Day 56: Boylston, MA to Revere Beach, MA — 50 miles

And with that, the trip comes to a close.

Fittingly, the roads I biked on were very familiar to me, and I saw many familiar faces along the way, leading up to a grand finale on the beach, with dozens of friends on hand to cheer my accomplishment.

I started, of course, in Boylston, and Brian saw me off in the morning. Just a few miles from there, I ran into Bruce, who had communicated with Brian to find out when I was leaving, and was on the side of the road, capturing a video of me as I went by.

About an hour later, I stopped in Maynard, to see Betsey and Scott, who live there. We went to the Maynard Farmer’s Market, where Betsey bought me a nice, juicy peach to enjoy before continuing on.

Betsey and Scott, at their home in Maynard.

After another 10 miles, I came to the start of the Minuteman Bike Trail in Bedford. The Minuteman is a 10+ mile long paved rail trail running from Bedford in to Cambridge, and along the way goes through Lexington and Arlington, where I live.

At the Bedford end, I met Dan and David, two biking friends who live in the area, and they biked the 10 miles from Bedford to my house. It was a victory ride, of sorts, as we all talked about the trip, and various bike rides we each have been on that made an impact in our lives.

Dan and David met me in Bedford for the ride home.

I was so happy to arrive at our house! It was great to see everything again, and I dropped off most of my gear. No need to carry it the remainder of the way to the beach! So I had a nice, light bike for the final stretch.

While I was home, I saw our cat Petra, who was initially standoffish to me, and I wasn’t sure if she had forgotten me, if she was mad at me for being gone so long, or didn’t recognize my smell because I was so sweaty. I also saw my mother-in-law, Anne-Marie, who traveled from Connecticut to be there for my return.

And of course I saw my wife Marsha. I had seen her about a week earlier in New York, but it was wonderful to see her again, and I look forward to being able to spend much more time with her in the coming days before she has to go back to school.

But I wasn’t finished with my trip just yet. Dan regretfully departed for home, and was replaced with another friend Arun, and David, Arun, and I biked the final 10 miles to Revere Beach.

Arun, Dan, and David, outside my home. We are getting ready to ride to the beach.

Before I left for my trip back in June, I had plotted out a bicycle-friendly route to the beach, which included some back roads, some roads with bike lanes, and even a paved bike trail for quite a few miles. I rode this route several times, both to do some training to prepare, but also to fix the route in my mind so I would know it, just for today.

I triumphantly led the way, and we arrived at the beach to the applause of a couple of dozen friends who were there just for the occasion. Brian and Rachel had come in from Boylston, Betsey and Scott were there from Maynard, Marsha and Anne-Marie came from our house, and many other people showed up as well.

The inspiration for my trip, Sheila, showed up as well, and I think she was flattered that I had used her experience thru-hiking the Appalachan Trail to motivate me for my own voyage.

After I dipped my bicycle tire in the ocean, we hung out at a pavilion on the beach for hours, enjoying the nice day. It was a hot day, but with the ocean breeze it felt downright reasonal. I was worried that Revere Beach would be very crowded on a hot Saturday in August, but surprisingly, there weren’t that many people there.

My bicycle, with the front tire in the Atlantic Ocean.

Some members of our group took a dip in the ocean, until we noticed some lightning strikes in the water just a few miles off the shore. It never rained where we were, but for much of the afternoon we got to see nature’s light show. Several people had brought snacks, and we ordered a couple of pizzas, most of which I ate because I was, as usual, starving.

There was a group of people working on an art project, walking through the pavilion and filming passersby talking about their personal stories, which they were planning to edit into a film. Naturally they came over to our group, and I ended up telling them stories from my trip. Maybe I’ll make it into their finished project!

As evening began to fall we dispersed, with Marsha, Anne-Marie, and me making our way back to our home. After a quick meal, we turned in, and I got to sleep in my own bed for the first time in 67 days. I slept very soundly.

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13 Responses to Day 56: Boylston, MA to Revere Beach, MA — 50 miles

  1. lefauxfrog says:

    Congratulations, Lee! Sorry I could make it to Revere on Saturday.

  2. Congratulations, Lee, you did it! A very impressive accomplishment. Well done!

  3. Becca Thornblade says:

    Congratulations Lee! Your trip is incredibly inspiring to us all. Sorry to have missed the Revere Beach party. (Still at my camp in VT). Hope to give you a celebratory hug when I’m back and hear all about it!

  4. kgardner says:

    Congratulations, Lee! You are an inspiration!

  5. Gail Deboer says:

    Congratulations, Lee! Karen told me about your trip and blog after she returned from her A.T. section hike. I’ve been reading it and checking TrackMyTour almost every day. Thanks for the summer entertainment. Say “hi” to your mom, Ruby. Years ago, we worked together at the Pilot-Independent for a short time. And I’m still here …! Gail DeBoer, Hackensack, MN

  6. Colin says:

    Congratulations Lee! Hate to tell you, though, but your cross-country ride has been ruled invalid due to skipped miles in Milwaukee; you’re going to have to do it again some year!

  7. auger282 says:

    Congrats Lee! What an amazing tour.. Thanks for all the great blog posts and pictures!

  8. Chris P says:

    Thanks for all the interesting stories Lee! It seems like we were just sending you off! Sorry I missed the arrival.

  9. detr1tiBoer! says:

    I’m sorry to see it end! Your blog has been a delightful part of my summer reading. It was such a pleasure seeing you when you stopped in Minnesota along the way. And congratulations on keeping up to date on all of your posts. Tough to do after a long day!

  10. gelwert@frontiernet.net says:

    Lee,

    So glad to hear you safely completed your cross country journey. We were rooting you on ~ what a grand feat!!!

    We are the couple you met on the way to lunch in Newark, NY, Saturday, August 8. What an inspiration you were to us as you shared your story. We have been going through your blogs and reliving the events of your past few months.

    Savour the glow of the moment and best wishes in your future pursuits!!

    Congrats!!, Jim and Gloria Elwert Spencerport, NY

  11. Hi Lee – We are so thrilled and happy you made it safely home after your incredible journey! Congratulations on finishing such a worthwhile goal!! It has been great to share your adventure with you through your blog. You did such a great job on sharing your experiences and your photos were wonderful! We enjoyed meeting & hosting you, and we hope to make it to your neck of the woods someday! (surely not on bike though!!) Best of luck and good wishes from Idaho! 🙂

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