Tuesday, June 12, 2012

They Made It!

     The volunteers at Ride for World Health finished their cross-country bicycle trip. The riders, including my daughter, all either work or study in some aspect of the health field. They began their journey at Torrey Pines, in San Diego, with the rear wheels of their bicycles in the Pacific Ocean. Two months later they dipped their front wheels in the Atlantic, at Bethany Beach, Delaware.

     Their real mission was to "address global health disparities by focusing on education, advocacy and fundraising." This year they raised money for Louie's Kids, a group based in South Carolina that fights childhood obesity, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), an organization designed to transform wastes to resources in Haiti, and Mana, dedicated to improving agricultural practices in rural Africa.     

     One of the riders, age 24 and a med student, said it was most difficult thing he had ever done in his life. Another rider, 29, said, "Actually, it wasn't that hard." Her secret? The group stopped for a breather about every two hours. She kept her focus on nothing but getting to the next rest stop. One after another, until the trip was over.

     One participant moaned that, after it was over he was never going to get on a bike again. I don't know if he was joking or not. But one of the women figured, more optimistically, that from now on she'll be commuting to work on her bike.

Bethany Beach, Delaware, June 3, 2012
 
     There were some people who joined the group for part of the ride. The youngest participant rode from San Diego all the way to to Washington, DC -- and skipped the last leg of the trip. She had to. She needed to get back to Ohio for her high-school graduation. An older fellow joined the group in St. Louis, and rode over the Appalachians to the sea. He didn't have to climb the Rockies, but as it turns out, there are some road grades in West Virginia that are just as steep as the ones out west.

     Twenty some people made the entire journey. Everyone agreed that Utah has the highest, most rugged, most difficult-to-climb mountains. And Kansas is the flattest state ... by far. And everyone agreed, however hard or easy it was for them, it was truly one of the most rewarding things they'd done in their lives.

     As I said to one young man, "You'll be telling your grandchildren about this."

     He looked at me and grimaced, and kind of pinched his rear end, and groaned, "Yeah . . . if I can have grandchildren."

9 comments:

Rubye Jack said...

Way to go guys!

Stephen Hayes said...

Sounds like a worthwhile event. You just can't castrate enough your men these days.

MerCyn said...

A great way to get publicity for your charities of choice and raise funds for worthy causes. Your daughter did a wonderful thing!

Arkansas Patti said...

You can be so very proud of your daughter. My what an accomplishment and for such a great cause.
Hope she recovered OK.

June said...

Wow. My congratulations to all involved.
I'm in awe of the physical strength, as well as of the mental discipline!

Olga said...

That is a very impressive accomplishment. Yeah, team!

Dick Klade said...

What a feat. Good reason to be proud.

Jono said...

What a terrific thing to do on many levels! I spent the summers of my youth a few miles north of Bethany Beach and I can smell the ocean just looking at it. Looks like low tide.

Warren Lieberman said...

Years ago I rode on a thirty mile trip and thought that was exhausting. Can't imagine a really long ride. Kudos to them!

http://65and alive.blogspot.com

Warren