Got rolling out of Ipswich at 8AM. Light rain and temperature in the 60’s. Good for pedaling.
My first destination was Aberdeen. Largest city in NE South Dakota (population 30,000) and the home to my (and Kris’) alma mater, Northern State University.
I got a bit of a preview of what the day would be like 9 miles before Aberdeen. Molly Gunderson, a Bristol native, was out by the road cheering and blowing an air horn when I went by!
Had 2 media appointments when I got to Aberdeen. Took care of them and rolled through Aberdeen. At the east end of town, I had another cheering section.
My niece, Hillary’s, son Kroy was even decked out in a Sea2Key onesie!
I also joined up with my celebrity guest rider. My brother, Jay.
Off we went. 35 more miles to Bristol! As we approached Groton (20 miles from Bristol) I noticed my phone wasn’t on handlebars. Must have fallen off somewhere between Aberdeen and Groton. Been having lots of issues with that phone in last 5 days!
At Groton I called Kris from Jay’s phone. She could track my phone so could see it’s location and knew it was still functioning (i.e. not smashed be traffic). She headed out on a search and rescue mission.
By the time we got 7 miles down the road, she had found the phone and met us at the Day County (our county) line. We hadn’t seen each other since Memorial Day so that was fun.
At this point Jay had ridden 25+ miles in a pretty good wind and we both knew that the toughest stretch was coming up. He decided to get a ride. Definitely a wise move.
I reached Andover (10 miles to Bristol) and then the road turns south. Directly into a 10-15 mph wind. Plus the road does a gradual climb of 500’ over 4 miles. Hardest riding I had done for a few days.
When I finally got to the top of the hill and turned east for the final 4 miles, I was met by 2 Day County Sheriff vehicles, the Bristol fire truck, and several private vehicles. We paraded towards Bristol.
People were out in their driveways waving and cheering Gerty and I on.
That sure made the last 4 miles go much faster.
When our convoy got to Bristol, I was amazed and in awe of what awaited us…about 75 people lining Main Street cheering and waving. Even residents of Sun Dial Manor were out there with signs they had made. Pretty emotional for me.
Rolled right up to my parents’ house. Let the party begin!
I am more than ready for a bit of rest. I worked extremely hard the last couple of weeks to get to Bristol today. Thinking I deserve a little R&R!!
I’ll try to give you a tour of Bristol tomorrow.
Thanks so much for everyone’s support. It is overwhelming.