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David says: I often find myself reflecting on aspects of our trip, especially while cycling, remembering events we experienced and people we met along the way. Mostly I recall positive things...the awesome scenery, the thrill of coasting down a mountain road, and cycling by moonlight. I also remember negative experiences...the frustration of fixing flat tires in the cold and rain, or the heat and wind sapping my strength, and am glad to have that behind me. Still, I would definitely do it all again, and sometimes get an urge to finish those last 700 miles or so to the Virginia coast.

I learned a lot during the trip about my physical potential...and my limits. I am still amazed that we made it as far as we did! When we were training prior to the trip, 20 miles seemed like a long ride, but later it just felt like a light workout.

If I were to do a cross-country trip again, these are some of the things I would do differently:
1. Pack fewer items and try to do without front panniers (the weight can become unbalanced and mess with your steering).
2. Eat more! I started out at 178 lbs and finished at 160 despite eating more calories per day than I ever thought possible.
3. Take more rest days...at least one per week. I know now that I pushed myself too hard and wore my body down, which may well have been the cause of getting "shingles"...physical stress can weaken the body's immune system.
4. Allow more time to explore some of the beautiful places we passed through too quickly.

I highly recommend cross-country cycling to anyone who is considering it. Don't let your fears discourage you and have a remarkable adventure that will season the rest of your life!

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