We hit our halfway point in San Francisco. MILE 4000! We celebrated in the only way we knew how-- having a bike ride.
We invited all of our Bay area friends and friends-to-be to join us for a celebratory memorial ride around the city. Each person went around and introduced themselves, and were tasked with answering one question: why they ride. One talked about the intimacy of seeing the land, another about the statement for environmentalism. One talked about how freeing it is to be on a bicycle, and one Belgian touring cyclist laughed as he said it was the only form of travel in America he could afford. Greg spoke about riding for those who no longer can. We all rode for different reasons, but we all rode together.
About 20 awesome folks rolled round with us down the coast, through the parks, and up the wiggle. We finished the evening with road stories, beers and of course a showing-off of tan lines.
Then, a break. We took a full week off in San Francisco, by far the longest we'd been of our bikes in months, and spent time in different parts of the city. Megan visited her grandmas, Rachel wrote a ton of postcards, Abbie watched the World Series with her aunt and uncle, I got lost trying to find a sculpture garden, Blythe reunited with college friends, and Greg ate too much By-Rite ice cream.
We reunited back at Megan's parents house to sift through our bags, clean our chains, and watch the election results. They were unbelievably hospitable to our messy selves, and were comforting as we left hours later than planned when the election results left us in tears.
We're now enjoying a few slow days down the California coast. We plan to be in LA for Thanksgiving with Abbie's very generous family, and have low mileage days until then. The court case for Patrick's killing will conclude this week, and the team has been supporting eachother throughout the emotional turmoil it has caused. When times feel particularly overwhelming, we've each reminded eachother of our answers at mile 4000. We ride for different reasons, but we all ride together.