TransAm – Day 56 – Ashland – Yorktown

August 9, 2018
Ashland – Yorktown
158 km (98 miles)
768 m (2519 feet) elevation
5:52 moving time
6932 km (4308 miles)

Our final day, how exciting 😁

To reach Yorktown we had some 160 km to go so we woke up early. Checked out the breakfast at our motel and decided to try out the Waffle House across the street instead. There were very happy and lovely people working and singing along with the radio “I feel happy” and setting the tone for our day 😁

There were few regular customers coming in that made us think that it’s probably not a good idea to visit this restaurant often for breakfast 😐 but the food this morning was good.

It was a beautiful morning, quite humid and already warm and sunny. But for our last day we did not mind, we just loved it 😋

For the first 30 km we were mostly on heavy traffic roads and that is never a lot of fun so we pedaled a bit faster wanting to get on our country roads and to be able to talk to each other about our experience and feelings about this journey coming to an end.

At Charles City (about half way) we sat down at a wonderful coffee shop and had some salad and a lot of drinks to fill the tank because the sweat was floating in the 35 degrees 😏. The owner sat down with us for a moment, exited about our journey and Iceland. He especially welcomes cyclists and outside he has a big tank of cold water for everyone to fill their bottles. Leaving we were feeling even more energized, happy and excited to get to Yorktown and see the victory monument.

After the restaurant we got on the Virgina capital trail which was fantastic. Being able to ride side by side with out worrying about traffic is something we really do appreciate after riding too often in this journey in heavy traffic wondering if some driver would not see us or even just like to show us that we were a nuance on the road. We must give almost every driver that has passed us a thumb up for their politeness, patience and just for following the laws by understanding that cyclists and drivers need to share the road. We have had two or three too close encounters that should not have had to happen but we have also tried our best to be responsible and considerate by waving drivers to pass or stopping to let a line of drivers pass or big trucks that can have a hard time passing safely for everyone. It’s our belief that with some courtesy, following the laws and smiling cyclists and drivers can happily share the road 😃

On the trail we met a nice guy from Columbia that wanted to cycle with us to Williamsburg (some 40 km). He soon had difficulty following our speed, felt it was to hot to ride and quit. We were too exited and having too much fun to be able to slow down 😜

We had decided to cool down in Williamsburg but when we got there the clouds were building up so we just kept on going. The road surface was terrible and we really felt it for our bikes shaking heavily. But they pulled through, we could not be more satisfied with our bikes 😁

As we were some 15 km away from Yorktown we noticed another rider just ahead. We ride just a bit harder to catch up with him and have a brief chat. When he saw us getting closer he started riding harder as if in a race. This only fueled our competitive spirits so we put even more power into those pedals and caught up with him. He looked like he had lost some race and waved us on and didn’t even want to chat. Instead of letting us ride ahead he latched on to our rear wheels- a wheelsucker. We pedaled even harder those 5 last kilometers and dropped the poor fellow. Crazy how our competitive juices started flowing just as we were about to reach our target.

We rode into Yorktown and up a small hill to where the Victory Monument is located. It marks the end of the official TransAm route. We had seen TransAm racers sitting on the monument enjoying hanging finished the race. Unfortunately arriving there was a bit anticlimactic for us because there was scaffolding around the monument so we couldn’t take the photos we had hoped but we didn’t let that bother us and managed to get some photos to document the finalization of our journey.

Afterwards we went for an ice cream and found a place to stay for the night. Went for a dinner and had our first alcoholic beverages for a loooong time. Monika had a mojito (that she than didn’t drink) and Saemi had a Samuel Adam’s Boston Lager. During our trip we found that alchohol (even just one beer) and riding the following day was a bad mix so we just stayed away from alcohol until tonight.

It is a weird but wonderful feeling going to sleep knowing that we don’t have to wake up before 6 o’clock in the morning. We will not have to plan our day based on where to have breakfast along our route and how much water we will need before we can refill our bottles.

There are too many emotions and thoughts running through our heads right now to be able to put them all into words. We are extremely happy with our achievement, we feel a sense of relief, we cannot wait to get back home to our family and we are very happy to feel the love and support from the people back home.

We have been asked if we would consider doing a talk or a presentation on this adventure for those interested. We are thinking it over but could be fun if enough people show interest.

We will write another post later on when we have had time to digest what we achieved and what we have learned about ourselves.

14 thoughts on “TransAm – Day 56 – Ashland – Yorktown

  1. Brian Barrett

    Such a monumental achievement!!! I understand the feeling of not really being able to digest it all within the hours of finishing. You guys are the only bloggers I’ve ever followed on the TA. My interest began back in the spring when you guys posted on the AC site about possibly being able to finish the ride in two months or so. I offered encouragement as did a few others but man were there some negative comments. Then the warnings about “Trump Country”. I couldn’t help myself trying to assuage any fears that would have brought about. Then the moderator locked the thread!

    Sounds like you had a wonderful final day. It turns out that the guy that you blew past and tried to draft you was the true Queen of the Slipsteam 😉

    You will never forget the stunning beauty of the Oregon coast, McKenzie Pass!, those seemingly never ending passes in central Oregon, that steep climb up from the Snake River, flat tires, White Bird “Hill”, the tranquil beauty of the Lochsha River, beautiful Missoula, those mosquitos near the battlefield after the twin passes, those ridiculous winds before the quake lake, flat tires, the wildlife and beauty of Yellowstone, the grandeur of the Tetons, Togwotee Pass!, the winds of Wind River and the rest of WY, the heat of WY, the rugged beauty of Colorado, the livability of Summit County, Hoosier Pass, those pesky headwinds through most of CO, flat tires, hitting the half way point sometime around there, those ridiculous headwinds and heat all the way through flat, boring KS, those roller coasters and steep grades of Missery, the Mississippi River, surprisingly wonderful cycling through S IL, the ferry!, flat tires, the serene Blue Hills of western KY, those firehouses, Coal Country, the endless hills and dogs and trash and people staring like you’re from Mars, the beauty of VA and change of culture from KY, that damn motel room, Vesuvius, flat tire, Charlottesville, the final day and the fenced in monument at the finish, maybe asking yourselves why they didn’t have the finish at the ocean?

    You guys rock! I’ll leave you with one final song for both of you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBuwC4VJi50

    You crushed it! Thanks for your amazing story over two months. Cheers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian, what a wonderful post and recap of our journey. You mention things we had already forgotten which makes me want to go and read our blog entries 😀.
      You have been a great source of information and encouragement throughout this journey, and even from before it started. You are like our own little ghost Obi-Wan Kenobi on Star Wars 😂.
      If you are interested in staying in touch we would love it if you friended us on Facebook or sent me an email as I don’t believe I have your contact info. My email is saemundur@gmail.com.
      Thanks again for all your comments over the last two months! They have been invaluable and we have anticipated your comments same as you have looked forward to our blog posts! Cheers!!!

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      1. Brian Barrett

        Your writing stirred so many memories for me and that what made it so special. It spurred a seven day frantic search for my old TA journal from ’87 which my wife dug up from the mothballs a few weeks ago. I hadn’t read it in a long time and it was amazing how my experiences back then were so similar to yours now. Especially the winds in Montana and the final few days of Colorado (headwinds but expecting tailwinds) and of course five days of headwinds in KS. Also, many of these areas in the west were fresh in my mind as my daughter and I tracked the TA through most of Oregon and parts of WY on our recent crossing. Like that little church in Dayville where we took a day off and I also stayed there in 87 so I’ve now spent three nights sleeping on those church floors!

        Some of the experiences with people that you meet across the way are difficult to convey in a blog post as there would just be too much to write. I’m certain that you had so many of those experiences. The people that you encounter along the way are such a huge part of the experience.

        Again, thanks so much for letting me metaphorically come along for you ride. I will reach out by email. Safe travels back to Iceland!

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  2. Sveinn Valtýr Sveinsson

    Innilega til hamingju með þennan frábæra sigur á erfiðri leið. Þetta hefur örugglega verið mjög erfitt á köflum, barátta við náttúruna, umhverfið, ykkar á milli og sennilega þó allra helst við sjálfið í ykkur sem hefur örugglega sagt ykkur mörgum sinnum á leiðinni að þetta sé tóm vitleysa. Ég er hrikalega stoltur af ykkur og hef haft gaman af því að lesa þessa pistla með morgunkaffinu. Nú veit ég ekki hvernig ég á að fara að því að drattast á lappir á morgnanna þar sem engar dagbókarfærslur bíða mín 🙂

    Like

    1. monikaskarp

      Æi þú ert svo mikið krútt Svenni 🙂. Okkur hlakkar svo til að hitta ykkur og fara yfir hlutina og ræða svo næstu ævintýri á fjallahjólunum 😉
      Ef morgnarnir verða til vandræða hjá þér þá lánum við Lísu bara hundalúðurinn og lofum að hann mun koma þér á lappir 😁

      Like

  3. Sigurbjörg Hafsteins

    Sendi hamingjuóskir til ykkar með þetta stórkostlega afrek. Það hefur verið gaman að fá að fylgjast með þessari ferð ykkar hér á blogginu, takk fyrir alla skemmtilegu pistlana og myndirnar 🙂

    Like

  4. Bruce Thompson

    A great accomplishment and a very fast pace in some very hot conditions. Quite a remarkable story. Our dinner in White Mills, Kentucky, was a lot of fun. I hope we meet again, either here or in Iceland. Best regards….

    Liked by 1 person

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