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Collinsville Middle School PE teacher. Married (19yrs.)with two boys (12 and 8) 7th grade boys basketball coach. Avid cyclist

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stop #12 Washington DC

Hello bigride fans
Well, I did it. I made it. Hard to believe but it's done. I want to thank everyone for all the love, support, and prayers that you have given me the last two summers. Before I say a few last words about my adventure, I want to tell you all a few stories about today. As you know I stayed at a Bed & Breakfast last night. I made a little mistake about who paid for my room last night. It was paid for by the UMC from Paris, VA. So, thanks a lot and sorry about that.
I left this morning before 6:00 am after having a nice egg and toast breakfast. I was very excited about getting to that trail and having an awesome ride into DC. Uh, yeah. Well 5 miles from the B &B my trailer fender comes off and rotates to the front of the trailer tire and gets jammed. It made a terrifying noise and locked up my tire. I was scared to death. I looked at it and discovered all I needed to to do was to take the fender off and keep going. No big deal, right? I made it to the trail about an hour later and started to relax and enjoy the tree lined, asphalted, double wide bike trail called the W & OD Trail. ( Washington and Old Dominion )
About two hours later I see a guy walking with his bike on his shoulder. I asked him if he needed a tube? He said yes but that he didn't know how to change a tire. I felt like a brain surgeon all of a sudden. I showed him how to change the tire and gave him my spare pump and another tube. He offers to give me twenty bucks for helping but I flat out refused so he told me he would help someone else when he gets a chance. I thought that was cool. He was a very nice guy.
About 10 miles later, guess who got a flat tire? Me!! Some guy goes buy and mentions that he had just seen me helping some guy with a flat. Yep. Some kind of Karma, but I'm not sure what kind yet. About 5 miles later the part that holds my wheel and trailer together comes apart. Luckily it happened at a stop sign. If it would have happened a few minutes before when I was flying down a hill, it would have been disastrous. So I had to pull of the bike trail and fix that so that I could continue on my journey. As I got closer to DC I had to pick up another trail called the Custis Trail. Bad part is, I don't know where I'm going! Luckily I met a great guy named Allen. Allen offered to escort me into my destination. He was supposed to be heading home after his ride but he told me he wanted to be a part of this. I was very happy to have his company and enthusiasm. He told me a couple of times, " you can do it Tom, your almost there!" I was very tired and he raised my spirits because he was excited for me. When we pulled into DC, he started going " you did it man, you did it!" He even let out a couple of hollers. It was great!!!! He is a fellow cyclist and he understood the accomplishment that I was finishing up. I am very grateful to Allen. Thanks man!!!!! Allen had to get home so he helps set me on course for my hotel. It's on the other end of DC and I had to go through a very tough part of DC. It started to seem like I was going to end up in Maine. I was pretty sure I was only a few miles away when guess what happens? FLAT TIRE!! Yep, #2 on the day. One flat tire on the first day out, two flat tires on the last day. I was only one mile away. 1 mile. So, I fixed another flat knowing that I only have one more spare tire. As I was coming over the next hill, I saw the Holiday Inn!!!! Words cannot describe how much relief I felt at that moment. I was able to check in and take a shower before the King Krew arrived. My day was complete. Thank you God for delivering me safely. Later in the day we went to the Mall and saw some of the sights. Washington DC is a very cool place to visit. We are looking forward to seeing as much as possible over the next 4-5 days.
This has been an amazing journey. On a personal level, I have accomplished something very difficult and I have suffered physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. But through all of the suffering I have had an Ace in my pocket. Caleb's spirit and strength have guided me during some very tough times last summer and this summer. I am always going to have that and that makes me feel truly blessed. Caleb was an amazing kid because he has amazing parents, family, and friends. He has a ton of people who love him and feel his inner strength too. Please never forget what Caleb did to inspire you. The Zarzecki's appreciate all of your love and support for them and the entire family. I am thankful that I am a part of the Zarzecki extended family. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to heal during this tough time in your lives.

For the most part, this is my last blog. We are still going to have a few bowling fund raisers next year so I will post about those or other things we might have going. But the "bigrideking" has left the building. I have done what I have set out to do and it feels great. We will continue to fund raise for our 2012 Caleb Zarzecki Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please support us in any way possible. I want to put up my e-mail again in case anyone wants to contact me directly. You can contact me at tking1@kahoks.org Thanks for everything!!!! God Bless & share your love!!
On behalf of my family and myself, Cya


Jennifer said...

Karma is right...but hey, no doubt you were prepared for those flats. So glad you made it safely to DC. Just told my brother about your completing the trip. Guess he had emailed you back about contacting him with the questions you had...told him obviously you got it figured out. He said he has always wanted to drive Rte 40, but doesn't have alot of free days when traveling and it would take a little longer then the interstates. Enjoy DC I have been there a million times....my brother went to Georgetown for undergrad and law school. If you get a chance go by Georgetown and then go eat at the Tommbs...it is the bar/restaurant that the movie St. Elmos Fire was based off of. Take care and enjoy the time with the family. I will be in touch.

Love, Jen Smith Traficano

Michelle Jefferson said...

Tom, You're awesome! Thanks again for doing this. Enjoy D.C. Tell your family we all appreciate their sacrifice. Michelle Jefferson

Donna Laird said...

WOOOOO HOOOOO!!!! Once again I'll tell you....YOU ARE AWESOME TOMMY KING!!!!! Caleb Zarzecki MOST DEFINATELY inspired you!!! So glad to hear you made it safely....ENJOY your time with Jen, Lucas & Kellen & hope to see you sometime back in Troy, IL !!!!!

Tina Frazer said...

Tom,you're awesome! I have enjoyed following you on you're ride. Enjoy the time you have left with the family.

Take care, Tina Frazer

mona carter said...

Hi Mr King How are you on your ride.

mona said...

Hope everything is fine.