Well, this past Saturday was pretty surreal. Riding through downtown Mountain Home and then on to the back roads to Simco Road and the Boise Stage Stop took several hours, of course (totalling 76 miles), but the wild thing was coming back.
I’ve been on I-84 hundreds of times. It takes 5 hours to get from my mom’s house in Boise to my house in Lehi. Right around Glenn’s Ferry it struck me – this has changed how I see the world. I’ve ridden almost every mile (save 55, to be done this coming Friday morning) between my mother’s home and mine. I’ve seen live rattlesnakes and the burned-up corpses of cattle that were caught in a wildfire. I’ve been more afraid of people than I can imagine, and felt more love and admiration than I could comprehend. Riding through sunrises and sunsets, on busy roads and in some places I’d swear I was the only human around for 100 miles or more.
And this one thing I know about this experience: at not quite 17% in, I am not nearly who I will be when I finish. I think about the Dr. Suess book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”, and I think that yes, I will go many places in the next 20 months. The things I will see, the people I will meet, the thousands of miles that will be completed – 83% of them are still ahead of me, and I am grateful for so many things.
Specifically on this ride, I had the help of my dear Father in Law, Chuck Peterson. Randy had signed up for a 5k run last year, and Chuck volunteered to be my support driver. He was so patient and always encouraging. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I am also grateful for cell phones. Yeah, I know – cheesy. But seriously, I would be lost (literally and figuratively) without the GPS and nearly constant contact with whoever is driving around following me.
I’m grateful for my friends – whether you’re here voluntarily or because we were born into the same family, you are my friends, and I am grateful for your cheers and love. I am in awe of you, and you often keep me going. (Stephanie and Tom, thanks for breakfast and the super cute bicycle dress!)
Of course Randy gets a huge thank you – he’s there every pedal stroke of the way (all but my four fastest ships, of course). Even when he can’t be there, he texts to make sure I’m doing well and cheers me on from afar. He’s the stability to the whole ride and forces me to actually make a plan that we can stick to. Even when I want to just fly by the seat of my pants.
Most of all I’m grateful tonight for the freedom my parents gave me to become… well, me. I’m sure it was not easy raising a daughter who wanted to do everything herself and had so many crazy schemes. I sometimes think I “should” be more conforming; more “normal”; more… well, boring, as I see it. But while they would have loved to see me become someone a little more conventional, I’m guessing, they let me become someone who can dream as big as my imagination can take me. I’m not doing something that will change the world. But it is changing my world. I believe I’m changing it for the better.
Love to all! Happy riding!