Job Done! Swisshome to Florence. Total distance: 4264 miles across the USA

Arriving in Florence, Oregon with Mike and Tuan

It ended as it began – with Terry and I ankle deep in the cold waters of an ocean. Except this time it wasn’t the Atlantic, but 4,264 miles to the west in the Pacific. We turned to each other, shook hands and smiled. In ten weeks we’d cycled across America, from Virginia Beach in the East to Florence, Oregon in the West. We’ve seen amazing landscapes, met some of the most generous people imaginable – and made friendships with fellow cyclists which will last a lifetime.

After a final breakfast at Frank’s Place in Mapleton, Terry, Mike, Tuan and myself pushed on the final few miles to Florence. Within a few miles we could smell the salt water of the Pacific as, for the first time, mountain-fed rivers became a muddy estuary. Mike, who has entertained us with music from his bike-mounted speaker throughout serenaded us with “Somewhere over the Rainbow” as we approached the city limits sign for Florence.


Terry struggles to get his bike across the dunes

Once in town we pushed north for Heceta Beach where we’d planned to finish the ride in the crashing breakers of the Pacific. We didn’t make it easy to dip our tyres. Instead of opting for a flat stretch of beach we headed for the dunes, dragging our heavy bikes through thick sand onto a windswept beach dotted with driftwood and half-hidden by rolling banks of sea fog.

We could barely see the sea and it took us 20 minutes before we managed to get our bikes to the shoreline. In a way it was fitting – nothing about crossing America by bike has been easy and the TransAmerica kept up the battle right up until the final moments.


For several minutes we stood looking out to sea, lost in our own thoughts. Mike was a few hundred yards north. He’d earlier asked if he could have a few moments alone to contemplate the adventure and organise his feelings. We all did the same – a big moment like this is a time for deep thinking and profound thoughts. After a while we gathered together for photos and to discuss our revelations.


Tuan looks out to sea and contemplates what comes next. In the short-term he is planning to cycle on to Astoria in the next few days

In a nutshell these amounted to: 1) Wow – isn’t the Pacific big? 2) When we turn round we’ll be going East for the first time since early May and 3) oh sod it my feet are getting wet! In truth it was an emotional moment for us all – but it will take weeks to figure out the significance. Suffice it to say the TransAmerica is a life-changing experience, how that will affect us only time will tell, some will live on the memories, for others planning has already started on the next adventure. It’s a big world out there and one that is explored best, by bike.


A celebratory champagne dinner with Tuan, Mike and his wife Christine, who treated us to the bubbly. Thank you.


Suffix: the day after our arrival in Florence Terry and I headed to Driftwood Shores, Florence again to join Jerry and Jonathan’s families in congratulating them on their finish.


We have cycled with them on and off since we met on the third day in Mineral and we were so pleased to still be in Florence when they made it to the finish – after taking an epic detour to get around the fires on the Ochoco Pass.

In the coming weeks we will update with more thoughts and conclusions following the ride, but for now we are taking a few days rest on the coast before joining Kate and Liz who have supported us so brilliantly through this entire madcap adventure.

We could never have done this without their love and unswerving encouragement over the past few months. Thank you so much.

Today’s Miles: 27
Final Total Mileage: 4264



Written by Paul


  1. Hi Lads,

    So, so impressed at this. Massive congratulations to the both of you – what a phenomenal achievement.

    Now rest those weary legs and enjoy the plaudits as they come in.

    All the very best,

    Oh, Paul – if you get your skates on you might be back in time for rehearsal tomorrow!

  2. Brought a tear to my eye! Congratulations to you all. And now for something completely different, in Canada. Have a great time xxx

  3. Huzaar! Well done

    Dis you pack jeans and carry them all the way just for the photo opportunity?

  4. Bloody well done, must have been a hell of an experience !!!

  5. Well done!

    However, what I’m going to do now? My first task each day for the last few months has been to check with a sense of anticipation of a seeing new blog and having the sheer enjoyment of reading them. Then opening Google Maps to view the route and gradient profiles of a route to feel the pain!.

    There are no superlatives to describe your adventure. Though, I will try to quantify my feelings:
    Positivity (admiration, respect, etc.) : 74.9%
    Negativity (Jealousy, envy etc.): 0.1% (only feel these as wish I could have joined you)
    Sadness: 25% split 15% for being at a loss on how to start my day and 10% as your adventure is something I would have loved to have done but (probably) never will.

    Now, the million dollar question: would you do it again? If so, fancy a threesome (ooer)? Problem is my retirement date is disappearing far into the future but what a way to spend the pension! Mind a night at the Southern Inn, Houston MO would blow that (as mentioned in !

  6. Brilliant! Well done, congratulations, wow! etc. Jan looked at the top photo and remarked how fresh you look. Your blog has been utterly unmissable, thank you for taking the time to upload the photos and write the words. (I know how long it takes, writing a (poorer) blog myself.

  7. Brilliant!, great blog, great ride, great guys !!

  8. Huge Congratulations to you all. what an achievement. I somehow think this is only the start of further adventures. Have so enjoyed reading the blog and finding out where you had got to and if you were both ok.
    Next stop for now is British Columbia. See you soon.
    All our love
    Kate, Matt, Ellie, Harry and Woody xxx

  9. Wow – what an adventure. I’ll really miss reading about it. Congratulations, guys. It’s going to take time to get used to being indoors again. Ever…

  10. Congratulations, great achievement. Have a great time with Kate and see you both when you get back.

  11. Woohoo! Congrats, you made it and what an adventure. Incredible.
    PS . Lots of honey bees on the allotment. Terry, I think they must be yours, they have your eyes and liz’s smile 😉

  12. Amazing job guys. I am so jealous…maybe some day you will do it again or something similar and I can join you.

    Marc (Day 1 in Virginia)

  13. congratulations on a job well done!! Loved reading the blog. Have a lovely time with Liz, Terry and come home soon,
    Love Kathxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. Well done to you both! Have been reading your brilliant blog every day, what am I going to
    do now
    After your legs have rested, you must plan another one!!

  15. Many congratulations to you both on your great cycle ride. We are really proud of you, well done.
    We have enjoyed reading your blog. Can’t believe it has now finished after all the preparation that went into the trip. We hope Paul and Kate have a wonderful holiday and look forward to seeing you and hearing all about your adventure. Love from Mum and Dad xxxxxxxxx

  16. Really happy you guys completed the trip. I am jealous! I am too old to do this but I have been with you in spirit. It seems like a long time since that first day when I met you in Yorktown, VA. I hope I can keep in touch, at least once in a while, and see what you do next. Again congratulations.

  17. Andrew, Marta, Victor
    Monday 4 August 2014, 11:16 am

    Congratulations guys! What a journey, Good to see you made it!!

  18. Guys Well Done fantastic achievement, can’t wait to share a pint and the tales of daring do.

    Have a well deserved rest and I will see you when you return to blighty 🙂

    Best Regards

    Martin & Boys

  19. Hi guys – hope all is well. We are back in England putting the bikes together in Stoke-on-Trent. Riding up to Scotland now to do a tour of the remote bits before going home. Hope you enjoyed the TransAm and will now do the Northerntier – in the end, we think it is a better route. Great to have biked with you two and spent some camp hours with great company. – Warren & Esther

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