|"This isn’t for those who are satisfied and like the rhythm of their lives. It is for those that want more." - Mario Renteria|
It took 61 days for South Florida cyclist Mario Renteria to make it from Miami to San Francisco. The ending was kind of anti-climatic and he didn't even dip his tires in the Pacific Ocean until today after spending a couple days sightseeing. Even some of his most poignant thoughts about the trip came a few days before he finished...
I’ve reached the final night outside of San Francisco and the end of the trip. I didn’t realize how much I wanted to camp for just one last time until I sat comfortably in the motel room. This whole thing, this ride, journey, trip, whatever it’s called, has just punched me in the chest. I don’t think there is any way I would have been ready for it to end. Had California been an extra thousand miles, I still would have been caught off guard at the end.What a great start in learning about life for this young Miamian.
There were so many days in the hot sun that I wanted nothing more than a square foot of shade. The freezing mornings and nights where I could not function because I had not packed sufficient insulation. It feels like a dream. I’ve woken up from the night terrors. They felt like forever then and now feel like they flashed by in the last few hours of sleep. I no longer remember exactly how I felt those days on the East coast riding through the lovebugs. I only know they were real because it is written. It is memory. The urge to futilely flick a pair of those insects off just to have another take it’s place is more real to me now than the bugs ever were.
I’ve heard the line countless times. “I wish I could be doing what you are doing”. I don’t know if everyone should. Aside from the physical and mental challenges, the hardest part is the end. The feeling of living a lifetime within a lifetime. From birth to death. And the death is real. It has to be accepted and not fought. If you fight it then you will miss the final seconds of the life. The life is independent of your own. All of the people that were part of this whole thing were part of that life. The strangers who became friends, those that welcomed someone they did not know into their homes, the ones that didn’t hesitate to help or give a word of advice, readers of the blog that kept their thoughts to themselves and the ones that shared, the supporters who were near and far, the critics that buckled and those that remain adamant, the people that wanted to be a part of this because they knew what they were getting into and those that had no clue, the ones that still don’t know, and even those that offered a mere glimpse at a wave or thumbs up as they flew by the highway in the opposite direction.
There are no answers on the road. Doing something like this leads only to more questions. This isn’t for those who are satisfied and like the rhythm of their lives. It is for those that want more. You don’t need to know what you want, you just need to know that you want it. The road delivers what it must and what is necessary.
I think everything happened the way it was supposed to, even the things that were strange and unexpected. Maybe, especially those things.
Bicycle touring is not a sport. It is not traveling nor is it exercise. It is so much more.
Congrats, Mario. It was great following you on your journey.