The End of the Ride

March 6, 2015

When I start a bike tour, the end is always something that I cannot fathom. I am nervous about the miles, the climbs, the arrangements, the weather, and full of wonderment for what lies ahead each day. The excitement of the days take over and I just focus on each day’s goals, assuming the very end will be this triumphant occasion — there will probably be a parade.

After the freedom of the road for days, the end finally comes. And there is a celebration, to an extent: we toast, we hug, we take photos with our bikes above our heads.

Finishing the Adventure Cycling Texas Hill Country tour with my dear friend Anna.

But mostly a mad-dash of logistics tints the celebration. How am I getting my bike back home? Where’s the shop I need to drop it off at? Where do you need to be? Where do I need to be? Didn’t I have a rain-jacket when I started? Where is the parade?

The logistical part of my brain panics and takes over, not letting me live in the moment. I regret the speedy goodbyes and I regret not giving enough love to the end of incredible journeys. Almost every time, the end is rushed and unappreciated.

This is no exception for the end of my current journey — working at Adventure Cycling. Today is my last day of working as a graphic designer for Adventure Cycling Association after three and a half wonderful years. As with every bike tour, it feels like it ended too soon, but it’s time to get on with the next adventure.

Logistics have taken over again. I've been so focused on finishing up projects and how I'm actually going to move to Bozeman, that I've almost forgot to appreciate the journey. I thought I would have more time to reflect on my favorite times, more blog posts about how much I love bike travel, and more meaningful goodbyes. More time. But here we are at the end of the road. And now I’ve got to put my bike(s) and gear in a car and go home.

I could not be more grateful for my incredible co-workers at Adventure Cycling. These people love bike travel and they want to make it more accessible and better for everyone. The staff here cares and that shows in their work and in their lives. I love these people. I will miss you, Adventure Cycling.

And I could not be more thankful for this audience, this platform, our members — you! I have been able to write some pretty random blog posts and they have been answered with only encouragement. Thank you.

Thank you all. Thank you for everything. The ride was amazing.

A moment of triumph with my mother on an Adventure Cycling tour.

First photo by Hal Lynde. Second by Tammy Schurr.

ART. ADVENTURE. AWESOMENESS. hopes it brought some joy to your screen-time. This column was written by Rachel Stevens.


Mandy March 9, 2015, 10:51 AM

Yes, where IS the darn parade? Oh Rachel, it's been great having you in the building even though we didn't work together much. Thank you so much for the work you've done here, best of luck in your next venture where I know you will be amazing, and rock that new city!!

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