Well before the 11:30 ferry was visible through the hazy midday air on Wednesday, August 6, a crowd had gathered at the Steamship Authority pier in Vineyard Haven to welcome Isaiah Maynard home from his 48-day bike ride across America. Beginning in Washington State, Isaiah rode an estimated 3,500 miles back to the Vineyard.
“He really wanted to get home and see his sister [Willoe Maynard] before she leaves for school,” Isaiah’s father, Hudson Maynard, explained. Willoe, Isaiah’s twin, had four signs welcoming her brother. One was decorated with life-size photos of Isaiah eating various meals throughout his journey, while another, more than 18 feet long, read, “We followed you across America,” and had congratulatory messages scattered across it. As the boat came into view, Hudson handed out an array of noisemakers, which Isaiah’s fans honked and screeched insistently while the boat unloaded.
Isaiah’s girlfriend, Julia, was shaking with excitement as he rode down the ramp and into the crowd. Isaiah dropped his bike to hug his father, family, and friends. When asked what the first thing he planned to do was, Isaiah responded, “I’ll probably unpack my bags and shower. But first I’ve got to bike home.” A fitting end to an incredible journey. Congratulations, Isaiah!
For the last dispatch from the road, read here. For all his posts from the road, click here. Look for a full story from Isaiah in The Times soon.