I had intended to write this post as soon as we finished the record, but I found myself needing a social media, blog, internet, and technology break as soon as the journey was over. We were completely overwhelmed by endless support and encouragement during the entirety of the journey. Words can’t express how grateful I am for that. Some days, I would want to quit, but would keep going because I knew people were watching and waiting to hear that we had made it. I also knew that if I needed to quit, I would have been equally supported. It’s pretty fascinating what the power of technology can do; It brought hundreds of people together along for the 7,000+ mile ride. At the end of the journey, it truly felt like a community accomplishment, as though we had all done it together. However, all of that being said, technology does give me some anxiety, and I found myself needing a detox. So now, here I am- two months later, refreshed and excited to share that last bit of this tale.
On July 30th at 1:05pm, Kyle and I crossed the finish line at the Marine Park in Bellingham, Washington. And when I say finish line, I mean a legitimate finish line. The people of Dost bikes went absolutely above and beyond. They made the end of our 3 month journey more special than I could have ever imagined. A few people from the Dost team came and met us the night before the finish and did some filming and interviews and things. They then followed us a little bit the next morning, using drones and cameras hung from car windows to capture us in the action of pedaling. It was awesome to spend face to face time with these people whom we had been emailing and video-calling with for months.
On that last day, Kyle and I had to stop by the UPS store and mail most of our gear home before we reached the finish line. This is because Dost would be taking our bikes back for us, as we did not want to travel all the back to Florida with them. So we found ourselves at 11am outside of the UPS store in Burlington, WA with all of gear strewn about on a patch of grass between two parking lots. Kyle went inside and bought a box while I sorted through what we needed to keep for our last few days before we flew home, and what should be sent back. I had to keep a close eye on the time, because we needed to be crossing the finish line about 18 miles West around 1pm. Packing all our gear into the UPS box was the first time it had really hit me. We wouldn’t be waking up the next morning and pedaling. Our life as we knew it the past 90 days, was over, and it was time to move on. To what though, we didn’t know.
The last 18 miles of the journey were lovely. Once we got out of busy Burlington, we found ourselves on the side of a highway with a big shoulder. We went over a hill, and suddenly we could smell the sea. That salt water, fishy smell filled our nostrils. “Can you smell it?!” Kyle yelled to me from a few bike lengths behind. We couldn’t believe it. The Pacific Ocean, it was so close we could smell it. A few miles later it came into view. We pedaled up a pretty major hillside and on our left was the ocean. It was a bay, but the bay was huge and led to the ocean. From the Atlantic to the Pacific- we had made it. We had about 30 minutes until we would be crossing the finish line, and the ride was absolutely gorgeous. We had not expected the last few miles to be so beautiful and we both just kept saying over and over again “wow. this is amazing!”
As I have mentioned before, I am working on a short story about this journey. My goal is to have it available by Christmas. Here is a small (unedited) excerpt from my first draft. I think it sums up the finish line experience well from an inward persepctive:
“When we crossed the finish line, I felt a sense of accomplishment that was completely unexpected. The people cheering, the cow bells ringing, the faces smiling and signs waving- it took me by surprise. I used to tell myself a story that I didn’t like crowds, that I was shy and didn’t want any attention on me. But in that moment, the moment I broke the ribbon with the front rack of my electric bicycle with Kyle following directly behind me, the moment we parked our bikes for the last time, the moment we turned and faced the small crowd that had gathered and smiled and clapped and cheered, I realized that was just a story. An old narrative I could leave behind. So instead of hiding behind that old narrative, I relished in the excitement. I allowed the attention to be on us for a few moments. I giggled and laughed and grabbed Kyle’s hand and we thanked the crowd and they all cheered one more time. It was a special moment. A moment I will take with me through my journey of life, a moment I will cherish and always be thankful for. It was in that moment that I realized: this journey wasn’t just about me and Kyle. This journey wasn’t just about our electric bicycles. This journey was bigger than I had ever realized, and am still realizing. It was about community, about friends, strangers, family, and people coming together to celebrate and find joy in the adventure of our electric bicycle tour of the US. Many people came together to congratulate us on breaking the world record for longest distance traveled by motorized bicycle, and for the first time in my life, I allowed them to. I didn’t try to hide. I didn’t try to shy away. Instead, I rejoiced in the shared joy and excitement, and the entire experience was magical.”
So now my question for you is, what is an old narrative that you have held on to, but is no longer serving you and can be let go of?
After we broke the ribbon and parked our bikes on the edge of the water, we turned and were greeted by so many smiling and cheering people. And one of these people in particular took my breath away. My childhood best friend of over 15 years was standing there with her sister. 100% unexpected, there was Kiley. She and her sister had driven over 15 hours from Salt Lake and completely surprised both of us. I just could not believe it. I think these pictures indicate that. It was a moment I will cherish forever.
Anyway, I have a lot to say about this expedition. And I am looking forward to sharing my short story when it is ready. Stay tuned for information on that. In the meantime, here is what has happened since we crossed that finish line:
- I spent over 40 hours gathering all our evidence in an organized fashion and submitted it to Guinness World Records
- Within a few weeks, we received word that they APPROVED our record, and that we are now both the current Guinness World Record holders for: longest distance traveled by a motorized bicycle. We hold a world record! Crazy!
- Dost bikes put together an absolutely awesome video of our journey. It can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P5ViYaecFQ
And now, to answer the question we get asked more than any other: what’s next?
Well, we are quite sure yet. At the moment, we are in Virginia where we own some property and are developing it to create a homestead with family. Come December we will be back working on our business, building and creating products. But as for the next adventure, we haven’t yet decided. We have all sorts of ideas rolling around in our heads, and are taking ideas and suggestions from anyone who might have one. So if you have an idea, please share it! We are thinking motorcycles somewhere unique like Asia or South America.. or a small boat trip.. or ? Who knows! Time will tell 🙂
Thank you to each and every one of you for your support along the way. You keep us going more than you realize. Life is good. People are good. Believe in it, and it’ll be easier to see. And if you’re having a hard time believing in it, find gratitude. Gratitude for the simple things. Fresh water, food, a roof over our heads. The sun shining, the birds singing, small moments of laughter. Onward and upward friends!
With love, Flipper.
P.S. Here are some photos, in no particular order. We have over 4,000 pictures from the trip, so I just chose some at random.
1 thought on “A Guinness World Record ✅”
Thanks for sending this preview of your short story! You forgot to mention that during your time-off you also survived a major hurricane in Florida! Love, Nancy