I have never once been alone on my bike this year. It may have looked that way to outsiders, on those days when I was spinning around solo, but the fact of the matter is that I always felt like I was riding with everyone who has pledged to support me on the Challenge. You may not have been present physically, but you were certainly there in spirit, every day, for every mile.
And now we've come to the finish. If all goes well and I don't catch any of the bazillion viruses that seem to be decimating classroom attendance, I should finish up easily on Sunday. Originally, I had planned a big party, but the problem was, I really had no idea when to expect the finish, and so organizing something big would have been difficult. As it turned out, I'm finishing nearly a month ahead of where I'd expected, so there you go.
So as the miles have been ticking down, I've been wrestling with how to end it. Should it be a big bang, with those of you who have been riding along riding those last few miles with me? Or should I finish quietly, as also seems appropriate, since so many of the miles this year have been quiet ones.
The trouble with finishing with a bang is that I'm not sure how many people would actually want to do that with me. Many of my supporters don't count themselves as hard-core cyclists, and so distances more than five or ten miles might seem too daunting to them, and I would want to leave out anyone who wanted to ride along. Also, I think it is A&M weekend or something, I'm not sure whether that might affect how many wanted to ride. I'll admit it, I have some anxiety about throwing a party and nobody showing up for it...
If a couple of people wanted to ride the end with me, though, I'd say let's make it a ride from my house to someplace for lunch and back. I'll make sure the route is as safe as turtles, and the whole thing is around five miles round trip. If I get any interest in doing this, I'll work out my mileage schedule to leave five miles on Sunday. Vegetarians, vegans, meat-eaters, people who won't eat anything purple--I'll pick a place that has something for all of us.
If no one is particularly jazzed about this, or if you already have plans (sorry about the late notice), then Plan B will be to ride with the cycling club on Sunday and let the marker pass without too much fanfare. I'm okay with this, too, but finishing with those of you who've been with me all year would be my first choice.
So let me know--either here on the blog, FB message or wall post, crib notes passed in class, or whatever--whether you're interested in throwing together a loose ride on Sunday. No balloons or bands, just some friends out for an easy ride on a pretty autumn day.
Either way, get ready to pay up. Blessings on all of you.