Day 3: A Long, Hard Road
To quote Calvin and Hobbs: Scientific progress goes boink.
There was a LOT of rain today. A lot. There was a lot of rain today. And it was wet rain. Like dripping wet rain, so if you stood in it you were dripping, too. That kinda rain.
So yeah… it rained. A lot. And everyone got- and stayed- wet. Until the sun baked everyone dry. Then it was hot. So very hot. Like Dante hot. Like fresh out of the oven cookies hot, only without the sweet goodness and yummy, melting chocolate.
Plus, road construction. And getting a little lost. Then a lot lost. Getting separated and turned around and other directional oddities. In all, the riders rode about 80 miles. Except Fritz. Fritz rode like 100 miles. Seriously. Going back and forth and back and forth to find and gather and collect and encourage and… well, whatever was needed.
And flats. Did I mention the flats? Nope. There were flats, too. And at least one major bike malfunction.
As Mac said, he counted at least five miracles throughout the day. No one was hurt. No one was lost to the point that we had to call the police. (Hey Reef… remember Bike Ride 2011???? We do.) So it ended well. It ended, and that is just fine.
Sure, it was a tough day, but we didn’t quit. We endured. We pushed on. And we finished. Because that’s what we do. Yesterday, Cody got sick in the afternoon. He was offered a ride in one of the support vehicles. He said no thanks. Why? “Because,” he said, “if I quit today, I’ll quit everyday. I have to finish.” That is what we do.
We finish. We finish well.
Say truth: the riders’ endurance is extreme, but so is that of every parent or volunteer suffering along behind them in a sag vehicle. Think riding all day in a car following bikers is easy? It isn’t. Stress. Heat. Confusion. It is challenging. Watching other drivers carelessly push the boundaries of what is safe when sharing the road with cyclists is not fun. Making sure twelve cyclists make every single turn and avoid road dangers – like broken glass or heavy construction debris or lunatic madmen drivers – while staying hydrated and properly fueled is exhausting. But it is worth it. Victoria is an amazing mom. So moms of 2015 riders (of all ages) rest assured… if you cannot be here, they have a mamma looking out for them. And we have Christine and Fran. We have the Wrights. We have had other parents along this week as well. That makes such a huge difference. It is difficult to express just how special that makes the ride.
Tomorrow is coming. We are ready. Bring it. This is how we roll. This is how we finish.
….and now that I got that out of my system…
Thanks to the Lutheran Church in Stuart for hosting us tonight. Reese, our newest alumni and second year rider, was boss today. It was a busy morning this morning with the Men’s Fraternity, so we didn’t get Reese’s devotion until tonight. With all the hecticness (yes, it is a word… now that I invented it) of the day I only have one video tonight. But you had lots of pictures to peruse. Go look at them again if you need to. Or go revisit some of your favorite videos so far. Call up your friends and families and neighbors. Or, if you need adventure, call in some total strangers. Share with them what we are doing. Get them involved. Sponsor a rider. Sponsor the rider. Remember, change starts with one.
Tonight after supper, we sat around the table and read all the comments you guys have been posting on the blog. Keep it up. We want to hear from you.
So goodnight all. We are tired and going to bed. In the ignoble words of Slammin’ Sam our fearless driver, a.k.a. the Glue (or as Eric likes to affectionately call him, the Big Sticky Mess) of the whole PAYH Bike Ride enterprise, “it’s hot this evenin’!”
Now go to bed. You gotta get up early tomorrow.
Praying for safety and endurance today. You are all amazing and what a testimony you have to share with your family and friends. I am really enjoying following the journey and praising God every day for what he is doing in each and everyone of your lives. Keep it up – you have so much to be proud of.