Archive | July, 2010

…America, my home sweet home.

4 Jul

Howdy from Memphis, TX and Happy 4th of July! The past month has been a whirl wind of incredible experiences on and off the road with my fellow SUS 2010 Bike & Builders. We’ve biked, we’ve built, we went swimming in the Gulf Coast, we crossed state lines, taken detours, met inspiring people, and maybe even inspired a few along the way…

Today was a bike day from Altus, OK to Memphis, TX – 72 miles. Not bad- in fact, it’s one of the “shorter” days, so we were allowed to “sleep in” until 6 AM. Mileage aside, today was one of the toughest days we’ve had yet. From the onset of our journey, we were beset with rain and a 20 mph headwind/crosswind that nearly blew me off the road. Good fun. But even better, just as the rains let up we encountered a good 30 miles of hills, the steepest inclines we’ve had to ride to date. It was a good challenge making it to the host site on time.

I also had my first flat(s) while traversing the fun hills, spending a mere hour and a half between the crests of two large hills where I got not 1, not 2, but 3 flats from a staple in my back tire not even a half centimeter long. Thankfully, not long after my third flat, the van pulled up with Chris and Lizz riding beside it. Agata, Cory, Alex, and Allison were in the van and with the positive energy and pooled experience we found the staple (and a bonus one in my front tire). Chris really saved the day by helping me out. I was frustrated with myself, being so close to the host and not going anywhere for so long- I felt helpless out there. But everything came around in the end.

Bike & Build has been an incredible experience so far- and I think everyone has come to realize that there’s more to the “Build” aspect than building affordable housing. We also build relationships with the people we meet along the way, we build friendships with some of the most talented and inspiring young adults, and through these interactions we find ourselves building a summer, a life, that is, in a word: awesome.

Thank you to everyone who has, and continues to support the efforts of Bike & Build and my own personal cross country cycling adventure. You all are “the wind beneath my wings”.

Follow the journey online:
You can read our group rider blog, track our progress, and see pictures from the ride!