July 26, 2003
Time on Bike: 2:18
Start: Lake George Finish: Brant Lake
It was a beautiful morning, the sun was strong and we were in no hurry to
leave. For this was it, the final
leg. Thirty miles and we will
complete our journey. I was excited about finishing.
I thought back to last Sunday morning, getting the bikes out of the
basement, loading the packs, filling the water bottles and pulling out to
Newport Ave. The trip started as a
blank page and now it was almost all written.
I went to Stewarts across the street and got a coffee and a paper to read
about the Yankees beating Pedro. I
sat in front of our room and anticipated the last day.
Vinnie, the owner of the Motel, came over and asked who was lighting
fireworks last night, because there was a big burn mark on his new cement patio.
The place was fixed up really nice, he put a lot of money into it.
I told him it wasn’t me but I don’t think he believed me because he
asked me three times. My neighbor denied it as well, but I knew it was him,
because when I first left to get the paper, I saw a bag of fireworks in front of
his door. Vinnie asked him again,
but he and his kids got into the car and drove away.
I told Vinnie when they left about the bag of fireworks, and Gary came
out and had been up when the kids were lighting them off.
We got to talking about the motel and the trip and all, he was a nice
guy. The cement patio he had just
put in for like $10,000, and there was now this black burn mark on it right in
was impressed with our trip and warned us that the road to Brant Lake was going
to be tough. He was right. We
were heading into the mountains and every mile was hard fought.
Knowing that it was the last day and only 30 miles made it a little
easier. Rita showed us once again
who was in the best shape blowing us away on the hills as she did the first day.
As we drove through the town of Lake George, Mikey showed us where the
cops took him, Brian, Trish, and Ryan Ford out of the car at gunpoint on the
fourth of July. Brian had brought a toy gun to use in their moviemaking
endeavors. While they sat in the
van, Mikey was examining the gun and a passerby saw him and thought it was real
and called the cops. They pulled
out and were pulled over within two blocks by the entire Lake George police
force. They were removed from the
car and put face down on the sidewalk at gunpoint while the car was searched.
Rita and Mikey reenacted it.
There was no civilization up in the mountains, but they did have signs
counting down the miles to Chestertown. (which
is right outside Brant Lake.)
we got to Chestertown we stopped at St. Mary’s Catholic Church to say a prayer
of thanks. It was locked up so we said a prayer silently.
After a water break at Stewarts we headed into Brant Lake for the final
ride around the Lake. It was great to see the Lake.
It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment to actually have biked from
Beach 119 Street to this spot 276 miles away.
We took these pictures at the Welcome sign.
The five miles around the lake were a little hilly, especially at the
end, just before Meades cottages. I
cursed the hill screaming, “I thought this crap was over.”
And then we were there! Standing
in front of Meades house. I asked
the family for a hug but settled for high fives because we were so sweaty. I thanked God again for getting us safetly there and was
proud of Rita, Mikey and Myself. (and
the Weave, where ever he was by now.) We
drove into the site and ran into Ryan Ford and Courtney who were so psyched to
see us. We drove down to the beach
and had a beer or two with Tom Ford.
The trip may be over but there is one more page to read.
Sica’s Prologue will be on the web next week.
A look back from the perspective of three months later.