Day 68: The Final Day
Sure enough, we woke up to rain. It wasn’t quite a downpour, but I was also not keen to ride in the rain to end my journey. However, I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and wait because I was meeting my parents in Province Town and I wanted to have time to relax and enjoy the day with them before we all headed back to Boston that evening. Claudia knew she would take a little longer than me to reach Province Town, and she also knows she’s far tougher than I am. She left an hour before me while it was still rainy. I waited until the checkout time of 11:00 AM before I also left the hotel.
It was still sprinkling, but I changed into my sandals and also went to a bakery before leaving Dennis Port in order to stall a bit more and hope it stopped raining. But while I’m thinking about it, the Shimano shoes I had been wearing every day of my trip were fantastic and I hadn’t replaced or changed anything from them since I got them when I started riding mountain bikes back in high school. They had lasted for 7 years and the entire way across the US with no problems. In cycling, the more expensive a product is, often the more likely it is to break. These shoes were pretty cheap... I think I’ll be sticking to Shimano shoes from now on...
After my cinnamon roll, the rain had basically stopped and I took off towards a bike path that Marese and Mark had told me about. Bike paths rarely make for the fastest riding, but they are usually the safest. After riding next to so many cars the previous day, I was excited for a break where I could ride without worry.
Despite the rainy weather, it was still plenty warm and there were a number of other walkers and riders on the trail. As I was passing a couple riders, we got to talking. They were also heading to Province Town, so we grouped up and decided to ride together.
It’s easy for me to recall the names of Doug and John because coincidentally, the two most recent coaches of the El Cerrito Mountain Biking Team are also named Doug and John.
They did the ride to Province Town about once a year and they told me about the longer version of our ride starting from Boston, finishing at the cape, and then returning to Boston via the ferry. I was happy to be doing the shorter ride that day. After we left the bike path, they also knew the right roads to take for the most scenic or less trafficked routes. My GPS had been suggesting different roads, so I was happy to be riding with people who knew what they were doing.
I’m also very happy to be with other baked goods enthusiasts, as it makes it easy for the whole group to enjoy a rest stop. If there is one thing that bothers me way more than it should about Japan, it’s that the bread here is terrible. It does make the rare time you find good bread all the better because of it though.
The end of the cape is also surprisingly hilly, which I didn’t mind after several fairly flat days in a row.
As we drew closer, I could feel my trip rapidly coming to a close. This is just a few miles away from Province Town.
And this is what I looked like when I initially set off.
About 15 minutes before we were due in, Claudia said she had arrived in Province Town. It’s convenient because there’s only one main street through the town and we were all funneled onto it. As we ride in, I spot Claudia and my family and also a banner across the street. I was worried I would end up like the videos online where people try to break through banners only to be clotheslined by them, but I broke though without issue and there was a small cheer from the people around the area that my parents must have recruited prior to my arrival. I thanked my guides, Doug and John, and got off my bike to say hello to my parents in-person for the first time in 2.5 months.
They had brought some food and we had a small snack before we went looking for a place to do my final tire dip. I had mentioned that I was going to dip my tire to Doug and John earlier, and they had suggested a beach on the far side of the cape. My parents had rented bikes for the day, and we all slowly biked over to the beach.
It was a little removed from the road, but I had carried my bike over far far worse terrain on my trip, and it wasn’t hard to carry it to the water to do my final tire dip to complete my journey. The day I left, I dipped the tire in the San Francisco Bay, and now the Atlantic Ocean. More importantly, it now meant that I won my bet with my uncle! I bet that I would get no more than one flat tire on my whole trip. I only got the one in Illinois over 4,600 total miles of riding. I swear by tubeless tires for almost any circumstance. Claudia, my dad, my sister, and I all went in for a dip ourselves right after.
There were some warning signs about sharks and to not let your pets in the water, but I didn’t think much of them because you never have to worry about sharks off the Pacific. However, the next day I would learn that another cyclist would see a seal get attacked by a shark right where we swam! Luckily for us, on our day it would end up being uneventful.
We had a ferry to catch back to Boston, but we decided to get some food first. Claudia and I went ahead to get some coffee and warm up after the water while we waited for my parents to make it back from the beach. We got some more food at a restaurant and then left to catch our ferry to Boston.
Claudia had a Warmshowers lined up while my family was able to stay with a friend of a friend. That was also the address where Wade (the climber who had found my drone in Seneca Rocks) had sent the drone. I didn’t have time to test the drone, but at the very least, the SD card was recovered. Not having the drone since West Virginia did mean I missed out on being able to get footage for the last section of my trip, but at least I had footage from the first two thirds of America.
It was a very cold ride back to Boston, but we decided to meet up with Claudia (and one of her friends who was coming down to meet her and finish the ride with her to Montreal) at a Boston Red Sox game the next day. We said goodnight to Claudia and with that my day was done and my ride was finally over!
The next few days were spent in Boston doing the typical touristy things and trying to explain baseball to two Canadians who knew absolutely nothing about it. I think that was achieved with mixed success. The Rays would beat Boston handily. I also had to figure out how to get my bike back to California and eventually settled on shipping it from a bike shop close to where we were staying. It would take a couple months to finally get it again in California because the bike shop was so behind on work.
But after just a few days to relax and explore Boston, we were up at 3 AM and heading out the door to catch a very early flight back to San Francisco and soon I was back home in California.
I did what I could to write as much as I could before college resumed for me, but quickly I was back to my normal routine, well, except for biking, which I only did three times in the next three months after I arrived back home. I needed a break so that didn’t burn out, but also to just give my body a rest as my knee was still bothering me.
But once it was time for the El Cerrito Mountain Biking Team season to begin again, I resumed biking and had a blast coaching my second season for the team!
Now, my story will continue from Japan!