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Friday, May 18, 2007

Seth Margolies has completed his cross country ride!

Here is an excerpt of Seth's words about his cross country ride. I have to say, the words posted here are poignant and inspiring here. The trip has helped Seth redefine himself, in a good way!

I forgot to tell you that I made it to Tallahassee Florida last night. Not a fun biking town. I was feeling the pressure especially with the fires in the north of Florida. Guess where I am? I was determined to ride at least 100 miles. Still sick and the nerves upset my stomach so I could not eat. I smelled the smoke from the fires The ride early was tough because city riding is dangerous. There are nuts on the road. And I am not talking about the one you are reading about on a bike.The good thing about riding for distance is that no matter how bad road conditions are they will eventually change. I finally have become a smarter rider. I take the conditions as given and know they will change. I get up every morning and pray to the bike gods for a tail wind. No such luck. It was pleasant, not too hot but I haven’t had winds like this since West Texas. Remember that vast wasteland. Why are people in Florida so nasty to bicyclists? I have been cursed more times. What should I expect from the land of hanging chads? I have to be nice my mom lives here as well as my dear friend Jon. Jon is going through a rough time right now so if you can say a little prayer it would be appreciated. He is a good man and a great friend for nearly thirty years. He was suppose to be at the finale. I know he will be with me in spirit.. I battled today on the rode and earned every inch. YESSSSSSSS I was chased by a dog but he seemed friendly enough. What will I do when I am stopped being chased by dogs. I rode past three different correctional institutes. I did however worry when I passed a sign. “Warning Inmates Working on the Side of the Road” I pedaled harder and faster. I got a few too many smiles. My glutes and quads were aching. I burned 4300 calories and rode 106 miles. I ended up in Lakeside Florida five miles away from the FIRES. The Motel was full of firepeople from all over the state. All my respect they truly are brave.

5-16-07 I am determined to finish today. I got up early to have breakfast at the Waffle House. Laprell slept in. I met a correctional officer who was also a cyclist. He pulled out his atlas and gave me a nicer quicker ride to St Augustine. I was going to do 95 miles instead of 111. The road was pleasant. I guess my prayer of ever getting a tail wind on this trip was not going to happen. It was hot and smoky. I was feeling a little better but my muscles ached. I was doing 90-100 miles everyday for the last 8 days. I spent a lot of time on the phone. It looks like I have some press to do in Jacksonville and the official ending at Flagler hospital will be at around 1pm. A big bug splatted on my glasses and as I wiped it off I lost control and took a spill off the side of the road. Luckily I did not get hurt. FOCUS MARGO only 29 miles to go. The bike gods were not going to make this an easy 29 miles. Every obstacle that I faced for the last 3000 miles were creeping into this part of the ride. I went over a bridge and the traffic was heavy. Very little room for a cyclist and it brought memories of the Queens Creek Tunnel. Nothing and I made nothing was going to scare me. I had my game face on and I was focused. My friend Elizabeth S from drama school sent me old acting exercises to stay focused. Then the wind hit hard and I mean hard. I was fighting. And then you guessed it a DOG but this one was coming for blood. My heart was pounding and his teeth was showing. “If I had a Rocket Launcher” Bruce Coburn says “ I’d blow that SOB away” I was angry So I got off the bike and like Rocky himself said ”come on. You want a piece of this? NOT TODAY NOT NOW” And I chased the dog and told him if he came after my bike again I would feed him to the predatory birds that have followed me from New Mexico. The traffic started to get heavy. Laprell thought I should stop. NO WAY I am riding in head high into St. Augustine. No fire, no dog, no weather was going to stop me doing this. My mind was made up. Im going home. Back to my Atlantic Ocean. And so I did. We got to the sign and shot pics. I raised my bike over my head with pride. I did it. I said I was going to and I did. Now I need to prepare myself to run a marathon a month. My friend Tony wrote me and I want to share it because it touched me he said”….. you experiences will be the memories of a lifetime. Ultimately you will have the pride in accomplishment as the memories fade.” No one can take it away from me I set out to change the way people think and the person who changed the most was me. I am a better cyclist, smarter, braver, more humble, more focused, more determined. I hope to be a better son, lover and friend. In fact I know I will be. I started this trip with a broken heart and spirit and I am ending rebuilt more invigorated, more positive than ever before. The letters from friends and strangers have inspired me to go further and do more. I have learned to love me. I am no longer the 406 lb man. I am strong confident and deserving. I worked hard for it and I have earned it. The story just begins here. And don’t worry there is still press and the big finale so you will get at least one more. I hope today to reflect by the ocean soak up the memories and…….continue my journey. Thanks for reading.

-Seth Margolies, by email

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