Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The big finish

Current Location: Encinitas, California
Total Distance Traveled for the trip: 3,590 miles

Wyatt and I reached Imperial Beach, California around 1 PM Pacific Time on August 2nd, 2009. It will be a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life. That last day I was remembering everything that had happened on the whole bike ride and was starting to get a little emotional as the miles melted away. Slowly, but surely the miles left to go went from 73 to 60 to 30 to 5. The way I felt as the end approached is almost indescribable. We had gone so far over so long a time that it was just weird to be almost done. When we were two miles away we finally saw the ocean on the horizon. We started yelling and letting out war cries. Once we arrived at the pier at Imperial Beach we saw the people that mattered to us and gave them huge hugs!! Thank you Donna Marie and Cynthia for letting us stay in your house!!

We took some pictures then I unloaded my bags onto the ground which weighed 55 POUNDS!! Then we took off into the ocean. I brought my bike along and once it wouldn't roll anymore I carried it into the water. We started yelling and screaming. We were in heaven. I won't forget that moment for the rest of my life. I won't be modest now. It was a huge sense of accomplishment!!

Final Thoughts

There were moments on the trip that I seriously doubted myself. The desert was by far the hardest part of the trip. There were times I thought if the wind started blowing in my face while we were out there we just wouldn't make it. If we got stuck out in that heat it could have been the end. I think that was me just being worried, but it was desolate out there.

There were a few things this trip definitely helped me out with. I was lying to myself when I thought I had completely grieved about my brother. I thought I had dealt with his death, but truth be told I had just pushed it away and tried not to think about it. I had not realized that before, but now I do. I spent anywhere from 6 to 10 hours a day on my butt riding on that bicycle and I had so much time to think. I thought about my brother constantly wondering what he would have wanted out of me. I thought about how life dealt him a bad hand. In the end I realized that he wouldn't want me to be angry at the world or to be sad all the time. He would just want me to be happy and to always remember him in my thoughts. I did and will always. He will continue to live through me. Whenever I saw something amazing such as a rainbow, or biking up to 10,300 feet in cloudy and rainy weather, and then once I reached the top the sun came out and I had the best view of my life, I thought about him. I honestly thought he was with me. I will always remember the good times that we had. Each day I rode, I thought about 5 different good times that we had and then wrote it down. I now have a list of 250 memories of him. I don't think I would have remembered half those things if I hadn't done this. He was my best friend and always will be. I love you Andrew.

I'm more focused. I clearly know what I want to do in this world. I want to help people in anyway I can. I used to have a more selfish attitude, I was more of a me person, and I regret that. I am so lucky for everything that I have. I have parents that love me, a family that supports me in what I do (for example this bike ride), and money was never an issue in my family. I saw so many people on this trip that had nothing. They were poor, their parents were drunks or ignored them. I saw such poverty in this country that it shocked me. The amazing thing was that these people were still so nice and generous when I talked to them. They would buy me lunch, stop on the side of the road and give me water, or let us sleep in their house or yard. It was just amazing to me. These are people that deserve a chance to succeed and I want to do anything I can to help them.

I just want to say thank you to everybody for their help and support. You have know idea how thankful I am to everyone who donated and believed in me to do this. I promise I will call everyone of you in the next few weeks and personally thank you.

I will always chase my goals and I hope you do too. This journey was life changing for me.


  1. I'm crying while I'm reading/ writing this- huge accomplishment doesn't begin to describe what you've done! You guys are just amazing. You did such a great thing and I'm so glad you did- the memories you've written down are priceless. It's just inspiring, overwhelming to read what you've done. WE LOVE IT!

  2. Hi there,
    Here are some thoughts from a few crazy Dutchmen. You're still in our minds, the pictures we took remind us of a fantastic experience. You have a great talent. Not alone being a moving writer, you are truly a great human being. Tim and Syds really mis you.
    Take care, hoepfully we'll see each other again on this crazy planet.
    Yke, Wibo, Tim and Syds

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hey guys!

      I'm not sure if this would even reach you, but I would love to reconnect. Wyatt and I were talking about our time with your family at the Grand Canyon and how wonderful you guys were to us. TIm and Syds were absolutely hilarious and we still laugh when we talk about them. If you ever check this please send me an email at stephen.prince88@gmail.com



  3. im proud to call you my friend. Get home, dude!!

  4. Hey dudes, I forgot to look at this since you've finished the trip. My dad was talking about how awesome the last blog entry was so I thought I'd check it out. Real proud of you guys and I'm glad we got to make another connection, after years of thinking we would never meet up in this lifetime again. I'm glad you learned lessons from this experience and from the lives of the people you met. That sort of learning is indescribable.
    Die living, boys. You kick ass.