Yesterday, the team climbed two mountains between Sheridan and Wisdom. It took a lot out of us, and it took a good bit of time, but we made it. The thing is, it’s not just about making it to the top of the climb. It is about making it to the top with everyone in your riding group. It is about making it to the top after riding 100 miles yesterday, 75 miles today, with 30 more to go, 70 miles tomorrow, and over 1,000 miles in the next two weeks. It is about making it to the top worried about your teammate beside you whose knees are aching, the teammate behind you whose breath is short, and especially the teammate 200 miles away recovering in a hospital from serious surgery. It is about making it to the top through the freezing cold winds, glaring heat of the sun, ruthless speeding trucks, and a near-constant fear of falling. It is about making it to the top, knowing that once you get back down, you still probably won’t have cell reception to tell your mom that you’re alive. Finally, it is about the people you encounter on your way to the top, like the motorcyclist I spoke with whose brother lost his wife to breast cancer when she was just 32-years-old. Every person on my team climbs mountains every single day of this ride, no matter what the terrain. You can see this in the dedication circle every morning, the way we cook dinner for one another, move each other’s belongings and bicycles, call ahead to hosts and food donors, stay in contact with our loved ones back home, blog as often as we can, and, oh yeah, bike our hearts out. It takes a lot out of us, and it takes time, but we’ll make it. In two weeks we’ll be at the Pacific Ocean; tears swell up just thinking about it.
July 21, 2011 | Day 53
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