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Riding4Hope – Day 43, 8/9/09, VA Bch, VA

 DAILY REPORT:  Weather — Today there is a heat advisory warning. Temperature is supposed to reach 99 deg. Cloudy in the morning with clear/sunny skies in the afternoon. Could possibly break the record high of 100 deg.

First, my apologies for delaying getting our final day’s ride out. As you will read, there was a lot going on  This is our last day of riding. We rode from Franklin to VA Beach. We ate our last continental breakfast and eagerly started our ride and continued riding along Rt58. For the most part there were good shoulder but it was busy. We made our way into Suffolk. 

I received a call from my wife, Maria in the morning around 0930. She had taken a red eye the night before and was scheduled to arrive in Norfolk later this morning around 1020. She asked me to pull over so we could talk. It turned out she had passed out while on the plane and was taken to the emergency room in Newark NJ. She was dehydrated and nauseated. The hospital was going to monitor her for awhile and then make the determination if she could be released.  She had already called her folks in VA Bch and they were looking into options for her to catch a connecting flight to Norfolk. This is one of those times of feeling completely helpless and having faith in the Lord that everything will work out. All we could do is keep riding our remaining 50 miles and check-in with Maria and her folks to check on her status. 

As we were passing through Suffolk, James got his first flat tire for the entire ride. Not bad considering he traveled 3850 miles on these Continental Gatorskin tires. I have been really impressed with them. Especially since I haven’t had a flat either on the same brand of tires. 

We met Skip for lunch in the vicinity of our old house in Riverwalk which we are currently renting out. Stopped by to make sure everything looked good and say to our neighbors. Surprised our neighbors Loretta and John who had not seen the boys since they were 4 yrs old. It was a good meeting and of course they told a few stories to twins about when they were young. It’s hard to believe they are both over 80 yrs old. Where has the time gone??

We biked through Chesapeake, across the intercostal water way and into Virginia Beach. We biked the roads that I used to train on back in the 90’s when I was stationed here in Norfolk some 15 yrs ago. One of the most notable changes in the area is the amount of traffic. There was a lot. We arrived at Maria’s folks house to a warm welcome from her family. It was really great seeing her family again!! And good news, Maria had been released from the hospital was trying to get on the next flight to Norfolk. If everything worked out she would be arriving at the Norfolk airport at 1700 which would allow her Dad and sister pick her up and still be able to attend our arrival celebration at the beach.

After getting a chance to cool down (it was really hot out) and have a nice lunch that Maria’s Mom made it was time to finish our final 6 mile ride to VA Beach ocean front. The traffic was quite heavy at the waterfront which delayed our 6 PM arrival by a few minutes. We were greeted with an enthusiastic crowd – Maria (she just made it!), family, friends, the Boys and Girls Club from NAS Oceana, a large representation from First Command, WAVY10/FOX43 TV, the base newspaper, boardwalk onlookers, etc.  It was great!! After all the congratulations we walked our bikes to the surf where we dipped our front tires into the Atlantic Ocean completing our biking trek of over 3,900 miles in 43 days. As a final act, John poured the Pacific Ocean water we had carried into the Atlantic symbolizing the completion of successful journey!! The boys took advantage of the beach and cooled off in the ocean.  We did a couple of interviews w/ the TV station (see news and info) and the base newspaper and then headed over to Murphy’s restaurant for some more celebration and dinner.

What a great day!! I would like to thank everyone who showed up to make this such a special day – Maria, her family, Tom Seifert and his family, the Markle’s who traveled from DC, Mike Itamura also from DC, Nancy and all her youth from the Boys and Girls Club, and anyone else I might have forgotten. Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement.

Today we also received a Silver Sponsorship from DOMA Technologies, LLC which allowed us to reach our goal of $10,000!!! We really appreciate all the contributions and support received to raise monies for the Wounded Warrior Project and the Boys and Girls Clubs! Thanks so much!! 

Tomorrow (Monday) we have been asked to be on FOX43 morning show at 0740 and then at lunch we will meet the Boys and Girls club on NAs Oceana for lunch and a presentations.

Thanks for joining us…..ride safely and keep the wind to your back!! 

The Riding4Hope Team

(David, John, James & Skip)

Signing out 8/12/09; 0530

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