Barb Wooler and Judi Orme finished their bicycle ride across the United States on Sunday as they dipped the front wheels of their bikes in the Atlantic Ocean at Belmar Beach, N.J. It was nearly 3,700 miles and six weeks since they dipped their rear tires in the Pacific Ocean at Anacortes, Wash., to begin their trip. The ride was an effort to raise funds and awareness for Hand In Hand schools in the Central African Republic. Below is a video of their arrival at the Atlantic Ocean and Barb’s Facebook post from Sunday night. (Barb is the director of crisis response for Encompass World Partners. Judi is the widow of the late Larry Orme, who served as executive pastor for the Penn Valley Multi-Site Network and campus pastor of Penn Valley Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Telford Pa.)
We did it! Dipped our back wheel in the Pacific on July 20th, and the front wheel in the Atlantic on August 30th.
We did it! With God’s help and the help of many, many people, Judi and I made it from the Pacific to the Atlantic to complete our epic Coast to Coast for Hand in Hand ride! And it was truly epic.
Saturday’s weather, which forced us to delay our ride to today (Sunday), was more than compensated for by the perfect late summer weather, with a sweet tailwind to boot!
Judi and I gathered with seven others from Penn Valley Church who wanted to ride all or part of this last ride with us. We love riding with others. The miles seems to tally up so quickly when riding south others!
We each took a turn driving the support van for 10 miles, but the rest of the 86 miles we each traversed on bike.
Google maps pulled another fast one on us by taking us to a 1.4-mile sandy trail through a forest. Note that we are on road bikes with thin tires not well suited for sandy conditions. And if that’s not bad enough, with just .2 miles left, we arrived at a low gate that said, “Do not enter.” We’ll not tell you what we did, but note that it was a “low” gate.
Arriving at the beach we were greeted by over 30 friends and family who came to congratulate us and watch us complete our ride by dipping our front wheels (and then some!) into the ocean. Quite a few beach-goers not from our group came up to ask what was going on, and were impressed when they found out. One gentleman asked for our website so he could donate to our cause!
Afterwards we enjoyed a beach-side pizza party with Judi’s family – four children and spouses, 12 grandchildren, and a sister-in-law.
This is an accounting of the last day of our epic journey to the extent that we have been able to process an achievement which feels, at least for us, truly monumental.
Judi and I are so grateful to the Lord for His watch-care over us through our almost 3,700 mile ride across this beautiful land, and we have been humbled every day to think that you would make joining us on this adventure a priority. Thank you!
Total Mileage: 3,681
Tomorrow: sleep in