Rachel Pilley
yahoo-geocities1999 American Lung Association Big Ride Across America

THE BIG RIDE ACROSS AMERICA 1999

Rachel Pilley - Rider #82


JOURNAL - PART 9
AUGUST 1 - 4
POST RIDE - WASHINGTON, DC


August 1 - Post Ride
Washington, DC

Oh it was nice to sleep in a comfortable bed in an air-conditioned room last night. It was so nice that I didn't even wake at the usual Big Ride time, but I slept in until 7:30, and even then lounged in bed until about 9:30 before heading downstairs for a continental breakfast that beat the pants off many of the Big Ride breakfasts that we have seen over the past 7 weeks.

Last night when we left the room, we walked the half dozen blocks over to the location of the reception. When we got there I was a little disheartened to find that the room was so small. I have no idea how many people were there, but it must have been at least 200 people packed into an area suitable for 120 or so. The number of people in such closed quarters made for a hot and stuffy environment, but we were all eager to be there in anticipation of seeing Lisa's slide presentation, which was much better than I had anticipated that it would be. Lisa had taken the time to put some of the slides to music and the presentation played for about ten minutes. Some of the photos were absolutely awesome and the whole presentation was very moving. Lisa stated that she will be making the photos available to us at some point soon, and I will definitely have to get a copy of the CD when she does.

After the slide presentation there was some discussion about where everyone was going to go for dinner and celebration. At last someone made the decision that we would be going to a place called "Garrett's" in Georgetown. There was more discussion about whom everyone was going to get there when somehow it got decided that Scott and I would catch a ride over with Dave Rose (OH) and his family. Unfortunately, however, we were not the only ones getting a ride, but Cecily was coming too.

As the seven of us (Cecily, Scott, me, Dave, his parents and his younger brother) got into the mini-van to head over to Garrett's, Cecily piped up that she didn't have her ID with her and that she needed to go back to her hotel to get it. No problem, where was her hotel, she was asked, to which she replied that she didn't know. To make matters worse, she didn't even know what the name her hotel was! We proceeded to spend the next hour driving around town looking for Cecily's hotel, only to finally find it in Richmond, Virginia. When at last we pulled up she went inside only to be seen standing around in the lobby. As it turned out, she didn't even have her hotel room key with her and she needed that to take the elevator upstairs. By this point my patience was already worn very thin, and it was now as much as I could do to keep from exploding. At last, her grandmother made her way downstairs to the lobby and Cecily was able to get her ID and we were all able to head on over to Garrett's for dinner and celebrations.

We arrived at Garrett's one and a half hours after we had originally left the reception. By the time we got there, my tolerance was worn so thin that neither Scott or I were much in the mood to hang around people who where already well on their way to getting drunk when we h\tab ad yet to even order a drink. Everyone else who we had arranged to meet up with and dine with had long since given up on us and had already eaten. Scott and I found ourselves eating, finishing off our one beverage, and then saying our good-byes to everyone before heading back to our hotel. The crazy thing is, in hindsight, the reception was only about a.15-20 minute walk from Garrett's.

This morning after our continental breakfast we went back up to the room to shower. I also took the opportunity to call my parents and share with them the excitement of having finished the ride. They are both very proud of me! When we were ready to head out, we went into town to a place called Capital Brewery near Union Street, to meet up with a bunch of Big Riders. I was somewhat disappointed with how few people were there, but I suppose that many people are already making their ways back home and to their real lives. Of the people who did show up, it was a pretty good bunch including Dave and his brother Al, Brad and Elise, Ken and his girlfriend Almaliz (who crewed with us for the last bit of the Ride), \tab and Randy. We all enjoyed a bite to eat, had a couple of beers, exchanged emails and promises to stay in touch and then headed our separate ways. The parting was a sad moment as I realized that it was probably the last time than I would ever see some of those people again.

Scott, Randy and I headed back to the Dorm accommodations where we picked up Randy's truck and drove into Georgetown to a couple of bike stores so that we could purchase pick-up truck bed mounts for holding our bikes into the back of his truck. We were lucky at the second store and then we headed back to our hotel to grab out bikes and load them into Randy's truck. By the time that we were finished fitting them all in there we were drenched in sweat as it is still so stinking hot. We said good-bye to Randy and then headed back up here to the room to do laundry, relax, watch TV, snooze, and order pizza for dinner tonight. Tonight the only thing on our agenda is to relax and enjoy the air conditioning. Washington's sights can wait until tomorrow to be seen.

August 2 - Post Ride
Washington, DC