Day thirty-two. The final day of the Eastern part of our trip. I wondered how this day would be, just as I often wonder how the last day of the tour will be- I found day thirty-two to break my expectations, just as every other day of the tour has.
We woke at the church that kindly allowed us to camp in their backyard. Locke and Stache met us out the evening before to collect footage for a video they are working on for us. As I swung my legs over the side of my hammock just as the sun was coming up, I was greeted by the whole campsite already awake. We made our normal breakfast- oatmeal and coffee. Austin and Josh filmed it all and made boiling water and putting on jerseys look way cooler than it felt. After we finished with our breakfast and breaking down camp, we set out on the final leg of the trip before our week of rest in Springfield.
The riding was difficult. It was hot, and we weren’t out of the hills by any means. The climbs were long, the decents were short, and the temperature climbed. In heat like this, lots of water breaks and cool-offs in the shade become necessary, and that makes the hours on the bike long. We had one thing- the fact that we were headed into Springfield to keep us going. We skipped lunch. We texted friends and updated out social media. 2pm was the time we’d ride into Springfield. We settled on Pineapple Whip as the first stop, and we invited friends to meet up to see our loaded bikes and our sweaty selves. I was surprised with our turnout, a lot of people met up with us. It was surreal to be in Springfield, seeing familiar roads and familiar faces. We were all overwhelmed by the possibilities, we wanted to go to all of our favorite places all at once. Part of the team decided to go to Sunshine Bike Shop. (with our Canadian friends.) I had my heart set on one place- The Coffee Ethic. I wanted espresso, and I wanted to see some of my favorite people. And just like that, we split. I rode to TCE, and they to the bike shop.
Everyone met up later for some celebration that evening, and again I was surprised at the turn out. We laughed, we danced, and we stayed up way too late.
It was great to be back in Sprinfield