Kimberly Lyons arrived at the Dunkirk pier a little after 1 p.m. on Sunday, just as predicted. The punctuality was extraordinary, considering that Lyons has been traveling since May 5. Most of her trip from Santa Barbara, Calif. to Dunkirk was on her bicycle.
The last leg of her odyssey, "Kim's 2012 Gratitude and Inspiration Bicycle Tour," began Sunday morning at about 10 a.m. when she began pedaling from Lakeside Campground near Ripley along Route 5 toward Dunkirk.
Before leaving she chatted with the bicyclists who were joining her and displayed an upbeat attitude.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Above: Kimberly Lyons with her dad, James Lyons of Fairview Avenue in Dunkirk. Kim rode from Santa Barbara, Calif. to Dunkirk for Dunkirk Class of 1992, 20th year reunion. Top: On Sunday morning, Kimberly Lyons and an escort left from the Lakeside Camp Ground for the final leg of her journey from Santa Barbara, Calif. into Dunkirk. Left to right: Kim’s sister, Kitty Crow of Fredonia; Kim’s cousin, Bobbie Kilburn of Fredonia; Bob Ehrheart of Dunkirk and Bill Loftus of Fredonia, biking buddies; Lyons, Mike Romance of Cheektowaga; and Mark Haase of Arlington, Va. friend of Kim.
"Some people have asked me what the worst part of the trip was. There really wasn't a worst part,"she said.
There was a mishap with her credit card which she blogged about. It was frustrating, but Kim was able to put it into perspective and called it minor.
Her adventure is chronicled in a blog she kept while on the road, lyonsontheprowlagain.blogspot.com. The site contains some stunning pictures as well as details of the journey and her reflections on it.
"There was just so much to see. I took a lot of pictures, but I could have taken more." Kim said. For her Utah had the most beautiful scenery, and Crested Butte, Colo., a small town, was her favorite place.
Those who escorted her from Ripley included her sister, Kitty Crow of Fredonia, her cousin Bobbie Kilburn, Mike Romance of Cheektowaga, Mark Haase of Arlington Va., Bob Ehrheart of Dunkirk and Jim Loftus of Fredonia.
Ehrheart and Loftus are biking partners and thought they would enjoy the trip, so they biked from Dunkirk west along Route 5, stopped for breakfast in Barcelona, arrived in Ripley and then biked back to Dunkirk as part of the group.
Ehrheart said, "I am retired. You could say that biking was a response to my midlife crisis."
He and Loftus ride often. They do a number of different breakfast runs together. One is into Barcelona and another into Cassadaga with a stop at Grandma's Kitchen, a local restaurant.
Kilburn's husband Adam joined the group at the White Village Restaurant on W. Lake Road in Dunkirk and the two used a tandem bicycle the rest of the way to the pier.
A welcoming committee, some waving flags, gathered near the intersection of Route 5 and Central Avenue in Dunkirk. Joan Lyons of Fairview Avenue in Dunkirk, Kim's mother, was beaming as her daughter stopped her bike and gave her a big hug.
"The people here are family and friends - cousins from Florida and Silver Creek, some people from her class, and my friends," said Joan.
Kim's dad, Jim Lyons was also there to greet his daughter.
Asked to describe his feelings, Jim said, "It's unbelievable. Kim never fails to amaze us with her adventures."
Understandably for a father, he expressed relief to see that she was OK, but then said, "She is so well-organized."
Lisa Logan, Kim's best friend from high school who now lives in Angola, was very visible with a bright green outfit and a sign welcoming Kim home.
Commenting on the ride, Romance said, "We had a good time. It was a nice leisurely ride."
The journey that began on May 5 at a pier in Santa Barbara, Calif. with friends escorting Kim out of town, ended at a pier in Dunkirk on July 1 with friends and family escorting Kim into town.
"I'm really glad I did the major part alone," said Kim.
Kim, who graduated from Dunkirk High School in 1992, will be attending her 20th class reunion this weekend. She plans to stay in Dunkirk for the summer. In California, she worked as an independent massage therapist. She hopes to get a summer job and is welcoming any leads in that regard. She plans to do a lot of swimming this summer and hopes to participate in a triathalon.
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