The day’s statistics are:
The real story however is that the ride is over for another year. 270 miles of no blood, lots of sweat and only tears of emotion. The ride was short at 35 or so miles into DC, but it was the hardest ride in terms of the terrain. There were lots of short steep-ish hills and rolling countryside, but the biggest issue was the state of the roads. The roads in New Jersey are bad, but DC is even worse. Instead of calling out holes and rough road, it was almost easier to call out when there was a smooth surface.
I nearly didn’t make it to DC as on the last stretch into DC, some 3 –4 miles from the RFK Stadium, the girl immediately in front of me in a tight bunch hit the wheel of the bike in front of her and came down, nearly bringing down several riders. I’m still not sure how I managed to avoid her at such close distance.
The parade from the RFK stadium to the Memorial was extra special this year as somehow we managed to be at the front of the parade and so were able to ride in and through the Memorial taking the applause of the thousands of people there. It was a very moving experience, to reach the end of the journey and see all those relatives of deceased officers cheering you in. Words cannot describe the feeling of arriving at the memorial. It is very humbling to have people who have lost loved ones cheering you into DC. We had just done what we love and ridden our bikes for four days. Their loved ones are the heroes – they gave their lives.
At the memorial, there was a welcoming ceremony when we learned that this year the ride had so far raised $1.65 million- last year it was $1.5million and in the first year 15 years ago was $15,000! The riders have done their fellow officers proud.
I have to say that I felt better today than I did last year. This is surprising to me as I am another year older and did not do any long distance rides this year.
A couple of beers and a free meal in a restaurant last night made for a good celebration. I managed to get my meal free because they screwed up my order, forgetting my starter, then delivering it at the same time as the main course.
Today it is the candlelight vigil and a day of leisure in DC – a chance to meet survivors, mingle with the crowds and chill out
Lack of internet access means this is kept short