Day 30 – Metter to Tybee Island

Day 30 – our last day, our final day of riding after over 3500 miles across the country. The day dawned slightly brighter than recent days and very warm from the start. There was a sense of anticipation at breakfast, of finally completing a monumental task. However, rather than excited chatter there was a slight sense of depression around. I myself felt the same way. It was the knowledge that one of our number would not be dipping his wheel in the Atlantic today with everybody else. I only found out after I finished yesterday that Tom Zaharis who had ridden every step of the way had fallen off the previous afternoon after slipping on the wet road. Unfortunately he had landed badly and had broken his hip. He was now in Savannah’s main hospital awaiting an emergeny operation to pin his hip back together. This was easily the most serious of the breakages on the trip. He was reported to be very upset – understandably so after riding so far. I think this put a bit of a cloud over everyone which did not lift until much later in the morning.

We all felt for Tom and wish him well in his recovery.

Leaving the last hotel on our last day of riding

Leaving the last hotel on our last day of riding

We left the hotel in early morning sunlight – this promised to be the best day in the last week – heck the sun was out!

The route for the day was a mere 87 miles of flat terrain to and through Savannah and then on towards Tybee Island.

Dragonfly on awheel at the 1st SAG

Dragonfly on a wheel at the 1st SAG

Savannah is quite a big city but fortunately the route skirted through the suburbs without actually going into the centre. This saved any problems with busy traffic. The suburbs themselves were very nice and the roads were lined with trees adorned with hanging Spanish moss.

Tree lined suburbs

Tree lined suburbs

On exiting Savannah, it was a short ride to the entrance to Tybee Island. It was pre-arranged that the whole group would gather there and then ride the last 3 miles to the beach in procession. This would be a nice end to the trip.

Tybee Island - our final destination!

Tybee Island - our final destination!

The whole group gathering for the final procession

The whole group gathering for the final procession

As the final procession left we were accompanied by one of the SAG vans which drove behind us with hazard lights flashing to warn other motorists. This was kind of exiting and added to the sense of anticipation which grew rapidly once we set off.

The procession heads for the beach - Susan Reed in front on her recumbent

The procession heads for the beach - Susan Reed in front on her recumbent

A few minutes later we turned on to the beach front road, then we saw the hotel. We turned into the car park to be greated by members of the PAC Tour crew and some family and friends who were cheering and waving banners! It felt great to have a reception committee. We rode through an archway in the hotel, past the rear car park and up the boardwalk onto the beach – and finally we were there – the Atlantic Ocean!

After 30 days of very hard riding it cannot be stressed enough the feeling of emotion at finally arriving! We walked onto the beach past bemused sunbathers and down to the water. There we deopsited bikes on the sand, removed our shoes and walked or ran into the water. On entering, the water was warm and so I along with several others dived straight in!! The feeling was amazing!.

Finished at last!!

Finished at last!!

Afer the elation at finishing - a more restrained photo!

After the elation at finishing - a more restrained photo!

Once the initial elation at completing the trip was over it was time to pose for a few “official” shots. Firstly the four of us who rode all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic:-

Dan, Brian, Russ and Walt - all rode Pacific to Atlantic

Dan, Brian, Russ and Walt - all rode Pacific to Atlantic

And finally -the obligatory group shot – a lot of very tired and very happy people:-

The whole group celebrating!

The whole group celebrating!

Once the celebrations on the beach were over we went back to the hotel car park where we dismantled and packed our bikes up ready for the journey home. After being our friend and transport for such a long time, it seemed almost discourteous to unceremoniously dismantle and pack away the bike so quickly -hell even the sea and sand had not dried yet!

Packing bikes up in the car park

Packing bikes up in the car park

As we packed the bikes up the sky turned blacker and blacker – and then the heavens opened yet again – at least this time though, we were not riding – and we had just finished packing the bikes – ha ha -let it rain!!!

The red line goes ALL the way!

The red line goes ALL the way!

This says it all!

This says it all!

The final map - now signed by everybody ready to be auctioned off for charity.

The final map - now signed by everybody ready to be auctioned off for charity.

After the bike packing we had a couple of hours rest time before the evening when we all attended a finishing banquet along with friends and family who had arrived to meet people. It was a great evening with good food, a superb slide show of all of Susan’s photos and a presentation to everybody of a PAC Tour placard for completing the trip.

The crew with their shields

The crew with their shields

PAC Tour Presentation Shield

PAC Tour Presentation Shield

Once all the shields were handed out it was time to auction off the map – this is a great souvenir for one lucky deep pocketed individual. Ours was won by Jonathan Page who has a small collection of them now. I subsequently found out however that he sent it to Tom as a present – a really nice move which I’m sure would have been greatly appreciated by Tom. The money raised from the auction goes towards Lon’s charitable projects in Peru.

Jonathan and Lon with the map - subsequently given to Tom Zaharis

Jonathan and Lon with the map - subsequently given to Tom Zaharis

Stats for the day and trip:-

Distance:    87 miles for the day, total for the trip 3684.

Climbing:   1000ft for the day, 123350ft for the trip.

Max Speed:   50mph broken on 7 occaisions, overall max 55.2mph (Day 20 – Talimena Parkway)

Max Temp: Many days over 90f but top temp was 103f in shade on day 19 – McAlester

Wildlife: Very little alive but highlights were Couger and Armadilo. The dead Coyote was impressive though!

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One Response to “Day 30 – Metter to Tybee Island”

  1. Walt Chapman Says:

    You saw a dead coyote! I saw a live one (or two) but you didn.t tell me.

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