his side of the conversation but not mine.
I scrambled over The Bridge of Lions crossing the intracoastal. The sign at the base said bikes could use the full lane. There was no shoulder so I pushed as hard as I could to make it over so I wouldn’t hold up traffic any longer than necessary.
After crossing the bridge I headed toward Anastaisa Park, then another motorist stopped me. He had read the article and wanted to congratulate me and take a picture. All this frolicking put me a little behind schedule so I kicked into high gear to ride to the Atlantic. When I passed the ranger station in the park, the ranger blew on a party favor and said everyone was gathered at the end. My adrenaline started pumping and now I was riding at 16 mph over the bumpy park road.
When I neared the end of the road and saw a gathering of people, I was unprepared for the group of friends and family who awaited my arrival. Besides my crew, My mom, Suzi, and Katy, (my sisters), my cousins Joe and Nancy, my aunt Ruth, friends Dennis and Dorthia Quinn and Eva Hottinger were gathered to witness the finish. There were also a number of bystanders who got caught up in all the hoopla or had seen the article.
I want to thank all my family and friends who never doubted I could pull this off. I want to thank all those who gave me moral support and contributed to my cause. Thank you Unicycle.com for donating a wheel for my ride. And I want to thank my crew. My Chauffeur – Joan Drnek, my Navigator – Joan Drnek, my PR person Joan Drnek, my Travel Agent – Joan Drnek, my Chef – Joan Drnek, my Bartender – Joan Drnek, my Domestic Engineer – Joan Drnek, my Launderer – Joan, my Procurement Personal – Joan Drnek, my Auto Detailer – Joan Drnek, my Cleanup Crew – Joan Drnek, my Paparazzi – Joan Drnek, (most of the photos with me in it were taken by Joan) and Cheerleader – Joan Drnek.
Some of you might be surprised to learn I was not the first to ride a unicycle across the country, and I certainly won’t be the last, but as far as I know and until I am told differently I believe at 58 years old I may be the oldest. You may also be surprised to learn I was the fourth person to cross the USA by unicycle this summer. Cary Gray recently crossed from East to West and is headed down through Mexico and beyond. http://caryoutthere.com/
Dustin and Katie Kelm finished an East to West crossing earlier in October. http://unishow.org/
Many people have already asked “What’s next”? I truthfully don’t know, but those of you who know me best, know there are likely to be more adventures in the future. For those of you who followed this blog daily you will be glad to know you can resume your regularly scheduled programs. For now.
If you haven’t already done so it is not too late to help cure ALS by donating to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, at http://community.als.net/wanderingwhitesforals
Day 95 Stats: Rode 6.32 miles at 8.8 mph, Max= 16.6 mph, Calories=211, Ave heart rate=97, Max heart rate=132, Ascent=292′, Descent=328′, Max elevation=57′, Min elevation= 5′, Temp=79 degrees, Total trip miles=2957′